Friday, January 11, 2013


When I was young, one of my signature moves was to leave notes for family members, usually on their beds. I just loved the idea of my mom or one of my siblings walking into their bedrooms and seeing a love note on their bed, telling them how much I loved them and how great I thought they were. It thrilled me. I determined that when I was a mother, I would leave love notes all the time for my husband and children--in lunch boxes, on beds, in pockets--everywhere I could think of. I love this little way of communication that is personal and thoughtful.

Anyway, I haven't been super amazing at following through with this goal, but I do leave a note for my husband every time I leave town and I do put notes in my kids' lunch boxes, although they seldom eat home lunch. I also leave notes spontaneously whenever I can. Although I'm not the world's greatest at it, apparently some of my note enthusiasm has worn off on my children, which just makes me happy clear to my bones.

Here are a few examples of the things my children have written to me the past few weeks:

What mom doesn't want to be her 7-year-old's BFF?
Below is something I found in Regyn's backpack when I cleaned it out over Christmas break. It's actually not a love note or a note at all, for that matter, but it tickled me and warmed my heart, so I'm sharing it anyway. She was writing Christmas wishes. My personal favorite is that she wishes there were no pranksters. Kids are so hilarious! It's the last wish that pulls on my heart--"I wish that there were no devorces." Isn't it something that a seven-year-old girl whose parents are still married would understand enough about the pain and sorrow divorce causes families that she added it to her Christmas Wish List? It causes me to pause and swallow hard, as another small reminder of the difficult world my children are growing up in, presents itself. I love Regyn's soft heart and her thoughtfulness of others. She makes me want to be so kind and so pure.

Now from Nate:

He wrote this poem about me at school. I found it in his backpack, and it made my whole day--week--month, that is. Let me just rewrite this little poem because the picture isn't great. It is an acrostic poem that spells MOTHER down the side and then he uses descriptive words. Here it is (with original spelling):

Marvelous, magical, crazy, mom
Optomistic, on time, overdrive, mother of 5
Totally awesome, she's the bomb
Hyper, hilarious, helpful, loves to be alive
Entertaining, elegant, earings
Rosy cheeks, wonderful feelings

I mean, I love this poem! He captures so many pieces of our relationship. My personal favorites are the words, "magical, crazy, overdrive, mother of 5, loves to be alive," and best of all, "wonderful feelings." I hope he meant two things by using that phrase: first, that he knows I have wonderful feelings about being his mother; and second, that when he thinks of me, he has wonderful feelings. Either way, I love this kid and I love this poem (have I mentioned that already?) It's one I'm keeping forever.

The cool part about the above poem is that he also wrote one about his older sister, Hallee. I know. I was shocked. They used to fight incessantly, and it's so nice now that they are growing up a bit and becoming friends. Here is what he wrote about Hallee (the acrostic spells her name down the right side):

Happy, fantastic, cook (I noticed he didn't say the same about me--LOL), best sister alive (I made sure his litte sister, Regyn didn't see this poem)
Apple (I have no idea what this means in regards to Hallee--he must have been desperate for a word), caring, smells good, beautiful (is that sweet or what?)
Laugh, lovely, wonderful, smart
Learn, cool, fast, amazing
Enchilada (again, not sure where that word came from), good artist, November (her birthday month)
Each day she is awesome (my personal favorite)

This little poem just made me smile clear to my toes. I think it's magical when siblings share their true feelings of love and admiration for each other, even if it's just in writing. So awesome!

Lastly from Nate--this note I found on the shower wall when I went in to shower the other day. He used Berkley's bath foam letters to leave me a message. It brought tears to my eyes--not because it's that profound or anything, but because he was thinking of me, and the thoughts he had for me were positive. Man, moms need notes of encouragement like this regularly! It was such a great way to start my day. I just smiled all day long every time I thought about it.

Hallee and I also have a note-system we use from time to time, one I've come to love. In fact, just recently, I had a really bad day. I felt awful inside and decided to go for a little drive to clear my head. When I got back, our signature notebook was on my pillow with a note from Hallee telling me how much she loved me and what a great mom I am. I appreciated her words of encouragement more than she could know. Her thoughtfulness gave me the courage to keep going, to not give up.

How I love these children of mine. I know I say it all the time, but I can't help it. Every day, the wonder of this life I am living as their mother overwhelms me and fills me with purpose and love and deep, deep gratitude.

So, if you haven't left a note for someone you love lately, why not do it today? You never know when it will reach to their very cores and help them realize their worth and potential. I am learning that love--no matter how it's expressed--is what makes life so great.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Insist!

Man alive, I am having a hard time getting to my computer to write! Every day I think of things I want to share, but before I know it, the day is gone, and I haven't recorded a thing. I've decided Blogger needs to invent a way to simply talk into a little handheld speaker and the words magically appear on your blog. Wouldn't it be great if you simply tapped on a picture from your phone and said, "Insert here, please"? Okay, okay, I am way off topic here. Anyway, so much has been happening. Life moves at lightning speed--it's really no wonder I cannot get it all recorded. Here is a little blurb about how persistence can really pay off.

Regyn came up to me a couple of weeks ago and told me we were going on a date. On Saturday. To Subway. She didn't ask. She demanded. Then she told me Dad was coming along, too--no ands, ifs, or buts about it. I did a quick overview of our week in my head and told her it was impossible that day, as we had a ton of other obligations. Frustrated, but not one to give up easily, she chose a few more dates, until we finally landed on one we thought would work. Saturday, January 5th at 5:30 p.m.

I dismissed the whole interaction, grateful to have appeased her intensity in that moment, but little did I know, this girl was very serious about this date. The next day I saw a note on the whiteboard on the fridge that read, "Date with Regyn to Subway, Saturday at 5:30." A couple of days later, a note was on my bed with the same reminder.

As Saturday approached, and the day was looking to be fuller and fuller, I mentioned that maybe only one of us could take her on this little date. Well, she would have none of that. Dan and I were both going, no matter what. I finally realized this girl was serious and stopped trying to get one of us out of the obligation. We were both going. Period.

Saturday came and was a blur of activity, beginning early in the morning. We drove to Provo for a baptism, rushed back to Ogden for Nate's basketball game, then on to Costco, finally arriving home at 4:45 p.m. I must admit, I was pretty tired by this time. I hadn't been feeling super well and thought I had given the day a pretty good effort, but I was ready to call it good and get my jammies on and relax. I seriously considered telling this sweet seven-year-old that I just couldn't make it on the date, but then I looked into those hopeful blue eyes and knew I couldn't let her down. She had insisted on this date, and  I needed to make the sacrifice to be there.

So, at 5:30 p.m., the three of us hopped in the car and drove to Subway. On the way there, I asked Regyn what she would like to talk about. It was an interesting conversation, I tell you, but one that made me smile clear to my toes as it continued. It started with, "What is your favorite color?"

I tried not to roll my eyes. I mean, is that the best she could come up with? She has her parents alone  and can talk about anything she wants, and she asks us some trivial question? But, I took a breath and went with it. "Black," I answered. That's when Dan said, "Black isn't even a color." We argued playfully back and forth for a minute before Regyn moved onto her next question. "What is your favorite food?" Then, "What is your favorite holiday?" I told her my favorite holiday was Christmas and then looked to Dan for his answer. "My favorite holiday is . . . Martin Luther King, Jr. Day." I couldn't help it--I laughed right out loud! Not that it isn't an important holiday, but it's nobody's favorite, especially Dan's since he doesn't even get off work that day! His quick wit and humor were cracking me up as he answered each question. We were not even to Subway and were already having a great time.

More questions followed, like "Where is your favorite place to eat?" and "What is your favorite dessert?" We ordered our food and sat down together. Regyn felt especially privileged because we had a coupon that allowed her to get pop to drink--something we just never do. I don't remember the rest of our conversation that night, but I remember distinctly thinking I was sure glad I didn't miss this date. For that hour we were together, I was happier than I'd been in days. It was wonderful being with this child one-on-one and just listening and laughing together. She told me over and over that night, "Mom, I love you." I told her I loved her, too, and I meant it.

Dan still had his church clothes on from the baptism that morning. See that smile on Regyn's face? It just never left.

We tried to take a self-portrait, but apparently, none of us knew exactly where to look. 

She is still smiling--I love it!
When I did finally make it to bed Saturday night, I realized that the highlight of my day was our date, without a doubt, and I was so thankful Regyn had insisted on it happening and insisted that both Dan and I go. I truly think it's the little moments of happiness in our lives that make it meaningful. That's why I want to take note of each one and appreciate it for what it is. Sometimes it's a funny comment from one of my kids; sometimes it's a look from my husband; sometimes it's a hug or a love note; Saturday night it was a date to Subway. These are the moments I am thankful for my life and for each individual child I call mine.

And I've decided the next time one of my children insists on a date, I will not try to back out!