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dear eloise.

19 Sep

Eloise Josephine,

One month ago today, you joined our family in person and made your birthday official. To date, August 19th, 2013 is one of the most spectacular days of my life. Thank you for making your mark on our hearts so marvelously that morning ;)

For the past month, you have changed the shape of our days and brightened the world just by being in it. Your sweet spirit and peaceful presence are notable–you love to snuggle and be tucked into my arms at all hours of the day. I look at you and wonder at the gift of a baby girl in our lives…no doubt the tiny person God intended for our family in this season that feels so full of mystery and change.

There’s so much I want to tell you about who you are already, and I owe you the tale of the day you were born. (We have magnificent photos of your birth and the precious hours after you arrived, too…) I wanted so much to have that for you now, but am recognizing the importance of having time with you more. I’ll work on your story, I promise, and you’ll have it before long. For now, you have your mama’s attention and lap and hours, and I couldn’t offer you better. I want you to feel warm and safe and settled as you acclimate to life here in the world…I think perhaps you miss the womb a bit, and I’m trying to acknowledge what makes you most comfortable for now as you grow into yourself. Truth be told, I loved having you tucked safely away just as much as I love having you right in front of me. I can’t believe a month has already gone by since we first set eyes on you. You’re such a precious, precious little girl.

Happy one month birthday, Eloise! Thank you for blessing our lives (and your mama’s heart) for the past thirty days. Here’s to thousands and thousands more!!

love overflowing,

mOm ;)

four weeks.

16 Sep

Whoops! This didn’t publish as planned when I wrote it. :(  A few days late, but the sentiment is the same…

There is just SO much to say as we reach this little milestone of four weeks with our sweet baby girl. I realize I haven’t even formally introduced her here yet, but it’s not for lack of intention, I promise! I’m writing tonight after days of wanting to record every sweet thing about our new babe–the thing is, each time I set out to write, there’s a need to attend to here. As much as I want to be recording precious memories for my kiddos to someday hold dear, I’m busy being mama to them right now (as I know any parent totally understands). This newborn season is so fleeting. And our toddler is very much a toddler. Both have different needs for time and energy at the moment that no blog could. When triaging the day, I’m so sad to say that writing rarely makes the cut for now.

As “the Button” nears her one month birthday this week, I’m plotting out her birth story post and excited to begin telling her tale a bit more in the days ahead. She is, as any child, a most perfect gift from The Lord–and although I may not say it as often as I’d like in a blog post, we are certainly celebrating her presence daily.

This has been a beautiful and most difficult season of parenting for me…learning a new baby while desiring to give my best to our first born is a tireless and, at times, overwhelming task. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am in love with both kiddos for new reasons every day. And I’m gleaning new tricks of the trade and levels of patience as I go–things that will undoubtedly come in handy in the days ahead!

I can hardly believe four weeks have gone by…in a whirlwind of visitors, cluster feeding growth spurts, a bout of illness, and a grand attempt at getting to know our little leading lady. In three days, when a month rolls around, I may be moved to tears at the thought that it’s already come and gone. For so long we anticipated her arrival, and now, we blink and she’s changing right before our eyes!

so much to be grateful for as I type, one handed, from my phone tonight. it’s a glorious thing to have so much love and so little sleep all at once ;) happy “four weeks,” eloise!


every good and perfect gift.

31 Aug

Eloise is twelve days old today. Naturally, the past twelve days have been a mix of beauty, adjustment, re-entry, sleepiness, joy, challenge, and great blessing. We are acclimating to life as a family of four, and I, as a mama to two–two babes that God has entrusted to our care, and two who serve as an all day reminder of the responsibility God has placed on my life as a mother. I have never experienced a greater sense of calling, nor have I been more humbled by the way God has surrounded me with His presence and care.

For so long, I prayed over the details of my second labor and delivery, and for so long, I battled new fears and self doubt–all the while wanting desperately for God to be glorified in the process of His creation and design. Someday soon I’ll tell the story of all that God did to be present and to cover Eloise’s birth and my heart. For now, I’ll simply say that He is good, and that His love is palpable and accessible and wonderfully present these days. Ellie’s labor and delivery were just the very beginning of this humbling season…

I hardly know where to begin telling the post-birth chapter. We shared the news of our baby girl’s arrival, and love poured right on in from the very first minute. God has shown up in visits and prayers, in thoughtful gifts and wonderful, home-cooked meals. He has shown up in sweet, sweet times on our couch with dear friends as they meet Eloise, in overly-generous gestures of celebration and shared joy. He has been present in dishes washed, laundry done, vacuuming checked off the list. And most especially, He has cared for our hearts in the care of our sweet Henry. Family and friends have certainly not forgotten (and most definitely celebrated) H’s new, big brother status and the challenges that can come with such change. In turn, I have been blessed with the joy of watching our eldest enjoy others, and also with the gift of time for our new little one. Getting to know her with room enough to still snuggle our first munchkin has added peace to my heart.

I’ve learned a lot in twelve days, and I’ve had to realize over and over again that God’s overflow is something I can’t begin to measure. The cup and portion are simply too big. In the same ways that Henry has taught us so much about joy and laughter and discernment, I have a feeling that our new little lady has been delivered to us to teach us a new depth of love and a softness that our lives could all use. She brings with her a peaceful calm I can’t ignore. What gifts from The Lord!!

Before long, I’ll begin to write thank you notes and make a very feeble attempt to express our gratitude for all that God is doing through those around us. It will, no doubt, feel an insignificant gesture by comparison to the love we’ve witnessed these past few weeks. Even still, maybe God will doubly bless those who bless us. May it be so!

admiring God’s handiwork in the new life before me, and thanking Him over and over again for the gifts of love and friendship that have come along with ellie’s arrival,

one grateful mama

midnight snack.

29 Aug

Milk for you. Cheerios and blueberries for me. Just in case you ever wonder when we started having sleepovers–we didn’t wait one bit. You and me? We’re having a pajama party every night these days. Loving this snugly time with you when you’re just a bundle of scrunchy, warm love in my arms.

We pretty much exist in our own little world at this time of day–you, making sleepy-eyed faces at me and I, singing made up songs and trying to learn you in every move and detail. I’m fairly certain we get along alright so far. :)

loving you at every hour of the day and admiring your pretty little face,

your mama


one week.

27 Aug

Sweet Baby Girl,

You are officially one week old (and almost a day, because I’m posting this to you so late). There’s so much I want to say to you already, and I’m not sure I’ll ever keep up with all of my thoughts for you from here on out, but I’ll certainly try. You’ve been home now for five days, give or take, and we’re all in love with you. I’ve never been so smitten, really…except for when we brought your brother home, which was equally as joy-filled and wonderful. All day long I keep thinking to myself, “This is the very best part of the day!” and the thing is, it’s true every time. You are as sweet as sweet can possibly be, and I just can’t get enough of you. Everything about you is a precious, precious gift!

Each day that’s gone by, I’ve wanted so badly to write you–and to tell you all about the day and what we did together as a family. Time is flying so quickly, though, and between caring for you and keeping up with your enthusiastic big brother, your daddy and I have had our hands full. We’ve spent the past number of days home as a family, learning how to be four and taking you in. Today was daddy’s first day back to work and I was admittedly a bit nervous. I didn’t know how I’d manage a newborn and a toddler all at once without sort of losing my wits, but we did it! Your daddy came home and we were all in one piece–showered, dressed, fed, somewhat rested, happy. And tonight, I’ll go to bed thrilled that you and H have both had baths, that there’s laundry in progress, that the dishes are done…the little things that will make a difference in our day tomorrow. Today went by more quickly than I imagined, as I suppose many of them will from here! I’m eager to explore the world with you and Henry together, and to watch you learn and grow with each other in a beautiful way.

Your big brother is quite taken with you and loves to hold and kiss you regularly. Today, he probably checked on you a dozen times in a span of 15 minutes, and each time he would say, “I will go check on Eloise! I will see if she is sad, or happy, or scared, or worried, or confused, or angry, or just fine.” It was the cutest thing, and he’d come back each time to tell me you were ok (and sleeping), and to repeat the process all over again. You’re in good hands with him to watch over you, Miss Eloise! I’m so glad that God gave you a big brother as thoughtful and gentle and loving as Henry, and I know you’ll be thankful, too.

You are a champion sleeper at the moment, really only waking to eat and staying awake a short time. You’ve even blessed your mama with 4 or so hours in a row of sleep each night for the past few–something I never expected but am so thankful for as I care for you throughout the day. We are working together to learn each other and to be in sync as best we can. I so love having you out in the world–just as much as I loved carrying you around in my belly for all of those months!

Ellie B (I’ll explain later…I know you’re Ellie Jo:), you are an absolute delight! I can’t wait to tell you so much more about who you are at this age, and how much joy and light you’re already bringing to our lives. For now, I’d better tuck in for a bit while you sleep–that way, we can all face the day with energy together tomorrow.

I love you so very much…I feel like I could burst!

certainly the luckiest,

your mama

this would have been (3).

21 Aug

Two and a half days ago, life was looking very different. Tonight, I’m sitting here, admiring my baby girl’s sweet face and enjoying the comforts of home. The boys are upstairs sleeping, the house is completely quiet, my heart is unbelievably full.

Our sweet peanut arrived just as I had prayed and hoped–six days early and healthy, healthy, healthy–praise The Lord! I’m totally overwhelmed by this new little life in our hands.

I skipped the blog last night because it just didn’t feel quite right to interrupt our time in the hospital, and it still feels kind of strange to be blogging from home, even now. Sometime in the next few days I’ll be back to tell the story–to share more about our babe and what God has been doing here. And I promise there will be plenty of pictures:)

In the meantime, we’ll be tucked in quietly, adjusting to the new normal, squeezing BOTH of our kiddos as often as possible, and resting whenever we’re given the chance. It’s a beautiful season I want to capture in every detail–it’ll just be soaking itself into my heart a bit first before I share it here on the blog.

looking forward to connecting with all of you very soon…


a birthday and such.

19 Aug

Well, today turned out to be a bit busy from start to finish…for all of the most perfect reasons! We’ll be back to the blog tomorrow at some stage, but for tonight, 2,000 words in pictures:


The loviest of loves. Indeed.

i’m going to bed one blessed and overjoyed mama tonight,


in the waiting. (7)

17 Aug

I never expected to be this stir crazy. I am so taken with pregnancy and so much of what it entails, and I want to just love every last bit of it to pieces. Turns out I’m also really human. And I really, really want to meet this little person. The idea of seeing his or her face is fueling me forward and driving me nearly in circles. I think I ask God for peace and patience in every hour.

This morning was particularly hard for me. I woke up at 5:30a to a contraction, and they kept coming–every seven minutes, for two hours. I rested in bed, but my wheels were also turning. I’d tell J when he woke up. We’d have a slow morning with Henry. I wouldn’t have to wake anyone…I’d just call at a normal time of day to say that this was it–that things were in motion. I got up and started doing random things around the house that I suddenly wanted done. I was trying to strike a balance between being really excited and really practical. And then the contractions stopped.

Oh, the struggle I had for the next few hours, trying to figure out why this is my journey this time–nothing like the last time at all, and so much more like a tug of war for my heart. I’m wanting to have peace on everyone’s behalf, and instead, I’m here trying just to find some semblance of contentment while my mind swirls. What is with this newfound impatience? Where are all of my prayers going as I send them up? I know God hears and sees me, so what is the purpose in all of it?

Trust. I think it comes down to this very simple thing. God is saying to trust Him and His timing and His will for this baby’s entrance into the world. I also think God is asking me to quiet my heart in an otherwise noisy room. I thought I was good at this, and in seasons, I am. Right now, I feel like I’m attempting to learn the skill all over again.

I sat quietly on the couch this morning while the boys were still sleeping and prayed and read and tried to center myself on the thing I know. God is here and with me and has it all under control. I tried to exercise my ability to open up my hands and release the day, this week, my “due date,” the circumstances of this labor and delivery…all of it. And there were moments today when that happened. For this, I’m super grateful.

What’s working best is keeping somewhat busy and surrounding myself with lovely things and lovely people as I wait. And attempting to have a great deal more patience with myself than what I’m normally capable of. This is challenging with all of the tiredness and emotions in the mix, but I’m relying on God’s help to get to the right place. It’s probably when I do that this baby comes freely and without reservation. I pray that he or she will feel ushered into this world surrounded by a crazy amount of love and peace.

Tonight, I’ll go to bed tired and hopeful. Hopeful for a great new day tomorrow, for even more joy in the waiting, for grace to extend to myself and others. And tomorrow we’ll be one day closer to this little peanut and the newness of things again with a baby, fresh from Heaven, added to our lives.

it’s all worth the waiting, and i know that. i’m just having to relearn and relearn and relearn. ;)

breathing. deeply.


bump love (and single digits!) (9)

15 Aug

We were so blessed to have a dear friend take photos of our little family a few weeks back. It was such a fun night out at the beach, and I will treasure these images forever. I haven’t seen them all yet, but here’s a few I just adore from our time together…So excited for this little peanut to get here and join our family! We’re in single digits towards our countdown–is that crazy or what?!

DSC_5281 DSC_5328 DSC_5359 DSC_5368 DSC_5533

so smitten with the button!


the JOY of pregnancy. (11)

13 Aug

There is something truly remarkable about carrying an entire life inside of your own body, and this morning, as I walked downtown to pick up a cup of (decaf) coffee on my way to work, I couldn’t help but think once again just what a joy it is to be pregnant. I caught a reflection of myself in a shop window and laughed a little bit at the belly I’m toting out in front. I’ve had many an encounter with folks who want to comment on its gargantuan or petite and basketball-ish nature–no matter which Molly-belly measuring team you’re on, it’s certainly not a bump one could miss on my 5’1” frame at 38+ weeks along. And the truth is, despite some of the shockingly rude things people will say about one’s belly when with child, I LOVE my “bump” and all it contains. It’s not been a perfectly smooth road of pain free, high energy days and peaceful, sleep-filled nights, but it’s been a gorgeous journey of appreciating the growth and change as it happens and celebrating all of the love our whole family already feels for this unborn child. I’m not ashamed to be full of baby–there’s a whole human person within the confines of my tummy! What a blessed gift, and a glorious reminder of God’s faithfulness to us!

One year ago, I was still mourning the loss of our last pregnancy and wondering very much how God would redeem the hurt and struggle we were feeling as we thought about that missing babe. I trusted God, sure, but I certainly couldn’t see as far down the line as He could see–nor could I push past my own emotions to imagine a day like today. Now, just eleven days from our projected due date with the Button, I am sitting here on a crazy-beautiful summer afternoon with the breeze blowing through the windows, my two year old sleeping peacefully upstairs, and this tiny munchkin tickling my insides with its perfect little toes. I can fit into about five total items in my closet, and I could never think of a better reason to boast a limited wardrobe and weekly weight gain :)

I know that there are a lot of women around me who don’t love being pregnant, and an equally large number of women who do. I also know that there are numerous women in my surrounds and in the world who ache so desperately for a baby of their own, and who might read this and feel troubled by my bubbling over with delight at my current life station. My mama heart aches for those who can’t bear children themselves and desire it. My heart also deeply trusts and asks God to meet their hearts in the exact right time and place, knowing that He is the only thing that can fill a void so cavernous. As I celebrate the upcoming birth of our babe, I do not take the gift of this blessing at all lightly. Rather, I am humbled beyond measure that I could be a vessel for this particular child, and I pray that I’m always a thoughtful and careful steward of the life entrusted to us.

This afternoon, I am overwhelmed by the goodness and the fullness of this belly. I am equally moved by the number of people in our lives who already celebrate our soon-to-be-here tiny miracle along with us. It is an amazing season! I will do my best to continue to be patient for this, the second of God’s greatest surprises to us in this lifetime. In the meantime, I’m like a child on Christmas Eve, over and over and over again. I can hardly wait to see what our little bundle contains!!

radiating from the inside,



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