Sunday, April 29, 2007


It is finally here... Spring. I feel like Cody, WY has been in a cocoon. A snowcovered, quiet, protected cocoon, and now it is happening: The emergence. The signs were small at first. Kids could be seen outside, riding bikes, running to a friend's house, ok, building snowmen. Then we heard the birds! One morning, waking up. "Ah! Do you hear the birds?!" They sounded SO good. Like heralds assuring our hopes. Some daffodills speared their way through the cold to brighten up the white and brown surroundings. Then a few days before Easter we had a "small" blizzard with 2 feet of snow, followed by brilliant blue skies, snowball fights, and sunburned faces. The snow melted and greened everything up. Willows around town began to leaf out in that color called "spring green". The deer appeared again on the streets of our town, and the antelope could be spotted again off the highways. Yet, I heeded the warnings that this was not it, and I had noticed no tulips blooms or tree blossoms. Sure enough, we woke up to 4 more inches of snow 2 weeks ago. But again, the sun came out and warmed everything up and deepened the pale green. A rabbit hopped across our street. So, in just the last few days, with 70 degree weather, I have delighted in seeing flowering plum, cherry, crabapple, lilac buds, tulips, the greening of the hills and mountains. I have taken a class on how to garden in Cody (it was a short class, haha) and have made my designs and budget. In the warm sunshine I have stomped on my shovel, turned up warming earth, pulled up sod and planted a tree, 3 shrubs, 2 small plants, 7 bulbs, and wiped my forehead with the back of a muddy glove. I have a farmers tan, and a red nose. The kids threw on their swimsuits, grabbed their water guns and squealed. Brandon spread the lawn with fertilizer and we took a walk hand in hand around the neighborhood, picking up landscaping ideas along the way. Of course, the laundry was late getting done, and the fridge needs to be cleaned out, and I didn't check my email for 4 days, but how can I resist the desire to go to the window and feel the sun, open the door and step outside, breathe the fresh air deeply, return the greetings from neighbors out doing the same thing, search for what can be next on my gardening to-do list, and work my muscles to exhaustion, preparing my own plot to resemble a fraction of that first garden, Eden? Welcome, Spring. We're so glad you've come.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My, You're Practically A Lady

For months and months I have repeatedly answered the question, "How long 'til I'm five years old?" This year, Easter marked Maren's birthday, and as the decorations were set out and the Easter eggs dyed, Maren's anticipation grew. So, when she woke up Sunday morning, her excitement that Easter had come was quelled by the discovery that she was 5, but not any bigger than she had been the day before! I reminded her little pout that she had grown 2-3" since she had her 4th birthday, and that we had to buy her all new pants because her legs had gotten so long, and that we had just replaced her size 9 1/2 tap shoes with size 11's! She immediately cheered up with her hearty giggle so much like mine. And so the day was sunny and bright for our youngest child, who will leave me in the Fall to start all-day, every-day kindergarten. But we won't think about that, yet. What is it about turning 5? I remember the introduction scene in the Sound of Music. "Yes, you're Gretel. And you're 5 years old? My, you're practically a lady." That was so endearing, you just had to smile at the thought of this little dumpling of a girl being referred to as a lady, but you felt it was somehow true. Turning 5 means you are no longer a toddler or a pre-schooler. You are old enough to leave the house on a bus without your parents and go to school. You are old enough to get yourself dressed, tie your shoes, write your name and a few other things if you wish to. And you wish to! It means you can ride a bike, or walk to the triplet's house to visit, with Mommy only watching from the front porch. It is a beginning of an independence. So, my sweet, funny, bossy, caring, tough Maren Lily, with the pixie voice and deep laugh, Happy 5th Birthday, and welcome to the beginning of a new part of life! May it be joyful, adventurous, and worthy of everything your Father in Heaven knows you are.

Happy Easter!

How grateful we are for our family and that we can be together forever!