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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.