Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dear Hadley Pearl,

 It's Easter Sunday and me and you are still stuck here in the hospital waiting to go home. 

 Which means I've had a lot of time to think -- to gaze at your perfect little face and think-- she's here! 

 I wondered if I'd get a girl. 
Wondered if The Lord thought I was more suited for rambunctious boys.  

 People asked all the time, if I hoped for a girl and I had some scripted answer that focused on how much fun my boys were, deflecting the real question. 

Cuz deep down, of course I did.  

I wanted you so bad! 


Even in all that longing, I was nervous. 

Perhaps Eve would tell us it has always been a complicated thing to be a women, but I think she'd agree that today's world is getting more and more complex for females all the time.  


You live in a world that tells you you can do  and be anything.  
And you can.  

You can wear tutus or transformers masks or both. 
You can love sports without hating shopping. 
You can be strong and still cry (which if you have any of your mamma in you...)

You have a unique identity you will need to honour (and which you needn't limit to any one faucet of what will surely be your diverse personality).

So many possibilities.  
And so many choices.  
You are capable of so much, yet capacity is not, nor has it ever really been, the issue.  
Remember in all the "women's issues" this truth from  James E. Talmage:

“The world's greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ.”

So in all that you choose, my dear Hadley-- choose to be His. 
His faithful covenant Daughter. 

There is nothing else that will give you the true esteem, sense of worth, purpose and belonging that we all inevitably seek, like knowing 
You are a daughter of God, who loves you.  

I don't care if you are a princess or a poet or a politician.  
 But I do care if your happy; and that you have peace, hope and most definatley love. 

And I testify that making and keeping covenants in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to do that. 

The world is only going to get more confusing, the voices more contrary and more convincing. 

Only the sure voice of the Spirit can tell you who you truly are. Who you have always been and who you are destined to become. There is so much room, room for us all in the Kingdom of God, room for all the uniquely beautiful children of our Heavenly Parents-- it is with them that we find our true home and our true selves. 
The lives we are meant to live. 

I have always loved this quote from Pres Benson:
"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life."

That's all I want for all my children. For each of you to find out what the Lord would have you do and do it. To ask Him for a vision of who you are meant to be and become that person. 

I admit, I haven't had quite as few little whisperings as I did with your brothers. Maybe they'll come yet. But then maybe it's because I'm learning more and more that the power of our lives comes through choices. 
And not necessarily "big ones" we stress about and think are so important. But the little everyday ones that reveal to us what our heart truly wants.  

I know that you Hadley, counselled with your Father in Heaven (the same way I hope you will counsel with us through out life)  I can picture Him as He listened to you as you poured out all you wanted to get out of this one-time mortal life experience. All you hoped and dreamed. What worried or scared you. You talked with Him about the hard things you'd have to deal with (maybe you even chatted about me) and He helped you to accept it all.

He already knows your heart.  

Now, Hadley, it's your turn.  

You will come to know how strong you are, and sometimes, how weak. You will find out, with every choice what your 
eternal soul really wants.  

And I will be there watching. As my own soul comes to know itself still too.  
Together we can both change and grow and give up tainted expectations for eternal ones. 

Your brothers, I'm meant to guide and shape and point in the right direction and even give them a little shove if needs be.  

But for you, my Hadley girl-- my Pearl, you, I am to watch.

Watch and learn how beautiful a daughter of God who knows who she is and why she's here can be.  

Hopefully you can watch me too-- and even if sometimes you only learn from my clear example of what not to do-- I hope you will trust that I am trying. Because there is one thing I know about my eternal soul, it really wants to be good. So I will always be trying.

Most us women do.  

We try so hard we get tangled up in our own efforts.  

But we can always get untangled. 
Christ makes our many messups, cleanupable. 
Forgiving each other, 
forgiving ourselves.  

So many lessons for a woman's heart.  

And my dear daughter, I'm so happy to have you to share that with. 
Even if we don't always do that so directly. I've come to appreciate one of the great gifts of the Atonement, is understanding beyond our own.  

I hope, despite our inevitable misunderstandings, that eventually and ultimately The Lord will help us understand one another, even if we have to wait to the next life for that to happen in all it's completeness.  

 Because I already completely love you.  So much. 
 I'm ready to watch. To watch you become all you were meant to be. 
I am ready to be amazed. 

Oh wait, I already have been. And you just got here. 

With more love than I thought possible,  

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Mom of Boys chapter

I should have written this last week. 

But I was too "busy" being the unique kind of anxious that only 40 weeks of pregnancy can induce (accidental pun, but I like it). 

But even as "ready" as I was to have my baby girl enter our lives, I felt a definite little chapter of our life wrapping up, and I admit there was a slight reluctance to turn the page. 

It was a GOOD chapter. 

After I had Levi, I wondered so much about the next baby, to the point of distraction, where I realized I just wanted to enjoy where we were at. 

So, I did what I do, and said,  "Lord, I know you don't have to tell me (cuz I know You're big on your kids learning trust and all that) but I was just wondering, if You wouldn't mind, giving me a bit of a game plan... Just ball park..." (Okay maybe my prayer didn't sound quite like that, but it was the gist). 

And, because He knows me so well, The Lord decided to tell me. 
Which was a great gift. 
After 3 babies in the first 5 years of marriage (years of moving, and Ben's work being -- let's see, what shall we say, a bit demanding?--Aaron's diagnosis and just the normal stress of babies and toddlers and me figuring out how the heck to even be a mom to begin with -- 

The Lord offered me a slightly different chapter. 

Not that it wasn't still filled with the day to day trials of a young family... 
But not quite as young. 

A bit more school, a few less diapers, the occasional night of actual honest to goodness sleep(!!!!) made quite a difference. 

There are just so many phases when raising families. 
All challenging, but in different ways. 

Different chapters in our family's book. 

So before this chapter ends, I want to remember. 

Remember how awesome it felt every time I could walk in and out of somewhere with my 3 boys following-- everyone walking! No one in a crazily heavy car seat, or slung on my hip!
 I never got over how awesome that was! Even with Levi who loves to dart across parking lots because he thinks he's so fast he can just "beat" the cars. 
It was good to out  my heavy babies down for a while and hold their little hands instead. 

Ooo! I want to remember that too! 
Holding my little boys hands. 

Aaron who likes to link fingers and squeeze, and smell my arm as we walk silently, both happy to get time together. 
McKye who is so busy chasing after friends and exploring other connections, that if I get the rare chance to swing hand in hand with him and ask him about kindergarten or answer all his random questions, it's just so nice.
Or Levi, who when I start singing "I wanna hold ..." has learned to finish singing his own little version of " your ha-a-a-a-an-nd"  (their Beatles loving momma  also sings "Close your eyes and i'll kiss you" and "yesterday" as lullabies). Me and Levi also have our little ritual of after dropping off his brothers to school,  he looks at me and says with little excited face "Just you and me mum!"  and I say back, "Just you and me!"

I've loved getting to know my boys better. Their individual personalities, their quirks, their struggles and their strengths. The little people they already are. 

I got to settle in a bit this chapter. Had a bit of time with no nursing schedule claiming my body, just 3 little sidekicks ready to go run and explore along side their mom who was content supervising from a bit farther away, with a friend to chat with or a book to read. 

I love the roughness of my boys that highlighted their tenderness. 
I love the easiness of the t-shirts and shorts (three at a time if your Levi) 
and how if I needed to, I could do their hair with a bit of water from the fountain as we walked into church. 
I love the superheroes and the trampoline tricks. 
I love that Levi has a pile of rocks under his pillow right now, his "collection".
I love the love notes (and how McKye went through a phase where he'd write "like" on all his notes, accept the ones to me)

I love blowing and catching  kisses at the door and stuffing them in my pocket. 
I love that my boys are still young enough to kiss me on the lips and that they
always follow it up with a big hug and an "I luv you mum."

I love that a lot of this "chapter" is on this blog and that not all these things are just because I had boys. 

I will never forget, being stuck at the airport, Aaron in tow, pregnant with McKye. 
I was flying back to our temporary home in the states, where Ben was working that summer. I'd been to the doctors that morning and found out I was having baby boy number two and hadn't even told Ben. There was a lady with two teenage sons, who was watching me (remembering probably) and we started chatting. I ended up telling her I was having another boy. And she smiled. And then in this sweet accent she had (maybe Italian?) with her almost men sons, leaning their sleepy heads on each of her shoulders she said, 
"Oh da boys, day, love-uh dar mommas."

I'm grateful to have had these "boys years" to experience that special love, that unique bond. 

I'll miss, my little "Bretzke boys out!" and signing things "love Chelsea and her boys". 

Like I said, it was a fun chapter. 

And now heading back into baby world? 
I'm good.
Ready to face the milk-drenched sleeplessness and breath in  all it's sweetness-- this time with the perspective that it really doesn't last forever.

I know, people tell us moms that all the time. 
But I use to hear it as a threat (not that they meant it that way)-- that I darn well enjoy every single moment before it was gone and all that was left was my own maternal regret because I couldn't grasp the beauty of it all amidst the hours of colicky crying!

Now I tell myself the same thing, but more as a promise. 

It's okay, you're delirious from sleep deprivation and can't seem to be a nice person, it won't last forever. 

It's okay you're frustrated right now with the bickering or the constant mess or another dinnertime witching hour-- it won't last forever. 

Last Saturday, I thought for sure I was going to go into labour and my sister in law (who has been so awesome this whole year helping out with my boys) had to head to Cardston and decided she'd take the boys with her, just in case.  Ben is in the busy time of work and headed off early with a nonchalant, "Call me if you go into labor" 

I didn't. And he didn't get home til 11. 
A whole day in my quiet house alone. 

Sounds like heaven right. 

Perhaps feeling as big as a bus and totally exhausted added to my restlessness, but I was pretty bored, pretty quick. 

I finished a couple books and sorted a few baby things, but it took such a small amount of time for me to miss the craziness of my boys.

I thought of what Pres.  Monson said: 
"If you are still in the process of raising children be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled, will disappear all too soon, and that you will, to your surprise, miss them, profoundly."
And realized it's true. 

No matter how hard it is, these are wonderful chapters, I wouldn't trade for anything.

So onward to this new chapter. 

My life as the mom of all boys was good.  So good. 

And now those three boys get to be big brothers to a sister. 

An new exciting chapter. 

And I can't wait.