- My wedding band
It is a plain band made from white gold. My husband has two matching ones (that story later). Two nights before our wedding we realized we had never purchased the bands we were to exchange with our vows. We went to Service Merchandise because we had no idea where else to go. We also didn't have a lot of cash since we were both still in college.
A clerk caught us looking at the bands and kindly showed us some $300 sets. They were pretty, but still too expensive for our budget. We found the plain bands for about $50 a piece and were out of the door 15 minutes later.
It's funny how a symbol develops meaning over twenty years. That plain metal band is so important to me, not only because of what it means but because of where it's been. We were on a mission trip to Jamaica a few years ago and I noticed it was bent. I have no idea how the tiny dent got there. I've tried to straighten it out as best I can. I could take it to a jeweler and have it fixed but I worry that it wouldn't be my band anymore. I figure I earned that dent.
~ A drawing from a friend
Our fourth child was born in October of 2009. I was severely anemic and also had horrible postpartum anxiety. To top it all off I had to have an MRI and a spot was found on my liver, sending my anxiety into overdrive. My other three children felt that there mother had been exchanged for someone who looked like me but acted like an alien. An alien that leaked breast milk and tears. An alien that had to be hooked to a machine to help increase the leaky problem. The alien also came with an alien baby who wreaked havoc in their lives.
My sweet friend Jenna took the kids for afternoons so that they could escape the leaking alien. She drew this for me on one of those trips. It served as a reminder that motherhood is a privilege not a prison sentence and still does today.
~ My red sneakers
I bought these sneakers four or five years ago. I have always loved red, red anything, but these just called to me. Plus, they were on sale for a GREAT price. They are a little flat so I have to get those squishy things to make my feet feel happy but overall they have been awesome shoes. They have been on walks with me, they have helped me look cute as I chase one of my dogs through the neighborhood after an escape. They have walked on the beach at Dauphin Island with me. I love these shoes.
I packed them away late last fall when we were preparing to move. I forgot about them in the shuffle of everything. A couple of weeks ago I found them in the bottom of a box with some other forgotten items and it was quite a happy reunion. I saw those shoes and recalled all the places we'd been together and couldn't wait to show them around their new city.
~ Baby clothes
I just can't quite put these baby clothes away permanently. I keep them in one of my drawers and like to look at them a couple of times a year when I'm trying to clean out my drawers. My babies are all getting so big now. My girls are 17 and (almost) 15, and my boys are 11 and 5. On days when I'm finding it hard to remember the sweet stuff I pull these clothes out.
Some friends just had their third child a few days ago. Bringing home baby to four and two year old sons has been a train wreck. They are exhausted and can barely remember their own names. I told Roger, the new dad, "One day, you'll look back and remember these as the sweetest days of your life." He laughed and said that's what other people had told him.
"Nah, I'm lying," I confessed, "You'll always look back on these days and remember how hellishly tired you were and wonder how you did it."
Don't get me wrong, I miss having a newborn, and if someone would hand me (or two) one I would be overjoyed. Being a parent to a new child though, causes you to have to dig deep into the well, especially when you have other small children to feed and clothe. It's hard, really, really hard. I think, though, if you can get through those first six weeks or so and not turn on each other, you're gold.
I look back on the early days with my babies and I think, "I did that, so I can do anything."
As long as I have coffee.
~ My journals
I don't journal consistently, but I have notebooks/journals filled with thoughts, pictures, writing ideas, bible study notes, and letters to people who have ticked me off. Sometimes I lose them and then will come across them months or years later. I love to peruse their pages and see myself through fresh eyes. I am occasionally really embarrassed by younger me. I am also occasionally surprised at how deep my bible study was. My journals often inspire me to do more of the same.
Those are my five favorite items right now. I realize that each item is special to me because it has my history wrapped up in it. I read once that knowing our history is important because it tells us so much about where we are and will help us determine where we want to go. These simple items, things I could no doubt live without, hold a special place in my heart. Each item helps keep me grounded in who I was, who I am, and excited about where God will take me.