Tuesday, August 21, 2012


While texting with my daughter today, I sent one that said "...time for a nap for me." And she replied "I''m going to take one too."

And I thought "how neat that the W girls are napping together...only 400 miles apart."

Then the memory came.

My kids napped at home until the first day of kindergarten.  There is a reason kindergartners have rest time....Five -year-olds need naps.

And so do the mothers of five-year-olds.  At least at our house, that was the case.

After Blake started school, there were a couple of years during which it was just us girls at home between the hours of eight and three.

And the napping hour was a magical one.

Not because my preschooler was asleep and quiet, but because we napped together.

Each day at 12:30, we would gather up a book or two...or three or six...and head to my bed. We'd prop ourselves up on lots of pillows and pull a blanket over us. And we'd lie there and read.

Until my girl's eyes couldn't stay open any longer, we'd read one story after another.

And when she finally gave into sleep, I'd quietly set the books aside and fold myself around her. And I'd sleep.

I trained myself to sleep for one hour. It's amazing what mothers can do with their internal clocks. Every day, I'd wake up right at an hour after Kayla fell asleep. 

After that hour, I'd ease myself out of the bed and tip toe into the kitchen to make an after school snack for her and her  big brother, and to start supper.

About an hour after I'd wake up, my girl would come into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes and clutching her blanket. You all know how wonderfully irresistible a sleepy preschooler is, right? Well, because she was so irresistible, I'd always stop my work and gather her into my lap in one of the blue chairs. And she'd curl into me and sip on some juice while she gradually woke up. And always, every day, I'd put my lips on her forehead and kiss her.

And then I'd whisper "I think some monkeys made a nest in your hair while you were asleep." And she'd giggle very very softly.

And then the energy returned and she'd unfold herself from my lap and go on about the business of a three-or-four-year-old.

And I'd hear the school bus and go to the door to greet her brother and talk about his day, which was usually a very brief conversation because he was not one for details.

And then evening at the W house would continue.

And so would the sweetest of memories. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012



Operating room, incision, "IT'S A GIRL!" Pain, recovery, adjustment, fatigue, fevers, earaches. worry. Blessed.


Rested, first teeth, first smiles, first steps,  first words, ribbons, lace, ruffles, bows.


Potty training, dance lessons, preschool, tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus. KINDERGARTEN.


Brownies, Girls Scouts, band concerts, music programs, best friends, piano lessons, hurt feelings.


Junior high, team sports, slumber parties, shopping, school dances, class projects, softball, softball, softball.


High school, leadership, service, diligence, friendships, dating, ball gowns, softball, an acceptance letter. A tiara and sash. Queen.

A cap, a gown, lists, packing, plans, excitement, counting. Flying away. 

Saturday, August 04, 2012


Two days after making the first "senior slide show" for Kayla, I updated it because I had left out a couple of her major events - the National Honor Society Induction over which she presided, the school musical (Foorloose!) and the Veterans Day Assembly at which she spoke.

Frankly, this slideshow could be 1,000 slides long but a mother must stop somewhere.  *sigh*

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Saturday, July 28, 2012


Dear Blake,
So many thoughts are swirling through my head on this day; this day that is such a milestone birthday.

You came to us so easily. It seems we decided to start a family and within a few months we learned you were on the way.  "A textbook pregnancy," is the term the doctor kept throwing around at each of my visits.  You were not to be delivered quite so easily but not because you or I were in distress; but, merely because you had decided you'd rather stay where you were and not bother with the outside world; thus the c-section which brought you to us with your perfectly round head that earned you the name "pumpkin head" by all the nurses in the nursery.  Seems your head and the teeny tiny bit of red hair upon it made them think of fall bounty. 

They simply made me think of Heaven.

I have a confession to make, though.

I wanted a girl. Or, at least I thought I did. I had this silly notion that I wanted a girl to dress up in pink and lace and satin bows.  And then.  Then you were born and I eventually got to hold you and I felt so silly for thinking a boy just wasn't for me. Of course, I had wanted a boy. Who wouldn't want a boy? Everybody needs a boy.

Especially one like you.

 God knew what he was doing; and of course he gave me my breathtaking little girl a few years later. I am such a blessed mother to have had a world filled with fire trucks AND baby dolls.

You were the sweetest, most compliant little guy a mother could ask for. Your toddler and preschool years were so easy and magical.  It seems you woke up each morning and decided your job for the day was to make me smile.  ALL DAY LONG.   My biggest challenge with you was keeping up with your vocabulary. That and finding books you enjoyed; when you were four, you informed me you only wanted to "read stories that were true." 

Yes, I did have to ask the children's librarian at the Decatur library: "Excuse me, ma'am? Where might I find non fiction for preschoolers?"  And it was a challenge I had to meet weekly, as we visited the library at least that often; and I placed no limit on the amount of books you could check out. 

You could not be bothered with talking bears that lived in a tree and carried flashlights. You wanted to learn about the White House and the men who had lived there. You wanted to learn about Marin Luther King, Jr.  And, as you informed me when you were in first grade, you wanted Peter Jennings' job.

I always said your vocabulary was bigger than you were and you often left me slack jawed and mute with your responses and requests. I wanted to look around and find the 30 year old college professor who had taken over my toddler's body. 

When I look at the man you have become, I cannot stop my heart from beating just a little faster. I cannot stop my eyes from filling with tears. You have made me so proud with your choices, your independence, your diligence, your loyalty.

I want to list some of my sweetest memories of your childhood; but time and space limit me.  For now, just know that this birthday, your 21st, is one that your family will always remember.  Knowing that you chose to come home and spend this time in Central Illinois with us...well...it is overwhelming.  Knowing that you only wanted one thing for this birthday - to go to Wrigley Field with your dad...well, it makes me fall in love with HIM all over again because I absolutely love seeing you guys together.  You are so lucky to have him but we are lucky to have you.

As you move forward into your very bright future, know that we love you, we are proud of you, and we stand behind you all the way.

Happy 21st Birthday, Son.

You have blessed me so.

Friday, July 13, 2012


When that LAST first day of school arrived for my girl in August of 2011, I had a checklist in my mind; at the top of which was "get that homecoming float built." 

I knew, though, that the year would fly by and it certainly did; full of one event after another that reminded me that the clock was ticking away on this chapter. The pages of the calendar turned so quickly this past year.

I am so very very thankful that KaylaBeth embraced her highschool years and squeezed so much joy out of this phase of her life. I'm especially thankful that I was able to enjoy every bit of it with her.  She and her friends have made me laugh more than I ever dreamed possible with teenagers. My cup runs over.

For you younger moms who read this; it really does happen in a blink.  But don't despair, each phase is wonderful and magical.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

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Thursday, July 12, 2012


Different school, different hairdo. Same dress and same boy.

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Friday, May 11, 2012


Sweet Mercy. My cup runs over lately.

 I knew that my daughter was creating a special Mother's Day gift for me. I knew that she was working on it in the art room at school.

When she offered to let me have it early, I said "absolutely; if it will make you happy, dear."

 She carried it in from her car and I caught a glimpse of it behind her back.

Even before I saw the whole creation, my face crumpled and I began to weep.

THIS is my newest treasure. The W house now has a priceless painting in its dining room.

 My children....captured by my daughter's creative eye and talented hands. My heart cannot contain all this happy.