Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Micah!

Dear one,

I want you to know that not all birthdays are as bad as this one has been for you. I am so sorry that your mommy was grumpy from lack of sleep and too many emotions this morning. I am so sorry that she thought you were just being a fussy butt when you didn't want to eat your lunch. I am so sorry that you woke up from your afternoon nap running a fever of over 100. I am so sorry that it kept going up after I gave you Tylenol. I'm sorry that we had to go to the after hours clinic, that you got your finger stuck, your throat swabbed, your finger smashed in between those chairs and that you got a mean old shot that hurt your leg (and hurt your mommy and Grandma's feelings so bad that they cried over it). I'm sorry that I didn't have a present for you today. I'm sorry that you have to wait until tomorrow to get your cake.

I am NOT sorry that you are in my life. I am NOT sorry you changed my world so much that my idea of fun on a Friday night is to give you a bath and a bottle and cuddle with you until bedtime. I am NOT sorry that I can't leave town without missing you like crazy and worrying about you every minute. I am NOT sorry that the idea of something bad happening to you sends me into a panic (because then I have another excuse to talk to Jesus), and that I would take any pain sent your way 10 times over if it meant you could escape it. I am NOT sorry that every day you wake me up earlier than I want to be awake, before I get my coffee and greet me with that gorgeous grin of yours. I am NOT sorry that your presence in my life has made me realize the urgency with which I should always pray against the terrors of Satan. I am NOT sorry that a large chunk of my prayer time is now devoted to your salvation and future walk with the Lord. I am NOT sorry that my main job is take care of you every day. I am NOT sorry that you are no longer a tiny newborn , but now a badly balanced toddler who loves to laugh, sneak Daisy your food and tell your mommy, "NOOOOO!!!!" as often as you can. And I am NOT sorry that I have to stay up tonight and bake your birthday cupcakes when I'm actually so tired I could fall out right here. Because I am truly, madly, deeply in love with a little red-headed boy's boy with two teeth and a pot belly.

Happy birthday, and here's too many more . . . HAPPIER birthdays.

Love,
Mommy
video

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moving On

We will live here at 150 Sunflower Drive, Farmerville, Lousiana for three more days, and I never expected to feel so sad about it. I am really surprised by the nostalgia that seems to physically attack me as I pack all our belongings in prescription medicine and milk boxes. (My husband is a pharmacist at a grocery store.)


The truth is that I was afraid of this house when I first saw it. I remember the creepy feeling in my gut when we walked in and saw that the master bedroom had a deadbolt on it that could lock someone in the room. I remember how much I disliked the old man who sold us the house. I remember my extreme feelings of irritation at the outrageous amount of awful wallpaper the previous owners had put up and at the fact that they had stained the light-colored carpet with orange wood polish in many places. I also remember the hideous bathroom with it's black linoleum countertop and floor, brown oak cabinets, and cream, maroon and silver wallpaper. And when we finally decided that it was all we could possibly afford as we had no down payment and Brandon would be the sole breadwinner while I attended college, I still wasn't happy about it.

It became ours the day before I forever changed my name, and our family moved us in while we were off on our honeymoon. When we returned home, my husband scooped me up, and carried me over the threshold. Then began the task of making the house a home. We began with removing the gosh-awful wallpaper, and creating lots of passionate memories--passionate love and passionate fights, in cycles. We bought new furniture and borrowed some old. We unpacked and found places for all of those wedding gifts, some useful, some bizarre. A year later, we brought home a rat terrier puppy who pissed all over that light colored carpet, adding to the stains. And a year after that, we ripped up that stained carpet and laid down laminate flooring with our ridiculous tax refund, and from that point on, there never was a question of where Daisy was in the house. You can hear her loudly clicking her toenails from any spot within the prescribed 1,000 square feet.

This place saw old friends move away and the beginning of new, lasting friendships. It saw plenty of card games, plenty of chicken and hamburger dinners cooked on the George Foreman (I didn't know how to cook back then), dinner parties established right in front of the door (we have no official dining area), slumber parties (my guests would happily sleep on our living room furniture or air mattress), the beginning and expansion of a piano/voice studio, several strange diet attempts (the most radical being the elimination of gluten when I discovered my wheat allergy), and multiple Christmas parties. These walls witnessed three major heartbreaks, a university transfer, and a church change. They witnessed alternating periods of mania and depression from my end and a strong, steadfast love and growth from Brandon's end. They witnessed lots of laughter and soul-wrenching sobs and the pain and joy found in finding comfort in one another's arms. They witnessed lots of self-discovery--Brandon and I not only loved each other, we liked each other, too; I didn't want to be an English professor. I wanted to stay home with my future children, give lots of children the gift of music, and write a bit on the side; Brandon found that he was not only cautious, but adventurous, too and embarked on an spec-house adventure; I discovered that I loved the stage; Brandon discovered that major changes aren't always bad.

And then Micah was born. Here was a soul alive for the first time, and as a result, my soul found life again. My heart for the Lord had grown cold during the years of my college education, and when Micah came into the world, I experienced Him afresh. Over the past year (Micah turns 1 year old on Friday), this home has been more full with laughter and life than I would have thought possible when we bought this creepy thing five and a half years ago. Micah has grown from a tiny, squinty-eyed infant who could do nothing but eat, sleep and poop into a little boy who can say 8 words, light up the world with his belly laugh and captivate everyone in a room by his red-headed, fireball presence. And I was almost a dead soul that was about as unhappy as a person can be because I had tasted the joy of the Lord and had lost it. Then, by God's grace and infinite mercies, I slowly found my way back to the heart of the Lord and am once again experiencing the life He intends for all people--abundant life.

And this place saw it all . . .

And because of that, it will never be forgotten.

Praise be to the God who saw potential in this home when I did not. You are better to me than I deserve.

All Right Here

My blog is named after this song. I love this singer/songwriter. She is so real, and I relate to her music so seamlessly. If I had been gifted with the ability to write songs, hers are the kind of songs I would write.

It's every loss and every love.
It's every blessing from above.
Here I am all added up.
Oh, it's all right here..
It's what I know and what I'm guessin'.
It's half-truths and full confessions.
It's why I choose to learn my lesson.
Oh it's all right here..
And I'm not God I'm a girl I confess that I don't have sea of forgetfulness.
No, it's all right here.
It makes me stronger and makes me wince.
It makes me think twice when I pick my friends.
Oh, it's all right here it's all right here..
It's caution and curiosity.
And it's all the things I never see.
Welling up inside of me.
Oh, it's all right here.
It's what is best and what is worse.
It's how I see the universe.
It's in every line and every verse.
Oh, it's all right here..
And I'm not God I'm a girl I confess that I don't have sea of forgetfulness.
No, it's all right here.
It makes me stronger and makes me wince.
It makes me think twice when I pick my friends.
Oh, it's all right here it's all right here..
Every heart has so much history.
It's my favorite place to start.
Sit down awhile and share your narrative with me.
I'm not afraid of who you are..
I'm all here and you're all there.
Some of this is unique and some of it we share.
Let's add it up and start from there.
Oh, it's all right here..
Oh, I'm not God I'm a girl I confess that I don't have sea of forgetfulness.
No, it's all right here.
It makes me stronger and makes me wince.
It makes me think twice when I pick my friends.
Oh, it's all right here.
It's caution and curiosity.
And it's all the things I never see.
Oh, it's all right here.
It's what is best and what is worse.
And it's how I see the universe.
Oh, it's all right here.
It's all right here.
Oh, it's all right here.
I'm all right here.
Oh, I'm all right here.
I'm all right here, alright..

--Sara Groves, from the album All Right Here (2002)