Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grandpa Smyers

Eight grandsons.

The Painter Boys: Jason, Ryan and David.

I am sometimes verbose. Today all I can say is that often the feelings in our hearts take time to form thoughts, and then words. What I do know with unabashed certainty is that family is what this life is all about. And that any amount of time we invest in developing those relationships is paid back ten-fold. That is a lesson, taught through example, by David's Grandfather. Grandpa Smyers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thank You, thank you!

I'm not sure what this says about me, but each year, I try not to think too much about my birthday. It has nothing to do with age, I don't dream up extravagant wish lists... I'd be content with little fanfare. I recall the perfect birthdays of past and think, how in the world can they continue to get better? But each year I am amazed at the generosity of friends and family who in the midst of their own busy and important lives, celebrate with me, remember to call, send emails, blog comments, and cards in the mail. This blows me away, brings me to tears...you make me feel so special! Like each and every birthday before, 28 was incredibly memorable and delicious!

On Friday, my family welcomed me back to Kansas City with food from the tastiest bar-b-que joint and a heavenly cake from a cute boutique bakery. It is hard to find heavenly chocolate cake, the kind that convinces you eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner is actually healthy. Bar-b-que, dessert and March Madness with family... a perfect evening! I include this photo because, well, it surely represents a snapshot in time. My husband is NOT a clumsy guy. I however, consistently misjudge just how large my belly has become, and squeezing between him and his baked beans and a chair was quite disastrous this go around.Listing birthday gifts reminds me of the scene at the school lunch table after Christmas break. A little uncomfortable...BUT, love for my man, I'm including this one. This is a beautiful camera bag that he filled with all kinds of photography goodies. Shock. That was me. I have seen these bags before, but I am quite certain I have never mentioned them to Dave. It's beautiful in a very non-camera bag sorta way. And of all the options, this is exactly the bag I would have chosen for myself. Even more beautiful than the bag, was the thought that he saw this and knew that I would love it above all others...and probably never buy it. Saturday morning we had breakfast with Papa Jimmy, David's dad. He cooked up his famous apple pancakes and loaded on the strawberries and blackberries. Tasted like spring. We moved outside and the boys hit golf balls off the huge hill overlooking the city. I settled in to a chair and really wanted to join my nephew Brock. He had the right idea falling asleep in the warm sun and slight breeze.
Saturday night my friends surprised me with a party. I thought I was going out for a date, we dropped the kids off at my parents house and my dad was like, "oh, I gotta show you something off the deck!" I had heard there was a dead deer carcass back there and I was thinking, "really dad? the dead deer right now!?" but I followed him anyway...good thing, because all those friendly faces were much more exciting!
And Sunday wasn't about me, but it was more feel good family time. Dave's family got together in support of Grandpa Smyers. I love this photo. The family unit is such a divinely inspired plan of our Heavenly Father. David describes his grandfather as a constant, and stable, and positive influence in his life. He remembers him singing in the car and other various places, and that he is never without a corny joke to share. Grandpa Smyers sold life insurance, and I know on more than one occasion our yearly statement had a special attachment. Often, inside the envelope, stapled to the important papers was a print out of some silly joke or comic. His special touch.
Grandma and Grandpa Smyers' great-grandchildren. (three more on the way!)
It's spring. I'm back in KC (just in time for the exciting storm season!) and I've got a box of chocolate cake in my fridge!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In the Business

It's fairly obvious that these kiddos have a dad who is in the business of killing bugs. They know far too much about insects. I hear them say things like, "It's ok Lily, that's just a wolf spider, it can't reeeeally hurt you." And when they don't know, they aren't afraid to make it up. Yesterday, while getting ready, I was cracking up listening to their conversations. They were sitting on our bed with a training manual about ants. Zach was saying things like, "This is a South American Ant that has large claws and venom!" Lily would respond with requisite squeal and huge impressed eyes. Seriously, they kill me.
We're home. In Missouri. It's a ridiculously fun and busy weekend. My birthday... complete with festivities, surprises, family get-togethers, and lots and lots of love. It's so good to be home.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Light Naps and Dark Naps

My kids refer to naps during the day as light naps. Bedtime is called dark nap. Today, I caught Zach in Lily's bed during light nap. He was reading her a book all about sharks, and he kept saying something about "sharp, sharp teeth". Whatever he was saying worked, because she fell asleep soon after this picture was taken.
There are only 5 more dark naps before we move. Back home. Kansas City. Gulp. I've read articles before that list the most stressful events in life. Usually somewhere near the top of the list are things like job change, moving and new baby. Bummer that we're experiencing them all at once. It's sort of complicated that way.
You know what I'd really like? I'd really like to fast forward to next March. March 2010. Because I can remember so clearly March 2008. Full of hope. Excited to arrive in our new city. Searching for houses and dreaming of settling down, making a little home. 365 days later if feels strange to see Houston with such different eyes. I mean, the trees and shrubs are blooming just like they did last year, but other than the foliage, nothing else was quite as expected. Not bad, just different. I don't do different very well. Funny how the pieces of life can fall in place, out of place and right back into place.
Of course, even amidst all the change and anxiety, it's hard to ignore my blessings. Namely the people I live with and love so dearly. And so, it is sometimes with an exhausted sigh that I give in to the idea of letting my plan go, letting another take root...and just being grateful to wake up from each dark nap to see and be with the faces I love.