Archive for ‘the boys’

December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, grieving.

Our card2

Christmas Eve and a Wonderful one at that, (more about that later).  It was a truly special day except that my kids were gone for most of it.  And I hate, hate, hate that.  I hate that I miss moments with them.  I hate that I have to share them.  I hate that they are missing for parts of all holidays.  And I am not minimizing that tonight.  I am not shoving it or ignoring it.  I am grieving it.  I am proud of myself for getting them all tucked in and the ex out the door before I started crying.  And I am not overwhelmed with sadness, but I am sad.  This was never my plan.  I never wanted this.  When I said “I do”, as they grew in my tummy, when I held their little baby selves, never did I imagine that I would be sending them kicking and screaming, to their dad’s girlfriend’s house on holidays.  Never did I fathom that I would spend Christmas afternoon at home alone in a quiet house.  My heart aches when they are gone spending time with some other family, people I don’t even know, people they barely know.  And my heart breaks every time I have to pull them off of me and put them in his car.  I know my situation could be much worse, but I don’t have to like it.  I know there is nothing I can change but myself and my attitude.  But my babies are my babies and my feelings are my feelings.  I know there are plenty of families out there that do holidays this way and it’s not the end of the world.  This Mom thing though, it is all I ever wanted.  These Little Wonders, they are my whole life, my heart running around in four little pieces and no part of me is okay with sharing them tonight.  There is so much redemption running through my story right now thanks to some Very Special People, and I am quite certain that more is coming, but tonight I am one very sad momma.  And so I am taking this all to Jesus because that seems like the Most Helpful Thing. Lighter, happier stuff to come I'm sure.  Merry Christmas and all that Jazz.

Love, love,


November 19, 2010

My Ten Year Old

He is such an old soul. 

**Edited to add his prayer request the other night: "I really want God to help me accomplish my goals because I have a lot of really big goals and they're important.  And I can't do them all by myself."

Can I just gush for a minute or two?
Baby griffey
This boy, this manchild, this son of mine…

Griffey boy

I am so glad nobody talked my crazy, know-it-all eighteen year old self out of having this amazing boy. 
Boy griff again
And I will not go on about how the first eight days of his life he scared us to death with his little NICU stint, or how I never put him down even when he was sleeping, or how I read him Steinbeck novels and played Fleetwood Mac to rock him to sleep.  I will not go on about how his birth changed the hearts of both of his grandmothers, or how he has been saying the most profound and funniest things since he was two years old. 

I will go on about how he has grown into the most awesome ten year old ever.  When he was five he prayed “Dear God, please make me a better kid so I can show the world what it’s like to follow Jesus.” And I have a notebook full of great things he has said between now and then.  *Sigh*  This boy…
When I ask him to unload the dishwasher he says “My pleasure” without even the slightest hint of sarcasm.  When we meet new people he puts his arm around me and introduces me “This is my mom, Amber. She is a really great mom and she is an amazing photographer” and then he goes on to introduce the rest of the family with their names and some positive quality he sees in them.  Love.
He walked into the kitchen the other day and said “According to Einstein’s theory everything that has mass has energy, so really if we want to save the planet all we need to do is find a way to harness energy that doesn’t do so much harm to the planet. I’m going to work on that.”  And he went back to mapping out plans in his notebook. And that is kind of Griffen in a nutshell, he is never not working on something, internally or externally. 
A few nights ago in the car I was “having a discussion” with the kids about their behavior and making better choices, but I was admittedly being pretty negative.  Then my ten year old put his hand on my shoulder and said “Mom, it seems if you only concentrate on the problem, the problem will grow or be the only thing you focus on and that’s not helpful.  Why don’t we talk about some positive ways we can change?” 
And then I swallowed really hard and took a deep breath and said thank you, because every time we leave church after I ask what they learned about, he asks me and apparently he listens.  Incredible. 
This morning after he got ready for school he came up to me and handed me this poem:
If you have no Life
You have no heart
No imagination, no soul

Thank God for your Life
For His Son sacrificed His
Really?  Yes, really.  I could write pages of his amazingess really.  He is quirky, he is different, he is so very ten years old sometimes, he can be just as frustrating as any other ten year old.  And he is beautiful, he is amazing.  And this child of mine, Jesus is in him and He knows it and that is the most important thing. (Please don't mistake this for me taking credit for all of his amazingness, really I was still a kid when he was born and I screw up this parenting thing all the time.  I'm sure good intention counts for something, but honestly I think it is by the Grace of God that I get to be his Mom and I am so beyond excited to see how he will change the world.) 

Keep shining Griff.
Love, love,

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.

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


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

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 . 


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.

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.


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.)


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

Love, love.

May 9, 2010


These kids I have?  All I ever wanted.


This motherhood gig is a tough one for sure, but I just keep thinking about my childhood and how hard most of the adults around me made it seem to really love kids.  And now that I have them, don’t get me wrong, there are hard days, they are whiny and they fight and they get on my nerves- But they are not hard to love. 

These kids are so incredibly lovable.  And they are so incredibly likable. 

And they are my little friends.  And they are my loves.  



This single mom thing is not where I thought I would ever end up, it is a place that I gave everything I had to stay out of, but it is where I am at now, it is where we are at.  It's not the easiest, it's busy, it's tough, it's work and it's tiring.  But I want to make sure that I never lose sight of, that they always know, that they mean the world to me. 

And so I am doing my best to change our family’s legacy.  It is my intention to give my kids a richer heritage than what I was handed.  Now for sure, I repeatedly I trip up, and stumble, and fall, and fail at doing the right thing, but I will never stop pushing, and learning, and growing, and trying to be a better mom. 



Because they are indeed treasures.  Their little hearts and minds were entrusted to me to nurture and love.  And they are growing bigger and smarter and stronger everyday.  And everyday is an opportunity for me to love them better.    542.1



Listen, I want you to know that I am doing my best, I really am, to show you all the time that you are loved, loved, loved.  Forgive me please for times when I fail at that.  And thank you for the thousands of things you have taught me about love.  Please never hesitate to love big and shine bright.  Always know that this earthly love so pales in comparison to His Love.  Stay true, laugh loud, dance often. 


Love you so, so much, always,



March 10, 2010

Date Night


Date night with my guys, totally fantastic.  The ex took the girls for dinner and the boys and I opted for Backwards Dinner.  A favorite treat around here- dessert first.  We decided on a new ice cream place, Pure Bliss.  

Griff requested my camera, which Gabe eventually confiscated, so it’s mostly documented by the boys.  (I feel the need to insert the disclaimer: I'm not three months pregnant, my hands are in my hoodie pocket.)

We rocked out to Weezer, POD and Cake on the way there, a dude's playlist for sure.  I’m not gonna lie, when the girls are away, we blast the stereo. 


As it turns out, Pure Bliss, totally is. (And how cute is Gabe's perspective of the snacks?!)

Tons of flavors, tons of toppings, fairly healthy, not too expensive. 

Also, the decor is awesome. 


We popped in to Game Stop to play a bit.  We checked out a Dojo and scoped some karate moves. 

All in all we bad a blasty-blast. 

It made me realize though, they are more and more like guys and less and less like boys.  Which is sad, yeah, but it’s also exciting and wonderful.  Of course I am in no hurry to see them grow up, and I want them to enjoy to their childhood as long as possible, but the glimmers of guys that I see are so…  great. 

They are.  My boys are going to be such spectacular guys, and one day, oh my gosh, they’re going to be men, great ones I’m sure. (And now I'm thinking we're going to have to have The Talk, which will actually be The Dialogue, so I guess I better start gearing up for that.)  They'll be eight and ten this year.  (And forget lying about my age, I'm going to lie about theirs.  How on earth am i going to have a ten year old?!)


Scary, and exciting.  I love it.  Spending time with them, one on one or together and talking with them and hearing how they think and seeing their eyes sparkle and watching them interact and knowing that these children, my children, are in fact great people.  Yes, they frustrate me and stress me out, sometimes they are mean, don’t listen, disobey, all of the regular kid stuff happens.  And yes, they are zany, wacky, quirky goofballs, but all in all, my boys are great.    


Kind of makes me think maybe I’m doing something right.  Kind of makes me think maybe they listen every once in a while.  And it makes me think all the hard stuff, all the exhausting, blood, sweat and tears are so, so worth it.   Because the hard stuff  pales, way pales in comparison to the good stuff.  No, I don’t think motherhood is all pure bliss, but so much of it is totally fantastic. 


November 11, 2009

Good Days

Lots of 'em lately.  Okay well, Monday was pretty terrible, but the thing is-  Tuesday?  A whole new day.

So that was awesome.  There is just so much to be thankful for.  Good, good stuff. 

It's all gravy you know?  Giffen made dinner (including appetizers) Monday night. 

Gabe told Emma that she was "Just the cutest girl in the whole world" today on our walk home. 

Gabes Emmy mastered a pirouette this afternoon, kind of.

Grace snuggles with me every morning now.

Fly is busy, busy, busy.  And so so great.  Oh! Our wedding site is up- check it.  Boy do we love Love Stories.  

If you don't hear from me for a bit it's cause I'm super busy enjoying autumn, and cuddling kids, and loving life.

Oh and speaking of cuddling!  How flippin' adorable is Cole? 

I know right.


I don't know, it's not that there aren't bad days it's just that…  that sun keeps rising and shining on brand new days.

Anywho, life is good an all that jazz.  

Jesus loves me (and you, and you, and you over there, and you in the back) this I know.  Also, my kids rock my socks off pretty much daily. 



September 21, 2009

This Summer


the most wonderful summer i can remember  
incredibly breathtaking
overwhelming in more ways than one
this summer blew me away
pushed me to grow
it moved me                                                                                      


so full of so much
love and joy
not void of pain but
long enough for me to see
that life is more than good
and i am blessed

September 1, 2009


(no swimming pictures from this summer because every time we go to the pool, well, we swim.)
Do you remember trying to teach your kiddos to swim?  Remember taking them out in the water, holding their hands and knowing they could do it if they would just let go and try? 
The slight look of fear on their faces when you said you were going to let go.  Reassuring them that you would be very close, and everything would be okay, and you would never let them drown.  "Kick, kick, kick!  You can do it!"  When you first let go of their fingers, did they panic some?  Did they flail about and say "I can't!  I can't!  Help me! I'm drowning!" ? 
Mine did.  After a few seconds, they realized that in their panic state they were kicking their little hearts out, keeping their heads above water, and- not drowning, but swimming
And then, they would smile, and laugh a little, and blow some bubbles, and say "Look, I'm doing it, I'm doing it!"  And then you have a swimmer, a happy, playful little, go, go, going kiddo that you don't have to be with every second you're in the pool.  Don't go far, keep an eye on them, but they're okay.  And before you know it they're jumping off the side.  By the end of the day they're exhausted, newly confident, usually beaming, but exhausted. 
That is what this past year or so has been like for me.  Not wanting to be let go of.  Not wanting to let go.  Fearing that I would drown.  Unsure if I could do it.  Not wanting to be on my own. 
All of it.  The encouragement from friends that I could do it.  The reassurance from God that I wouldn't drown.  The panic, (maybe more panic than I would like to admit).  The flailing about, (lots of flailing).  I've gone under more than once, swallowed some water, choked a couple of times. 
My head is above water now though. 
And I'm kicking my heart out. 
Swimming I think. 
*Smile.*    *Laugh.*    *Bubbles*
It's exhausting, but I'm doing it. 

August 21, 2009

These Punks

Oh my goodness.  How?   And when?   And…  wow. 
I have a third grader
and a first grader.
Actually, a couple of punks is what I have.
Good lookin' punks, but punks nonetheless.
The other day a friend of mine was talking about her grown son and said
"He's 29, still a punk though."
I said, "That doesn't give me much hope."
"Well it's true" she replied.

The boys start school on Monday.
They're about to be seven and nine. 
I'm just kind of in shock. 
I do think that them being punks will come in handy when their little sisters have *shudder* boys to worry about. 
I hope so at least, because I don't own a shotgun *yet*.


Oh yeah, and, purely for entertainment the other day I attempted a shot of the four of them together.
It went a little something like this:

Guys please please please.  Can I get one picture of you together?  Pleeeeeease.
Okay, here, just sit here and look at me, and then- Ice cream!!!  Look!  (jumping, waving)  Guys look at me and I'll get you some ice cream!!
Everybody, look!!  There is ice cream in the freezer for you if you'll just…
Oh jeez, never mind.

August 19, 2009

Our Fort

Four days without kiddos was restful and peaceful and quiet and sweet.
Getting them back last night was great. They were all worn out and happy to see me. A few hugs and kisses later they were tucked in to their beds and snoozing away.  We feasted on Lucky Charms together this morning-
And then we built a fort. 
Remember these magical places? 
Remember transforming your living room with a few dining room chairs and blankets?
Remember sitting under them and feeling like you were in your own little world?
A couple of weeks ago I spent lots of days in bed, not sick, just…  down.  Really down. 
Thanks to some prayer, and some amazing friends, and a really wonderful counselor, and a list of other things that help me feel good that I sort of forgot about- I'm feeling so much better. 
Every time I come out of those dark places I believe more firmly in things that I only kind of thought to be right before.  A few days ago a friend asked how I was doing and I said I felt like I was climbing out of a hole.  Though it does not feel awesome to be in a hole, it does feel much better to be looking up and climbing out than it did sitting on the bottom looking down.  I would go as far as to say I am out of the hole now, and have marked it on my map so that next time hopefully I won't fall in to it again.  
And it feels much better to be playing with and enjoying my kiddos and not just making it through the day.  School starts in just a few short days, and we plan on squeezing the most fun we can out of them.
Daydreaming, reading old stories and writing new ones.
We do our best dreaming during the day I think. 

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