Welcome to My Blog

What is there to tell about your life?

I’ll tell you what there is to tell about mine; everything. Please don’t panic and click the back arrow. My intent is not to share every boring or gory detail. Rather, I long to reveal both the mundane and miraculous aspects of my life in which God shows up and reminds me that He is my everything. And, everything He does is worth telling.

Please browse around and join the conversation. I’m excited we can begin this storytelling journey together. I hope you are too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Happy Birthday Letter

Yesterday our baby turned four. On his first birthday I wrote him a Happy Birthday letter. I’ve written one every birthday since and will continue the tradition.

Whenever I read that first letter the tenderness of my words touch me. The letters I write now are all about his accomplishments; how big he is, the funny things he says and does, but the first letter is all about how much our hearts grew when he came into our lives.

It’s my joy to share that first birthday letter with you; I hope it encourages you to write Happy Birthday letters to your children too.

Happy Birthday Matthew,

A year ago we were anxiously waiting for you to make your entrance into this world. We imagined what you would be like…who you would look like…how big you would be…how cute you would be. Brandon talked about teaching you how to play hockey and go dirt bike riding and your Dad was busy thinking about all the things he would do to look after us. And, your mom just wanted to hear your first cry, see your sweet face and know that you were healthy and happy to be in the world…happy to join the Early family.

If you only know one thing for sure in this world, know that you are loved! Know that we prayed for you…we hoped for you…we loved you even before we knew we were going to have you. While your dad and I were dating we talked about having a baby…we talked about how much fun it would be to give Brandon a little brother and we thought about how much love a baby would bring into our family.

Your big brother started asking for you the day after your dad and I got married!!! It’s true, he couldn’t wait for you. He asked me almost every day if I was pregnant yet and when I finally answered ‘yes’ he didn’t believe me…I had to show him the pregnancy test.

So little one, know this for sure…you were a wish all our hearts made, you were a prayer all our lips spoke and you were loved by all of us then, now, forever and for always.

Happy first birthday to our precious little boy!

Mom, Dad & Brandon

Monday, May 18, 2009

Celebration of Life

“Good morning sweetie,” I said. “Time to get up, today is your celebration of life birthday party at school.” I tickled his toes and asked, “Did you grow overnight?” I think he did.

The Celebration of Life ceremony is a Montessori school tradition to honor a child’s birthday and mark the passage of time.

Yesterday we made a poster with pictures from each year of his life. We picked a sweet one from the day he was born and underneath we wrote his birthday: May 24, 2005. We had fun looking through our favorite pictures and chose a few for each year: his first haircut, riding the Thomas train we rented for his 2nd birthday and a collage of all the sports he learned at three … soccer, swimming, skating and riding his bike.

We brought the poster and some snacks with him to school. The teacher asked all the children to sit in a circle and the celebration began. She lit a candle and placed it in the middle of the circle. Matthew sat beside her on a mat. In front of them were four additional candles, one for each year of his life. She handed him a globe and asked him to walk to the centre of the circle; this represents the passage of time as the earth revolves around the sun.

As he walked around the candle, the children sang a celebration song to the tune of “Here we go round the mulberry bush" …

“Here we go around the sun, around the sun, around the sun. Here we go around the sun until the year is done.”

During the ceremony the teacher asked me how big he was and how much he weighed when he was born. We talked about what he was like when he was a baby. Then he walked around the circle with his poster showing each of his friends his baby picture. He sat back down by his teacher and they looked at the pictures from when he was one. Everyone liked the picture of him getting his first haircut. They repeated the birthday walk around the candle for each year of his life. When he finished his four year walk they sang happy birthday and he blew out the candles. All of his friends gave him a hug as he walked around the circle one last time.

Then they all enjoyed the snack we prepared. Matthew wanted me to sit beside him, a place of honor I knew I wouldn’t always have when he grows older. Tomorrow morning, I’ll walk in his room and say, “Good morning sweetie, time to get up.” I’ll tickle his toes and ask, “Did you grow again?” I already know the answer; it’s the same answer I’ll get every morning as I watch my baby grow into a boy overnight.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our First Mother's Day

Sheepishly, he pushed the pink piece of construction paper folded like a card across the table. I opened it and read the words scrawled across the page in red marker:

Roses r red
Vilotes are blue
Sugar and you are sweet
And mama I love you!

Mama. He usually called me Kristin. When his dad and I got engaged Brandon said he’d call me mom but after the wedding he said it was too hard because he was used to calling me Kristin. I understood; his dad and I dated for more than a year before we were married. I could see how a 13 year-old would find the shift difficult. But deep down I wondered … was it just a change in vocabulary that was too hard? Would we truly develop a mother – child bond? These questions rolled around in my heart on this, my first Mother’s Day.

The waiter came to the table and took our order. The restaurant was the white table cloth kind, a treat after church to celebrate the day. I opened the card again, read the words and smiled. Then all of a sudden Brandon outstretched his hand, in it he held a small grey box.

“Here” he said. “Open it. And when someone asks you where you got it, tell them your son gave it to you.”

The treasure inside was a sweet, silver heart with a small cross in the center. All those fears rumbling in my heart quieted and I realized this wasn’t just my first Mother’s Day; it was our first Mother’s Day.

Today, six years after I received my first Mother’s Day Heart Necklace, I received another. A beautiful silver heart on which four colored birthstone’s hang, one for each of us: Robb, Kristin, Brandon & Matthew.

When Brandon asked me why I wasn’t wearing the necklace he gave me many years ago I told him my heart and our family had grown bigger since our first mother’s day. But the fact that he asked reminded me that on our first Mother’s Day, he gave me more than a necklace, he gave me a piece of his heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms’s who carry a piece of their children’s heart in their own.