slow

Every year, December blows by faster and faster. I have an ornament from childhood that counts down into Christmas and I remember checking it multiple times during the day, agonizing about the days not passing quickly enough. 

This year, I have to move the countdown clock several days at a time because I have forgotten for so long. I find myself praying for time to pass slowly. I crave family time with all three of us. We’ve had great weather for walks, lots of grocery shopping, some Christmas parties, and as many lazy Saturday mornings as we can get.

Our baby girl is more than half a year old, wants to stand all the time, and can sit or crawl and switch between the two. She babbles about “dadadada” and stares at people to try to get them to notice her (social skills will come later, I hope.). 

She doesn’t much like sleeping on the couch with me or in my arms, but prefers her crib. Snuggles are quick between standing to face one way and switching to the other. Right now, Everly is a little bit sick so she’s snoozing in my lap and I’m soaking it up as Christmas music plays in the background, knowing these sweet moments are few and will only be fewer each year until they are gone. 

Please, let this year… this season… this weekend be slow.

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tuesday

Whoa. Apparently 6 months is blog time. So many posts. Maybe it’s because Everly is actually sleeping so I’m feeling a little less foggy these days. 

Tuesdays have always been my least favorite day. At camp, Tuesday doesn’t have the excitement of the first day and you’re not even to the halfway mark. No one knows each other and it’s always a Tuesday when the toilet gets clogged. I’m convinced it always snows on Tuesday. 

Tuesday also means saying goodbye to the little girl and missing bed time until Thursday. We get a little morning time together between wake up and drop off, but not much so after Tuesday, I know I’ll have to reintroduce myself on Thursday. 

I love what I get to do and I’m thankful that I get to do it just another thing that makes Tuesday so hateable.

Also, side note, the face Everly is making in this picture is my favorite face that she makes.

sutherland springs

This weekend a small town – not unlike the one I grew up in – and a very small church – also not unlike the one I grew up in – were shattered with senseless violence. There’s blame to be placed and politics to be talked about, but tonight all I feel is sadness.

I think a lot about the world our little girl will grow up in and the training she needs to make good choices and the right friends and to find Jesus and stick with him as the only thing that works. Tucker and I talked about helping the girl have healthy fear – aware of the danger of the cats claws without being afraid of animals. Or aware of the sin nature of all people, but not afraid to love and take care of others who are different.

There’s just so much to be afraid of in the world. So many what ifs and unexpected loss and big guns.

Tonight we’ll pray for people we don’t know in a city that we’ll never visit because that’s our plan. Trust God and ask him for what we can’t accomplish ourselves.

saturday

We have upstairs toys, downstairs toys, diaper bag toys, and car seat toys (not to mention a whole host of Grandmomma and Pappy toys). And Carl. The bunny. He goes everywhere he’s needed.

Downstairs there is the ferris wheel thingy, the clicky spiral thing, and playmat. In the diaper bag are rings, polka dot paper, and keys. But upstairs. That’s where the toys are most creative. 

There’s a plastic cup from the coffee shop down the street (we trek for a new one every week), the bright blue Puffs tissue box with a stingray and puffer fish (Puffs, if you would not discontinue this design for a few years, we would be grateful), rings, and a scarf with colorful handprints. 

My favorite moments have been weekend mornings when we have nowhere to go and the three of us get ready slowly, lounging in jammies and playing in bed with our eclectic collection of toys. There’s a sweetness to the time together while we try to soak in all of the limited family time we get, delaying the start of the day as much as possible. 

I want to be more protective of these fleeting moments, holding my little family close and keeping their priority high. 

Saturday morning? 

Sorry, we’re busy.

dishes

We’ve had all sorts of sweet milestones in the last few weeks. Sleeping for 10 hours, first food (rice cereal in September then bananas, avocado, pears, and sweet potatoes) to loving food, bouncing, moving in her walker, real scooting, and sitting for longer than a couple seconds by herself. We’ve watched playoff baseball and lots of football and it’s made parenting so sweet and fun.

But there are also so many mundane things that happen literally everyday. We wash the same 7 bottles in the yellow “tub” they bathed Everly in at the hospital. I pump at work at noon, 4, and 9 in a red chair, often with my computer in front of me. When I get home after 11pm, I wash the same 6 sets of pump parts and set them to dry so I can repack them the next day. We change real poops and smell real farts these days (I’m not going to say she takes after her dad, but she does). Every few days, we bring a what looks like a diaper snake from the diaper genie to the trash. We do tiny loads of laundry covered in sweet potatoes and or blow outs and typically have cereal, snot, or spit up somewhere on our shirts or faces depending on how the day is going. And there are plenty of nights where the longest stretch is a short two hours. 

Those moments make parenting tough at worst and mundane at best and not feel the least bit rewarding. But I know I’ll look back and ask Tuck, “remember that huge blowout?” or “remember when the little girl drooled into your beard?” 

And I know we’ll miss those moments along with the sweet milestones. 

Just probably a little less.

last year

On this day a year ago, it was the first day Tuck and I woke up knowing we’d be parents. We went to Estes Park with Tucker’s mom – our future child’s biggest fan – and got caramel apples, saw the leaves, walked the trail. I started the morning a year ago by telling Tucker that I didn’t want to raise a child in our then-home. We knew our lives would change, but in the hypothetical way you know things will change when you graduate or start a new job.

Today, our little girl slept the best she has in her whole life (10 hours straight!) and we are going to Estes Park with friends we didn’t even know a year ago. The plan? Caramel apples, see the leaves, walk the trail – just like a year ago (and possibly elk bugles – which is apparently a thing). 

It’s a microcosm of how much our life is the same and different. Our jobs haven’t changed. Our lives are still busy and I get home late two – sometimes three – nights a week. We’ve just changed how we do everything. 

We’re home by 7 any night we can be. The little girl is strapped to one of us in her carrier wherever we go. It takes longer to get ready to go and then everywhere we go people talk to us or about us. We have routines and bags and haven’t eaten hot food at the same time before 8pm in 5 months.

And we wouldn’t change it for he world. Except for the sleep thing. Sleeping through the night would be neat.

thursday

I love Thursday. Sure, I’m exhausted and spend most waking moments thinking about when I can sleep, but Thursday is my Friday which means I often get to pick up the little girl early and get ready for three days together.

Today was a flurry of meetings and then, at last, this sweet face. Everly held her own bottle for the first time for more than the time it takes for me to take a picture and then put herself to sleep in her crib. 

I already feel like I’m forgetting moments from when she was littler so here I am, sitting on the floor of her room writing whatever I can in an attempt to remember every detail. 

Sweet dreams, Everly. I love you with my whole heart.

overwhelmed

Baby girl, 

You have been to 4 weddings, a goodbye party, a youth group party, a week long camp, several days at the office, a retreat, and plenty of coffee meetings. Today, however, is the first day that I’ve seen you get overwhelmed. There were so many people new to both of us and you napped poorly all day and you were tired and it was just too much for your little brain. 

We sat for a little while in the quiet of the car and I didn’t even sing or talk to you like usual. You played with your frog until you feel asleep with so much new information to process.

I love you when you’re sad. Even if I don’t understand your sadness, I’ll do my best to at least feel it with you. You’re my sweet, little girl and I love you so much.

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.

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.