Nicholas and Natty
My parents, me, and my Master's project at my defense! I think I'm in shock.
Nicholas and Eve decorating Nana's Mother's Day present
Eve hard at work setting up croquet
They love to roar together.
Me, my paper, and my AMAZING (and oh-so-patient) adviser!
Playing in the backyard
Eve and Natty fell asleep like this on our bed.
(Sorry the pictures were in such a strange order)
We realized two days ago, after talking to scores of attorneys, praying, and pondering, that if Nicholas and Natty's (birth)mother wants them back when she's released from prison, then back they'll go. It was a heartbreaking day. It's so very scary to have so much depend upon one person--especially whom we've never met. We're planning to visit her soon.
I'm having a difficult time deciding whether to bring Nicholas--I think it'll scare him. He gets nervous on long car rides (because he's been passed around so much), and seeing her might be scary/confusing.
It's been hard thinking about her. I constantly alternate between ugly vindictive feelings ("She's doesn't deserve them!") and trying to remember that she's their mother--although I am, too--and that she's also a daughter of God and my sister. My friend recently discussed the parable of the Prodigal Son on her blog, and it really stuck with me. Especially how we've all been lost at some point (Pres. Hinckley: "...for are we not all prodigal sons and daughters who need to repent and partake of the forgiving mercy of our Heavenly Father and then follow His example?"). Love, mercy, and respect are ESSENTIAL in our dealings with other people. Whether we keep these darling children, or return them to her, in both cases the only way to have peace and happiness is through loving and respecting her. So, this will be a great learning experience for me.
On a happier note, I defended my master's project and PASSED! It was wonderful. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life! I know that sounds weird (it's school, after all), but I LOVE my project, I LOVE the women I worked with, I LOVE what I found--and the implications of it, and I LOVE the things I learned. To share that was beautiful. Jardan, my dad, and my mom were all there with me, and knowing that they love me and that they love my work was amazing. It was beautiful. Now I just need to settle down, de-stress, and ENJOY. Even though I struggle some days being a mother of three and balancing it all (surprise! My house wasn't messy just because I was in school....it's me. I'm messy. Ha!), I feel like every single day is a miracle. It's miraculous to see my kids laughing with each other, building forts, giving each other hugs and, when one gets hurt, the other one quickly going to their side and asking if they're ok. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I am so in love with my life, and so in love with my family.