• LIFE,  marriage

    The Best Wedding Decision We Made

    Yesterday we went to our second wedding of the year and it made us think about our wedding. There are lots of things we wish we did differently as we look back, most notably hire a videographer, but there are many things we are very happy about. One decision in particular was by far our best.

    We’ve been married for three and a half years so far. Yes, it has gone incredibly fast thus far.

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    When we were getting married we planned it right around the time we knew that my board exam was going to be. To become a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) in BC you have to write a board exam which is an exam given by the governing body of all the RMTs in the province. That exam happens twice per year, in March and September. We had planned our wedding for September 5th so we knew there was a risk of the exam falling within our honeymoon time. Historically, the exam has been in the last two weeks of September so we took our chances and the odds were good.

    We planned for an ten day honeymoon, September 5th – 15th. So as long as the exam was the 16th or later we would we okay. The date the exam was scheduled for? September 13th. Well, that sucks. So we had to cancel our honeymoon, flights and hotel, and rebook. Luckily, we only lost on a few bucks as the airline gave us a credit for almost the full amount of the flights and the hotel gave us all of our money back. We still wanted to have some time away during our first few days of marriage so we decided to just go to Whistler for the weekend (we got married on a Friday) and reschedule our honeymoon for a later date. We could have just done a week holiday somewhere so I was back in time for the exam but delaying our honeymoon was by far the best decision we ever made. Plus Sam started school that Monday so logistically it made sense to delay it.

    We didn’t rebook the honeymoon right away but after my exam was over we started looking. If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time you’ll know we’re always on the hunt for a good deal. And a good deal we found. Groupon is one of our favourite apps, we recently went overour favourite apps for travelling families and it made the list, because it always has a deal. If you aren’t familiar with Groupon, it is a website where companies market themselves by providing their product or service at a discount.  There are hotels, restaurants, nail salon, etc on there. For our honeymoon, I found a deal where we would pay $99/night for a King apartment at a resort in the Dominican Republic. Our apartment had a full living room, king size bed, full bathroom, kitchen, and balcony. In our little section of the resort there were about 25 apartments that shared a pool.

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    The resort was massive. It took at least a half an hour just to walk from one side to the other. One of the perks of booking through Groupon was that we got VIP status at the resort. That meant we got access to private pools and private beaches. The private pool was right near our apartment and was where we spent most of our time. There was always a private cabana available which was perfect. The private beach has private cabanas too, but those were only available if you got there early enough to reserve one. The resort has eight different restaurants that you could make a reservation at and we ate at all of them plus the buffet a couple of nights.

    That honeymoon was twelve days in the Dominican Republic at an all inclusive resort where we paid $1,800 total. You can do the math and realize this was a steal of a deal. And we went in December.

    So why was waiting three months after the wedding to have our honeymoon the best decision we made? Two reasons:

    • it gave us something to look forward to
    • it gave us time to build our relationship with one another

    The first reason is pretty self explanatory. After getting married, most couples go on a honeymoon for usually two weeks. That’s definitely something worth looking forward to but what about after the wedding? There’s nothing left to look forward to. In the time before the wedding you’re looking forward to the wedding. After the wedding you go straight into the honeymoon and then it’s over.

    For us, we obviously were looking forward to the wedding then we got to go on a mini-honeymoon after the wedding for a weekend. Then we had something in the future to look forward to. For all of the spring and summer of 2014 we had the wedding to look forward to then for the fall of 2014 we had the honeymoon to look forward to. For us, it worked well because we had something to get excited about for almost the whole year rather than doing it all at once and having nothing but regular life to look forward to (not that that’s bad but most people would agree vacation is better).

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    The second reason might need some explanation but for anyone who is married you’ll know that married life isn’t exactly rainbows and butterflies right off the bat, if ever. If yours was, please let us know your secret. Ours took a while to get used to how the other person does things and you quickly realize how different the other person is than you are. It’s usually the little things like how your spouse loads the dishwasher, what their bedtime routine is, where they store things in the kitchen, stuff you never would have considered being an issue before the wedding. But trust us, it can take some getting used to.

    Also, the sex is better after a few months. For those who have never had sex together before the wedding, wedding night sex will feel like the best sex ever by default but as time goes on you soon realize it isn’t even close. Research has shown that the best sex usually comes after ten years of marriage. Yes, ten! That being said, it will hopefully be better after three months of marriage than it is after three days of marriage.

    Now, if you’ve lived together before and been sleeping together before the wedding then the second reason doesn’t really apply but the first one still does and giving yourself a vacation to look forward to is always a good idea.

    Having something to look forward to, knowing your partner better, and having time to build all aspects of your relationship made delaying our honeymoon the best wedding decision we made.

    What was the best wedding decision you ever made? Let us know below in the comments.

    Never stop adventuring!

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  • LIFE,  marriage,  parenting

    Cheers to a New Decade

    t h i r t y.

    That number that seemed so far off for so many years but yet here it is, the start of a new decade and truthfully, I’m excited.

    I know society tends to dread turning older and even more so when it comes to thirty but why? Is it because we dislike responsibility and wish we could live young & carefree – aka Peter Pan syndrome, is it because we fear that this magical number of thirty means we can no longer have any fun and life instantly becomes boring? Either way, I know I don’t fit into either of those ‘camps’. Maybe it’s because I enjoy routine and predicability or maybe it’s because I’m choosing to be excited about the next decade.

    When I was younger I dreamed about what life might be like at thirty, I dreamt of being married, having kids, being finished school and maybe owning a house but more than all that – being content with the life I was living. I can truthfully say that by the grace of God, the majority of my dreams have come true and for the ones that haven’t, I’m learning to grow in contentment (I mean who can honestly afford a house here in Vancouver?!?). I love this feeling of being settled into life, day to day life feels a little chaotic at times but we have a rhythm and it feels good.

    I don’t believe my life is about to become boring, in fact I feel the exact opposite. As I am just entering into parenting, I think my life is about to get a lot more interesting, busy and fuller – which I am excited about. I didn’t have kids to have them hurry up and grow up, I want to embrace all the fun, and the not so fun, days of raising them. I am excited to journey with Kyle as we become better companions, build more memories and love deeper. Thirty is a chance to cherish old friendships and make new ones.

    I’m looking forward to this next decade. Growing our family (no we’re not pregnant), raising the two amazing little boys I already have, going on amazing adventures with my hubby and continually loving the life God has given me.

    Cheers to thirty & all the fun it will be!

    Never stop adventuring!

  • marriage,  parenting

    One Month with Two

    As I sit down to write this my hair is a greasy mess tossed up into the classic mom bun, the kitchen a disaster and toys all over the floor but my oldest is sound asleep in his bed, my youngest asleep in my arms and my heart is full. 

    Nixon and Vanek are twelve months and eighteen days apart. Many people have asked if Vanek was a mistake or an ‘oops’. No he absolutely was not, Kyle and I both loved the idea of having our kids close together so we knew what we were doing after Nixon. Now this doesn’t mean that I’ve loved every minute of the past month. In fact Kyle & I’s go – to statement is ‘it gets better each day’. 

    The first few days home with both kids I vividly remember thinking that this was a mistake – and that was when Kyle was still off work helping everyone adjust! Now of course I didn’t actually think Vanek was a mistake, what I really meant was that life was hard. Over the past year I had developed a routine with Nixon, I knew when naps & eating needed to happen, when we could get out of the house and when I’d have some ‘me time’. All of that was gone. Nixon seemed to be completely thrown off by Vanek’s arrival – refusing to nap and being oddly defiant and extra needy. I had forgotten just how unpredictable newborns are. Not to mention trying to figure out breastfeeding, managing all the postpartum hormones and trying to heal. I missed easily getting out of the house to run errands or go to the park. The first time I left the house with both kids, by myself I think it took me forty-five minutes from getting ready to the car – and I had to take the kids to the car separately [Nixon doesn’t walk yet & I hadn’t mastered carrying both kids & the diaper bag]. I missed routine. It’s gotten better now, but admitting that life was hard was difficult, I wanted to prove [and still do] to people that having kids this close wasn’t a mistake and that I can manage it. I’m learning when to ask for help & thank God for all the help we’ve received. 

    I know it won’t always be hard. And I’m already seeing areas become easier. But more importantly I’m learning to have more grace for myself. My house will not be as tidy as it used to, I may not always finish the laundry in one day and some days leaving the house is simply not happening. But my babies will be fed, held [only made possible by Beluga Baby] & loved endlessly. 

    So yes, the first month with 2 babies has been tiring and hard but as I tuck them into bed each night I know that there is no other way I’d rather spend my days. 

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  • marriage,  parenting

    No Longer an Infant but Always My Baby

    A year ago today I was more exhausted than I thought possible as we fought to bring Nixon into this world. Today he turns one and I am full of every emotion possible. Watching your baby grow is one of life’s greatest gifts – because not only do you get to see them continually learn, you learn so much about yourself. I knew parenting was going to cause me to have to change but I wasn’t aware just how much.

    From the day Nixon was overdue I began learning to let go of the planning perfectionist in me – because he simply wasn’t having any of it. That lesson continued through trying to schedule plans around naps or even achieving certain milestones by a specific age that I had put so much of my parenting success on – he’s always had his own plan and is determined to stick to it.

    Being a mum has taught me to trust my gut feeling more than ever before. No one will ever know your child better than you do, therefore be your child’s best advocate. Sometimes that’s hard because it wasn’t what I planned or what society was telling me but in the end it always turned out better than I could have imagined.

    As Nixon has grown up he has always taught me how important it is to still find time for me. As he has become more independent I’ve already started to realize that he won’t need me forever and already needs me less in some ways and more in others. If I don’t keep time for myself – date nights with his dad, hobbies, friends etc. I will centre my world on him and that won’t be healthy for either of us.

    Most importantly, above all the growing both of us have done this year, becoming a mum has given me just a glimpse into the love God has for us. The minute I heard Nixon cry and he was laid on my chest my love for him, for Kyle, for our new family of three grew exponentially. No matter how long, tiring and frustrating the days are my love for Nixon never waivers and I can say without a doubt that I love him more today than I did a year ago in that hospital room.

     

    Nixon,

    You likely will never remember your first year but it will be a year I will never forget. You have been the answer to all my prayers of starting a family. You are a perfect mix of your dad and I; gentle and laid back but stubborn and determined. I could have never imagine all that I would have learned in just one year but every day bring new challenges and even greater rewards as I watch you grow into the handsome man God created you to be. My prayer for you is that you would never loose the wonder in your eyes, joy in your smile and love in your heart as you continue to explore the world around you.

    ‘I’ll love you forever,
    I’ll like you for always,
    As long as I’m living
    My baby you’ll be.’

    I couldn’t be more proud to be your mum – thank you for giving me such a gift.

    Happy Birthday Nix!

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  • marriage,  parenting

    Plagio – What?

    As a first time parent I desire to do everything perfectly for my child the problem is I don’t know everything [and I never will]. I am simply following the directions from people smarter than me and trying not to worry. However, from the day Nixon was born [almost a year ago…another blog post on that soon] he had a big head. He had a strong dislike for tummy-time and loved being swaddled to sleep; as a result he spent a lot of time on his back & the back of his head. By the time he was about seven months old we were told that he had Plagiocephaly – aka Flat Head Syndrome and would need an orthotic helmet to correct it. These words hit my mama heart hard. I kept thinking, ‘I’ve failed my son already, I didn’t work hard enough at tummy-time or play enough with him or read enough books on how to avoid this and now he’s going to look ridiculous and people are going to judge my parenting skills.’

    I remember crying the minute we left the appointment and immediately came home and googled this new word and all the images of baby’s with helmets, this did not help my anxiety. Regardless of my anxiety, I knew this was the best for Nixon and his development, so I had to put my pride away. I took him to get fitted [thankfully the helmets were smaller than the ones I had seen online] and a couple weeks later he started wearing it for 23 hours a day, for how long – we didn’t know.

    The first couple weeks I was very hesitant to take him out and was even defensive when people would look at him. I wanted to have a sign that read ‘just fixing my flat head, I’m still a normal boy’. As the weeks past I began to realize how much all of this was an issue with my insecurities rather than the reality that he simply had a flat head and that I should have been thankful for the technology to fix it! Once I let go of my pride and insecurities of what people thought about Nixon, I was able to just enjoy this season. I was able to explain to people with confidence when they asked or shrug off the rude comments [there were plenty. trust me].

    The best news came when we went for check-ups and we were told that his head was growing faster than most children his age which meant that he likely wouldn’t be needing his helmet full-time for much longer. Even though I had accepted the helmet and the good it was doing, I was glad to possibly getting rid of it. Within six weeks Nixon was needing to only wear it for long drives and when he slept [basically any extended time spent on the back of his head]. The doctor is extremely impressed with the growth and I can finally say that we are in the clear of needing the helmet.

    For Nixon, the helmet never bothered him, he went about it days as if nothing had changed and I wish I had that attitude from the beginning. However, this season was hard, harder than I wish to admit but it revealed a lot of insecurities and pride issues in my life and for that I’m grateful because through it all I’ve learnt to be a better person. Mum’s let’s be kind and encourage one another because you’re doing a great job no matter what your child faces, what milestones they’re reaching or aren’t reaching yet.

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    January 2017                                        April 2017                                       June 2017

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  • marriage,  parenting

    NYC Babymoon pt. 2

    It’s early in the morning here in Boston, but it’s April 3 which means that I did it. I made it seventeen nights & eighteen days away from Nixon – and yes the emotions are still mixed.

    Truthfully, I knew I would make it, the option of flying home wasn’t ever really on the table – unless an emergency came up, obviously. So the battle wasn’t “could I make it this long,” but “how would I handle it; would I enjoy the trip or merely get through it?” Honestly, there were bits of both – which was exactly what Kyle had expected.

    The hardest part was saying goodbye at the airport drop off. Even once we boarded the plane I kept thinking that if this plane doesn’t get airborne real quick I am going to simply get off and get back in the car with my baby. Once it took off I knew that there was no choice and that I was headed for the East Coast no matter what. I cried a decent amount of tears between drop off and flight. But once we landed there was no time for tears…it was stinkin’ cold [-15 plus windchill (in Celsius)] and figuring out where we were going and how we were getting there without freezing became my top priority.

    The days in New York went surprisingly well – we were busy sightseeing, eating ridiculously good food all the time and battling the winter weather (albeit it was clear and sunny so that was a bonus). The grandparents sent lots of pictures of Nixon smiling and having a good time so that helped reassure my mumma-heart. The hardest time was trying to FaceTime a couple nights in. Nixon lost his mind whenever we would talk to him – or simply talk in general. I tried to tell myself that it was just a new experience and that it’s odd for him but honestly it sucked that my baby cried when I tried to talk to him. So we ended that pretty quickly. Eventually, by about day ten he loved FaceTime, we were able to laugh, and smile and have funny conversations – it was the best.

    As our time in NYC wound down, I knew it was going to be a little harder to keep my mind occupied because our days simply weren’t as full. Nonetheless, once again, they have gone better than expected. Kyle and I have had great conversations, even come to just enjoy each other’s silence and tried our best to take in as much of the East Coast as possible – it’s stunning here.

    My conclusion on the trip: it was amazing, I am honestly very thankful for this time away of having dream-filled conversations over yummy breakfasts, sleeping in, leaving the house relatively quickly (& with just a purse- hallelujah!), and even spending time just enjoying being pregnant again. Would I do it again? Yes, BUT probably not as long. I am a homebody (unless I’m on a beach somewhere with glorious warm, sunny weather) and by about day ten I was missing just being home. I found myself easily frustrated for no apparent reason until I stopped and realized it was simply because I missed Nixon and missed our routine.

    New York City, Washington, Lynchburg, New Jersey and Boston [and every small town in between] you are truly amazing and if your climate was a little closer to SoCal I’d move here in a heartbeat because the character of your cities is magical. However, I’m stoked to be getting on a plane in 10 hours to head home and see my handsome baby!

    xoxo

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  • marriage

    NYC Babymoon pt. 1

     

    We’re about to leave on vacation to NYC and the surrounding area for three weeks- most people would be ecstatic right? Well, I’m sitting in the SeaTac airport sobbing while Kyle continually comforts me and tells me that it’ll be okay and Nixon will have a great time with his grandparents while we’re away. Yes, we’re headed on a holiday for three weeks without our baby and here’s a little bit about what’s gone down in the weeks leading up to it.

    When we first planned to go to New York we fully intended to bring Nix with us, because in my eyes there wasn’t another option – mama bear does not leave her cub behind. As the trip planning continued, we realized just how much work it was going to be to travel about with an eight month old who still needs consistent naps, meals along with a bunch more stuff [& Nixon is a super easy going baby but some things you just can’t avoid]. Kyle suggested leaving Nixon with his grandparents for the duration of the trip. I think my heart stopped beating for a minute but deep down I knew that he was likely right and that would probably be our best option. Lucky for Kyle and I, we have amazing family around who have graciously stepped up to take him.

    My logic and emotions continued to run in opposite directions on this for weeks to come, which meant a lot of tears. At one point I had to apologize to Kyle because I had started to resent him for suggesting to leave Nixon behind and irrationally thinking it meant he loved him less than I do because I would have sucked it up and brought him. I have spent nearly every day for the past eight months watching this little boy smile, learn to play, laugh, sleep and everything in between. I honestly didn’t [and still don’t] know how I am going to make it three weeks without being there to hold him when he cries or pick him up and give him a hug when I want. Kyle has continually sympathized with my feelings, but men generally don’t have the same emotional attachment as women do and that’s okay [not to mention being pregnant added a whole other level of emotions].

    I had a list of semi-irrational ‘what-if’ fears I replayed; what if he learns to crawl while I’m not there [or reaches any other milestone for that matter]? What if he forgets who I am? What if he won’t calm down because we aren’t there? What if something is off with his routine and no one has a mother’s instinct because I’m not around? What if our plane crashes? The list went on. Each time I did this I had to be reminded that I’m not in control, God is, the family watching him has raised children before and they know what they’re doing; there’s technology that allows us to see him and be in communication with family as much as I need [thank the GOOD LORD]. However, I still cried. A lot. Pretty much every night for the last two weeks.

    I’m still not sure how this trip will go, how much I will cry but I know that I can’t turn back now and that Nixon is in great hands. For now, I’m going to head to NYC with my husband and make the best of this NYC babymoon.

     

    P.S.  I’ll write an update when we get back on how it all went- if I don’t fly home early for cuddles!

    xoxo

    photo: the koebels

     


     

  • marriage,  parenting

    Conception deception

    I’ve been a mum to Nixon for six months now. Crazy. Crazy how time flies, but even more crazy that such a little person can teach me so much. This boy has challenged me in every possible way, pushed me to limits I didn’t know I had, helped me see joy in the most mundane of days but one thing he hasn’t done is changed my identity and that is because I refuse to let him.

    Being a mum is all things amazing and wonderful but it’s HARD. It’s hard physically, it’s even harder emotionally and that is why I wanted to write a word of been-there advice for women wanting to become a mum. As more and more of our friends start to ponder the idea of starting a family I felt this post was necessary. I fully believe that God has called us to be mothers, it is woven into our very nature to nurture these tiny miracles but they are not to be idolized and having them is not a right of ours – they are GIFTS. This notion that we deserve to have babies comes from society’s idea that whatever we want we get and if we don’t then something is wrong because we must deserve it. If you believe that you deserve this baby then stop and check your heart because it’s selfish; I have to do it daily. God owes us nothing, yet He gives us breath each day and how much greater joy is that of having a baby. Please, please stop with this mentality. From the moment God decides to give you and your husband a baby it is His and will remain His for the entirety of your child’s life. Everyday I remind myself that I have been given Nixon by God, he’s mine temporarily but He has always been and always will be God’s – end of story.

    Even before trying to conceive I believe there are crucial steps to take. Talk honestly with your husband about his feelings towards starting a family. This doesn’t mean projecting your desires on him and hoping he agrees but being willing to truly listen and possibly compromise if the two of you don’t agree. If he truly doesn’t want a child yet are you willing to respect his wishes and wait or are you going to try to convince him otherwise? Take an honest look at the state of your marriage. Do you and your significant other do life well together? Do you love each other well? Do you love the other person sacrificially? If it’s a struggle now it’s not any easier when you’re tired, frustrated and busy with the needs of a tiny one. Do you serve the church well? Do you have a strong independent relationship with God? Do you also have a good marital relationship with God? Can you discuss your faith openly with your husband? Do you discuss your faith openly with your husband? In other words, is God the head of your household? Are both of you praying about it? Ask God if this is His timing or not and to bring other couples into your life (because trust me you’re going to need mom & dad friends). More practically, ask your mentors or people whose opinions you value if they think you’re ready and if they think your marriage can handle it. Again, you may not like the answer you get but humble yourself when receiving it and seriously consider it because they only want the best for you and your future family. Pray about it alone, tell God your desires but don’t demand a baby of Him – last time I checked He has never worked on our schedule. Remember that this baby would be to glorify Him, not you. Once again with all of this praying you need to be open to God’s honest answer, even if it hurts and means waiting. Finances, please take an honest look at your finances to see if adding another family member is a good idea. Now on that note, having a baby does not need to cost a lot of money if you’re willing to take things second-hand. Be mindful of what your child needs vs what you want your child to have. Kyle and I used Craigslist for a majority of our purchases and six months later I wouldn’t do it any different!

    As a woman there is a lot we need to consider before having a baby. Are we healthy enough for it? Are there any health issues that might mean waiting is a better plan? An easy way to do this is to have a discussion with your doctor about if you’re healthy enough to get pregnant. Not just for you but for your baby. Any parent wants to give the best to their child and that includes from the very beginning. Being healthy (and in good shape) has more of an impact than I anticipated and I can tell you that I paid for it during my labour. Be active, eat well, drink lots of water – all the things everyone is telling you because if it’s important to your health it’s even more important when growing another human! This includes taking a prenatal vitamin for a minimum of one month prior to attempting to conceive as recommended by most doctors. Here’s something I didn’t consider when having a baby, how comfortable am I with my body and giving it to my husband? Struggling with that pre-baby only makes it a challenge as your body changes to accommodate a growing baby and post-baby…a nightmare. Now none of this was a result of how my husband saw me but how I saw myself. Do you have grace for yourself? Do you love your body the way God created it and if you don’t, do you have the determination to do something about it? Putting off what is rightfully your husbands because you feel ‘undesirable, fat, large, huge, etc.’ is a sin and will cause more sin in your marriage.

    Once this child is born your life is changed,  but please do not let it change your identity. You need to remember that God created you for a unique purpose, part of that purpose is mothering – no doubt. But that’s not all. If that was all I would go crazy at home, my world would revolve around Nixon 24/7 and that is not biblical. You need your own hobbies, your own friends, your own time out to do non-mum things. Do I love being a mum? 100%, but I am growing more and more thankful that God didn’t create me just to do that and that He is creative enough to give me other passions like teaching, writing and trying new things. Only recently (I mean in the last two weeks) have I learnt the importance of ‘me’ time during the day. Sometimes that means attempting calligraphy, sometimes reading, sometimes taking a nap but it is always time with God and always a break from the laundry, cooking, cleaning and pouring out of myself. By no means do I have my life all together and you don’t have to either but these are lessons learned about this I wish I had done before conceiving and things that hopefully will put you in a better place before adding a child to your marriage and things I will continue to work on forever. Mums-to-be, if you think that adding a baby to the family is going to fill a void in you, solve your marriage problems and complete your identity then I warn you with all the love I have, be wary of the idols you have in your life because the solution is more God not another human.

     

  • marriage

    One Year

    These past few weeks I have been feeling more nostalgic than usual, thinking back on the last fifty two weeks and the fact that I’ve been a mum for a full year.

    On Thursday October 29, 2015 Kyle and I had just returned from California and were busy unpacking, doing laundry- Kyle had decided he was going to do a short workout (7 minutes to be exact) and asked if I wanted to join…I figured he was a great opportunity to do the test so I passed on the workout. I don’t think the possible outcome of being pregnant had sunk in because when the two very dark pink lines appeared, I nearly fainted. I had no plan on how to tell Kyle so I took 2 more tests because I had to be positive- same 2 dark pink lines appeared almost immediately…it was for sure. I didn’t have much time so  I grabbed a piece of paper, a blue and pink felt, wrote an eviction notice and placed it in his underwear drawer along it the test. Now the time it took him to find it and read it was the longest few minutes of my life. Once he clued in we were both over the moon, celebrated and then Kyle had to go to work. But what a wonderful welcome home gift it was!

    Over the next forty-one weeks I found myself loving this little person more than I knew possible. Even though Nixon was only born almost four months ago, I believe my role as a mother began when he was conceived. The strongest instinct that I found I had toward this child was to protect it from everything and to make sure that he knew he was loved. Now for the first nine months that meant every decision went through an extra filter of, ‘is it beneficial for the baby?’ What a wonderful gift those nine months are. As difficult as some moments were, it was the beginning of learning what it was going to mean to sacrifice for this baby- and it was worth every bout of sickness, every back ache and every sleepless night.

    Once Nixon was born my world was shaken once again, nothing had prepared me for the work it was going to be to bring Nixon here or the work the next few weeks & months were going to be. It was the biggest lesson in sacrificial love, loving others when they can’t repay you and putting his needs before my own. Nixon is a pretty easy going baby but that does not mean that I am able to keep up with the house work, shower and do my hair as often as I used to, or accomplish all those newborn DIY projects I had planned.

    Slowly, I am learning that it’s okay to not accomplish everything. Instead of vacuuming I sit and watch him sleep because he is changing incredibly fast. Instead of checking social media, I talk with him because he mimics the sounds I make and they are adorable. Instead of making my home ‘Pinterest perfect’, we go for walks because the world is an incredible place and I want him to experience as much of it as possible. Now hear me when I say that a clean house, social media and DIY’s are not bad things and if you can do it all a huge props to you and I would love your advice!

    For me, being a mom for a year can be summed up in this- imperfect attempts at finding balance. Some weeks, days, hours even minutes seems like heaven on earth and when they don’t there’s grace & thank goodness for that.

     

     

  • marriage,  parenting

    Waiting Well

    For those of you wanting a post about how to wait well, this isn’t it. This is about how I’ve waited poorly and what my gracious God is teaching me through it all.

    This all began about a year ago when Kyle and I decided to start trying for a child. The doctor said it would likely take between three to six months for us to conceive but I still assumed that we would be the exception. Sure enough when we didn’t get pregnant on the first try I was devastated. I spent the night sobbing uncontrollably and being extremely frustrated with God. All sorts of questions ran through my mind, some reasonable and quite frankly most of them ridiculous.  Kyle kindly reminded me that it was a very slim chance that it would have happened right away and that this was in no way indicative of the future. He also called me out for thinking that God should just give me such an amazing gift. Never once had it crossed my mind that I didn’t deserve to be a parent, it’s what I wanted and therefore I should get it. Realizing this attitude of entitlement that I had developed was shocking to me. I wasn’t raised this way but it was how I acted with God so many times without realizing it. Needless to say I repented and worked on having a thankful heart. The waiting was hard even with the attitude adjustment. Once I decided to surrender to the fact that God is still good, still sovereign and still worth following regardless of whether He gave us a child or not, was when I found peace and when we actually conceived. But first I had to let go of what I assumed I was owed.

    Nine months, forty weeks, two hundred and eighty days or six thousand seven hundred and twenty minutes; however you want to look at it, a full term pregnancy is a long time. For me some days & weeks seemed to fly by, and others crawled on but my goal was always to hit that magic due date and no more. Now here’s the funny thing, when you get a due date the doctors call it an EDD…estimated delivery date. But all I heard was delivery date, intentionally leaving out the very important part of estimated. I knew that many babies come after their due date but I was determined that mine would not. You would think that I would have learned my lesson earlier that I am entitled to nothing and that ultimately God’s plan will prevail and it is always for the better; not so much. I’d been counting down the days until we were full term and labour was considered safe, even began hoping [dramatically hoping] that this little one would make his or her entrance early. Convinced that I would not be having a late baby I began to grow even more impatient as forty weeks grew closer and nothing seemed to be changing.

    Well the due date has come and gone and here I sit, still very much pregnant and still very impatient. I find myself lacking joy and failing to praise God that we have a healthy, full term baby, choosing instead to focus on what I don’t have- which is this baby in my arms when I want it. As I ponder those thoughts I realize that I am assuming I have a right to decide when God gives me His gift. Once again this sense of entitlement has crept it’s way back along with frustration, anger and impatience. Even as I write this those feelings are very much present but I am also reminded that those are not attitudes God has called me to live by. Certainly not the attitude of someone who has been given such an amazing gift. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have the secret or the ten tips on how to wait well, but I do know that I need to do better. I know I can pray to a God who is understanding, read the verses that remind me who has ordained this babes first day, sing praises even when I want to do cry, and I have the ability to choose joy when I feel frustrated because I have an abundance to be thankful for.

    Whether or not I need to wait is beyond my control, but what is in my control is how I wait. As the hours & days carry on I am going to make a conscious effort to wait well- wait with praise & joy for the gift that is on it’s way.