Sunday, November 29, 2009

Big Day for a Big Girl

Eighth birthday, baptism and confirmation as a member of the LDS church, two Thanksgivings, lots of uncles and grandparents -- Sage has had a lot crammed into life in the last week or two.

S. and I are so grateful to have her in our family, and aside from marveling constantly at how tall and graceful she seems (52 inches isn't too far from some of her shorter aunts), we also are amazed at the inner, subtle changes that have come as she grows and matures.

Sage has always been an observer of details, and now that she's growing older we've noticed that she in particular has an ability to hear the quiet voice of the Spirit. S. and I hope that we've prepared our children to have their own light of testimony as they grow up, each in their own way, and it's nice to see Sage's gentle nature glowing steadily.

Sage is also our newest bookworm, right up there with Ian in number of hours spent with a nose in a novel, and has recently finished the first 3 Harry Potter books. She has a best friend that she spends a lot of time with, including frequent playdates and sleepovers, and she's learning about how to be more grown-up in her responses to that friendship and its vicissitudes.

She's not growing up too fast, though. She still has a child's sense of wonder and loves all things cute and fluffy. She still hates having to brush her hair and adorably mismatches her clothes. We miss the little Sage that used to invariably hum while she ate and bring S. his slippers in the morning, but she's still our morning sunshine, usually curled up on the couch reading for a few minutes before S. and I make it down ourselves.

Happy Birthday and baptism to our Chirp, our sweet Sage! What a wonderful girl you are becoming.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Long Way Down

This morning my ring fell off. It was 5:30 and we were lying on a blanket, trying to catch a glimpse of the Leonids. Standing up, I let my left hand fall and felt the gold band drop right off my finger, free as a bird. Not the first time this has happened, but the first time in the backyard on a moonless night, so I frantically worked my fingers through the grass while K. went to get a flashlight. Making out its shape in the wet, frosty dark, I slid it onto my index finger and walked back to the house, hands firmly in pockets.

I didn't used to have these problems.

I must have been over 200 pounds when K. and I picked out rings. Until then I'd never worn a ring, so it was well into our marriage before I'd stopped twisting and sliding it, trying to get comfortable with my badge of commitment. Eventually the flesh at the base of the finger seemed to atrophy around the band, but the ring had never been what I'd call a soft fit.

Now I have a different problem. If I'm going to be swinging my arms or moving around with my fingers unclenched, I have to remember to put the ring in my pocket or slide it onto another finger entirely. Early into my marathon training I decided to leave the ring at home, convinced that it would bounce off during a long run and be lost forever. Throughout the workday I'm forever fidgeting, sliding it from one finger to the next, ring to middle, middle to index, then onto the other hand. It's a wonder I haven't lost it already, though I have tried.

Saturday I went to the mall and asked a jeweler what it would cost to get the ring re-sized. She looked at the cut, looked at a chart and gave me the quote: $45. I don't know what I was expecting, but since they'd have to cut off some of the band I figured the extra bit of gold would cover the costs of its extraction, no? And then what if I gained back the weight? But re-sizing has come to feel like an inevitability.

That was before today. Barely six hours after losing my ring in the grass, I was washing my hands in the restroom and reaching for a paper towel when I felt the familiar slip of the ring passing over the knuckle and--fling--there it goes again, dropping neatly into the wall-mounted trash bin with an insolent clang. I made up my mind while the janitor was unlocking the bin--$45 is a small price to pay for some peace of mind. I'm not really complaining, of course. It's a good problem to have.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Catch-Up

First, the obligatory Halloween picture.
From left to right: Ian as Harry Potter (Quidditch version? we could only get a hold of a red cape in time for Halloween); Sage as Cinderella, in my homesewn dress that I'm quite proud of; me as either a leopard lady or a cavewoman, depending on your preference; Lucy as a cheerleader; Nora as a cow -- she's the fourth child to wear that costume, and the button on the front still moos, but I guess it's time to retire it; and S. as Frank from 30 Rock (the hat says "ninja expert", if it's too small to read in the picture).

Next, a Thousand-Bloom chrysanthemum at Longwood Gardens. Technically this single plant actually had 718 blossoms, but thousand-bloom is the name of the horticultural style/technique used to produce it.

Fall in Valley Garden park.

The collection of jack-o-lanterns this year. Can you guess whose is whose? They're arranged in age order, if that helps, and I didn't make one...

Raking the leaves. And then, um, unraking them.

Lucy grumpy-faced in her "harvest hoedown" outfit from the day's preschool non-Halloween celebration.

Playing in the packing materials that came in a box of books from Grandma.

The girls wanted to make silly hats, which were mah-velous, and clashed delightfully with Sage's pajamas.

Our lives are not as impossibly rosy as these pictures might portray -- I decided not to post the unflattering, red-eyed and grumpy picture of Sage on Halloween after she woke up from a deep sleep just before time to go trick-or-treating, and there weren't pictures of the horrible drizzly, muddy hours we all spent on the soccer sidelines earlier in the day cheering Lucy on.

And I've avoided even looking at, let alone taking pictures of, the horrible hole in my (brand-new car's) trunk that came from me backing straight into a big black Suburban in a very dark, nearly empty parking lot after pack meeting the other night. I was up most of the night crying over that one...

But things are always better in the morning, and S. and I feel so incredibly blessed in all the ways that matter most. So I guess my sentiment today is, life is great, may we all make it through the rest of the holidays with our sanity, health, and family peace intact!