The Grand Arrival of Ayla Mae

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She would be induced at 10:00 that night.  Not wanting to be two hours away, we checked into a hotel with our granddaughter, Maryjane, near the hospital after packing bags and finding a pet sitter.  We went swimming and snuggled in for the night, checking my phone every few hours.   Maryjane and I had coffee and then went to the hospital while Pa checked in at work.  Maryjane’s other grandma came to pick her up.  The soon-to-be big sister was nervous and excited and emotional.  My daughter, Shyanne, arrived and we all settled in for the seemingly long arrival of a little girl.  Pa came back a few hours later.  We drank tea, and watched the clock, and talked to relatives on the phone, and tried to help Emily.

Being her second baby, Emily knew what to expect and what to request.  She was amazing during her labor.  New daddy, Reed, was nervous and doting and sweet.

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The nurses all knew that we hoped the baby would arrive that day, November 14th, for it was the fervent request from the new baby’s great, great grandmother.  November 14th was my grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary.  Never mind silver or gold, Grandma and Grandpa wanted a baby.

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And then quite suddenly it was time.  Within thirty minutes a very small little girl with curly, black hair arrived into the arms of her mother.  Daddy swelled with pride.  Pa and Auntie Shyanne cried.  Mama sobbed with joy.  I smiled and welcomed the new little one to our family.  We are ten now in our tribe.  Over a hundred in families that we gained through the children’s partners and our own extended families.  There is truly nothing more important to me than our family.

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And Ayla Mae was born.  A new little medicine woman in our line.

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Maryjane bounced into the room accompanied by her grandma.  She held a stack of papers that she had composed a song in scribbles on and immediately went to singing to her new baby sister.

Those near and dear came in to call.  Ayla has our family birthmark.  She has her daddy’s ears and nose.  She is so beautiful.  I caught my breath and held her close through the night letting mama and daddy sleep some.  And in the quiet of that dimmed hospital room, that precious heartbeat next to mine, I felt the immensity of it all, the blessings that fill my life and this family that we have helped create.  A Thanksgiving gift. (And an anniversary one as well!)

Ayla Mae Thompson

November 14, 2018

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What if There Were Four? (a joyful family tale)

fam 3And then they thought, “Why, we should be four.  Four holds infinite love at its door.”

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But first there was one.  She is our youngest daughter, Emily, and she is ever so much fun.

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Then there were two.  And no one stole my heart faster than you know who…

I became a Grammie and Doug became a Pa and we looked at those two girls with great love and awe.

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Then they met Reed, handsome and strong.  Of course, for years Emily had known him all along.  Maryjane sized him up and thought long and decided they’d keep him from now on.

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Then they were three, as happy as can be.  They saw concerts and learned yoga and climbed mountains and had fun.  They fought and made up and became closer and one.  They made a home and a family and are as cute as can be as three.

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“But what if we were four?” they whispered in the dark.  The spirits of the world gathered and the Creator went to work.  They sent a little soul that fit the mold that would give them the role of parents of two.

And so our family grows and grows and hearts are full and celebrations begun.  Oh this will be ever fun!  November 24th…

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The Surprise Party (happy 21st miss mims!)

20180218_165729_1519012345880When her brother turned eighteen, we threw him a big surprise party.  He and his friend were a little late but when they walked in a long table of people had menus covering their faces and yelled surprise!  When her sister turned eighteen shortly after we did a reverse surprise party since we knew she would expect it.  She walked into the restaurant and no one was there!  One by one, people came, old friends, new friends, family.  So the next year when Emily was turning eighteen there was just no way for me to pull off another surprise party!  So I waited.

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My baby turns twenty-one years old today.

We have so much fun together; shopping, vacationing, or relaxing together.  Her daughter is one of the greatest loves of my life.  Emily was a daddy’s girl growing up but as an adult we enjoy each other’s company so much.  I wanted to do something special for her.  As a young mama in a serious relationship trying to make it out there in the world, she doesn’t have time to be twenty-one.  She could be thirty already.  But there is something special about my little girl.  She is bright, intelligent, artistic, creative, loving, and fun.  She is beautiful.

 

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So we gathered the troops.  A long table of people met her as she turned the corner with menus over the faces and SURPRISE!  She actually teared up.

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Her best friend growing up whom she hadn’t seen for five years came.

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Her siblings that said they couldn’t make it to dinner.

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20180218_170449Her aunt and our friends that are family.

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It was a glorious evening of food and laughter and celebrating a young woman who we are all incredibly proud of.

And who deserved a birthday surprise.  Happy Birthday to my Marvelous Miss Mims…Emily Lynn.

A Birthday Wish for Shyanne

shyAs I get older the things I treasure are fewer but hold more intensity.  Relationships tend to take precedence in life these days.  The sacredness of being on this life journey with another soul is so breathtakingly beautiful and I have such gratitude for those who have chosen to stay in my life and partake in it.

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One of my very best friends has a birthday today.  All birthdays are a gift.  And the birthday of a very close friend is even more special.  We talk every day, no secrets, we build each other up, we straighten each other up, we are equals, and we enjoy each other’s company.  We are business partners and have spent the last twenty-two years (very likely longer though…pretty certain she was my mother in my last life!) building that love and companionship.

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Shyanne during her very favorite time of year!

This young woman has always been an old soul.  Her kindness and her empathy are evident and she is a powerful plant medicine maker and healer.  She is gorgeous on the outside and just as shining and lovely on the inside.  I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to have given birth to that little girl-now woman- 22 years ago.

My wish for my Shyanne Mae is that she has a lovely day and a year filled with dreams coming true.  Possibilities unfolding.  Laughter ringing.  And peace enfolding her every desire and path on her journey.  I wish her a year of great love.

Happy Birthday Shyanne!  (my Pumpkin, Dad’s Cupcake)  Always our baby, forever my friend.

Emily Lynn at Twenty

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This little girl will forever be our little girl.  She is often mistaken as her sister’s twin, she adores her brother and sister, she is a loyal and generous friend, and an inspiring mother, and forever our baby.

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Today our quiet and enchanting youngest child turns twenty.  Hard to believe all of our children are in their twenties now!  (Seems truly that Doug and I were in our twenties but a minute ago.)  I am proud of how this amazing, feisty, fun child has become an amazing, feisty, fun, and elegant young woman.  We are so lucky that we were chosen to be her parents.  That we got to raise this smiley red head.  That she is our baby.  Our life has been so much better because of it.

I have learned so much from this young woman with her wit and strength, her independence and her grace, she is a fine example.  Today I wish my Emily Lynn peace in the chaos of life.  The ability to see past bills, and work, and people, and modern life and see the enchantment and joy of the every day.  To see that everything passes (rather quickly) and to take a moment to breathe in youth, and stars, and flowers, and hiking trails, and that she sees all of her dreams come true.

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl.  Dad and I love you soooo much!  I am proud to call you my daughter and friend.

Shyanne Turns 21

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For the first year of her life not a human on earth could take that baby off of my hip.  We were inextricably bonded, that little girl and I.  She entered the world with dark curly hair and big blue eyes.  She looked like one of grandma’s antique dolls, all porcelain skin and small.

Shyanne Mae and I never had a fight, she was a really, really good girl.  Always more mature than her age and always sweet and kind.  She brought home nearly dead (and sometimes dead) animals to rehabilitate. She loved her friends and her family with all of her heart.  She asked her third grade teacher out for lunch and shopping.  Fun and spunky, she loved gymnastics and dance and was great at both.  We would take her to bars to sing and she would blow people away.  She was a fun, light hearted girl.  I always called her Pumpkin.  Her dad always called her Cupcake.  Baking up a storm and creating amazing confections (she is starting her own bakery on the side this year) made her nicknames perfect.  Her Indian name is Little Deer which sums up her personality beautifully.

As she became a teenager with her two siblings she began to pull away.  Broke the apron strings, went into the world to become herself.  To find herself.  It broke my heart that she was no longer my little girl so attached to my hip.  But I knew she had to grow up sometime.

One of the most extraordinary things that happened to us this year was Shyanne deciding she wanted to pursue herbalism.  She is not attached to my hip any longer, but our bond is still there, and now we stand side by side working together to help animals and people.  She had grown up into a fine young woman.  One I am very proud of.

Happy 21st Birthday, Shyanne!  May all your wishes come true.

Mims at Nineteen

I believe that many folks follow this blog, not just for the farming how-to, but because it has become a saga, a non-fiction novel of sorts!  Our family memoirs.  Y’all watched as the kids went through teen years and became adults.  You were there when our granddaughter was born.  When we were at the top of our game and when we were box and under bridge shopping.  You have been there through it all.  So, I have to share my daughter’s birthday too.  Emily (the marvelous miss mims) is nineteen.  How did my youngest child, with the strawberry blonde ponytail and green eyes and mischievous, delightful personality become nineteen?  She is an amazing mother, a devoted daughter, and anyone that knows this young woman is lucky indeed.  So, happy birthday to my beautiful baby girl.  May this year bring you every happiness and enchantment.

An Ordinary Day on the Farm

A new day.  I breathe in the fresh air with thanksgiving.

Photo by Emily Sanders
Photo by Emily Sanders

Today’s to-do list:

Pick up granddaughter so she can play at Grammie and Papa’s house while Mama is at work.

Dig big holes in four places and plant fruit trees.

Check on seedlings.  Move larger pots if they are not getting enough sun.

Remove debris from garden.  Five young volunteers are coming Saturday to help me design garden beds.

Bottle feed lambs three times today.  Rough work.

Take goats for a walk.

Spend time with my daughter, Shyanne, who has just moved back home.  It is delightful to have her here.

Reminisce a bit and light a candle for my best friend, Nancy, that died a year ago today.

Embrace the sunshine.

Mail my book to the person that ordered it.

Play with kittens.

Kiss my husband.

I love this lifestyle!

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Emily at Eighteen (Happy Birthday!)

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“Oh Emily, so sweet and true

Oh Emily, my love for you extends beyond a thousand miles

Will see us through a thousand trials

All I see and know to be right,

disappear from my sight,

as my adoration for you surrounds us like light.”

March 1997

a long time ago

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I think Maryjane looks a lot like her mother!
I think Maryjane looks a lot like her mother!

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Emily at Eighteen, a beautiful sight

sweet and kind, a joyous light

a stubborn streak, a knowing grin

a good friend to seek, a great passion within.

And now another from your womb

brings even more light to this room

And the world spins and I have won

with my girls life gets lots more fun.

 

I am honored to be the mother of one so dear

Emily, you grow more beautiful with each passing year.

 

Happy Birthday!

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A Birthday Wish

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Tomorrow the dawn will shine brightly at morn

T’will be nineteen years since my daughter was born.

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Her blue eyes so shine

her looks are quite fair

her smile ever bright

love her wavy hair!

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Her heart is passionate

a love of all so strong

A nature girl indeed

a love of the wild’s song.

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One of the sweetest souls I have ever met here

My beautiful child, Happy Birthday, my dear!

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Happy Birthday Shyanne Mae Elizabeth Little Deer Sanders!  My sweet, darling child has become a tremendous, amazing young woman.  Wishing you all you wish for this year and beyond.

December 28, 1995 5:25 pm