Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The meaning of it all.

It's been said time and time again that "Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you breathe, but the moments that take your breath away..." And while I'm not a sucker for overused quotes, I have found this to be so extremely true.

When you're a parent, life just kinda blurs from one crisis to the next... from one skinned knee to the next one. Days of counting down the minutes until nap time. Cleaning up 12,353 Legos, only to turn around and find that they multiplied like rabbits in the Springtime. Cutting crusts off of sandwiches, trying to poke the straw into the Capri-Sun pouch, and working with all your might to eradicate the smell left by the dirty diapers you forgot about in the bottom of your trash can.

You know what I'm saying.

Recently in church, my dad (best pastor ever) said to us parents, "Enjoy every day... Because you'll blink and wonder where the time went. It goes that fast." I looked at my mom and said, "Does it? REALLY??? Because if this is fast, I sure as HECK don't want to see slow."

But you know what? I know it's true.

My nephew is three months old. He's only been on the outside for about 12 weeks. So brief a window of time, yet his mommy can barely remember him when he was seven pounds. And when I think of Abi being three months old? Yeeeeeah. I don't think she ever WAS three months old. There's been alot of moments between then and now. Moments that have meshed into one big lump sum of life.

Along the way, I've tried to take mental snapshots of moments that matter most. You know the moments as they're happening... Moments when your heart is full and your senses are tuned into what's happening. And while I don't have pictures for all the moments that have stolen my heart, here's a few that on days when I'm overwhelmed and sucked into the undertow of the mundane, bring me back to the things that should be focused on. (Pictures have captions after them.)

I love her face. When I saw this picture, it sobered me to the fact that my baby isn't so much "baby" anymore. Time is passing quicker than I realize. This picture brings me back to that fact.

I fell in love with this baby in Africa. I'll never forget his face. Such haunting eyes. His mama carried him with such love, close to her heart. When I took this picture, I remember thinking that whether we live in the USA or in a third world country, we love in the same language. We bleed the same. We would all lay our lives down for our babies. Love is love, no matter the country of its origin.

Seeing my husband dance with my baby sister at her wedding. I don't know what he was saying to her here... but I know his heart was full of pride and love for her. He loves her like she's his. I love that.

At the wedding, while the bridal party was getting pics made on the beach, we turn around, and sweet Abigail is writing "DAD" in the sand. All the hustle and commotion around her, and she's just seeing an opportunity to write in the sand. **sigh**

Rod had just gotten his Red Ryder BB Gun and was showing his Annie Oakley how to be a cowgirl. She was a pretty good shot.

A bath time with Abi. She was about three months old. I remember her sweet cooing like it was yesterday. LOVE her face. I froze this in my mind for days when I want to lock her out of the house.

Need I say more?

Spring Break, a few weeks ago. I was laughing at something Lori said (as usual) while feeding her babe. That was a wonderful week, filled with the people I laugh best and most with.

First picture we have with our men and our babies. I loved this moment because each man loves the other's child like his own and it was nice to capture it on "film". These are two good men right here. And our children are blessed more than they will ever know because of the fact that they have them to lead them.

Snow. It was divine. And nothing makes me happier than feeling Rod's cheek on mine.

An answer to prayer and a testimony to the healing power of God for a little boy. I love the joy on Lori's face. That week, she looked so "old" to me. Here, her youth was restored. She knew her boy was okay after all.

My sweet man with his two girls. I love it that Abi understood the love between us that this moment and wanted to be a part of it. After all... it's what got her here!

SERIOUSLY??? Yummy city, this boy. I had gone over to have lunch with him like I do at least once a week. He immediately turned on the charm. My heart melts when I'm with this little tater tot. He makes my soul dance.

I was sitting on the porch with my dad and his dad. I looked over and saw this. I knew it was a moment I wanted to freeze forever. If you only knew the depth of these two men. The world will forever be better because of them. It already is.

A family game night. LONG STORY SHORT- I yelled "Windex" at the wrong time, and out of control laughter ensued. We all remember it to this day, years later. Notice my Dad with his arms crossed in the background. And I love my Mom's face here while she's laughing.

I could go on and on. I get lost in time while I look at these. Here's the deal. Life is more than the sum of its parts. It is the actual parts themselves. Each moment, dissected down, represents skin to skin contact with the things that matter most. It's about laughing while we feed babies. It's about the freckles on her nose. It's about feeling the safety of the moment when you're holding his hand. It's about peanut butter sandwiches, band-aids on bumped elbows, and answering questions all day long.

One day, our homes will be quiet and we'll long for these days. Savor them while they're here.

That's what life is.

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