Wednesday, December 21, 2016

apparent, raw and ugly

My night after writing my previous blog entry "put to the test" my thoughts/plans/desires. 

Summary: I put kids to bed. I'm alone, as George is in Scottsdale taking care of some work deadlines. They are all asleep. I go to bed at 10:00, but Jevy and Kelty both have poops. Change poops. Go to bed. Kelty starts coughing so badly, it wakes him up and he starts crying. Can't go back to sleep. Jevy hot, wakes up, wanders around. Both go back to sleep. Paugie wakes up and wants milk. Cries when I say no. Wakes up Jevy again. Jevy stomps on floor for 20 minutes. Goes back to sleep. Kelty coughs so hard he throws up. Kelty crying again. Jevy coughs so hard he chokes and wakes back up. All go back to sleep. Kelty cold, wakes up. Back to sleep. Madigan coughs so hard he wakes up and starts talking. I shhhh him and he goes back to sleep. Jevy cold, wakes up, goes to see Christmas lights, then back to bed and finally asleep again. Coyotes start kill call in front yard. Sabina freaks, and won't stop barking. Kelty wakes up again from coughing and dog barking. Kelty back to sleep. It's now 5:00. I can't sleep. Jevy wakes up and vomits. This doesn't feel right... pretty sure this is something bigger. Stomach virus? All I can do is wonder what on earth I'm going to do about their coughs (the boys have had this cough since we left Nashville; they've had two rounds of antibiotic, but to no avail and the doctors really have no idea.), and how am I going to clean up the throw up on their bedding when I'm not supposed to use the washing machine (solar powered house in cloudy weather). Jevy throws up thirteen times throughout today. At 3:00 pm George returns bringing Gatorade. Jevy finally starts to re-hydrate... perhaps he's going to keep this down? Nope, just kidding. #14 vomit: check.

I stomped and screamed at God after the 11th vomit which poured down my shirt and pants and into my new house shoes. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???????????? I'M TIRED! I'M DONE! I CAN'T FIND THE SUNSHINE! ANSWERS WOULD GO SO FAR AT THIS POINT!" Then, I apologized. 

I realize that I keep looking for light at the end of the tunnel. I get hopeful because I see it! Then, I realize that it's not light... It's water funneling toward me, filling the tunnel with what feels like the very real threat of drowning me. So, the door that I thought was leading us out really feels more like a trap. And I have to run again, in the darkness for all I'm worth, to keep from drowning, to keep my people okay. Searching for another opening, a light leading the way forward. 

My weakness is highly apparent at present and it's raw and ugly. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Weight of the Wait

I glanced at a piece of paper where I had written notes to myself last Christmas. The summary of challenges and hopes from 2015 listed the ongoing hope that we would know where George would have a job and where we would live and start our life. It was a frustratingly prolonged hope at Christmas, 2015. The frustration of that hope still deferred makes the steps forward feel heavier and the smaller daily challenges in life feel bigger than they ought.

So, as we battle the weight of this continued wait, I must decide each day where my hope comes from, where I will look for the sunshine that comes out each day, where I will find (and see) the overwhelming joy that is to be mine. I must, also, let the small, beautiful details permeate my perspective and remind me (almost constantly) that this struggle (that we call life) is to be lived fully no matter what mountain lies ahead. To the details of today:

  • The adventurers' first discovery of an iced-over creek and the joy of walking (and falling) on frozen water
  • The person I woke up next to this morning, greeting me with delight that I'm his
  • The tiny pancake lover, syrup dripping down his chin, asking for a fourth helping
  • The paw of a Crazy White Dog resting contentedly on my foot as I type
  • The Christmas lights warming up the cold room with their glow
  • The profound comfort of a soft blanket
  • The laughter roaring through this evening as the brothers chased one another about the house
  • The deep breathing that suggests bedtime has been a success 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The many faces of Schnauge

That morning, on our hike... 

That evening, when he stole my phone... :-) 

And then there's these...

Journey Forward

"Let not a good thing come to an end", you seem to say of all things to be enjoyed - (decaf)  bulletproof coffee in the morning, great hikes + gummy bear bribery (think of it as fuel to keep the forward momentum), Swiss dark chocolate, playground gallivanting with the bros, dump truck galloping, snuggle time with your all-time-favorite daddy. You are profoundly capable of expressing your disgust when the end of a good thing rears it's ugly head.  

"I shall hike no more forever" pose.

You, the personification of human complexity, who struggles so relentlessly to communicate, to be understood, whose world is so completely lost to words/language, can speak to my soul and comfort the deepest wrestling in my heart with a gentle pat of your hand and those blue eyes looking searchingly into my own.

Your endless discovery of new things, your unceasing observation of how the world rotates about you, and your delight in the antics of your brothers' activities as they canter around you pawing at you to join into their games - all these things give me so much hope in and excitement for your future, and the working out of the man you are to become. I see that man tucked deeply within this beautiful human, so separated from the world around you and I ache to free you, to yourself and to the rest of the world that awaits you.

So, as we approach tomorrow - the day when we hope to obtain the official Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses from the doctors, I am filled with a dull sickness in my gut (what mother WANTS to hear that her child has a diagnosis???), but I am simultaneously filled with anticipation for what lies ahead in helping you, my beloved blue-eyed beauty, find your way out of the isolated world you are sometimes trapped inside, and into this world of language, music, and communication in all it's tangled power. We are on the eve of the discovery of yet another new, and likely wonderful, thing. The journey forward!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Pretzeled together

There's a boy pile on the floor in the bedroom, all pretzeled together in blissful slumber. I try to decipher which limb belongs to which boy in my attempt to cover each of you with a warm blanket for the remainder of this chilly evening. Your breathing is deep and contented. You are growing up but you're still so small, so very much in need of each other, and so beautifully happy to just "be", even if it means sandwiched together in a jumbled heap of bodies and blankets upon the floor.

Sometimes, I fret about meeting your needs, helping you become all that you have the potential to become, guiding you to find (true) joy (and the foundation it is built upon), teaching you Truth that will guide you ever forward, building into you strength that will carry you through this gauntlet that is life. The responsibility, called parenting, is impossible, if we plan to do it perfectly. So, I must resign myself to do it as well as I can, trust in the provision of Him, and rejoice in the outstanding men that you are - each of you. My heart is perpetually swollen with love for you.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Charm Shield

I was considering the precocious youngest member of our family, when I glanced over to see him dunking my cell phone into a large cup of bulletproof coffee (coffee, coconut oil, butter and milk). As our eyes met, his sparkled with mischief and he was soon (unsuccessfully) aflight in another direction lest consequences ensnare him. 

I simply marvel that anyone can be so filled to the brim with charms which he successfully wields upon each of his (suspecting or unsuspecting) prey/family members. Simultaneously, he has to be consistently guided away from impish ideas/actions and encouraged to make wise decisions. He is a picture of life, happiness, determination, with the uncanny quality of giving delight to and arousing admiration in all of us. 

Perhaps a charm shield is needed to raise this young human wonder. Daddy seems to have been born with some innate charm shield already in place, but I am likely to have to grow/develop one, as I am very susceptible to his magic ways.  

So as I said goodbye to the advent chocolates which charm bucket raided in the quiet of his afternoon "nap", peeled Jevy's drowning sweater from his body after his baby bro had "helped" him get a hefty dousing from the water bottle, plucked my phone out of steaming coffee, and chased the small human into his bed for the 5th time tonight ("never mind consequences", says he to himself... "they're overrated"), I sigh. And smile. He eats my lunch, it's true, but don't judge unless you, my friend, have successfully navigated the gauntlet of charms.  

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Magic of Ordinary Days

Hoofing it through Sedona - 3 miles! 

Conquering the rock, as a team. 

Trail blazers.

Favorite place on earth with favorite people on earth. Picture perfect.

Tarantula. Obviously it's not a close up, because that would have required me to get... well... CLOSE to it. 

Daddy: zip line creator/hero to us all!

Zip line genius #1

Zip line genius #2

Daddy's work attire - in the cabin - because it's just that cold. :-) 


The very long, seemingly unending season - of waiting, worrying, struggling to make ends meet, wrestling as hope is deferred time and again - has taken it's toll on each of us.  And yet, I feel our family finding restoration, renewed strength, hope for whatever may lie ahead, as each day we are surrounded by the simple, yet profound beauty of this place, of this Creation. 

Can you spot our blissful Crazy White Dog?

Off to find internet access - in the woods - and the snow. Hey, a girl's gotta blog! :-) 

Daddy, making a science out of sledding. He's happened upon some excellent results! 

Two peas in a pod - or sled. 

Profound joy, even as they lost their sled 8 feet later. 

I am grateful for this season - for the lessons learned, for the man I am finding out I'm married to (!!! he's insanely cool!), for the joy I see on the faces of my boys, for the countless hours of adventuring in the woods/through the snow, for the parts of ourselves that each of us is discovering (re-discovering).