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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