Friday, December 20, 2013

Well, Hello!

Hi. How are you? (smile)

We've had a little bit going on around here…you know…having a baby and stuff. And the ol' blog has obviously taken a backseat. But hey - we're finished with school until January and the children and I have spent the day in pajamas. We ate cookies for breakfast and are having a laid back kind of day in the very best of ways. There are legos EVERYWHERE. And ponies.

My precious baby girl is napping and wonder of wonders…I have a few minutes. And I want to spend them here. And my thoughts are so random and so streams of consciousness...

The first few days home from the hospital were pure bliss…and then I had a little complication fall into my lap (ha ha) that knocked me flat on my back for several days. And I did something I'd never, ever done before. I held our new baby nearly every second. She slept on my chest. I breathed her in. And she brought healing to a place in my heart I didn't know needed healing.

I was frustrated by the prospect of not being able to be up on my feet, caring for house and home (and was SO THANKFUL for my MIL!!). I complained to my mama and she kind of made me mad when she told me this complication was a gift from God and to enjoy the gift of being forced off my feet for a period of time. I didn't see it then. But I do now. I wouldn't trade those days of holding baby girl 24/7 for anything.

And those late night and early morning feedings…this go 'round, they were sweet. Priceless. Just…preciousness. I have treasured this season of motherhood like no other. I cannot believe it's taken me four births and a whole lotta heartache to come to a place of enjoying this phase and having a thankful heart.

Don't get me wrong…I totally have my days of tears and "I can't do this!" and "What have we done? We are crazy! I need to put the children in school - NOW!" And God is merciful and His grace, sufficient.

Four is keeping me on my knees. Daily I feel my temper about to spill over and I have to preach the Gospel…I cannot be patient. I cannot be gentle. I cannot answer this question for the umpteenth time without losing it. But Christ in me can be patient. And gentle. And can answer tenderly. 

And of course there are a lot of days (multiple times a day) when I do just lose it. And it's so ugly. And sometimes my heart's so hard it takes a while for the Holy Spirit to break through. 

I hope and pray that in these days of crazy…amidst my failures and shortness…that somehow God is glorified and my children see Jesus.

November was a sweet month…we made a trip home to say goodbye to my precious grandmother. (My dad's mom.) She'd been sick with dementia and then alzheimers for a number of years. It was precious to get to see her one last time. She wasn't aware of our presence, but it was good to hold her hand and lean in close and to whisper to her that I was holding her eleventh great-grandchild, who is also, in part, her namesake. And it was amazing to grieve with hope. 

I spent Monday nights with my grandparents during my freshman and sophomore years of high school…I will always treasure that time with them. That's when my grandmother and I had some deep conversations and that is when my love for her was cemented. And so it was an honor and joy to hold our baby girl close to Bongoo and to whisper those things in her ear…and again, to grieve with hope. 

My children blessed me incredibly during that time. They, too, held her hand and talked to her and were very comfortable. We spent a few minutes praying for her and they asked if when she died, would she see our babies in heaven. And that about undid me.

I've been humbled and amazed by how much our children adore our new baby. Like…they just LOVE her.

I've never, in all his six years, heard Little Man speak with such gentleness and affection.

Little Bit loves her…well…roughly. Thank goodness babies are resilient!

The pictures above and below are pretty accurate representations of what happens when the youngest two hang together. The thing is, Little Bit really loves her new sister…she's just rough. Really. Rough. 

With number four, I am doing everything I said I'd never do…she sleeps in a cradle in our bedroom! I haven't left her in the nursery during church or Sunday school...

I haven't wanted to move her up to her crib…because I feel pretty sure this will be the last season of having a baby and getting to spend this kind of snuggle time with a baby…at least until my girls have babies, Lord willing. 

And there was this little issue, about moving her up, that made me a tad nervous. We have, ahem, had, this pet spider…named Charlotte. She lived in the window in our guest room. Every night she would creep out from the opening where the rope and pulley are fastened. She kept a tiny web in the corner of the window and well, over the course of the last year and a half, we'd become quite fond of her. We think she was a southern house spider. So anyway…something about putting my helpless baby to bed in a room with a big ol' black spider - regardless of how fond we'd become of her and how non-threatening she's supposed to be, was unnerving. 

So we poisoned the spider. And I'm a little bit sad. I keep peeking in to see if just maybe she's been hiding. Alas, I haven't seen her and her web hasn't returned. 

And my MIL started peeling wallpaper…and what do you know!? Three months later and we have two rooms and one ceiling stripped of wallpaper, almost all the plaster repaired, and a good bit of the two rooms painted. 

One can barely navigate the hall upstairs. It's a total wreck and is currently housing a bed and lots of furniture! There are bits of wallpaper clinging to the steps. It's a mess. And the beat goes on.

Ok…now let's talk about Amazon Prime. Um. Hello. Do you know about this? 

Let's rewind about six or so months. I was grossly nauseated and pregnant. I dropped Sister at art and took the younger two with me to Lowes. All I needed was a filter for our fridge water dispenser. There were three employees in the appliance section…all helping one customer. I stood at the rack of filters, puzzled, trying to decipher their code while one child danced and cried about needing to potty. I couldn't figure out which filter I needed. We beelined for the bathroom…too late. The clock was ticking. I could't get any help. Art lessons were almost over. Still, I couldn't figure out which filter I needed. Finally two employees tried to help. They weren't sure either. I was done and called The Engineer - because he knows everything and can figure out whatever he doesn't know because he's a total genius. So while the Lowes employees kept looking, The Engineer figured it out and called me back with the right info. In the meantime, I arranged for someone else to pick up Sister from art. Finally I found the correct filter, sped to the front to pay, and rushed out the door to grab Sister…late. And I sweat when I'm under pressure like that. I was sweating. Put out. Annoyed. And the car smelled like urine. I was NOT a happy camper.

So when I learned water filters and a million other things, can be ordered on Amazon and for $70/year every prime item ships "free" and is at my door in two days…I was sold. It takes two days to pack up four kids anyway. And so we joined. I'm never leaving the house again. 

Now let's talk about hair loss. Because (insert sarcasm) I know it's important to share things like this on the www. This is the fifth pregnancy after which I have had significant hair loss. Each time it's gotten worse. I have lost pretty much all the long hair on one section of my head and have only short, one inch strands in its place. I'm now parting my hair on the opposite side. This is taking a LOT of getting used to. And my hair…it hurts. Seriously. The dermatologist says the follicles are swollen and the discomfort will go away eventually. 

I really, really miss my hair. 

Mama turned SIXTY in October! We surprised her with the best ever weekend get-away at a friend's lake house. 

My sweet Aunt made the fourteen hour trek to join us in celebrating Mama!

We returned to their old stomping grounds…saw the house they grew up in - their last name was STILL on the mailbox! It's been a mere fifty years! Not even kidding.

And then we escaped to the lake and lazed about and stayed up way too late and ate super well. I brought our newest and my baby sister brought her baby…it was a precious weekend celebrating Mama! (Love you, Mom!!!)

This little one rolled over a few nights ago!!! Say what!!!??? Stop it! This is happening too fast.

Let's touch on school. I've given up starting any earlier than nine. And so nine it is. Baby is four months old today. I seriously feel like I am just now getting my groove back. 

Yesterday morning, after The Engineer left, I sat on the floor and did some painting. Alone. In the quiet. It was dark outside. The children were all asleep. I listened to James White (check him out!) preach. And it was completely rejuvenating. 

During Thanksgiving week we spent time with those who'd not yet met our newest.

This included time with The Engineer's grands…our newest is also, in part, his paternal grandmother's namesake.

We are so blessed in that our children know both sets of his grandparents. 

Our time there was fun and quiet and relaxing.

And then we spent time with his maternal grandparents…and for whatever reason (I guess the distraction of four children during a much shorter visit?) I didn't pull out my big camera and don't have pictures of our time with them to share. (sad!)

Thanksgiving day was spent at Mama's…Little Man took out a turkey leg.

And bam, it's Christmas time!  I'm not sure when I'll be back on the ol' blog...

If not before Christmas, Merry Christmas to you and yours!!! xoxo


  1. So glad to see that you are back on the www...!! I enjoy reading your blog and find it inspiring. Thank you for updating. Your family is sweet! Take care and have a great Christmas.

  2. I don't know you at all, but I seriously cry and laugh every time I read your blog. The kids are gorgeous and you sound like a friend that everyone needs in their life. Good luck with the hair, my hair hurts every now and then. I thought I was the only one who experienced that. Haha

  3. I cannot BELIEVE how big M looks!! She's a young lady! And your youngest is too cute... My fave shot is the one of her and your little Mr. laying next to her and kissing her head. SO precious!!! These pics make me wish I could make the trip your direction to hang out, help the kids with home school, and have a nice long catch up chat with you.

    Keep soaking it all in, sweet friend! Miss you... I promise I'll reply to your email from ages past soon. :)

  4. Hey. My hair has not been the same since last August. I feel your pain and I love your baby girl so much even though I haven't met her. Merry Christmas! xo

  5. So glad for the post and pics! Love it! I continue to be blessed by your blog. Makes me feel Iike I can visit even though we are hundreds of miles away! Merry Christmas!!!

  6. this. Love you so much. Even though we're side by side it's so sweet to see and read it all over again. And your photos. So happy you found (made?) time to be back on here, my friend.

  7. I LOVE Amazon Prime. Found it this summer when I was sort of far from stores. :) Merry Christmas!!!

  8. Love all your pictures of your babies! You take such great photos!

  9. We love Amazon Prime too! Why go into a store when you can stay at home and get exactly what you need?! When my daughter told me about Amazon Prime at first I was skeptical, I NEEDED to see and touch what I was buying, but no more!!
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us <3 it's always a blessing to hear how your sweet family is doing! Can't wait to hear the news when baby #5 arrives from China!! Still praying for him <3
    Happy New Year & blessings to you and your family!
    Debbi H.

  10. Welcome back! Love the photos and your honesty about your struggles. Thankfully, it doesn't take long before four kids becomes soooo much easier! Glad you're allowing yourself time to slow down and enjoy.

  11. You will never, never, never regret taking these photos! They are amazing. Love you MUCH my sweet friend! XO

  12. Great to catch up with you guys. :)