Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bennett's First Birthday


On the day you were born, your family gathered around us in the hospital bed, and with eyes wide open, you followed every face and every voice. We watched in awe at the miracle you are. Holding you for the first time felt like home.

And when we brought you home, you were so peaceful and sweet. I spent so much time loving your newborn smell, staring at every detail of your hands and feet, enjoying your squeeze of my finger, and memorizing your perfect face. I spent a lot of time just being grateful for another miracle. 

 A couple of months later, an unrivaled personality set in. Your smiles and laughs are truly infectious, and you are mischievous in every way. You were not as quick to talk as your brother, but behind those eyes, you are endlessly scheming. You love to dance, sing, crawl, and talk.

Within 24 hours of your birth, we found out that you had a heart condition--a pulmonary valve stenosis, and within 4 months, you had a procedure on your heart by catheter. I have never been more scared, and I have never felt more helpless. But God saw fit for you to not shed a tear or be in any pain from the moment you came out of surgery until the moment you left the hospital the next day. 

I wish I could explain to you what it is like to love you. I’ll use words, but the soul-gut-love just cannot fit in them. The switch from one son to two has undone me. I never feel prepared. I never feel control. I never feel accomplishment. Instead I feel overwhelmed, incompetent, and entirely helpless. I have no hope of mastering this role anymore, but God is having me give in. Give in to ER visits. Give in to filthy carpets. Give in to spaghetti caked hair, muddy shoes, Spiderman instead of smocked, and exhaustion. But motherhood, with all its unspoken mysteries, has consumed me in a tidal wave of the most beautiful helplessness I have ever beheld. God is using an unexplainable LOVE to break the idolistic strongholds of my world.  

 And at the end of each day, when we put you to bed, your dad and I exchange knowing glances. Those expressions are something that only a mother and father share. They say, “You know. And I know. But there are no words for this miraculous…thing that we are beholding together."

 I hope you know that you will never outgrow our love. We love you unconditionally, and we will walk with you through every part of your life--even and especially the parts that aren't pretty. We want you to fall desperately in love with Jesus and know that as He forgives your parents, He forgives you, and He loves you more than we ever can or will.

I love you with all that I am,
Your Mamma

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Encouraging Words

I caught up on my blogs this morning, and found the following at Rage Against the Minivan:

"Day care didn't break my bond with my parents, and it certainly didn't dilute the values my parents instilled in me. Although I was in day care for years, I can’t remember a single childhood caretaker’s face or name. My mother’s voice and lessons, however, ring in my ear every day."

This comes from a girl who spent most of her young life in daycare.

Thanks, whoever you are, for helping me with the fierce mamma guilt. 

Monday, September 3, 2012


It's blurry. But I'm too busy to fix it. I have more important mom things to do. Like reading more quotes on pinterest. For those of you who aren't moms, that's all we do. Get on pinterest and facebook. Trust me.

I'll come back to tell you about my week away from social media. Maybe I'll get all self righteous and start talking about how awesome I am for doing that. Oh, wait. No, I won't.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rolling in the Weep (Cheese Sauce, I Know)

I spend much of my days frustrated and tired and broken.

I think a lot about the huge number of people who are homeless, poor, abused, depressed, unemployed, sick, abandoned, hurting, and dying.

I really do. It utterly and completely breaks my heart in a way that sometimes makes me weepy.

Sometimes I'm just vacuuming or reading an article or making Bennett some milk (the evil, unhealthy formula that I feed him.), and I get all teary eyed because I overwhelmed with something deeply painful in this world, and I want it fixed.

But most of all--I get really weepy for orphans, and I get really weepy for children who are in horrible home environments. Jed's probably tired of my weepiness over this one.

We have several friends who have adopted children and are in the process right now. Asian children, newborn children, African children, two year old children, American children, sibling groups, 19 year old children, children with learning or developmental disabilities, and perfectly healthy children.

It makes me so excited. It makes me a little more weepy though. Happy weepy--it's way different and much more fun.

No--I'm not announcing our intent to adopt. We don't know what the future will bring for our little family. But for now, I got weepy this afternoon over these boys.

Amidst all the sad things in this world--God gave me and Jed two healthy, happy little bugs. I tear up when I think about how awesome it is that we have each other. That even though they will sin like the little rascals they are, and their parents will let them down, and we'll all fight sometimes, we have each other. And we won't leave each other. And we all get to experience love every day. We all get to take care of each other and we all get to teach each other a million little lessons.

These are two moments I want burned into my mind. They make me know glory is going to be awesome. And they make me thankful that in this terrible, awful world, there is a God full of mercy and grace who loves me and holds me every day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Servanthood. Psh.

Unfortunately, I obviously suck at remembering and prioritizing this blog. But here I am tonight.

Y'all, one thing I love to do is work out at the gym and listen to podcast sermons. A friend told me about Mark Driscoll (don't judge. i'm bad at staying in touch with the pop christian culture and didn't know who he was. hello, mars hill, i love you.), and I have been listening to his marriage series. Youch. They're pretty killer. And, by killer I mean awesome.

So this morning I listened to that man talk all about serving one another in a marriage. I found two things that he said particularly helpful:

1. Serving others together is not serving one another. It's good and all, but it is not serving one another. So start serving one another too.

2. Serving your family is not serving one another. It is serving your family. So start serving one another.

There was much more. And these points were obviously more profound, but I think ya'll should just listen to his sermons too. Just trust me. Get em on your iPhone, hook it  up in the car, and tell those precious, darling kiddos to shut their yappers while you listen.


Get it? Because they NEVER shut their yappers?
This is Jed serving me--digging a shard of something outta my foot.
I need housewife worker's comp. True that.

First picture I remember taking with Jed. I was a sophomore, he was a junior.
I had a killah crush on him here, and I think he found out I existed 15 seconds before the picture.
My junior year, Jed's senior year. I was on homecoming court, and Jed was on the football team. The one that lost the homecoming game. He was a bit angry at the thought of taking a happy picture immediately following the atrocity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Best Full-time Job

I am looking for a full-time job. It is hysterical to me that when I go to work with grown-ups, I will get paid money. And it will be easier than what I am doing here now. It will. Someone might say "thank you" when I do something nice. I won't have to tell them, "Say thank you." Someone might even ask me how my night last night was or how that dinner was that I'd been planning. No one will cry because they want applesauce instead of bananas or outside instead of inside. I won't have to put anyone in time out. I'll have deadlines that are weeks away, not in 5 minutes. I'll dress in cute clothing instead of yoga pants and a t-shirt with no-make up and my hair in a hot mess on top of my head. I'll go to meetings where people don't talk on top of each other or scream until someone listens. I'll probably even eat lunch at a table instead of while chasing children.

But you know--I'll probably still have goldfish on my pants where my kids hugged me. Just a thought. And I'll probably keep it on my pants because it reminds me of them and of how they love me and how I'm the luckiest person in the whole world because I have two little rascals who drive me nuts and never thank me and are loud and dirty and stinky and demanding.

Those kids really are the best job in the whole world. And they're really cute too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Braden, On Your Second Birthday


I can still hear your first scream, imagine your sweet newborn face, and smell your newborn smell. But you are now two. You are learning to talk, look like a boy, and smell like adventure. You like trucks, sticks, mud, water, and airplanes. You are loud, you throw back your head confidently when you drink from your sippy cup, you refuse assistance, and you throw a ball like a champ. 
You are all boy.
You are sweet too. You love your mama, ask everyone around you--"You okay?," love your family, and like to help. This year we gave you my favorite thing we’ll ever give you—a sibling. A brother, Bennett. You adore Bennett. Your dad jokes that if we need to punish you, we should just take Bennett away. You pet him, you kiss him when you’ll kiss no one else, you make him laugh hysterically, you give him toys and animals, you feed him bottles, and you insist on doing all of this on your own.
You are also bad. You learned how to say “mine,” take things that aren’t yours, and throw tantrums. You step right up to a line and your press your toe on it while you look around grinning. Yaya and Bapa say that's how I was, and there's something in me that makes me giggle at your badness.

You have an iron will. You’ll hear stories your whole life, but know that your dad and I believe you will be a leader. You will learn discipline, self-control, and patience, and you will become a courageous, confident man who does justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with your God. That is my prayer for that badness. Because I know our God—and He takes bad and makes it so, so good.
You are obsessed with playing with your dad. When he walks in the door from work, you refuse to hug him but you yell something that sounds like, “Dada—chechu!” (Translation:  “Dada—get you”) which means that you’d like him to chase you around the house telling you he’s going to get you.  Before he answers or even has time to kiss me hello, with a mischievous grin--you run away confidently because you know your daddy will chase you. 

You are confident your daddy will chase you. 

I love that. I love that he’ll help you understand how your other Daddy chases you. 
The act of parenting is utterly changing my soul. It is not a sudden thing, but it is a process that I feel begun the day you were born. With all the fun comes nights of anxiety, fears over doing this whole thing “right,” and exhaustion because I know I never will. Leaning into Jesus has taken on an entirely new meaning. It is not just a path nor help that I need. I once heard that we are like caterpillars in a ring of fire--the only way out is from above. I think that sums it up well.

Your dad and I are working hard to learn how to honor your personality, nurture your gifts, and give you the boundaries that you crave. We want your heart changed, not just your actions. And we want our hearts changed too.

You have changed us. You teach us how to love unconditionally, you make us laugh all the time, and you fill our home with noise! I love the way you take a running belly flop into life.

I adore you and there is nothing you could do to take that away, Braden Matthew!

I love you,

Your Mama