“Mommy, will you sing my song.”

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Clever came to us in August.  He was well passed his due date and if you saw me, you would have thought I was getting ready to deliver a football team!  I was as round as I was tall.

I went to the hospital to be induced.  Hours passed and nothing happened.   I remember my husband asking, “Is the baby really big?” and the doc telling us no.  He had delivered thousands of babies and this particular one was not big.

More time elapsed when the doctor realized this child would not be coming out on his own OR with the help of my body.  So, I was prepped for an emergency c-section.  Funny, I wasn’t happy about it at the time, in hindsight- its the way to go!

The baby, Clever, came moments later.  After I was “stitched up and ready to go”, we were taken to a recovery room.  My hubby went out to tell waiting family the fabulous news- that Clever had arrived!  All 10 pounds 5 ounces of him!  Good thing the doc was right about his size- NOT!

As I laid in the room, just me and this amazingly cute little boy, I was overwhelmed by EVERYTHING.  I had been so nervous JUST THAT MORNING that I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved Studious.  Yet, here he was.  A little (well-maybe not little by baby standards but as far as the whole human population went…) boy who was captivating me.

I began whispering in his ear all the sweet nothings we tell our children.  And I sang a song to him.  Within the first few moments of his life, I softly sang, “Baby Mine” from Dumbo.   And I kept singing it in the precious moments when we were alone during our 5 day hospital stay.

When we got home, even through all the commotion and emotion of a new little one, I KEPT singing Baby Mine to him- everyday at nap and every night before bed.  It was such a special thing to me.  I looked forward to it nonstop.  That little moment where we would snuggle close and I could whisper-sing (its a thing) into his ear this song that summed up our life together.

I knew these times were special to me and Clever certainly loved any and all snugglin’.  But, I remember the day I realized our song meant as much to him as it did to me.

He was about 18 months old, he was running and playing in our living room, distracted by all things little boys are when I started singing his song, “Baby Mine don’t you cry…” from the sofa.  He STOPPED in his tracks- I mean complete halt- and RAN to me- hopped up into my lap and instantly snuggled up to me for the duration of the song.  It was amazing.  So much so that I kind of treated it like a trick for a while.  When my hubby came home, I said, “You gotta see this!” and sure enough, each time I started singing it, Clever would come at me wide open from wherever he was, climb onto my lap and lay his head on my heart.

That is the heart of the good stuff, you guys.  This is what makes it ALL worth it.

Today, six years into life and Clever is still going strong with his song.  Each night, I kneel next to his bed, we say our prayers and he says, “Will you sing my song?” and every night, I do.

He tells me when he is 101 and he lives with his wife, he will still call me over at night time to come over to his house and sing “his song”.  Of course, I will be happy to oblige!

This was such an amazing thing for Clever and I that when Dapper and Spicy came, I did the same thing with them

Dapper’s song is “Close to You” from the Carpenters and Spicy’s is “I just called to say, I love you” from Stevie Wonder.  The best part is, they have the SAME exact reaction as Clever.  It is our special thing and they ask for it ALL the time.  It is one of the daily practices I started that I am SO VERY THANKFUL for.  It has just created such a special moment for us each day.  It lets them know how special they are to me.

“Mommy, will you sing my song?”

Always my little loves. Always!

XOXO

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Enter Stage Left…Marlin!!! Our Elf on The Shelf!

Holiday greetings, blog world!  For you early holiday decoration haters, I am sorry!  I had to do it this year!  Christmas celebrations are in full swing over here and we are having a lot of stress and fun all mixed together!

Every year we have a Christmas party at the BEGINNING of December.  So, this means we have to have all our decorations, both inside and out, completed.  Talk about motivation!  We have really gotten in gear with the help of good family bonding with friends that may as well be blood relation!  We are slowly but surely getting everything ready.  Deep breaths….

Now, back to important discussions and the reason for my posting today (when I should be working on decorating).  Marlin has officially returned!!!  Whoop Whoop!  I will tell you how this came about because as you know, Marlin typically arrives Thanksgiving Day.  This year, he came over a week early!

While unpacking some Christmas boxes, Clever, Dapper, Spicy and I came upon their ELF ON THE SHELF pajamas that Marlin left for them last year.  I  was telling the kiddos how I had to wash the pj’s before they could be worn when Clever asked, “Do you think if we wore them tonight, Marlin would come early? Do you think Santa would let him?”  Well, Gosh!  I thought we better give it a shot and LOW AND BEHOLD- Bam!  It happened!

marlin10He came with the sign up above saying, “I’m back!  Go to bed!” love, Marlin.  They weren’t thrilled about being told to go to bed but…they went to their rooms to find

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CHRISTMAS Bedding!  I don’t know how Marlin did it!  I guess traditional Christmas Magic!

Thursday night, Marlin left the children a special treat for breakfast!

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Special Christmas cereal is always a fabulous way to begin a day!

Friday night Marlin remembered the “Reason for the Season”, Jesus.  Which I thought was nice because we all can certainly get wrapped up in the commercialization of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Jesus would have no issue with Santa and his elves on shelves.  A special spirit that brings joy and generosity to the hearts of children?  I think Jesus would say that is right up his alley!

marlin8And last night, Marlin replaced a photo frame with a selfie he had taken a while back.  I think it was a shout out to our Glenn and Marlin’s way of letting us know he thinks Glenn really special, too!

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I will keep you all apprised of Marlin’s adventures and shenanigans for 2015.  I have to admit that I am hoping he will not find our home too boring this year!  Last year, we were traveling and Marlin got to go on some pretty amazing adventures (which I will be showing here as well).

THROW BACK HOLLY STYLE: 2014

marlin11Marlin playing a guitar in a shop in Jamaica!  Ho! Ho! Ho, Mon!

ps- Just a suggestion to all my friends out there who also have an elf visit you:  we have been photographing Marlin every morning that he arrives.  Then I put together a coffee table book that helps us remember all the fun times we had that year.  The kiddos LOVE looking back through it and I bet it probably helps keep Marlin on track and original so he doesn’t do the same things year after year!   🙂

Let us know what you all have planned for your elf!  Who knows, maybe we can feature some of your photography here!

XOXO

 

Love Letters to our Little Peeps

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Greetings!!! So a while ago, I got to thinking about people who had blessed my life with their presence and who are no longer here. I was wishing that I had some way to know how they felt about me. Some way to see in their own words how they were feeling and what they were thinking while I was growing up. My father, my grandmother…both of whom I would have loved to have a love letter from to cherish always.

Fast forward to me sitting sadly in the “What-ifs” and the “I wish I had this” moment… I decided that since I thought that I would like something like that, I was going to give that to my children. So I grabbed a typical composition book (not fancy- nothing jazzy or special) and I decided to write LOVE letters to my children. Anytime the inspiration dawned on me me or they did something to twinge my heart, I’ve been writing it down. Sometimes I write funny things they say or do, sometimes I write a letter about something that I’m feeling. My entries are for them. For example, to Clever I have written to always keep his vibrant personality and his inquisitive mind. I think it is so important and so special to him and so unique and it just adds to his character and I want him to know I see that and I love that!   For Dapper I want him to know how his sweet voice has just been music to my ears from the very first moment I first heard it and it melts my heart each and every time.  That he is cherished even though he may feel at times lost in the shuffle of his siblings.    Studious’ letters are a little more intricate since she’s getting so much older and an (gulp) adult. I am able to really delve into serious topics and discuss things that she may not feel comfortable coming to me with.  It also allows me the opportunity to share my feelings and thoughts on them. With  Spicy,  I just want to make sure I’m recording and enjoying everything she’s doing for the first time and that she knows that even though she’s the fourth child, I’m seeing all the many of the things she’s doing and they are all still unique and special to me just like she is. That can get lost on the last child. I don’t want it to get lost on her.

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So now you get the gist of how I use my notebook in terms of content. Now to the basics of what tools you would need if you would like to make these love letters/diaries for your children.

As I mentioned earlier, I used a basic composition book and I decided from the beginning that I would use ONLY ONE BOOK FOR ALL MY LETTERS. This means that I would not use individual books for each child. I thought having four separate books would be daunting and overwhelm me so I stuck with one at a time.   One book held all of my letters. What I would do is make sure that the back of each note was blank so if/when the children want to tear it out when they are older , they will not be taking a portion of a letter/note from their brothers or sisters. As I fill one composition book, another is purchased and the cycle of mad love continues!
I use markers. I use paint. I use stickers. I use pens, pencils and crayons. I cut out applicable quotes and glue them in, I draw- I do whatever comes to me. Whatever inspiration I am feeling. Sometimes I just write something funny stuff they say- other times it’s a letter from me.
It is unique to each of them just as yours will be to your child(ren).

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Doing this has fed so many hungers I have had: The desire to be sure my children know how I feel, the wish to record so many of the funny things they come up with each and every day. It also helps me because I can use my writing as another tool to communicate and connect to these four perfect souls I helped make! Pretty cool stuff over here! Extraordinary!!!