Before becoming a mother, I did not think about being one. I knew I eventually would be, but I did not imagine myself all glow-y wearing a soft white nightie, cradling a baby and loving it. I found pregnancy fascinating (but fat) and enjoyed readying the bassinet, crib, changing table and walls for our first baby. And then I gave birth. Our little black haired boy evoked in me a feeling beyond my own petty, twenty-something knowing. Caring for him presented a challenge like no other. I found myself astonished at my "mother bear" attitude and my willingness to give up other activities in order to protect him. Motherhood is indescribable. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to have four intriguing children. Pregnant with our second, I was sure the baby was a boy. No pink for me. When Kelli Ann arrived just before lunch on Feb. 7th, all my pink dreams that had lay dormant, surfaced and exploded with joy. She, a little dream baby, made our days cute and peaceful. To have another, to have another - we couldn't decide. When feisty little Jeff arrived, I felt as though we had won a prize. His bright eyes and active curiosity again brought out my mother bear tendencies and cuddling him served as restful, peaceful calms in the happy storm of preschoolers. Secretly wanting four, we postponed the vasectomy and around Valentine's Day, conceived our Rose. So, we found ourselves full-blown parents with seven years of childbearing and four dynamos seven and under. Those were the most purpose-filled days. Walks to the park, rides on little bikes, wading pools, arts and crafts, peanut butter lunches, piles of books, piles of legos, dolls, cars, super heroes, ninja turtles, too many stuffed animals, wet beds, four loads of laundry a day, tired evenings filled with baths, story times, drinks, and nightlights made for important day added to important day. When Jenny was the last preschooler, I do remember thinking that her preference for cereal in a coffee mug, perched in our bed while she watched morning television shows was something I wouldn't ever forget. It was the beginning of the end of an era. So, I savored the lazy, pajama mornings and the whiney trips to the closest monkey bars. I spoiled both Jeff and Jenny, buying them toys at department stores and taking them on outings to the water park, the go cart track and the zoo. Brad and Kelli were celebrated for singing, good grades, having hearts for their sad friends and being conscientous big siblings. We spent too much money going out for restaurant meals, going to Disneyland and buying them expensive shoes. All of it was magical. Bill was always there and home was generally calm and provisional. Now, our kids are adults and our chosen friends. They are loving, committed, growing, and precious, our favorite humans. And life goes on.