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

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.

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.

tonight

Honey Bear, 

Tonight you were wide awake – not even a walk shut you off and moving ALWAYS seems to be a power switch, so we rocked you and held you close and swaddled you tight and played music. And we did it. It convinced you that sleep time is now. 

Now we’re sitting in bed and I’m thinking of all the things we hope for you as you grow up.

We have so many prayers for you. I hope you are strong and brave. I hope you fight for other people. I hope you’re protected, but not too safe. I hope you’re passionate and kind. I hope you find a man someday like your dad – not because you need a man, but because your dad is so good and our lives are so much better because of him. I hope you love Jesus and find him early in your life to be the only thing that is always true and trustworthy. 

We also hope you love either the Broncos or the Giants and for sure hate the Patriots, Cowboys, and Raiders. Your dad is even okay with you being a Yankees fan (they’re really good this year, little girl). I hope you aren’t allergic to dairy or gluten because ice cream and brownies. I hope you are left-handed and I can’t wait until I can braid your hair.

I hope you love to run and play. I hope you have lots of friends and are wise about the good ones. I hope you never get your heart broken, but when you do, that you learn from it. 

I hope you know how much you are loved because it is so much. I love you with my whole heart, Everly Alice.

quiet

Tuck had to leave early this morning. The sort of early that is exactly the right time to not be able to go back to sleep before I need to leave, so I’m listening to the little girl make her noises while the cat gets some quality pets. 

Two nights in a row of pretty good overnight feedings and two solid chunks of sleep, but still, I’m discouraged. Her habits change so fast that working last week was easy, but I’m not sure this week will be that way. 

It all feels so out of control. Planning and timing has to be perfect and it never really is. AND she’s really a good, mellow baby. 

I suppose that’s how parents feel for their kid’s whole lives – not in control. I guess I thought that feeling wouldn’t kick in until later. So  I’ll just keep praying during her 5am feeding for strength to trust that God hasn’t lost control, even if we have.

4am

We’re 16 days in to parenting. Whoa. Everyone who sees our girl (well they all think she’s a boy) calls her “so fresh” which is hardly how we feel with our sleep in 2 hour increments.

 

But I don’t want up forget the sweet moments – watching her little eyes wake up for the first time of the day. Her sweet little noises while she eats. The little goat noise she makes when she’s up. The quiet overnight times that it’s just us while Tuck and the cat sleep around us.

There have been plenty of less sweet moments – pain during pumping, milk everywhere, an immediately dirty diaper after changing her, trying to get the right latch every time, the scary moment when we couldn’t wake her up to eat, the sad moments watching her under the blue lights knowing it was good for her, but wanting just to hold our baby.

I don’t want to take these moments – sweet or sad – for granted. I want to hold them all as treasures, even though I know the memory of her overnight puke on Tucker or wetting all over the changing table will fade after we have more days of stories to tell.

I just want to make sure to pay good attention to the time we have right now and not lose our first weeks and months of memories and emotions.

This, this 4am rambling list of things I can remember right now. I love you, Everly, with my whole heart.