The last few weeks I have been feeling like life is delicate.  I feel emotions well up inside me when I close the boys' bedroom door at night, each one tucked cozily in bed with their favorite bubba clenched in their pudgy pink fingers.

I feel gratitude for their presence in my life, and panic for how quickly time is passing.  I feel peace in knowing they are safe, together, in their room and I feel excitement for what phases are yet to come.

Something is especially precious about this time with the baby.  He is 13 months old now, and still not walking.  Before I know it he will be cruising the couch, then taking his first tentative steps, and the transition from baby to toddler will happen.

 I know this because I have seen it.  
These boys, these four-year-olds in navy blue Croc boots, playing cars at a picnic table one campsite over, used to be my babies. They used to sit in a puddle of thigh pudge, playing contentedly with stacking rings.  Now they are swimming, bike riding, helping with their little brother... becoming big boys.

 I struggle to manage the delicate balance of sharing my boys and enjoying them myself.  I want so badly at the end of each day to know I did right by them.  That I was patient and giving of myself to them. And that I was present.

But with knowing we leave for home in three weeks, I also want them to spend more time with family.  More time with aunts, grandmas, cousins and papas.

 I went to the doctor today because my cycles have been strange. I am hoping everything comes back normal, and I'm sure they will, but just the thought that something could be wrong, that I could lose all this, terrifies me.  To not be here for this, for their lives, would kill me.

 I am going to be thirty this year. Three decades I have spent on this planet, and I have to say that the last four years, being a mother, has taught me more than all the previous years combined.  I feel that I understand the world better now.  I know why people act the way they do, and I understand that no matter how long you live, it simply isn't long enough.

My sister's little one, Ferris, is the funniest kid ever. I love him.  He calls me 'Aunt Shelly' now, never just 'Shelly'.  And when Roxanne tells him what to do and he doesn't like it, he tells her, "Stop. Wait. Be nice, mommy." Oh my goodness, he cracks me up.
He also has a sensitive side.  Like when Roxanne sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, he cries.  I think he gets it from me. (okay, not really... but I cry when I hear certain songs, too.)

Today I heard 'Was That My Life" by Jo Dee Messina and I shed some tears.

I close my eyes and think how lucky I have been
To hold the ones I love and share my dreams with them
All those sunny days and all those starry skies
Good morning kisses and sweet goodnights

I can't tell them enough

Just how much that they are loved

When I left Vancouver in January, 
which feels like a hundred years ago, 
I was ready. 

I was ready to go to Marshall. I was ready to live with Josh. 
I was ready to have my family reunited. 
I was ready to leave Vancouver. 

My readiness to go was my blessing.  
It allowed me to leave all I ever knew without so much as a glance backward.

Now that we have been together nearly eight months
- three boys, two parents, one happy family-
and now we have spent the summer here, in the beautiful Northwest, surrounded by extended family and beloved friends, I am absolutely dreading our departure.
Leaving everyone sounds awful.  Not seeing my nephews for months, not hugging my mom or sister, not laughing with Carol, Carl or Samuel as we sit casually around the living room, sounds awful.

But I have to admit that I am looking forward to my arrival.  
Leaving? No. 
Landing? Yes.
There are so many things I am looking forward to at home in Marshall.  I am anticipating our own space, our old schedule and doing pre-school with the twins.  I am excited to see old friends and meet new staff.  I am curious what late summer will be like in Alaska, as well as fall and heading into the darkness.

I have grown in this, my twenty-ninth year on the planet, and for that I am grateful.  I have learned that I don't have to choose.  That I can love Alaska and I can love Washington. Just as loving Logan does not mean I can't love Jack.  I have learned that I can love my own family and my family of origin.  I have learned that life is fragile, {delicate, as I put it} and that each day must be treasured.
If I died tomorrow, I am sure that my boys would know without a doubt they were my world.  Josh would know I loved him as my soulmate and my best friend. My love for them would be my legacy.
This kind of growing & learning has its pains.  There have been tears, and a plethora of emotions, some of which I felt ill prepared to cope with.  But from those most uncomfortable moments came growth, marked by changes in my thinking, my behavior, and my relationships.

My new favorite quote?  

“I exist as I am, that is enough.” 
–Walt Whitman

I am me.  Whatever that may mean at any given moment.  
In this delicate existence we call life, just being present where I am is enough.


an exciting life

So I was on the phone yesterday with a girl from the Vancouver Clinic, making a shots appointment for Wyatt & a follow up for me.  She wanted to confirm she had the right address.  

 Yep, I told her, the PO Box is accurate. We live in rural Alaska during the school year, my husband is a teacher, and we are just here for the summer.  

Is it always dark there? she asked.

 I told her no.  That where we live it does get mostly dark-- about four hours of sunlight at the most, but that in the summer it's mostly light. You get both extremes.

 We continued on, making appointments and figuring schedules when I told her that one particular day wouldn't work because the twins have Grandma's Camp. 

 Twins?!? she asked.  Wow, you have an exciting life!

This stuck with me, and I can't stop thinking about it.  

 I guess I really do have an exciting life.  

 For some reason her saying that really made it hit home.  

I am living an adventure.  

 And I am kind of excited to get back to it. 

 Meanwhile we are making the most of our time here,
enjoying family, friends & the Great Northwest.

 I miss blogging and will be happy to get back into my routine of consistent blogging.  

I appreciate everyone who has mentioned they miss me... miss the blog.

 After a while I started to wonder if my life is really all that exciting to read about, but you loyal readers have made it clear you miss my posts & that makes my heart swell. 

 Thank you!