Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flip your world

Well, clearly my promises about posting more often were just lies. Not intentional, but lies nonetheless. At any rate, last weekend we had Violet baptized and this weekend we spent a weekend in Door County for a seminar, but we considered it our first family vacation.
What I would like to talk about this time though is how shockingly one sided relationships can be. It sounds so negative to say that out loud, but I am starting to wonder if we really can't help ourselves. When we went down to Peoria to have Violet baptized we visited Grandpa Swardenski at his new pad. He seemed lonely. It is hard, because he has given to us without ever a single thought for himself and yet, we had not been to see him in his new home- old folks home- since he moved there months ago. As we left, we swore we would be back within a week since we felt his loneliness in such a guttural way- but, we returned to our lives and now are hoping to visit next weekend. Simply failing him. But, it is so hard. It seems like in relationships someone is always giving and someone is always taking and I think half the time we don't realize when it is that we are the takers. So, I guess I am suggesting that anyone who is still willing to check in on my blog (in which I never make an entry) ask themselves- in the important relationships in their life- am I taking or giving? Can I try to even the exchange? As for us, for the first time in our lives, and possibly his own, Grandpa needs us. He has always loved us without question and supported us without limitations and we cannot continue to be so one sided. I feel even worse, because we did not even know. We were not even cognizant enough of our relationship to know that he needed us. But, we will not let him down. Because the screwy thing about being the giver or the taker is that it doesn't mean that one side loves the other any more than the other. I love Grandpa so much that the idea of a world without him makes my heart hurt. He has been more kind to me than any human being in the world and he is more amazing than any human I have ever known and my love for him is unparalleled, but now so must be my actions.
So, look around and well, love your grandparents.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Join the Amish...update your blog

It is sad to think that despite how much easier it is to communicate with others, we still fail to do so. Christmas cards are printed from a kiosk, letters have died in favor of emails, and even baby books have been replaced by blogs (such as this one)...and yet somehow I still manage to not keep up. I would like to say it is because I am a lazy loser, but I don't think that is necessarily the answer. Just yesterday I was asking a co-worker, do the Amish have it so wrong? It is an amazing thought to center your life around your family and your faith. Everyone in the family works and helps out and together, you build a life. In our 'modern' civilization, working parents such as myself torment over who is going to take care of their babies. Truly spending more waking hours with my children than I do. Then while at work, you are twisted with guilt and missing your children. And we think we are somehow superior to their simplistic ways. We have created so many responsibilities and must haves, that we have completely lost sight of the very core of our humanity- our family and our faith. So while this was a much too depressing entry, it is entered with the thought that while I am not going to head down Highway 45 and join the Amish, I will try to emulate them in some ways by trying to remember to keep my family and friends updated on our blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Joining the world of blogs

My sister recently started a blog & I thought it was a great idea. Just the other day I typed up an update letter for family and friends, which I will fail to send out as I usually I am going to post it here and start blogging in an attempt to keep up with everyone.

Dear Family and Friends, June 10, 2008
Let me start this out by apologizing for the great delay in sending out thank you cards. The last three months have been such chaos that I have absolutely no idea who I have sent out cards to and who I did not get to yet. This confusion makes me an ungrateful heel and I am sorry for that. We are truly grateful for the incredibly thoughtful gifts and cards everyone has been sending for our newest blessing Violet Maia.
I just wanted to send out a little family update to let everyone know how our whirlwind of a life has been going and send some pictures of our girls.
Violet is a fabulous baby, despite the fact that she started out with colic. For anyone who has never experienced a collicky baby (as Brandt and I had not) there are certain experiences in life which are just better left unexperienced. We should have known that when we brought her home from the hospital and Emlyn came down with strep throat within hours of our arrival that having two children was going to be more of a challenge than we had anticipated.
We spent many, many nights (months worth) closed in our bedroom (so as not to wake up #1) with our screaming Violet desperately trying anything to soothe her- all to no avail. God eventually took pity on us and realized that we truly could not handle any more and the colic stopped. What emerged from the ashes of colic was an absolutely joyful, gorgeous baby girl who lights up our lives with her smiles, coos and gurgles.
She is 3 ½ months old now and is extraordinarily social. She loves to ‘talk’ with all of us and her newest trick is to roll over every time you try to lay her down. She loves being outside and loves her sister.
As for her sister, Emlyn is 3 years old now, but she truly thinks she is turning 16 next month ( I am sure this is not any news to any other parent of a 3yr old). She is a great big sister. Despite her frustrations with her parents and anyone else who will listen, she is always loving to her sister. Often when Violet is crying she will go to her and whisper to her not to worry that her big sister is here.
Emlyn had her first dance recital and absolutely loved it. Her thirty seconds of fame as a three year turning in circles to ‘Thumbelina,’ was enjoyed not only by her parents but by a special trip from her Great Grandma Van. She is starting half day preschool in the fall.
As for Brandt and I, he has been with the Brown County for a year and a half now and I recently celebrated one year with Outagamie County. We are both back to work- sort of. Since Violet joined us, we have been trying out this whole ‘equal parenting’ deal where we both are trying to have some time off of work to be with the kids and the end result is we are both neither 100% at work, nor 100% at home, thus we are perfectly unperfect at it all.
For those of you who don’t know, we have had my cousin, Stephanie and her son Ben staying with us while super dad/husband Josh is in Iraq. They bought a house and will be moving out at the end of the month which will give Steph about a month to get the house set up in time for Josh to come home. We are really going to miss having them here and are starting to wonder how we are going to parent our own children without her help.
We have been in our house for almost a year and a half and we absolutely love it. We are starting to enjoy all of those bizarre homeowner tasks, like planning landscaping and planting a garden and wrecking our hard earned lawn with a kiddie pool. All in all, things are better than good for this little Swardenski family.
I hope this letter finds you all well and please know you are in our hearts.

Brandt, Michelle, Emlyn and Violet

Well, that was pretty simple to write the first entry.
All the best,