There is so much to learn in a day’s time, and some days are just so much better at delivering lessons than others. Today was one of the better days.
This morning started early as we prepped to celebrate Eloise with an outdoor party turned indoor, which meant for some modifications and creativity. It’s not the first time we’ve shifted our outdoor plans to celebrate, but it was the first time I’ve been 34.5 weeks pregnant while doing so. That exercise, in and of itself, was a good lesson for this mama who struggles with slowing down. Not much you can do besides crank it back a notch when you’re setting out rainbow everything and having contractions five weeks too soon at the same time.
Pregnancy humbles me.
By noon, our house was filling up with some of our very favorite people, and in spite of the weather outside, everything was looking very colorful indoors. Eloise had just fallen and landed on her forehead on the wood floor, so she was toting an ice pack and trying to fend off a pretty snazzy goose egg. This made for a rougher start to her birthday party than planned, but she was a trooper, anyway. My mama heartstrings get tugged so hard when she really gets hurt–mostly because she’s normally right back up and at so quickly. Today was not one of those days.
The lesson here for me was that my spirit has changed and bends more to what actually matters than it used to. I’m so grateful for this. Getting food out and making last minute party adjustments fell away as I snuggled Eloise…I just wanted to make it better. I can’t say I’ve always been practical in this way, but I can say that God has worked in my heart to be a much more compassionate mom over time. Thank goodness.
With the party in full swing, and 30 adults and kiddos tucked into the little blue house together, it felt just like a birthday party should: Eloise was surrounded by people she loves, and there was laughter and good conversation and rainbow party food being consumed by all. When the godsend of a balloon artist showed up as entertainment mid-lunch, the kids were happily occupied for a good while, which was excellent, because the weather was picking up outside.
In the eight years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve not once heard a tornado siren that wasn’t a drill…until today. So the siren is going off and people start getting tornado weather notifications on their phones, and I’m processing what it will look like to put all of us in our 85 year old Michigan basement. Hm. A few years ago, this might have put me in a tailspin, but not today. I’m already having contractions, so what’s a little more excitement, right?! I mean, what kind of story would that be to tell somewhere down the line?
So long as we were all safe, I could swallow the challenge of everyone hanging out amidst our laundry and storage and spiders. Maybe this third baby is having more of an effect on me than I’ve realized, and that’s a good thing.
We didn’t end up needing to go to the basement, but almost. And the sirens stopped and then started up again about 20 minutes later. We were practically holding all of our poor guests hostage with the weather, but it’s a testament to our friends and family that everyone was pretty low key about it all. The kids kept getting faces painted and we sang “Happy Birthday” and everyone devoured some seriously yummy dairy free, gluten free cake (I can’t take credit for it, so I can say it was seriously yummy 😉 ) and ice cream.
Jason rocked the indoor piñata, which was another situation that might have put me right over the edge a few years back. I’m relaxing in my old age. Or something. Honestly, it was fun figuring out how to make it all work. I didn’t think I’d be up for a challenge at this stage of pregnancy, but rising to the occasion is always a fun test, right? I genuinely enjoyed the whole party, and the only things I didn’t quite love were the intermittent contractions and the possibility of a tornado passing over our awesome guests and family.
The fact of the matter is, a few hours came and went and Eloise was well-celebrated, which was all I ever really needed or wanted to make sure of in the first place. It may have been tight quarters, but that’s what I love so much about grace: it comes in and fills the spaces we can’t fill ourselves, and it passes over the rough parts to make them smooth.
Today, in all of its indoor, rainbow delight, was a day of grace in many ways. In spite of being much too physically taxed and probably in great need of a nap, I coasted on the energy of hosting and entertaining and being gathered with dear people. The beauty was wrapped up in doing life alongside others for a few hours while we celebrated our sweet baby girl and this milestone of growth in who she is and who she’s becoming.
No goose egg, no tornado siren, no contractions for a few hours’ stretch are going to dampen the heart behind a day so filled with love. I can regale the details of the party later, but most importantly tonight, there’s a very happy little girl tucked away and dreaming in her bed after a day that was full and joyful in so many ways. I even hear rumor that God put a rainbow in the sky when the rain was through–no doubt the kind of detail that matters to Him, and the kind that so lovingly reminds us that He sees us and delights in us. How much he wants us to delight in Him and in each other, as well. Such a beautiful picture!
Tonight I’m headed to bed with all kinds of aches and pains that were hard-earned and well worth it. Sleep will be sweet this evening, and memories of today will stay sweet themselves for a long time to come.
absolutely loving the calm and quiet after the storm…listening to the wind rustle and welcoming the heat break and cool temps that will grace the day tomorrow!