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 we’re in the middle of the story with no happy ending in sight. 

Yet.

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.

naps

We’re house sitting for two weeks starting tomorrow and I really wanted to clean the house so we come home to an orderly, clean house. Instead, I’m sitting in our chair in our room with a pile of clean laundry and random stuff all over our bed watching Everly and Tucker sleep. 

And enjoying every second.

normal

It’s just before 5am and Everly just finished her overnight meal. I pulled her in to burp her and she just snuggled close and started to fall asleep. And it made me wish I could just hold her all day. I wished I was less tired or it was a different time of day so I could just keep her there. I wished she didn’t need real sleep, swaddled in her bed. I want to hold on to her sweet smallness just a little bit longer. 

I went back to work today and Tucker and I got home and struggled through thinking about feasible long-term care for her while we’re both at work with crazy schedules. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about it. I feel called to what I’m doing, but don’t know how to find the balance of my tiny little girl and my hoard of sweaty teenagers. 

I’m not sure there’s an answer. And if there is, I’m sure it’s not easy.

father’s day

One of the best things about this new little life we’re building has been watching Tucker become a dad. He’s a great husband – always buys me flowers at Trader Joe’s, let’s me have the last, best bite of dessert by pretending he’s full, and doing almost all of the heavy lifting in our move since I was pregnant. But now he has a new, tiny little life to take care of and he’s been better at it than I ever even imagined.

Because Everly was a C-section, Tucker got to see and hold Everly first. I hope I never forget his tone when he said, “we have a little girl!” While they closed me up, he took her back to our room for the earliest moments of Everly’s life.

In the first days, Tuck did every diaper change since I couldn’t get up or move very quickly (he also opened EVERY cabinet in our room and knew more about where things were than the nurses #architect). He slept on the terrible plastic couch that the hospital touts as a “full bed.” When she wouldn’t settle down, he got up and walked her bassinet in circles for hours.  And the poor man has heard and talked about breast-feeding more than anyone should have to.

He showed our little girl around our room, always made sure I didn’t need a nap before he took one, and sat with me through every painful feeding and all the times I dry heaved into a tiny plastic tub.

All the times I cried – with reason or without – he was right there. He held me while we stood in the NICU while our girl was under blue lights. He took my hand when I burst into tears at the pediatrician’s because breastfeeding is a FRICKIN BEAR. He just put his arm around me when I cried for no reason at all.

I can’t wait to see what happens as our little girl grows up – the new ways she’ll need him and he’ll take care of her, pointing her to the best Father like he does for all the students in his life.