Thursday, November 29, 2012

New human=New normal

Someone asked me the other day if things are getting "back to normal yet?"  They were referring to our adjustment to being a family of 5 now, and they asked with the expectation that I say "yes."  As though it has been long enough (Lincoln is 2 months old, by the way) and I should have my household back in order by now.  I did that thing where I freeze momentarily, stuck between the thing I want to say and the thing I probably should say.  I probably should have said something generic like "we're working it out," or "it's certainly an adjustment."  What was rattling around in my brain was this:

I just brought a new human into the world! He wasn't he is! There is an entirely new human being living in my house now and we're all trying to figure out how that's gonna change things around here.  I don't expect to EVER be "back to normal!"  That "normal" is gone and now we're having to find and create a new one.  That's gonna take some time!

New babies change everything! Your first one changes your perspectives on everything ever.  Every one after that changes the way that you do life as a family.  There's always so much empty talk about sibling regression once a new sibling arrives.  Those things are real, at least in my house.  Potty trained before the arrival of a new sibling=wetting the bed every night for weeks after his/her arrival.  Sleeping through the night for months before a new sibling=waking and screaming constantly after his/her arrival.  But these reactions are more than just things we complain about to our friends over coffee.  These "regressions" are how these poor kids are coping with the way their worlds have changed dramatically, literally over night.  We literally bring a new person into their homes who screams, demands our attention, gets away with everything they don't and whose very presence requires new expectations of them and new rules to follow.  New routines, new schedules, new, new, new, new, new! It's overwhelming for us as parents, as adults.  How and why do we expect anything more than what we get from our older children?  And why do we feel, as mothers, like we have to have everything together so soon after producing life?

No matter who you are, or how many times you've done it, bringing a new baby home is hard.  It's exhausting physically and emotionally--for everyone in the household.  And there is no statute of limitations on the adjustment period.  It's as long as it needs to be, and there's no speeding it up.

...I guess maybe that should be my response next time someone asks how we're doing...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back in the Game!

...and she's back! My laptop met certain demise at the hands of my very ill husband (who shoved it off the bed onto our hardwood floors in his sick delirium) and I in no way had the will to publish from the public library...or any other public I wound up on an involuntary blogging hiatus.  Until now.  My beautiful, faithful (until dropped) MacBook Pro is finally home where she belongs, begging me to write.  So write I shall.  Or maybe its my whirling thought-life and inherent need to create that's doing the begging.  At any rate, I'm thankful that she's fixed and that I get to utilize my favorite outlet again.  Even if I'm the only one who ever reads this blog (as I'm certain anyone who read it before has long since given up on me), its worth it.

Life has been full in the months since I last was able to post.  In fact, it hardly seems to be the same life at all.  My husband has nearly stopped traveling altogether since he took a job as a worship pastor at a local church.  We also relocated to be closer to said church--and because we had a sudden desire to consume less and save more which made the decision to downsize our home and our lifetime's worth of stuff quite easy to make.  Oh, and we have since made, carried, delivered and brought home a whole other child!  You were spared the drama of "what's the gender?" and "holy cow, how far along are you, you are so huge!" this time around.  Suffice it to say that both were present.  Let it be no surprise that our third BOY was brought home six weeks ago and this mama is thrilled.  He's perfect.  Of course.  Even when he's screaming at 4:00am.  I suppose I owe him a blog post, as per his brothers' posts.  That shall follow.

I'm sure anecdotes from these past months will find their way to these pages, but for now, consider this the high-speed update.  Let's go from here, shall we?

In Limbo

We're living in limbo lately and I'm tolerating it surprisingly well, no thanks to any steely resolve of my own, but thanks to the bigger idea that I'm not the only one steering this ship. There's a shift on the horizon in Logan's vocation, which will in turn, shift our lives entirely. The only problem is that we're unsure about what that shift looks like. There's a stirring in him that says to put down roots in a body of Christ again. To worship, write music with, and shepherd a central body over the grander Church Body for a while. This is huge. It started with a quiet desire in our separate hearts, caught some fire at his first admission to me, and has been kindled by the movements of God in the direction our life is taking. But that's all we know. We know that we'll land somewhere, but the where and the when haven't become clear we wait in limbo. This could drive me insane (and depending on the day, sometimes it does), but for the most part I am content. I know that in the meantime we'll be provided for and sustained emotionally and financially, so I sit on my hands and try not to disengage or lose myself to restlessness. I'm giving it my best effort to stay present in our here-and-now, rather than moving on before I know where to move on to.

The peace in my spirit is overwhelming and I'm enormously thankful for it. Sometimes I feel like maybe the "normal" thing to do is to worry, so maybe I should try that for a while for the sake of something to do...but that doesn't feel right I get comfortable back in limbo again. The strangest thing is that I have no complaint, other than I have nothing to complain about or celebrate about. LIMBO. Just...waiting...

I wrote this many months ago, before we found our new church home via a job offer from a church here in our home town.  There were several offers actually, all at once, but the more we pursued them, the more this one appeared to be home.  I like reading this post, which I left as a draft until now seeing as how we weren't sharing that particular life-change with many people at that time, because it's part of this bigger story that we're still writing and experiencing.  I find great joy and hope in where I've been, even when the "where I've been" was hard.  It reminds me that's there's always light, even when I can't see it yet.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What I was getting at

I discovered this gem floating around on Facebook. I'm so glad I did. This is what my "erica to Erica" blog was getting at, I just didn't know it yet. I suppose, without this beautifully written article, I would not have known it for another many years.

Please read, enjoy, and be encouraged.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I had the immense privilege of being given the gift of wonder and imagination in my home as I grew up. I'm certain it's because of that freedom that my parents gifted my brothers and I that I revel in all things festive. Christmas is filed under magic, joy, giving, sparkle, music, tradition and abundance in my childhood memory-banks and as I'm getting older and now have the privilege of creating memories for my children, I'm unrelentingly thankful that I have those files to pull from.

Elias is two and his everyday life is full of discovery and wonder because of the very nature of a two-year-old soul. This makes for a very magical Christmas season as we're introducing him to new family traditions and festivities. He's learning bits and pieces of the original Christmas story as well, and happily chatters about the "Jesus house," (stable) he learned about in his storybook bible. Another thing that's warming my heart lately.

This is Maddox's first Christmas--special and celebratory in a whole other way. We're still 21 days away from Christmas morning (of course we're counting) and we've already had an incredibly special month.

Brotherly love by the choo-choo at Christmas Knoll Tree Farm

Hot cocoa!

Bundled up and ready to go!

The boys helping decorate the house.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Halloween 2011

For Halloween 2011 we had a little bumblebee (look familiar?) and a penguin. Elias has a penguin super beanie that has flippers that act as a scarf extension that he loves, so we made him a little white penguin chest and orange flipper feet to go with it and called it good! I love any excuse to wear a costume so Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I'm so excited that my kids are getting excited about it too! This year was like Intro to Halloween 101. I'm excited for Halloween 201 next year!

I could not get this kid to hold still long enough for photos once costumes were on. These are the nudie, pre-costume shots.

I may not ever get actual photos of them...they're too fast and too mobile! I settle for candids.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Maddox Martin, you make me gush!

Nine months! Would it be redundant to say again that this is going by way too fast? Just thought the world should have a look at my littlest as of late.