Monday, December 05, 2016

Binding to God

This lovely girl.  This rose of ours.  Our little biscuit.  She got baptized the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Both sets of grandparents came out to witness this big event in her life.  It was a weekend packed full of people and excitement and love. IMG_6106-003_thumb2
I felt so tender towards this fiery girl of mine as I watched her take this big step that will bind her to God.  I could tell that she understood the magnitude of it.  That she was ready, that her heart was eager.  IMG_5843_thumb1IMG_5870_thumb43IMG_5880_thumb40IMG_5937_thumb6IMG_5969_thumb1IMG_5949_thumb1She was pretty excited about this little photo shoot we did to make her invitations.  Sorry for posting so many of these, but this girl has too many good expressions.  I love how photos still all the chaos and help you see, really see your children.  IMG_6049_thumb1IMG_6061_thumb1IMG_6068_thumb1IMG_6075_thumbThese two (above and below) may be my favorite.  IMG_6102_thumb1
And here she is on her actual baptism day.  She wore the same outfit that my dad wore when he was baptized as an 8 year old.  His mother made it for him.  It has been worn by her older siblings and all her older cousins on my side of the family.  It’s thin and worn and the zipper is broken, but I love that she gets to feel connected to all these people who she loves and who love her, who have gone before her on this path of discipleship.   
IMG_8896_thumb1Love this funny candid shot , with charlie photo bombing and my dad taking a selfie. IMG_8898_thumb1IMG_8902_thumb1
It was so great having all her grandparents there, even her third grandmother, Joyce.  IMG_8907_thumb1IMG_8915_thumb1IMG_8930_thumb1IMG_8933_thumb1
And great friends who came from far and near to witness this big step in her life.  IMG_8936_thumbIMG_8938_thumb1IMG_8939_thumb1IMG_8943_thumb1IMG_8944_thumb1IMG_88874
As part of the program I got to welcome our friends and family and in that welcome I felt so much love for so many people who have influenced Emmeline’s life and helper her along her path.  There are so many ways to follow Jesus and because Emmeline is such an enigma to me sometimes, I’m extra thankful that she has such a variety of examples in our ward and in our community and in our extended family.  She can look to so many sources to see the different ways Christ works in people’s lives and hearts.
Right after she was actually baptized my mom had the idea to pass out these cute little cards for people to write little messages to Emmeline to help her remember her big day and to express their thoughts about the Savior and baptism.  These were a treasure.  Full of wisdom and incite that I hope Emmeline will read often. 

Here are some excerpts of what people wrote:

“There’s a part in the book Peter Pan where Peter looks to his future and says, “It will be an awfully big adventure.”  That’s what baptism is like to me.  It’s a time in your life when you stand at the beginning of so many things – some you can imagine and some you can not.  But that’s what makes it an adventure.  And the only thing we really know is that through every facet of that adventure, Heavenly Father will walk, dance, climb, sing, cry, pray and work and play right along with us.  Enjoy the Adventure Emmeline, it’s going to be fabulous.”

“I believe the power of baptism is to bind you to God and to make it feel good to be clean, so you want to repent.  And the Holy Ghost will give you power and strength to improve, to change, and to repent.  The Holy Ghost and the sacrament will slowly, over your lifetime, help you become the best Emmeline Rose Eyre Shumway you can ever be.  You are enough.  You are perfect.  I love you.  I believe in the power of the atonement to help me change, to help me find joy , and to help me know god.  I can’t wait to see how powerful you’ll be with the Holy Ghost helping you change and grow closer to Jesus Christ.”

“Dear Emmeline, I know it has been a hard day for you, but you did it! Love, Delilah”

And my favorite, from Peter:
Love this girl, can’t wait to watch her follow this path she has chosen.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!


Oh, life is full.  Full of good and bad and hard and beautiful. It doesn’t all look so great moving through moment to moment, but the whole glistens.

We’re especially grateful for our life here in Boston.  Our family has grown up here, in this house, in this town, in this ward, with these friends and these woods and these streets.  They have become a part of the fabric of who we are.   I’ve been moving through life so nostalgically this fall as we’ve got a big adventure on the horizon. 

We’re going to close up shop here in Boston for a while while we try out the farming/homesteading/caretaking/homeschooling life on a ranch in California. 

More details on this later, but for now, cheers to the this chapter of our lives and to the great adventure that awaits.  (come what may……)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Biscuit Turns 8


Emmeline turned 8! 

Could it really be that this snuggly little girl who cuddled her way into our lives is now 8?   We’ve had 8 years of the biscuit showing us how to turn up the volume on life, how to explore every cranny, how to live the spectrum.  IMG_5915-2IMG_5823

Emmeline is fiery and fun and feisty.  She is cuddly and creative and smart.  Her brain works in a way that you can see through her expressions, the cogs in there turning on concepts and rolling out ideas and questions. 

She is a good friend to siblings and school mates and cousins but also knows how to be inside of her own brain.  She knows how to put herself together and how to royally fall apart.   She can hold on tight and she can also let go.  She is deep at times, but also simple, which seems to make it easy to forget bad and cling to good.  She is easily exacerbated and frustrated and upset, but also easily delighted, living almost completely in the present.  Feeling everything at once.  IMG_5892

She takes life for the rollercoaster ride that it is.  Jumping into most things with little expectation, emerging sometimes upset, but mostly delighted.

She knows how to put herself together and how to royally fall apart. She can stomp up a storm, shaking the whole house, and almost in the same breath give the most flutteringly soft and gentle kisses.  She falls of her elephant hourly, but always finds her way back to the reigns eventually.IMG_5843

Basically, this one is hard to tame.  But I’m beginning to let go of that as I realize that maybe that’s not the goal.   


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Young Woman in the house.


Hazel turned 12!  I know that was a few months ago, old news, but still noteworthy for this family record.  Hugely noteworthy.  We have a 12 year old!  A young woman!  A stunning soul, full of light, launching into the world.  

Hazel was born wanting to break free.  I think her old wise soul has always felt caged in the shadow of our parenting.   But she has stuck with us, sometimes pushing away, sometime inching away, sometimes clinging back close.  It’s been a wild ride, and there’s more bumps and turns to come, but boy do we love who she is emerging from the child Hazel.  This big bright spirit full of depth and wisdom and drive and grit.   Even though day to day I’m pretty terrible at showing her, deep down inside I trust who Hazel is.  I trust the very essence of her soul.  Through all the turmoil of a mother/first child/daughter relationship I have never doubted that I am going to be dazzled by the person she becomes, and has she unearths herself I more and more convicted .  She is good at her core, brilliant with unique energy and ideas that are going to shape the world into a different, richer, more complete place. 

It is humbling to be the mother of a child so far beyond your own capacity.  This is not a dig on myself, I know I’m smart and have ideas and can generate good things, but her just beginning brain is digesting information faster than I can believe, connecting it together with experience and insight and spewing out new concepts and unique ideas.  Her young small light has this bright power that will spark into creations that won’t just go up with the smoke, but will take hold in her world and ignite those around her.  

Hazel, keep going.  Go on strong, with grit.  Forgive all my mothering follies, all my well intended but imperfect attempts and harnessing  your soul.  Souls as big as yours need to be harnessed for a season, building strength and discipline to really go the distance.  For some well intended Reason I am your mother, and although you don’t always understand why, and I don’t always feel able, I am always deeply grateful to be able to call you mine. 

I love watching you become.  It is one of my life’s greatest blessings.  IMG_0703


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