Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Days Fly By

Someone once shared with me that as a mom of young children, it can feel as though the days move slowly but the years fly by. I suppose some days for me are like that, particularly if Eliana decides she doesn't feel like napping. Mostly, however, our days are full... not necessarily with huge plans or a jam packed schedule; but full of laughter, kisses, snuggles, books, songs, pretending, and the simple joys of getting to me Eliana's mommy. The years... or more accurately in our case, weeks and months... do feel like they're flying be.
How in the world am I already 24 weeks pregnant? I am one of those people (who some call crazy for this) who loves being pregnant. I truly do. And there's a part of me that's a little sad about the fact that this pregnancy is moving so quickly. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting Isaac and Eliana's little brother (whom we have named Jacob!); but I really do love the pregnancy part, too.
And how in the world did this little cutie get to be almost 19 months old already?

It amazes me that she has grown and changed and learned so much in what is actually such little time.

Most of all, how has it been nearly three years since I met my sweet Isaac? Has it really been that long? Sometimes it feels like a few weeks ago that we were holding him; yet at the same time, in some ways it feels like another lifetime. In less than two weeks we will celebrate his 3rd birthday... which in many ways is unfathomable to me. 2008 sounds like a long time ago.

There is so much about fall that I love-- the crisp cooler air, all things apple and pumpkin, football... I could go on. Yet this season is a poignant reminder to me of all that was lost... who was lost. I remember so clearly back to October of 2008, walking into the hospital the morning Isaac was to be born, and it still felt somewhat like summer. By the time we left to go home, leaving the hospital holding a picture of my boy instead of my little boy himself, it was as if the seasons had changed overnight... a seemingly fit metaphor for my internal state. And as the leaves fell that autumn, it was as if they were mimicking the the trails of tears that often flowed.

It's a strange thing to approach Isaac's third birthday not only with Eliana here, but also with his little brother Jacob in the womb... a juxtaposition of expectancy for this little life growing inside of me, and a longing for his big brother who is still so deeply missed.

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a MOPS dessert with other moms of young children... many of whom attend our church. I was sitting and talking with a few moms I hadn't met before, and as we got to talking, a few of them put together who I was... and one of them asked about Isaac. I am so grateful. It's not often with having Eliana here, and now being pregnant with Jacob, that I get to talk about him. Of course I love talking about Ellie, and about how this pregnancy is going; but like any mother, I love all of my kids and deeply appreciate the opportunity to talk about Isaac, too... especially this time of year as the missing becomes more pronounced.

I was getting Eliana up from a nap recently, and she pointed to my tummy and said, "Geebock!" (her pronunciation of Jacob). I said, "That's right, Ellie! Jacob is in Mommy's tummy!" I have explained to her that Jacob is her little brother, just like Isaac is her big brother. So she continues and says, "Geebock. Ellie's brother" and chuckles. Then she looked at me thoughtfully and said, "Isaac's brother, too."

And I fought hard to contain the tears.

I am so glad she knows.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Photography Special

This post is for all of you local folks...
A good friend of mine has started a photography business, and is running a back-to-school special! If you ask me, the price is right, and I know you will love the images that Taylor will capture for your family.
Want to know more? Check out Taylor's blog by clicking here!

Monday, September 5, 2011


This sweet girl, who turned 18 months yesterday, has developed quite the fascination for ants. I am not totally sure how this started... maybe when her Aunt Kate took her outside and showed her a little ant army crawling on the sidewalk? I don't know. But I do know that she spent the better part of yesterday's cookout, which had more kids than I could count, staring in utter excitement and awe of hundreds of ants scurrying back and forth along one neighbor's front steps. It didn't matter that there was a water table, or balls, or tons of kids to play with; she was captivated by these little creatures and what they were up to... pointing to them, laughing out loud, and exclaiming "FUNNY!" over and over again. It was a sight to behold... not the ants themselves, but the fact that my daughter was so enamoured by them; and the fact that they held her attention longer than any other kid or toy around.

I suppose this post should really be titled, "How We Made the Decision for Me to Stay Home." But that isn't nearly as fun as sharing about Eliana's latest fascination with ants. There's a connection... I promise. Hang with me.

A few weeks ago, I was out back talking to a neighbor who is also a teacher in the school system in which Spencer teaches (and in which I am currently on leave). She asked me, "How in the world are you able to make this work?" Clearly, she knows about how much Spencer makes since she works in the same school system. My honest answer to her was this: I really don't know.

You see, while we were able to prepare some financially for this year, the decision for me to take leave from teaching was less about the how, and more about the Who. And when that finally clicked (which, truthfully, was only a few months into LAST school year), the decision was totally easy... not because we have some hidden treasure in financial resources, but because we have a greater treasure than this world could offer... and that is a God who loves us and will provide for our every need. Not necessarily our wants... but definitely our needs.

We knew that foregoing my income meant that Spencer's salary wouldn't cover our minimum monthly expenses.

We knew that foregoing my income meant that we would no longer be able to save or accelerate mortgage payments.

We knew that foregoing my income meant that there wouldn't be a trip to Disney in our near future... or really any trip or vacation that didn't involve a free place to stay.

We knew that foregoing my income would be a huge sacrifice, that the numbers didn't totally add up, and that it was a huge leap of faith. We knew that it meant trusting in the promise of Matthew 6:25-33--

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Has God provided for us in practical, tangible ways? Absolutely. He has provided me with a part-time job which I can do from home while Eliana naps, working for a great boss. But what's more, is He has given me a heart of complete peace with this decision, particularly when it comes to our finances. Do we still wonder how we are going to really swing this? Sure. But we trust in the One who loves us and has a greater vision for our lives than we ever could. We know without a doubt that this is what God was calling our family to, and so we are more concerned with the Who.. with Him... than how this thing will all work out.

I also wanted to say that I recognize that there are some of you reading this who just may not be able to swing it financially to stay at home; I want you to know that you are no less of a mother because you are working outside of the home. I realize that for some, staying at home just isn't an option, and a recognize what a sensitive and divisive topic this can be. We just know that given all that unfolded in our lives over the last year, that this truly was God's desire for our family for this season.

So, as I sat and watched Ellie watching the ants, I marveled again at how those littlest creatures are cared for by our God; and how if even the ants are cared for and provided for, then how much more will we be, even if we didn't have it all figured out. He does.

I had to chuckle as I thought about how fortunate I am that I get to sit and marvel as I watch my daughter so engrossed by the ants... and learn to count... and sing the ABC's... and help me make pumpkin pancakes... and the list goes on...