Home Bittersweet Home

Today I returned from a 4 day getaway to Vegas w/ Jenny & Caleb (& baby G). What a bittersweet experience. From several days prior, it was challenging just thinking and preparing to be away from my “better parts” (Dean and Alizea) & then to actually enjoy myself guilt-free… but it was so wonderful & healing (physically, emotionally and spiritually) to have so much time to myself, to be reconnected to the Marisa that was called by name by the Creator of the Universe, stripped of her wifely duties, her motherhood responsibilities, to experience God in an intimate way again, face to face (in the mass), NO distractions (or at least legitimate excuses for distractions – couldn’t even blame the infant this time for just plain, people watching) I am beginning to realize that as a mom of little ones (maybe big ones too), you get SUCH LITTLE time, such few moments, minutes, seconds alone, to yourself, and I realized I was slowly & gradually beginning to define myself according to my responsibilities, duties, titles: mothering, cleaning, cooking, home-making, teaching (ie: how well I was engaging & challenging my curious & impressionable toddler, how well I was “training” my baby to sleep at night, how well or often I cooked meals for my family or lunches for my hard-working husband, how well I decorated my home, making for an aesthetically pleasing, warm and welcoming place for everyone, how well I taught my children academically & in matters of the faith, the list goes on and on)….in a sense, this is inevitable and important as fulfilling my calling and vocation is directly linked to my sanctity but what I also realized I needed was to be reminded that it all began with my Lord, no one else, NO expectations & It felt SO good to be in that place again – just Him and me.
Surrounding the hi-lite of the trip (the mass – boy did I take for granted going to mass alone for so many years) was lots of girl sharing (gotta LOVE the “sisterhood” – such understanding & comfort & likeness of mind); laughing at our babies, especially baby Caleb (what a calm, funny, simple baby he is) eating “good” food (translate as you wish – ok, so both ‘good for you’ and just plain bad but good-tasting), shopping until our guilt turned to rationalization, joking, lounging, and mentally “escaping” (way too much movie watching for my already mushy brain!). Here is a taste of our adventures:

It was a total blast and something I will cherish for a long time (Jenny is such a special, incredible mother, friend and person. I learned SO much from her just quietly observing her patience and servant-heart) but boy did I miss this girl…
Although it surely would have been a different experience with both kids (ie: I definitely would have needed a vacation from the “vacation”)

And Alizea was so incredibly excited to see her baby sister, talk to her and overwhelm her with affection. I think Genevieve missed her big sis as well as she was smiling non-stop from the moment she heard Alizea’s voice!

So “home bittersweet home” – I say that because it’s sort of like a nice dark chocolate: the 1st bite you take is rather bitter, catches you by surprise a little, your taste buds aren’t expecting it nor too excited about it. But the more you eat, the more you enjoy it and appreciate it’s unique, wonderful, rich taste! That’s how I feel about being home, not just being back home, but being home, all the time, transitioning to a Stay-at-home-mom, to a no kiddin,  full time (I do miss those long extended ‘coffee breaks’ at work) mommy & wife. Initially at times, I don’t want to embark on the day – Being awaken from a dead, peaceful, deep slumber at any given time is just plain bitter; A day filled with dirty diapers and spit-up in my newly washed hair is bitter; A whiny strong-willed child who screams because she just doesn’t want to give in and sleep is well….bitter. Yet having the opportunity to watch 2 sleeping beautiful pure angels is sweet; Knowing you you are awakened by your 2yr old because she simply wants to be near you at every moment of her day (even while she sleeps) is sweet; Waking up to nurse your infant, to literally give her life in the most simplest form is sweet (not to mention beautifully amazing); Being greeted with smiles & coos that undoubtedly and non-coincidentally appear the moment you approach your 8 week old baby when she sees or hears you is sweet; Hearing “I love you choo mommy” from my 2 yr old knowing she fully understands (more than any adult) the meaning of ‘love’ is sweet; The laughter (in the form of both ‘BELLY laughs’ & quiet squeals) is sweet and the excitement and JOY for life that both of my daughters teach me about God himself & His heavenly kingdom each and every day is definitely sweet! Home: the place where I come in contact with such drastically different emotions and experiences (& this is all in one day): frustration yet serenity, chaos yet peace, noise yet stillness, stress yet tranquility. 
Ahhhh, It’s good to be back.

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