Saturday, October 12, 2013

The past few months (a picturelicious post)

Here are some quick paragraphs to catch up on life.

Eden... 18 months old and talking, talking, talking!  Her language just exploded over the past month.  She's still signing, and often says the word as she is signing it.  Some of our favorites are, "WOW!" "Dra-do!" (Dorado, the dog), "whee" (slides), "be-be" (Baby), "wee-wee" (what she says every time she talks on the phone...we have no idea where that came from), and "bubble." She probably says about 20 words on a regular basis, but will parrot just about anything we ask her to say.

...loves everything about babies.  We've been watching TONS of births on youtube in order to prepare her to be around for the birth of her little brother.  When I have the computer up, she'll crawl into my lap, point to the computer and say, "be-be." She also is fascinated by my baby bump. Whenever she sees it, she says, "be-be" and comes over to give it a kiss!  She's done this to other peoples' bellies, too, which is hilarious!

...continues to love dogs more than we could imagine.  She spots them everywhere, and will perk up when she hears one bark in the distance.  Her favorite dog is Dorado, Ronnie and Suzy's golden retriever.  We were over there last night, and she and Dorado just played all night, and if he ever left her side she would call "Dra-do, Dra-do" until he came back.  She even sang his name the whole way over to his house; she just loves that dog.


... and I woke up before Grant yesterday and Eden immediately looked over at me and signed "food." I told her that I would get her food, but that I had to go to the bathroom first.  She agreed, but while I was in the bathroom, she started yelling "MA! MA! MA! MA! MA! MA!" very loudly over and over.  I rushed back to see what was going on, and as soon as I got back, Eden put her hand up to her lips and said "sssshhhhhhh," then she looked over at dad and signed "sleep." Hilarious!


...has been working very hard. The church has been giving him several new responsibilities, and he has done well to juggle those in addition to keeping up with his other tasks.  I'm so proud of his work ethic and the fact that he truly love people and believes that he can serve them in his present job.

...and I started a new Connection Group last month and also are teaching the Young Pros class together for the next several weeks.  Both of these things have been good for us to do together. We've found that when we have something that we have to prepare, present, and lead, as a team, our marriage really benefits. So, even though this is a busy season for both of us, carving out the time to do these two things has been a good way for us to reconnect after several months of having more "separate" schedules.

I... very excited to be over halfway done with this pregnancy! It's funny how much faster this pregnancy has gone. It's just so different the second time.  Overall, this pregnancy has been easier than Eden's, but being pregnant is still hard.  Worth it, but hard.  So, I'm happy that this pregnancy is 21 weeks over!

...organized the kids' room yesterday and pulled out all the boy clothes and baby gear.... : ) We're starting to get really excited about a little boy. trying to simplify, go on walks everyday, say "no," slow down life a little, enjoy snuggles on the couch with my favorite toddler, and blog more.


And because every post should end with a good video:

                                                                        (Eden and uncle Allen)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

9-14-13: Life with Grant

Well, it is quite late and I really should be going to bed.  Tomorrow is a long day of teaching for me - on a off from 9:30am to 8pm!  I have been blessed with a full studio of students, and this prego mamma needs her sleep in order to keep up with all of them.

Anyway, despite the hour, I did want to take a moment a record a moment. A memory.  One of those things that really make life good.  It's funny, we think that it's the big trips or vacations or parties that make life enjoyable, but it's really the day to day living that either make life a stressful chore or a delightful journey...

Yesterday was my birthday.  I celebrated the day by having a day to myself and then the "parties" were today.  So, today we had a great birthday lunch with the Wrights at Gringo's after church (love the green sauce!) and then went home.  None of us - Grant, Eden or I - had gotten a lot of sleep Saturday night, so we came home and crashed.  I mean, I fell asleep in the 4th quarter of the Texans game, when the we had just tied the score with 1:20 left in that game... I was that tired.

When I awoke, I realized that Grant had been watching Eden for a while so that I could sleep.  I then asked Grant what time it was.... and discovered it was 5:40! I had slept for three hours! While this might seem like fabulous news, I - pregnant and hormonal, mind you - immediately burst out crying! My second birthday party with my parents started at 5:30, and I had missed it! Further, I had a laundry list of things that I needed to prep for teaching on Monday that I needed to get done before I went to my parents for the evening. So, I was devastated with the thought that I had missed my party and that I would now be up until all hours of the night getting ready for Monday. (My pregnant friends can really identify with these kinds of exaggerated feelings.)  Well, I completely lost it guys - just cried and cried!  It's totally silly, but to my pregnant, tired mind, my birthday had been ruined.

 But - this is really the part of the story that I'm getting at - Grant (I really should say, poor Grant, who had generously helped me sleep so long by watching Eden and who never dreamed that I would react in such a negative way), just started quickly cleaning, vacuuming and helping me get ready for teaching.  He never made a big deal about it, or told me I was acting irrationally, or complained. He just started helping me. He knew what had to be done, and he just did it. He even had an event that he was getting ready to leave for and helping me made him a little late.  But, he did it anyway.  And, to top it all off, when I came home from my birthday party with my parents, I found that Grant (who had beaten me home) had finished up doing the dishes, which were the last "chore" we weren't able to complete before leaving earlier.

 While this may not seem like a huge moment in our life, this is a picture of our life.  I could have told many such stories; truly, this is the kind of man that Grant is.  I have a wonderful guy and a wonderful marriage because of him.  And what really makes it great are not all the big, firework moments - the fun trips, the romantic dinners, etc. - but what makes it great are these little moments. How Grant helps me when I need it.  How kind he is to me.  In addition to many other things, Grant is my friend, and he is a good friend.  And this makes him a really good husband. The Lord knew that my, uneven, task-oriented, short tempered, pessimistic, and brash personality would need someone who was steady, people-oriented, patient, optimistic, and kind.  And the Lord gave me Grant.  And I am so grateful.

 As I was thinking about Grant today, I was reminded of a fantasy I had as a little girl.  I would be in love with this big, super star athlete (I know, I know, roll your eyes...) who lived next door to me (yeah, keep rolling, but stick with me here.. ) But, in my imagination the moment that I knew that this guy loved me back was not when we brought me flowers or spoke some beautiful words, but it was something quite different, (which I remember so vividly): it was a moment when I was completely overwhelmed and suddenly needed help to prepare for some last minute event as my house and he dropped everything to come and help me. Really.

 And today, I realized that this fantasy had come true. Or, that it had been true for many years, and I just now realized it.

 Being married to Grant is humbling.  He is someone who loves naturally and intentionally. As I think about these stories like today, I'm reminded of all the times that I have not been patient with him and when I have not dropped everything to help him.  And it makes me want to be better.

 I don't have a fabulous ending or a lofty point to make in all of this, except just to say that these are the things that I want our children, grandchildren, and many more generations after, to know about Grant:

He is a good man and being married to him is the delight of my life.  : )

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Well, I'm officially the worst blogger, ever! Haha!  I have about ten half-finished writings that I've never posted....and only two that I have. Blah. Oh well.  Being a more regular blogger is one of my goals for this summer.

In the meantime, I did want to post a 13-month summary of Eden.

-She can say "da da" "uh oh" "mama" "wow" "ball" in context
-She just figured out how to make funny faces, walk in a circle and backwards, and she's getting better at climbing up and down stairs.
-She is just hilarious.  She likes to laugh when everyone else laughs. She loves to make us laugh when she does her funny face.
-She is still just a fun baby, who has an easy-going personality and loves to be with us.
-She just now signed and said "da da" without us prompting her.  Really, she just looked up at Grant and said it.
-She loves to take care of her baby.  Today I tied the baby to her back (like she was in a sling) and Eden liked it.
-She's still nursing about four long times a day, with a countless amount of little "snacks" mixed in.
-She eats normal table food with us and is getting better at using a spoon.
-She loves to be outside and when she's out there she waves to the cars as they pass and she watches birds.  And when I say she loves to do these things, I mean, she can do them for a LONG time!!

I should really add more to this post.  It needs pictures and more examples; more clever phrases and interesting words. But, I'm playing with Eden right now, and - let's face it - if I don't just post this baby now it will never get posted.... hahahaha!!!! That makes THREE blog posts!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Headbands for Sale

I am way overdue for a blog post, but I wanted to quickly give you all a preview of some of my latest crafts.

I love to make Eden's headbands and from time to time people have asked me if I sold them. For months, I've answered this question saying, "Oh, I don't have time" or "I'm not so sure about that...." But, this weekend, I finally sat down and made some.  So, here is the batch that I am officially selling, here just in time for Christmas! I hope you like them!

All bands are $8

Comment here, on facebook, or give me a call if you're interested. Shipping/ pickup can be arranged.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A week in the life

Okay, I'm making myself sit down to write this blog.  There are dishes in the sink, clothes to be folded, loads of laundry to start, bills to pay, so I really "don't have time," but, I'm beginning to realize that these things will always be around and there will never be a good time to sit down and record what's going on; so, I just have to do it.

One of the things that I really wanted to record for the blog is "a week in the life" at our house. This may seem mundane, but I think it will be good for us to have a snapshot of these times to look back on later in life. So, here goes:

Monday: I wake up around 7-7:30, quickly nurse Eden (who by this time has begun to stir in bed next to me) back to sleep and quickly run to eat breakfast, help Grant get out the door, and prepare for the day.  Eden usually wakes up at about 8:30-9, and from then until about 10, we play, I get her dressed and I *try* to get more housework done.

Around 10, I stick Eden in the stroller and we go for a walk.  The weather has been beautiful! We walk all around the neighborhood.  Eden is totally fascinated with everything these days - cars, plants, animals, other people, etc. - and I am really trying to get back into those pre-prego jeans, so the walk is good for both of us. ; )

We usually get back by 11 and by the time that I shower, nurse Eden, do a load of laundry, nurse a little more, eat lunch, blow dry my hair, play with Eden, nurse again, do a whirlwind pickup and pack up my stuff, it's 1pm-2pm and it's time for us to leave.  Seriously, before I had a baby, I never understood how simple things - like getting out the door and doing a few bits of housework - could take so long!  This was one of the big adjustments of motherhood: the slower pace of getting "work" done. I've really had to adjust my thinking to count all those "interruptions" - the dirty diaper that needs to be changed, the little coo that says "pick me up," the hours of nursing - as part of my job. In fact, they are the most important part of my job!  I'm learning to just try to do less and enjoy these times with my little girl.

On Mondays I take Eden to my parent's house around 2, then drive to The Houston Music Institute and teach piano lessons from 3:15-7:45 (eight students). My Mondays go rather quickly; I have a fast-paced schedule of students, and I use every spare minute to reschedule missed lessons, select new music, talk & plan with the other teachers, plan for the week ahead and attend to the bookkeeping of running a music studio.  While I'm gone, Eden hangs out primarily with my mom ("Gran"), but also gets to see her three uncles and "Pops." They are great about playing with her and also just packing her up to go with them to run errands, drop Ryan off at football, etc.  Mom took this pic as Eden helped her pick out plants from a nursery; (this was right after she figured how to drink milk from a sippy cup):

My mom brings her back to our house in the early evening, and Grant takes over around 5:30.  Grant has a good rhythm going with her: from about 5:30 - 6:30 he changes, plays with and feeds her.   Then, they go on another walk to the playground where they swing, slide, and climb all over the playset for about an hour.  Then, Grant brings her back home, and he then eats, plays and dances with her. He is an attentive, playful and doting dad.  One of the great joys of my life has been watching this man I love "discover" how much he loves our girl and loves just being a dad. I never worry about Eden when she is with him and I am really glad that they get to have some alone time together throughout the week.

 I'm home about 8:30pm and - can I just take a moment to say - I look forward to this moment everyday.  As soon as I come in through the door Eden sees me and gives me the biggest smile. It's the best part of my day! I get some dinner, hang out with Grant, do some more work and then we all go to bed.  We're all asleep by about 11pm.

Tuesday: These days are pretty similar to Monday, except that I take Eden to Grant's parents' house in the afternoon. There Eden gets to play with "Grandmother Gigi" and "Grandfather Rio." Grant usually goes to their house after work, and they have dinner and hang out together until I get home around 7:30pm.  On Tuesdays, I teach from 2:15-6:45 (five students and three classes). Tuesdays are the days that I teach a couple of classes and - for a myriad of reasons - they are usually tougher days to get through.

Wednesday: Wednesdays are not as predictable.  Often, Grant goes in to work a little later (because he stays through church in the evening), so we get to spend a little more time with him in the morning, which is always a treat! The second Wednesday of the month, Eden and I pack up and head into town for our Houston Teachers' Association Meeting.  Besides just being a member, I am in charge of HMTA's manual and website, so these meetings are a must.  Also, we are a part of a super-fun playgroup that meets every other Wednesday from 11-1pm and we try to make that when we are not too worn out. Around 2:45pm, I take Eden back to my parents' house and - because Grant stays up at church until after evening service is over - my mom hangs out with Eden until about 8:30, when I get home.

For Grant, Wednesdays are full of staff meetings and other meetings.  He eats dinner up at church and then, when he doesn't have a Leadership Team meeting to lead, he attends a mens' group on Wednesday night.  For Grant personally, this is an important time for him to be "filled" and he is able to "take off his 'staff' hat" and just be a member of the group. So, this time is a priority to him.  Whenever he comes home from mens' group I can tell that his batteries are "recharged" and he always has good stories to tell....

Up at HMI, I teach from 3:45-7:15 (six students). Teaching on Wednesday is a lot like teaching on Monday: it's fast-paced and usually goes by rather quickly.

However, by Wednesday evening, I am usually feeling a little panicked.  I'm feeling a bit "behind" in housework, I am really missing spending all day with Eden, I feel like it's been a while since I've seen Grant and I am just tired. I am a homebody and by Wednesday I am REALLY needing some time at home.

Thursday: I teach piano lessons from my home ("The Wright Music Studio") on an off from 10:30am-6pm (seven students). Eden is with me all day, even during some of my lessons, except for the couple of hours my mom takes her while I teach my youngest students.

Thursdays are fun because my youngest brother, Ryan, comes over for several hours after he gets done with classes.  He teaches two guitar students under the umbrella of my studio, takes piano lessons from me and is a great help with Eden.  But, I mostly enjoy being with him because he is crazy fun to be around! He is hilarious and we keep each other in stitches in between talking music theory and politics.  He was just seven when I left to go to college, so we have enjoyed this "catch up" time.

Thursdays are busy for Grant as well. He is usually trying to finish up all his projects and prepare for Sunday morning. After that, he usually gets home around six, and soon after and we head to our First Family (our small group from church).  We both love this time to be with some of our closest friends and "re-center" our lives.  Sundays are usually "work days" for us, so Thursday nights are very important as "church" to us...

Friday & Saturday: On the weekend, we try as best we can to keep as least one of these days totally free of scheduled events. There are always more things we could do, but we do our best to "hang low" and take a "Sabbath" over the weekend. On those days, we sleep in as long as possible and usually just hang out talking and playing with Eden for a while before we "get moving." After that, we may tackle projects or go to events, but we really put a priority on rest and communication.  Our perfect free day involves going on a walk, playing with Eden, hitting up a few garage sales, getting a couple of small things crossed off the list, "checking in" with each other, eating pizza and watching a movie.  : )

Resting has always been hard for me; I like to get things done and be productive. However, I am learning that really all that matters - really - are the people in my life.   And, when I put a priority on being with them life is much better.  Grant has helped me so much with this; it is in his nature to "take things slowly" and "appreciate the little things." This is one of the things that I love about him the most, and it's also one of the reasons that I need  to be married to him! Ha!

Sunday: Sunday morning, Grant is up and gone by about 7:30.  When he gets to church, there is no telling what he'll be doing.  It could be anything from setting up a classroom to meeting visitors to printing handouts to preparing to teach.... Eden and I make it to church in time for class and 2nd service and usually run around helping Grant. Sundays at church are fairly scattered for us. After church, we usually go out to eat with Grant's parents or some of our friends.  About twice a month, Eden and I attend a shower in the afternoon or we'll all go to some other church event. Later in the afternoon, we hang out with Grant and do a MASSIVE cooking session to prepare for the week ahead. (I cook - literally - once a week and portion out meals.  I even pre-make sandwiches. Seriously. I just don't mess with meals during the week!)  Every Sunday evening, Grant goes to another First Family while Eden and I finish up cooking, cleaning and playing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What makes life good?

Today Eden and I had a moment.  I great moment.  Let me share the story:

Yesterday afternoon I was frantically rushing to dress, put makeup on and fix my hair. I had hopes of running a bunch of errands on my way to my parents' house, where I would drop off Eden and then head up to work for an evening of teaching piano.  As I scrambled, I turned away and left Eden unattended for just a few seconds.  As soon as I was a few steps away, I heard a sharp painful cry! Now, Eden hardly ever cries.  She will "babble" and whimper when she needs something, but today her sharp wailing let me know that she was hurt.  I dashed over to Eden to discover that she had grabbed my straightener (she just started lunging, and I'm still not used to the far distances she can cross) and burnt herself! I pulled the straightener off her body and swooped her wailing self into my arms.  Tears streamed down her cheeks. I could tell there was so much pain in her little body.

And, it was my fault.  

Ugh. And you know what else was my fault? The first time she fell off the bed. And the second, when I should have known better. And the third, when I thought she was in an okay place. And the fourth, when I ran to the fridge to quickly put up some pumped milk.  I mean, really? 

I cradled her and told her how sorry I was.  She cried.  I tried to nurse her.  Cried again.  I walked (cried), sat down (cried), stood up (cried), held her close (cried), gave her "space," (cried)... I finally nursed her lying down in our bed, which is her favorite.  She would nurse for a bit, then cry, then nurse, then cry, then nurse.... 

My head was spinning: Why didn't I learn? Here I have the most perfect little being in my arms, a precious little girl who has never hurt me, who trusts me, and who needs me to protect her.  And what had I done? I hurt her. 

This went on for about 20min, which felt like an eternity.  

And I will continue to hurt her! She's not even 6 months old, and I already have a long list.  And, there will be other things: ways that I will disappoint her, embarrass her, or break her heart...

My mind flashed to other times when babies have been hurt. I thought about Jewish babies in concentration camps and families sailing on the Titanic with their young children...  I could look into Eden's eyes and see fear and confusion. It was heartbreaking. 

Suddenly, all these images swirled in my head, mixing with the intense guilt I was feeling, and I began to sob. I just held my little girl and sobbed. I told her how sorry I was. I told her that I never, never wanted to hurt her again. I just cried and cried.  

She suddenly stopped crying and looked at me.  

She gazed directly into my eyes.  We locked eyes, mine full of tears and hers clear for the first time in a long while. She slowly smiled.  Not the kind of smile that baby gives when amused, or "jollied," but the kind of smile that says, quite simple, "Okay, I understand." She calmly held this expression as I cried and I eventually settled. I wondered if she would pick up her cry as soon as I stopped, but she didn't. She was done.  We were both done. 

Now, you could look at this story a lot of different ways; let me articulate a view.  

I believe when she was crying she was telling me how much it hurt.  She wanted me to understand.  After all, when grownups get hurt, we want to tell someone and I don't see why babies would be any different.  When I started crying, I think Eden realized that I did understand and that I - too - was hurting.  And once this connection was made, she was able to settled herself.  I think this touched her deeply.  If you could have seen her face.  It was not a baby face; it was a mature face. I have never seen an expression - such a deep understanding - on the face of a young child.  I think she understood my emphasizing with her, so she, in turn, emphasized with me.  It is ironic to me that while I was trying to comfort her she was actually the one comforting me.   It's okay mom.  I love you.   I thought,  this is probably just the first of many times that my children will comfort me.  

This was a precious, precious, moment. I didn't make it to my errands. I didn't even make it to my parents' house (which is another funny story). I barely squeaked into work. But, as I lay on the bed with Eden, I took time to enjoy that moment. And, in reflection, I'm thinking that this is what makes life good: the collection and enjoyment of great moments, and the hope that heaven is their continuation and fulfillment.

The Beginning

Ta dah! My first ever blog post.  I admit, up until this point I've rejected the whole notion of having a blog because, everyone had a blog, I thought they were a little self-serving (like everyone thinks they're the center of the universe and the world should read their story), and because I didn't think that I had time to write a blog. Yet, here I am! So, what has changed? Well, I realized a couple of things:

1 - I needed an organized place to archive our treasured memories of raising the little Wright kiddos. Grant and I agree that these years of raising our kids are the most precious of our lives and we just want to remember and enjoy these years over and over and over.... Plus, our kids will probably get a kick out of reading this in the future.

2 - I want family (especially grandparents who do not live by) to be able to hear about what the Wright kiddos are up to.

3 - Ever since carrying, birthing and parenting Eden, I have become increasingly introspective and I would like a place to "spill" some of the thoughts that are just spinning around in my head...

So - with these positive reasons in mind - here I am, writing a blog.

In the past, I have been a meticulous editor of all my writings. This, of course, takes a great deal of time.  I think being "stuck" in their perfectionist writing mindset is what has kept me from blogging before. In this my thought was, "If I don't have time to do it flawlessly, I just won't try;" (this is, by the way, the story of my life! Haha!) Anyway, I am going to try to keep the editing to a minimum and post in a "stream of conscious" style.

Anyway, I hope that after reading my "Wrightings" (too cheesy?) that you are entertained, uplifted, and maybe even a little challenged.

Here goes...