it’s kirsten, pronounced with an “ear”sten.

my name is kirsten.  k.i.r.s.t.e.n.

you pronounce my name like this:

kEARsten

not kristen.

not kristin.

not kirsten pronounced kUrsten.

not christine.

not kristine.

not even close!

it’s kirsten.  pronounced kEARsten.

it’s not that difficult.  especially if you’ve known me for a while and you’ve heard me say my own name.  or you’ve heard other people say my name.  if we’re in a group of people, and the majority say my name kirsten (pronounced kEARsten), i’d join that majority.

if i’ve just met you, and introduce myself to you as kirsten (pronounced kEARsten), please, don’t call me kristin.  please.  it’s insulting.  if my name was kristin, do you think i’d introduce myself by mispronouncing my name?  i wouldn’t.

if you’re unsure of how to correctly say my name, or anyone else’s for that matter, just ask.  it’s better to ask and know.  would you want someone continually saying your name wrong?  probably not.

my name is kirsten, pronounced with an “ear”sten.

*thanks to digital underground and their song the humpty dance for giving me the rhyme.  “my name is humpty, pronounced with a umpty.”  please note i do not endorse this group or this song, i’m just thankful for the rhyme.*

i’m sorry, but i don’t really know how to talk about this

it’s not that i don’t want to.  it’s not that i can’t.  it’s just that i don’t know how.

it’s awkward.  to say the least.

i’m infertile.  infertile.

i’ve never been pregnant.  therefore, i’ve never been in labor.  i’ve never given birth.

when someone talks to me about pregnancy or childbirth my mind is flooded with thoughts.

“do they know i’m infertile?”

“do they remember i’m infertile?”

“are they really talking to me?”

“what do they expect me to say?”

“can they tell i’m uncomfortable?”

“will they walk away and wonder what was wrong?”

“will they see through me?  will they know that i’m pretending to be interested, but really i’m just wondering why in the world i’m a part of this conversation?”

“what would they do if i started to cry?”

“what would i do if i started to cry?”

“where’s my husband?  he knows this is hard for me.”

“where’s a friend?  i need to hold someone’s hand.”

“does anyone understand?”

“we’re in a room full of people, why do i have to talk about this?”

“does anyone think before they come to me with a story of someone’s possible pregnancy?  confirmed pregnancy?  labor and delivery story?”

i don’t want to be avoided.  i just wish women like me were more understood.  i wish there was some consideration.  just a little.  for those of us who just really don’t know how to talk about this.

and then you turned 10

these past five years have been a whirlwind. we met you when you were almost exactly four and a half. your first birthday with us, you turned five.

you were so excited to turn five. some days, it was all you talked about. and when the day finally came, you were ready.

you wanted to dress up, but it was a cold day. a long sleeved shirt under your fancy dress did the trick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you were lavished with attention and gifts. this was perhaps the first time one of your birthdays had been celebrated in this way. so much commotion. so much attention. all about you. all for you.

you took it in well. i think you were a little overwhelmed, but you didn’t really let it show. you were observant. you were cautious.

you were surrounded by love. by a family. by gifts. everyone, everything, to celebrate you.

as each birthday arrived, after that first one with us, i’ve not been able to wrap my mind around the passing time. you were four the first day i saw you, and now you’re ten.

double digits! now, always and forever, double digits. no more eagle’s nest. no more memphis kiddie park. no more kid’s meals(well, at some restaurants you’ll still quailfy, but not all), no more children’s rate at disney world.

no more nine.

no more eight.

no more seven.

no more six.

no more five.

no more four.

no more of those years before i knew you.

now you’re ten.

and you’re a beautiful ten.

you’re sweet and silly.  you’re gracious.  you’re forgiving.  you’re resilient. your heart is tender, and yet so strong.  your heart is big.  your faith is big.  your dreams are big.   you’re loving.  you’re fun.  you’re mine.

you’re the little girl i dreamed about when i was a little girl, longing to grow up and be a mommy.  you have the brown curly hair and the big brown eyes i’d always envisioned a daughter of mine to have.

and you’re the perfect fit for our family.  a perfect daughter for your dad and i.  and a perfect big sister for your brothers.

we’re so grateful for you.  for the gift you are to us.

celebrating last night with family~with dad, waiting to open gifts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

celebrating tonight at rita’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

watching a ferrari pass by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

celebrating you, our princess, with a new book reminding you you’re God’s princess too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy birthday beautiful girl.

a night like the way i always thought nights should be

last night we celebrated josh’s 34th birthday. he’s finally joined me in the middle 30’s. we celebrated with his family at his parents’ house. and it felt like a family celebration should feel.

it was fun. it was lighthearted. the kids sat at one end of the table and i at the other, because they don’t need my help with their food anymore. with this i felt a sense of freedom. i felt like an adult.

we laughed. i heard stories of things my husband and his brothers did when they were younger. some of these stories i’ve heard many times before and they still make me laugh and smile.

the kids went fishing with their uncle in the backyard. and they played kickball in the front yard, all by themselves, until it was dark. they tracked clumps of wet grass in on their shoes and grammy and gramps told them not to worry about it.

josh received birthday gifts with meaning. his parents, his brother and brother and sister~in~law, each put extra thought into the gifts they selected. various items that would be special to josh.  like candy cigarettes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we were there well past the kids’ bedtime. when it was time to head home, they ran outside barefoot, because their shoes and socks were covered in wet grass, to get in the van. they went out on their own. in the dark. on their own.

i carried out, in several rounds, the kids’ shoes and socks, kickball and bases, our leftover food, and josh’s birthday gifts. on my own. the kids sat in the van. josh stayed in to visit with his parents.

on one of my trips back into the house, i saw josh and his parents through the screen door. the warm glow of the inside of the house was shining out and the stars were shining brightly in the sky. and i thought, “this is how i always thought things should be.”

on our way home we sang a few songs to Jesus, about Jesus. the stars and the moon beaming through the windows. with three sleepy kids behind me and my husband’s hand in mine, i remembered that this was the kind of night i’d dreamt of, long before i got married and had children. and i was grateful. and i am grateful.

i’m a person too

just had to give my kids the “i’m a person too” talk.  you know, the “i’m not just a mommy, cook, housekeeper, laundry washer, homework supervisor, etc.” talk?  we’ve fallen into this rut where everyday after school, if i’m not saying ‘go outside to play’, or ‘come do your homework’, they do nothing.  they sit.  and they stare.  at me.  as if i’ve nothing else to do but sit and be watched while doing things i need to do.

sometimes i need to switch the laundry, or cook the food, or vacuum the house, or put away groceries, or organize papers, or check my email, or the news, or the weather.  and i’d like to do those things, without someone staring at me.

so starting tomorrow, when they get home, they need to do their jobs~unpack their bags, change their clothes, and wash their hands.  and when they’re finished, if i’m in the middle of doing something, they may not sit and stare at me.  they must find something to do.  and if staring is what they’d like to do, they can sit in their rooms and stare at something there.  just not at me.