Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Want to Be a Grandma When I Grow Up

I’ve been told a story that when I was little (I imagine 5 or so…) and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered definitively that I wanted to be a Grandma. I’ve always thought this was a cute silly story, but today I was thinking that I think I was a 5 year old little genius. Let me ‘splain.

My whole life, I’ve always looked forward to the years I’m in right now. The young family years – mostly my 30s. Even when I was young, I knew this would be an amazing time of life, and I’ve always been drawn to kids and babies. Of course my understanding of the blessing of children has matured and expounded exponentially since my pre-children days. I love it as much as I thought I would and a thousand times more. I have two close friends, one of whom is also a relative, who are ready to embark on the adventure that is motherhood. I hate so so much that it’s hard or slow for some who will clearly be amazing parents and sometimes so easy for those who aren’t ready. In some small ways, I feel like I want that blessing for my two friends as much or more than they do since I’ve experienced those sweet moments with my kids and can’t wait for them to experience the same. It feels like not enough to simply join them in prayer in hopes that God’s timing is within sight.

When I think of God’s calling on my life, it certainly relates to sharing his good news with others – both near and far. I love some of the mission work we’ve done with our church, and I’m so excited to bless our new Compassion International adopted child Alexandra in Peru. But I feel like my work with my own children is equally important to all that. I’m helping mold 3 little creatures who will go out and execute God’s calling on their 3 lives, and they’ll mold their own children who will then execute their calling on THEIR lives…and thinking beyond that is overwhelming.

I certainly don’t want to speed up today – not at all. But the day when I can see my children experience this joy that I have now is a super exciting one. People ask us all the time since we’ve had Nathan if we’re done having children. James answers with an emphatic yes. :) I understand where he’s coming from, but at the same time I could NEVER be upset to learn that I’m pregnant. I don’t think it’s possible for me. I’m blessed in that I have great pregnancies, but it’s more than that. I could never be upset that God entrusted us with another life. Having more does seem intimidating right now, but my truthful answer to that question is that I’m content with whatever God has in mind. Whether our Wiebehaus is complete or not.

As I’ve mentioned recently, God has really been working on my heart as it relates to gratefulness and the existence of his grace in both good and, perhaps more importantly, the bad. Another friend posted a horribly sad link yesterday about a little boy who is 4 and, aside from a true miracle, is going to die soon of cancer. Of course I cried as I read the blog post from his sweet mother, but God has showed me to see that there’s such grace and blessing in those precious 4 years and no more was guaranteed or – dare i say it – deserved. This isn’t a thought I would have had a year ago. Could I think that if I were in the position of that precious mother? I cannot truthfully answer without being there – nor can I allow my mind to fully go all the way there, but I pray that I could. Grief…oh yes. Sadness…immense. Heartbreak…immeasurable. But gratefulness? Could it be possible? Maybe….only with God’s help.

And with much gratefulness, I don’t have to go there today. Today, I soak up these sweet baby grins from Nathan, Emma’s hilarious phrases and Ellie’s precious cuddles – not to mention the glances that say more than words could with my husband. I’m aware of our mission with these kids (as well as teaching them by example to take the mission to our community and the world), and in the end…I really do want to be a Grandma when I grow up.

Emma’s 4th Birthday Party

Oh how could it possibly have been 4 years. I remember so clearly sitting in the patio room at our old church building with our Life Group – people like the Hubers, Faulkners, Rogers, Poes, Webbs, Alemans, Rosses, etc. and praying and praying that Emma would come early so I could increase my chances of having her naturally. I remember us all talking about how confusing it all was when I was sitting there – still pregnant – at 9, 10, 11 days late. Such a little stinker she was to manage to make her debut between my birthday (the 19th) and James’ (the 25th) when she FINALLY made her appearance on the 23rd. And of course God had the last laugh, because he granted my heart’s desire to have her naturally and unmedicated. It was one of the best experiences of my life. (What can I say… I don’t do boring births, evidently.)

Now we have a little 13 year old in a 4 year old’s body. She may not be able to say her l’s and r’s yet, but she has such teenager comments and expressions as she says things like “whateva!” and “I appeeshate it!” (for appreciate). She has perfected the eye roll and the hand on the hip, but she’s also so loving and sweet. She loves me to the “moon and back” which doesn’t even begin to describe how much I love her.

Her actual birthday is tomorrow, but since James works all evening we celebrated her on Saturday. She said she wanted a painting party with a bounce house. We considered nixing the painting part and just having  a party at a bounce house place like Pump It Up, but I found a painting party idea on pinterest that I could easily expound on far less expensively than Pump It Up. James volunteered to make the easels for each attendee, and painting aprons were an easy party favor. I picked up the child aprons from Hobby Lobby, but added my own touch with each girl’s name embroidered on them. Each girl put her hand prints on the apron when they arrived at the party.

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We put the painting table in the middle of the yard and had each girl go to the table to get paint on their brushes. We hoped this would minimize kids carrying jars of paint around.

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She wanted a cake that was painting themed with Aurora on it. A little odd, but I just decided to make Aurora the art, so it worked. Not my best work as time was limited, but Emma loved it so that’s what counts.

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We borrowed this cute little bounce house from a coworker, and I’m SO grateful for it. The kids loved it, and I admit I’m a little tempted to purchase one. There’s a little button the girls can turn off and on themselves, and it blows up so quickly!

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Some in progress samples:

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The painting seemed to be a big hit. I wasn’t sure how long it would take or how interested they’d be, but it took 20-30 minutes, and they all seemed to have fun.

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I think she had a great time, and her friends were so sweet to come and participate with her. Happy birthday, Emerson Claire. Please slow down your growing up!