Friday, July 30, 2010

Clairvaux Marie Frances Boever-Your Birth Story

I know it has been one week and a day since your birth.

I have purposely not posted for many reasons your birth story mostly because I wanted to ponder you and your birth close to my heart and let it be mine to savor and remember especially the first week after I had you. I wanted to simply just enjoy holding and looking at you. And I did. I sat for hours and admired you.

I went to Dominic's baseball practice Wednesday night at 6:30. When I was sitting there, I felt the first pains of real contractions, but thought initially that you were just sitting in an odd place. They continued throughout the evening. There is a certain seriousness that comes over me when I realize that it is the real event. I begin my goodbyes mentally and physically. I look at each child in their bed one last time and realize that life as we know it will be changing very shortly. I looked at little Vianney and cried. I looked at big Dominic and cried. I held each of your siblings one last time while they were sleeping and knew that tomorrow they would be meeting someone new. I love telling John that "It is time. This is real." We called Dr. McNeely at 9:15 PM with the report and he recommended to wait a couple hours and let him know if things picked up. By 10:15, the contractions were strong, hard, and about two minutes apart. I called him back and said we were headed up to the hospital.

I've never gone in at night. It was such a different feeling driving to St. Elizabeth's at night time. As most people were heading off to sleep, we were getting ready to welcome you...a whole new person into the world. My heart was filled with excitement. Time is an odd thing. Eight months ago, we first knew of your existence and predicted that around July 21st we would meet you. And we did. We went to the hospital on July 21st. We checked in and got settled in our room.

I was already at 6 centimeters and the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. The contractions were very tolerable at this point and I was hesitant to get the epidural so soon, but I quickly remembered what being dilated to a ten felt like so I quickly agreed (if I had not, John said that he would have taken the epidural). I remained at a six for the next three hours. The epidural made my contractions slow down and your heart rate drop. They gave me some medicine to boost your heart rate. I remember asking every five seconds if you were okay. The nurses noticed a huge drop in your heart rate and assumed it was time to start pushing. After pushing a while, Dr. McNeely noticed that the cord was wrapped around your neck. After that, I saw you for the first time. There is never words to describe the first time you see your baby. You wonder for months who is moving within me? Who will this baby look like? Will we have another girl? And then, I see you. Time stops. It is so overwhelming. We cry every time.

This isn't your first photo. When they layed you on me you weren't breathing. You couldn't have been more purple. I can't look at those photos right now. It felt like minutes, but they said you cried shortly after that. Every time I think of your birth, the fine line of life and death is every so present. I thank God you took a breath. I thank God I heard you cry. The gift of a healthy baby is something I will never take for granted. Each and every life is so purposeful by God. Each time I meet our new babies is as if it is the first time. I gaze for hours.

I gaze at beauty. I gaze at the wonder of who will you be? Who will you become? What does God have planned for your beautiful little life already? I gaze at someone who has been gazing at God for nine months. I gaze at the little legs I felt for months. I truly feel them and look at them and think, "That was you. Those were the little legs rolling around. This is my little friend who has accompanied me around life for the last nine months." It was so nice to meet you.

Who are you, my new friend?

And then, you met Him.

Next to seeing you, I will always remember your Papa in the delivery room.
I love sharing the excitement with him. I love looking for his eyes to connect with mine to see if everything is okay. I always hold his hand. When they were giving me the epidural, John was bent in front of me holding my hands and I was looking at him.
He said to me, "I John, take you Lindsay to be my wife." I will never forget that. The nurse stopped and looked at him and said, "That is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in the delivery room." I love looking at him right after you were born, and our eyes connect after we heard the words, "It's a Girl!"

Next to your father's hands, I will always treasure these hands.

I love our doctor. I love the fatherly love he shows in the delivery room. I love the care he gives to each mother and their new baby. He acts as though each baby was his. He is wonderful.

After you were bathed and all was quiet, we had a couple hours just with you in the delivery room because our room wasn't ready. You were born at 5:20 AM so the sun was just coming up.
I kissed you 1,000 times and thanked God for your life again and again.

I said to John after it was all over, "What just happened? How do we understand this? Who did we just meet?" He said, "It is a mystery. It is supposed to be a mystery." As we were riding the elevator up to the fourth floor, I realized how short this wonderful time is in our lives. The whole process of pregnancy, appointments, preparations, contractions, labor and delivery. One day, it will be our last time to check into the hospital. We will never ride the elevator again with intense excitement about who we are about to meet. I am so thankful that we have cherished you and your siblings. I am thankful that I know that this time of our lives is such a gift.
We thank you God, for Clairvaux. Thank you for letting us get to know her. Thank you for each other.

Clairvaux Marie Frances Boever
Born: July 22, 2010
Time: 5:20 AM
Weight: 7lbs. 10.4 oz.
Height: 20 3/4 inches.
Siblings to love her: Dominic-8, Lillie-6, Rose-4, Zellie-3, and Vianney-1

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The holy priest who prepared John and I for marriage told John something that he took directly to heart and has lived since the moment we were married. Msgr. Nemec said to John very directly, "Your real job begins when you walk in that door at night. Your occupation is not where you should be putting most of your energy and time. Your family is number one on your list." Anybody who has been around John knows that he lives this.

Msgr. Nemec turned to me and said, "Your job is to elevate him in the eyes of your children. You must be his backup and his companion. You must show your children that their father is wonderful."
I think of this so often in regards to all the parenting issues and in reality I believe it really is quite simple. I think 97% of my work should be towards John and the rest will take care of itself. All the issues seem so trivial, if I am not loving their father. What good does it really do if they don't see me putting him first in our family? Whenever I get all worked up, I think "Follow John because he is following God." I want them to think that I think he could move a mountain. I believe God works through John in all parts of our marriage. It is the way marriage is ordered. Back in the day, the father was wise. My favorite scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" is when George didn't know what to do about an issue so he ran to the bank to ask his father. He looked towards this sign on the wall

I believe our job is to make our husbands into a superhero in the eyes of our children. We must never undermine his authority and position in the family. What Papa says, Mama says. We are to be the behind-the-scenes crew. I believe my role is to make John the star of the show. I say so often during the day to our children, "Let's ask Papa, he always knows the answer." or "We'll have Papa fix it, he can do anything." When I hear them repeat these words to each other, my heart is filled with gladness and joy that they think he can do anything. I try to refer to him on everything be it small or big. If they say, "Who bought these popsicles?" I will tell them, "Papa did, he was thinking of you." The power of the father is unfathomable. I pray that our children get their image of God through John's example of love, patience, gentleness, and understanding. I believe, we as their wives, have the ability to set them up for this role. The more I work at serving John, the more John is able to be the father God intended him to be. It is ordered as such.

I never allow them to correct, disrespect, sass, or dishonor him in anyway. If he speaks to them and they don't answer him, I try quickly to say to whichever child, "Papa is speaking to you, please go talk to him." John is the center of our day. We talk about when he is coming home, what we should surprise him with, and how many breaks he might have that day.
Nothing is more touching than seeing your husband loving their children especially their daughters. I believe above anything from education, dance lessons, friends, schools, sports, etc., the role of the father trumps all.

This past April, John took Lillie and Rose on a date to see the Moscow Ballet Company's production of "Sleeping Beauty." It turned into a wonderful affair with several other fathers who brought their daughters. I think our group totaled 28 people. They went out to eat first at Applebee's and then over to the ballet.

The girls still talk about this date frequently. Behind the scenes of all these wonderful men and daughters, are of course, the mothers who prepared everything so beautifully. We bathed them, did their hair, ironed their dresses, talked and talked about the event and how wonderful it was to be going with Papa and how Papa was so excited to be with them. I believe that makes God so happy.
It is such a privilege to know so many good men who take their role of fatherhood so seriously.

Because of these strong men, our daughters will have friends who were raised by strong fathers. I pray they keep each other on track.

What touched me most was the importance John put on this event. He took it very serious to make them feel special, loved, and nothing was more important than being with them that evening. He called me off and on and was truly delighting in being with them. They will never forget this.

Thank you, John for being so strong. Thank you for leading our family to heaven. Thank you for the time you give to us. I BELIEVE YOU ARE SUPERMAN. I watch your generosity and sacrifices and am constantly amazed. They have watched you pray. They have seen you serve. They have watched and experienced your joy. You are making the difference.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Fourth of July

We had a wonderful weekend with 9 out of the 10 of us home.

We spent an entire afternoon doing each others hair, makeup, and nails.

We went out to the Glen Elder Lake to see the fireworks.
What do you think she is pointing at? She was a bit concerned about her father. If you don't know this already, John has a dorsal fin. If there is water to be jumped in, he is in. He has too. It is part of his genetic makeup.

It was a perfect evening. The kids ran and ran and ran. The sky was beautiful.

He waited A.L.L. day. I remember the feeling. I remember watching the sky for any chance of rain and panicking if the weather even threatened us with the idea.

Nothing like holding sleepy, sweaty babies.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My 33rd Birthday

Please read each line below of St. Augustine's piece on friendship. I felt ever so grateful for this beautiful piece today and thought of all the wonderful people in my life.

“What drew me closest to my brothers and sisters was the delight of chatting and laughing together, of showing our affection for one another by kindly services, of reading together from books that spoke of pleasant things, of joking together amicably, of disputing now and then but without resentment, as one is wont to do with himself, of awakening by rare contest the pleasure of being one in mind, of mutually instructing on another, of longing for the absent one, and tasting joy of his return. We loved each other with all our hearts, and these marks of our friendship that were shown in our faces, by our voices, in our eyes and a thousand other ways, were among us like ardent flames that fused our soul together, and of many made but one.”
-St. Augustine

I had the best birthday of my life. A day that was filled with many wonderful things. The good Lord blessed me with a heart full of gratitude to admire and see each thing separately and in another form. Time almost stopped today at certain moments. I watched, I read beautiful notes, I cherished the gift of friendship, I sat for 30 minutes feeding Vianney her taco meat and purposely watched her chew each bite, smile, chew, look around and watch the other kids, smile, show me her teeth, try to explain big eyed what her next request was. The gift of being completely with her while she ate was one of my favorite presents.

My greatest gift. HIM.

I've written several posts in my head about the making of a saint. They all are dedicated to John. I check often to see if he is levitating in his spare time. John is the master of doing the smallest things heroically well. He is my best gift. I know he may never be canonized a saint for the world to know, but I know in my heart he is. He has mastered the gift of unselfishness. He has given up his life for everyone. He truly lives the words, "My life is not my own." Thank you Lord for the opportunity to meet and know such a person.

My other favorite birthday presents.
An 8 year old boy named Dominic.

I stop everyday and watch you practice the piano. I love watching you count the notes and figure out each piece of music. You have a gift. You asked me all day today, "Do you feel special?" You make everyday special. We had a early morning appointment and I had asked you last night to get the girls up early, make sure they dress and please make them cereal because I was meeting a friend. I got home and everyone was sitting there dressed, fed, and ready to go. I love that you told the girls to fix their hair.

A sweet little girl named Zellie who just turned "Free."

We celebrated her third birthday last month by letting her vote. She was the first to wish me Happy Birthday this morning. I asked her how she knew that and she informed me that "Papa told me last night." Birthday=complete. She told me all day that I was the "best muther in the wurld." You seriously danced to Gaelic Storm this evening and that pretty much was the best present from you today. We played Simon Says and watching you seriously try to "Simon Says rub your head and belly" was the next best gift. You don't mess around because your sisters will kick you out of the game.

Sweet Rose of Lima age 4

You have a been a gift since the moment I saw you. You were born at such a pivotal point in our lives. I probably will never look at you without wearing rose colored glasses. You have a beautiful gentleness, loyalty, and are a good friend. If you get a treat, you always want to save some for Lillie and Zellie. You remind all to "think of oth-yers first." I once took you with me to the grocery store and they were handing out sample bites of frosted cookies. I gave you one and then you sweetly asked, "What about Lillie?" The nice lady gave you another sample and for the next 30 minutes in the store and the 10 minute drive home, you guarded that sample bite of cookie for Lillie as if you were holding a treasure. I will never forget that.
You have a sweetness to match your name.

A young, sweet lady named Lillie.

I marvel how you have grown and how you help me. You are the leader of the pack. I see so much of my little self in you. You are Anne Shirley too. I love watching you pack your purse before we leave for places. You go through spurts regarding the different items you pack, but it gets me every time. At times especially after I have a new baby, you pack a diaper bag for your babies. The whole deal. Diapers, wipes, a bottle, a burp rag, and a sleeper just in case your baby needs a change of clothes. You pack the your doll into a carrier and cover it with a blanket and tuck in the sides. You have a purse over one shoulder and the infant doll carrier over the other. Now, one might think this is cute and fun. No. This is real and serious. I am SO THANKFUL I have taken the time to watch you get all your belongings ready. Sometimes, you ask to bring a stroller. I always say yes. We once went to hear a politician speak and you asked (along with your sisters) if you could bring your doll stroller. What a site to see! John and I walking with Dominic pushing baby Vianney in the stroller and behind me were my ducks all pushing their individual strollers. My heart hurt with pride and joy. I thought, "This is what life is all about." You all stood dutifully by your strollers listening to the politician talk about not raising taxes. I will always remember that sweet day. I love when you will watch a girl movie like Little Women or Anne of Green Gables and for the next weeks you will be in complete character. I love that you tuck your shirt in when you wear a skirt. It makes me smile because it usually is tucked in way to high as all little kids do. Cute and innocent.

Baby Vianney Jean-Marie 16 months

Do I really need to write anything after you've seen this picture.
110% JOY. 110% PERFECTION. 110% PURE LOVE. Sometimes, I want to kiss her teeth. Is that weird? Maybe. But you know what I mean. They stick out and she talks with them. I love them.

The greatest gift that will be given to me this year.

I am due to hold you in 21 days. I am due to see who you will be, gaze into your eyes, cry with complete gratitude and marvel once again, "How does God do this?" in 21 days. We watch you every night trying to get comfortable. We say every night, "That is amazing!" Inches away, your little body sits safely tucked inside of me waiting. I can grab your little foot. Amazing. We watch you roll over. Amazing. I love how John looks at me near the end of pregnancies. Complete awe. I saw a very holy priest a couple months ago and when we passed in the Church, he bowed to me. What respect and reverence for new life. A woman carrying a child within is mysterious. I CANNOT wait to gaze upon you for the first time.

I have so many people to thank for today. Not just for today, but for all they are to me in my life. For some reason, Birthdays bring to the forefront the gift of friendship to me especially the older I get. I met a dear friend for breakfast at 6:30 this morning. As her and I always do, we attempted to figure life out, we cried, we encouraged, we laughed, and as we always do when we part, we challenged each other to see the glass of life overflowing with possibilities and deeper meanings not just a glass half full. I came home from our appointment to my mother-in-law and a counter top full of presents and my favorite cookies from Eileen's Colossal Bakery. What touched me most is how each present was so very thoughtful and that she drove over to give them to me! She is a master at giving the gift of time. She walked with me through each room of our newly painted downstairs admiring our work. John's family is the best birthday "celebrate-ers". Everybody calls and sings and really expresses to you how they appreciate your life. I love that they do this. I loved talking to all my siblings today and planning our weekend ahead. My sister Kristin spent the day with us at the zoo, treating me to Chipotle, and making me lay on the couch while she cleaned the whole house while we talked.
The gift of time and friendship is my new favorite gift.

Lastly, but as importantly. I was equally touched by all the phone calls, emails, and especially the Facebook messages. For some reason, each message was so personal to me. One might say, "That only takes a second." What really is a second of time when each second to me was so much more than a second. Each message was a recollection, a memory of each friendship made. I thought about each person. Some are family, some were neighbors when we were first married, some I've met through blogging, some through the Newman Center, some through our wonderful years in Oklahoma, some through my wonderful bible study, some through high school and college, some whom I worked with and played basketball with in high school or college. Every time I read a note, I thanked God for each person and asked Him to bless their life. It was fun to think of our pasts together and was honored that they would take the time to write. I now understand why the elderly request "Card Showers Only. Your presence is my best present." I couldn't agree more. Maybe I am turning elderly faster than I know. I am blessed beyond words.