Friday, July 28, 2017

Year One in Retrospect

My little girl is one! (A few days shy of 13 months to be exact).  Sawyer and I have BOTH learned so much this year, it's amazing. I don't even know where to begin or what to say. I've done terribly keeping up here with memories and thoughts from the year, but I also didn't want to pressure myself into "forcing" that and allow myself to live in the moment (I know, cliche alert!) and just BE. All the struggle to get here required so much brain power, thought, growing, just mental energy. Just being is a gift and it was so good to "just be" for such a long while.

Now it's time to begin again, to start growing again, thinking again, learning again. I know I've done a lot of that this year but to get down with words always helps solidify the experiences in my mind. We've got the first year under our belts it's time to look ahead to the future and enjoy TODDLERHOOD! But first, I'll try to find my words about the journey that was the first year of getting to be with our little Sawyer Bear.

I can say now that I am 100 times more confident at being Sawyer's mom. The beginning was so hard and scary even though I didn't truly realize or admit that to myself at the time. It's such a strange thing to go from being an expectant parent to an actual parent. It's hard, but amazing. Everyone says that. Everyone rolls their eyes at it because EVERYONE says it. And you feel like they're talking down to you, and maybe some of them are. Some are just being honest but they all say it's GOOD even though it's hard and that is the truth! One important thing I've learned over the last year is being a mom requires an equal amount of rigidity and flexibility, a delicate dance and balance. 

In the beginning it's so crazy because even though newborns can't move or talk they sure are DEMANDING. The hardest part was making sure she was eating every couple hours, because baby just wanted to SLEEP DURING THE DAY and had such a hard time waking up to eat. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere with this tight schedule much less shower, cook, clean, eat, go to the bathroom. You picture this peaceful life with a cuddly newborn (she was cuddly! she loved napping on me!) but it's highly demanding even though from the outside you think "awwwwwwww". But it's really good. The natural order does break parents in slowly and somewhat gently. Like a frog slowly getting boiled, LOL. They're demanding but you can watching tv, talk, and not worry about certain things. Your life is run on a tight 90 minute cycle of eat play sleep and I remember not even feeling like days mattered, just those 90 minute cycles. That slowly got she's old enough she basically just has a schedule like a normal person but includes a nap and sometimes two. Which is crazy to think about!!! My main takeaway from the newborn season is that you can survive--it's only for a season. Tell yourself it gets better and enjoy the parts that make that stage so amazing. All the firsts, this is a new person to the world and you get the privilege of being their guide! Of acclimating them to the world. It's huge and it's awesome. It's mundane and it's hard. I remember feeling like I just couldn't even put her down for even a minute. And it was claustrophobic at the time, but now she's walking and it's hard to get much snuggle time (unless we're watching Daniel Tiger!) It happened really fast even though at the moment I couldn't possibly fathom it.

Then there were the days where I'd set up her play quit and lay out toys for her to explore. We would listen to music. Ted worked later hours and that was so hard for me. I know he worked the same amount of hours (had Wednesdays off) but the long days really got to me. But Sawyer and I enjoyed listening to music, (The Sound of Music Soundtrack!) playing, and being together. We would try to go on walks and do little things here or there like run to Target or the park.

I think the hardest milestone for her to achieve was rolling over. She would do so well rolling from back to belly, but she had a HECK of a time rolling back to her back! It seemed like once she mastered that (after lots and lots of frustration) she was suddenly crawling, then standing, then walking all within a really quick timeframe! OH man I couldn't believe one day after work Ted and I were playing with her in the living room and she just stood up and took a step towards him. She was only 10 months old. We were both so proud and felt so thankful to both be there to see it unfold!

Sawyer has been great with bottles from day one. Breastfeeding was hard, and looking back I'm really not sure I'd ever consider trying that again. Sorry mom world! She drinks down her bottles fast and furious and is like clockwork expecting them. She even sees her bottle and she immediately can't go on with life until she has it, lol! Currently I'm knowing I need to transition her to a sippy cup but I'm not in as big of a hurry as everyone else is about it. Oh well! We'll get there.

When she started crawling and walking there were a few rough weeks before we got any baby gates. We are not handy and installing things is...well...challenging lol. Currently we need lots more baby proofing but after a frustrating morning with me and the power drill and getting nothing accomplished I decided we're hiring a handy man. Which of course, I need to get on.

The things I'm most proud of and little big memories;

Sawyer being a happy and fun little girl who likes to explore and play.

Sawyer learning how to sleep in her own bed! Sleep training was hard. She slept in our room in the pack and play for 6 months and has learned to love her own little room and bed.

Keeping her fed, three meals a day (plus snacks LOL). Somehow. Somewhat healthy!

Just keeping up the general maintenance of it all, house, cleaning, cooking, bathing, eating. It's work even though it can be humdrum but keeping up (a lose term of course, lol) is quite a FEAT OF ENDURANCE! And to pray each day asking the Lord to help you do it all with joy. I gotta remember to keep that up. I really want to teach Sawyer to go about the tasks at hand with joy--even when it's hard and mundane. (Because, oh my gosh sometimes I just want to not worry about the house and what's to eat. Said every woman everywhere through out all of time and space!!!!!).

That Sawyer likes to feed herself and is learning how to use her spoon!

Showing her off at story time and church---so proud she spent the last Sunday in the nursery both sundayschool AND church!

Learning to stick to my guns with her schedule. But also to be flexible about it. When it suits me or is something good for her. If not, nope sorry it's naptime. Oh wait, go out for mexican food? Well forget naptime/bedtime! Story time? We can skip nap for that too sometimes.  

That she loves giving smoochies! And will often smooch things she likes, toys and pictures in books included. Especially books with little children or Daniel Tiger. (Yes, Daniel is her favorite).

How she points to our family picture and grins her toothy grin!

The time I got her up from nap and she pointed to me and said "mama!" for the first time

The time I was mad at her for not going down for nap and she pulled herself up to stand for the first time with a big proud of herself grin!

The time I saw her push herself into sitting up from laying down with one arm, such a swift motion like she'd been doing it all along.

I'm so proud that she is really just her own little person and always has been and we get to be here to help guide her and witness it.

I'm proud of her that she doesn't let obstacles STOP her from doing things. She's never afraid to let us know what she wants. She doesn't "pussy foot" around and hem and haw. If she wants cuddles, food, playtime, a toy, someone to read to her...she just goes for it. I need to be more like that. Communicate clearly and don't be embarrassed about asking for what you need. I'm learning so much from her. I'm thankful she feels so comfortable and secure with us she isn't afraid to let us know what she needs.

(I guess my next post needs to be "things I've learned from Sawyer". Ok I think that is a good post to do!)

I love when she was brand new and her favorite thing was to stare at the birds on the wall behind our bed.

I love when she was just a little older than newborn and after her morning bottle she would want to stare and pat my face, with her head cocked to the side just taking me in not ever being deterred from face patting even when i'd try to get her to stop lol.

I love the way she butt shimmies to music she likes, especially the Daniel Tiger theme song.

I love her husky little mischievous laugh.

I love how she walks, toddle/waddle, hands sometimes out like Frankenstein, sometimes out for balance.

I love how she chases Scout around shrieking with delight, and how he won't fully runaway but looks at us sad that he's being chased. (This is also a source of great frustration, haha).

I love how sometimes we hear you giggling in your carseat while we drive, playing with some toys and just having your own inside joke

and I love the way you wave bye bye to me when I put you down or nap and how you sweetly clap when I come back to get you!

As I've seen others say about their children, I'm writing you on my heart, Sawyer. I love you so much!

I can't believe I've been a parent for one whole year. We have survived and hopefully thrived as well. I'm so glad we have this year under our belts are looking forward to more stories and lessons together, as a family! Which is something I've yearned to have for so long!

the interwebs, adult friendships, retrospection, and looking ahead

I'm big into looking back, examining my life, using what's happened to try to learn and grow. But it just hit me specifically to what's been "ennui-ing me" over the internet the last year or so. (When I say internet I mean instagram and blogs I used to read where people move on, as is normal in life). Everything is for a season. I think my attention span is longer than the average bear about certain things so when other people get the unspoken rule it's time to move on to snapchat and instagram live or whatever they're even doing these days (SIGHHHHHH) I'm still in the mode of enjoying hearing people's stories with words and pictures and the big little day to day things that make up our lives.  The internet at large is ALWAYS pushing for next next next. In January everyone is freaking out about spring. After the 4th of July everyone is freaking out about fall. I feel like I have these same complaints over the internet but as a mom of a young little person sometimes you depend on it (TOO much I'm realizing writing this all out) for communication with the outside world.

I am seeing now I need to step back from the DEPENDENCY in feeling those connections and work harder at connecting in more real ways. This is scary for me. Friendships are hard, especially adult friendships. I am so anxious about friendships sometimes.  It's easier to feel "bonded" to strangers on the internet because there is no commitment and you can hide when and if you choose to. I have a few close friends but I know in my day to day life I need to do more in regards to getting Sawyer and I "out there" with activities and relationships. I don't want her to be a hermit unless she wants to be one, lol.

I have days where I don't feel the need to grab my phone. Other days it's like distracting me from my day and I'm wasting so much time. I know it's not ALL wasted because there are people I genuinely enjoy catching up with through social media but I need to practice a little more discipline. I'm trying to figure out joining a mom's group (I know, what is my life even a mom's group sounds so annoying!) but it's through Facebook which I quit long ago and I made up a new and secret one just for this mom's thing and now i can't remember the password even or figure out how to log in. I feel so OLD and IRRELEVANT reading this!!! What is happening to me, lol.

I guess my slow processing speed is getting in my own way, too. I'm still like "oh wow, I'm a mom! I can't believe it! This is all so new!" And everyone else has like their next two years planned and is all "Your a mom we get it you've been a mom for a whole year thats like 50 years in internet time". I think it's good to have a balance of retrospection and making plans, and living in the moment. (um, ok that's quite the balancing act!) I think I've got a lot of nervous energy pent up with being at home a lot and not making writing and creative outlets a priority. So yeah, time to do that. This a quick post to get that whole internet thing off my chest and move on to an actual post. Hah!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Surreal Life

The word of the year for 2016 has officially been pronounced by Merriam Webster and that word is "surreal".

Surreal; very strange or unusual. Having the quality of a dream. Marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream, unbelievable. Fantastic.

Well, I don't think I could have chosen a more accurate word to describe this last trip around the sun. So many people have kicked 2016 to the curb and relish posting sassy memes about how terrible it was. I know so many "surreal" things have happened this year in world news--and it's not that I want to gloss over that. But for me--this year personally has been the best ever!

This year after many many years of ambiguity, struggle, spiritual warfare, inner turmoil, waiting, and loss of hope (and other words and phrases I could continue on with) we were able to become victorious in our battle to become parents! I wish me from five or seven years....(even eight or nine) could read that last line. I know it was not 40 years in the wilderness but to me it was.

This past year I had the privilege to carry and give birth to person. A person made in Gods own image. She was made by the Creator of all things and I get to be a main cast in the story of her life. And the beginning of that is and was awesome and SURREAL!  It's not that it has been easy or perfect (because what is) but it has been amazing and wonderful and the best experience of my life to date!!! Sometimes I just stare at Sawyer and repeat to myself "you're a mom! You're a mom!" And pray it sinks in one day 😉.  And I have God and 2016 to thank. So many amazing memories packed into 12 months. And now I'm looking forward to what's to come. It's so nice (a luxury really) to not feel weighed down and to be excited for the future!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What's in a Name?

I hear of so many couples who really struggle with choosing a name for their baby. I am so glad this was NOT something we struggled with! We decided when we got pregnant (still, so surreal to even say that!) to keep our names to ourselves--thankfully we had a boy name and girl name we BOTH agreed on...and had agreed on for YEARS! The name was LOCKED AND LOADED!  I'm so glad we were both on the same page. And we really didn't want anyone "ruining" it for us by announcing it ahead of time.  You know, you share a name you like and the persons face immediately sours? Or they say their cousins neighbors son who is prison for nefarious deeds was named your name in question? Yeah. I was not up for that.

When Sawyer was born and the name finally revealed (lol, so dramatic) the main question we got was "from where did you get that name?" and "How did you come up with that?" I didn't think she had a "weird" name but definitely not a super common one, especially for girls. (At least, it's not common for girls in our circles but there are TONS of little baby girls named Sawyer Jean and Sawyer Jane if you check your Instagram hashtags like I do, hah! It's definitely a thing!)

It's not a crazy story how we got her name, we just heard it so many years ago on a baby girl and I my radar went off and I immediately filed it away--like it was 2008 or 2009 that's how long the name has been top on my list. (And no, she's not named after Sawyer from LOST, just incase you're wondering!!!) It struck such a chord with me. It was sweet. A little tomboyish. It referenced literature and journalism. I just thought it was perfect! I didn't want something SUPER well known but not something super "out there". There wasn't a name I liked better and for so long, I just hoped by the time we ever had a baby the name wouldn't be too popular and "ruined" that way either!

The only thing that I thought was slightly disappointing about her name was the meaning of the name. It's a literal name, it's an occupation name. I love when names have meaning, weight. Because your kid, I mean, that's your whole world and you're trying to build a legacy in raising them. Giving them a name is not something you do on a lark. So I've been giving her name a lot of thought and I'll share with you the meaning I'm giving it, and it ties into it's actual meaning too.

The name Sawyer means;


Cutter of wood

Cuts timber

Of course, if you know me you know I LOVE the woods, trees, forests, and nature. So I don't love the idea of cutting down all the trees, you know? But of course I'm going to look at this symbolically--
and I have some verses picked out to back it up. And for Sawyer to keep for her whole life, her life verses so to speak. Ones I hope are special to her and speak to her of the story that lead to her life and how amazing she is. How special her story is!

Given all the struggles and the long and winding path, the large mountains it took for her to make her way to us, her name now means;

Sawyer- one who overcomes or removes obstacles,  clears a path where the path is unknown, one who changes the landscape of the world she lives in. 

Her verses go with her name meaning;

Psalm 16:11 

"Thou wilt she me the path of life;
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore".

Psalm 138:3

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, 
and strengthened me with strength in my soul". 

James 1:12 (NIV)

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test, that
person will receive the crown of life that Lord has promised to those who love him".

Now, I love the meaning behind her name! Overcomes obstacles. Clears a path. Changes the world.

That's our Sawyer!!!

I can't wait to see her grow into her name.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ways to Battle Ennui, and a Vocab Lesson. I Miss Vocab.

ENNUI. My favorite vocabulary word ever. Because it perfectly encapsulates something I struggle with from time to time, and I'm sure others out there do to otherwise IT WOULDN'T BE A WORD! #logic.


Noun-a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement. 

Synonyms-boredom, tedium, lethargy, listlessness, languor, weariness, enervation, malaise, melancholy, world weariness, Weltschmerz. 

So many of these synonyms hit home, nothing thrills me more than putting words to feelings!!!!
"World weariness". World Weary-feeling or showing fatigue from boredom with the life of the world and especially material pleasures. I think the world weary hits me hard when I spend too much time on social media. Like, everyone is doing and saying the same things so what does any of it even mean? Connecting with people online can be both wonderful AND detrimental. As "they" say, it's all about the balance!

It's all part of human nature, to feel the ennui. Because we're not perfect.  That being said I'm very very happy with my life and THANKFUL for where I am today. (SO THANKFUL!) But the ennui can get us at any time or place. I think for me it sets in around the holidays as there is so much pressure to have and experience this magical holiday time, sometimes getting overloaded on fun and excitement that nothing can really live up that build up. Then settles in the ennui. "The holidays are over! There's nothing to look forward to besides a long, cold, DARK winter" or "Why don't I feel as Christmassy as I think I should? I just feel regular! Shouldn't I be feeling tinsel-y inside?!?" And so on, haha. You get the idea.

So today, in anticipation of the good ol' ennui settling in at some point this winter (it's not always the winter for me though, it comes and goes throughout the year) I made a list of things to do to battle it. To be proactive! Because sometimes my baby sleeps and I need to do things during that time to be a person! I wouldn't say ennui is full on depression. No, not at all. I guess it could spiral into that for sure, but mostly it's more like I'm a character in an indie movie. One that does not do well in any of the festivals, LOL. It's like, with some work you can pull out of it. Or just fake it till you make it and it goes away. I think the ennui strikes those of us who spend too much time in our own heads. You extroverts will have to correct me if I'm wrong on that one, though!

Ok, so here's the list I worked on today with concrete ideas to battle any ennui feelings coming my way. I guess they could also double as just straight up goals too.

1. Having daily quiet time, prayer, and Bible Study (pretty self explanatory)

2. Work out!

3. Prayer time spent specifically on Sawyer, and her future.

4. Reach out to friends, make plans to get together.

5. Create a "to read" list. Work through it. Write about each book.

6. Work on or plan out a home improvement project.

7. Meal Plan and/or try cooking a new recipe.

8. WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE. Ok, this one should be like number four.

9. Journal about Sawyer's life, scrapbook ect.

10. Join a mom's group and stay connected even when you don't feel like it. You know, due to "world-weariness".

11. Clean something.

12. Donate something.

13. Create something.

14. Make a plan/schedule for the day or week.

15. Encourage someone dealing with a tough issue, (vaginismus, infertility, ect).

16. Join the writers group thing at the library.

17. Make plans to connect with family outside of normal holidays.

18. Do something with or for my niece and nephews.

19. Listen to a Young House Love podcast! Find other podcasts!

20.  Stare at my baby and continually count my blessings outlaid and write them down

I hope this is helpful to anyone of you who may also have a little bit of the ennui sometimes. It's ok! We're built to thirst after more than this world. I want to learn to the lean on the Lord during these times and not just "muddle through". I'm tired of "surviving". I'm really enjoying this time in my life of "thriving" and I don't want to lose it!I didn't realize how sweet the taste of thrive really was and now I never want to lose it. I'm addicted! Hehe.  I realize, reading my list it all sounds kind of magazine-y pat ways to "beat the blues". Oh well. I think they will help me. At least I have a list of things to do and work.

That's all for today. Gonna go hang out with the baby, because she's the best! Take that ennui!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Zero Gravity

Little Sawyer is 4 months old! I feel like that is a huge accomplishment. She is healthy (praise the Lord as we know there are NO gaurantees), she is happy (most of the time!), and she is well loved.  It is truly a great privilege and pleasure to be able to be there to see every milestone and new skill, to set the tone for what her days look like, and to just get to know her after all the years of wondering what she would be like! When she smiles "it feels like glitter is exploding inside of me!!!!!" (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend anyone?) She's gone from basically being a feral animal, snorting and sniffing to find where her food is to getting "more like a real human" (my nephew) every day and it's the COOLEST thing.

But you know what? Someone asked me if it felt like "just yesterday" she was born. And I said "nope!!!" It's felt like a lifetime? Not in a bad way, but this has been a huge paradigm shift in my life and it's wonderful but it DOES take some getting used to thats for sure! It's like learning to exist in a world without gravity. All the elements of your preexisting life are there but with one major difference that effects everything single thing you do.

So let's dive in, before these memories fade. The beginning, it was, to borrow a phrase...

It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.

I wasn't prepared for how difficult my recovery from giving birth would be. I really think I was so terrified during pregnancy of things going sideways that I didn't really think about giving birth or after very much? Like at all?! Like I was genuinely surprised to have a baby in my house when we got home. Excited, yes. But also surprised! What the heck, self! I was just so concerned with every doctor visit and so on that I would just think about what the next one thing was. I didn't want to get so attached just incase. I'd waited so long my mindset was "I'll believe this when I see it". Well, it happened! She arrived and NOT on schedule (read her birth story for that, well, story).  For a really long time it felt like a bowling ball had been ripped out of me and it was hard to sit or stand. It felt like my tailbone was broken (I think it was severely bruised). So many stitches! And super hard. And I didn't love it. And neither did she. And it wasn't working. And I prayed about it and God gave me a DIRECT answer and our whole fam bam is way happier. Phew! He cares about us and the details of our lives and I'm SO thankful for that!

Another thing I wasn't prepared for was the amount of "company" we had in those early days. I know it's customary for people to come over and see the baby. But man I felt so crazy, so gross, so in physical pain I wish I would have rested more and just let it be. I was so psycho about feeding the baby, making main floor guest ready, making myself presentable, trying to organize the whole day into fitting around when whoever was coming. I know no one who came to see us would have cared, they just wanted to bring us food and encourage us. I legitimately felt crazy the first month. So much anger. So much crying. Yikes. People would ask "is she sleeping though the night?" (No. And she never will). They would say "when is her bedtime?" (Also never. The answer is never.) Also "are you getting any sleep?" (NO!!!) Even if she does sleep I still can't sleep. I'm busy poking her and mentally WILLING her to stay alive with all my might 24/7. That is exhausting. But nope, still can't sleep. Also the first month we were trying to get her to gain enough weight, which meant waking her from day naps to eat. SHE WOULDN'T WAKE UP THEN but yet somehow she NEVER SLEPT. How those two conflicting stories are both 100 percent true, I'll never know. I guess she never slept at times when I also could sleep, that was her whole mantra. "I'll use all of my cunning to keep mom awake at all times."And no, "tickling her foot" or "changing her diaper" did not wake her up. So yeah, if one more person had told me to tickle her darn foot they were also getting punched along with anyone talking about breastfeeding or sleeping through the night. I'm getting so riled up now thinking about it all!

So the first weeks were basically stressing over her eating and gaining weight, doctors appointments, visitors, crying, punching, rage, insanity from no sleep (I was getting double vision ), pain and discomfort down south... getting mom neck and shoulder (I mean seriously, this is a thing!) But the first few weeks felt like an eternity. I told that to the pediatrician and they looked concerned. But when you're not really sleeping, time does seem a lot longer, I mean, right?!?! I was like come on, this CAN'T be the first time you've heard this Doc!

After four weeks--Ted went back to work. I was both sad and glad. I needed to assert my dominance and confidence at this mothering business. You know what they say about having two cooks in the kitchen. But also having two sets of hands for so long was amazing. I love that we are both competent with our baby. I'm proud of Ted. He was hands on from the start and we have all those first memories of all three of us!!!  But getting into our rhythm just me and was good for all of us.  The newness was wearing off for everyone and we started to see glimmerings of a new normal. I would worry though, worry I wasn't doing enough for her mental development, having enough of a schedule, fending off these "evil bad habits" so many people talk in letting your baby nap on you, not making them sleep in their crib, not making them cry it out at the ripe old age of 6 weeks. NOT MAKING THEM CONFORM TO YOUR STRICT SCHEDULE BECAUSE WHY DID YOU HAVE A BABY IF NOT TO PUT THEM IMMEDIATELY ON A STRICT SCHEDULE!!! The second month (and third month) were about gaining the confidence to get to know my baby and what works for her. She's not ever gonna sleep 12 hours in a row. Deal with it, Babywise! If I make her go to bed at 7pm she will not "sleep longer". She will be awake at midnight and ready to PARTY!!!

I really struggled in the fear department (and many days I still do).  I had so many fears the first few months--I feared that she'd never be a "happy" baby. I feared I'd never be able to put her down and cook or clean or walk to the bathroom. I feared we would never have an "easy" coexistence. I feared she hated me sometimes! (I think that had more to do with the weaning than it did with her actually hating me...I hope? haha). I feared she would NEVER sleep through the night and that I would NEVER sleep even if she was sleeping. I feared I would never want to have another baby because I wasn't strong enough to do this. How could one tiny baby make me doubt everything so much?!

Have you ever heard baby's first 100 days of life called "100 Days of Darkness"? It is called that for a reason! But oh, the pay off. If you just hang in gets WAY BETTER. I mean, I know there is an ebb and flow to this whole thing but if you just brace for impact and find a way to survive the early days without *actually* punching anyone....

With time those specific fears have slowly retreated. She is so happy and can often play on her mat or play quilt for a long time! She literally grins and beams at me now.  BEAMS. And laughs. She thinks I'm funny! Phew!!! And I'd say she loves me! Some days are really hard and some days fly by in a haze of easy togetherness--playing, learning, loving, life. And everyday is SO GOOD, even the days that are hard.

And the difficult first days are just a drop in the bucket compared to a whole life of her! And the first days are so precious. I'm so so so thankful every day I get the opportunity to experience all these things, even when it's hard. And every screaming session, every diaper change, every snuggle, every time she fell asleep on me...that's how we bonded. That's how she knew if she needed something I was her person (well, and Ted!) And when I read other mom's accounts of reflux and milk allergies and colic and so on, I! Our little gal is easy in comparison! I love that she needs me. And she has NO IDEA how very much I needed her!

When we first got her home from the hospital she was so so so small. We were so tired and I didn't realize then how scared.  Even though I knew I was going to have a baby at some point I was in shock. Frazzled. Nerves raw.  I remember just sitting down on the same spot on the couch where a few days before I was timing contractions and calling the doctor, holding her and kissing her cute little cheeks over and over and telling her how much I loved her. I felt like I loved her so much it physically hurt, like I had a stomach ache with how strong the feelings were. The feelings were so big they threatened to burn me up and eat me alive--but those feelings are good because they keep you going when you have nothing left but love to give. They get you through the first days. You're willing to physically fight a bear or lift a car or WHATEVER. You channel those feelings to get you out of bed, to hold her tight when everyone is sleeping but you (because she slept the best right up next to you), to try feeding her again even though the pain is too much, to take a deep breath and try to explain the unexplainable to your husband (how you can be so blissed out and content and full of rage and angry at the same time). You take those feelings and you run on pure adrenaline for as long as you can. God gives you enough, even when you think you have nothing left, you find just enough. Even when I worry I'm not enough for her, God reassures me that just being me and doing my best is QUITE enough for Sawyer.

The moment she was born, I was reborn too. I'm a new person even though I'm still the old me. So we're learning this together. She's physically young and I'm new to being her mom. Every fiber of me is thankful to be on this journey and I can't wait to keep telling our story. I love you Sawyer Jean, and thank you for making me a mom! It's the best gig I ever had.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Time Last Year

This time last year was a strange mix of hope, fear, joy, peace, and managing expectations.

We were FINALLY on the last leg of our journey to start our family. After so many years of ambiguity and struggle it felt odd to be taking concrete steps that could POSSIBLY make being pregnant a reality. (I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it and she's already here!) One way or another we were going to get some direction. Either our fertility treatments would work, or they wouldn't. We would know. It was so exciting and so daunting.

This time last year we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. We spent a lot of time enjoying nature. We spent time going to concerts and traveling and enjoying friendships. I remember even though I was anxious there was an underlying peace about everything---when you feel like the weight of not getting pregnant has been on your shoulders for years it's such a relief to know there would be medical intervention! I didn't have to "control" everything anymore. Not that I did or was ever able to control anything...

This time last year I spent a lot of time reciting verses to myself. Speaking truth to my head and heart. Listening to calming music. Basically I was constantly re-swaddling my renegade emotions. September and October 2015 was such a landmark time in my life and I don't ever want to forget it. The colors, the music, the VIBE (for a less millennial word; "reassurance") that no matter what, everything was going to be ok. While I spent so many years feeling so stuck, life was taking a giant step forward. AND I WAS MOVING WITH IT!

This time last year I haggled with the insurance company and spent a lot of time on the phone with nurses.  I did a lot of really scary stuff that I was really happy to get the chance to do. . I tried to live every day just in that day. In that moment. Instead of constantly worrying about the future. Every single day was like a whole universe to me. I kept thinking all I need to do is do today well. All the "what ifs" were so overwhelming that baby steppin it was the only way I could manage.

Real joy can't exist without trials. Real gratitude can't exist without having gone without. I truly hope my time of waiting has made me into the person I am meant to be, the best person to be Sawyer's momma!

 Below I'm posting some pictures from this time last year with some of my favorite verses. I don't want to forget the days leading up to the beautiful miracle that is Sawyer. The millions of tiny things that had to go right to get our baby. I am so so thankful. Thankful to be on this side of the wait, and thankful to God for getting a hold of my heart and rescuing it from wallowing in bitterness and "why me". Thankful to God for giving me Ted and our life together; married almost 9 years before our girl arrived and we managed to make the most of it! Thankful for autumn; when everything around us starts to get the most beautiful before it dies for the winter--but now it will always be a time that represents new life to me. Let the emoting and remembering commence!

"You make known to me the path of life, in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore". Psalm 16:11

"I will hold your right hand and I will help you" Isaiah 41:13

"Whenever I'm afraid; I will trust in you" Psalm 56:3

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy" Psalm 126:5

"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior" Jeremiah 20:11

"I will go before you; and make the crooked places straight" Isaiah 45:2

 "The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm" Exodus 14:14
 "Out of difficulties grow miracles" I Peter 5:10
"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" Psalm 34:4 
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry". Psalm 40:1