Love. It’s in the details.

Happy Valentine’s Day. As apart of my Valentine’s for my kids and Anthony I am making them lists of why I love them, and as I sat down to do it, it was almost an impossible task. Not that I don’t love them. But it is so hard to put into words why I love them like I do. It is hard to make something that is intangible, albeit real, into something concrete. Not to mention that whenever I try to put it into words it comes out sounding cliché and just doesn’t really quite capture what I am trying to say.

But, I wanted them to feel special. I wanted them to know that I really do love them for more reasons than because I am their mother, or because I chose to marry him. When I finally got down to the business of making the list I realized, its in the details. It is the little things they do each day that make up them. It is those things that make my heart swell with more love than I dare try to express.

But today, because it is Valentine’s Day, I will try.

To My Ethan:

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  1. Mommy loves you because you always want to be near me.
  2. Mommy loves you because you are you, and no one is going to change that.
  3. Mommy loves you because you hum most of the day while you play (and its usually something classical).
  4. Mommy loves you because when you sit on my lap you grab my hands and demand they be around you, and not messing with the computer, or my phone…etc.
  5. Mommy loves you because you want to be better – and you say so every time you get in trouble.
  6. Mommy loves you because you love your sisters, in fact you don’t call them sisters you call them your friends and they are your best friends.
  7. Mommy loves you because you let me squeeze you tight.
  8. Mommy loves you because you speak your mind. (At times this can be frustrating but, I always know where you stand.)
  9. Mommy loves you because you are eternally curious.
  10. Mommy loves you because you are a mini-version of your father.

To My Natalie:

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  1. Mommy loves you because you are honest. 100% completely honest, I know to ask if you want an honest opinion.
  2. Mommy loves you because you are a snuggler.
  3. Mommy loves you because you are determined to succeed.
  4. Mommy loves you because you expect a lot from yourself.
  5. Mommy loves you because you care about other people’s feelings.
  6. Mommy loves you because you always try to do what is right.
  7. Mommy loves you because you have a sense of adventure.
  8. Mommy loves you because you draw such detailed and thoughtful pictures.
  9. Mommy loves you because you are excited about life.
  10. Mommy loves you because your smiles are contagious, and your hugs are healing.

To My Isabella:

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  1. Mommy loves you because you made me a Mommy.
  2. Mommy loves you because you are so goal driven.
  3. Mommy loves you because you work hard at whatever it is you have set out to do.
  4. Mommy loves you because you are your little sister and brother’s protector.
  5. Mommy loves you because you are a little fashionista.
  6. Mommy loves you because you have a never ending thirst for knowledge like your dad.
  7. Mommy loves you because you like to cook us dinner.
  8. Mommy loves you because you still hug me at the bus stop.
  9. Mommy loves you because even though there are times you act 14 other times you still act like a little girl.
  10. Mommy loves you because you make breakfast for the kids on Saturday so I can sleep in!

To My Anthony:


  1. I love you because you send me sweet texts to tell me that you are thinking of me.
  2. I love you because you are someone my son can look up to.
  3. I love you because each night you tell me to “sleep sweet and wake me if you need me” – and you mean it.
  4. I love you because you’re kind hearted.
  5. I love you because you put my needs in front of your own.
  6. I love you because you work unbelievably hard at your job.
  7. I love you because you encourage me to try new things.
  8. I love you because you care about other people.
  9. I love you because you know how to say “I’m sorry.”
  10. I love you because you are my best friend.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by so much love in my life. The best part is that we as a family have made it a habit to give and show love everyday, not just on an appointed day of the year. We have a fun family tradition of playing the game “I love you because.” There are times we play it more often than others but when we do it always makes everyone smile and feel special and it is cute to see what things the kids pull out of our lives and love us for it. I don’t need the roses, the jewels and the big nights out (although all of those are nice, and TOTALLY welcome) – as cliché as it is…all I need is love. And because I have that, I am one lucky girl. 


Little BiG Boy

2012 is a big year for Ethan. It all started in January when he graduated from our church’s nursery class into Primary (which is for ages 3-11). In Primary he know attends a group lesson called Sharing Time, Singing Time and then goes to a class with about 9 other kids his age for a lesson and snack. Now instead of playing with toys for 2 hours he is expected to sit still and be quiet. Not the easiest task for Ethan.

Here he is on his first day in Primary:

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Doesn’t he look so handsome?

He loves his teacher Sister Johansen, although he calls her “MISTER” Johansen (when he remembers her name). A few weeks ago she gave them a cute little bear and told them he was their “Prayer Bear.” They were to go home and put it on their bed and when they see him he is supposed to remind them that their prayers need to be said. And he did, he ran it right into the house and put it on his bed. Now he holds it each night as he says his prayers.

I’m hoping that these new grown up expectations at church will help him with the next big thing. Last week I registered him for our state’s VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) program at the girl’s school. I was happy and sad all at the same time. Happy because I will be glad to be able to be more free to volunteer in the kid’s classrooms, I want to do some distance running training which will be easier to do when I have 3 hours a day to myself, also I can do grocery shopping without distraction, and I think the structure of school and a classroom will be really good for him.

I was sad because…well, he’s my baby. Because of his birthday he can start school almost a full year earlier than the girls did, so in a way I feel cheated of that time – although I know I don’t HAVE to put him in school, I could hold him back, and I am open to doing so if he isn’t ready. But with the extra time my girls were so overly ready to go that I hate to make him wait and feel the same way as well. So the plan, as of now, is that in August he will start school with the girls. He’ll be in half day, so I’ll still get half my day with him, and I think once he’s started and used to the routine he’ll love it.

My little boy is growing big. In fact, all my kids are. Now, more than ever, I wish I could stop time.

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So, its February 3rd and I am still milling around ideas of what I want 2012 to be for me. But, I think I have finally decided.It is not a specific list of goals and accomplishments, but rather one word keeps coming to mind when I think what I would like to be and to grow into in the year 2012.

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F – O – C – U – S – E – D .

Let me explain a bit.

Life is – well, crazy. Its busy for everyone and I truly believe that Satan works on us by keeping us busy, even busy with lots of good things can be just busy enough to keep us from the BETTER stuff. My goal, my hope, for 2012 is that I can tune out the noise and busy-ness of my day to day, to not be so wrapped up in it all and to focus in on those people who reside within the walls of my own home.

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This does not mean I will ignore friends, but it means I am becoming more and more aware of the shortness of time that I have with my 3 children. Granted there are still 10 years before Isabella turns 18, but, if they go anything like the past 8 well, then that’ll seem like next month. When my children look back on their childhood and life in our home I want them to say that their mom was focused on them, fought for them, taught them, encouraged them, loved them, and perhaps most importantly was always there for them. I hope that they will know that they were important to me because of my actions.

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Not to be over shadowed by the children is Anthony. When we had Isabella we made a decision to always remember that our relationship began before we had children.  All in all we have done well at remembering this and seeing our relationship in that way. However, in the busy-ness of life and motherhood its easy to collapse the moment the kids are in bed and tune out from everything. This year I want to remember to not allow the other roles in my life to over shadow that of wife, and to focus my attention on him, and on us.

So there you have it – 2012 is the year I focus on the 4 people who mean the most to me and be certain that nothing I do outside of them makes them feel unimportant or left behind. I imagine it like a photograph (surprise, surprise) – imagine a portrait with my little family of 5 front and center totally in crisp focus, but all around and behind us are our extended family, friends, responsibilities – everything that is good and important in our life but it is just a bit out of focus suggesting that for me the our 5 is the most significant thing in the portrait.

Now, I wrote all the above on Friday evening, but never posted it. Then this morning (Saturday) I went on pinterest and saw this:


It is exactly what I have been thinking, feeling, and what I was trying to express last night. It is my motto for 2012. Focused.