1

“I hate  waiting.” Inigo Montoya

Oh dear, how I love being timely, to have my end covered and taken care of so that everything can smoothly fall into place. Now with Baxter running less than a day behind schedule I have to just let this go. For the past 3 weeks, anytime I accomplished an item on the to-do list, be it change linens, a meal in the freezer or doctor checkups with the girls, I have thought “one more step accomplished! NOW he can come.” Well, the list is long finished and he’s still chillin like a villain. Thus reminding me one more time that this is not in my power, not by my hand, not because of anything I have done. It will be accomplished in HIS time.  It has been my Father’s time from my first prayer for this boy. I am blessed by His time.

Waiting causes me to worry and overthink things.  And sadly the things a hormonal 9 months pregnant woman overthinks are generally a bit traumatic, or at least enough to make you cry. Like about how much weight you have gained… oy!

Tonight, through some heavenly Beethoven pieces, God met me right where I was at. I surrendered to Him and the beauty of the inspired symphony. I found grace and peace and calm. I even found the patience to answer Juliet 3 more times, “when is Nate coming?!” When my Layla out of the middle of her coloring declared, “I think Nate will come tonight,” I stored it in my heart as a promise of soon, soon.

I will not let worry and impatience rob me of the joy and excitement of this time! I will be thankful for every full night sleep I receive for they are quickly coming to an end. I will move slowly and savor each moment with my two girls for our little family is about to be shaken up a bit!


1

By recommendation from a friend, I just began reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I must admit, I was expecting a 100 page book, not a thumpin’ bible of information! But the more blogs, articles and books I read that seem to line up with the philosophy I hope to take with my newbie, the less I choose to depend on resources such as cookie cutter baby sites and What To Expect books. This book seems to be confirming a lot of what my heart has learned and desires.

As the first chapters take a brief walk through pregnancy and childbirth and those first few feedings, I can’t help but get a lump in my throat over my Juliet. Her birth was so traumatic. I had so much medicine between the epidural and the induction meds. She came out so groggy and was whisked down to the special care nursery. I was knocked out with more meds and the next few days were spent in a haze. I know I held her, but not for long periods. I was barely with her. The first feeding was not until a couple of days later. I was in the recovery room alone with Craig and a breast pump most of the time. Our bonding at home was tumultuous as well. I had little to no support system. I had no idea what was normal or how to ask for help. I was scared and depressed and exhausted.

But we survived.

Even to this day though I lament over how I handled it all. It’s not a cure all excuse, but I was so young.  I cringe when I think about some of the nights in those first weeks. And even now I can become fearful about if this has caused bigger rifts in our mother/daughter relationship. We don’t have the same bond as Layla and I. Did those first few days set the tone for our bond?

In these moments I cling to the truth: His grace is enough. I am so thankful for my girl, what she has taught me and what those dark days have been turned into in my life. I can’t look at it any other way but to know that there is always a second chance and that He makes beautiful things out of the mess that we would like to just shove in a closet.

There is redemption. There is grace. There is purpose. There are second and third chances.  I can’t wait to see what is next.


1

Phew… crazy holidays over. Baby time is a-comin’!

10 weeks to go. I think my daily struggle is currently with my nesting instincts, which can also be tied into my control issues. We are currently praying and researching acquiring a larger home and vehicle. Craig has his contract negotiations at work soon, which leads to health insurance and all that jazz. There’s a lot changing. I am fully confident that God will provide and in his perfect timing. But until then I find myself daily asking, “Lord, show me how to work with what we’ve got.” Our little home has been fabulous- until you dig out the baby gear. Then the walls seem to shrink in a bit. And it’s time.

But it’s all good- honestly is. I’m more selective and trying to take each day as it comes, thus stopping my brain from constantly projecting forward and forcing myself to focus on where I am now.  I’m prioritizing from acquiring every little kitchen item a baby might need to just finding the items that will help me succeed in breastfeeding. Instead of searching for that perfect crib set, I am collecting pieces that will translate easily between the bassinet to the crib when the time comes, forgoing the huge coordinated nursery set for piece that are handcrafted and unique. I’m thankful for God carrying this spirit of simplicity through to my pregnancy, a time that is SO easy to get carried away with all the items out there in the store, just in case. It’s a daily choice to just let it go back to His hands.

Also I have been floored by people’s generosity. From relatives I never see to church family to some very unexpected sources I have been handed baby clothes and blankets and gifts to celebrate the newb. Community is a beautiful thing.

So who knows? As I think about it, I can’t believe we have been in our little home for 5 years already. When we bought the place we didn’t even know if we would be staying in this neck of the woods. When I look and see all God has done in those 5 years with careers and relationships and how we have learned and changed, why do I have any reason to doubt. His plans are obviously much bigger and better than any road I could plan.


2

Well, sweet boy. You will be out in just 16 short weeks. I can’t wait to meet you. Your sisters and your daddy can feel you bumping around inside my belly now- what the heck are you doing in there? Sometimes it feels like you’re running! It feels like you are all boy. It worries me that if I wake up in the night I always feel you. You’re not going to be that child, are you?!

We have been calling you Nate a lot. Nate the Great to be exact. It seems to be sticking, but I’m not ready to settle yet. I will know when I see you. Linus was kicked out the door as your first name. Linus was your name in my mind for a very long time… until one day when your big sister, Layla, was cooing and chatting at you in my belly and called you “Liney.” Sweet as it was I had a flood of playground rhymes and simply could not stick you with a future of “Whiney Liney has a Shiny Hiney” for the rest of your days.

I’m crocheting you a little tiger. A Hobbes to be exact. We can’t wait until you want to read Calvin and Hobbes comic books. You sisters and I read them and just laugh the whole time.  We also are starting a blanket. You are entering a very crafty family. I wonder what you will enjoy…

I am happiest when I am eating a sandwich. I’m thinking you must be a roast beef and pickles on a kaiser roll kinda guy. Big, meaty sammiches make me do the happy food dance.  Also pudding. And lasagna, but that’s not really new.

I feel well. I feel happy. I love your little kicks and punches. I can’t wait to meet you xoxoxo


2

More than half way… tomorrow will mark 22 weeks on the baby train. I’m so thankful that life has slowed down. I’m thankful I am feeling well. I’m thankful that baby is uber healthy. It’s a quiet moment, a deep breath.

I am having trouble remembering being pregnant with my girls. I even have trouble remembering them being tiny. How can that be? It wasn’t that long ago. Sometimes I get a pit in my stomach trying to remember.  While I can recall sweet moments, mostly what comes flashing back are moments of intense despair and frustration. Of tears, hers and mine. Of feeling helpless and alone. I remember feeling this way for a long time.

Looking back, I think a large part was my youth and my mental state. I was far too confident and determined to do things my way. I can see some deep veins of depression running through those formative years. I know I wasn’t alone, but I also don’t think my sweet hubby, we were both so young, just didn’t know what to do with me. I was so desperate to have control over something that I probably didn’t leave much room for him.

I am so thankful for the growth and the maturity that has come to our family in the past few years (not to say we are completely mature- have I mentioned the nerf guns?). To go from babies having babies to grownups. While I know that depression isn’t erased and there will be moments of intense frustration once again, I am so thankful for grace and the gift of Baby #3. God has redeemed and blessed the mistakes I made with Babies 1 & 2, and I think I see 3 as a new beginning. A second chance. A new life.

I can’t believe I am saying this but I am actually enjoying being pregnant! Yes, the first few months were really rough and sickly, and I still really miss my brain and nothing fits right, but I am really loving this. And I am loving my family loving this. Craig gives me amused looks out of the corner of his eye and the girls give me belly rubs and try to make noises (cars and airplanes) they think their baby brother will like to hear.

It’s good… an now I’m hungry again.

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


6

Sometimes you just have to go with the old saying “my cup runneth over.” That is just where I’m at today.

I have felt at a bit of a standstill babywise over the past few weeks. Small kick and an increasing waistline daily reminded me that there was someone there, but I have been dying to know who. Having been so confident of it being a son at the beginning, I began to doubt, not God’s leading to pray for a son, but that maybe this child was not my son. Afterall, who am I to presume that God would allow me to be so involved? To ask and actually receive?  I began to toss around the thought of 3 girls. Fun as it could be, I couldn’t picture it.

The definite revelation by the ultrasound tech that I am in fact carrying my son has rocked my world today. I am overjoyed with the gift and humbled at the responsibility. I am giddy to have another piece of the puzzle of who this child is. I am floored, literally, that God would call me to be so involved in this. I have thought about this boy for years. Last year I felt like it was the time to really pursue my son in prayer. I felt a continual prompting, “Ask me again. Let me do this.” I had sweet friends pray with and for me.

Who am I that I should ask and receive?

I am so excited for this boy and his little life. I am so excited to tell him what a gift from God he is. I cannot wait to tell him of how his life has been dedicated to God since before he was born. I can’t wait to share our little home life with him and watch him discover this amazing world. It’s going to be awesome.

I have the Buddy Holly song, “Oh boy!” playing over and over in my head. I suppose you think it’s weird since it’s a love song for a couple, but I feel like it may be our song.

All of my love
All of my kissin’
You don’t know what you’ve been a-missin’
Oh boy, when you’re with me
Oh boy, the world can see
That you, were meant, for me

All of my life
I’ve been a-waitin’
Tonight there’ll be no…hesitatin’
Oh boy, when you’re with me
Oh boy, the world can see
That you, were meant, for me

Stars appear and shadows are falling
You can hear my heart a-calling
A little bit a-lovin’ makes everything right
I’m gonna see my baby tonight

All of my love
All of my kissin’
You don’t know what you’ve been a-missin’
Oh boy, when you’re with me
Oh boy, the world can see
That you, were meant, for me


0

I cannot put my finger on it. Is it a vibe? Is it the love and care of the prep work? The personal details? The interaction of the family and friends?

I cannot figure out why some weddings are better than others. (in my little ol’ opinion) I’m finding it rarely has to do with the venue, the type of meal or the decorations (although last night’s wedding was gorgeous). It must be in the way the bridal party and family all interact, but then, the bride  always surrounds herself with people who she has known for years, who love and care for her. On her wedding day she has people setting their own hair and make up aside to make sure she has every heart’s desire.

Sometimes there are children. Sometimes it’s mostly family, other times it’s young adult friends. Sometimes the gift table is piled high and sometimes only a few cards are in the basket. Sometimes the groom is attentive, stealing kisses and holding her hand. Other times they are on opposite ends of the room, visiting with out of town guests. Sometimes the couple is uncomfortable with public displays of affection and pictures are rough. Others times, it’s an escape to be together (with one annoying guest with a camera) in the middle of a crazy weekend. Sometimes he looks at her the way Mr. Darcy looks at Elizabeth. Sometimes he doesn’t.

Tis puzzling to me. And exhausted as I am, last night’s wedding was great. I’m excited to upload and edit (yes, edit!) the pictures and get them to the couple. I want them to be able to have those few minutes to sit and enjoy the day that their hard work produced.

__________________

Updated: 8pm

So I continued to think on this a bit more throughout the morning. I’m coming more and more to the conclusion that it has to do with the interaction I see between the bride and the groom. Possibly more specifically the groom. His attitude towards the guests and his bride. A spirit of gratitude and humility and joy seem to be key factors, from both the bride and groom, but perhaps having been the bride, I look for hints from the groom knowing he will be a good husband. That he truly treasures his new wife and is humbled by being her man. There is a light, an openness, in his eyes as he watches his bride that brings me back to my wedding day. I must be identifying with that. I am excited for her and what her life will hold with this man who obviously adores her.


2

Almost 12 weeks. Shouldn’t my hormones be “leveling?” I don’t feel level. I feel disoriented and exhausted and just plain ol’ off.

Brain- pbth.
Stomach- pbth.
Body- pbth.

(By the way “pbth” is the sound you make with your tongue. like a raspberry. Yes, that one. Yes, I know you just did it…)

I’m trying to draw inspiration from women who don’t let anything slow them down. Like pioneer women (I love Laura). When they were pregnant they still had all of their chores and there were no dishwasher or grocery stores. I’m having a terrible time just focusing my brain. I find that even with a list in front of me, I end up jumping from one thing to another and completely forgetting which one I was supposed to be working on.

The Seven Year Old may not survive. Just stating facts. The arguing and the back talk and the constantly getting in her sister’s face must be a direct result of how slow I am acting. And well, like her mother, compassion does not come naturally to her. She just wants to be in charge, no matter what the cost to the rest of us. Dear Lord, help me…

I have a lot of weddings coming up. I am clinging to the hope of regaining a small amount of brain, as I think I may have overbooked. Granted at the time I didn’t know I would be pregnant. God has promised to walk every step and that I can do it all through His strength. So onward and forward! I am going to be exhausted and ill by the middle of October though… I can feel it.

So here I sit. With my green face mask and some lovely smelling candles. I would be feeling much better by now, having blogged my thoughts and cleaned out the clutter in my mind a bit, but The Bigger Dog will not stop barking. Even when put away. She may not survive either…

Heck, I may not survive….


1

I have been thinking a lot about “things” and how our lives are so centered around them. How we are bombarded by them. How we are told we need them to bring peace, to raise our children properly, to live.

I’ve noticed this for a while with Christmas and birthday- I’m a little shocked at some of the gifts I’ve seen offered forth by school pals at birthday parties. When I’ve declared there is nothing I need or want, people find that frustrating because they have to get something. At Christmas I strive to move away from gimicky, trendy toys and towards things that will stretch their minds and skills like arts n crafts and books.

With the baby coming, it became overwhelming to me (the hormones don’t help.) The moment I sign up for a baby site or order an item I am flooded with emails and mail about baby items. Many of which include a literal checklist of what you will need for baby.  I’ve been asked about if I have picked out nursery items and strollers yet, and while of course these things are on my mind, I’m happy to say they are not a priority.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still like “things.” I enjoy a well made item and I delight in receiving gifts. Beautiful crafts and creations, items that stem from the imagination are pure inspiration to me. I love picking out treasures for my kids. My Pinterest page is littered with items that I find squeal worthy. But I don’t want my life, every milestone and occasion to be centered around them. Do you see?

This school year I made a conscious effort to step away from this American trend. I made a trip to the Salvation Army and bought a huge bag of fall clothes. I decided there would be no shopping for a First Day outfit, we had more than enough clothes to find something fabulous. We made a specific shopping trip for shoes and socks and desk supplies, and that was it. Our backpacks and lunchboxes from last year are still in great shape so we will use those for one more year. And do you know that we STILL have more than enough clothing?

Same in my pregnancy. I’m purchasing maternity items on an as needed basis. I’m choosing to specifically not buy based on “well, I might need this at one point.” I’d really like to see how God is going to provide with what I have to work with already. And with baby gear, I know I’ll hit a point with nesting where I am suddenly panicking because we don’t have any onesies, but until that point let’s keep it mellow *grin*

I think much of this stems from a continual theme God has been growing in my heart for a while. I’m created for something greater than this world. This world is not my home. HE is my home. All else falls away.

Stranger by Mandi Mapes

just another day in a beautiful town
where money makes the world go round
caught in a place
where no matter what I do I feel let down
’cause I keep chasing all these funny things
that don’t even matter in the end

this world is not my home
I am a stranger in this country
Jesus in me won’t You pour me out
I’m ready to abandon all my shiny things
my family, and this American dream,
Lord come take it all from me
until there’s nothing left but You


0

Last full week of summer. Irene brought in fresh, cool, tickle your nose and make you sneeze, fall air and I suspect that in the next week or so the little leaves around the edges of the park will be turning yellow.  We have the folders, crayons and pencils. New sneakers are in the closet. I’m (very slightly) prepared for the impending empty feeling that happens when they happily wave goodbye and climb aboard their yellow schoolbus, ready for this brand new experience. They are fully rested. They have relaxed, slept in, played hard, gobbled up books, sang songs in the fresh air, scraped knees, ridden roller coasters, been knocked over by waves, slurped melty ice cream cones and splashed with cousins.

This morning I hear them playing together in their room, fully immersed in Barbie land. I love when they get lost together. When the hours click away. They are such comrades. The murmur of their voices existing not only peacefully, but joyfully together is the sweetest sound in the world to me. It is comfort. Like the hum of a sweet lullaby.

Next week, they go their separate ways once more, but I was thinking about what a neat thing it is they have a small reunion on the bus before they come back home to me. They have their transition and their daily recap together. I’m praying over what our days should look like when they come home. How do I get 1 on 1 time with each girlie? What is the best way to teach Biblical lessons after a long day of school learning? How scheduled should I make their responsibilities? I’m so thankful I don’t have to have these answers right now.