Thursday, June 30, 2016

Holding Hands

Abigail holds my hand when we are out and about. For safety.  For love.  I can't really remember when Anna stopped 'having to' hold my hand we she got out of the car.  Sure, she still will but I know she can just walk beside me crossing a street.  She doesn't have to have her hand held.  Abigail, still kind of small still needs to.  And frankly, I still need her to.

Today we stopped on our way home at the Jewelry store in town.  I had to have my ring sized.  I thought it was one tiny little task on my to do list. "get ring resized" has been on there a while now. And really, how much could it cost?  

I'm the same exact size as the day I married Scott so what's with my knuckles?  Do they get swollen as you age?

Anyway, this is a special ring.  It belonged to my grandmother.  She talked about it a lot as I was growing up. It was given to her by her mother.  So let's just say this ring is an heirloom with a 'run away to get married' story behind it.

I can't look at this ring without seeing my grandmothers hands.  My grandmother went home to be with the Lord just one year before I married Scott.  My Aunt handed me the ring at her funeral and I held on to it for the year.  And then when it was time for our wedding we used it in the ceremony so that my grandmother would 'be there' too.  It was blessed with our wedding bands and Scott slid it on my right ring finger just before saying our vows and giving me my wedding band.  So to me it's really a second wedding band.  And I've worn it every day of my married life.

This afternoon I took it to be sized and cleaned.  I started to get nervous when there were three jewelry experts looking at it and talking.  They were looking in a 'jewelry microscope' (I'm sure there's another name but it just looks like a microscope to me)  for a long time.  And then talking more.

The jeweler explained to me that this ring was "very delicate"  and that "sizing it would cause it to fall apart"  "because of its age (my grandmother wore it every single day of her married life) it needed extensive work"

They were really nice about it.  And sensitive to me.  I think they could tell I was upset.

They told me it needs 3 new bars and 16 new prongs.  16... just to secure it.  And well, with the sizing it all added up to ... well, too much for us right now.

I thanked them and took my delicate ring (along with the estimate slip) out the door.

I wasn't two seconds from stepping out into the sunlight that I couldn't hold my tears back anymore.  I tried not to cry.  Really, I did.  "It's just a ring."  I told myself over and over.  Just a ring.  But I couldn't help crying.

But it's not just a ring to me.  And he told me that for safety not to wear it until it is fixed.  It made me miss my grandmother, all of my grandparents.  And that part of my life.  The growing up years when it was securely on my grandmothers hand.  And it felt like in that moment, not having that ring to wear was like not having them with me.

And then Abigail took my hand.  Like she always does.  And I thought, "I'm grateful God.  And ashamed for feeling so sad wanting my ring fixed when this little hand in mine is such a gift from you."

Her hand makes my heart heal.

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Someday I'll go back and leave my ring there.  Someday it will be fixed.  And even in like an hour I'll stop being so sad about not being able to wear it.  But for now, I think I'll just hold her hand.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Little Things In June

Little things caught on my phone throughout the month.

Second to the last day

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Something else I found that I adore from England (Hogben Pottery)

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My last day of part time teaching I was so tired of the clothes in my closet so I dashed into Anna's closet for a favorite dress of hers. I texted her at school and she was all "sure! the kids will love the birds" It was kinda weird to wear (be able to share) my daughters clothes but really super cool too! We totally have the same simple, elegant, traditional style.

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After school chocolate pop and a smile!

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One rainy Sunday night after this Feis and this concert all on the same day we took the girls out for a treat.

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One very excited Irish Dancer

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I met a friend for tea and the cold cucumber soup was to die for!

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This intersection is in my home (growing up) town. I can never pass through it without a prayer of thanksgiving for God saving Scott's life (and his sister) who were in a terrible accident when were were 15.

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Rose park not quite yet in bloom here but still so beautiful.

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Adorable new favorite game.

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The night my Dad brought over a bucket load of fresh picked strawberries

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Decorating for the 4th

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Swimming lessons throughout the school year and now in our third week straight every day this summer... she's getting it!

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The day we made Father's Day epic

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"Should I mama? Should I?" (she did)

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A little something new for the house.

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Found this in Scott's "The Power of a Praying Husband" I'd guess this was his bookmark. And it was right before we decided to adopt.

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And then all of a sudden it was summer. And we found our first week here a lot. Reading. Heaven!

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Everyday after I gave the girls lunch (I was always making mine while they were eating) we would take our books into the family room and read. Best part of summer.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

North Hampton for the Day

Small, cool, college town... we spent the day here last weekend with good good friends.

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Sure, I love a good stroll through our town Barnes and Noble and even on Amazon but I love creaky floors, lots of rooms, interesting displays... kinda bookstores.

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and fun in a photo booth

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since they were wee little these two... they were this close when they were in diapers.  And it makes me happy.

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It was fun to shop (so many interesting, little shops along the way.

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And looked through a museum of children's book illustrations.  Delightful.

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Not very far but it felt like being on vacation.  Sunshine but not too hot, friends that are just so easy, and being with my little family... doesn't get any better than that!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Health through a Horse

I talked more about it back (here) but we believe that mental health is just as important as physical health. And while I'll never know (this side of Heaven) why God chose Scott and I to parent two daughters who both struggle DAILY; one with physical health and one with mental health, we do know that our hearts are stronger, more compassionate, and we are somehow (through tears some days) grateful that those two little girls are ours. Grateful for the lessons and the challenges; grateful for the joy and the love; grateful for the ups and the downs and the trust God has given us as we hold on (fiercely some days) to His Word, His church, His love as we walk through life with each other.

Recently Anna started Horseback riding lessons at a "Therapeutic Riding Center". It's not really about learning to ride a horse. That's just the wonderful bonus. It's about trust and a 'way in' to deal with other issues. (and so much more that I can't even explain in this space and time)

Sometimes Anna's issues are so deep that close family doesn't even seem to notice. I can see her spirit crumble in a room filled with people that love her. I can see her gripping fear rise up in her own birthday party. And I can see her freeze in terror while conversation goes on. I can glance at Scott (and even little Abigail now) who is watching this 'unseen' happen. And we know what to do to help. When everyone leaves we can help her regulate herself.

But we can't always be there and Anna needs help with self regulation and sensory issues.

In one therapy lesson Anna went from this

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to this....

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and that sweet 27 year old Tory horse I could just about kiss you!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our Home in May

This all seems so long ago too. A lot of catch up posts going on here this week! I love that I've had the time to putter and fluff an in my house this summer. It's a wonderful thing for me to arrange flowers, change dishes around, move a picture from here to there. I love it all. Right now all of our windows are open and the curtains are fluttering. My favorite kind of day. With the sky lights and all of the windows in our family room our house actually feels 'wear a sweatshirt' cool in the mornings. We've really had such gorgeous weather this June. I love cool, cool mornings, the windows open. I love the warmth of the afternoon sunshine wearing shorts and a tee. I love the grab a sweater evenings when we sit outside after dinner. I know it's Connecticut and weather in New England is unpredictable. I know that really hot and humid will come some time but right now I'm loving this sweet weather we are having.


What so much pink in a bedroom will do when it gets tangled in afternoon light... "mama! Take a picture of my bedroom right now!"

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Just stay little... please... in her after Mass dress, writing to a pen pal

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Little Things In May

May seems like a lifetime ago. We were so busy in May. And now here it is... JUNE! We are in our second week of summer vacation and life is feeling easy. We have time to breathe and it feels wonderful. But I don't want to forget the little things in May. Like all of these...

School Fun Fair and a friend since kindergarten

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A field trip I didn't go on but a mom texted me all day... my girl is a third grade peanut!

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Afternoon ironing his shirts while she reads on my bed and I have a small cuppa tea

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She never ever looks at the camera

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After school snacks

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A picture of a picture. She won a character award and got her picture with the school mascot. I love how she's leaning in.

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Marshalls... shorts for Anna, wrapping paper for May and June!

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Every week he slices and dices and cooks up these for me.

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Taking time with her

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Sweet vintage book

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birthday tree in the kitchen

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Making birthday cupcakes

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Frosting the grandparent cake

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Anna cooked dinner

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Homemade whoopie pies

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A card in her lunchbox

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On the craziest night my oldest and I stopped for iced tea

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The pool club opened

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Dressing room fun

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Ironing Memorial Day

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There were a few days in May and the beginning of June that had my mind spinning so much I couldn't fall asleep. The end of the school year can be brutal! So she tucked in some sleeping friends. (they helped)

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Some afternoons I shower, get my jammies on (flannels) and crank up the AC... cuz I'm a winter girl

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Last viola lesson of the school year

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Comfort food

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Playing for the birds

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For the Rosary group leader

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