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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love, love, love!

Molli and I got to spend an amazing week in Arizona with my family.  I cannot even express the sweetness of this week.  Molli and Jackson were incredible together!  They are total opposites, in pretty much every way.

Molli is a tall little girl, Jackson is a little on the shrimpy side.
Molli is rough and tumble, Jackson is sweet and sensitive.
Molli is wild and constantly on the move, Jackson is content to sit and watch.
Molli loves to touch and be touched, Jackson is brought to tears by Molli’s touch.
Molli is working on her ninth and tenth tooth, Jackson has zero.
Molli was quick to sit/crawl/walk, Jackson is in no hurry.
Molli wants everyone’s attention, Jackson prefers Mommy and Daddy.
Molli is busy and LOUD, Jackson is calm and quiet.
Molli fights eating, Jack is an eating champion.

I could go on and on.  They are seriously so very different, and both so perfect. 


The overriding theme of the week was most certainly “love.”  I think in previous posts I’ve made it clear just how much I love Molli.  However, I never thought I could love another child with comparable intensity. My darling nephew, Jackson, is so perfect, and perfectly wonderful.  I am blessed. I feel like the grinch at the end of the story- although I was never grouchy about anything- my heart feels like it has doubled in size.  The same way I cannot bear to think of anything bad ever happening to Molli, and the desire I have to watch her grow up healthy, happy and confident is equal to the desire I have for all of these things for sweet Jack. I love these babies.

My parents were absolutely in heaven with these babies.  It was such a joy to me to watch my parents interact with them.  Mom and Dad were so amazing with them and the love they have for both of them simply radiated from their faces.  Their eyes lit at the opportunity to help with what are otherwise everyday, commonplace tasks.  They were thrilled to take care of bath time, feedings, dressing (except involving Molli, who thrashes), bedtime bottle and pushing the stroller.  So thrilled, in fact, they became jealous when the other got to do these things too often.  Dad jumped at every opportunity to lull our cranky babies to sleep in the stroller, and Tamara and I were more than willing to offer our tired tots in order for Dad to fulfill his hearts' desire.  Mom says Myles and I are good parents, but I can only hope that we do half as well as she and Dad.  I love my parents.


My brothers are such special people to me.  Growing up we didn’t always get along.  It wasn’t until high school that we really became friends.  Nate and I had each other’s back, and Brian and I did each other’s homework.  When we played our cards right, we stayed out of trouble and got good grades.  Nate and Brian were in Arizona and it was very fun to hang out with them.  Unfortunately, Zach wasn’t able to come on the trip, but he was definitely thought about.  I can always count on my brothers to make me laugh, and with two of the three present, you can bet we did a lot of laughing.  I love them.


My sister-in-law, Tamara has grown to be someone very close to my heart.  I never had a sister growing up, and although I know I can never replace her beloved sister, I am honored to be sisters with her in this way.  God knows what he’s doing and I am sure glad that He has brought her into our family.  She knows how to laugh at herself and be silly (which is important in our family).  She also has proven to be a wonderful, caring mother who puts her son and his needs first.  I am glad that she and my brother have each other, and I look forward to many more years getting to know her.  I love my sister-in-law. 


My husband has been so understanding about letting me go on trips without him.  He has taken his role as the provider for our family seriously, and therefore stays home to work while the two most important people in his life leave him.  Molli and I both miss him when we’re gone, but I’m sure not as much as he misses us when he is all by himself.  I definitely wish he could come with us on all the trips I have taken with Molli, but I am so very thankful that he realizes how important it is to my family and me to see one another.  We are glad to be back together, and are excited about our next adventure that begins on Wednesday; As a family, we are going to Florida to be with Papu and Nanette!  I love my husband.

So much love in this family!  I am so very happy to have had the opportunity to spend time with these people whom I love so dearly.  Family, you are wonderful!

(There are lots more pictures, these are just those I had on my phone...I'm sure I will not keep them all to myself.)

Friday, July 15, 2011


Things change all the time.  Sometimes things change and it’s good right then, sometimes the good isn’t seen until later.  With change comes new things, but it also means a loss.  The loss isn’t always bad, but unfortunately, sometimes the loss seems to weigh more than the good of the change. 

When we moved to Illinois three and a half years ago (wow, has it really been that long?!) we fell into place with a small group that was amazing for us.  We already knew some of the people from Florida, but others were new to us.  This group of people made leaving our amazing friends behind and transition to Illinois a lot easier.  Having a close group of friends is and has always been very important to me. 

People came and went from our small group, and it was hard to accept some of the changes, but change happens.  New people came and loss occurred.  Our closest Illinois friends moved to Boise a couple years ago and we’re still bummed about that. 

Myles preaches at a small country church about an hour away.  It’s been a good experience for the most part, but I think it’s kept us from building relationships locally.  Our role in a church like this has not accommodated for spiritual growth and communal worship. We’ve probably relied too much on our small group to fill that role in our lives.  This group served the entirety of our social lives and a very large part of our spiritual community. 

When small group sort of disintegrated we were left with a big hole.  It’s been weird.  We understand that people are busy and everyone has kids now.  We are busy too and have to make time for the things most important to us.  Recently, we have joined with a couple other families from the previous small group, hoping to reestablish something.  So far I have high hopes and think it will be successful in terms of meeting regularly and will be rich with study/discussion.  I am happy to have these couples, but am sad to think of what will come of other relationships from the previous small group. 

I’ve been realizing more and more lately that I need friends.  I know I will probably never have friendships like I had in Florida, and that’s OK.  I really just don’t know how to make friends outside of school, church or work.  Considering none of these are really an option right now, I feel stuck.  I was supposed to have jury duty but could not think of a single person to baby-sit.  The few people I know that might be available/willing are already busy with their own children and I really don’t want to be a burden.  (plus I’ll get $10/day of jury duty and I don’t know anyone to hire for $.80/hour.)  You might remember the tid bit of Sansotta trivia from Memorial Day weekend- due to the whole babysitting thing, Myles and I have only had one date since Molli was born- 10 months ago.  Not cool.  I saw a previous co-worker yesterday who offered to baby-sit sometime, so I’m totally going to take her up on that offer!

This was probably not the most exciting post, but it’s what you get today. Happier post another day.  Meanwhile, I have to go rescue Molli from falling out of her toy-box and onto her face.  

Friday, July 8, 2011


Since I first became pregnant, I swelled.  Parts of me swelled at different times.  Some parts swelled more pleasantly than others; my whole body, my feet, but mostly my heart.  My heart has swollen in a major way time and time again from the moment I knew of Molli’s existence.  This past week has proven to expand my hearts’ capacity to love and experience very full joy. 

My wonderful mom has been in town for a very special visit.  I love that she was able to be here for Molli’s first fireworks, hair trim, and pigtails.  Also, she was here for my 26th birthday.  The first birthday I’ve had with her in years!  She made me my special chocolate birthday pie.  Cake is not my favorite so Mom has been making this for me since I was about nine years old.  Moms have a way of making ordinary things special- bath time, meal time, play time, walks, and trips in the car.  Things that I just do on a daily basis were made extra special with my mom here. 


On the fourth, we partook in celebrating with friends and went to the community fireworks.  I’m not going to lie, the free watermelon is always a great incentive to come to the fireworks, and it happens to be Molli’s favorite food!  We made sure Molli had a solid nap beforehand, put her in her big girl two-piece Tinkerbell jammies and headed out to watch the firework display.  We were very unsure how she would react to the booms and bangs, but were very pleasantly surprised!  She clapped and reached out for them, full of excitement… definitely a moment of heat swells. The joy on her face was so wonderful!  The thrill and uninhibited pleasure were enough to make me wish the moment would last far longer than a few short minutes.

To top it off, my mom was there, surely basking in the joy of watching her daughter’s heart swell with happiness for her sweet grandbaby.  What a special evening!

I have taken Molli in monthly to get portraits taken (as though I don’t have enough pictures of her).  Mom and I made plans to take her for her nine-month portraits and dressed her in a cheery outfit my mom sewed for her.  We experimented with ponytails and were so happy to discover that her hair is long enough, and more adorable than ever in piggytails!  I threw together some korker hair-bows to top off the ensemble.  She hammed it up at the studio, showing off all eight of her teeth!  The pictures couldn’t have turned out cuter! 

Again, my heart swelled at the sight of her looking so cute and grown up.  I don’t know when the transition from babyhood to toddlerhood happens, but I dare say, we might be almost there.  She is looking so old these days!  She doesn’t walk yet, but it wont be long.  She definitely has the strength, and probably the balance.  The coordination and interest are not quite there.  We play a standing game a lot these days- this is how it goes:  I hold her up in a standing position in front of me and she kicks, flops, bends and protests verbally until she gives in and stands up.  I let go and she stands (hence the name of the game).  Then she busts into a little grin and tips.  That’s the fun part! She tips any direction, usually leading with her head and smiles the whole way until I catch her.  She knows that someone will catch her and has no fear.  It’s a beautiful sight!  I almost don’t want her to walk because I want her to hold onto the fearlessness.  She hasn’t learned a reason to be afraid of tipping, and walking will certainly influence that!  My baby needs to stay a baby for a little longer, I’m not ready for her to grow up!

Mom leaves tomorrow and I’m so not ready.  It’s been wonderful having her company and help.  Molli is certainly not an easy baby, and Mom has filled a huge gap for me.  Even just playing with her so I can clean the floors or switch the laundry.  She’s saved me from having to listen to Molli’s big boo-hoos when I leave the room or pay attention to something other than her. 

Beyond being a big help, Mom has been a big encouragement.  Her natural ability to engage Molli and her patience with her has been a reminder to me that this girl is still a baby and just wants to play with, love and please me.  Mom is truly a beautiful example of the mother I want to be; patient, kind, gentle, and willing to slow down and laugh.  My heart is swollen tonight with the joy of having my mom around, playing with my daughter.  As sad as I am to send her on her way in the morning, I am beyond excited for the next time I’ll her- in a couple weeks Molli and I are traveling to Arizona to play with Jackson, and will meet Mom there, as well as Dad and Brian!  How fun will that be?!

Thank you, Mom, for being you, and for being here!