Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mary Did You Know...

On Sunday, we heard a man in our church sing "Mary Did You Know."  I've heard that song a thousand and one times - and it's always made me feel emotional. But this year...it gave me pause. I don't know if it's because I am just really pensive this Christmas season, or if it was because this is the first year I've had a son. Either way, I sat there thinking about what a terrible Mary I would have made! God knew what he was doing when he picked her and not me to be Christ's mother!!

I'm sure I should have been focusing on Christ and his sacrifice for us. And I'd love to say that's what I thought. It would certainly be more noble than the fact that I sat in the pew considering the remarkable difference there is between sons and daughters.

My girls are definitely girly girls. They are nurturing and thoughtful. They will be fantastic wives and mothers someday because they care about people - and they want to care FOR people. They worry when I am sad - and they love to help me do things because they feel important.  But they don't seem to exhibit any major feelings of needing to protect me. Or take care of me necessarily. 

But Billy is different. He is equally thoughtful and caring. And he definitely cares about others too. But that's where the similarity ends. His desire to take care of me creates such a dichotomy because we each try to somehow fill the same role for each other. I "get it" now that the mother/son relationship is complicated. Because I, as his mother, want to care for him, nurture him, and make sure everything is good for him. Just like I do for the girls.  But he wants to do the same for me. He wants to take care of me - and protect me from anything bad. Because that's what men do. I see his desire to make everything "right" for me. Not please me or live up to my expectations - like the girls would be doing - but just make me happy in general. Plus make sure that I'm "ok".

And all of that leads me back to Mary. I've never really thought a WHOLE lot about her because I'm not sure I really felt much of a connection to her. I mean, I've considered her - and felt terrible for her - but never felt connected.  But this year, I guess I can more easily put myself in her shoes when I think about her. And it breaks my heart.

Not only did she have a son who she wanted to protect and love - and who I am sure felt the same about her. But she probably knew from the very beginning that he would suffer, and there was NOTHING she could do about it. And he knew that he had to suffer to save her (and all of mankind of course). Wow.

I think this Christmas I have even more of an appreciation for that mother who birthed her baby boy in a stable. Such a remarkable woman to an even more remarkable son. :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just A Little Housekeeping...

Wow - I've become the laziest blogger ever!  Ugh! Looks like I have at least one New Year's Resolution figured out now. 

Anyyyyway...I thought I'd clean up some questions about various things I've written about over the last few months.  Let's start with one of my favorite topics first:  my children! After that, I'll give you the lowdown on all those lingering subjects I'm sure you've been dying to hear about.

BILLY

Running a 5K on deck!

Billy's deployment is flying by. None of us can believe it's already been 3 months, but we know the next 6 will probably not be quite so easy. *sigh* He is staying busy and tackling everything with that same "can do" attitude I have always loved.

All in all, I think he's doing great. With the exception of an altercation with a container of ammunition requiring numerous stitches in his pinkie finger, he has remained safe. (Maybe that's because they are packed into that thing like sardines!)

See the pinkie?
He's also officially Corporal Emert now! Woot woot! (Does that make me Corporal Mom?)   So far they have only had a few hours off the boat since the deployment began - and he's definitely not in the Mediterranean enjoying great liberty ports.  Poor guy. We email almost daily, and he calls home when he can, so I can't complain about no communication. But I am definitely ready to give him a big hug again. 

We are also very close to having his name change finished! The whole family is very excited about him being Smith in name too.. with Gracey demanding the change be effective immediately on his Facebook page.

As promised...the costumes!
GRACEY & SADIE
Gracey is flying through the 7th grade and maturing every day. She is loving the swim team and even practices with the high schoolers some of the time! I wish I had more to report on her, but she's pretty low maintenance these days. She just goes to school, does her homework, and swims. When she interacts with us, it's usually lip syncing to one of her favorite ballads - complete with props. Hilarious.  Other than that, I guess no news is good news.

Sadie is still the spitfire of the family and has been giving the 4th grade a run for its money. She is our social butterfly, so she spends lots of time talking to her friends on the phone and making play dates. Again- not much new to report!

GUINEA PIGS
All is well with Harriett and Butterscotch, although I think Harriett will be moving to the Bruckners' house soon as theirs met an early demise. We haven't discussed this change with Harriett, but feel sure it will be okay with her as she hates the mere sight of Butterscotch. (In fact, if she catches a glimpse of her, she starts squealing...just like a pig!)

JASON
This seems a bit odd to bring up - following the whole guinea pig update - but I wanted to let y'all know about my best friend who was diagnosed with cancer this summer. He is doing GREAT!! His CEA numbers (which gauge how rapidly the cancer grows, etc.) are in double digits now. They started out well above 1500, and now are down to 19.6.  His first round of chemotherapy made a huge difference in the lesions on his liver, and they are feeling very confident that the next round will continue to improve his outlook. This is great news - and I am continuing to keep a log of all the things I'll do to pester him when we are old and gray together in the assisted living home someday. (He claims he'll have dementia and won't know who I am, but I think it's an idle threat.)

KINDLE
I can't remember if I had talked about this here or not, but Kerry got me a Kindle for our anniversary and I LOVE it. Highly recommend it to anyone considering an ereader!

Ok. I think that's it. If there's something I didn't cover, feel free to comment below and I'll be happy to fill ya in on it.