July 22, 2014

the last time. numero dos.

it's been exactly one week now since i nursed tenley for the last time. i wish i had gotten around to writing this post a little sooner to catch all the emotions of it, but it's a whirlwind over here these days and i sometimes barely have time to do..well..anything. so yeah, just getting around to it.

if someone would've looked into the future when you were around, oh, 1-2 months old and told me that i'd be sitting here today crying about being done nursing you i would've laughed! we struggled, boy, did we struggle to get things right. and i cried and cried. and got angry and impatient. i wanted to give up so many times. but we pressed on. and i had the best encourager. i don't know how we would've made it without your daddy. he was always there to support me even in the wee hours of the morning. even when he had to go to work the next morning. your daddy is just the best.

so we sat there in that same place where we struggled all those weeks. and i marveled at how easy it had become. how it all came together. how we'd grown. together and individually. i ran my fingers through your brown hair that i always swore was starting to fill in blonde. i studied your face and stroked your cheeks. i praised God for bringing us to this place.

you, my dear, are beautifully wild. your soul is so complicated and free. i know you are not mine to keep. it was a pleasure to be able to be so close for a time to something so wild.

July 14, 2014

9 months.

this month has been sort of a trying one for us. mommy got a little worried about how you were coming along with your communication and we ended up getting referred for an evaluation. while we were there you didn't pass your hearing test which was odd because we didn't have any concerns here. they sent us back to our doctor where we had your ears cleaned (hoping that it's just drainage/blockage causing the issues-which could in turn be slowing your communication). we know that you can obviously hear so we aren't exactly sure what's going on. we are now waiting for our ENT appointment and are going to redo your hearing test. in the meantime we've been working extra hard with you and you are now making sounds like bu-ba, ma-ma, and da-da :).

we also received a little bit of negativity at your 9 month appointment for not being more consistent with solid foods. sooooo we've been doing solid meals with you 3x/day. it is a wreck trying to feed TWO babies by myself during the day, but we've been making it work somehow. i've found it's best to feed you and ry at different times. good thing is you have loved everything we put in front of you so that's that!

some of my favorite things:

-the way you prop your leg up in your car seat
-the way your hair wisps up in little swirls around your ears
-your chunky legs
-your two little teeth on bottom (you are getting three more on top!)
-the way you laugh, it's an adorable old lady cackle, but we'll take it!

we've also begun the weaning process since i'll be leaving for Africa before your first birthday. i've been doing formula, bottles, all that stuff. it's been hard on me to have to quit nursing earlier than i'd like, but i really feel like this trip is what God has for me to do. i'm loving watching you grow and am sad that i'm going to miss those 10 days! don't grow too fast! and please no first steps while i'm away!!!

love you forever,


July 8, 2014

oh! how he loves us!

as i sit in the floor with my children while one presses hard up against me and the other asks me yet another question ("mom what are you doing?") i cant help but feel overwhelmed with gratefulness.

this last weekend a young wife and mother from the church nick and i were members of all through college and the first few years of our marriage passed away. she fought a nasty, nasty cancer for a little over a year. she had numerous treatments, scans, surgeries, sleepless nights, excruciating pain and the evil just continued to spread throughout her body.

her spirit just grew sweeter though.

i've heard countless stories of her joyful and selfless heart. how she cared for others although she was in horrendous pain, the peace that people felt as they entered her hospital room, how she shared Jesus' love with everyone around her-doctors, nurses, loved ones and people following her story all around the world.

we didn't know her well, but have had the privilege to pray for her and her family throughout this battle. she leaves behind a husband of 8 years, a 4 year old daughter, her father, mother and sister, as well as many other friends and family.

as a wife of 6 1/2 years and a mother of two, i can't help but share in the feeling of the deep deep sadness of being separated from a loved one. things have definitely been put into perspective for me. though she is now cancer free and rejoicing with her Savior in heaven i know that she longed for many more days with her loved ones on earth.

this morning i fought hard against the ache in my back while lugging my 2 1/2 year old to the sink for an after breakfast scrub down. i thought about kelsey and how she would have loved to wash her daughter's hands one last time. i really watched as i scrubbed his little fingers together, the water washing away the sticky syrup and pancake crumbs. i didn't mind so much the dirty diapers, the spit up in the carpet, the pajama pants struggle. i thought of kelsey when i washed my hands for the billionth time and felt satisfied in the work i had done. the putting up of the toys (again) as well as the dishes (again). it's all for them. the ones that i love. and today i'm thankful for all of it. the stinky, the crying, the mess, and the clean ups because they are all signs of our life together.

i think back on a wonderful woman who lost her husband this past year and how she compared the separation from him as what God must've felt when He sent His son to earth to die on a cross. oh, what a love He must have for us! to send His only son!

although it is hard for us to fully comprehend everything in our earthly wisdom, kelsey is home, fully healed and complete, celebrating with her Savior, her first love.

please be praying for kelsey's family as they learn to live life without her. please pray that her daughter would be drawn closer to a saving relationship in Christ and that one day they would be united together in heaven! please ask God to give her husband comfort and peace that could only come from Him and wisdom as he leads their family.

i'm still learning to be more present in my life every single day and hope to be better at soaking it all in. chaos and mess included.