Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blind Spot

Dear Abby,

Today is your ninth birthday. Lately I’ve wondered if I have a blind spot when it comes to my kids. Especially you, my “middle child”

I’ve been reminded that is a tough place to be. Mostly by you.

The middle child was a surprise. Jenna was 9 months old when we found out we were pregnant with you. Grant was still in diapers. It seemed a little overwhelming to think of adding another baby to our family.

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But your birth saved me in some ways. Mike and I were in a much better spot when you were born. Things were difficult when we had Jenna and everything was new and scary with Grant. So even though it was busy and crazy with three kids under three, building a house and the rest of life you were a breath of fresh air. We enjoyed you to the fullest. I loved being up in the middle of the night feeding you. I realized that I loved being a mother.

You were almost born in our old pick up truck. We couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough. And when you literally flew into our lives, it was bliss.

For real. Another beautiful daughter. But you actually liked wearing the pink dresses I put on you. You nursed easily. We bonded right away. The nurses kept saying what a beautiful baby you were. I thought they probably say that about everyone. Until I saw you. Then I knew they were telling the truth.

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Even though you never took a bottle, sometimes you even let Daddy feed you.

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As you grow older sometimes you might feel trapped between Grant the only boy, Jenna the athlete and go-getter and the little girls. Maybe sometimes you feel squeezed.

So I’ve wondered if I have a blind spot? But guess what?

You will never, ever be in my blind spot. Just exactly your spot. The spot God intended for you to be. Right smack dab in the middle of the blessing of kids we have. That’s your place. The world wouldn’t be right without you there.


He made you with gifts and talents that are very different from your sister. Maybe some of them are not as noticeable to people at the age you are. Already 9.

But I see them. Those things are never in my blind spot. You are nurturing and fun-loving. You are helpful and kind. You have an easy way of helping kids and working around the house with me. You are a little shy but I don’t mind. I kind of like that you don’t want to spend the night away from us.

Last summer we helped one of the older ladies from our church with her garage sale. You stayed and helped with Dad all day. And came home with some lovely knick knacks.


Be assured that you, my middle child, will never be off my radar. You are in exactly the right place. The bright and sunny gift that God gave us in a snowy march. A wonderful surprise. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.


Maybe I don’t always show you in the busyness of the weeks how incredibly special you are to us. That you will be in the light of my heart. In the spotlight. And I have enough spotlights for everyone. But sometimes when I look at a a group, my eyes naturally move right to the middle.

And you will never, ever be in my blind spot.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I’m Not The Dog Person In This Family

My husband and kids love dogs.  I’m not the dog person.  I never had a dog or even a pet growing up. 

When we got our puppies I told the vet, “My husband is the dog person.”  However, my husband has never taken the dogs to the vet.  We are now close, personal friends.

I told everyone that they would have to pitch in and help with the dogs.  They all want puppies but I am the one at home feeding, training and taking care of the puppies.  And I am not the dog person in this family.

I’m also not that big of a fan of playing outside.  I do it for my kids because they love it, but not for the dogs.  Because I am not the dog person in this family.



I used to play tennis.  But this isn’t what I had in mind.  I don’t really like being cold.  And I don’t have a good arm.  And I am not the dog person in this family.





Yeah she missed the memo. 


I am not…


the dog person…


in this family.


(Apparently I had a smudge on my camera.  I am also not the photography expert in this family.)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Just Two Miles

I’m sitting on the couch watching “Turner and Hooch” with Jenna.  She’s eating a popsicle and recovering from her tonsillectomy this morning.  She is certainly her mother’s daughter.  Having her throat cut open and stitched shut has not stopped her from talking a blue streak!

I have to apologize because here begins the “how running applies to life” posts.  I’ll try to hold them to a minimum but I can make no guarantees. 

Life is overwhelming.  At times it can feel impossible to go on.  Just this weekend I talked to many people who were overwhelmed with situations in their lives.  Almost to the point of despair.  I’ve been there.  I’ve been overwhelmed by life stuff that had serious implications.  And I’ve been overwhelmed by joyful stuff too.

When I was pregnant for the first time, I remember having moments of panic thinking about all it would take to raise a child.  Thousands of dollars.  Wisdom, time patience.  Should we send the baby to preschool?  How are we going to pay for college?  How are we going to handle teenage rebellion?

And when I was pregnant the second time, I remember having moments of panic.  How was I going to take care of two kids?  How would we afford it?  What if they hate each other? 

And when I was pregnant the third time, I remember having moments of panic when I wasn’t busy chasing around a 2 year old and 10 month old and was awake enough to put together a coherent thought.  How was I going to handle three?  We were going to be totally outnumbered! 

The moments of panic keep coming.  Stuff comes at us in  life that is so overwhelming it feels like there is no way we’ll be able to get through it.  Lost jobs, lost children, being forced to give up children, financial ruin and lives rocked by divorce are beyond overwhelming.  A colicky baby or strong willed two year old can be enough to put you over the edge.  So what to do?

I recently had another moment of panic when I got into the half marathon.  I cannot run thirteen miles.  No way.  But I printed out the training log, and guess what I had to do on day one?  Run two miles.  Two measly miles.

And guess what I had to do on day two?  Run two miles.  It said it didn’t even matter if you couldn’t run the whole way… just keep moving.  And a light clicked on in my heart.  I can’t worry about things months and years in the future.  I can only do what God has put in front of me today. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:33-34

In those moments of panic and when you feel overwhelmed, just run two miles.  Love Jesus.  Take care of the baby.  Feed the baby.  Love the baby.  Pray for wisdom.  Pray for patience.  Every day you will get stronger and add more miles.  Pretty soon you’ll be able to go the distance.  You’ll cross the finish line. 

Just run two miles.  Speaking of which, the treadmill is calling my name!