Tuesday, April 21, 2015

There and Back Again...

I feel like since technically my two littles are still so little this could be called a Hobbit's Tale but I've always been a little sensitive about my feet looking like those of a hobbit so we'll just leave it at the title.

A year ago today we were driving to Colorado, thinking that God was calling us to a new adventure...and He was; it just happened to be back in Maryland. Sometimes God has a funny way of helping us become holy. I'm sitting next to a certain little man who is eating Cheerios like he might run out and needs to store up for winter; and I keep thinking about how much we have been given in this past year.

To say this last year has been hard would be an understatement but to say that it has also been one filled with extreme blessings would be the truth. I think it will be many years, or maybe never, before I will be able to look at this year and only see blessings but that's why I'm not God. I'm certainly far from perfect. But I feel like maybe I'll be a little introspective and spend some time praying for those blessings to overshadow any of the trials.

I was a month away from my due date with Judah and we were driving across country with an 18 month old (G) and a dog (Memphis) that struggles with being car sick. A bad scenario for Marty. But shockingly we made it to Colorado in less than three days and I will solidly state for the rest of my days that Marty stopped to go to the bathroom more than I did! But the trip back was a different story because we had another human in the car, and that little human had to eat every 4 to 5 hours. And there was a different feeling driving for a second time across the country with our littles. But the in between and settling back in is where there are bittersweet memories. It was a hard year, I don't think Marty and I could explain it and I don't think anyone could really understand if we tried. So, I guess in a way this last year was about marriage for me. I look at this year and am so happy I married who I married. It was hard and we struggled (I think that for anyone who has had to change careers for their family knows it's a challenge) but we made it. And we just kept focusing on our family and our future. Our end goal was simple: to make the best decisions we could for our family.

We did and we were met with a lot of disapproval from family and friends but they didn't see our end goal, and we had to keep that in mind.  I'm sure to the outside world (and our "inside" world of family) we looked crazy and irresponsible moving our family across country twice, but I really was able to reflect on the story of Abraham and God calling him and his family out of their home and how he went, trusting blindly.  I'm sure we kind of looked like a nomad family...and there were days we felt like it too...but it was awesome to see (even during the struggles) God working in our family.  It was amazing to really be in a place where we HAD to trust God. One year made a huge difference in our family, I see that everyday. And everyday I am thankful for the Grace we have been given to live this adventure.

I know, I know...not such a lighthearted blog...but a good reflection for me.  And just in case you were wondering what my kids do while I sit introspectively...wonder no more...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

slap a diaper on that...shopping cart

love the imagination of children! No, seriously when did we decide it was a good idea to make babies grow up so fast? "oh your child is 2 and doesn't know the alphabet and how to count to 50? wow they must be slow." I walked into our living room the other day to find my two and a half year old with diapers, wipes and diaper cream (thankfully with the top still on) all over the floor and she was putting a diaper on her shopping cart, one on each wheel to be accurate. I cracked up!

But I immediately started to explain that shopping carts don't wear diapers, and then I stopped. Why would I do that? Was it because she needed to know that shopping carts don't go to the bathroom? Was it because she needed to be taught that diapers go on some things but not others? Was it simply because this is not the way of the world? Why would I tell a two year old that her play was wrong? It wasn't hurting anyone or anything. Gabriella is going to spend way more of her years being an adult who lives in a reality that imagination doesn't thrive in, so why would I take it away from her sooner than it needs to be?

This is a soapbox I feel I could stand on forever. After becoming a parent it was very easy to fall into the comparison of my baby to others, and making sure those 'milestones' were hit on time or ahead of time. Because heaven forbid she not be up to par with those other drooling babies. After watching her grow and develop and having another one (baby that is) I realized that (newsflash) all babies are different and develop at their own pace.  What?!?!? I know, I know, it's a crazy new idea I'm trying out.

Gabriella sings and dances and helps clear the table, she makes her bed, she comforts her brother when he's crying, plays with her cousins, she makes pancakes and she talks...all. the. time....but just not always in English; and I can't tell you how many people, family, friends, strangers are constantly asking if we're concerned and if we've seen a doctor and my personal favorite: telling Gabriella she needs to use words (I grit my teeth every single time)...I feel so sad that she's already been put into a classification of being a "late-talker."  We have become so concerned with making sure our kids fit in, that we have lost what is so fun about kids...that they're little!!!

The possibilities are endless for them. I watch her play and I am astounded by how much she enjoys playing, just playing.  She learns constantly by watching, I don't have to make everything a "learning activity." She cooks in her little kitchen because she's watched me cook in our kitchen, I didn't need to show her how to stir a bowl of pancake batter, she knows how because she has watched, etc, etc.

I know that stay-at-home mamas can relate that the days can be long with little ones who are always on the move, but every single night (even the sleepless ones) I look at my two blessings and I think about how fast they will be grown up, how fast they're already growing up and I'm perfectly at peace with where they are in their development and I am imperfectly thankful for these long days that I am so blessed to be having with them.  They will be gone soon...and then a shopping cart will just be a shopping cart...

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