He's rocked my world for 18 years.  Not once have I laid eyes upon someone I'd rather be married to.  Though the sight of him gearing up for it makes me slightly heartsick, he devotedly plays me Goodnight Ladies!  most nights right before bed.  The perversion - the perversion! - of this man sometimes feels like more than I can bear.  But o how I love him. 

He is hilarious in a way that I find hard to describe.  It's one of his top five defining characteristics.  I laugh myself sick every day.  I read about - with gratefulness - how people who laugh are healthier for it and I'm thankful for the Boy.  He delights in shocking me and though you'd think that I'd get over the shock thing already, I'm truly stunned each day by the controversial things eagerly, nay delightedly,  spewing forth from his mouth. 

He's a leader in the true sense.  What I mean by this is that he could care less who follows.  He doesn't require the followers in order to feel adequate.  He's his own man in a way that I've never yet encountered.  His belief in himself could stoke the furnaces of an entire country for a year or two.  This man could fly rockets if he wanted to.  This man could rule the Earth (and effectively, I might add).  But, alas!  He cannot fix the broken handle for our front door.  He cannot remember to take the garbage out without loving (never irritated) wifely reminders.  Pah!  These jobs are too boring, too plebian.  This man wants action!  This man wants color!  He wants loud music!  He wants expensive guitars and classic motorcycles.  And he wants good food.  And, if you don't mind, he'd like it all immediately.

No one has ever been nicer to me than he.  I regularly feel humbled by his doting love.  His love inspires me to make my own love better, less expectant, less exacting.  He wants to be with me all the time.  He derives pleasure from making me feel blessed.  He teases me gently when I'm controlling.  He reads to me in the evenings and massages me the whole while.  As I sit and reflect, I don't understand why God would give this man to me as my life's best friend.  To say that I don't deserve him, while undoubtedly  nauseating, is no mere display of false modesty.  He brings home unexpected gifts on a regular basis.  Sometimes it's books from my favorite thrift store, sometimes it's a fabulous new Nikon camera that he's secretly consulted my photographer friend about, unbeknownst to me.  Sometimes it's a frozen lasagna from the store, intended to lighten my load.  Always, it's an offering of love. 

He's so quick to wholely offer himself to me.   There's not a whiff of threatened with him.  He doesn't need to know it'll be reciprocated in order to give me everything.  For him, that isn't the point.  As I watch him, I feel inside myself that I want to be a better person.
Here are some sweet little girls (with their beautiful heads cut off!) for your viewing pleasure.  Now you have some sort of a very vague idea of what Lucy and Anabel look like!  They wear the scarves I recently knit for them, and which brought me so much joy.  These scarves are riddled with dropped stitches, but my soul felt ministered to as I knit them.  I only wish I'd jumped on to this Crafter's bandwagon long before.
From Flor Larios' Etsy Site
Spark plug.  Feisty Little Thing.  Chatterbox.  All of these cliches so aptly describe my little girl.  She's Lucy and there's no overlooking her.  She's the tiniest little thing you ever saw, but the magnitude of her personality more than makes up for all that.  She has the funniest,  riciculously advanced vocabulary and she thinks that disco needs to be revived.   She can talk in a rumbly Fat Albert voice and when you watch her doing so, you can't help but yelp out with helpless laughter.  She loves to dance, but not in the ballerina/princess sort of way that so many of her little peers master.  Her version is all fairy jive.

I think I've mentioned that everything about her is brown.  Her eyes, her hair, her skin and even, more  often than not, her clothes.  Her skin reminds me of a butterfly's wings.  Sometimes you wonder if maybe you shouldn't touch it, it's powdery softness seems so delicate.  Warmth emanates from her little brown body and from her great, effervescent  personality.  My Mother-in-law delighted in using the word scintillating before she died, and I've never known anyone more worthy of being called so than Lucy.

When she tells you a story, her round facial features screw themselves up with tremendous animation.  You sometimes find yourself so caught up in the watching of her to actually hear what she's saying.  Her lips are a rosebud.  Her round eyes are fringed in a thick black sweep.  She is generally utterly joyful or dramatically downcast.  There's little middle-ground with this One.  She's endlessly forgiving.  She'll follow me around anywhere.  My lady smells and colors are a magnet for her.  One of her favorite places to spend time is in the secret, cave-like confines of my closet.  Here she can be a woods-fairy and try on all my high heeled shoes at the same time. 

Sometimes she talks so much, you feel tired at the end of the day.  You berate yourself a bit, asking What's your problem?  Why are you so wiped?  There's nothing tangible to point at to explain away the fatigue.  She's not naughty.  She rarely disobeys.  She's kind and she's fun.  But she just.  doesn't.  stop.  She finds it hard to wrap her little brain around why her parents aren't willing to devote their entire lives to her care alone.  She struggles with not interrupting.  Especially right after school on our walk home, where she and her siblings all clamor to tell about their respective school days.  If she's being honest, she would say that she thinks her news is just a bit more important than everyone else's.  But o my word is she cute.  The sweet little love notes this child brings home from the also-so-sweet grade three boys are numerous and touching.  They're often of the "check this box if you love me, too" genre.

She's one of the more interesting human beings I've yet encountered.  Her animation adds jazz to any room.  Where she is, there is laughter.  There are shenanigans.  And first and foremost there is energetic joy.  I'll be so lonely when my wood-Sprite leaves me.  But the world will be far better for her arrival there.
Curious Birdplane Boy Print from BlackApple's Etsy Shop
I've mentioned this child.  He's the one with a perfect smattering of freckles across the bridge of his brown nose.  This nose I could wax eloquent upon for some time.  It's the perfect nose, the kind that you have to intentionally not kiss anymore as you remember that it's owner is a great, big, dignified ten.  And soon to be eleven, at that.  If you do lose yourself so much as to go ahead and kiss it anyway, despite your best intentions, it must be within the safe confines of your own home where no eagle-eyed, pre-adolescent peer will witness your lapse. 

This boy makes me smile.  He's my easy one.  He's the one who  spontaneously comes up behind me to rub my neck.  He tells me that I look nice.  He still wants me to come in to his Grade 5  classroom to volunteer.  He still initiates a kiss for me each day right on the school field in front of his friends.  He tells me that I make the best birthday parties.   He isn't a child in the typical egocentric sort of way; he naturally excels at considering others.  I thank God for him each day.  When I first met my Mother-in-law, I remember vividly how she told me that JoyBoy - her lastborn son - never gave her a day's trouble in all his life.  This is precisely the way I feel about my Jude.  Life is so pleasant when he's in the room. 

His favorite activity is making people laugh and to say that he's good at it is putting things mildly.  I don't ever have to toss off a pity laugh for him in the interest of building self-esteem; there's absolutely no need.  I do, however, often have to tell him to stop already so that I can stop laughing and get on with the business of life.  He smiles all the time and somehow, the sun seems to follow him around.

Alongside his countless strengths, he struggles sometimes with his work ethic.  He's one of the lucky ones, and was born with a clever head on his shoulders and so most of the time has to exert very little effort in school and places like that in order to succeed.  He doesn't always see the value in "busting one's butt" in order to pull off an A+ when he can pull off B+'s and A's with no effort at all.  It's been a struggle trying to show him why this is valuable, even crucial for one's sustained satisfaction through life.  Seeing the intrinsic pleasure of a difficult job well done doesn't come naturally to this boy, cute though his nose may be.  At ten, he doesn't yet get that all that frantic paddling can sometimes get you to the crest of the most gobsmacking wave.  The one that very few others get to feast their eyes upon and slide down, the thrill of it ennervating their very souls.

He's a very olive-green boy.  I watch him, endlessly fascinated.  His current obsession (and they change at a frenetic pace) is playing soldier.  He loves to horrify me by telling me he wants to join the SWAT.  Either that or the RCMP.  I comfort myself in asserting inside my own head that he only says so to make me cringe.  He dresses in camoflauge as soon as it's tasteful to remove his school uniform.  He carves sticks into weapon-like things with his jack-knife.  He loves catapaults and sling shots.  He begs me to buy him all manner of  Nerf weaponry for his birthday.   But just try to hit a sparrow with the grill of your Volvo and watch him dissolve into tears.  His heart is so soft, and knowing this has helped me to be patient with all his commando shenanigans.  I am one lucky girl.
I'm sorry for my highly sporadic entries of late.  I've discovered that I'm the lucky recipient of not one, not sixteen, but twenty five viruses on my computer.  So that's a lot of fun for everyone.  I can't convey to these sweet hackers, creators of these things, how they've added joy to my daily existence.  Friendly fellows, they so obviously must be.  Anyway, forgive my lapse.  My "computer guy" is currently in Guatamala, so check back in a month or so and I'll be back.   In the meantime, no worries.  You won't "catch" anything from visiting this site.  I'm using a borrowed  machine (is that  a current thing to call it?) and you're completely safe.  Miss you all.