Wednesday, December 25, 2013

the birth of a heart


the leaves in our bountifully wooded yard are clumping in bothersome, wet piles, resistant to all attempts of blowing and raking. loverboy is home for two days, going crazy because of all the yardwork-halting rain. the muncher is happily crawling everywhere willy nilly and we are stocking up on baby gates. and thanks to that 24-hour visit to the ER a few weeks ago and a recent bout of sickness, we've been hunkering down at home in true winter fashion. in other words, 'tis the season to be grateful.

i think maybe it's unfortunate that i can't think of happiness without sadness. i can't think of birth without death. maybe it's because, as they say – they are two sides of one coin. the bookends of what it is to be human. but it's really, i think, just because of my own history. and when you've spent so long miserably, bitterly wishing you could change—or just forget—your own history, it comes as a surprise, a shock, a wonder, to find that you do not want to miss another second of life. to find that you must open your eyes. open your heart. to find that you have a heart. that with the birth of your own child, you've birthed a new heart. or maybe it's your old heart, just reshaped: a mother's heart.

“Making the decision to have a child — it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” 
 Elizabeth Stone

it is frightening, it is wonderful.

the first week home with my baby i cried because it was going by too fast. because i knew that it was only the beginning of a lifetime with him, and that a lifetime would never be enough. i cried in anticipation of the bittersweet passing of babyhood into childhood and then adulthood. i could taste the pangs of missing his brand-newness already. i cried because i couldn't stop time, and oh, how i wanted to. i'd cried for the same reason in a completely different moment before, and maybe that is what informed this feeling. i knew the fragility, the ephemeralness of human life.

i have so much gratitude for this year. not just because motherhood is more magical than i ever could have imagined. not just because this baby of mine has a smile to light up the moon. not just because i get to spend all my days watching him pull himself up on our baby gates and stomp his little foot, determined to find a way over it, which will probably happen by tomorrow.

but also for this heart.

my response so long has been to stay busy. to stay ahead of it. to keep moving. and now i have to slow down. to get on eye level with the carpet. to crawl. to marvel over crinkly paper and the perfect shape of a button and the thwang of a doorstop and the taste of a table leg.

this heart walking around outside of me has been a salvation to me. teaching me again, to crawl, to see, to taste, to feel.

i cannot comprehend yet, the healing of this new heart. but i am so thankful and so much more in love with my God, every day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

thankful for a happy, healthy baby

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last thursday we were in the children's hospital with wilder, which was so scary and awful, but everything turned out fine and the neurologists diagnosed him with the apparently completely harmless "shuddering spells." we are so thankful to the Lord Jesus to be able to go home with him safe and healthy. it's made me feel that parenting is just about the scariest thing you can ever do. and i really feel for all the parents whose children are in the hospital with worse conditions. i don't ever want to take his health for granted. we are so, so blessed.

also, both of us somehow picked up fevers and runny noses from our 24 hours in the ER/hospital, and so this week we have been laying low, as you can imagine. except wilder, who is thrilled to be home and back on the floor where he can crawl to his heart's content. 

anyhow, now that we are home and happy and healthy, i wanted to share a few photos from over thanksgiving weekend of my boys playing. they have this special game where papa waves a sheet over wilder and wilder waves his hands around and giggles (this was pre-crawling). it's moments like these that make me wish we could stop time—or maybe bottle it up to be relived again and again.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

lunch is served

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gee golly frankenstein, thanksgiving sure is a lot of work! we made the turkey, a jalapeno red pepper cranberry relish, traditional stuffing, a gravy and some pies, and loverboy's mama contributed most of the side dishes. i think after we'd all stuffed ourselves silly and had played with the baby to our heart's delight and the grandparents had gone home and it was finally bedtime, loverboy and i looked at each other and were really thankful for all the mamas in our lives who have made thanksgiving for us all these years.

per tradition, i made apple and pumpkin pie again. however, i used a new pumpkin pie recipe from bon appetit (is it just me or do the BA recipes never seem to come out as good as they sound??), which i wasn't too thrilled with. and also, i used a food processor to make my crust for the first time and it wasn't up to its usual standard either. frankly, it was a bit of a thanksgiving tragedy. because as we all know, pie is really what thanksgiving is all about. i mean, that and giving thanks of course.

i've been making best friends with my bed again lately. loverboy took an extra day off work, which has been wonderful after the past few rather tiring months of him working late every day. so this weekend we spent some good time trying to go to bed early and sleep late. no, actually, that's a total lie. we didn't do that at all. but i think we got a few naps in there.

mama also finally got to use her birthday massage gift so i have to say that all in all, this thanksgiving was pretty great.

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thanksgiving breakfast, reading up on how to make a turkey...we do things last minute here:)
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contain your excitement lars.
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the turkey. who doesn't love a raw turkey photo? :/
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lunch! 
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pie-making. i'm convinced that bon appetit always leaves a step or two out of their recipes. 
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these two are always laughing together.
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biggest ratio of dishes to mouths at thanksgiving ever
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i'm so in love with this face.
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bedtime reading with papa is the best.
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baby feet!

so thankful for this sweet family of mine. they are kind of where it's at.

to next year! when everything will be made from a box! except the pie of course.