Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hanging with the kinders!

It's been a busy week for Bren's Kindergarten class.
This week they had their 100 days of school celebration!

They made 100 day hats
and filled bags with 100 treats from the treat table.

They sorted out 100 10's and did
lots of fun activities based on
the number 100.

Including bringing in 100 items
from home.
That's Bren's bag there on the top left.
She brought in 100 dum-dum lolli-pops.

Friday was another big day for them.
It was Crazy Hair Day!!!

This is as crazy as Bren would get.
8 braids.
We had planned to roll her hair up in soft curlers
for her to sleep in.
She would definitely have had super crazy hair then,
but I had a chick flick night
with my Soalo girls (hollah!)
and wouldn't be home before her bed time to roll her hair.
I offered to roll her up at 5pm before I left,
but she didn't want any part of that!

So we went with option number 2... 8 braids.
She was even a bit apprehensive about going to school like this.
But her fear subsided once we drove up to school
and two little boys with pink and green mohawks
got out of the car in front of us.
It's funny how even at this age
most of them don't want to stand out too much
from their peers.
Blending in is the goal
even at 5.

Lots of kids participated in the fun and
posed for a crazy hair photo.
Aren't they cute?
That little boy to the far right
has me wrapped.
He's is such a dimpled little cutie!
See the twins rockin the red mohawks?
They are a riot!

I spent the whole afternoon with
Bren's class and was able to watch
their regular Friday activities.
Friday is my normal volunteer day,
but I'm usually making copies,
cutting out shapes,
glueing things together,
or otherwise engaged in
helping the teacher prepare for the
following week,
so I'm not able to observe as much
as I did yesterday.
It was so fun to watch these kids
interact with each other.
Some of the funniest things
come out of the mouths of kindergarteners!
A few weeks ago,
I walked in on Friday to help
and was greeted by one of the little girls
who tends to want to be by my side
when I'm there.
The first thing she tells me when she sees me is
that she knows whose mom I am.
On this day she affirmed once again that I am Bren's mom
and then she added,
"You are a kinda little mamma, aren't you?"
She's right!
Most of these kids will be taller than me
by the time they are 5th graders,
but I thought her observation was so funny.

They've got an impressive routine down
and they are all pretty good about
following the class rules.
Bren's teacher is able to handle 22 kids
mostly on her own
because the rules are clear
and the routine is predictable.
It's like clockwork to the observer.
Their favorite time by far is "centers"
where they can choose from a variety of activities
to do for about 30 minutes at the end of the day.
They really look forward to this
and seem to make sure they
follow the rules well enough
throughout the day so as
not to jeopardize this fun time.

It was pizza Friday,
so I was able to relive the very unique
experience of cafeteria pizza
right along with Bren.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I got another "love note"
from God today!
Look what he did this time!
I stood at the window for a long time this morning
just looking at the beauty of this display.
Can you see it?
It's hope
and it's right there
illustrated for me in a glorious display
of God's creation!
The contrast of the dark clouds
and the snowcapped mountains
illuminated by the sun,
is a metaphor
for how I've been feeling lately.
Isn't it just like God to wrap his arms around me
and illuminate my heart with his love
in the darkness of my own self-accusations,
my own doubt,
my persistant fear,
and my self-centered view life?

My life verse, Jeremiah 29:11 says:
"For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
What I'm hearing:
"Becca, I have big plans for you!
Even in the midst of these looming dark clouds,
I know what I'm doing.
When you think the coldness of the Winter snow
will forever lay like a thick blanket
over your fearful heart,
I'm here
and my light is very much alive
and working in you.
Spring is on it's way!
I'm making something beautiful
and will illuminate it brilliantly for you
in my time."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Past, Present and Future.........

During David's recent port visit to San Diego,
he stumbled upon this ring in a jewelry store.

He said that when he first laid eyes on it
he thought of me.
He knows I like things that are a little bit unique,
has some character to it,
is representative of something personal to me
and tells a story.

This ring reminds me of my original wedding ring
which has grown thin
and has lost two accent diamonds over the years.
That ring had one center marquis stone
much like the three in my new ring.

He bought the ring in San Diego
and had it sized and shipped
to a jewelry store here in Washington.
It was important that I go pick it up and try it on
before the window to return it for a full refund closed
in case I didn't like it.
Unfortunately, that window would close
before David would return from deployment,
so he wasn't able to see my face when I saw it.
I think I actually squealed right there
in the jewelry store!
I thought it was so beautiful
and I was so proud of him
for doing such a great job of picking it out!
For me,
the three center marquis stones
represent past, present and future
or in my words,
learning from the past,
embracing the present
and anticipating the future.
See, told you I like things with a story!

Here's another fun story:
Since I had not seen the ring
before I went to pick it up
and was only relying on David's description of it,
I decided to use that situation to my advantage.

I picked up a ridiculous fake ring at the Mall
and planned to convince him
that this was the ring I received from the jewelry store.

We had spoken on the phone several times
and I kept telling him how big the ring was
and how I was not used to wearing something so large on my finger.

I was trying to play up the hugeness of the imposter ring
so he'd buy my story.
When we went to pick him up last week,
I flashed my big fancy fake ring at him
and asked him if he liked it.
He wasn't buying it.
I stuck with it though
and asked him if it looked different on my finger
than it did in the store.
Not at all falling for it,
he kept asking where the real ring was.
I think I had him for half a second
when I told him that we needed to go back by the jewelry store
and find out what happened.
For the first time I saw a bit of worry in his eyes
and He said,"Are you serious?!"
I couldn't hold it together any longer
so I just started laughing
and handed him the black velvet ring box
which held the real ring that he had chosen for me.

He slipped it on my finger
as I sat there grinning ear to ear
like a giddy school girl.

You know,
he gets to display all these shiny medals,
bars and awards on his uniform
so that everyone can see how awesome he is at his job.
It feels great that he wanted me
to be able to display something shiny and beautiful
on my finger to show the world
how much I am loved.

My mom says
that every man wants to be able to put a big, dazzling ring
on his girl's finger.
I think she's right,
but I also remember feeling very proud
of the tiny little marquis
in my original wedding ring.
That wedding ring was representative
of our tiny little idealistic view of our life together.
Our love was true,
but our life together had just begun
and was untested.
Everything was fresh and new
and could all fit in that little marquis.
But now, after almost 17 years,
we've experienced so much more of our lives together.
That same love has grown deeper.
It's been tested by disappointment,
conflict, struggles,
collicky newborns,
two year olds,
boisterous kids,
and teenagers
and has come out bigger, shinier
and more dazzling!
Thanks sweetheart
for picking out a ring that is
so perfectly representative of our love story!

I love you,
past, present and future!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The sweet tenderness of God

is curled up on a chair

in our living room tonight.

Quieted exhuberance

in a fluffy red tu-tu!
It doesn't get much sweeter than this!
And to Melissa,
my commenter who tried to guess
my surprise,
I am NOT preggo!
Our baby making days are long gone,
but I will give you a hint.....
It's dazzling!!
(but not in a vampire sort of way)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

On Thursday,
David and I celebrated Valentine's Day
with Bren's Kindergarten class.

The kids have Friday and this coming Monday
off from school, so we get to have a whole weekend
dedicated to "I love you day!"

David and have dinner reservations
for tonight and then we'll
see a movie at the nearby theater.

I've got a sweet surprise that I can't wait to share with all of you!
Check in later tomorrow or Monday
for details!!
My love song today is
"I Turn To You"
by Christina Aguilara.
No real significance this time
other than I just like the song.

Happy Heart Day everyone!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

He's home!!!!

Oh my goodness! These photos say it all!!
I kept Bren home from school yesterday
partly because she does have a lingering cough
but mostly because she was
bouncing off the walls at 5 am
because it was "Daddy day!!!!"

In her prayers last night she said,
"Dear Jesus,
I love you.
Thank you for bringing my Daddy home.
And thank you for using bones to build us,
because if you didn't use bones,
we'd all just be big piles of jello.
I don't know Bren,
even with bones,
I was feeling kinda like a big pile of jello
watching you run to your Daddy like that!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Daddy's Girl............

You know, each kid is different
with how they handle David's
The boys had each other to keep them
occupied when David would deploy
on the submarine.
I made sure that we always had alot to do
while David was gone to help pass the time.
We were in a fabulous community of friends then too,
which really helped the boys feel
a sense of "family" beyond family.
Madison had lots of tearful days
and some confusion when David would deploy
when she was very little,
but David really didn't deploy alot
during the time that she was 5-9 years old.
It's a whole other story with Bren.

The other night,
I heard her crying in her room.
I went to check on her,
and she was holding this photo
and was just consumed with sadness.
She just kept saying over and over again
that she missed her Daddy.

She finally calmed down
when I let her call his cell phone
and leave a message for him.
It went like this.....
"Da-da-daddy, I miss you!
I am cr-cr-crying for you right n-n-now.
I mi-mi-miss you and I love you.
Heart breaking, huh?

She's always had a special bond with her daddy
and I'm so thankful for their relationship.
She calls him her prince
and she has no doubt that
she's his princess.

From the very moment of her birth,
everyone could tell what a profound effect he had on her.
I had a c-section, so I was not able to
hold her immediately.
David was right by her side though.
We have the very first moments of her life
on video and when I played it back for the first time
I was sitting there with tears running down my face
and just in awe over what I was seeing.
Bren was fussy from the get-go.
She grimaced, seemed uncomfortable
and cried alot while I was in the recovery room
waiting to meet her,
but every single time her Daddy spoke to her
she immediately quieted and was very still and content.
She gripped his finger as he spoke softly to her.
It was amazing.
He'd stop talking and she'd start crying.
No one else's voice would calm her.
Just his.

There is just no denying the importance
of a compassionate, protective Father in a little girl's life.
Brendell and Madison are so very blessed.

But along with a bond this close,

comes pain at separation.

Bren has unfortunately already weathered

three long deployments and two mini ones

in her five years of life.

That kinda hurts.

And so, she has finally begun to express
her sadness in sudden and all-consuming
bouts of free flowing, shoulder shaking tears.
We all have our coping mechanisms
to get us through and right now
dramatic emotion is hers.

It's been a hard few days for her
as we round third base of this short deployment
and run like crazy toward home plate.

She has asked me about 20 times a day
when he'll be home.
Soon, baby girl.
Very soon.

She'll be at school when he arrives, but
you can bet that he'll be waiting at the
bus stop to wrap his arms around her.

She definitely dileriously loves and adores
her Daddy
and is a proud Daddy's girl!
He leaves a big void here when he's gone.
In honor of David's fast approaching homecoming
the "Love Song" I'm featuring on my playlist today
is very appropriately
"Daddy's Home"
by Jackson 5.

Hang in there Bren!
You can hug the real thing very soon!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Dance

The dry ice created a unique smelling haze
over the wood dance floor.
Twirling and swirling as
the strobe lights flashed
in synch with the pulsating beats of the music.
Older teens and 20 somethings
danced in crowded groups
to Paula Abdul's
Opposites Attract!

There I was with my newly permed hair
and my outfit from Express.
Just barely 20, hanging out with friends
and not at all looking for Mr. Right.

That's when I saw him.

He had on purple plaid
hammer pants
and a purple shirt.
And he was doing his thing on the dance floor!
He wasn't just a good dancer.
He was an incredible dancer!
So great in fact,
that he drew a crowd whenever he danced.
I would later learn that he was hired
by several local clubs to
"get the party started"
on their dance floors.

He was pretty fly for a white guy!

Almost as if on cue,
the first beats of a slow song
hummed through the speakers
and he asked me to dance.
The song that was playing was
Nothing Compares to You
by Sinead O'Connor.
Despite our height difference
we fit together quite well.

We spent the whole rest of the evening
talking and getting to know each other.
He tells me that he knew that night
that we were meant to be.
I took a little more convincing,
but 2 years and 3 months later,
I became his wife....

and the rest is history!

So, featured today on my playlist is the
song that started our love story.

(sorry, no photos from those times!
I guess I never hung out
with kids who had cameras
because I have like 4 photos from those years
and David isn't in any of them!
I guess we were too busy working by day and
having an insane social life by night...
and none of us thought it was worth capturing on film.

Monday, February 2, 2009

All you need is love.....

Since everyone knows that
February is the luuuuv month,
I thought I'd feature a few love songs
on my playlist
over the next two weeks.
These songs aren't my "best love song list"
or anything official like that.
So don't read into them.
They are just songs that have stuck with me
for some reason or another.
Some will take you back to great memories,
some might make you laugh,
some you might hate,
others you will not be able to get out of your head,
but all of them have one common theme.
Heart pounding, soul aching,
breathless love.
What would we do without it?
First up...
Always by Atlantic Star.
Scott Wicke, if you are reading this
I wonder if you remember us singing loudly along to this
everytime it would come on the radio.
You'd sing the boy part,
and naturally,
I'd screw up the girl part
in a way that only I could pull off!
In my mind,
this is "our" song!
Love ya, man!

And since no post is complete
without some photos,
let me introduce you to
the new Michael Cleary!

He was ready for a change
and decided to go pretty short this time!

I absolutely love it!
He's a little unsure.
He's getting lots of teasing from his long haired hippy friends!

That's Ok though.
He's always been who he is.
Not one to follow the crowd,
it's fitting that he would
choose a hair style that is different
from anyone he hangs around with right now.

And, I'm just loving that I can see his
handsome face and his pretty eyes!

The first thing he said?
"Man, I just don't know what to do with my eye brows now!
I can express so many emotions with them!"
I love that kid!