time just goes so fast. i can't believe how quickly these last five years have gone and how these little ones have grown and changed and their little personalities develop. love watching them grow and change and so thankful to help steer them. thankful for grace to start the next day anew.
THIS SONG came on pandora as we got ready one morning in our new city, but not quite yet in our new home. we had just moved, said goodbye to everything familiar and comfortable and left our little home. we were a little disoriented, moody and all the unfamiliar surroundings were throwing all of us in a funky mood. we tried to refresh our spirits with one thing familiar and for us that's after-dinner play with the josh ritter station. when this song came on it was a reminder that familiar would return and we would one day get settled into this (BIG) new city and one day i would remember to bring my paper bags to get groceries (they charge .10 per bag here! i am so mad every time i got to the check out and have forgotten.) one day i won't get lost or forget that to give myself more time getting to places. one day we'll have a usual place route that we take to church and home and our favorite little thrift stores around town. one day. but it's hard to remember that when you're in today and today i can't tell you which way is back to home and which way is to san francisco (so very thankful for my phone!) so, for today, we try to remember what is familiar and what won't change. That Jesus is still faithful and He will provide friends for my little extroverts and He's given us these beautiful trees and a quick 45 minute drive to the ocean. it's been good to grow as a little family, to learn when we need breaks or to discover that we our kids are in fact little friends.
probably the greatest surprise to me since being here is how my heart aches to bring our little one home from haiti to experience this transition with us. (not that it didn't when we lived in arizona, it was just different. i can't explain it.) here there is so, so much culture here and people from all over the world. there's this pool of insight and helpful tips and other adopting parents and support groups. my mind is blown every time we explore the city.fleet
other moments that have been beautiful are the kiddos being reunited with their daddy and their chats as they drift off to sleep. jack and zoey share an air mattress and john snuggles in between them and sings them to sleep. i often have to wake him after about 45 minutes. it's precious.
i am so thankful we're all together, experiencing this transition together. moments have been hard and challenging and we often feel very flooded and our heads are left spinning, but they are good. and each day we feel a little bit more settled and are meeting so many incredible people. one day we'll learn which short cut to take, which grocery store has the best produce (though i'd have to say ALL so far) and which park has the most shade. for now, we just give it time.
We said goodbye to the church building we came to long ago when Jack was just a little bug in my belly.
My goodness. Who are those young folks??
(And my goodness! how our bodies change!)
What a wonderful season it has been. What great memories are held at that building and my, what memories are to be made ahead.
We wait as the seasons change and spring is turning into summer. Rain has come a little late for our small city, but last night we were awoken to a thunderstorm. Jack joined me in bed and we were able to listen to the rain fall on the roof for a few minutes. I love a good middle of the night rain.
We recently got back from visiting my brother and sister in law in Nashville, TN. How wonderful it was to feel the green grass beneath our feet and feel the humid air at 9am. We slept with the windows open, drove with the windows down, and celebrated the limited allergy attacks.
We spent most of the day time together, truly bonding as a little fam. Sometimes it's hard to do that with young kids. Somewhere along the way these two entered into a new season too. Gone are the days of making sure they don't put hidden trash in their mouths or making sure they don't fall on sharp coffee table corners. We've entered into the days of pretend play, watching their little bond form and time spent together laughing and adventuring together. We know (and hope) there are more days of helicopter parenting ahead of us and anxiously await the day when we can bring home our little one and enjoy all of that again and we can't wait until she joins our adventures. We were pleasantly surprised that they are pretty great travelers and adapted well to new surroundings. The days were relaxing and fun with trips to parks around town while the evenings were spent with my brother and his family until about 2am when we would call it a night. We put the kids to sleep there and stayed up way later than we should have laughing and enjoying each other's company. Siblings are great that way.
There were a lot of laughs shared, a few tears, conversations about our quirky and adorable kiddos and reminiscing about days long past. We enjoyed popsicles and the best BBQ I've ever had, tacos and late night bowls of ice cream with cinnamon.
There's something really precious about seeing your brother as a dad. Watching your sibling grow up and dreams coming true and some dreams not so much. It's a strange journey that we're on and one that I miss so much spending more time with him and his little family. I'm so thankful for siblings for our kiddos and that they can share that bond and the roots that go so deep with someone else too.
I am loving this song. For some reason it feels nostalgic and familiar, like a good friend. I haven't had a chance to write about the 30th birthday party from a few months ago, but it was really something. We weren't sure if the move would happen then so we hadn't shared the news yet, which made it all the more bittersweet. I'm gonna miss these mama-pals.
They all bring such unique gifts to the group. and I have great memories of taking turns holding each other babies (sometimes fussy babies, sometimes sleeping) figuring out how we were going to resolve an argument between our kids (does it matter to you? are you going to make her eat that too?) Asking advice from other new mom's and gaining wisdom from mom's who are on number #4 and are so much more relaxed (seriously!) We've assured fellow mom's that their child's tantrum is totally normal and we do not blame them, that a full night of sleep will return, and we've gotta embrace these growing bodies because our stomachs will never (and I repeat, NEVER) be the same. We've also celebrated adoptions, foster kiddos, mourned the loss of babies we'd lost too early and celebrated pregnancies and babies being born.
I really love getting to know people. Their quirks, traits, strengths and history. There's just so much there to learn. These particular ladies have impacted my life and made this mom-journey a whole lot easier. Whenever I meet a new mom who is struggling I can't tell her quickly enough that finding a group of mom-friends makes all the difference. Keeping friends that aren't mama's is vital too, but when you're in the middle of the trenches at 11pm and your kid has a fever of 102, it's helpful to have a friend to text and say "is my kid going to die???" It is nice to send it to someone else who also may be up at 11pm nursing a baby who is fighting off something. Other texts that may be sent include: "What does this rash mean?" (with picture.) "Does my kid have pink eye?" (with picture) "Does this dress look okay or do I look pregnant in it?" (with picture. and not pregnant.) Along with other texts like, "I NEED TO ESCAPE. WANT TO HAVE A GIRLS NIGHT?" "It's 7:30am. Want to go to the library today? My kid's been up since 6." I can't say it enough, if you are alone do EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO FIND A TRIBE! It may not be a long-term tribe, your dream tribe or the most life-giving for you, but do whatever you can to find some peeps who you can share life with and spur you on towards Jesus. This life is just too short to not have pals who challenge you, inspire you and grow you to be more like Jesus. No tribe is forever, but man, it sure is wonderful for the season when you do get to live life together, love on each other's babies, listen and carry each other's burdens, laugh when things are not so great, and laugh when things are going really great. (cause either way it helps to laugh.) I'll be honest, when we first moved to our beautiful retirement city I had concluded that young families may not live here and that would be okay. But when I found a few, I was both surprised and so relieved. One of the first friends I met was on baby #3 and I had just had Jack. I went to a Bible study and met her and she was hilarious, inviting and was a serious pro at this mama-gig. We sat next to each other while we nursed, texted each other during those late night nursing sessions and still had time to catch up on our favorite shows, go out for dessert and a movie. I remember a moment after I had met her that I thought to myself, this is how I want to be. She reached out to me and treated me like we had been friends forever. She was so welcoming and made me feel totally normal and loved. I knew that motherhood wasn't for sissies by that time, and I also had learned that being a new mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Every single day you wonder, Am I doing a good enough job? Am I ruining my kid? Will I survive this? Will they hate me? But having a pal who looks at you and assures you, "you're gonna make it. You've got this." there's just nothing quite like that. and for that very reason, Jesus used her to change my life. I was done pretending like I was the mom-who-had-it-all-together, because…those mom's are annoying #1 and #2, aren't honest. But the mom's who are honest about how tough this job is? Yeah, those are the best. So, kids, if I could give you any bit of advice on your journey through life, I'd say this: find some kindred souls who encourage and inspire and spur you on to Jesus. Run with those friends for as long as the season allows and when the seasons change, change with them. But forever treasure the season for what it was.
There once was this little peanut who stole my heart with her tiny person. Her delicate features, mannerisms, kind heart and spunky personality drew people in everywhere she went.
She smiled at strangers, admired babies, loved every animal big, small, dangerous or…no longer living.
She loved to stay up late, our little night owl, and had moved permanently into her big brother's room to sleep on his trundle every night. She is a loyal friend and will tell you all sorts of stories, even if at three years old you can only understand so much. She is a little entertainer and will dance circles around the family room, spinning in an arms out-legs out stance.
She laughs, makes jokes, already learned that farting will make people laugh and any sort of "butt" comment will get a giggle from her brother.
Zoey, our little girl, you are growing so quickly. We love you so.