Sunday, March 16, 2014


My lovely Kenzie girl -

I was thinking the other day how so many people see different sides to you. Some may see a shy girl who always wants her mommy and daddy. That’s okay. That’s you.

Some may see an adventurous girl who loves interacting with people. Yep, this is you.
Some may see a friendly girl who says hi and bye to everyone and lavishes strangers with beautiful smiles. Totally you.

Some may see an introverted girl, who looks like she’s suspicious of everyone around you. You, too.

Some may see a little lady who combs the house on a daily basis looking for her brother (Laleb, arrrrrrrreeeeeeee you??) Who always wants to hold his hand and snuggle beside him. Others may see a girl who is easily annoyed by him and ignores his displays of affection. You are both of these people.

I’m pretty sure everyone sees a girl with a smile like sunshine and eyes that can make you melt. No one can miss that. You are glorious.

I realize that you are a lot of things, you have so many sides to you. Some only get to see one or two sides. Some see more. How lucky I am that I get to see them all.

Your preciousness in the morning when you stand up in your crib and greet us with a sweet giggles and outstretched arms. The way you run around everywhere like a little weeble wobble, knees high in the air and your hair floppy around. How you draw out your words to be funny (yeeeeeeeeeees, nooooooooo, daaaaaaaaada, etc.). Your crazy, big belly laughs that sound exactly like your brother.

The way you sweep your hair out of your face and purse your lips when you are concentrating. Your funny dance moves and how you “shake it” when you hear music. The way you finish the words to a song when brother is singing.

You’re our little handful. Literally. Our hands are always full because you love to be held. Even if no one else is around, you just love to be snuggled. You love to sit in your favorite spot with daddy with your back resting on his stomach and your legs outstretched on his legs.

You’ve consistently been an awesome sleeper, even during our crazy moves, and I’m very thankful for that. You sleep with your lion, Kuma, who permanently resides in your crib. In fact, whenever we’re ready for bedtime, we say “Are you ready to go see Kums?”

You’re my little doll girl. It brings me such joy to get to dress you in cute little outfits and do your hair. You’re not always crazy about the hair part and say “ow, ow, ow,” even when I know it doesn’t hurt.

You’re quite the talker, saying all sorts of words and phrases. Your favorite is to say "I love you" to either me, your dad or Caleb in different octaves. You start with your voice really low and you go higher and higher until you are squealing, "I love you, Laleb!"

You are great at expressing yourself with words and we have such fun conversations. Your favorite book is “You are my Cupcake.” Brother memorized it and loves to read it to you. The last line is “Baby, I could eat you up.” You and brother like to go crazy and pretend that you are eating each other up.

You always want to use the potty. Even when you don't have to go. You say, "I go potty?" Then you love flushing and washing your hands while you sing abc. Speaking of abcs, you just about have it down. The lmnop part gets a little jumbly, but from qrs to the end, you've got it. You love counting during hide and seek and saying "ready or not, here i come!" You also are a dead giveway when you are hiding because you always giggle and lead us right to you.

You are a great giver of hugs and kisses and always lose your mind when we first see you after school. You like to hold my face with your hands and say "eeeeeee." I think it's because that's what I do to you.

You are really sensitive. If a voice is raised or you are reprimanded, you get the biggest frown and tears. It's difficult not to laugh because even the smallest thing can hurt your feelings.

Sometimes I just sit back and watch you do your thing and I am mesmerized – completely engrossed in my thoughts of what will this little girl be, what great things will she do, will she ever fully understand how much I love her, can she really be mine forever? 

Makenzie Kay – you are tender and tough, adventurous and shy, snuggly and independent, giggly and sensitive, loving and particular, and so, so sweet (and a lot spicy). God certainly used a lot different and beautifully-colored threads when He knit you together. And I love seeing all of your colors. I love being your mom.

Baby, I could eat you up.

Love, Mom

Monday, March 3, 2014

4 years.

Little man,

I knew there’d be a day when I didn’t remember Feb. 28, 2010 like it was yesterday. When I would need pictures and videos to remind me of the details. It seems at four years, we are there. That day seems farther and farther away. And I know what that means.

You are growing up.

Too soon and too fast. It’s all happening so quickly. Those days and months of newborn life that were real and raw and in my bones, are now just in my heart. The memory resides peacefully, with no rough edges, few regrets and much longing to return and relive.

You’ve become far more than what I had even hoped. It’s easy to believe that motherhood changes people, but I am convinced it was not just becoming a mom, but becoming YOUR mom that has transformed everything in my life to something better. No one but you, Caleb Beans. Your warm, sparkly eyes and your take-my-breath-away smile have stayed constant throughout the years. You bring me effortless joy. I’m sure if I had a hidden camera following me around all day there would be countless images of me just staring at you and smiling. It’s because I’m so proud of you for just being you. You are one in a million.

One minute you’re bouncing around the house, running from room to room, chasing a football, pretending you’re Russell Wilson. The next you are sitting quietly in the car, looking out of the window with such contemplative innocence. You can be goofy and energetic and independent, and still be the biggest cuddle bug in the world. Often times when I pick you up from school, you’ll be the one sitting on the teachers lap as she reads a story to the class. You are the one holding her hand and scratching her nail.

The words that come out of your mouth are funny, kind and amazing. You tell people that they’re beautiful and pretty and cute. You tell them that they are hilarious and silly. A lot of times out of nowhere you’ll say, “Mom, I just love you.” You tell us stories of exactly what happened on the playground and you leave nothing out. You remember just about everything. If we drive home a different way, you’ll notice immediately and point it out. You are able to tell where we are going by landmarks and often say “Are we going to Edmonds?” or “Hey, we are going to Red Robin,” before we even get there.

You listen to everything, even if it doesn’t seem like you do. You are very perceptive. You encourage your sister to make good choices. You help me when I need it. You give unsolicited hugs and kisses. You make me laugh adult-sized laughs.

You are the best singer in all of the land. You memorize entire songs after hearing them only a couple of times. It’s amazing to hear you belt out “How Great is Our God” or “Lord I need you, oh I need you, every hour I need you, “ at random times during the day. You sing with feeling. You have a playlist of your favorite songs on daddy’s phone ranging from Pearl Jam to Chris Tomlin. You may love you some Jay-z. And yet, during your spring and Christmas programs, when EVERYONE else is singing at the top of their lungs, you are totally silent. In your words, you don’t sing in front of “too many people.”

You think the five food groups are pizza, fish sticks, Indian food, hot dogs and cheeseburgers – and you’re often appalled when one of these items isn’t on the menu. You have to have mustard with your pizza, hot sauce with your eggs and tartar sauce with your fish sticks.

If you spill even the slightest amount of anything on yourself, you have to change your clothes right away. You may have OCD.

You are my pint-sized superhero. The little boy who has to hold his pants up when he runs, but who doles out love, affection, compassion and fun in such a BIG and mighty way. Whether it’s stopping to pray after you see a fire truck blasting past us with its sirens on (“Lord please bless the firemans and whoever they are helping and keep them all safe …). Or walking into Sunday School for the first time, hardly knowing anyone, and sitting down bravely while we leave you. Or putting Kenzie’s jacket away for her or getting a glass of water. Or being happy for your opponent when they win at Go Fish. Or laughing endlessly over a knock-knock joke. Or hiding in the same spot every time and being AMAZED that we can find you.

The YOU that you are is the sparkle in my world.

Yes, being your mom has changed everything from the inside out. Outside I may have bags under my eyes and a “squishy” stomach (as you like to call it). But on the inside I am filled to capacity with the deepest love and most profound gratitude to God for designing you just as you are.

And then giving you to me.

Our relationship is my treasure. My bright boy. Giver of effortless joy. You hold so much magic in your heart and you generously share it with everyone, every day, over and over again. Thank you for forever being my heart, little man. Happy four years. You’ve made my last four years shine brighter than the sun. Love you to the moon.

You are my best.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

a hero in the making.

luke's football hero for almost all of his life has been steve largent. forget the ones who've come and gone - his highest admiration has been steadily reserved for number 80. he still wears his largent jersey for most every game, and on those home games at century link, people know him as "largent" rather than "luke."

for years my husband has petitioned to hang his largent poster in our living room and i've laughed at him and said no way in the world. i have a feeling that the poster will make its way onto our walls one day, but no way EVER in our living room. but somewhere. sorry, steve.

i've quietly watched this largent admiration and found myself admiring something right back - the fact that my husband, the great man that he is, picked someone like that to look up to. not only was largent a great player on the field, he was a man worth respecting in his daily life. luke is the biggest football fan in the world and i'm glad he chose a player like that to call his football hero. i'm glad he saw at an early age that being the fastest, strongest, most popular athlete doesn't matter as much as what spills out of your heart.

last season, we were introduced to a guy named russell wilson. i liked him immediately because, well,  he seemed like a bit of an underdog. he was short. not well known. a third round draft pick. a scrambler. and he was good. just when you thought he had no where to go, he'd make something happen. he'd sneak out of a sack, scramble down the field, throw a hail mary and connect. and off the field, he was humble and optimistic. he seemed like a good team leader. and i loved how he'd end every interview with "go hawks." i was becoming a fan. pretty quickly i learned that wilson was more than just a great talent. he was someone who wasn't afraid to tell people he loved jesus, someone who served and witnessed and wanted to make a difference.

and then something started happening. we starting winning. he got us excited and made us feel like we were winning, too.

in the meantime, i saw caleb watching this guy. closely. playing alongside with wilson as he watched him on tv. throwing the ball in the air and saying "he got it! wilson! we got this!"

so last year, as the hawks were making a play for the playoffs, i took my boy to the seahawks team shop and bought him a wilson jersey. he was ecstatic, proudly wearing his number 3 jersey and more than excited to show dad. the reaction we got; however, was a little unplanned. luke looked at me, then looked at caleb, then looked back and me again and just shook his head. apparently, we weren't supposed to buy authentic team jerseys for a three year old. apparently luke didn't even have a jersey that nice. apparently i should have waited.

but caleb was so on board the wilson train that luke couldn't help but let him keep it. i'm so glad that he did. that jersey has seen so much. almost every seahawks game for two seasons. almost every friday at school. he'd wear it every day if we'd let him. and that little 3t jersey has come to represent so much of  this irreplaceable time with my three year old boy.

caleb is certainly luke's son. a boy who loves football. and a boy who is choosing the right people to want to emulate.

and we will make sure he celebrates wilson's rare talents, but also make sure he sees how wilson points to the sky after every touchdown. how he volunteers at Children's Hospital every week with his wife. how he gives all the credit to jesus.

maybe, just one day maybe, caleb will try to convince his wife to hang his wilson poster in their living room. and i will maybe, just maybe, empathize with them both.

go hawks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


this is one of my very favorite traditions - a night downtown during the holidays. we've had nights just the two of us, a night with a little caleb, a night with a toddler and being preggo, a night with new siblings. we almost didn't do it this year because of all of the business of life. i'm so thankful we decided to do it. these memories cannot be replaced. 

this tradition started because we wanted to fully experience the magic of christmas. but five years later, i'm am fully assured. they are my magic. always. and i am so lucky.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


every other summer, kay and terry rent out a gorgeous house at whidbey island. we lounge, we eat, we explore, we crab, we boat, we comb the beach, we try to find the perfect shells, we try to get excited about finding the perfect shells (right maggie?), we have precious cousin time, we have precious adult time. we experience what it is to be a family. all together, bundled in one house, sharing beds and bathrooms and mealtimes and everything. sharing LIFE. the past two times i got to experience whidbey as a marvel, i was pregnant. i had the unique opportunity to peek into the future - to when our kids would get to experience this truly special time. we are here. i saw it for the first time this year. and it was beautiful. not to mention, this was my first time where i got to have wine and lime-a-ritas on the beach. this year, we had family poker and the kids camping outside in a tent and pizza at langley with the girls and sandwiches and pie at knead and feed and painting shells and luke catching a salmon and amazing dinners and hardworking crabbers and fishermen and celebrating a very special 60th b-day (complete with personalized song and hand motions by the grandkids). so many, many memories that we and our kiddos will have for all of our lives. there are few things that make my heart happier. until next time, marvels and christies. thank you.