Tuesday, September 23, 2014

i guess you could call this my quarterly recap

i just randomly opened up my abandoned blogger account and saw this post, written gosh, in august probably, sitting in my drafts folder, wildly outdated but oh well. i haven't posted in some time so i figured i'd start back up with this - so pretend fall is just beginning and this is my catch up from the summer....

life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
-f. scott fitzgerald, the great gatsby

oh the start of fall - how i love thee.
i'm sure i've sang falls sonnets many times on this old blog, so instead of repeating myself, i'll tell you how much i loved this summer. 

the last i wrote here the summer had just begun. and yesterday officially marked the end.
every last day of summer i find myself singing that little dashboard confessional tune, 
"so long sweet summer,
i stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays"

this was one of our most fun summers by far - definitely the best we've had as a family of four.

with too many pool trips to count, we got tan lines, (yes even nyla) and freckles (everyone but nyla did) and ate enough ice cream to last us until next summer.
the boys did a backyard "man only" camp out 
and we took a family vacation to Seabrook Island near Charleston, SC, 
we visited Chicago through Labor Day and drank enough iced coffee to last me through the cold months to come, when only the hottest coffee will suffice. 
we watched fireworks and hosted bbq's and went to the zoo (a lot) and made smores and took a family bike ride and watched a movie in a tent in the back yard, we went to the beach and strolled through the farmer's market and went swimming after dinner until our fingers were like raisins just in time to go to sleep. 

Our kids are at that perfect in between stage where even our littlest is less of a baby and more of a kid, at almost two years old - they're both old enough to skip the occasional nap or push bedtime back an hour or two when there's more fun to be had. and although we do all function better, and are all around much happier when we stick to a schedule, there are times, when long days when the summer sun sets well into the evening call for bedtime walks for frozen yogurt or an extra book or four on the sunporch is more important than some extra zzz's. 

nyla is getting so big and every day she is learning new words and phrases to help her keep up with her brother who never leaves space for any quiet (just like another man in the house i know - and love!) more and more her gibberish is becoming intelligible thoughts and it is so cool to get a peak into her mischievous, hilarious, rambunctious mind. one day a few weeks ago she walked up to me while i was lounging and grabbed the bottom of my shorts and took a little peak and said with a little grin, "you poop mommy?! pee-yew!" she thought that was the funniest thing in the world and because i cracked up she spent the next 15 minutes checking my fake diaper for stinky poop.

me and micah like to play this game where we are babies and we both fake cry for our "momma nyla"and then watch how she mothers us both. she'll bring us blankets and stuffed animals and give us tons and tons of kisses until we both stop crying. then she claps - a job well done. she's gonna make one mean momma one day. she's the craziest mix of feisty and delicate. she is rough and tumble on the outside but her emotions are as delicate as an orchid, the drop of a hat will cause the biggest sob fest, when it doesn't make me crazy, it's the most endearing, funniest thing you'll ever see...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

:: them ::

I have never seen two kids so smitten with each other. It's exactly how I hoped it would be when we thought about adoption and siblings. There are countless times throughout the day I think to myself, "yes, we're doing this, maybe now's a good time to add another tiny human to our family, I've got this."

The part that i overlooked is the intense way, at only three and 17 months, they fight. The biting and spitting and hitting and screaming. It's overwhelming at times. I knew it was coming but man oh man, it came with a vengeance over the last few weeks. And left me, shell shocked and exhausted. It's in those moments I think we must be absolutely insane to consider baby number three. 

And although the good days mostly outweigh the bad, I'm learning and trying to not score my days by the tears and bite marks. I'm trying not to keep tallies of the good and the bad moments, to not sit at the end of the day weighing if the day was a success or a failure based on our actions and attitudes, or how many spankings I had to give. On a good day I can recount to Curtis the foibles of the day and laugh. On a bad day I want to curl up under the dining room table by dinnertime and cry. 

I'm trying to give and show grace. And accept it too. And I'll be the first to admit, most days it's a fight to make the right choice. A minute by minute battle. But as I understand it, it's a battle worth waging. And we'll be waging it with two kids or more, so maybe this shouldn't be my deciding factor in determining whether we should make the leap from two to three. 

Just yesterday Nyla spit at me out of anger at something I told her to stop doing, Micah then looked at me and said, "mom, I think Nyla is spitting cuz she needs a hug."

The wisdom of my three year old. 

And I think he was right. 

Maybe we should all just get in the habit of dog-piling and group hugging each other whether we want to or not. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

:: schoepfle garden ::

last sunday after church we and some friends discovered the beautiful Schoepfle Garden. 

we took a picnic lunch, let the kids run free and enjoyed our crazy, loud group of little friends (I think there were 12 kids in all). There was even a children's garden complete with hidden tunnels and slides and an old school merry-go-round that actually worked. we all took turns getting dizzy as the kids rode on horses and pigs and chickens and waved to those watching. 

these are just some of the shots that our friend mike took of our little family. I think we all enjoyed the feeling of roaming the grounds with a ton of friends, everyone looking out for each other's kids and getting in little bits of conversation here and there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

coming up for air

i just found this post in my drafts folder, but in re-reading it, it still seems pretty relevant:

whew. i feel like i'm just now barely catching my breath for the first time this year.
like 2014 has held me underwater, like a weight around my ankle, pulling me under
as i frantically used up all my air struggling to the surface to try to gulp another breath.
that's what this year has felt like so far.
trying to come up for air just to gulp down another mouthful of water instead.
but now, i think it's finally safe to say i might have caught my breath. i hope i'm not stating that prematurely. i've come up for air and i hope to keep my head above water for a while now.

i might be making the first few months of the year sound worse than they were.
or maybe not. it's funny how seasons of life can knock you down like a wave, but while in the water you can find yourself floating and happy in the midst of it all.
that was the past few months. or maybe the last year, if I'm being honest.

the last year was hard, so hard in some ways.
so difficult, yet so completely good.
i cannot imagine our life pre-nyla, nor do i want to,
however, this past year has not been void of struggles. both externally and internally.

and the idea of more weeks, or years even, of this new normal of changing vomit-soaked sheets once, twice and even thrice a day and this not napping and screaming without end routine was almost too much to wrap my head around. and the idea of adding a third child to our family, although that's what we wanted, was beyond what my mind could even consider.

and it's funny, just when i felt like i was losing my mind and being swallowed up in self-pity and anger - that was the point when i let God loosen my grip on the idea of needing a healthy, perfect daughter to contemplate the future.

i gave up my right to nap time.
don't get me wrong, i love me some quiet down time during nap time, but i made a choice that whether i got a 20 minute break or a three hour break, my happiness was not dependent on the latter. my love of my children wasn't dependent on whether they gave me a break. and that's easier said than done. i could have a good day even if i cleaned up lots of vomit and my daughter screamed in lieu of sleeping.

let's face it, we are learning about our daughter and all the ways she is unlike our son.
all the things she reacts to differently than he did, her emotions, how she digests food even.
how she reacts to pain and frustration. it is just so completely different and in some ways so foreign to this heart of mine. and everything in me wants to hold my love over her head, over his head to be dangled like a treat - so they get it if they are good and i hold it back if they aren't.

but that's not how love works.
i can only love them because God loved me first and that's not the way God loves me.

he loves me. he just does.
when i rock my kids to sleep or let them scream it out.
whether i give grace or lose my temper.
he just loves me, and because of that, i'm learning to love like that too.
without threatening to withhold it, without using it as leverage, without demands.

so, in the midst of months of barfing and migraines and feeling like i'm drowning,
the Lord, pulled my head back up above the water.

and in the midst of my heart change, nyla has slowly begun to change too.
it's funny, soon after i gave up my right to nap times, she slowly began to sleep again.
and just when i stopped cussing under my breath as i wiped vomit out of curly hair and hardwood floors and sheets, she has begun to vomit less and less.
we've gone weeks, and daresay even months now without wiping vomit from lips and shirts and sheets.

i'm not saying there's a correlation, but i see the grace in it all.

and in the midst of the moments of where we felt like we were sinking, there were many moments in between, lungs full of air and breathing steadily, hopeful and ready for whatever's headed our way...

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