Archive for ‘pie’

February 24, 2011

Giving Up

A good cry, an ugly cry was sneaking up on me. There was a little lump in my throat, small tear here and there, and deep sighs galore.  So I got my jammies on, got a glass of water and went to brush my teeth.  And then I turned towards my bed, saw the place where I wanted to land and fell into it. I lay there, toothbrush in hand, sobbing, choking on toothpaste and tears. 

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Carrying around my whole entire world has kind of been my thing.  I’ve learned to set it down now, thank goodness.  It used to chase me around, the responsibility of it all, begging to be held.  And sometimes it seemed easier to pick it up, sling it on my hip, or throw it over my shoulders than to keep telling it to go.  The thing is, I knew it so well, if I did pick it up I’d forget I was toting it around until I noticed the pain in my back.  So learning to give it up, practicing giving it up, has been good.

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Responsibility is a good thing to carry sometimes I know, but it weighs me down when I let it.  If I’m not careful, every hard thing around me will climb onto my back.  Not a welcomed burden at all, familiar though. I recognize now more quickly than I did in the past when the heaviness sets in.  I’ve become accustomed to handing things over to Him.  I've learned to love the feel of walking a little lighter, a little taller.  I held onto this lie for so long though, believing that I was in charge of holding the world, my world at least together.    

Up until sometime last year, I thought that every bad thing that’s ever happened to me and people around me was my fault.  All the big and small things that have torn, cut and broken, only happened because I caused them to.  More precisely I thought that they happened because there was something awful in me that called out to evil.  Little-Me, Teenage-Me, Grown-up-Me too, we all thought we were covered in the shame of our wrongs and wrongs done to us.  I thought the visibility of it left me marked forever with depravity, a glowing target for Badness.  And let me tell you, that’s quite a cumbersome load to bear.  Also, it's quite a lie to denounce.

Oh and before I found all this Freedom, pain of all kinds from all different places felt like it was mine to carry.  If I found hurt sitting on a friend, I would take it.  If they resisted I would insist.  “Let me take that for you. It’s fine; I don’t mind at all.”  And it was true, I hardly knew the difference between my own grief and someone else’s; it was all the same to me.  Really I thought, “What’s the use in someone else feeling hurt if I can feel it for them and they can be free of it?”  Silly? Yes, but an honest glimpse into my silly self.  I am wiser now though, a little.  I’ve learned that all this shame and pain is not for me hold.  And I am glad to let it go, Free-er for having handed it to Him.

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There are these other Responsibilities though, four of them that I am carrying around.  There are Four Lives that I have been entrusted with.  And I am not looking to pawn them off on anyone at all.  But I think maybe I am supposed to grip them less tightly, not walk around white-knuckled with anxiety.  I think the worry lines in my face wouldn’t run quite so deep if I trusted Him more with them. 

It’s tricky though because I understand that I am their mother and so raising them is my job.  And I am honored to have that privilege.  But the thing is, I’ve spent so much of the past couple of years feeling like I have to be their Everything.  I feel like I have to be Mother and Father.  I’ve felt mostly… oh geez, fine, I will tell you what I told Him last night- I felt both incapable of being their Everything and unwilling to fully entrust them to Him all at the same time. 

Mostly I think I do an okay job.  But then sometimes I think, they deserve better than ok.  I think they deserve amazing, and some days I am just too tired to be amazing.  I think they deserve the best Mom in the whole world, and I try to be that but fall short on a regular basis.  And then well, I think they deserve the best Dad in the whole world.  And while on some level I get that I can’t be that for them, it hasn’t stopped me from trying.  And it certainly hasn’t stopped me from hating that I couldn’t be that.

You know what I mean?  Providing for, nurturing and protecting These Four outstanding human beings, physically, emotionally and spiritually, that’s kind of a lot sometimes.  It’s too much really, more than I can… more than I am supposed to bear.  I trust Jesus with me and my stuff.  I have given over the weight of all the messiness I’ve experienced.  I’ve stopped taking on other people’s pain.  But giving Him complete control means letting Him be in control of Our Life.  Last night I realized- I hang on to this fear that they won’t have Enough because I can’t be Enough.  It’s a lie born out of a lie and I’m done with it.    

I’ve worn myself out the last few weeks.  They’ve had to deal with some big things and in the midst of dealing with my own big things, I’ve tried to help them.  My attempts at being Mom and Dad of the Year have left me all kinds of exhausted.  I’ve beat myself up when I’ve fallen short and I’ve put off dealing with my own stuff in favor of distraction and self loathing.  And that’s wrong.  So I’m going to stop it. 

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I am not supposed to be their Everything.  He is supposed to be their Everything, just like He is mine.  And the best thing I can do for them is to teach them that.  And the best way to teach them that is by letting Him have more of me and in turn, letting Him have more of them.  I am supposed to be their mother.  And I think maybe I’ll be a much better mother if I let go of the other stuff.  Worrying, struggling and beating myself up are nothing but distractions from what I should be doing.  They are excuses really to blame myself and start the whole cycle over again. 

So last night, in my bed, curled up in tears, messy and tired, I gave up.  I confessed all this crap.  I asked Him for help with this load.  And that He would help me understand more and more, the difference between my job and His job.  I held out my hands, let go of the protection and control that I had been gripping so tightly.  I asked for forgiveness and received His Love.  And this morning, rainy though it was, seemed much more hopeful.  And now the sun is out, so that’s good.         

 

 

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January 19, 2011

My Gifts

Sometimes I say “Father, should I go to the Freedom class or the Baptism in the Holy Spirit class?”  And He says “Go to the Freedom class and I’ll have the Holy Spirit meet you there.”  And wow, did He ever.  I left church tonight feeling… I was gonna say “high” but I’ve been high before and this is a thousand times better than that- so I will say I left feeling LOVED, capital everything. 

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Arms and heart full, I got all of My (little bit tired and grumpy) Amazings in the car and took a deep breath.  A lot of times when they are all tired and grumpy, I get frustrated and give a speech about what I don’t want or like for them to do.  But tonight, soaked in LOVE, I felt the nudge to lay hands on them and pray for them.  I started off with a quiet prayer over the whole car for Peace to fall and the Holy Spirit to come.  And then reaching from the front seat all the way across the back and then to the passenger seat, I prayed over each one.  Called out the Life that He has put in them and gave thanks for the amazing gifts they have.  It was pretty sweet.  They all quieted down, a couple even said “Thank you”.  And then I started to pull out of the parking lot and Gabe said “Mom, can you please write that down so I can look at it every day?”  And my already full heart almost burst.  Of course I will write it down…

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Griffen, you are confident and wise and brave.  You are everything I could have asked for in an oldest son, kind and helpful and strong.  You are a prophet.  You are a prince.  You have the heart of a knight and the mind of a king.  You are an incredible writer with an open heart and a desire to grow.  I am beyond proud of the man I see you becoming.  May the Lord bless you.  May your gifts and talents draw people to the Light.  May your heart know the Love far greater than any earthly love. 

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Gabriel, you are intensely passionate, a fiery boy with a sweet soul.  You are bright, insightful and perceptive.  You too are a prince, peaceful, gentle and pure.  You are an amazing artist.  You see so well.  You are blessed with the kind of seeing that matters.  You see hearts well and you are affected, and that is remarkable.  Compassion and empathy are rare in a boy your age; you are full of both.  Be blessed in all that you put your heart and hands to, that Jesus would shine brightly through you. 

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Emma, I have known your face since you were born, and still your beauty strikes me daily.  There is a lovely vulnerability, a total authenticity to everything you say and do, keep that.  You teach me all the time what it means to be a princess, a concept that was completely foreign to me before your birth, one I am glad to understand now.  You have a gift with words, both a poet and prophet, already you have blessed me many times.  May both your beauty and your gifts reflect greatly the Father who gave them to you.

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Grace, tiny little reflection, big enormous spirit, you are tenacious and bold.  You are so much more than a precocious little girl.  You are a world changer.  Half princess and half knight, you are a fighter for sure but not lacking a bit in if feminine charm.  Beyond a doubt, leadership is one of your gifts.  May you be ever wanting to grow and change.  May you be willing to humble yourself, die daily so that all the greatness in you might be used by Him.       

I tell my kids all the time that I think it was incredibly wonderful of God to give me the four smartest, funniest and most beautiful children in the world.  And I know that all moms think that about their kids.  But I am certain I am right :)  All I ever wanted was to be a mom; I prayed for these kids when I was a kid.  But that I get to be the mom of these Four outstanding people is beyond what I ever hoped and prayed for.  They are the greatest gifts.  Happy Birthday to me. 

 

December 1, 2010

Traditions

Growing up we had something like the opposite of traditions.  The only thing I really remember holidays having in common was that they were all sort of chaotic, but then a lot of my childhood was somewhat chaotic. 

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My parenting now, though filled with all the love and intention I have, is sort of only loosely based on What I Know Not To Do.  (Except for the many tips and tricks I have picked up from My Amazing Friends and the countless parenting books I have devoured.)  One thing I have learned is that traditions are important. 

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And this year, these Amazing Kids, they realized it too.  This year instead of racing back and forth to get all of the ornaments on as fast as possible, they slowly picked each one up and let it dangle by it’s hook.  And then they talked through each one- why they liked it, what year they got it, the kindergarten teacher they loved so much and the corner that was getting a little worn.  And I sat on the couch smiling and answering questions and yes, just as I am now, wiping the occasional tear. 

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When the tree was all done Emmy glanced down at her hands covered in glitter from all of the ornaments.  She squeaked a delighted squeak and then I’m not even kidding, Griffen put his arm around her and said, “That’s Christmas dust, the magic of Christmas is all over our house.”  And then he went to his room and pulled out his library book and told all the Little Ones to sit down because he had checked out a book just for them.  Good grief it was almost too sweet. 

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When they finished the book we made some Christmas Waffles together.  (Nothing amazing really, just waffles with red and green M&M’s, but the kiddos think they’re “like the best thing ever to have for dinner.” ) 

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It was a very normal, (if a little sappy), Christmastime evening I think. So maybe it was just the sugar rush, maybe it was a some holiday high I don’t know, but as we all piled on the couch to watch Rudolph that night, I felt Love oh so tangibly fill up and flow out of every empty space in the room and my grateful heart swelled with the amazing amount of warmth and joy that surrounded us. 

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Gosh, so blessed.  So, so blessed.  

November 3, 2010

Gravity

Because I kind of think that almost nothing is not a little message wrapped in daily grind type stuff…

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At the grocery store with my youngest Little Wonder this morning:
Me:  Hey Pie, hang on tight to the basket, we’re about to go outside and there are cars and rain and wind out there.
Pie:  Okay Mom.  And is there gravity out there too?  And will it try to make me fall?  
Me:  Yes Pie.  There is gravity out there.  There is gravity everywhere.

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Life is kind of a lot sometimes, not necessarily in a bad way. 
Kind of like gravity, not necessarily bad, it keeps us grounded after all. 

It's just that sometimes it’s more important to be careful not to fall.

Hanging on tight,
-Amber

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September 6, 2010

Changes

Big Changes happening around here.  Lots of new stuff, some very super challenging things, mostly good stuff though. 

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Emmy started school.  She didn't technically start on the first day, but she did start and she super loves it.  

Sweet story: We went to get her shots so she could start and the whole time we're waiting there are kids coming in and out crying.  I distracted her as much as possible with questions about princesses and quizzes about Care Bears.  Her turn came and she sat in my lap and smiled at the nurse.  Then she looked at the little girl in line behind her and saw that she was crying.  She asked why and I explained that the little girl was scared of getting shots and maybe if Emmy showed her it wasn't that bad she would feel better.  So my sweet girl locked eyes with her crying friend and smiled her biggest smile without a flinch through three shots.  The other girl went from wailing to sniffles and then quieted down.  The nurse was shocked, told her she was the bravest little girl she had ever seen and gave her a lollipop.  I was amazed really.  I'll never forget bracing myself for her kicking and screaming and  tears, and then watching her grin from ear to ear just so the other little girl wouldn't be scared.  

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Man, kids are fantastic. 

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My little guy, my Sweet One, My Gabe turned 8.  We had a low-key birthday.  He didn't mind, he's a low-key dude. 

Sweet Story 2:  The other day he walked over to my camera shelf where all of my old cameras sit.  He stared up at them for a while and then asked if he could have one since I had so many of them.  We compromised and I said he could choose one to learn to use and borrow.  And oh, be still my heart, he chose the old school film rig.  The rest of the evening was spent learning the meter, manual focus and winding film.  While he was walking around snapping, Emmy got hurt and started to cry.  Gabe, attentive big brother that he is, quickly went to her. "It's ok, don't cry. I'll let you take some pictures."  As if holding a camera had some sort of healing powers.  She looked at him like he was crazy and then he looked across the room at me.  "Oh, Gabe, sorry honey, I think it's just me and you that feel better when we take pictures.  She probably wants a hug and some ice."  And so he gave her a hug and I got her some ice.  How lovely is it though, that my little artist and I have this photo loving connecting point?  So, so lovely. 

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Oh, and The Pie is doing  her best to adjust to being the only one at home with lil' ol' me.  I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm the like, the most boring person ever, geez.  We try to get out and do stuff, and I try to give her activities and a schedule, but it's just not quite enough.  She wants to GO! and DO! all the time.  She wants a plan every morning as soon as we drop the kids off.  She wants a timer set for each activity.  Honestly if she didn't look like my mini me, I'd say she was switched at birth.  I'm working on finding a part time job for me and a preschool for her so she can get to work on her PHD as soon as possible.  In the meantime she is whipping me into shape.   

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Last but not least, Griff is not even complaining about school.  I feel no need to elaborate or add a sweet story.  That is awesome enough in and of itself.  Also, he is turning 10 this week.  Eek and Holy Cow!!  Can't believe it.  

Anyway, if you happen to think of us, keep us in your prayers and we promise to return the favor.

Love, love,

Amber and The Monkeys

August 16, 2010

Other Peoples Work

Oh Life, let up a little will ya?  Pretty Please?  No?  Ok.

In the meantime, these things whisper and scream coveted messages of hope to my weary heart:

Grace Leaning on Me.  Photo by My Sweet One, Gabe.123
Saw it and cried.  And I will totally admit to being a lot on the teary side lately, but in this photo Gabe so perfectly captured the incredible gift that is My Baby Girl.  The strength and love and protection in those eyes blows me away.  I think it might come from me, I think.  

And speaking of Gabe, he is turning 8 next week.  He will have his own post full of charming stories about how perfect he is.  My tiny little man, how he's grown, how he sees, how he knows, how he moves, how he loves…

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Oh do I adore this boy.  

And oh do I adore this poem:  The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.  

(Poem stolen from The AmazingTerri who just so happens to be a stunningly beautiful, multi-talented artist/writer/photographer/woman/mother/person.  Please do click that link and prepare to be moved.)

Also, this is on repeat.  Again.

And so I am doing my best to 

KeepCalmAndCarryOn
Love, love,

This Girl

July 28, 2010

The Monkeys

    Seven days without My Loves was all kinds of wonderful.  I rested, read, danced, cleaned, coffee'd alone and coffee'd with friends.  And every time somebody asked if I missed the kids I would pause for a second to check myself and then reply "Nope" and then go on for a few minutes defending myself and why I didn't miss them.  I mean, I love these Monkeys for sure.  This summer has been an amazing summer so far.  Busy, but amazing.  We've done a ton of stuff together, filled everyday with as much free and exhausting fun as possible.  And so the little staycay was fabulous and much needed. 

    Having them back though, well it's like…  having My Loves again after not seeing them for seven days.  We're all kisses and cuddles and "I love you so, so much!"  Everyone is, it's awesome.  And mornings are the best.  Starting around six or seven in the morning, one by one they start piling in my bed.

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We cuddle and doze while the sun inches over the back fence. 

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Gabe wakes up slowly, tossing and turning to find the last bits of shadows to sleep in.

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Emmy is bright eyed, ready for breakfast as soon as the light hits her face. 

They fight over who gets to share my pillow.  We have tickle fights and whisper I-love-you's . 

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It's magic I tell you, bliss and I never want to forget it. 

Grace comes in for kisses, hugs, to check on us and to start planning the day.

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Griff lazily scoots in last, eyes half closed.  He comes straight over and throws his arms around me and waits out the last few minutes before he has to take the dog for a walk.     

    And I'm sure there can't be many more mornings like this left- lazy summer days where we can spend twenty minutes soaking up every bit of softness and warmth from last night's sleep.

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So for now I'll just relish all this cozy sunshine cuddling while I can.

(Before Grace starts bossing me around about what to make for breakfast.)

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It's highly recommended, a fantastic way to start the day.  

Love, love.

July 5, 2010

The Fourth with My Fab Four

Freedom and love

June 21, 2010

Just Sayin’

Usually I keep the heavy stuff over on the other blog…

But lest anyone assume it is all sunshine and roses and love notes over here- thought I’d let you in on some of the madness…

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This Single Momming thing, though it has it’s ups, is uh, not for the faint of heart.  And the Ex is uh, not super dad by any means.  So we have a minimum custody agreement which basically means he only has them for three hours on Thursdays and every other weekend.  So that’s kind of a lot for me sometimes.  I mean, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I have four kids.  And mostly when people hear that they say “FOUR KIDS?!  Wow, that’s a lot.”  And mostly when I hear somebody say that I say “I wake up many mornings thinking that exact thing.”

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On my long weeks I have the kids for twelve days straight on my own with only the three hour break on Thursday night.  Now, generally one of My Amazing Friends or The Baby Sis will help out somewhere in there with babysitting, just to keep me sane, (relatively).  But let’s just say that Tuesday night and Wednesday of the long weeks are not my finest hours.  They are kind of wretched.  They are ramen noodle, netflix, sleep in yesterdays clothes, long afternoon quiet time days.

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They are the days when Griffen comes up to me very excited about his new invention and tries to explain every detail and my eyes glaze over and I nod impatiently for a minute or two before waving him away.   They are the days when Gabe wants to sit in my lap all day and hug me and squirm around and elbow me and snuggle and be sweet and I say “BE STILL OR GET OFF!”  And mostly he gets his feelings hurt and gets off.  They are the days when Emmy’s squeals of delight in the next room are about as delightful as nails on a chalk board and I march in every twenty minutes and demand that she be quiet, all day.  And they are the days when Grace’s running through the house taking charge of every situation and reporting all the details back to me makes me want to lock myself in the closet, but instead I usually get down in her face and tell her to shut it.  Not pretty, but true.

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Just wanted to let you know I guess, there are hard days around here.  There are sometimes very bad days around here.  For the most part I am a sane and decent parent.  But also, I yell through clenched teeth sometimes.  I take breaks in my room to keep myself from kicking doors.  I put the kids to bed ridiculously early some nights to keep myself from flailing.  Sometimes I grab them too rough and say unkind things.  And I pray, pray, pray that my munchkins feel loved even on those hard days.  I pray that I will have the strength and patience and grace to be better all the time.  I really do.  And I think maybe I am getting better.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve locked myself in the closet, or locked the kids outside, or had a major meltdown…    Knock on wood.  

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Time with Jesus helps, a lot.  Friends help.  Chocolate helps.

Just sayin

June 10, 2010

Love Notes

Inspired to join the love note revolution seen here and here

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So who should I write this love note to?

 

My Oldest Boy

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My Griff- The one who made me a mother, the one who brought whole new meaning to “You Are My Sunshine”.  This almost ten year old that throws his arms around me and kisses me in public still.  He is a reader, a writer, a thinker~ manchild. 

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Griff, you my boy are brilliant, you are funny, wise and unique.  I think often that you will make an incredible husband and father because you have an incredible capacity to love.  

Or…

My Sweet One

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My Gabe- The little bundle who came in softly and melted my heart with his quiet easiness.  The boy who’s passion and temper come around just often enough to help me really appreciate his profound and simple sweetness. 

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My Sweet One, I love that there is such an abundance of love in your tiny self that it comes pouring out sometimes and all you know to do is let it flow. 

 

 

Or…

My Emmy

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My Princess- You sensitive little soul, to say that things affect you deeply is an understatement.  Your heart is tender girl, and you don’t care who knows it.  Your eyes, moons when you smile, are kind and gentle.  You said to me once that you knew how to make them sparkle and then I watched you do it. 

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Beautiful girl, you shine.  My Princess, may your softness and your beauty affect deeply everything you do. 

Or…

My Grace 

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My Pie- Fiercest girl I know, gift that I didn’t know I needed.  You were born to lead and you know it.    You keep us grounded, you keep us going, you keep me on my toes.  Bright and bold and yes, ballsy.  And yes, sweet as pie when you want to be.  

 

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Grace, it is no secret there is greatness in you.  Grow in grace little love and may your light pierce the darkness more and more as you do.

 

 Or…

 Myself

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(Can I write a love note to myself without being sarcastic and self deprecating?  I don’t know.)

I do know this.  I am strong, brave, wise and damn funny.  I am blessed beyond measure.  I am looked after by The Most Wonderful Father.  I am beautiful? Yes, I think so.  I am passionate, sensitive, soft and bold.   

Hey You,

You’re doing a good job with these kids and this life ya know?  Screw ups and meltdowns aside because there is grace, you’re really fabulous.  Nice legs and great jokes aside (for the moment), you’re a really great person. (And gosh darn it, people like you.)

 

 

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Ah, love notes, I might be addicted to them.  There might be a few more of these already written.  My Creator has a long one in the works for sure.  And they may or may not pop up here~ or in your mailbox.  You never know. 

And hey, join the Love Note Revolution. Write a love note, (or twenty). Can't hurt. 

Love, love,

Me

 

 

 

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