- Every time you laugh, sneeze, or even smile, you pee your pants a little.
- Every time you pick up your toddler, you can sit her on your belly like a shelf.
- Every commercial involving a family, a baby, or a dog makes you cry.
- Flatulence… need I say more?
- You freak out the male cousins when they can see your belly moving from across the room.
- The wavering emotions between “Awww, we’re having a baby” and “Oh crap, we’re having a baby”.
- You now walk with waddle, belly in front, trying to keep the weight off your back.
- Most strangers can’t even look you in the eye, all they see is belly.
- Your belly has become a catch-all for any crumbs, spilt drinks, or runaway food.
- And last, but not least, the maternity shirts you couldn’t wait to wear, no longer fit and your belly is hanging out from underneath them!!
I’m sorry that I’ve been absent for almost a week, we’ve had a lot going on and I really haven’t had a moment to myself. There are so many things I want to touch on and keep record of but I find that I’m still processing a lot of it still. But here’s a small list of what’s been going on in my life:
- The Blizzard of 2006, where we got over 2 feet of snow!
- Having little to no time with Jon, who ended up working 78 hours within one week. At one point, he put in a 20-hour shift from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.
- Watching out-of-state family deal with changing travel plans due to the unexpected weather.
- Attending a viewing and small service for my great-grandmother.
- Dealing with a two and a half hour drive from our local mall to my sister’s house, approximately 8 miles away. (I’m not going back to the mall for at least two months!)
- Dealing with high tensions and tempers as cabin-fever set in.
- Handling and nursing back to health a very sick, tired, and cranky little girl.
- And last, but certainly not least, a tragic accident involving Jon’s aunt and uncle on Christmas Day, where they were t-boned by a driver running a red light. Thankfully, Aunt Kara is okay and the worst Uncle Gary suffered was six broken ribs, but the emotional toll on the family was a little hard to bear.
What a week!! Quite frankly, I’m feeling completely empty; I am emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. Normally, I like to keep this blog as positive as possible but I also know that I’m human and I want to keep it real too. And at this point, I’m drained and my emotional state is just starting to reflect in my physical exhaustion. I’m ashamed to admit that this is reflecting in my mothering as well; Devyn is so sick and I just don’t have the patience to deal with her. (Ahhh… I can’t believe I’m even divulging that information!)
I know that some alone time with my husband will go a long way in bringing balance to my life again and I’m desperately hoping that wish comes true over these next couple of days. I’m sorry that this is such a downer of a post but this is me… honest, open, and real. As soon as I can see light again, I’ll be back to visit everyone’s blogs and catch up with everyone’s Christmases. I really hope that you are all doing well, I’ll pop in soon.
Here’s the irony. My grandpa and his family live in Arizona and the last time they were out visiting over Christmas, was during the Blizzard of 1982; where snow drifts were as high as my parents’ roof. Grandpa vowed at that time that they would never again visit during December and has kept that promise. Unfortunately, with the death of his mom, Grandpa, his sons, and their families all flew in last night for her funeral tomorrow. And what has been forecasted for the week? A blizzard…
I don’t know if we’ll make it to the funeral tomorrow, or if there will even be a funeral, but I am enjoying having the whole family snow-bound. What a sense of humor our God has!!
While it’s not an ideal situation to be living with your parents at our age, we realized that some drastic measures had to be taken while dealing with our financial decisions. My parents were gracious enough to open their home to us while we worked on meeting our goals. I was afraid that living with my parents would strain relationships between us and them but have been pleasantly surprised to find that the transition has been relatively easy. (I say relatively easy because in my family there are strong personalities, strong opinions, and passionate tempers. The hardest transition was living with two sisters again but we’ve come a long way.) We’re very thankful that my parents have opened their home to us and have allowed us to fix these issues.
I am extremely happy to report that two of those goals have recently been met; we have completely cleared up our credit reports AND we met with a mortgage lender last night to get pre-qualified for a home loan. It was an amazing feeling to sit in that office with our stack of receipts and bank statements, showing each debt had been paid off. As we worked down our list of debts and creditors, it was liberating to write paid beside each one. Once that had been done, the lender sat down with us and went over our information from pay stubs, W2s, etc. We walked out of that meeting being told what we qualify for in a house payment; what programs will work for us regarding first-home-buyer programs; and having a very good idea of the price range we want. What a difference six months makes!!
We’re planning to start looking at houses this weekend with our realtor and are leaning towards building a brand-new home; there are some really good incentives out there. I find myself in a much different frame of mind now that I know what we can afford and feeling like we’ve learned some valuable lessons. Before our meeting last night, I was very anxious and stressed out about the whole situation. But this morning I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t fall back asleep, just thinking about what the future holds for us. I found myself extremely excited at the prospects!
We should have our final loan paid off by the end of January and I’m hoping to be part-time by the end of the summer; after my 12-week maternity leave this spring. Slowly and surely, we’re seeing our goals being met and are so thankful to God for this time of maturity and growth. We have come a long way from the early years of our marriage and young, foolish decisions.
I wonder if his kicks brought a smile to her face; I wonder if she lovingly pushed an elbow or knee back inside; I wonder if she gasped as a foot found its way under her rib cage. I wonder if she worried about the birthing process or had doubts about her abilities as a mother; I wonder if she daydreamed about holding him in her arms or thought about what he would look like. I wonder if she complained about backaches or swollen ankles; I wonder if she grumbled about the weight gain or painful cramps.
And upon His birth, did she marvel at his tiny toes? Did she feel that overflowing, overwhelming sense of love that only a mother can feel? Did she caress his tiny features, whispering words of love, praise, and prayer over his safe arrival? Did she cry at the sound of his first whimper? Did she cuddle him close, vowing to do her best as a new mom? Did she worry about his future, knowing the sacrifice that was going to be made for our sins? What an incredible gift, giving birth to the Son of God!! O Holy Night, indeed!
106. His excitement in sharing about things he's learned this past week.
107. His welcoming embrace and absent-minded kiss on my forehead.
108. His overwhelming joy at being with his wife and daughter again.
109. The excitement on Devyn's face as she "sees" Daddy for the first time in a week.
110. Her abundent giggles as Daddy smothers her face with kisses or tosses her up in the air.
111. Long, passionate kisses (these are always nice!).
112. The sound of his snoring next to me.
113. Waking early with Devyn and tip-toeing upstairs to give "Mommy more time to rest".
114. The sounds of Daddy and Devyn enjoying a "quiet" breakfast together.
115. Feeling his arms around me as he cradles his unborn son.
116. Putting Devyn to bed as I get to enjoy a hot bath... alone.
117. Getting face time as we talk about our week; the joy in sharing a conversation in person.
118. The feel of his scruffy skin against my smooth cheek.
119. The comfort in cuddling in bed together.
120. His thankfulness for all I did for Devyn last week.
121. The sound of him helping Devyn clean up her toys.
122. His excitement in showing me the gifts he brought our children during his time away.
123. The comfort, joy, and excitement in being together as a family again.
124. The image of Mary, being nine months pregnant and preparing herself for the birth of our Lord and Savior. Wow!!
125. The sounds of Christmas carols emanating from the speakers in the stores.
126. Watching Devyn run up to the nativity and pointing out Baby Jesus.
128. People-watching during the Christmas season; everyone just SEEMS so much nicer.
129. The lyrics from "O Holy Night" - my favorite Christmas song.
130. Making plans with friends who are returning home for the Christmas season.
131. Getting so excited at the upcoming births in my friends (and my) lives. (Cassie - 10 days and counting...)
132. Feeling God's peace in getting pre-approved for a home loan, knowing He's in control!
Jon has left us for a week-long training in a town about two hours from where we live. He is required by his job to attend this week-long training every single year; both to learn new skills and sharpen the skills he already has. My question is this: why is it that Devyn senses his departure as an excuse to act up and act out?! Why, I ask?!
Last night, Miss Devyn Paige decided to wake up at 2:30am. I thought she might be hungry (as she didn’t eat much dinner) and I grabbed a granola bar for her, which I might add she ate pretty fast. I laid her back down with me, only to have her toss and turn in bed for another thirty minutes. Within that thirty-minute time frame, Hudson woke up with the hiccups. Now when my son (in-utero) gets the hiccups, he gets decidedly upset and will kick anything and everything in an effort to stop them. So, I had one child tossing and turning in bed next to me and the other child kicking inside me, both doing their best to keep me awake.
Around 3:45am, I gave up and hauled all of us upstairs. I situated Devyn and I on the couch; turned on the Disney channel; calmed my upset, hiccupping baby as best I could; and proceeded to cat-nap through The Littlest Einsteins. At 4:30am, the TV went off and I finally was able to settle everyone back to sleep.
When I woke up to get ready for work at 6:00 this morning, I gave thanks that normally this is a two-parent family and that my husband will often step in and handle moments like those. And as far as next year’s training goes, I got a brief, slight glimpse of what it’s going to be like when both children are here in flesh and blood during Daddy’s week-long absence. Oh Lord, give me strength!!
Secondly, we want to extend our congratulations to Drea and Cory who are expecting their second child in July! We are looking forward to watching Isaac as a big brother and are sure that everyone will adjust well.
And the one I’m MOST excited to announce, I can’t even give names because they haven’t announced it to their families yet. Regardless, I just want to say that I have watched this friend and her husband go through many struggles in their 2+ year quest to conceive. And I have never seen a woman, with a more positive attitude and determination to succeed, despite a number of setbacks. I was in awe as I watched this couple come together as a unit during this time of uncertainty and doubt, stronger for it in the end. I am honored that she shared such an intimate time in her life with me; that she allowed herself to be vulnerable and share her hurt on what is normally such a private struggle. I cannot begin to express my happiness, giddiness, or overall excitement at their news and I’m truly looking forward to meeting this much-wanted, very-anticipated, constantly-prayed-for-baby in July.
It’s definitely time for a baby roll-call again:
Jeremy & Cassie – Expecting their second child, Elijah Steven.
Jeff & Katie – Expecting their third child, a surprise.
Ryan & Kristin – Expecting their second child, Aubrey.
We are expecting our second child, Hudson Jonathan.
Peter & Rebecca – Expecting their first child, a son whose name is being kept secret.
Jeremy & Jill – Expecting their first child, Kila Jean.
Tommy & Amber – Expecting their second child, a surprise.
Yet-Unnamed-Parents – Expecting their first child, a surprise.
Cory & Drea – Expecting their second child, a surprise.
And in the Blogosphere, a number of dear, dear friends are expecting little ones of their own.
Mary, from Hess Hit Factory, is expecting her second child, a daughter named Zoe.
Amanda, from Something Beautiful, is expecting her third child, a son named Ezekial.
Amy, from Amy, Oh My, is expecting her second child, a surprise.
Erin, from Embracing My Cup, is expecting her third child, a surprise.
Andi, from Tales of a Crafty Mama, is expecting her second child, a surprise.
Joy, from Living Joyously, is expecting her fourth child, a surprise.
And Overwhelmed, from Overwhelmed with Joy, is currently in the process of adopting her second child, also a surprise.
Please pop in on these ladies and give them some much-needed encouragement and support when you get a chance. I’m sure you’ll find their stories from motherhood, pregnancy, and adoption thoughtful, informative, and fun!!
81. The smell of pine from the Christmas tree.
82. The sight of Devyn covered in flour from baking cookies.
83. The scent of my husband’s cologne.
84. The sound of Christmas carols coming from the stereo.
85. Watching Devyn pick up snow and her look of dismay when it melts.
86. Convictions of the heart, knowing that I’m still a work in progress.
87. The sight of my husband dressed up for a date-night out.
88. The joy of forgiveness and restoring a relationship with a sister.
89. Watching Devyn’s face as she takes in the Christmas lights.
90. The gentle pressure and warmth from our dogs as they lay at our feet.
91. A late-night text message from Jon, reassuring me that despite cold weather, icy roads, and plowing while exhausted, he’s ok and safe.
92. Cuddling with Devyn under a warm blanket, watching classic Disney movies.
93. The knowledge that God has blessed me beyond my wildest imagination.
94. An unexpected gift, in the shape of extra time off, bonus, or Jon’s overtime.
95. The gift of silence, either alone or with my spouse.
96. Getting to relive childhood moments through the eyes of my child.
97. Chocolate advent calendars.
98. My husband starting my car on a cold winter morning.
99. Having my face cupped in Jon’s hands, feeling precious to him.
100. The sight and sound of Devyn’s joy when her daddy comes home.
101. Watching a friend (or relative) as they adjust to new motherhood, the utter contentment and abundant love in their face.
102. Excitement at finding the “perfect” gift for a loved one.
103. Red cheeks and noses after a good tussle outside in the cold.
104. Hot chocolate with marshmallows.
105. The sight of our church’s sanctuary decorated for the Christmas season!