Orchestrating Time

Infertility will always be a scar on my heart. it is a part of who I am. With that, I feel like there’s a secret club (a club that is not by choice, definitely not be request, and most definitely not be desire) of men and women who deeply understand what it’s like to have the word infertility attached to your dreams at one point or another.

With the scar that infertility left on my heart came a deep realization and understanding of the complex concept of timing—particularly God’s timing. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, sometimes things just are not in your control, no matter how hard you try to perfectly coordinate them to be. A painful stab to your heart when you so badly want that timing to align with your expectations, and it doesn’t happen the way you thought it would.

When I think back to how everything played out and how perfectly timed each small piece (here too!) of our story was strategically put into place—only being able to connect those dots now as we look back—I am forever grateful for the pain and scars that infertility has caused because it has also brought us the most incredible sense of understanding, peace, joy, and love.

I sit here on this Thursday morning drinking a hot cup of coffee, pre-morning chaos, I think back to the very moment we decided we were ready to grow our family and it is still not lost on me all of the mornings I woke up to find out our dreams were crushed once again. Every morning I woke up wondering when I would hear “Mama…” called out in a sweet voice, waiting patiently to cuddle (but really who are we kidding, they want food.) I am forever grateful for our story because those lows, that deep pain, led me right here drinking my hot cup of coffee, feeling peace. In a few moments, I will hear that sweet sound calling from one of the bedrooms and I fear that my heart might actually explode from feeling so full.

If you are wondering what you did to deserve the waiting, the pain, the unknown…I hope our story (including this…) brings you hope. You have done absolutely nothing to deserve the pain you are going through, you deserve more. God is working hard to orchestrate each piece of your beautiful story, whatever that may be. But that’s the exciting, beautiful part of this life, you never know what surprises your future holds…realizing some day as you look back and see that those surprises weren’t really surprises at all, they were orchestrated perfectly and intently for you.

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My Little Valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours!

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Today, we celebrate the power of the limitless, unconditional, painfully deep love that our human hearts are capable of.

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Spreading the love today and every day!

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Whether you like it or not…

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“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

 

Have your cake…and eat it too!

Evan turned one in January, finishing out the fastest year of our lives thus far! Our little tradition of filling up the kids’ cribs with balloons continued and followed with three days of  balloons floating around the house, making their way from room to room, under beds, behind doors, over the baby gate, and down the stairs.

That weekend, we celebrated with cinnamon rolls, breakfast casseroles, and of course…cake!

It doesn’t get any better than your little brother having a birthday. Especially when mom puts the cake within reach…

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Myles buried his little pointer finger straight to the center of Evan’s cake before Evan even noticed it was in front of him.

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Of course if mom and dad are letting Myles dig in…it must be a free-for-all cake!

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Happy birthday little man!

 

My sea-change

Shortly after bringing the twins home, we got a van. Sliding doors, plenty of room, anchors to safely secure and configure multiple car seats in a variety of ways. With this van, came the luxury of a DVD player. I always thought I’d be that parent who only used it for trips…long trips…

One snowy Sunday evening in December, David and I decided to load the kids up in the van and take a drive to look at Christmas lights. We got the kids in their jammies, stopped by a gas station for some hot chocolate, and turned on the DVD player to treat the kids to a movie for the drive. It was a memory I will never forget and hopefully a tradition we can continue over the years.

That DVD player has been used multiple times a week since—short trips; trips across town; trips from daycare to home; trips from home to grandma and grandpas. As a way to distract toddlers from removing hats, boots, and socks after spending 15 minutes putting them on. As a way to bribe unruly toddlers to get strapped into their car seats without competing in a strength contest. And although I still don’t want to be those parents, we are. Someday soon, I plan to ease out of that habit…feel free to judge us for the time being.

With that being said, the movie on replay in our van lately is Finding Nemo. While I’m not able to watch while I’m driving along (although I have seen it plenty of times), I have been listening closer than ever.

All I can say is Dory, I get you girl.

Mom. Brain. Fog / Memory loss. It’s a real thing. I initially thought it was caused by major sleep deprivation but all 3 of our children are sleeping through the night, so that excuse is no longer valid.

Even things just as simple as talking. I know the words I want to say, I form them in my head, and then they disappear, never making it from the mush of my brain down off my tongue. In one nanosecond, I either forget what word it is I wanted to say or I forget what I was saying all together.

Username and passwords? Are you kidding me? I check the box for Remember This Password and the only recollection I have from there on out are the dots that replace it forever. Thank goodness for the person who thought to make a Forgot Password button…I use it often.

I’m even embarrassed to admit how many times I search for my keys on a weekly basis…

While listening to Dory’s constant confusion and personal struggle, I relate. As humans (more so than fish although sometimes I wonder…) even as magnificent as our brains are, I’m pretty sure there are capacity limits, and some days, I feel so close to the full-o-meter that I’m certain my brain is shutting off functions.

Oh my beloved coffee—you make things worse! I think Dory would have drove more than herself nuts had she indulged in a little caffeine.

I still love my coffee.

I think I’ve found a cure. It’s not easy, it’s not quick, but it’s necessary and it’s a major 2017 goal for me…

I am realizing that as we settle into our family of 5—considering how fast we went from praying for kids to having three—I’m just now catching up. I am having to do some major personal evaluating of what I need to let go, because I can’t hold onto it all. And that’s ok!

To let go of the busyness that clouds my thoughts and gives me a major case of mom brain. 

To clean out the clutter of worry and guilt about whether I should have done more/better/less. There’s no room for you. It’s now filled with three beautiful children who really request very little of me in return. Besides the feeding, diapering, bathing, and nurturing, they really just want me to be present with them.

To remember that there is a season for everything and it all doesn’t have to be done by me, right now, perfectly.

In the hustle and bustle of this season we are in, I will focus on making more room than ever by letting go of the unnecessary things that clutter up space.

Mom brain (and all that’s no longer essential), you can just keep swimming…I’ll stay right here.

“Whatever passage you’re facing—entering your twenties or your sixties, facing life alone for the first time in a long time or learning the new dance of partnership, becoming a parent or becoming an empty-nester, leaving student life behind or becoming a student once again—has the potential to be your sea-change, your invitation to leave behind what’s not essential and travel deeply into the heart of things. This is a pattern we can recreate all our lives, over and over, because who’s ever totally finished leaving things behind?” – Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

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I very, very highly recommend this read!

 

The year of the jet plane

Time flies…and not just at the speed of a bird peacefully gliding along but as a jet plane propelling ahead faster than the speed of sound. That’s my life right now.

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And that has caused me some major anxiety.

It’s funny when you are a child growing up, time can’t go fast enough. You wish the days away until the next fun event, until you are bigger, until you have more independence, constantly wishing for the future to arrive. Eager.

I am sure that my parents felt this same anxiety as I was wishing to grow up faster and they were wishing to keep me their baby forever, just as I am today.

These are the days I wished for, and if I could press pause, I would. Repeatedly.

I constantly feel like it’s running through my hands like sand.

And just like that, I blinked and we are now approaching Evan’s first birthday.

2016, I loved you but you went far, far too fast for me!

Here’s a recap of our year:

  • We rung in 2016 with the twins and one on the way.
  • Evan was born on a very cold January day.
  • In June, we moved to a new home.
  • The twins grew into little toddlers!
  • We enjoyed summer playing at the park and going for stroller rides.
  • Evan started walking at 10 1/2 months old so he could keep up with his siblings.
  • Aria started talking more and more and has become miss independent.
  • Myles perfected his jumping skills and prefers to jump everywhere.

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Cheers to a wonderful (and hopefully slower) 2017!

 

Sweet Summertime

Oh sweet summer, you have been good to us! In June we moved and although packing and then unpacking was overwhelming, we had lots of family and friends that helped make things go a whole lot easier! We are now all settled in…except my bare walls…and the kids all adjusted seamlessly.

Our new neighborhood has 2 schools with playgrounds as well as a small park, all within walking distance. Although we had a park in our old neighborhood, it wasn’t near as close as the ones are now.

While David golfed one Sunday morning, I got brave and took all 3 kids and Bentley for a walk and to the park….after a decent nighttime rain. Aria and Myles were playing so good as I watched from the stroller in the shade where Evan napped and Bentley cooled off. Aria, in her adorable white tank top, came up to show me the handful of pea gravel she had from the playground. Along with that pea gravel was a handful of mud, mud caked on her white shirt, sandals, forehead, and hair. I went to gather Myles to head home to get cleaned up and he had it in all of the same places, with the addition of in between his upper front teeth…

On the walk back home, I wondered if it’d be better to give them a bath or just put their swim suits on in the front yard and let them play in the pool (which would double as a good enough for now bath). By unanimous vote…the pool it is!

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Myles loves playing in the water….as long as it’s on his terms, at the perfect temperature. A degree too cold and he grumps out majorly.

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Aria’s definitely our little fish. We are certain she thinks the world sounds better under the water than it does above. She loved baths…until I had the great idea one night to put bubble bath in their tub to make it a little more fun and neither her nor Myles would sit in the water as they both cried, David and I did our best to dissolve the bubbles at record pace so we could resume to bathe them.

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And little Evan, who is now 6 months old! That smile is permanently on his face (minus a few instances of ear infection/eczema/colds) – and even with all of that, he still is the happiest, giggliest guy around. He has learned to splash from watching his brother and sister, and if they are near him – nothing else in the world matters.

#BeTheChange

My son has soft, dark brown skin. Tightly curled, coarse black hair. A handsome, dimpled smile. Defined arms with a broad frame. He lives to make people laugh. He’s a lover and gives big, intentional hugs. He has beautiful deep brown eyes. Innocent, beautiful deep brown eyes that some day will be tainted from society’s ignorance.

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I haven’t had a chance to blog in quite some time but my heart and stomach have felt unsettled and sick for the past week and it’s time, as our children’s biggest advocate, that I speak up.

I want to start and say that this has nothing to do with police brutality. Nor does it have to do with arguing the meaning of hashtags. It’s not meant to be in protest. It’s also not meant to cause more division. Aria will also face these same challenges, but today I focus on Myles.

The first step in solving a problem is to admit you have a problem in the first place. There’s no better time than now for us in America to admit we have a racial problem in our society.

I encourage everyone to take the time to read this article for some first hand experience on what it’s like to be black in America, specifically the Midwest. First hand experience from an educated, law-abiding black man. Read >>

What makes me sick to my stomach is that our children have already experienced, mostly innocent, yet just as damaging, stereotypical comments at the ripe age of one. I pray the world changes before they are old enough to comprehend and take to heart the ignorance of the world and people around them.

I do not want our family to be seen by colorblind eyes. I love Aria and Myles’ brown skin, I love it when little kids see us at the park and refer to them as our brown babies. They are brown. Black. And African American. It’s a feature of who they are and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I actually jump up and down inside when children have pointed out this fact before, until I see the horrified, embarrassed look on the parents’ faces and my heart sinks. That look tells their children, and mine, that the color of someone’s skin matters.

Some day, Myles is going to be a grown black man. Probably a fairly strong and tall black man and most likely look older than he is. And my fear is that he will be seen differently held under ignorance, stereotypes, and prejudices.

Now’s the time society has to admit we have a problem and face this reality. It’s not a perfect world, but it’s also not impossible to change people’s prejudices if we focus on the problem at hand instead of clouding it with division, blame, more hate, denial, and excuses.

Want to make a difference in this divided world? Want to really ensure all lives are equal?

Remember your children, my children, they are watching and learning from us. All children see skin color as just that, skin color. Somewhere along the way, their views shift—we as adults and parents can change that.

Join me to shed the discrimination, stereotypes, and ignorance that exists in all of us and stop passing on these prejudices. Work to change the ones that you’ve been tainted with, even the innocent ones, and think before you speak or act. 

#bethechange

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