Sunday, May 26, 2013

To my Georgia, on her 6th Birthday

Oh Georgia, my Georgia, today, as with so many days previously, I honestly just don't know what to do with you.   I heard a quote today where a father (talking about their own sassy-pants little girl) said, "You know, she might be the Spawn of Satan but I love her so freakin' much."  And that, Miss G, (despite the inappropriateness of starting a birthday letter with it) is the gospel truth about you.  You are a handful.  The true definition of a firecracker incarnate. You perplex, frustrate, infuriate, amuse, and completely delight me.  Often, you are utterly beastly.  You bite your sister, kick your dad's shins, screech at us all until you're hoarse, and nearly (and occasionally actually) bring me to tears.  On those days, I pretty much just want to sell you to the gypsies (believe me, you'd fit right in) or leave you out for the fairies to take back like the changeling you are.  But then you smirk like an imp, your eyes sparkle, you twirl and dance, and I remember just why it is I love you as much as I do.

Which I do, Georgie-Girl. so, so, so much.

You're a walking contradiction, Georgia Me.  You're completely rough 'n' tumble, have zero problem keeping up with the boys, eat like a mountain man, and are ridiculously competitive, but you still love all things princess, pink, and sparkly.  In your opinion, flowers must be picked, dresses must be twirled, and lips must be glossed.  You're just that kind of girl.  Heaven forbid we try to brush your hair, though (you'd think after 6 years you'd learn that it's a daily must-do).  You are truly the ultimate sparkle-clad warrior princess.

In last year's birthday letter, I told about the Shakespeare quote we hang above your bed, "Though she be but little, she is fierce." It was as if that old bard wrote that with you in mind.  Just for kicks and giggles I looked up the definition of the word fierce in good ol' Merriam Webster and this is what they had to say...

fierce: adjective
1 a: violently hostile or aggressive in temperament
   b: given to fighting or killing
2: marked by unrestrained zeal or vehemence
3: furiously active or determined
4: wild or menacing in appearance

Could they possibly have imagined a better word to describe you?  I know, I know, people will read that list and think I'm a horrible mother for comparing it to my beautiful, curly-haired, blue-eyed daughter.  But when I read that definition, I see words like zeal, determined, wild, and yeah, ok, aggressive...but let's be honest, you are aggressive.  It really does fit you oh-so-well.  While I don't always love how difficult your determination and zeal make it to be your mama, I still wouldn't take those traits away from you.  They make you who you are, Georgia Marie.  They give you your strength.  You have strength to move mountains, my baby girl, if you will only harness it in the right direction.  Use that zeal and focus for good, Georgia, and there's nothing in this world to stop you.  Don't forget, though, to counter-balance your aggression with kindness.  People love you, Georgia.  They see your sparkle and energy and are drawn to it like moths to a flame.  Be nice to them, my dear.  Always remember to be kind.  That's the mark of a true Lady. It's not in the ribbons and's in how you treat those around you.

You still adore all things mermaid and princess. Pink is still, predictably, your favorite color.  You absolutely adore listening, singing, and dancing to any and all music, with most anything by pop female singers being your top picks, (right now you won't stop singing this song).  You've finally decided to wear pants and shorts again (glory hallelujah!), although dresses are still your top choice.  Auntie Steph and Aunt Kim are your favorite people in the entire world (normally I don't name favorites, but you make your preferences painfully obvious to all admirers).  Your best friends are Baleigh (from school), Kai (from church), and your BFF and cousin, Ella.  Even though you fight like cats and dogs with Scarlett, when she's not around, you simply don't know what to do with yourself (seriously, you wander around like a little lost orphan).  You two lay up in bed, chatting and giggling long into the nights (naughty imps that you are).  Remember to always treasure her, Georgia.  I know you don't know it now, but sisters are gold.  She will be there with you forever.

I love you so much, Georgie, that it makes my heart ache.  I love your crazy gypsy personality.  I love your multi-toned blonde curls and almond shaped blue eyes.  I love you so, so, so very much.  I really don't know what to do with you in the day-to-day, but rumor has it my mom didn't know much what to do with me either when I lowered my brows and dug in my heels.  Maybe that's why I manage to kinda-sorta-maybe handle you most days.  I see so much of myself in you.  Which gives me hope that when we're on the other side of this, you'll be proud to see me in you too.

Oh Georgia, my Georgia, you are such an amazing little spirit.  You are such an incredible mix of intensity, tenderness, strength, and vulnerability all mixed into one.  You were my very first baby girl and you add so much richness, passion, and life to our home. You make my life so. much. better.  Happy, Happy Birthday, my baby girl.  I can't even believe you are a big six years old.  You are such a special girl, Georgia Marie.  I love you!

Happy Birthday Miss Georgia!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Invisible Mom

Allow me to muse for a moment...

So, despite my lack of postings, I've been going through pictures trying to figure out what to post, and I've realized something...

I'm invisible.

I'm not sure why, but I'm never in any pictures.  Often, around the house and at our small family events, it's because I'm the one behind the lens (unless, of course, I want pictures from very far away of very small people with awkward poses.  Sorry, Spencer, my dear, but you know it's true).  But, almost as often, especially at bigger family events, I'm not taking the pictures, but I'm still not in them.  I'm not sure why, exactly, but I've been thinking about it as I sorted through another batch of photos tonight.

I've decided it's because I'm The Mom.

I'm the one that's giving the kids stern looks when they're acting up.  I'm also the one dealing with the tantrumy kid in the corner while everyone else is playing with the happy ones.  I'm the pregnant one sitting at the table absolutely exhausted by the end of the night.   I'm on the sidelines keeping the toddler safe while the older kids test their luck. I'm lagging a bit behind on the walks and hikes because I'm waiting for the slowest kid.  Who wants a picture of any of that?  no one, obviously.

I'm not whining because, for the most part, I don't mind so much.  I'm not in pictures because pictures are where all the action is, where the fun is at and, let's be honest, moms aren't really in those two places all that much.  That's a place for Mowglis and Uncles and Dads and super-fun Aunts (the ones who are more fun than me, anyway).  Moms are just a more behind the scenes and on the sidelines sort of group.  It's just life.

Sometimes though, I wish it wasn't.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trip to Marriage Mecca

...or so it feels like since we went to our 2nd wedding there this year, and the first of this summer.

Anyway, so much has happened since I last posted!  We visited Spencer's family out in Utah and had a fun-filled time full of hikes, a wienie roast, catfish line fishing, tissue paper pom-pom making, one amazing trip to Tucanos, and (most importantly) Heather's wedding!  Most unfortunately, my camera wasn't working (I really think it might have actually bit the dust this time around), however, most fortunately, my brother-in-law Eric took a bunch of pictures and then was doubly-awesome and sent me them all s so I could show them to you! yay! yay! for brother-in-laws who save the day!  Without further ado...

Note: if these pictures seem a little Ezra-heavy, it's because that's who Eric spent most of this time with.  They were pretty much inseparable and Ezra definitely worships the ground his Uncle Eric walks on.  It's fun to see Eric bring out Ezra's more rough-and-tumble side and it was super-handy to have a built-in-monitor when Ezra insisted on exploring the wild off the beaten path while the rest of us stuck to the trail (which happened ridiculously often).

Bridal Veil Falls

Spencer and Oak
Thank heavens Oak finally warmed up to his carrier this trip.  Last summer he whimpered every time Spencer started climbing and bending, but this time he loved every minute of it.

If, for those of you who are familiar with the area, this shot looks a little backward to you, it's because Ezra was on the opposite side of the falls from which people typically visit.  He took it upon himself to hike straight up the face of the falls (instead of the switch-backs leading up to it), and then explored the eastern side of things (maybe? I can never seem to remember my directions).  Luckily Eric was, as always, willing to tag along and keep him out of harms way.

The two E.E. Lifferths
Oh, how I love these two crazy gents

Animal Visits

After Bridal Veil, we hit up a local farm store to give the kids a chance to see the chicks, ducklings, and rabbits there.

Which was just a preview for when we visited Leslie's FFA club's show animals the next day.

Aunt Leslie's pride and joy pig

Eric in Scarlett's choke-hold on the walk there

These are officially from later that week when we visited Leslie at the animal show, but I'm grouping them here anyway.  deal with it.

Uncle Kyle and Scarlett

aaaand this is how Georgia felt about the animals.
Poor girl's blessed with my overly-sensitive sense of smell.

Catfish Line Fishing

Ezra is so Lifferth-looking it kills me!

Poor Ezzie Boy was being so brave.  The kid gets grossed out having to clear plates from the table...I can only imagine the personal agony he went through to hold the fish long enough to take a picture.  Uncle Eric's power knows no limits.

Local Hot Spots

Even with all the hiking, fishing, wedding festivities and preparations, we still managed to spend a day at the Church History Museum, taking a candy factory tour (at Sweet Candy Company-I highly recommend it!), and hitting up IKEA...or at least Kim and I did, while the boys and kiddos headed over to a outdoorsy store that I can't remember the name of.  Here's a few pictures as proof:

The Church History Museum has the coolest interactive kids exhibit right now.  A definite favorite was the latino dance area.  They had two life-sized screens set up to teach the kids traditional moves.  Georgie, in particular, couldn't be drug away with wild horses.

A super-blurry picture of Eric and Oak workin' the moves.  I couldn't resist posting regardless.

The outdoors store that Eric and Spencer took the kids to had gobs of photo spots.  They fully enjoyed them...until the kids started to fight over who got to hold a random piece of wood, reminded everyone in the store why birth control is a good thing, and started throwing around $250 golf clubs.  At that point in time, the guys called it a day and picked Kim and me up from IKEA.

Oak is less-inspired by the mountain lion.  Poor boy was exhausted by this point in the day.

Also uninspired by the bear.  obviously.

Just about the only picture we have of Georgia.  She was quite uncooperative to say the least.  Also, if you're wondering what the blue bubble is on her head, we all had hair covers for the candy tour and she insisted on wearing hers for the rest of the day.

Scarlett was oddly fond of the taxidermied skunks.


To say that the Rehearsal Dinner at Tucanos was a highlight of the trip is the understatement of the century.  We had been looking forward to it  Spencer even contemplated starving himself for days in advance so as to better be able to enjoy it's Brazilian, meat-heavy fare.

The cute soon-to-be wed couple, Heather and Matt

Scarlett and Eric ready for their protein feast
...or at least Eric was.  Scarlett just likes posing for photo ops

Georgia did her Lifferth-genes proud and fully gorged herself.  That girl loooooves her meat.
All the kids were particularly fond of the little tongs you use when getting the meat off the serving platters.

Kim and Georgie
If it looks like Georgia's mouth is full of food's because it is.

I was going to post the wedding pictures here, but since this post is already GINORMOUS, I think I'll take a rain check and make up a separate post in a couple of days.

Anyway, thanks for sticking it out.  Hope your head didn't explode from the picture overload.  As a surprise bonus for those that made it to the end, here are two youtube videos that Eric made up for the kids (the man takes his GoPro everywhere with him).  Ezra's, in particular, makes me smile.  He really does know no limits when it comes to the great outdoors.  As a random onlooker said to me while he scaled a shale-covered mountainside in bare feet...the boy has balls.


Ezra The Explorer

The Quest to the Sun God