Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Being A Mama

I love days like this. A quiet house, candles burning, one baby at school, one sleeping and one looking at books on my bed, a white, fluffy comforter and plenty of pillows to entice even the rowdiest of kids to sit back and snuggle.

This kind of day gives me time to think about the sweetness of being a mama, my favorite thing on earth. I had the chance to rock my almost two year old in a rare moment of calm. Those are the times I feel the most like a mama. No one around, just us, a sweet baby nuzzled to my chest. No camera to capture this divine moment so I take a picture in my mind and send up a little prayer that I won't ever, ever forget this moment lent to me from heaven, this moment just the two of us share. The way she smells, still fresh from her bath the night before, the way she caresses her blanket between two fingers and finds the perfect bit of fabric to suck  on until she's fast asleep. 

These moments, I pray, are the ones I will remember when I'm old and gray. I will sit back, close my eyes and recount those blessed flashes in time. Because that's what they are. A flash, and then it's gone. Never to be had again. Sure, there are more around the bend, but not that one.

I like knowing that no matter where my littles go in this great big world, no matter what they do or who they become, we shared those times. Embedded in our hearts forever.  An anchor for our love.  I love that I had the privilege of rocking those littles, in those instances, no one else. I'm selfish like that. And that no matter what happens in this life, if we never get that house, if I never lose those last five pounds, even if we don't throw the biggest and best birthday parties, if they don't make the team, if they aren't valedictorian, those moments, seeping through heaven and graciously landing in our home, those are the moments that matter.

It was enough, more than enough, that I was their mama.

I love you, too, little buddy.


A Train Ride

Joe had the idea to take the kids to see Thomas the Tank Engine. We headed south with three unsuspecting littles to the Lebanon Railroad.

They were thrilled to see Thomas.

They were double-ly thrilled to ride Thomas! This is as close to Thomas' face as we got. I'm so not the mama willing to spend $20 to get a picture with my kids standing in front of him. This will due just fine, thank you very much!

We rode down the track clankety-clank style, listening to Thomas music coming from somewhere in the front of the train. I felt like we were part of the Thomas crew having our own little adventure on the island of Sodor. I'm sure there was some mischief and a train somewhere not listening to Sir Topham Hat's instructions... What? Don't other grown-ups play make believe in their head? No, just me? Okay then...

Back to the three little people who appreciate my imagination...

I loved watching their faces as they studied the movement of the car in front of us making it's way down the track, the way they were curious, excited and a little nervous (Isaac pointed out that there were no seat belts...we assured him it was okay) all rolled into one cute, little expression.

 Except for Selah. Girlfriend wasn't having the whole sitting still thing. She wanted to roam wild and free. They gave her a lollipop to quiet her down. She happily obliged.

These curious kids of mine are constantly asking us these questions...is Santa real, are giants real, monsters, Curious George?  So it was great to see their faces light up when they realized the conductor was a real living and breathing person asking for tickets!!

 Okay, I was a little excited too... It's not every day you meet a train conductor!

We walked around a little afterwards, stopping for ice cream.

We took our time walking back to the car and I made a mental note to come back sans kids and survey the cute antique and boutique shoppes with a friend or a sister or a grandma...

It was a great day. I just love coming up with these little adventures for the kids. I think it really goes a long way in their eyes. And that's what it's all about.

Happy Tuesday!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yep, I Love Him

Joe walked in the door after a later-ish meeting last night.

He handed me the keys to his car and said something along the lines of  "Go, grab a magazine and go out to eat.  I've got the kids, take a break!"

Ummmm, OKAY!

It was pretty wonderful, I must say. For all the love I have for my kiddos, sometimes a break is fantastic, too.

I stopped first at Dorothy Lane Market and debated over things like People or US Weekly, Ohio magazine or Oxygen. This process took more time than I'd like to admit.

I had the Portobello Wrap at Boro Bistro. It's such a girly place. I love it. They even put an orange wedge in your water. Lemon is so yesterday.

Y'all (my friend, Rachel is from Texas...she's rubbing off on me), I chewed my food. I even took note of each ingredient I was enjoying. Divine. I went back and forth between eating, reading (I chose People and the Ohio magazine) and listening to the trendy music playing overhead. I daydreamed about the songs I would add to my blog if I was one of those bloggers who actually knew how to add music to their blog. I'm not, by the way, but someday.

I came home all giddy and recharged. Just the break I needed. I think it was even better because it was unexpected.

Yep, I love him.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Moments Like This

Sometimes there's the mundane: Wake up, workout, make breakfast, make beds, fix lunch, clean up, pick up, nap time, shower, dinner, bath time, bedtime. I know you know what I'm talkin' about.

Yes, sometimes the routine gets to me.

But then there are moments like this...

Where the temperature is perfect, the sky a most perfect blue and the clouds big, white and puffy. So perfect it doesn't look real, you want to touch it just to be sure.

This day with it's crisp breeze inspires me, moves me, makes me want to me be intentional.  Things like talking about our day over a home cooked meal, soft music coming through speakers.  Pushing me to scrub all the corners of my home, corners usually neglected.  Crisp bed linens. No noise, just the hum of the refrigerator and the wind through the trees.

I want to take my kids to all the pumpkin patches, all the local festivals. I want to wear chunky sweaters and scarves whilst sipping hot cider.  Yes, whilst.

We went to the park this week. It was full of moments I don't want to forget. It was a gift, a blessed normal day.

We kicked the ball into open soccer nets, pretending we were world cup champions. We hit home runs and ran bases. We went down slides and pretended we were rockets flying to the moon via a chain link park swing.

 I love this kind of pretending, when it isn't silly to think those things. When the world is full of possibilities, a blank slate. When I see the world through the eyes of my kids. Focusing on them, really listening, joining in on their play. I'm learning just how important that time is. To play with them, to play with them. To be there, pretend with, to chase, to monkey bar, to be friends. Not just the mama expecting clean rooms and vegetable eating.

Though no one wanted to leave, we were hungry. We headed home for Sloppy Joe's and followed it up with cornhole in the driveway 'til dark.

It was just another beautiful day that acts as binding on the Book of Our Life. I can't wait to hear our kids' version of days like this years from now. Building the same memories, laughing hard. I want to take this day with all of its goodness and wrap it up. When the mundane gets to me I will pull it out, read it and remember how good life is. After years pass, there will be other pages to fill our book, we will read them together and remember all the good.

Because there is a lot of it.

Other things I don't want to forget...

*How Selah hugs so tight, wrapping her arms around my neck and squeezes tight.
*The way she says "I don't know".
*Gabe moving close to me and holding my hand on the couch.
*The way Selah grabs my face with both hands and turns my head to look at her when she really wants my attention...which is always :)
*How she randomly shouts "I win, mama win, daddy win, Isaac win, Gabe win!!"
*Selah putting her baby in Time Out.

*Isaac meeting his cousin, baby Greyson, for the very first time...and the look on all of these boys faces.

Feeling very blessed tonight.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Where I Want To Be

I was never the outspoken one.  Quiet, people pleaser, never one to ruffle any feathers. I was awkward in school, didn't belong to any certain clique.  Another face in the crowd. I'm not complaining, I liked it that way.  I've always been more of a people watcher than a look at me type anyway. I'm a late bloomer, still blooming in fact. I mean, seriously, I'm just now venturing out from having more than three hairstyles...down, ponytail, bun-type thing. I bought lipstick for the first time this year. Yes, I am 33. And I've worn it once. I didn't go to college, never really felt like I found my groove.

But this? This mama thing? I love it. I feel like it's my thing. I'm not saying I'm good at it, I'm just saying I love it.  I knew I would never be the mama complaining about fingerprints on glass, or  the one who wanted all the toys to be out of sight in case company stops by. Here in the Knopp household you could very easily be sent flying across the room courtesy of a plastic tea cup. When I was a nanny before I had kids, I adored the little hand prints the kids made on my car windows. I love them even more now. That means I have little people and little people are the best. They don't care if you wear lipstick, they don't care if you're sporting the same yoga pants as yesterday. They are simple, they just want to be with you. How cool is that?

This is what we've been enjoying...

Gabe's first day of preschool.

I just LOVE this last picture of him.

His preschool is great. Isaac went for two years and now Gabe is starting his second year. Gabe loves it. The way he can't wait to show me his schoolwork as soon as he gets in the car is absolutely adorable. His mouth going a mile a minute talking about all he did that morning. It melts me heart. He's such a mellow kid so to see him this excited about something is really sweet.


Shopping with my girl. We do it up big. You can find us at Hobby Lobby or Target. We know how to party.


 Tea parties.

 Even if they were interrupted by a phone call or two. She's a busy girl, what can I say?


Reading books, cuddling and being silly with my boy. I love this time during the day. Somehow Gabe and I have found this snippet of time, just the two of us. While Selah naps and big brother is at school I get to give him all of me. It's pretty darn special.


I enjoyed the warmth of two little bodies in bed with me while daddy was out of town. I loved waking up in the darkness, all of us intertwined. Listening to that dreamy sound of my littles sleeping peacefully. There was a time when I would watch them for what seemed like hours while they slept. Watching them now made me wonder when I stopped doing that.  I didn't realize just how much I missed it and I'm making a promise to do it again. To watch them sleep, to count their breaths, to watch that little chest rise and fall.

I am aware a day will come when the opportunity to simply walk into their room and gaze lovingly won't always be so easy to do.They will grow up, they will move away. That's they way it's supposed to be. I really do want them to grow, to be their best, to be grown ups with a spouse and kids of their own someday.  Right now they are with me and I will drink in every moment of them so that when they are no longer here I will have no regrets. I'm right where I want to be. I'm so very thankful for that.

Goodnight, friends.