Tag Archives: tara’s birthday

Joyous Birthday to the firstborn, my Tara Jean~

To the girl who was deemed Liquid Joy {or Joy-bear} while she was growing up~

As the music at the banquet

As the wine before the meal

It was 5:55 a.m. The sun had just broken through bright and I felt the earth move.  Actually, probably less the earth moving than having that first, distinct contraction – that sign for which I had waited, wondering if I’d even know when you’d be coming.  But there it was – a new sensation, so marked and unambiguous, I knew everything was about to change forever.  I drank in the sun as it rose through my window.  I looked at the clock and my heart palpitated with wild excitement.

Today is the day.  This child for whom I have prepared and waited would arrive.  Today – this baby that had caused me to exercise daily and eat so many vegetables for its’ health – now we would see.

Boy or girl?  I didn’t know, but I was praying for a baby girl with blond hair and rosy cheeks (like the baby of one of my college Bible teachers).  I had a vision in mind…

No one but Grandma and I even knew.  It was our happy little secret all day as we went here or there.  I wrote down contraction times and when asked by friends and church family, “When are you going to have that baby?”  “Oh, maybe today, I’d tell them,” smiling so big inside about the best secret in the world.

5:55 a.m. and the clock spun wildly around until 5:55 p.m. when I told Grandma, “I need to go to the hospital now.”  I am not sure how I knew it except that I was packing my bag and when a contraction would come, I’d have to stop what I was doing to breath through it.  I was giddy with anticipation, feeling out of control.

But grandpa.  He wanted us to wait and drop him at the church.  So we left at 6:15 and drove {the almost opposite direction} to drop him at his office around 6:30 p.m. and then we were off to the hospital.  Okay-maybe I am being dramatic, as it was only about a 10 mile trip, but when you are in transition…

We pulled up to the doors at emergency so my mom could drop me off and I was met with a wheel chair at 6:48 p.m.  As we went over the bumpy grate going in, I said to my wheelchair-pusher, “Could you stop for a minute?  I am having a contraction and need to breathe.”

Oh, honey,” she said with great disdain.  “You are never going to make it.  This is your first baby and you will be in labor for at least 20 hours and if you are acting like this now, you will never make it.”  I figured she was the expert and I thought if what she was telling me was true I would never be able to do this for 20 more hours. I was not going to make it.

But I also kind of wanted to hit her.

She delivered me to labor and delivery and you were born at 7:16 p.m. – just 28 minutes after my mom had delivered me to the door.  I have never gotten over the fact that I didn’t get to smack that wheelchair pusher.  I just never have.

As the firelight in the night

So are you to me

At two

And like so many other things in your life

You surprised me and showed right up and it was beautiful and mysterious and awe-inspiring and magical and spiritual and breath-taking and it was you and me, just us. And you looked at me, and I couldn’t quit looking at you and though we’d only just met, I felt so at home with your warm, fuzzy head. The smell of you, the contour of your face in the barely-lit room: proof of God’s love for me.  A gift straight from heaven!  I knew I was undeserving.  I knew no one, no one, but God could have, would have entrusted you to me.

At three

As the ruby in the setting

As the fruit upon the tree

Oh, love story of love stories – my baby, my own, a sweet tiny, pink-bundled girl.  Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, joy of joys.  I wondered if I was actually allowed to feel this happy –  because I was sure some one would take you away if they knew.

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

 Read about Kai’s adoption story here

And now, joy-child, beautiful woman with two sons of your own {I learn so much from watching you mother them, love them} – it is a day to celebrate your birth, to remember and recall that day thirty-four years ago with gratefulness and thankfulness to a loving God who drew my heart to His with the most loving-kindess imaginable in the form of a girl, tender and sweet, now a woman – wise and lovely.  I do thank God for you.  I do.  So I wish for you (a prayer-wish, of course):

As the wind blows over the plains

So are you to me

So are you to me

Happy Birthday, firstborn and namesake.  Happy Birthday, daughter and friend.  I love you.



So Much of a Good Thing

Family is awesome (and sometimes scary) .

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Sometimes I look at Dave across the room and wonder if he is feeling as overwhelmed with awe and wonder as I am.  There is noise and mess and laughter and teasing and general uproariousness – and we did this – on purpose.  Dave and I created this crazy, wonderful mess.  This is the fruit of hot passion and true love.  This is the grace of God.

(pictured above, l to r: Stormie’s thoughtfully-wrapped gift for Tara; Averi pretending to be drawing on the chalkboard so she can get a taste of the chalk; deep fried pickles!  Yes.  Deep-fried pickles…and some homemade onion rings)

Bowling for Tara.

Saturday: Tara is not a birthday-cake-and-ice-cream-and-let’s-open-presents kind of birthday girl.  No, no.  She wants activity.  Physical activity.   And if there can be competition in there, all the better.  Her birthday dreams are made of beach-ball volleyball tournaments or tetherball challenges or something with tennis racquets.

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Because the forecast said “rain,” (which, btw – God, seeing on His calendar “Tara’s birthday,” sent a brilliantly dazzling and sunny day – the rain came after dark very beautifully), we opted to bowl for Tara’s birthday.  We gathered for an early lunch.  We bowled a couple of games.  I found out Gemma (almost 2) is a better bowler than me and Hunter-the-informative (4),  gave me tips to bowling better, along with a demonstration of how I was turning my wrist all wrong. 

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We came back to the house for strawberry shortcake and presents and blessings.  Dave and I read our love letters to Tara out loud and we cried.  That is hard to do, but it is good for your children to hear your love straight from your own mouth.  It will keep them long after we are gone.

It was hours and hours of love and celebration.  In the evening, DP pulled out the romance ticket and whisked Tara off to the Melting Pot where he had flowers delivered to the same booth they sat in 6 years ago on her birthday as they were madly falling in love.  One of the gifts he is giving her is time in a recording studio to do some of their songs.  Then, while we hung out with Hunter, they went to the new Star Trek movie (a must-see in our family!). 

A couple of months ago I was worried about Tara turning 30 because she seemed so alarmed by it.  But she ended up actually enjoying it.  She felt honored and loved.  She is THE most gorgeous (inside and out) 30-year old I know!

5 kids + their 3 loves + 5 grandkids (throw in a niece and nephew) = a blessed Mother’s Day!

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Sunday evening: I had these 2 bamboo/cane stools for the breakfast bar we bought at Gordman’s when we moved in almost 7 years ago.  The grand-bebes love sitting there during big family meals.  But we have 5 of bebes now.  We have been using an extra stool we have had for years, but still-it has become a scramble to see who will get to sit where.  A few weeks ago I spotted some sturdy wooden stools at a very-very nice reduced price* at Target.  I tossed the idea out to Dave and Stormie: Hmmm…maybe we should get these and just paint them black?  They were very nonchalent and less-than-enthusiastic about the response.  “Oh, yeah.  Maybe.”

After the kids had fixed a great big BLT (the lettuce is welcome to come along, but the stars are the bacon and the Tomatoesswine flu be darned!), fruit and veggies-with-dip meal for me, I was asked to leave the room momentarily.  I came back in to my 5 little grand-bebes seated, with big, colorful bows atop their heads, on 5 matching (recently painted black) breakfast-bar stools.  Oh yes!  Less work for me!  More space for my joys.  I LOVE it!

I have now been informed that there is plenty of room for one more stool there should I get a 2010 grand-bebe, but after that I will have to move to have a bigger breakfast bar.

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There was some very crazy card-playing (Pitch) where Rocky aggressively won by bull-crapping his entire way through.  How we have not broken the Rocky code all these years, I do not know.  He keeps us laughing!

SIDE NOTE: I stopped by youtube to re-watch my Mother’s Day present from last year (my kids singing my favorite Patridge Family song) and it seems the public wants more.  There are comments saying they should sing and post some more and one person even suggested getting in on a family singing contest on an early morning news show where David Cassidy himself is one of the judges! Haha!  Just in case you missed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpDzazacUEw

Weekend over.  Heart Full.

Stormie painted me a representation of the original 5 who made me a mom (and wow-three of those have brought me amazing “new” kids!).  It is hard to see in the photo, but all of their names are on there with 3-d lettering.  Stephanie bought me a gorgeous “little black dress” and the house, thanks to all the kiddos (including niece-Elise),  looks like a flower shop – for all the flowers they brought me and each other to celebrate mommyhood.  Loving the fragrant lilacs!

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We are real people.  We do NOT do everything right.  We’re not even always that nice.  In fact, we struggle, and fail and do it wrong at times, crying out to God for mercy,  just like any other family…But we are a zealous bunch. We are loud.  We are committed.   And there is love.  And you can’t get too much of that.

Until next time…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  I am so glad Dave chose me to be the mother of his children and that he is the father of mine.  It is working for us.

*$15.89 each…told you it was a nice price!