Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The day we found our perfect Christmas tree.

And made so many memories. Complete with pizza. 
My husband always has to have pizza. (Not pictured.)

Watching Daddy

Sorry for all the crickets. Blogs are merging and fun new-website-making things are happening over here amidst the Christmas bustle. I'll be back in full swing after the New Year, so stay tuned!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Simon Patrick | 4 Months

four months.
Our smiley Simon. Ridiculously happy. Drool machine. Loves his fists. Found his thumb. Watches big brother. Smiles at everyone. Super strong. Ticklish. Has Wells ears. Starting to look more like Daddy. Perfect almond eyes, still dark and darkening.
Perfect everything.
Simon Patrick, we love you to pieces, and way more than last month.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Super Mom

Dear sweet Postman,

Thank-you for calling me "super mom," as I pushed my over-sized double stroller into the small little post office. Miraculously, after nap time, and fresh diapers, shoes, and a half-mile walk to deliver two packages, we made it before 5 o'clock. And my babies are still smiling.

Of course you don't know that I left my front and back door unlocked.

Actually, I left the front door wide open.

Just, you know, lettin' the house air out. In broad daylight. When no one is home.

But when you called me "super mom" it just made my day.

Because I really don't feel like it most of the time. Most days I just try to do the next thing next, and not attempt anything too heroic.

I'm learning my limits, and how to have reasonable expectations for myself. It makes our home a happier place. My sister taught me that. (She's taught me a lot, actually.)

I'm almost two years into this mommy thing. I wish I could say it was getting easier, but actually, it's just getting harder.

Babies? Oh, yes. Sweet smelling, innocent, snuggly, sleepy, precious little babies. I understand those. The answer to all their problems: milk and snuggles. And I can do milk and snuggles, no problem!

Toddlers? Stubborn-ness. Deliberate disobedience. Temper tantrums. Impatience. Unkindness.

Those are nasty things, and it breaks my mother's heart to see them come from the child that was once my precious newborn.

We say Ralphie got a double dose of stubborn from each of his parents, which makes for one strong-willed little man. This will serve him well someday. But, his heart needs to be soft towards instruction and learning - towards us, but most importantly toward Jesus.

Teaching that to him consistently, day in and day out, is what makes this mothering job so tough.Yet, there is something wonderful about teaching truth, goodness and beauty to a nature so bent towards brokenness and sin. As exhausting, difficult, and all-consuming as it is, it is lovely.

Toddlers? They teach you something else, too. Love. Unconditional, uninhibited, fierce, unyielding love.

All the bad moments added up still don't even compare to all the love.

And they teach you joy. Because when you're nearly two years old the world has a million treasures to offer, and your heart is ready to burst with excitement. No matter how hard life was just two seconds ago. 

Today, we made it to the post office. And hopefully we'll make it home for dinner, baths, and bedtime stories. These are the good ol' days I want to soak up forever, brokenness and all. But, I'd be lying if I said anything good about today came from what I did. If motherhood has shown me anything it's this:

Truthfully, I am no super mom. I just serve a super God.  (My sister taught me that one, too.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This face.
Greets me every morning with a smile and "crack-uh?" (cracker).

He is on the go from sun up to sun down. Exploring, destroying, discovering.
Except for the sweet 2-3 hours that are nap time.
He steals my tea.
and loves his friends fiercely. (And they love him)
 He is my helper, and still definitely a mama's boy.
And he eats, eats, eats.
A morning person through and through, this one. I found him this morning just lying in his crib, fist fully enveloped by a huge gum-less grin.
And he's kind of an afternoon and evening person too. Smiley Simon. He steals our hearts with every grin.
He looks just like his Uncle Nate, which is a pretty good look to have. ;)
His eyes dance. And change color daily.
He has the best dimples. ever.

These boys bring joy to life. Oh, it's hard. So hard. Motherhood stretches me in ways I never knew I could. It is the hardest job I'll ever love. Yet, whenever I find myself complaining, or wishing for ten more minutes of peace, or a full night's rest, I have to stop myself and remember: I prayed for this. These two. And for all the quiet in the world I wouldn't give them up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simon Patrick | Three Months

three months.
smiles. coos. two huge dimples. eyes are changing - maybe to brown. looks surprised a lot (the picture is perfect).  moving into 3-6 months clothing. great at tummy time. a morning person. milk addict. so patient with his big brother's smothering love. face lights up when he sees mama. 
Simon Patrick, we love you more and more. Even more than last month.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Simon Patrick | Two Months

two months.
has the squishiest cheeks. eats like a piggy. smiles with his whole face. is starting to coo. adored by his big brother. sleeps 6 hours straight at night. still called "Squeaker." is startled easily. loves the Moby Wrap, taking walks, and even his mama's singing. 
Simon Patrick, you are loved more than you know. 
And even more than last month.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Postpartum hormones, perfection and grace

Postpartum hormones are interesting things. Despite our beautiful heart-shaped placenta in convenient encapsulated form, I've had many moments over the last couple of weeks. Moments where I am reminded I am not super-woman. Moments where my humanity smacks me smartly on the cheek, and leaves me a crying, shaking mess. 

All my life I've resisted this weakness. Somewhere along the line I heard and believed the lie that your life has to be perfect for anyone to love you. Or, look as close to perfect as you can muster. This lie has hit me hard in the last two weeks. I've realized how deeply rooted it is in my being; how tenderly I hold onto it, as if it gives my life identity.

Because in the last two weeks, more than any other time in my life, there have been moments where I just did not think I could make it five more minutes without everything around me collapsing in a pile of rubble - myself and my children included. 

And I thought, Is this what it's going to be now? Am I going to be grasping for air the rest of my life, just trying to keep my head above water?

Baby blues? Probably. But the Holy Spirit has been doing a number on my heart through this emotional roller coaster.

Feeding on the husks around me,
Till my strength was almost gone,
Longed my soul for something better,
Only still to hunger on.

Five weeks in I decided I was finally up for Sunday evening potluck and worship with our sweet, growing church. I'd made it the morning a week earlier, and nearly fell asleep to my husband's sermon, but that week had been even harder, and I knew more than rest I needed to worship with others.

As I prepared to go to church Sunday evening I felt Satan pulling me back; trying to hinder me from worship. I was juggling an antsy toddler, who needed cleaned and dressed; and an over-hungry newborn choking on and crying over the over-abundance of milk my body is still convinced he needs. I nearly burnt our contribution to the potluck, and didn't have time to finish all I had planned to bring. Daniel arrived home fifteen minutes late to drive us to church, and I told him to just leave me. I wanted to burrow under the covers and cry myself to sleep. I most certainly wasn't ready to walk out the door, and most definitely wasn't ready to walk into church. At least my heart didn't feel ready.

My heart didn't feel ready for worship, or praise.

Poor I was, and sought for riches,
Something that would satisfy,
But the dust I gathered round me
Only mocked my soul’s sad cry.

I went anyway. Not cheerfully, not easily, but because I knew I needed to. 

There is something deeply beautiful amongst a circle of true friends: the awareness that you are not alone. 

As I sat in my chair and looked around at the familiar and beloved faces of our church family the life stories of many of them came to mind, and I realized that as burdened and empty as I felt in that moment there were others dealing with heavier, even darker burdens. My heart quickly softened.

And as we sang, and worshipped together, and then gathered for communion, Grace drowned me like a flood of water. That perfection I had been striving for all week - all my life long? was drenched in a depth of love I could not even wrap my mind around.

Well of water, ever springing,
Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth,
My Redeemer is to me.

No matter how hard I try life will never be perfect. Having two babies has rocked my world in great ways. I have felt my heart love deeper than I knew possible. Yet, it has rocked my world in tough ways, too. I do not have it all together. I don't even have a daily routine yet. I probably won't for a good month or two more. I'm sleep deprived. I'm behind on everything.

And slowly, the grace of the gospel is showing me that that is ok. Life here isn't perfect, and I don't have to pretend it is. The love Jesus offers is deeper, richer, fuller than any wimpy satisfaction I gain from trying my hardest; and when my heart feels dry and heavy, his love satisfies.

After all, of all the burdens any have had to bear is not the weight of the darkness and death in this world the heaviest? If any heart should feel dry, should it not be His. Nailed to a cross, mocked and beaten, forsaken by all but a few, betrayed by one of his best friends, and sold for thirty pieces of silver. And when He cried out to God in heaven the sky only grew darker, and the silence more deafening. Because life isn't perfect, and He knew it. So He died to make all right again, and He calls to us, sometimes softly and quietly, sometimes like thunder: Beloved, I know the pain you're feeling. I know the burden you carry. Give it up: I paid the price for your freedom. Just trust me. I will make all things new.

Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.