I woke up this morning, May 21, 2011 with mixed feelings.
I am super pumped about seeing Jesus and all, but I was a little apprehensive about not seeing my kids grow up. So when my alarm went off in the call room at work this morning at 6:40 am, I was: a) very happy; b) slightly wistful; but mostly c) sorry for all the poor saps people who got duped influenced by Harold Camping's numerology hooey hypotheses, and come May 22, now have no jobs, no families, no homes, no 401k's, and no "doctrine" to support their "beliefs" anymore.
Maybe Mr. Camping's calculator needs new batteries.
Or maybe he should have listened to my mama. She always told me, "Believe only what God says, not what man says". Mamas are usually right, ya'll.
In Mark 13:32 Jesus Hisself says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". There ya go. In His very own words. How can that be misinterpreted, people, really? Really?
(I say "really?" a lot in everyday life, too. Mostly to give voice to my frustration with foolish people who irritate me. Like Mr. Schwarzenegger. REALLY??).
I had a lot of time last week to consider the apocalypse. In fact, ten hours on a bumpy plane with a very active and vocal 19-month-old had me praying for it at several points along our journey. But in the end, I decided I am not yet ready to go.
You see, I hate to fly. Those are strong words coming from someone who loves to travel as much as I do, but flying absolutely does me in. I don't know if it's the lack of control, or the cognitive dissonance that takes place in my brain as I try and reconcile the physics of 200 people and all their baggage hurtling through the air six miles above terra firma in a winged biscuit can. Or, it could be as my husband says and maybe I'm just a Drama Queen. I even tried to face down my fears by taking flying lessons at various points of elevated bravado in the past fifteen years. But even that doesn't help. Whatever the reasons, I don't like flying and flying doesn't like me. However. It's how you have to get from Point A to Point B.
Or from Dallas to Vivi & Papa.
Or... across half the country and the Pacific to Hawaii so your daughter can be the most fabulous flower girl EVAH in a beautiful wedding on the beach of one of your dearest friends.
Oh yes, friends, it was quite a trip.
I can't even begin to tell you how fabulous is was. We had such a blast. The kids were great - couldn't have been better (no, really!). The weather was gorgeous. A bunch of dear friends all gathered in one place to celebrate such a happy occasion. Even the hundreds of hippies and their chemically-induced fun at the rave conference at our hotel (??, I know!) only made it more memorable (for us, that is. I doubt the hippies will remember one detail of their weekend).
Geni's new husband, Ke'o was born and raised on the Big Island. Mr. Trump, does this or does this not mean Ke'o could one day be president? Really? -Sorry, sidebar. Anyway, Ke'o. All of his family lives on the Island, and they could not have made us feel more welcome. In fact, I felt like they were all cousins or aunts and uncles by the time we left. His sisters are beautiful - warm, generous, and very talented - one is a professional photographer and took incredible photos of the whole week, and the other made all the leis, Aria's crown, and the astounding arrangements from flowers she cut herself from their family farm in the mountains. The day before the wedding, the bride and groom took us on a sunset catamaran cruise, and the day after the wedding, Ke'o's family hosted a picnic at an active volcano. How cool is that?
I have many stories to tell, and not the brain power nor the energy (the laundry, oh my holy moly, the laundry!), so I'll just post a few pictures from the trip until I can organize my house and thoughts enough to write more.
Arrival after a loooooooooooooooong day:
Mommy and big girl on the sunset cruise:
Aria and Peachy pre-ceremony:
Princess A and her "crown" of flowers (she was very excited about her crown):
Two down-dogs and a child's pose (my kids love doing yoga. Not kidding):
Rapture (rap' cher): noun
the state of being carried away with joy, love, etc.; ecstasy
I know I totally should do something all profound and original and not just repeat last year's blog post, but it still rings very true, and I love, cherish, and deeply respect all the mommies I wrote about last year.
Really. Love ya'll. Mean it.
But allow me to get kinda introspective for a sec.
This day is a little bittersweet for me too. Even though they celebrate Mother's Day in Vietnam on Mua Vu Lan, the seventh full moon on the calendar year - and a Buddhist holiday (about which I will decline to comment so as not to oh-fend all the Buddhists who read my blog. Natch.) - which means the second Sunday in May is really just another day for them. Even so, I still think about her.
I think about how her swollen feet must have ached as she carried my growing daughter in her belly. I think of the alternating anxiety and joy she must have felt every time she felt the baby kick - her heart swelling in love, but also breaking in pain, knowing she could not care for this child the way she should. Or when the first labor pain ripped through her body, and how she must have pushed with all her strength, pushing this tiny, black-haired, dimpled baby out into the world, and yet wanting desperately to keep her still inside of her - safe, protected, and always a part of her. And how hearing the baby's first cries must have hurt far worse than the physical pain of childbirth, knowing she would be unable to answer those cries with soothing kisses. Or how she must feel now, every time she looks at a little girl Aria's age and wonders...just wonders...
Not a day goes by that I don't marvel at something Aria Grace says or does, and think to myself, "Wow, if only she could see her. And know. And believe". But it is here that I must stop before I begin to weep, and simply ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me to let her know that Aria is alright. I ask Him to absolve her of her pain, her guilt, her anguish. That the Peace That Passes All Understanding will fill her heart and assure her this child is happy. Healthy. Safe. Loved. Cherished.
Many people, Chris included, have encouraged me to write to Aria's birth mother and the orphanage to let them know how well she is doing. How perfect she is.
I can't do it...
Because words absolutely fail me.
There is no way to describe the gift my children are. Writing (typing) words on paper seems to do an utter injustice to the abundance of peace, contentment, and joy they've brought to my heart. I can't imagine the sacrifices so many people have made for me to be a mother to these children, and I am struck absolutely dumb with humility.
Side eye to anyone who wants to make a snarky comment to that last sentence. (Chris. Kick.)
Anyway, I figure when the timing is right and God has the proper words for me to say, He'll help me write it. God's grace.
Changed my mind. I actually did want to write something profound today after all!
And so on this, my third Mother's Day as an actual Mother, I'll share a little something I've learned about myself. For me, Mother's Day is about reflecting on: my own mother, Saint Vivi, and how much she means in my life; my mother-in-law, Mimi, and the graceful way she has weathered life's most terrible storm; my sister-in-law, through whom I was imparted the most incalcuably valuable gift of Caroline.
But it's also about celebrating the Two treasures that are Aria and Caroline, the Two that have made me a Mother.
In other words, my Mother's Day is not about me being their mother. It's about them being my daughters.
Yesterday, May 1, was an historic day. I'm sure the whole world is aware of it now.
It was the eleventh anniversary of the day my husband came walking towards me, clad in a white golf shirt and pressed black slacks, hand extended to shake my own, huge smile lighting up that darling face. My life changed forever.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Historically significant for Chris too, seeing as how that's probably the last time he's had ironed pants.
May 1 is also the day THAT RAT OSAMA UP AND GOT HIMSELF KILLED. I'm pretty much not altogether unhappy about this news. I don't know if I can go so far as to say I'm celebratory, seeing as how I know this man's soul is, has been, and always will be, separated from God. For that, I am profoundly sorrowful. But I am also profoundly glad he is no longer walking the surface of our planet, breathing our air, drinking our water, watching our sunsets, and causing immeasurable amounts of pain to thousands and thousands of people. And maybe, just maybe, the inalterable impact he made on the landscape of so many people's hearts and souls may now be just a tiny bit redeemed by the fact that this monster ceases to exist, and can no longer continue to plot the demise of freedom, Christianity, and the west.
I'm not bitter or anything. I'm just sayin'.
Another milestone from this weekend, April 29th marked the one-year anniversary of my blog. A whole year. Which, while this seems like the absolute longest year of my life, has also passed by remarkably fast. My little tiny baby girl has suddenly become a person, talking up a storm and telling me what to do. My oldest, who has always told me what to do, can now do so with excruciating clarity and eloquence. And although this year has brought our family unfathomable losses, God has not only upheld us, but revealed Himself to us in astonishing ways.
For that, I am peaceful and hopeful.
Chris and I always get excited when we say a sentence or combination of words we wonder has ever before been uttered in the human language. Like, "Let me balance the Sound Warehouse budget, rinse the drywall out of my hair, and I'll be ready for dinner." Or how about what he told me on Friday, "Sarah, a suicidal turkey vulture dented the hood of your car". See what I mean?
Please don't get me started on the whole turkey vulture fiasco. -- Ha! Look-y there. That's another one I never thought I'd hear (say? write?).
So anyway, allow me summarize all these occasions in an oddly-worded contextual axiom I'll write down today, because I'll probably never have cause to say it again: Honey, happy meet-iversary, bin Laden, enjoy your 72 virgins eternal Lake of Fire, and friends/loved ones, happy one-year bloggiversary!
And now, completely off topic but intended to make you smile, please enjoy some cute photos of the girls visiting Mommy at work Easter Sunday...
Sweet Caroline saying the blessing at dinner...
Making a little history of her own, Aria proudly riding her bike, finally, without falling down or giving up...
And one of my all time faves, this picture of Aria Grace on a joyride at the lake with her Best Friend Forever, Peach, both restrained (read: bungeed) to the back of the golf cart, by the designs of their fathers and unbeknownst to their mothers...
Cutest picture ever! Can't you just see those two walking down the aisle together? Someday.
I love Jesus, my husband, my beautiful girls, yellow labs, Clemson orange, running, reading, celebrities, The Amazing Race, real estate, the Bible, hiking, yoga, Sauvignon Blanc, kickboxing, wake boarding, Project Runway, skiing, traveling, and Mexican food.