Friday, June 05, 2015

From Three to Four: A Reflection

The last entry I made on my blog was a love letter to our second child who will be arriving within the next 24 hours. The child will turn our family of three into one of four.

I've gotten pretty used to this family of three. We are in a state that is familiar. Sleep patterns, for example are familiar. I actually get sleep right now and I'm rather spoiled by how much. When we put Isaac to bed, Mike and I get some quality time together that consists of 2-3 hours depending on how late we stay up. When Mike gets up to go to work, Isaac will usually keep sleeping and I get another hour to myself to do with whatever I'd like (confession: usually this means I go back to sleep!).

Isaac had a night just last week that reminded me of the early days of his life. He'd wake, cry for me (and no, he wanted nothing to do with Mike who tried to help, but was rejected by a mommy-clinging, 19-month old boy), sleep for 10 minutes and wake again. The pattern repeated for hours and my weariness began overtake me. I couldn't help but wonder if it was God's way of reminding me what was in store in just a short time.

But besides sleep, I've grown comfortable in this role of a mom to a precious boy who (at this point in life) has eyes only for me when it comes to many moments in life. I'm enjoying this season of having time with my husband when we want it. We've both grown comfortable in our roles as parents to the point that they are natural. We've been able to shift our focus again to us.

So, as I look ahead to tomorrow, I have to tell myself to breathe deep. This is what we planned (RIGHT!?). We wanted this and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mama to another precious life that God has deemed me worthy of pouring myself into.

Before I was pregnant, I heard moms confess a fear of their hearts not being big enough to properly welcome another child. How could they love it as much as their first? How could they split their attention among more than one and be fair to both? How could they still give their husbands the attention he deserves? Until I was pregnant I didn't get their fears. Now I do. I've had the same fears and questions. The answer I've heard from those who have crossed over from a family of three to four is: "your fears are valid, but your heart just gets bigger."

So, here I am. I feel as big as a house and wonder how anything in my body will expand. Physically, I feel like my heart is already crammed halfway up my neck. Yet I know something magical will happen with the birth of our second child: my heart will get bigger.

It will probably be the moment the nurses lay that little person on my chest, but who knows? Maybe it will be when I see Mike hold our second child for the first time. Or maybe, just maybe, it won't happen until Isaac, Mike and I are all snuggled around the baby as a family. Either way, this mama is looking forward to expanding more tomorrow. As I trade baby weight for the weight of being a family of four I will embrace it. This is part of how we women are made. Our hearts keep expanding and giving and our Creator keeps applauding and singing over us as He watches us grow.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Your First Love Letter

My Precious Child,

What joy I have had this Christmas season as I have had the honor of carrying you within me. Your dad and I are looking forward to your birth and I wonder how much you will change the dynamics of our family of three. Your brother is too young to understand the complexities of your existence, but I am sure you feel him jumping all over you and hear his giggles which will soon be over you. 

I catch myself marveling even more about the love of our God as I feel you moving and twirling within me. And maybe it's the season and knowing the gift that God gave of sending His son to earth, but my pregnancy with you has been such a treasure. One of my favorite songs this time of year is called "A Strange Way to Save the World" and it speaks of how God used ordinary people to bring extraordinary into the world.

So with this in mind, I pray that you are ordinary beyond measure, but bring about the extraordinary. I pray you are brave and stand for those who can't be brave themselves. I hope you find Jesus at an early age and spend your life chasing Him. I hope your dreams and plans are always evolving as you learn more about the world around you. I pray that you have an amazing friendship with your brother and he is your best friend that compares to no other. I am even praying for your future spouse, that he or she will love Jesus too and that you will sharpen each other spiritually and grow as a couple as your relationship grows in Christ. 

On a more selfish level, I also pray you sleep as well (and as much) as your brother, enjoy car rides, travel well and "get" breast-feeding easily. These things will make my job as your mommy a little easier. 

You have so much to discover and I look forward to helping you learn. May 30th seems far away, but it is already approaching quickly. Your dad and I are looking forward to peeking into your world on Friday as we go to your 19-week ultrasound. I pray for you daily and am so blessed already to be your mama.

God has so much planned for you, sweet child, and I look forward to watching it all unfold.

I love you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Letter on Your First Birthday

My Precious Son,

A year ago today you changed the lives of your dad and me so much more than we could have imagined. You came into the world with a strong yell as if to say hello and then you rested on me with a calmness to match your greeting. Within the first few minutes you lifted your head off my chest and looked up. This was your new world and you had to see it. And you haven't stopped looking since that moment.

Your sense of wonder and adventure are beautiful. I've enjoyed seeing you learn, explore and negotiate this place. Right now some of your favorite things are animals, waving at people (you wave at everyone you see), crawling after cats and balls, opening and closing doors (this one seems to never get old), growling like a bear and making "cheesy smiles" by crinkling up your nose when you grin.

At night, when it's the two of us, I am reminded more each day of what a gift you are. As you lie in my arms and nurse, I often wonder at the nature of God and find myself thanking Him over and over for you. For in you, I've glimpsed another side of heaven. The selfless side, the side that sees the bigger picture, the side that sent His own sweet son into a world of chaos and beauty. And when I see that side, as you lie snuggled into me and stroke your hair as I touch your cheek, I can't help but feel an overwhelming awe. What a beautiful plan God has! I know this because you are the most unimaginable person I've ever met. And yet, here you are and you are entrusted to me. I am so lucky to be your mama!

I've poured prayers over you even before you were born. And when you came those prayers only hastened and deepened. I pray for your future: that you will discover the Christ that I know whose love, hope and forgiveness is deeper than any crevice on this earth and wider than the distance between east and west; that you will grow to be a strong man whose heart is tender and leadership is strong; that you will fight for the oppressed and never turn a blind eye to those in need; that you will find a woman to marry who lives and loves God like you do; that you will keep your sense of wonder and awe as you explore and travel; that your humor will continue through dark times of your life and your smile will touch the lives of those around you.

And I pray for the now because that's what we have in this moment. I pray thoughts of thankfulness and joy. You are such a blessing and my heart can hardly contain itself when I think of you. This job of being your mom is tough. I never thought I could function on some of these hours you make us keep and some of those diapers you create are new world wonders. But I wouldn't trade it.

Thanks for being you. Happy first birthday, sweet boy. You keep doing your thing. Grow strong, be brave, love with all your being. I'll keep watching, guiding and growing right along beside you. Most rides aren't worth doing alone and I'm honored to be in your sidecar.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Time Traveling!

I can hardly believe it's been since late May since I last posted. Since then, we've been on several trips, Isaac has learned to wave and clap, and I am short four (wisdom) teeth.

In early June, we took the LONGEST (it felt so long!) road-trip to date with Isaac when we traveled to Orlando to visit our family down there. We spent a week and enjoyed catching up with everyone. We even had extended family in from Texas that we hadn't seen in years (or even met!). So, it was fun to have a mini reunion of sorts.

Pit stop for BBQ at Sonny's in GA!
The first morning of vacation in FL
We celebrated some birthdays while we were in Florida: Gary's, Barbara's and Grandma's. The celebration was a seafood feast with lobster, crab, several different dips and shrimp! It was delicious and ended with light, fluffy cake. Mmm!

Grandma and Barbara
Diane and Bill
Isaac and Mallory
The birthday kids: Gary, Barbara and Gma
Dad and Isaac
Celebrating baby
Dad and Isaac

Isaac went on his first visit to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. We ladies (and Isaac) first enjoyed a lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. After lunch, Becky, aunt Di, Isaac and I made our way to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail.

Lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe

The only guy allowed to come to the ladies' luncheon
At first, Isaac wasn't too thrilled to be waiting in line to go into Disney, but as soon as he entered the gates, he was magically happy! Becky and I took him to meet Mickey Mouse and then snapped a few pictures of the three of us in front of the Disney Castle before Isaac was done playing. Thankfully, aunt Di was kind enough to take him home while Becky and I stayed and played in the Kingdom.

"I'm tired of waiting in line to go into Disney!"
"This makes the wait more tolerable."
"Whoa! Does anyone else see this giant mouse besides me?"

Room to grow!
"I am over this."
"We're still here?"

"Mommm!!! I'm tired and ready to go!"
Disney World is exhausting.
There was also pool fun!!
Mike and Isaac
Snoozing on mommy
In addition to our Florida vacation, Isaac and I have gone on a couple road trips with his Grandma! We took two separate day trips: one to Cary, NC, to visit his great-great aunt Bunny who will be 95 next month and the second to Johnson City, TN, to see his great-aunt Kathy and great-uncle Dave.
Isaac and aunt Bunny
Aunt Bunny and Lois

Happy boy!
He really liked the teddy bear she gave him!
Lois and Isaac in TN
Aunt Kathy, uncle Dave, ? , Lois and Isaac

Grandma and Isaac bliss.