If you’re not careful, your intentions of providing for your family can cause them to resent the hard work you do.
Archives For Family
In the teeny tiny very small town of Rowan, Iowa, the Lions Club holds an annual chicken BBQ. For as long as I can remember, it’s been a family tradition of ours to attend. My grandpa is a member of the Lions Club and we get to see him hard at work year after year. The menu hasn’t changed since I was a little kid: chicken, beans, coleslaw, a bun, butter and a small cup of ice cream. For a beverage, it’s your choice of milk from a carton, water, or coffee.
The event takes place in the old Rowan school where my grandpa ’55 and grandma ’57 graduated. I’ll let the pictures paint the scene for you!
This past weekend, the mom came down and brought my 6-year-old nephew, Kaleb. She also brought with her one of my childhood treasures: my Ninja Turtle collection. Oh yeah, this brought back so many memories. I used to spend endless hours fighting off the Foot and Shredder.
Meet our new baby niece!
Mylie Marie Smith was born at 8:12 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8. She weighed 9 lbs., 12 oz., and measured 21 inches.
There is already so much love in my heart for this lovely little girl. My day went a little like this:
I receive a text from my sister. “We’ll be going around 8. Can’t wait to share our love with you this afternoon!” You could just feel the excitement. She was so prepared and ready to welcome this new tiny one.
A phone call from my sister (isn’t she the best?). She sounded so peaceful, so happy. “She’s here! She’s big! She’s perfect!” She also mentioned something about Mylie having thunder thighs.
After making the rounds to tell my husband and co-workers about Mylie, I wondered how I was going to concentrate at work for the next six hours. One of my friends told me that I was so lucky that I get to hold a baby tonight. She is right!
I receive text from my friend saying congrats. It’s a funny thing to be congratulated for nothing you did, but for a great thing that happened to you. Remembering again that Mylie is a gift from God.
I am finally getting in my groove at work. One hour left! Sister texts me a pic of Mylie. It doesn’t take me long to fall in love with her cheeks.
I glance at the clock and think that if all is right on schedule (and it probably is, because my sis is a planner), the twins (with my parents) are arriving at the hospital to meet their new best friend. All three of them are so lucky to have each other. My sister and I often say, “There is no better friend than a sister, and no better sister than you.”
My heart is beating fast as we walk into the hospital room. It’s crazy to walk into a room where all your favorite people are. I didn’t know who to hug first. I see my sister on the bed and her husband, Brandon, in a chair next to her. My dad (papa) and Myah were in the left corner putting together a puzzle. Maysen was in the opposite corner with a coloring book. My mom (nana) was sitting in a chair with Mylie. It didn’t take Eric and I long to whip out our cameras.
I finally get to hold Mylie. She is a good-sized baby so I feel comfortable. She does not. She cries. Must be time to eat.
I think breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. And Mylie is a champ.
Uncle Ric scoops up Mylie in his arms. He loves her wrinkly face. Kari is right: She looks like a bulldog.
It is a really cool thing to see your parents hold their grandchild. My dad is such a pro. He has a song he sings to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain” that goes like this: “Papa’s little baby, and I don’t just mean maybe, papa’s baby girl…”
I see Kari has her hands free for a minute, so I give her our gift. It’s a “Mylie” charm to add to her necklace that we got her for Christmas a couple years ago.
Myah sits in a chair and says, “Mom, I want to hold the baby.” Mylie had just finished eating, and no one was right there to hand Mylie from Kari to Myah. Thirty seconds pass. Myah says, “Mom, GIVE ME THE BABY!” Ha! Brandon hands Mylie to Myah. She looks so proud, and wraps her arms around her like she’s saying, I will never let you go. And then makes up a cute little song that goes, “Mylie-Mylie-Mylie-bear.”
Maysen is next to hold Mylie (after she uses the “hanitizer,” of course (her made-up word for hand sanitizer). Mylie starts to cry and Myah says, “That means her is trying to tell us something.” My heart melts a little more.
We all say goodbye, as visiting hours end at 8 and the twins need to head to bed. I know I will not see Mylie again for a week, and I pray that she doesn’t change too much!
This Christmas season, the common theme I am seeing is change. The Christmas gatherings that are on our agenda each year have all seemed to change formats. As I get older, I am realizing that this is inevitable. Life happens and we all have to make adjustments to make things work. For my immediate family on my dad’s side (dad, stepmom, sister, stepsister, and nephew) we made the switch three years ago. In an effort to save everyone from trying to squeeze in all the Christmas gatherings on either Christmas Eve or Christmas day, we decided to break from the pack and declare an early Christmas celebratory weekend.
This has worked out great. This year it is extra early and Kels and I will be packing up the ol’ 4-wheel-drive sleigh and heading to my dad’s Dec. 10-12. This allows us to spend quality family time together without having to worry about each of us heading out right after opening gifts to get to the next destination. Growing up my time with my dad for Christmas was basically arriving late on Christmas Eve, sleeping, getting up early to open presents, then leaving to head to my mom’s before noon on Christmas Day.
We have always gotten everyone of the family members a gift, but this year we are drawing names and set a limit. Simpler is better. It’s not about the gifts, but about the time we spend together.
- Since I can remember, Christmas Eve has been spent at my mom’s parents’ house. This year was different. We celebrated Christmas at the end of October before they headed to Texas for the winter. Last year did them in. There was a terrible storm as they tried to make it home for Christmas and they had had enough. We also used to give gifts to everyone at this gathering, but this year we bucked tradition and started something new: a white elephant gift exchange with a traveling snow globe to the winner of the ugly sweater contest. The innagural winner was Kels.
- Kels and I are getting ready to sell our house so we chose not to put up any Christmas decorations this year. It has left us struggling to realize Christmas is right around the corner and with no snow on the ground it is even more difficult.
I guess I always wondered when these traditions would morph into something new. When did my parents stop going to their grandparents’ houses for Christmas? Change is inevitable as the dynamics of each family changes, but I just hope that everyone remembers the true reason for the season. It’s not about putting up a Christmas tree and buying things for people that they don’t need. We just need to focus on the birth of Jesus and celebrating his birthday. I am pretty sure Mary and Joseph didn’t take time to set up a Christmas tree in the barn before they gave birth to the Savior of the world.