Eze the Romantic

Love letters

Love letters

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Ioway

I loved our weekend. We headed down to God’s Country (aka Northwest IA) to celebrate my cousin’s son, Jacob’s graduation.  The boys got to meet a one-month old calf being bottle fed by my cousin’s daughter, Emma, since the calf’s mama died this spring. Her name (the calf) is Ellie. Simon was fascinated with the poop, and the “tinky mell” (stinky smell). Ezekiel desperately wanted to get close enough to pet her, but his little body must exude too much excitement, because she was jumpy around him. Ezekiel, however, DID get to pick up some kitties and carry them around (poor kitties), and he thoroughly enjoyed that. Ezekiel proposed to Emma (yep, his second cousin) through some notes at church this morning. That boy can’t help but love blonde hair, blue eyes, and pretty smiles. Simon, in the meantime, moo’ed at all of the cows he saw, and commented on nearly every car we saw this weekend.

This part of Iowa is where I was born, and where my mom’s family lives. We spent A LOT of time there throughout my childhood, and I was excited to show the boys the beauty and peace there. They loved it. We didn’t even have time to get over to my aunt’s farm, which would have absolutely blown their minds. Next time, I guess. Dave and I enjoyed wine tasting, good conversation, and relaxing at a fairly new B&B just down the gravel road from the family farms.

We did get to go to the church my mom’s family attends. Where my parents were married. Where I spent many Sundays staring out the stained glass windows, counting the circles in the ceiling tiles, watching the fans spin, chewing gum my gran would sneak to us when we got antsy, and writing notes to my sisters while we were supposed to be listening to the sermon. I love that church; it always smells the same, the faces are familiar and smiling, and it holds so many memories for me. When we were sitting in the sermon, Eze stared around the sanctuary with a smile on his face and whispered, “MOM! I’ve never been in this church before!!”

Toward the end of our trip, my mom headed over to my gran’s house to pick up her photo albums and bring them to her apartment. My gran moved out of her house 7 years ago, and it was strange and kind of comforting to walk in there and still see mostly everything the way she left it when she moved out. There were coupons sitting on the counter from way back then. The toys we played with when we were kids were still in the closets. Pictures of the way we all looked 7+ years ago still sitting in frames on shelves all around the house. I took pictures of anything that brought back memories for me. So that means I took lots of pictures.

Sir Ezekiel decided to kick his flip flop off at the B&B. It landed in the gutter, so he and Uncle Rich fished it down.

Sir Ezekiel decided to kick his flip flop off at the B&B. It landed in the gutter, so he and Uncle Rich fished it down.

Even sleepy, Si doesn't give up a chance to play with cars.

Even sleepy, Si doesn’t give up a chance to play with cars.

Grandpa and Grandma's house.

Grandpa and Grandma’s house.

The living room. And where all of us cousins would plop our sleeping bags for a great big slumber party.

The living room. And where all of us cousins would plop our sleeping bags for a great big slumber party.

Old pictures

Old pictures

The kitchen where I spent lots of time snitching junk food and twirling on the spinny chairs.

The kitchen where I spent lots of time snitching junk food and twirling on the spinny chairs.

Gran's view from the kitchen.

Gran’s view from the kitchen.

Mama’s Day

This year, Mother’s Day felt different. I had a hard time getting into the swing of celebrating. I just kept thinking about the other women who are aching to be moms, waiting to be moms, mourning the loss of a child, and remembering how hard this day has been for me in years past. I’m not sure what it was about today.

My boys treated me just right with a super cute card, delicious muffins, and being quiet so I could sleep in a little this morning. We headed off to church (only 10 minutes late, nearly a record for the Reebs 4!), and Simon was struggling with not wanting to go to Sunday School and crying. I decided to stay in there with him to help him out, and he had a great morning there. (He had loved Sunday School for many weeks. But when he started daycare a couple of weeks ago, he started having some intense separation anxiety). We stopped to grab some sandwiches on the way home, and then biked to an arboretum to eat lunch with my family. It was colder than I had anticipated, so insisted on heading out right after lunch so that I could snuggle under my warm blankets for an afternoon nap. We were going to try and surprise the boys with an afternoon trip to the movie theater, but Simon woke up 7 minutes after the movie started, and I was bummed that we had to miss out on that fun. We ended the day with a nice pork chop dinner with the fam, and a fun bath time for the boys.

When I was feeling down today, my mom came to give me a hug and asked if I was okay. I told her that I was having a hard time with today, and that sometimes I feel like I’m better at working than being a Mom. She told me I’m good at both things, and that without me, my boys wouldn’t have their big, fun personalities that they have. She said other kind things that I needed to hear about Simon asking for me more, and being more affectionate with me. And she’s right. I think I just needed someone else to point it out to me. I’m one seriously lucky mama.

My favorite parts from the day:

– This morning at Sunday School, I was asking a little girl if she made her mom a Mother’s Day gift. She told me, “Yep, I made her a Christmas tree! …I’m wearing undies”.

– When we were out at my parents’ house, Simon had gone outside with the rest of the kiddos without asking Dave or I if he could go outside. I came out and sternly told him to, “Come here”. He came over to me and I told him that he had made a naughty choice, and that he needs to ask Mom or Dad to go outside. Dave told me that he came in the house, walked over to him with his shoulders down and a dejected look on his face. Dave asked him what was wrong. Simon answered, “Mommy say ‘irduwah'”. (irduwah = ‘come here’ in Korean). I love that he translated what I had said into Korean and told Dave! He proceeded to try and convince all of the adults in the room that they should take him outside.

– At the dinner table, Ezekiel asked if “we could all please sing Happy Mother’s Day like Happy Birthday”. And then at bedtime, he prayed the longest prayer ever (to try and get out of bedtime), and thanked God for his whole family (grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins included), his teacher Mrs W and each of her children, the orphanage where he lived, Simon and his ‘ha mae nah’ (foster mom), “that we can adopt people”, that Moms smile on Mother’s Day, that Jesus give us all the holidays, that Christmas will be here sometime, and that Jesus made all of us.

Those boys make me smile. I love being their mama. Even on the hard days, when my mind gets the best of me. They help me take myself less seriously, and put a smile in my heart.

My encouraging mama, and awesome little men. I feel loved.

My encouraging mama, and awesome little men. I feel loved.

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