Best of 2016

Our Christmas cards are out (finally!) and I realized some of the pictures are a little small and they printed a little dark. So, I’ll photo dump here for any of you who want to see my smiling face a little better…

Let’s be honest: the kids’ faces.

Andy and I make quite a handsome couple, if I do say so myself,2016-christmas-card-6

But the kids are like a million times cuter.2016-christmas-card-15

And funnier.

First, here’s the design Jess did for the front. She does our Christmas card every year, and this year she (once again!) blew me away. Half is on her card and half is on mine, but I’ll put the pieces together here:2016-christmas-card-23

Gosh, isn’t that beautiful? And lovely? And poignant?

What was I thinking, using so many photos? Maybe it’s because I don’t have facebook anymore? I need to share ALL THE PHOTOS! It’s nearly impossible to convey one year in our family in a single card (or photo dump)…But I’m sure gonna try.

Here they come, in no particular order (and some repeats from Instagram), but all thoroughly delightful: 2016-christmas-card-122016-christmas-card-72016-christmas-card-102016-christmas-card-112016-christmas-card-82016-christmas-card-22016-christmas-card-162016-christmas-card-52016-christmas-card-42016-christmas-card-32016-christmas-card-92016-christmas-card2016-christmas-card-132016-christmas-card-142016-christmas-card-182016-christmas-card-172016-christmas-card-192016-christmas-card-202016-christmas-card-212016-christmas-card-22

If you made it all the way to the bottom, you must love us very much. And I’ll reiterate what I said in our Christmas card:

“…if you’re ever in need of fellowship or community, we’ll happily invite you over for a cup of coffee… or three. It will be a noisy cup of coffee, but we guarantee you will smile and laugh at least twice a minute. We do.”

Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you.

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Snow Day!

Traffic last night looked like this:img_2843

Because of this:snow-day-4

Andy’s 20 minute commute took 2 1/2 hours, and we had friends who could have truthfully run home faster than the 4 hours they sat in traffic. Insert eye roll from everyone in the midwest, northeast, heck anywhere but here. But for those of us in the Portland area, even a quarter inch is a big deal.

And school was cancelled, so we enjoyed it! Quite literally.snow-day-5snow-day-2-2

Mo was very determined to make a snowman, snow-daysnow-day-2snow-day-3

and even though she maybe had to roll all around the entire backyard, make one she did!snow-day-6 It might have been a wee little snowman (woman?) but it was still adorable.

snow-day-7And this is Dom’s I’m cold but saying cheese face. Snow is fun. Until it’s not. Then it’s hot cocoa time!

snow-day-8Throwing this photo in to remind myself that even when I think I’m failing at all our Advent traditions (perhaps we have too many?) there are some that the kids remind me about daily. Singing Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel before supper is one of those traditions. It makes my heart happy every time the kids reminds me to light the candles and sing the song. I take a deep breath, push aside all the pre-Christmas busy, and really just sing, making the words a prayer that I hope echoes in my heart.

Happy Advent from “snowy” Vancouver!

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Just Ask

img_2701Oh boy… I think that blogging regularly again should be a New Year’s resolution. What do you think? Also, taking more selfies with my adorable niece.

I’ve said it before, that I can tell when depression is creeping back into my life by what I’m creating…or, rather, what I’m not creating. And lookey here: nary a blog post or DSLR photo to speak of recently.

Stupid depression.

The good thing is, I can recognize it. I can name it. And I can do my best to kick it. HI-YA! While that sounds brave and awesome, what it really consists of is humbling myself to do what I’m really bad at: ask for help.

Here’s the thing: no one wants to be that person. The person that always has something hard and sad and…well, depressing to talk about (like depression). I certainly don’t. I don’t even really want to write about it. That’s probably why I haven’t been writing…

I’d like to walk around pretending there are cartoon birdies flitting about my shoulders while I cook a healthy dinner every night between time spent exercising and supervising my children at their quiet play time.


I couldn’t even finish that sentence without laughing. My life is so incredibly different than that ridiculous imagining, but you know what? That’s because it’s real. And real is ok.

And real means I ask for help. I call people. I ask Andy for a break. I ask forgiveness from my children for yelling at them.


Being real means I let myself cry in the shower without adding the guilty “Why’s?” Why can’t I handle this? Why am I sad? Why can’t I be a good parent/wife/friend/sister? Why is this so hard? Why…I cut the Whys off at the pass and just cry. Because that is ok.

I called my sister, Jess, a week ago. On a good day. Of course. Because it’s almost impossible to ask for help on bad days. But then on good days, I feel so competent and confident that my attempts to explain sound embarrassingly silly, “Hi Jess. I was, um wondering, if, um your offer to come out and stay with me for a couple days was, um still…um..good? Because I’ve been, um…”


Her response came before I could even finish my ask.

And I nearly burst into tears.

This is what happens when I am humble. Swallowing my pride and asking for help gives the Loves in my life an opportunity to be merciful. They jump at the chance to love me, to help me, to be with me. As much as I don’t want to be that person who is always talking about depression, they don’t want me to be that person all alone.

“How about tomorrow? I could stay till Wednesday!” Gah! I’m crying just thinking about her loving response.

We didn’t do anything crazy. We were just together. She helped me parent. Watched some combination of my kids when I did all the school driving. Gave me advice on parenting my sixteen six year old. Stayed up way too late, discussing all the things and none of the things. (All while minding her own 5 month old, by the way!). She gently held my hand or my baby or my heart or my soul or some combination of those things and was just present. Present to me in a way I desperately needed. Present to me in a healing way.

All I had to do was ask.

I just changed this post from its original title, Recent Miscellany, because it turned into something completely different than a catch up about our latest adventures. This was apparently what needed to be written during my precious nap time writing hour. Miscellany will have to wait till next time…

I will, however, leave you with these adorable photos of Miss Anne and Baby G. Jess and I were conspiring about ways to make them best friends…cousins (who share a middle name and were born 3 months apart) is just not enough 😉fullsizerender-2fullsizerender-3

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Focus of my Four Year Old

lulufocusThis girl. Give her paper and a pair of scissors and she will go to town.

She doesn’t just create, she produces.

lulufocus-2Assembly-line level production over here.

lulufocus-7She traces and cuts out anything: pumpkins, hearts, circles and today it’s:


lulufocus-4A lot of rectangles.

lulufocus-4This is something that I love about Lucia. Her intense focus on a project like this lasts for hours and leaves her cheeks flushed and her eyes bright. Then she gives the fruits of her efforts away to friends and family with a giant smile on her face.

lulufocus-5This girl’s heart! Melts mine, for sure.

If you’re planning to send her a Christmas present, please consider a ream of paper and a new pair of scissors.

lulufocus-6And a recycling bin.

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They’re Complicated…

my feelings right now.

Granted, we did just have a baby. Monica broke her arm. Lucia had a tonsillectomy. Dominic is a two and half year old boy (read: he jumps, climbs, runs, throws and drives everything. All the time). The hot water heater broke. Genevieve’s name was spelled wrong on her birth certificate. Just a veritable litany of life complications.

But the disquiet in my heart runs deeper than what any person in the grocery store can notice as they survey my motley crew, “Wow. You have your hands full!”

I think I’m trying to process the last year of my life. The first of my thirtieth decade. A year that started out amazing, and ended amazingly as well. But also a year that had a lot of hurt and tragedy. Losing LucasAlmost losing Dominic and coming to grips with the horrible truth that I could lose any of my kids. At any time. Depression during G’s pregnancy. It’s more than this Mama ever thought she could face in such a short time.

It is certainly not the year I envisioned last August, and I am certainly not the same Caitlin today as the Caitlin blowing out 30 candles. The thirty-first candle represents a lot of grief and growth. A lot of anger and tears.

However, all those complicated feelings are not locked in a cage of despair. They’re not stuck at the bottom of a well of self-pity, and they wouldn’t be complicated if they were only bad. That is because of hope. Because of love. Because of mercy. In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, I am just now realizing how much mercy was poured into my extraordinarily difficult thirtieth year.

Every tragedy, every hardship was met with love. Lucas’ Memorial. Dominic’s guardian angels. My tribe of female family and friends. People who helped us time and time again with broken things, broken hearts. I can’t stop thinking about the phlebotomist who enveloped me into her arms when I was such a mess. Tears running dow my face. Blood running into her tubes. Both confirming what I knew: that Lucas was gone. And then Lucas, who was gone but somehow not gone, showing me the most intense love I have ever received.

We celebrated Lucas yesterday, on his feast day. We made a little cake. Said a little prayer. And half-way through I was smacked with a different sort of grief. Andy held Genevieve and I understood, with great clarity, that if not for losing Lucas, she would not be here. I’m still recovering from her birth, exactly a year from when I started recovering from his death. That is a completely different layer to grief. How can I mourn a loss that made way for life? Isn’t that the basic question of our faith? Balancing the cross with the empty tomb. Cognitive dissonance at its finest. Complicated to say the least.

I know it’s imaginative, but I like to believe that God gave Lucas a choice. That He spoke to Lucas’ soul and said, you have the power to do an amazing thing if you come with me now. You will break your mother’s heart, but you will save her soul. You won’t be physically present to your family, but you will be able to intercede for them every day. If you lay down your life, there will be more life that can follow. And no greater love is this, than to lay down one’s life for a friend.

And I like to think that he said, Yes Lord. Thy will be done.

A teeny, tiny fiat.

The smallest of fiats.

But, looking at Genevieve, one with perhaps unfathomable results.

I like to think that now, as I contemplate all the redemption and life that came from his loss, he smiles at me and says, Good job Mama. I know you’re still sad, but I knew you’d find the joy. Remember to look for the joy.

I know there is more pain to come. My thirtieth year taught me, in a bone-marrow kind of way, that living and loving comes with death and loss. Hello means goodbye. But thinking about this past year, friends, family, and Genevieve… I also know that joy and love has the ability to triumph.


So this is my prayer right now: in all the complicated feelings of my life, may the peaks of joy carry me over the valleys of sorrow… until I can find the flat, solid ground of peace.

Maybe that will be this year…

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Bring It On, Baby Cakes

We all get to that point. The point where a pregnant lady feels like she might just be pregnant forever. Every twinge and ache brings on a nervous, “Is this it? Should I time that? Why is there a basketball hiding under my shirt!?” laborsuggestion-13Hello due date, and eating ALL THE FEELINGS.

As a service to all those big-baby-belly-mamas out there, I thought I might document all the things we tried this time to get Baby to self-evict, and then the one thing that actually succeeded.laborsuggestion-11laborsuggestion-10

  1. Finish all the projects related to your previous baby. Case in point above: Dom’s quilt. Monica’s was done before she was born. Lucia’s was done a week before Dominic was born, and Dominic’s was finished 5 days before Genevieve’s arrival. At this rate, Baby G’s should be done right before she heads to college.laborsuggestion-9
  2. Do a maternity shoot! But put it off until you are so giant that getting up off the ground looks more like a turtle on its shell trying to right itself. But the opposite…?Oh, make sure to wear a dress so that you can worry about everyone seeing your undies as you thrash about, and refuse everyone’s offer of a hand to help you up, despite their increasingly panicked looks as you rock back and forth, building momentum. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a very skilled friend taking your pictures so that instead of awkward and horrible, they turn out adorable and perfect. (Let me know if you want Sam’s number!).p1080281p1080321p1080348
  3. Don’t actually consider this one, but I can’t help but notice a pattern in my life: almost injuries. When I was very pregnant with Dominic, I tripped in the middle of a Panera restaurant, coming down hard on my knees. Like almost broke my kneecaps hard. He was born a week-ish later. This time round, even with the utmost care, I managed to almost break the toes of my left foot. Get this: on the way to a pedicure. Pedicure dreams completely trashed by the bleeding toes, I quickly dissolved into sobs that sounded an awful lot like labor breathing. This nearly gave my husband a heart attack thinking I was having the baby in the middle of the garage. No, just feeling infinitely sorry for myself. Since I have wonderful friends, they brought the pedicure to me instead, and with the most gentle of hands, washed my feet and painted my toes. I know. They’re seriously the best. laborsuggestion-12
  4. Move furniture. Lots of furniture. Decide that all the couches are in the wrong place. Your china hutch would suit someone else better and that you need a coffee bar in its place. I mean, you are prepping for months if not years of no sleep, right? Coffee makes sense. China does not. (And, by move furniture, I of course mean give a cursory push or two, but mostly sit and watch your husband and his muscles.) Also, apparently even Mo knows how important coffee is. laborsuggestion-7She titled this piece: How to make Daddy Feel Better. laborsuggestion-8laborsuggestion-2-2
  5. Freak out that there’s no possible way to afford ALL THE CHILDREN. Then learn a new skill that will save you money, like cutting your husband’s hair. And your son’s hair. There will be way more thrashing and crying involved with one of the two, but both haircuts will turn out ok-good, and food mollifies any trimming errors for either dude.img_1206
  6. Schedule elective surgery for a child about 3 weeks before your due date! (Also one I don’t actually suggest). The stress of Lulu’s tonsillectomy actually almost did bring on labor. We had good contractions going for the whole week of her recovery, which I chose to simply ignore. Mostly because it would have been terribly inconvenient to deliver at that point, but also because I like to pretend that I have control over when my babies will be delivered. It did, however, set up a nice example of how to not exert myself, which I followed for the remaining 3 weeks of pregnancy. Go for a walk? Nah. Let’s see how many more Sophia the First episodes we can binge watch before my brain explodes. Anyone want a popsicle or six? Perhaps some Chuggington? That little ear worm should only be stuck in my head for approximately FOREVER.

So, none of those things worked. I submit them to you as options, perhaps one of them is the magic eject button for you. Here’s what works for me.

A milkshake.

Not just any milkshake.

A milkshake at the Stardust Diner.

Me on July 6th, 2012:laborsuggestion-5

Me on July 7th, 2012.laborsuggestion-6

Me on March 31st, 2014:laborsuggestion-3

Me on April 1st, 2014.laborsuggestion-4

Me on September 20th, 2016:laborsuggestion

Me on September 21st, 2016.laborsuggestion-2

Seriously guys (gals?), I’m a scientist. I believe in the scientific method. I believe in repeatable results. And here are my results in triplicate. Have a milkshake at this diner, preferably share it with your existing progeny, and you will have a baby the next day! Science? Magic? Doesn’t matter, it works!

Speaking of having a baby, isn’t she delicious?laborsuggestion-14

And I mean that in only the way a mother can. More along the lines of Eucharist than cannibalism… There is just something so good and pure and holy and tasty about a tiny newborn.

Hope these tips help some of you along. Her story of coming into this world up next!

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Elder, Party of Six

After 40 weeks plus 1 day of gestation,

5 hours of labor,

30 mins of pushing…

She’s here!g-in-hospital

Introducing Genevieve Marie g-in-hospital-3

She came in at 9lbs 6oz and 22 1/4″ long. That makes her our longest and second heaviest baby.g-in-hospital-4g-in-hospital-2

There were many things different about her pregnancy and labor, but that’s a different post. Also, I think I’ve figured out the secret to bringing on labor. It involves milkshakes. Once again, a post for another time…

This one is for all the cute pictures!!g-in-hospital-5g-in-hospital-7g-in-hospital-6g-in-hospital-8

We decided on her name while driving to the hospital this time. Andy’s the planner, I’m the procrastinator, I must be rubbing off on him a bit…

Her nickname is still undecided. So far she’s been called Baby G, Viv, and Baby Sissy. Gen is a good option and sticks with our Mo, Lu and Dom theme… Sissy might be sticking around though. That’s what the kiddos called her during their wait and is what they continue to call her now.

Whatever we call her, she is so welcome and so loved. And we are now officially:

Elder, Party of Sixg-in-hospital-9

PS This grainy, backlit photo was one in about a thousand attempts at a family photo. This family of six thing is going to be interesting… and will certainly test our photography skills.

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A Blessingway

“Hey Cait, who’s throwing you a baby shower this time round? Or maybe a baby sprinkle?” asked a dear friend.

“I’m not sure. But I think what I could really use is a Blessingway…” I replied, a little hesitantly. It seems a kind of selfish, now that I think about it. A party that’s really more about Mom than baby…I rubbed my belly and whispered, Baby Girl, it’s not that I don’t want to celebrate you and your imminent arrival, I just really need some love right now. Some support. Some empowerment as a mother.

The last several months have been hard. Hard in a PPD kind of way. I didn’t know that pregnancy depression was a thing, but apparently it is. Ante-natal depression, they call it. Well, whatever it’s called, I’ve been living it. And it. is. hard.

So, after weeks of lethargy, big angry tears, too much yelling and not enough hugging, let’s just say I was needing a little encouragement as I add another person to my daily circus.

What I got was more than I could have imagined. Or perhaps, it was exactly what I had in mind, but only in my most wild and far-fetched imaginings. In a, that seems so awesome, but there’s no way it would ever happen to me, kind of way.

Let the record show, I have never felt more empowered in my role as mother, nor humbled in my role as sister and friend.

I spent several hours listening to women love me. Women, who are each people I admire and look up to for innumerable reasons, affirm me.

Words have power.

Words of affirmation can heal a soul.

Through tears I tried to stutter my thanks for such a gift. Those words, and compliments, and stories and heart-songs will sustain this broken Mama through many a grey day to come. Because at my worst (or rather, at depression’s worst) I have myself thoroughly convinced that I am the worst mother, worst wife, worst sister and friend and daughter than anyone could have.

Worse than being un-loved, I am un-lovable.

And that night, that Blessingway, shattered all those thoughts. Shattered all those doubts. I can now confidently point to those memories (somehow stored in the same brain that’s trying to sabotage my life) and realize that the Caitlin my family and friends see is not the Caitlin depression would have me believe in. They can’t both exist.

They don’t both exist.

Only I exist.


The beloved.

IMG_1145While I know this kind of hippie party is not everyone’s preference, I was giddy when the girls said we were doing belly henna. I have always wanted henna on a big, giant preggo belly, and even better than having it done at the Fair, it was done with love by those that I love.

Whether they knew it or not, they were writing their love and support and prayers for me and baby girl on that big ol’ belly of mine.

Blessingway-2And she danced.

Oh she danced and kicked and moved and made everyone laugh as they tried not to smear the love-mud.

People ate ice cream and smiled and laughed and cried and prayed and sang and lit candles and placed a flower wreath and destroyed fear. Lit it on fire. That is the power of women. That is the power of community. To destroy fear.Blessingway

Blessingway-5Blessingway-4Blessingway-6It was just enough to swell the tiny pagan part of this thoroughly Catholic woman’s heart to near bursting.

Thank you ladies. Thank you from a deep, deep part of my heart.

I am loved. I am lovable.

And I am not afraid.

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And Then She Was Four…

LuluisFour-15I swear she was just four months old…

LuluisFourFour years?

That’s high school.

That’s college.

And somehow, that’s her whole life…

Certainly worth celebrating.LuluisFour-3Balloon drop!LuluisFour-4LuluisFour-5The kids got to chase Andy, the mean dragon, around the house, squirting him with water.LuluisFour-6

There are so many parts of her personality right now that I want to remember.

With Monica as her example, she often acts far older than her years, and I admit, I often expect more out of her than I should. When push comes to shove, tears and fits and time outs are usually involved. But her favorite and best way of calming down is to just crawl into someone’s lap. She’s been like that for as long as I can remember.

“Remember,” I would tell Andy, holding one year old Lu, “Sometimes she just needs a lap.”


Her care for babies astounds me. Real or fictitious. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if there is a baby in the room, you cannot pull her away. She stands attentively by the mom, reaching out to stroke baby’s head, wiggle baby’s toes, coo and soothe and pat, pat, pat. Friends often comment on how some day she’ll be a great babysitter. LuluisFour-9LuluisFour-7

I’m tempted to say, she’d be one now!

LuluisFour-10LuluisFour-12LuluisFour-13LuluisFour-14If you could see the way she cares for her favorite baby doll, I think you’d be shocked. The way she rocks and burps and dresses and feeds and sings…it’s as if she’s holding a real baby. It’s not uncommon for us to be chatting in the kitchen, and she’ll have her feet planted, baby on her shoulder, bouncing gently up and down, all the while discussing lunch or life or siblings. It’s like she’s another Mom in the room.

She talks about her day in terms of her babies: “My baby also loves carrots…She’s one year old and it’s her birthday today…He is going to the pool too…I have one baby in my belly and one that is two…My husband works, so I take care of my baby…She does not like to get dressed…My baby loves her bath…” Anything and everything comes back to her baby.LuluisFour-2Favorite gift? New clothes for her baby doll.

You can imagine the excitement in her eyes every time we discuss the arrival of her next sibling. Here is a video of both the girls, feeling their baby sister kick from a couple months back. Lulu’s face is my very, very favorite:

I understand that pretending to be a mom is not the same as actually being one (oh, boy, I understand!), and I try not to project into my children’s futures too much. But if she’s blessed to be a mom, and shows her real kiddos half the love, patience and attention she shows babies today, she’ll be a much better mom than I. And I say that in complete honesty, without a drop of exaggeration.LuluisFour-16LuluisFour-18

Other things to remember about four-year-old-Lulu:

  • She loves to smell things. Flowers. Food. If I have just put gum in my mouth or chewed chocolate chips, she will stop me mid-sentence, “Mama! What do you have in your mouth?” and then she’ll close her eyes, breathe deeply and smile as I gently exhale on her face. “Mmmm.”
  • I can’t get anything involving food past this kid. She can hear me opening a snack from the very farthest seat in the back of our van. If I mention the “S” word (snack) in the kitchen, she’ll hear me from her bedroom. Babies and food. Lulu’s motivators.
  • She’s a spider smasher. While Mo is a catch and release kinda gal, Lulu will often proudly show me the tissue with the squished remains of her latest find.
  • She dresses herself in mostly pinks and purples. And I take it as a genuine compliment when she says, “Mommy, I love your clothes today.” She knows.
  • She has a beyond-her-years sense of empathy. If I’m having a bad day, she will notice. She will ask if I’m ok. She will give me a hug. And then she’ll dust her room, because she knows that cleaning up “fills my bucket.” She is concerned when other people are sad, and is the first to bring Dom his blankie or favorite car if he is inconsolable. She delivers them with a gentle pat, pat on his back or runs her fingers through his hair, “It’s ok Dom Dom. You’re ok…”
  • Her hair is silky smooth and super soft, a completely different texture than her siblings or parents. And she has a lot of it! She’s always had great hair, and the sun is bleaching parts of it into a naturally beautiful body of highlights.
  • At the dinner table, she is always the first to ask how Andy’s day was. I love her understanding of what her favorite engineer does, “Did you do math and talk to people today Daddy?”

These past four years have flown faster than I thought possible. So much has happened, and there’s still so much more to come. You remain, as always, our fire and ice. A perfect combination of my temper and your daddy’s compassion. You move through this world bringing smiles and laughter to everyone you meet, and the confidence and purposefulness in your stride, says “Look out world! Here I come.” Whoever you are in this life ahead, be it mother, sister, daughter, friend, coworker, boss, caregiver, wife…the limitless list… you will also forever be this lovely, endearing and caring little girl I see today.
Love you,
Today and always,

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Mo Update

Well, we officially have a first grader:Mo6

and a 6 year old:Mo6-2Mo6-4living in our house now.

Leading the pack. Reading all the books.

Getting her hair cut (by Mama) so that she suddenly looks 16 instead of 6.Mo6-2-2Mo6-5

Also, she got a real purse and a real wallet for her birthday. So, her favorite thing to do is walk around the house wearing both saying, “I look like a teenager. I look 18. Teenagers have real purses and real money. I’m a teenager now, Mom.”

Blink, blink.

She doesn’t know how much I already feel that. Feel that time travel. It’s a bizarre sensation, to see your child’s life flash forward. One that is both exhilarating (She’ll be a teenager! She’ll be a grown up! She’ll make her own choices and go her own way!) and depressing (She’ll move away! She’ll tell her friends things instead of me! She’ll make hard choices…).

Mo6-3For now, purse and comments aside, I stick to the present. She’s six. She loves legos and books and giving me hugs. She wants to help me make dinner and pick flowers from the front yard. She encourages Lucia to write her letters and cuddles with Dom. She feels my belly kick and prays for her Baby Sister every day (yes! We’re having another girl! We get to raise Elder girls in triplicate, as Andy happily declared!).

She still doesn’t like intense parts of movies, especially when coupled with dramatic music (“Cover your eyes, Mo. This is scary!” warns Lulu). That’s in large part to her great auditory memory. She can hear a song once and sing it accurately a week later. She’s constantly getting smiles a Mass for her boisterous “Amen!s” and enthusiastic singing.Mo6-6

She’d rather release a spider than smash it, and she’s often overwhelmed by the breadth of knowledge in the world. She was recently brought to tears because she befriended a worm, then placed it next to some ants. The ants started to eat the worm, because, well: nature… and she sat there paralyzed and sobbing, “I didn’t know they would eat the worm! There’s so much I don’t know!” After I washed the worm off and returned it to a (different) dirt patch, I held her, stroking her head. We chatted about the circle of life, and how it’s ok to not know everything. And, yes, sometimes the things we don’t know hurt people or creatures. But that is why it’s important to keep learning and investigating.

She’s always talking about becoming a scientist, or a doctor, or a mom, or a teacher, or a (insert other adult job that touches her life). And I am humbled.

Humbled by her love of discovery, her confidence in the future, and her recognition of those areas of knowledge she lacks… I may be five times her age, but I think sometimes her wisdom (and definitely her compassion) far outrank my own. Mo6-7

Mo Bug,

Thank you for making me a mother. Thank you for loving me and teaching me how to love. Thank you for your help, for your hugs, for “Mommy, are you ok?” and all your other genuine questions. Five was great; I think six is going to be even better. You’re blazing the trail for the rest of this crazy brood, and I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Love you. So much.


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