Thursday, July 2, 2015

Show Your Real: Kitty

Today's Show Your Real, is short and sweet, but the wisdom Kitty has managed to pack into what she has to share is pretty impressive. I'm inspired by how she was able to look at something seemingly silly (like a messy bedroom) and see the bigger truth God was trying to teach her. And I'm thankful that she is sharing that truth with us.
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There are two types of people in this world. Those who leave their master bedroom doors open when people come to their homes... 018 ...and those who cannot. It's not that they will not, it's just that they cannot. It's that bad in there. show me your real 
A few months ago, my friend, Ruth, who also happens to be one of my husband's bosses, came in town. The regional directors were taking us out to dinner so she and I thought we'd hang out for a few minutes beforehand. We were short on time and I was a sweaty mess from the day, so the only way we were going to be able to actually visit was if she sat in my bedroom while I got ready. I'm typically a fairly laid back hostess, I want people to see my real so they are set free to bare their own, but something in me knew that the state of my bedroom had gone from slightly unkempt to completely horrific during the few days our bosses had been in town. As we walked down the hall past my perfectly vacuum-striped childrens' bedrooms, everything in me wanted to keep the door shut and not let Ruth see the real someone-might-need-to-call-the-hoarder-hotline deal. Ruth could sense my internal struggle as I warned her of the craziness she was about to see and she softly said, 

"Kitty, I love you for who you are, not what your house looks like. You are more valuable than your hope of perfection." 020 This tender affirmation helped me push past the shame I felt about wanting everything to be perfectly kept and enabled us to have a great chat while I curled my hair. I've reflected on her quiet encouragement a lot recently and have had to repent of my striving and perpetual image management. Because what we see on Instagram really is the highlight reel but aren't the outtakes really the most fun? Yes, my home is an intimate reflection of me, but I want to be a person who is more secure in who I am because of Whose I am, than because of what my home looks like. Don't you?

Let's be people who let go of what we think the wrapping of a gift should look like and love the gift that is inside. Let's be people who open the doors and freely receive the love and acceptance of others. Shall we? #showyourreal
I've loved keeping it real with you! If you'd like to read more outtakes of life as a missionary, momma and majorly obsessed wife, stop by my blog or let's meet up on Instagram: @kitty_hurdle.
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http://bowdenisms.blogspot.com/search/label/showyourreal%20guest%20post


Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often surface-y interactions of social media. And you're all invited to participate! Please write, caption, comment, link, and hashtag t
o spread the #showyourreal love. And if you would like to contribute a guest post to the series, please email me (cjsbowden@gmail.com).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fin (was) One!

Throwback Monday! (shhh...pretend that's a thing...)

I know Fin just turned two...In fact- we (finally) had her party yesterday. Poor thing was a little confused, as her actual birthday was over a week ago, but due to family being spread out- and summer schedules being a little tricky- she ended up with about five different celebrations over the course of a few weeks. Not a bad problem to have I'm sure, but it didn't exactly help her grasp the concept of a birth-day. Good thing is, she totally grasps the concept of eating cake and opening presents. :)

So since I'm still wrangling yard flamingos from yesterday's shindig (another very good problem to have, if you ask me!), I thought it would be fun to finally share her first birthday. Hop in your way back machine, and let's enjoy some Vintage Finley:

Fin is One photo FinIsOne.gif

I'm all about a PDF invite. Saves money on postage, and allows me to change the date a million times when I can't get my act together...

Click through to full details and soooooo many pics: 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Swagger Wagon


Welp. We turned in our cool cards…well…more accurately, we gave up any delusions that anyone even mistakes us for cool these days, and we bought a van.
Aw yeah. We joined the ranks of pretty much every American parent, and got ourselves a Honda Odyssey. Otherwise known as: mom jeans on wheels.

But if we’re being honest? I straight up LOVE IT.
The comfort. The ease. The convenience. The 1 billion cupholders. These van designers have got my number.

Everyone jokes that purchasing a minivan is the death to any non-parent identity. People hold on to their cars/SUVs/crossovers like a badge of honor, snootily looking down their noses at the minivan crowd. “I’m not like other moms, I’m a cool mom.” But then….you get pregnant with your third kid, and realize that cool might have to be sacrificed in favor of other factors…like…fitting all the children in one vehicle.

Sure, you can go with a SUV with a third row if you’re trying to hang on and prove a point. But that involves climbing over two kids just to buckle the third one, likely exposing you faded tramp stamp tatt, and scratching the car next to you with your wildly swinging door in the process. Who’s looking cool now?

So as we prep for baby b #3 we realized there’s just no way around it…it was van time. Dustin was actually the hold out, moreso than me. I don’t have much (any) of my identity wrapped up in my car- I’ve pretty much driven some sort of black sedan since around 2002. I did become unnaturally attached to my 1998 Corolla (all the way through 2011) but that wasn’t because of its awesomeness…it was actually because of its neutralness. It was nothing special, and nothing bad. It did things like: drive. And had features like: a radio. And that was alright with me. But Dustin felt stronger about his choice of vehicle, and had a tough time separating van from lame. Honestly though, he flipped to pro-van pretty quickly after we got pregnant with #3. I think it was quite simply our only option, so rather than fight the inevitable, he threw himself into the task of finding the BEST VAN EVER, and he got pretty excited about the swanky features they offered (gadgets=key to a man’s heart). Plus, as Parenthood taught us: These miniature vans have full size power, nowadays. (a quote Dustin uses...liberally.)

We made the decision to trade in Dustin’s Toyota Highlander, and keep my Nissan Versa, so we’ll really only have one vehicle that can accommodate us all simultaneously. The Versa (which Dustin refers to…fondly?…as the mini-minivan) is now our cool-couple-about-town-car. Yeah….

We did do a quick farewell photoshoot to the Highlander, before moving on to greener pastures (actually "modern steel metallic" pastures),,,It may not be his original Wrangler love, but I think he's still going to miss her a bit...









So much humoring of me. So much. 

We've had the new ride just under a month, and it's already gone on its first road trip (holla, Philly!), and been puked in (thanks, Fin!), so, you know, we've pretty much christened it. And now we're looking forward to many years of loading up, piling in, and generally riding off in to our future. With 3 car seat accommodating swagger.

P.S. Check out the history of Dustin's vehicle love or read about that time I almost crashed the car without even starting it.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two, Too, Awesome


Today is a milestone. It marks 730 days since we met our sweet little Finley Joann. 730 days that we've gotten to snuggle her, and laugh at her (and with her), and dry her tears and shed our own. Somehow over those 730 days I've fallen in love with her more than I could have imagined, even when I thought I was head over heels from minute one (which I totally was).
Our precious Finny-Fin-Fin is two years old, and she's a marvel of a character who surpasses any description I try to muster up. She's the sweetest, feistiest, goofiest, sincerest little nugget you'll ever meet. She might just be charm embodied, as everyone who encounters her is completely and immediately won over. (I do not exaggerate. Well, not about this, anyway. Even when she's driving us up a wall...which...happens...she keeps everyone firmly on her side, seemingly without even trying.) It could be her giant eyes, or her tiny-toothed smile, and it surely has at least a little bit to do with that head of irresistible blonde curls. But beyond all that, it's her spirit. She is spirited in all the best and most challenging ways. She knows what she wants (and will tell you) and she loves so completely it'll break your heart. 

She is just so much of exactly who she is. 

And I love every single bit of her.


Happy Birthday, sweet girl. I pray I love you and teach you one tenth as well as you have already done for me. You're one of a kind and we're thankful for each of the 730 days we've gotten to spend with you, and are looking forward to thousands more to come.



P.s. See Fin's first birthday post, or catch up on all two glorious years of her. 

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Pregnancy: Round 3

I haven't written a lot about this pregnancy...Actually, I've written nearly nothing. That makes me a little sad, because it's important to me to record memories of (and for) my kids. But it's pretty easy to understand why the third baby kinda gets the shaft when it comes to these types of things....it's just so hard to keep up with the demands of two little ones, and still have the energy (and brain power) to keep track of maternity milestones. But despite the struggle, it still is important to me, so I do what I can, when I can. And even though this baby will have a a thinner baby book, I'm confident he'll be loved as wide and deep as the two who came before. 

Yesterday marked the 28th week, meaning we're solidly in the third trimester and approaching the downhill spiral towards baby-town. Thought this would be a good time (a better late than never time) to record a bit of what things are like at this stage, compared to my previous pregnancies. People are always asking if it feels different this time around (partly because it's a boy) and it's funny how I just can't even remember. I think it's the same...maybe? So it's interesting to be able to look back on the facts and emotions from before and realize- things haven't changed much. It's still hard, and miraculous, and fun, and exhausting. 

So here are the 28 week details- it's technically compared to 27 weeks the last couple go 'rounds...but close enough for me! (Oh- and though I haven't been blogging/journaling diligently, I have managed to keep up with taking weekly pics. Yay! With Piper I did a chalkboard theme, with Fin I just snapped pics wherever we happened to be that week, and this time I thought it'd be fun to try wearing the same thing each week. I'm not all the way caught up on editing...but I'm happy to have at least some consistent record of this little guy's growth)


symptoms
First time: Main complaint at this point was ab muscle pain
Second time: Had a few weeks when the baby seemed to grow dramatically- squishing my organs, compressing my lungs...my diaphragm hurt, my back ached, and I couldn't sit or stand comfortably or lift Piper. But my body adjusted, and eventually it did get better.
This time: I feel huge, and am having a lot of that same back pain, round ligament pain, and general tightness, soreness, uncomfortableness, windedness. (some of those are words, right? another symptom might be my brain-not-working-ness.)

weight gain:
First time: about 15 lbs
Second time: about 15lbs

This time: about 20lbs. Ok, maaaaaybe 25. But that's with a lot of bracelets on, don't judge! I was already a bit bigger this time to begin with. When I got pregnant with Fin I was still really skinny from nursing Piper. (I tend to lose a lot of weight while I'm nursing- yay!...But it turns out, after weaning it comes back- boo!) This time the kids are spaced a little further apart (about 26.5 months vs 19.5) and I got pregnant in the winter so I was a little bit...plushier than normal. Plus, I gained weight a lot faster this time. I thought I started showing early with the second baby, but the third one took it to another level. I pretty much looked pregnant (or at least felt like I looked pregnant) from the instant I peed on a stick. I try not to get too preoccupied with it all, but I've definitely spent too much time this pregnancy worrying about how big I am, or how big I'll get, or how I'll shape up after. I know, I know, I'm making a human- from scratch!- and that's way more important than a number on a scale, but it's still hard to adjust to the constant growth and insecurity that comes with the whole pregnancy gig. (For what it's worth, the baby was measuring in the 96th percentile at the 20 week appointment, so at least there's a good reason for all this stretching).

cravings/aversions
First time: Not much.
Second time: Nothing crazy....still pretty hungry though so there were a lot of snacks during the day, and a little something at night after dinner.

This time: Still nothing too out of the ordinary. I went through the insatiable hunger stage in the beginning just like always, but now I'm getting to the point where I can't eat too much in a single sitting because there just isn't space. In general my diet has been pretty horrendous- in that I just eat whatever I want. but honestly that's no different than when I'm not pregnant. And I'll admit there have been quite a few late night floats/milkshakes/bowls of ice cream eaten over the last six months. (ok, ok, so maybe the 96th percentile baby isn't the only reason my pants don't fit...)

movement

First time: Lots!
Second time: Lots!
This time: Lots! This baby is as wild as his sisters. I really love feeling the movement, but sometimes it can get a bit too dramatic...and painful! It's pretty funny to watch though- little waves and jabs- and it reminds me that despite all the inconvenient parts of pregnancy, there's actually a real live human in there.

I am loving
First time: Chatting with people about the baby (and keeping the gender a secret- fun but sometimes hard!)
Second time: Enjoying a little "alone time" just being pregnant, while Piper spent a week with my mom.  It was a nice little break from all the activity surrounding a toddler, and a good chance to focus on the new little baby-to-be. 
This time: Ummmmm.....well......I guess......
Ok, I'm not really loving that much about pregnancy this time. It's not that I'm not enjoying it, I mean, there certainly are plenty of little fun things, and lots of little things to be annoyed about, but overall things are just fine. And fine isn't bad. It's just...no pregnancy will ever be exactly like the first one. The first time, you're all consumed. Everything is new. Everything is magical, and being pregnant is a full time focus. Then second time is still fun, still a little new, still magical, but it does fade into the background a bit because there's so much life going on with the one you already have. And the third time? Well, the third time it's not really new, technically still magical, but mostly it's this thing that's getting done along side ten million other things that also have to get done. Again- that doesn't mean love it less...well, it doesn't mean I love him less, it just means I have fewer moments to sit quietly and reflect on the joy of carrying this little human. 

I miss

First time: Sleeping comfortably (on my back or my stomach were pretty much non-options). 
Second time: Beer.  (silly, but true!)
This time: Well...beer again. (I swear I don't have a problem! It's such a part of summer: bar-b-ques, block parties, Thursday mornings, you get it.) Being able to bend over, or get up off the floor without lots of drama and groaning. Walking without being subconscious that I'm starting to waddle. Too soon!





spazzing about:
First time:  Getting everything done...I worried that everything wouldn't be ready in time. 
Second time: Not much. I was generally much more relaxed about the pregnancy. (I did worry that Baby B #2 might never have a name. Obviously we figured that out...)

This time: Nothin? The super bright side of the whole third baby thing, is that we really are pretty prepared. Or if we're not...we're not worried about it. We've been down this road before, so we have most of the gear, some idea of what to expect, and the general feeling that it's all just going to work out, regardless of how much or how little we prep. That's not to say we have a clue about what it means to try to raise three kids, and it's definitely not to say that I'm looking forward to those long nights (and long days) of newborn-hood (I think I'm blocking out some of the more difficult memories of the early stages out of self preservation)- BUT- I bought newborn diapers this week, soooo....we should be all set, right?

looking forward to
First time: Completing the nursery. I loved pulling together Piper's room. It was so fun for me to plan, and dream and create....and I'm still obsessed with the results.
Second time: Having two little girls. Meeting this whole new person that has never existed before. We're having so much fun learning more about Piper's little (big) personality, and it's getting us even more excited to have another little lady in the house to love. Last time I was excited about a lot of the "stuff" that goes along with having a baby- I think mostly because I couldn't wrap my head around what it means to actually become a mom and meet your child. This time, that's the part I just can't wait for. 

This time: Getting to meet another Bowden. The two kids I've been given are impossibly cute. Really just the best kids anyone ever had. And we get to have another one? Yes, please. And I'm excited to see how the girls will be with a little guy in the mix (Prediction: Piper will alternate between adoration and indifference. Fin will be thrilled when she gets to "hold" him, and pretty much mad/jealous of him all other times). And I'm eager to see how Dustin and I change and grow as parents this time around. I'm not kidding when I say I have no idea what we're getting ourselves into...but there's also no turning back now, so I'm looking forward to the start of a new lifelong adventure.
  



Twelve more weeks, little guy. Though I won't be mad if you can only wait ten, ok? Maybe even nine. :)
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy 35 to my fav

There's no denying that the kids have taken over things around here...my camera roll, our house, this blog...our lives. But before those little munchkins stole my heart (and my free time, and my sanity) there was a boy who was my whole world.

That boy is (duh) Dustin Bowden. I met him almost twelve years ago, and I was smitten from the jump (he was too...but that's neither here nor there)...and ever since. People often use the phrase, "to know him is to love him", and I'm almost entirely sure that saying was coined specifically about Dustin. Nobody doesn't like Dustin Bowden. Really. It's impossible. Even if I were capable of being impartial, which I totally and completely am not, I would still say it. because it's just a fact: Dustin is good stuff.

He's been my favorite person on the planet for over a decade now, and today we celebrate him being on said planet for a full 35 years. We'll shower him with gifts of course, but I want as many people as possible to know what a gift he is, in and of himself. So here are 35 beloved truths about my beloved, so you can know and love him too.



Dustin...

1. has the best laugh. We actually tease that he's an "easy laugh" because he does find a lot of things funny, but that doesn't keep me from being really proud whenever I can make him crack up. He laughs loud and often, which is just perfect.
2. has cute dimples. And a baby face. And big cheeks. (and sometimes angry eyebrows). He's the kind of guy who you see, and just know he's going to be nice. Which he very much is.
3. is a giver. I've never known anyone with such a giving heart. If he sees something that needs to be done, he's on it. He will help anyone, with anything, anytime, and is constantly showing me what it means to have a generous spirit.
4. is a fixer. He loves to problem solve- whether that involves math, power tools, or talking me off an emotional ledge.
5. has pretty feet. Ok, maybe not pretty, but they're really nice- especially for a guy.
6. is a natural dad. He was born to be a father. Every day I watch him effortlessly love our children. He's fun, and funny, and patient, and kind, and is constantly teaching them- both explicitly and by example.
7. makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches, and root beer floats. And only gets slightly annoyed when I request one or the other every night for nine months (three times now...)
8. is snuggly. When someone tells me they have a dog who doesn't like to cuddle, I get so sad, because that's like, the entire point of having a dog. And that's exactly how I feel about husbands.


9. comments when I wear something new. He's quick with a compliment, and genuinely notices when I spend extra time on my hair, or sport a new outfit. I appreciate that.
10. loves my family. He loves his family of course, but it's extra powerful to watch him embrace another group as if they're "his" too.
11. is really (like, really) good at excel. Which is totally nerdy, but also really awesome (and not just for the Bachelor Pool spreadsheets).
12. humors most all of my hare-brained schemes. I am always getting myself in too deep...to all kinds of things...But for the last twelve years, that's meant I'm always getting us in too deep. He's on my team 100% and is always there to bail me out, or link arms (and minds and hearts) with me to make my impossible dreams possible. 

13. has a lot of hobbies. He sometimes says he's the jack of all trades and master of none, but I like that he's into a lot of things. I know he finds it frustrating that he's not known for one spectacular talent, but how cool is it to be able to play bass, teach calculus, and do a muscle up? Renaissance man, I tell you.
14. is a good baby holder. and put-to-sleep-er. If those aren't the world's most valuable skills then I don't know what are.

15. is a creature of habit. He'd eat the same thing day after day without complaint, is happy to wear "his uniform", and generally finds comfort in routine. Simple tastes make him easy to please, so I'm not mad at that.
16. doesn't get mad if when I wake him up in the middle of the night to talk even if he can't go to sleep afterwards. Which happens...kind of often.
17. lets me choose the movies. And the TV shows. And the restaurants. He's pretty accommodating, and as much as he might have an opinion on things, he's willing to let it go pretty quickly if I feel strongly about something (which, you know, never happens...)
18. is a total softie about his girls. He loves those little ladies more than you can imagine. Sometimes that means he spoils them silly, but mostly it just means he smothers them with kisses and tickles and bedtime stories and "horsey" rides and cinnamon swirl pancakes, and all around unwavering devotion.
19. loves to be outside. He's an outdoor-cat through and through. I think a part of him aspires to be a mountain climbing, element testing wild man, but in our suburban life that translates to lots of deck-sitting, and car rides with the windows down (all of them, all the way down. This is one of his very few non-negotiables in life.)
20. tells a good dad joke. "What do you call a fish with no eyes? fssssshhhhhh" is his go-to. (and yes, I realize that joke doesn't work in print. But you get it.)
21. pays all our bills. I mean, with our money, but it sure is nice not to have to worry about all that paperwork. Ditto for the health insurance, and savings accounts, and really anything I deem "soul-suckingly-boring", thus "too hard". I should probably be even more thankful for this than I am.
22. is so proud of me. I need encouragement and affirmation (like, more than most people, I think) so I hit the jackpot getting a partner who is so good at giving those things. It's the best feeling in the world to know that he is genuinely, and deeply proud of me- not only when I do well, but really, all the time. He understands my intentions, even when I mess things up, and he believes in me, even when I don't have a clue. 

23. could do (and has done) a ton of different jobs, and has succeeded at all of them. He gets teased a bit, because his resume has quite the list. But he really does have a wide range of talents, and a work ethic that doesn't allow him to be anything besides great. He's been a camp counselor, jeans salesman, math teacher, department head, actuarial science student, t-shirt folder, undie allocator, merchandise planner, maintenance coordinator...and a bunch more that I can't even remember. And he's been awesome at them all. He's the kind of guy who you can drop into any role, regardless of experience, and he'll do his best to figure it out, and get things done. He's got a rare combo of technical smarts, and people skills that makes him super attractive (to companies, but also: me)
24. has so much energy. He can survive on about half as much sleep as I need, and has the amazing skill of being able to muscle through tough stuff. 

25. will always make sure everyone at a party has a drink. We call him "the pusher"- not just of alcohol (though that part comes from a place of wanting to be a good host) but of any idea he falls in love with. If there is a product or service that he likes, you're going to hear about it, and probably get a pitch to buy/join it. The stems entirely from his desire to be helpful- there's no ego about it- he just loves to stumble upon awesome stuff, and when he does, he wants to pass it on to everyone so they can enjoy it too.
26. loves all things stereo-typically boy things. Beer, tools, gadgets, action movies, Jeeps...He's a dude sometimes, and it's pretty cute.

27. just really really loves to make people happy. I know I've said he's giving, and selfless, but I don't think I could list it too many times- it's just so synonymous with who he is. He wants you to be happy. and me to be happy. And he'll do just about anything to make it happen. You can't not love that.
28. is the best road trip partner. He'll offer to drive, loves to rock out to a good playlist, will play any and all stupid car games, and is equally happy to converse the whole time, or enjoy contented silence.
29. gets real Philly when he talks to his dad. "How you doin', Pop?"
30. really interested. He takes a genuine interest in people, and loves learning about what they do, what they like, and who they are. He's an incredible listener (even if his memory sometimes fails him later), and has a knack for making people feel valued and important.


31. is super humble. Like, probably the most humble person ever. In the whole world. #nbd (but seriously, this list is going to embarrass him, a lot.)
32. can jump a lot higher than you might think. Seriously. Don't bet against him.
33. always wants to be better. He definitely has a tendency of being too hard on himself, but he just really wants to do a good job. He wants to love his kids, and provide for his family, and serve his church, and succeed at work. If he's going to be something, he wants to be a good one of those. He wants to be dependable, and competent, and feel like people can count on him. And he is, and we do.




34. has a habit of falling asleep in public. At friends' houses, he's forbidden from sitting in leather recliners. Oh, Grandpa Dustin...
35. loves me so so well. Dang, I'm lucky.
Happy 35th Birthday to my very favorite person. I love you, Dus.


P.s. I couldn't jam all his love-able-ness into one list, so you should also know that he has: nice teeth, sweet dance moves, is a total grill-master, a frustratingly good whistler, has a compulsion for clipping his nails, is brave at an open mic, and can rock a rubik's cube like nobody's business.
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

The long and the short of it

I don't typically get overly sappy about milestones. Well...I hesitate to say that, because I fear that a quick trip through the archives might prove me very, very wrong...But truly, as passionate as I am about document milestones- big or small- I don't spend a ton of time weeping over the passing of time, or transition to new things (even from old, beloved things). I definitely understand the "kids grow up so fast" sentiment. because indeed, they do. But for the most part I'm actually more prone to wanting to rush to the next thing vs. waxing nostalgic about days gone by.

But every once in a while, something strikes me, and I'm stunned at the warp-speed of time, especially when it comes to my kids. They seem to age little by little, growing bigger/older/sassier in tiny increments that are sometimes only barely noticeable while it's happening. Until, one day, without warning, they just wake up bigger. Like, markedly bigger. Like they hit some tipping point or crossed an invisible threshold into the next stage. It happens when they're still tiny- one day you look at them, and they're not a lump anymore...they're a real tiny human. Sure, a tiny human with barely any perceivable talents, but they look at you with some sort of knowing that shows you you no longer have an infant on (and in) your hands. Then it happens again to your baby...the grown and change, and learn to walk and maybe even talk a little, and then one day: you have a toddler. And it goes on from there. The toddler limbs lengthen out, the knee dimples disappear, they strangely start saying their "th" sounds correctly and all of a sudden- you have a kid. What? Where did you come from? Did I blink too long by accident?

And so childhood goes on in this fashion...small tortoise movements, slow glacial pace...and then giant leap, dramatic change...then back to steadiness before the next burst.

So after a season of slow growth and change, Piper had a burst, and now I've found myself marveling at this kid we've suddenly inherited. Maybe it's her big girl bed, maybe it's the way her pants stop just short of her ankles, maybe it's how she effortlessly parrots our phrases to calm her sister down...Or it might be how she rides her tricycle down the street without looking back, or that she tells me she's not scared of bugs because she's way bigger than them.

Or...it maybe...it's her new haircut.

Maybe somehow, trimming up our shaggy-mopped toddler, suddenly exposed the grown up girl she was already becoming.




And maybe it's not even the haircut itself...but rather, the way she waited patiently for her turn, boldly hoped to be seated at the purple station, or was able to tell us she was scared of the clippers, 
Maybe it's how tiny she appeared in the booster seat and cape...




...contrasted with the big, confident kid who beamed at herself in the mirror, and hopped down to get her lollipop reward. 





It's probably all of it. A sea of ordinary happenings and events, that occasionally and suddenly add up to a dramatic transformation.

And so it goes with my heart. These tiny people test and strain, and grow and change me in minute ways every day...I love them a little, and a little more. I'm willing to give, and give a little more. It goes and goes until eventually I find myself having a moment where I'm surprised by the person they've shaped me into, and almost don't recognize the life I've been given. How did we get here? How did we get them? How did we become us? Slowly, slowly slowly, boom.

We have a very big girl in our house now. And I'm excited to enjoy this next season of slow growth with her and her cute new 'do...Until I blink again, and she's off to college.

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