weekend

We’re in the eye of the parents-out-of-town storm. I was gone last weekend. Tuck will be gone next weekend. 

So we’re soaking up all the family time we can this weekend. Story time. Sleeping in. Biscuit Day. Real food (ish) for the first time. Walks. Bronco’s game. And first time in Kids Ministry. 

Everyone tells us that before we know it, she’ll be in high school, so we’re trying to appreciate the sweetness of this early season and all the firsts that come with it.

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four

Little Bear, 

Your 4 month letter is a day late. We have spent the last month watching you face scoot, trying to find a day care, and putting your hair in pony tails.

You do this combination of pushing with your legs, pulling with your arms (while one hand is in your mouth), and mushing your face into the ground. It results in you moving – albeit inefficiently. You’ve gone all the way across the big bed, all around your play mat, and the length of your blanket.

This month you also started grabbing things and putting them in your mouth. You also love blanket rides around the kitchen. You’re a chatty little girl when you’re happy or sad. And you even occasionally wake up happy these days.

You sleep on your belly and poop on your jammies almost every night. You burp loudly like your aunts and fart like an adult. 

We can’t believe how much we love you. You’re our favorite girl and we can’t picture life before or without you. 

Right now you’re sleeping snuggled on my shoulder and I couldn’t be happier or more thankful.

growing

I found this photo today from when Everly was just 4 days old. We’re less than a week from her being 4 months old now and today, she looks like this:

I can hardly believe that she’ll be 4 or 14 someday.

This morning she bonked her head (okay, I bonked her head) and she cried – the immediate loud cries that break your heart. I picked her up and walked her around the house holding her for a few minutes until the hurt went away. 

Later, I texted with a student who is feeling betrayed by her friends. I’m not with her, but from her texts, I imagine she’s crying the same hurt tears, but no amount of holding and walking will feel like enough. 

We’re trying to love each season for what it is and I am thankful that tears, for now, can be remedied with clean diapers, food, rest, and snuggles. 

traveler

Everly, 

You are such a sweet little baby. Today you were so fussy all afternoon, but right now we’re listening to Spotify while you eat and I’m thinking about the last week of your life. 

We went to camp – a 6 hour car ride away – 5 days of crazy, loud, no routine days. Your Uncle Brian put you to bed each night in a hotel room while your mom finished her responsibilities and your dad cared for 30 seventh grade boys. You rode in a pack all day or got passed to students (carefully!) and basically had people in your face 24/7.

Then we took our first flight together to Portland for your Aunt Morgan and Uncle Sam’s wedding. Another no schedule, new place, more people few days. 

Of course, now that we’re home, all your regular sitters are out of town so off to work I hauled you. All week long. Another no schedule, not at home nap.

You’re exhausted, but you still give out your sweet, toothless smiles and talk to anyone who wants to talk to you. 

We prayed for you and you have been such a gift. So beyond what we could have ever asked or imagined. I love your snuggly smallness even though we have dragged you to the ends of the world. 

I love you, little girl.

weird places I fed you

We did it. We survived a week of camp with a 3 month old, our first flight, and 4th wedding all in one week and are only a little worse for the wear. 

Camp meant no feeding room and relatively little privacy so I thought this would be a humorous little list. 

Here are places I fed you this week:

– a plane seat – both the aisle and the middle seat

– a rock in front of the dining hall while a bunch of random students sauntered to lunch

– in a wheelchair in the nurse’s office while random students wandered in looking for lost and found items

– the corner of the back stage area, surrounded by semi-inflated bubble bumps while students rolled back the inflated ones

– picnic table bench next to the grandma of the groom and some other random stranger who showed up too early for the wedding

– Burgerville (because we’re making all sorts of compromises on food right now)

– floor of gate C13 in the Portland airport

#takethatbreastfeeding

three

Little girl, 

Your second month was a big one. You hold up your head and roll over. You want to crawl so badly! You still have all your hair and have grown out of almost all of your newborn things. You had your first little virus and your mom felt like a mama bear for the first time.

It was an early start to your 3rd month. It’s been the busiest couple of weeks for your dad and me and you have slept the worst. 

Last night, though, your terrible sleep had me awake at just the right time. You see, little girl, you’re at camp. In New Mexico. With 300 kids. One of this kids needed help at 1:44am. Exactly when you were finishing your late night snack. 

It’s the first night of 4 here, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t counting them all down. We have no idea what we’re doing and this week is reminding us how much we need God. As I texted with the mom of the student who needed something in the wee hours of the morning, I realized I’ll need faith no matter how you turn out or what age you are. 

And I don’t mean the generic “I need faith” sort of thing. I mean the, “I’m drowning and it’s my only lifeline” sort of faith. Whether you’re a great kid with a disease or a tough kid who makes bold, bad decisions, or just a 3 month old at a summer camp, we’d all be lost without Jesus. It’s the only thing keeping us above the waves.

You are such a good baby. I love you with my whole heart, Everly Alice.

rolling

My mom keeps asking me if I’m writing things down. This is so I can say, “yes” without lying.

First smile happened right around 5 weeks – I remember because the internet has just told me it was supposed to happen so I was excited that it did. 

Everly rolled over a week ago… About 2 and a half months. For some reason, I can’t keep track of the weeks anymore. Over 8 is too hard for my sleepy brain.

Now she holds her head up with her arms and gets frustrated because she wants to move so badly. She loves to stand and fly and move. She’s more talkative these days too, answering with coos and ahhs. 

Other notable moments are first headband that fits, biggest poop, and first paper cut (oops, that one was my fault). 

So, yes, Mom. I am, in fact, writing things down.

ruthie

Today I found out something so sad that I burst into tears in my car. Some of our dearest friends – visited in the hospital the night after Everly was born sort of good – just told us they’re moving from a mile down the street to the Midwest. 

It’s all good things – better job, better vacation, better opportunities – and most importantly, a calling – the undeniable, can’t-shake-it, no-such-thing-as-a-coincidence sort of calling from God full of provision and promise. 

But it’s so hard. 

Today, over coffee, I couldn’t even squeak out the words to Megan. I’m selfishly mourning the loss of the plans I had laid out. Everly and Ruthie – born 2 days apart! – would be best friends, live within biking distance, share birthday parties, and be maid of honor in each other’s weddings (I’m a planner, okay?). But now, more likely they’re pen pals, if that’s even still a thing, or just the family friends that kids talk about in passing. 

And that’s just the very tip of my friendship with Megan. This incredible, faithful woman who is willing to risk everything to move to a place God is calling has taught me so much about listening to God and motherhood and marriage. She is brave and strong and confident. She’s been my shoulder to cry on, my go-to person to text frustrations, and the person who got me through being pregnant and the first few months of Everly’s life (guys, breast-feeding. you just need someone to talk to or you’ll just die). 

I don’t know what I’m going to do without her down the street. And I can’t stop the teeter totter of sadness that she’s leaving and awe at her faithfulness. 

Tonight, while the little girl sleeps and Tuck reads, I’m sad. So sad to lose my dear friends. And so confident they’re doing exactly what God has for them.

someday

Yesterday we sat under clear skies and celebrated one of our friends marry the man perfectly suited for her. Both dads gave beautiful speeches remembering the day their kids were born and shared how thankful they were that their kids found each other. 

The father-daughter dance was the same one that everyone uses – the country twang of “I Held Her First” by some artist who’s made a lot of money playing on peoples emotions (I don’t know his name because nobody likes country music). 

I looked over at Tuck holding our little girl and can’t even imagine that someday she might be in her twenties in a white dress with another man she loves. When we got home, we talked about if Everly’s future husband was already alive and walking. Before we put her to bed, Tuck prayed for him – that he would be good and strong and love Jesus. 

For now, we’ll just do our best to love our little girl and love each other. And we’ll cross “someday” when we get there.

two

Little Girl, 

Today you’re two months old. Today, we also packed you and all your junk up for the first time to dog sit for two weeks. I wrestled your pack and play/bed to the ground and back up again. You woke up for the first time at church. Your dad helped you stand up and move one leg at a time like you were walking. I wanted to get you on Ellen. 

We’re “those” parents who get excited to see pictures of when you were smaller and marvel at how much you’ve changed (hello, that’s every first time parent). You’re a pretty good sleeper at night and a terrible napper. We’ve taken our first trips to the library, ice cream shops and a hipster coffee shop – you know, all the important, educational places.

Your best friends are your uncles – John, Trav, Jovan, and Brian – (none of whom are your actual uncles), your aunts (the real blood related ones and all the pseudo ones who love you), Ruthie, and Claire. 
You’ve been to 2 weddings and will go to at least 2 more before you even turn 1 year old. And you’ve decided your favorite way to be walked around is facing out, looking at the world. 

Right now, you are sleeping in my lap with your arms splayed every which way and I am trying to remember all the sweet things I can because I know our time with you is going to come fast and furious. 

You are so loved, sweet girl. I hope you always know.