Twelve years old today. This beautiful boy. His feet are huge and his voice is deep. But the critical thing is this - his heart is the hugest and deepest aspect of him.

He is a runner and a pitcher and he stands tall, back straight, and competes with everything in him. And that is what's in him - straight and true all the way.

He has always talked to everyone and everyone has always talked back. He is naturally full of questions and chatter and friendly banter, like his great-grandfather.

Adorable too!

 I stood looking at him last night with his head on his pillow. I traced the sign of the cross on his forehead and breathed my prayer. I kissed his cheek and told him I loved him. In a deliberately extra deep "man" voice he said, "I love you too Mom." I laughed and he grinned. My joy at being his mom is something so vast I can only work to convey to him some portion of it - a cup of water from that ocean of love and gratitude.

Dancing with beautiful bridesmaid Jacqueline at his sister's wedding.
Dancing with his sister. 

I can see it now, in his build, his face, his dance moves! He's going to be really grown up really fast. He's an old soul and a spiritual person. As he told me once a few years ago, "I'm naturally reverent." He's also pure delight!

Every age and all the giggles and grins will be in my heart, even when I'm looking up at him to ask if he's hungry (the answer is always "yes").

It's almost unbelievable this amazing child is mine. I don't deserve him but I'm thankful for him every day. He is truly a blessing.

Happy 12th Birthday Handsome! I sure do love you...




My baby, my youngest, turns 7 today.

There is a cozy little house inside me where the rooms have large windows and deep chairs; everything whitewashed and sunlit, warm and inviting. I've come and gone from this little house during my life. It's a place of quiet intimacy where God whispers through every thought, each breath.

As Matthew has grown, this little home has slowly closed up. After his birth I cradled him as we moved from one room to the next, as I'd done with my other babies, but this time the light went out behind us, the door closing as we moved along. With the realization that my body would never again be home to a growing, stretching, kicking little person - that gift would not come my way again - the door to that miraculous space clicked and locked as I moved on, cradling my last newborn baby.

The hungry little thing stopped breastfeeding and again I held him in my arms, pulling another door shut behind me on a most precious, intimate, defining experience.

He took his first steps, holding my fingers, leading me on to the next room. I smiled, though I felt without looking the lights fading out at my back.

I have moved through his firsts that are for me, also lasts - smiles, teeth, words, songs, prayers, Pull-Ups, vaccinations, bicycles, school...

Him marching happily along growing up has been precious to me all the more because I felt the little house dampening her lights one by one, hinges creaking in the wake of his confident stride, raucous giggles, and bent towards destruction. My last firsts were being completed and we went hand in tiny hand.

He is 7 today and that is a big number. All that was left in the cozy little house was one small lighted window in an upper corner somewhere. Yesterday, his last day to be 6, Matthew winked at me. His first wink. And poof! He's a boy. We live in a new place.

He is such a blessing. Affectionate and bold, strong and sweet. And those toffee colored eyes - his father's eyes. While I'm sad I won't again traipse through this sunlit house where things grow so easily and with such breathtaking speed, Matty has been the perfect little one to lead me on my last tour of the place.

Seven Years!

With his big sister
With his big brother
With Daddy
"The Walk." The arm swinging, confident stride.

Yep, that's him!
Need I say more?

My Cowboy.

The darling angel...

His first baseball practice.

He loves adventure! He's up for anything!

This happened...

I blinked and then this happened.
Me and my baby. I'm sorry buddy but you will still be my baby when you're 40...

You sweet thing.


10th Birthday Outdoor Adventure Theme Party

Shark Boy (still haven't renamed him for blog purposes), turned 10 this summer. He invited a herd of boys over for a Camp / Outdoor themed party. Here are some photos, for those of you who scan for party ideas!

The dessert table. Lanterns we use for camping, a wooden bowl and a tin bucket with bait (Swedish fish) were perfect accents.

I did a lot with rolls of burlap and gingham and plaid - just unfinished pieces of fabric. I put daisies in Mason jars and in my blue enamel camp coffee pot.

The cake was chocolate with chocolate ganache filling, graham crackers for the tent, sugar cones for trees, candy rocks for the fire pit and the '10', and a lake of blue gel icing, which fortunately tastes good!

You have to have cake pops, right?

Campfire cupcakes. 

On the campsite cake he is standing beside his tent. That is a photo I took of him hiking in The Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I printed it on regular photo paper, cut it out, and stuck it right in the icing.

Above - water bottles and Hersey bars wrapped in camp theme craft paper.

 He was helping me hang decorations on the pergola and looked at me and said, "You didn't have to do all this." I assured him I did because I love him and it makes me happy to create a great party to celebrate one of the greatest days of MY life - the day this sweet child was born.

After it was over he hugged me and said he really appreciated his party and thought it was completely awesome.
Mission accomplished.

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