My Beamish Brood

My Beamish Brood

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Early Bird

I. Love. Sleep. Getting out of bed in the morning is the toughest thing that I do every day. When Audrey was about six weeks old, I tried to give up coffee because I thought it might help her sleep better, but found that I was literally unable to function without my morning cup of coffee. Seeing as my two caffeine-free weeks were actually her most sleepless nights to-date, I decided to re-evaluate the situation. I came up with a plan that was unlike anything I've ever tried before. I decided to get out of bed before the kids woke up each morning! I resumed my morning coffee and made a decision to be up and ready before Lucian. 

That moment when Paul wakes me up before he leaves for work has become the most difficult moment of the day, because I can no longer roll over for another half-hour until I hear Lucian's "Mommmmmeeeee... me want buppist..." (i.e. breakfast). I force myself out of bed and into the shower, then have my morning coffee and breakfast by myself! I didn't realize how different my days would be if I had a few quiet moments before being bombarded by children with needs. As a mother of three, my days mainly consist of fulfilling needs, and I know now that what I need- as an unashamed introvert- is a cup of coffee by myself every morning. It is unbelievable the different trajectory our days take solely based on whether I get up when I planned to. A few recent mornings, I gave in to the urge to roll over and doze off again, and I felt like I was playing catch-up all day.

Today has been a special treat; as I write this at 8:25, all three children are still sound asleep! Unbelievably, I have had an hour-and-a-half of alone time already. I think I hear some movement in the next room... but I feel ready to take on the day! Maybe... just maybe... I could learn to be a morning person.

Morning people.

Not a morning person.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pick a Peck

It's not really fall until we have twelve pounds of freshly-picked apples in the kitchen. We took advantage of a beautiful Sunday afternoon and went with my parents down to Sponsel's Apple Orchard near Jordan, MN. I think we could have arrived first thing in the morning and spent the whole day! The boys loved climbing on the huge hay pile, feeding goats and sheep, pony rides, wagon rides, digging in the dirt and, of course, the apples. Picking apples, eating apples, juggling apples, eating apples, throwing apples (only the bad ones, mind you, and not at anyone...), eating apples. We paid for one peck (12 pounds), but I have a feeling we ate at least half as many as we put in the bag. 

My mom and I took turns being on quality control, only letting the most perfect apples into the bag. If it was really bad, it ended up on the ground, but if it was only slightly bruised, it became a munching apple. Max and Lucian proudly picked several apples of their very own, learning (for the most part) to check for imperfections. Max came to me at one point, bearing an apple with broken brown skin on one side, and said "This apple shines as beautifully as a diamond, mom!" I didn't have the heart to turn him away, so I let it pass inspection, then waited til he wasn't looking to chuck it into the trees.

Megan and I are planning out how we will use our booty, and the list so far includes apple pie, crock pot applesauce, caramel apples and Maureen's upside-down apple dessert (I don't know what she calls it, but it sounded amazing. I'll let you know.) I intend to be firmly appled-out by the first snowfall. Who's with me?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Let's Talk

Paul and I recently spoke about marriage to a high school theology class at St. Thomas Academy, a Catholic all-male military school in the Twin Cities. Our friend John is a teacher there, and he asked us to kick off a Vocations series for his seniors, who are starting to think pretty seriously about the future. Both Paul and I were initially pretty terrified at the prospect; high school students are notoriously uninterested, bored, and sometimes downright rude... and I can't speak for Paul, but I do not have anything resembling a thick skin. We were concerned that we wouldn't say the right things, that we would forget all of the important stuff we knew about marriage, that we would say something that could be misconstrued and offend someone (or everyone) in the class. Neither of us has spoken in front of a group for a long time, and while I feel I have plenty to say to young women on the subject, I've never thought of speaking to a group of 11 young men about marriage! 

But in spite of our reservations, we felt pretty strongly called to suck it up and do it (Those may or may not have been the exact words I heard in prayer). John sent us a list of questions from his students, and we prepared a short introduction about our discernment process, marriage, and children. While we were sitting down to talk through the questions, I realized that whether we said anything helpful to the students or not, it was the first time in years we had taken time out to discuss our vocation in depth with each other. It was awesome. 

The next day in John's class, we were happily surprised to be greeted by a class full of genuinely interested and respectful young men. These were seniors in high school, and they were asking questions about our families, our engagement story, our plans for the future. I was floored. That school--and the parents of these kids--are doing something right. It was a great morning from my perspective, and I hope the students can say the same.

But even if the experience had been as awful as we imagined it could be, I am so thankful for the opportunity to sit down with my husband and relive the last six years, seeing how God worked in our lives from day one to bring us to where we are now. To right here, with our three beautiful children, striving to move closer to God each day.

Thank you, Paul, for saying "yes" to John with me last week, and for saying "yes" to God with me every day before and since!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nothing But the Truth

It's been a long time since I've written a funny story about Max. It's not that he doesn't do funny stuff anymore, but he's getting older and there are less one-liners... his craziness is more "way of life" than "quote of the day". Oh, and the stuff he does that you may consider "funny" is the stuff that drives me up a wall! But I've decided to bite the bullet and tell you a Max story from today, even though I'm still fuming from it.

I was changing Audrey's diaper and Max sauntered into the room. "What are you doing?" he asked innocently. "Changing Audrey's diaper" I responded (obviously).

"Was she wet?" he asked.
"Yep she was." I answered.
"No she wasn't." he rebutted.
"Um... yes. She was."
"That's not true."
"Yes, it is."
"No it's not. Your truth isn't true. My truth is true."

Did you catch that? "Your truth isn't true. MY truth is true." I can't make this stuff up! Where does he come up with an idea like that? And what do I say in response? Thank goodness for Love and Logic... I turned into a broken record, repeating "I love you too much to argue with you" as he continued to try to convince me that I was wrong. About Audrey's wet diaper. That I had just changed. That he threw in the garbage for me! Child!

I told Paul about it and his response was, "Well, at least he's not a relativist!" But then in later conversation, we couldn't decide whether we'd rather have a relativist for a son or one who is adamantly wrong. What do you think?

I know what I think. I think I want a son who takes my word as gold no matter what the circumstances. Sure, be curious and question everything else in the world, Max, but MOM is always right. Period. (Too much to ask? Yeah, I thought so...)