Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the ten things we want to teach our children

drew and i made  a list the other night, of ten things we want to pray for and instill in our children (don't worry, just one for now, i am NOT pregnant!). when you're raising children, particularly little ones, it's hard sometimes to focus on the bigger picture. it's hard to think about morals and manners and values when your days feel like endless runny noses and diapers and teething, but it's important. so important.
here's the list we came up with:

1) A love for Jesus and His people: a heart for serving and loving others, and a love for the church and it's people. Emmersyn is so blessed to have a church full of amazing people who all love her and pray for her and are modeling Christ-like service for her. Especially in her dad and Papa, who are usually first to the church to set-up, and last to leave after tear-down.

2) Manners and good attitudes: No whining! Nothing is worse than children who constantly whine and interrupt! I cannot count the times at some events when I am talking to someone, and their child comes up and screams in our faces, "MOM, MOMMY, MAMA! MOOOOM!!" it's awful.  We are already working with emmy on having a good attitude....lately she has been arching her back and screaming when we put her in the carseat...this is a good opportunity to gently instruct her to wait until she is buckled in.We expect good behavior, not perfection (kids need age appropriate expectations!). We know Emmersyn is capable of a happy attitude and a short attention span. We expect her to be happy during worship at church, but not to sit through a sermon. Age appropriate is key.

3) That we love her, and we will love the things she loves: No matter what path she chooses for a career or hobbies, we will invest in it 100%. Ballet, music, whatever. We will be there, cheering her on. We will also expect her to stick with the things she loves, and we will invest in those things, whether monetary or time. I love the chapter on this in the book "Growing Great Kids". I highly recommend it.

4) We love her, but we love Jesus first, and each other more. We will protect our marriage fiercely. Lord willing, we will weather storms together, as a team, and we will model a picture of Christ and His church in our marriage. We will not let our children divide us, be it regarding discipline, or simply our time. My parents have been married 33 years, and I think I maybe saw them argue once. I know they surely did, but they never let it interfere with us, or split them apart.

5) Empathy: That everyone is coming from a different perspective, and looking at things objectively will save them a lot of grief. (Emmersyn's dad is much better at this than me!)

6) A love for the arts: I grew up in a home where classical music was valued and impressed upon us. I am glad that I played the piano for 9 years, and thankful that my parents played lots of Mozart and Beethoven for us in our growing-up years. My parents pushed us to practice and practice, and even though i didn't love it then, now i know my love for music began there.

7) Responsibility; We will love our children, and provide for all their needs, but they will need to work for the things they want as well. My parents had a half/half philosophy when we were in high school and college, that they would help us with half of a large purchase like a car, but we needed to work to earn the rest.

8) A constant love for learning: Drew's dad is probably the best example of this; he is always looking for an opportunity to teach. Drew has inherited this wonderful characteristic, and I know that our children will love to learn if they're anything like their dad (I also pray they have his sense of direction, and his ability to do math, unlike me!)

9) The love for making a home beautiful: My mom taught us to cook, sew, iron, and clean. I take great joy in keeping up my house, and making it a beautiful place to live. We don't have a ton of extra money to invest in fancy stuff right now, since we are in a rental home, but I keep plenty of photo frames, and fresh flowers in our home. I don't let the house stay messy, and I enjoy being home, where we feel most comfortable. I have a newfound love of cooking, and try to make dinner 6 nights a week. I'm so thankful my mom instilled a love for homemaking in me, and i hope our children learn these skills.

10) A good friend: Both Drew and I have been blessed with lifelong friends in Wes and Teresa. Wes has been Drew's lifelong friend, and has become like family to me as well. Teresa has been my friend for over 16 years, and has stood by me in good times and bad. I pray our children find those people who they will share their hearts with, and who will move them to be more like Jesus.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the line between lazy and mercy

today was one of those days...when "tired mommy" won out over "joyful, patient, fun mommy." after a scary, traumatic fall down the stairs on sunday (and really injuring/bruising my back), i have fallen behind in work and also household tasks, and today i felt overwhelmed by the amount of both that demanded my time. people always comment how nice it must be to work from home. don't get me wrong, i am so THANKFUL to be able to stay home with my Emmy, but its definitely not as easy as it sounds.

if we're being honest...i crave leaving the house to go to an office sometimes. 

because at home, it's not just working from home, and hanging out the rest of the time. i don't get to go to work and avoid housework and errands all day. and honestly, that sounds pretty nice sometimes. my day....it starts with dishes, snuggles, and breakfast, and melds into a blur of diapers and laundry and emails and work and client phone calls and dinner and grocery shopping and errands and bath time. it's hard. really hard. way harder than i ever imagined it would be. i'm full time mama, full time wife, full time manager, full time publicist, and still studying for my NCLEX re-take.

i'm tired. 

but, i also know that sitting around will only make me feel worse and fall more behind. i owe it to my clients and myself to get it together. there's a fine line between giving yourself grace and becoming lazy. for example, we ate leftovers the day i injured my back. that's giving myself grace...but eating out all week and not cooking at all...thats being plain lazy, especially when our fridge is stocked and i've meal planned.

i've recently taken part in a program that a mommy blogger set up, all about organizing your home and life, that you might become better stewards of your money AND your time. it's been amazing. with the help of the guidelines, here's the standards we've set for our family during the week

1) i get dressed and put a little makeup on every day, even when i don't leave the house now. no leaving in yoga pants or workout gear. (this is hard when we don't leave the house, but i know it really does make me accomplish more when i'm not in pajamas.)

2) meal plan every week. this is the absolute biggest struggle, but i've saved over 150-200 dollars off our grocery bill each month, so i push on. i force myself to sit down on sundays and meal plan each week. we eat out only once a week on date night, and i only shop once a week...those little trips to the store absolutely destroy any kind of budget...

3) get up before emmy and read my bible/devotions. my mom got me a great little devotional called "jesus calling" and it has a little reading and a few verses to accompany. it's short and beautiful and allows me to get going with the Lord even when i only have a few minutes before she wakes at 9. 

4) work out or exercise once a day. i walk with Emmy every day...it's hard to fit it in, but she LOVES it, and its nice to get fresh air! even if we only walk to dutch brothers :)

5) get the baby on a great schedule for learning. drew and i are big proponents of beginning to teach Emmy early on. i devote much of my day to teaching her, even though she is only five months old. we really want to homeschool later, but its never too early to begin teaching, in my opinion. i do thirty minutes of reading with her each day, i show her all the fruits and vegetables in the store when we shop, and i have stopped using my iPhone when she's awake at all. We also listen to ALOT of music in our home...emmy loves music and so do i! 

Anyways, all those new things have left me exhausted. i'm "tired mommy." so this week, i'm accepting that it just can't all happen. and that's okay. i'm not being lazy...but i am exhausted.

the Lord grants us enough strength to rest in His mercy. so rest i will. thank you Lord for a new day. He is enough. He is enough. He is enough. 

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Cor. 12:9


If you're a work from home or working mommy...how do you get it all done? When do you draw the line between lazy and mercy? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012


it's June! we have a five month old little girl! life is going by much too fast. our little sweetie pie is growing like a weed, fitting in all her 6 mos clothes, and almost growing out of some! Emmy is talking, saying "mama", "bye" and "hi". her little voice is absolutely the greatest thing i have ever heard. the other day, we were driving, and she said "hi mama!" from the backseat. She is also rolling over, both ways, and giggling about everything.

Emmy is now sleeping 11-12 hours a night! it's absolutely glorious to not wake up in the middle of the night or even the early evening. i thank the Lord daily for a baby who loves to sleep. i'm so thankful we did the "baby whisperer" program...it's not for everyone, but it's worked fabulously for us. Emmy is a blessing, and i learn more every day as her mama.

Drew received a promotion at work recently...i am so proud of him. he also celebrated his 25th birthday with friends and family, and a special surprise visit from his dad, John. Drew is very much like his father; who is a sweet and Godly man...i am very thankful for him. Emmersyn loved her grandaddy, and had lots of fun playing with him when he was here. Drew's dad said he has never seen Drew "more happy than now", and thanked me for taking care of his son and granddaughter...so sweet, it moved me to tears.

As a family, we have kept very busy, we drove to crater lake last week, housesat, had a birthday party, and have many more events coming up this summer! Emmy is great, portable, and sweet, so we have kept up all our regular activities since she was born (to everyone who thinks your life is "over" when you have a child, it's not...it's incredibly fun and joyful!), including full night's sleep! :) I signed a brand new artist, burning Cypress, who I'm excited to introduce to everyone very soon.

God is so good, we are ever thankful!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

the unfinished canvas

on september 24, 2011, my friend Sara went to be with Jesus. Her joy, courage, and peace continue to inspire me and many others, even in the months since she passed away.

my husband and i were married december 11, 2010, and my sweet friend was working on a canvas last february for our wedding gift.

she never got to finish it.

see, her illness took over during most of 2011, and she had to set aside much of her painting and creating...at least in the physical sense. she kept creating, kept loving, kept painting a canvas of joy with her life. she apologized several times for never finishing our wedding canvas, but i didn't mind. it didn't matter. i wonder, sometimes, about what she was painting, which part of her beauty she had splashed onto that canvas, and it keeps her memory alive to me. sara lived so well, and sometimes i can't help but picture her life like the unfinished canvas that she never got to complete. it makes me sad to wonder what else she might have done with her beautiful personality. but then i remember that someday, when the Lord takes me Home for Good, i'll get to ask her what that canvas would have been, and i know it was complete in the eyes of it's creator. 

and that's what Sara's life was like in the eyes of Jesus. it was Complete in the eyes of her Creator. 

how beautiful to think about that. The Lord has seen the whole picture. the whole canvas. it looks so empty, so not-enough to us, but to Him, to the Creator of the beauty, it's done.

Sara, i can't wait to hear about my wedding canvas. 

Happy birthday, friend. Enjoy it with your Saviour!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

i'm her mama.

i had a job interview this morning; for an amazing job as a clinic nurse. it was a job i had seen previously available, and hoped to apply in the future. working under a very renowned surgeon, full benefits, pay almost double what i was making previously, and a beautiful clinic with a pleasant staff. i was thrilled! i love the O.R., and was so excited to think that i'd be able to scrub in on very exciting surgeries and procedures. the interview went very well, so well that the office was prepared to offer me the position tomorrow. to think, i would be working under one of the best surgeons in the nation!  things were going great, right up until the woman mentioned that it was  36 hours a week. because it was listed as part time, i didn't realize it was still four days a week. so i turned down the job, The Job, my dream job. 

Because i'm a mama. Her mama. and i love being her mama.

i get paid in giggles and smiles and when she wraps her hands around my neck, my world stops.

i admit, i cried a little bit after i turned down that job, but i cried harder when i thought about leaving my baby for almost every hour she's awake during the daytime. (by the way, i am so blessed to be a stay at home mama. for this season in our lives, i am able to be her mama full time. i am so proud of my husband, who works so hard so i can stay home. he received a raise and promotion at work, and i know it reflects the hard work he has put into his job, even when its not the easiest work.)

see, i miss my days of working; i was good at my job. but i've realized much of it was so gratifying. when i did  a great job, i was commended. recognized. thanked. 

now, when i do a "great job", it means that instead of numerical data and statistics that show i am succeeding, i have dinner on the table and a clean floor. it means my husband comes home to a happy baby and a wife who managed to get makeup and clean clothes on. not every day is "great"...most days my husband comes home to a wife who smells slightly of spit up, or a baby who is whining because i'm trying to juggle making dinner and holding her. there are no "raises", or "promotions" in my new job, at this mysterious calling of being a mom. some days are thankless, tiresome battles with a tiny little girl who doesn't want to nap.

but every day...every single day, i get to be her mom! and she amazes me. my days of office work are behind me for now...i don't get to wear high heels and pretty outfits and sit at my desk and be "important" in the eyes of the world. i haven't touched the inside of an OR or scrubbed in alongside a big-shot doctor in a year now. i miss it sometimes.

but the tiny arms that wrap around my neck? the sweet, kissable cheeks? the giggles that greet me each morning? it's the Lord's way of reminding me that i'm important to Him, i'm important to my husband, i'm important to Emmersyn.

i'm her mama.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

5 Things Every New Mama Will Love!

Being a busy mama means that I LOVE anything that helps me manage my time better, or make my life more organized. Since having the little one, I've found there are a few things I absolutely love. I've had a few friends asking about what I liked/didn't like/didn't use, so here's the list!

I have really expanded my cooking repertoire with this website. It has a HUGE list of recipes. Some are NOT healthy, and I skip those, but for the most part, they have ingredients that can be subbed out for healthier fare. I always sub brown rice for white, and throw in veggies, etc. The site also has ready made meal plans for a week, but since I don't like all the recipes for a whole week, I don't use that part. But just having such a great "recipe box" has been so helpful. I was back to cooking at week 2, but only easy meals, and this helped sooo much.

2) The Medela Double Electric Pump!
Oh, how I love this pump! As weird as it sounds, this thing saved me from some miserable nursing complications at the very beginning. Thanks to the pump, I was nursing with no problems by day four, and it got me through mastitis as well. We got it used, but bought all new tubes/sterilized all the parts, etc. Ended up being under 100$ for all the parts plus the used pump. It's FAST (2-5 minutes for a 3 oz bottle for me), and gentle.
Buy it here.

3) This workout DVD!
I gained an abysmal amount of weight with Emmy-Grace...I was absolutely terrified after I had her; that I'd never lose it. Thankfully, a lot was water, and I dropped all but 10 pounds within two weeks simply from nursing! The last ten have been a real pain, but I have just 5 more to go, and am now right back in my pre pregnancy sizes! This DVD was a lifesaver, I've been doing it at home and it keeps me right on track for my goals. Chris Powell is a little too perky sometimes, but it does keep you motivated...to be done haha ;) *Don't start exercising without your doctor's consent, I started at 2 weeks post partum, but you may need to wait until week 6.

4) Stretch Mark Cream by Mederma
I was given this by a friend and it's AMAZING. Because I gained so much weight, and then dropped it so fast, I was left with some nasty stretch marks across my tummy. This cream has almost removed them completely! Well worth the $$. Use it after a shower/hot bath. Available on Amazon and Target.
Buy it here.

5) The Ergo by Petunia Pickle Bottom!
A girl at Drew's work recommended the Petunia line to me, and I was overjoyed to find the Ergo in the pretty Petunia print! Emmersyn adores the Ergo, and it has SAVED MY BACK. I have had tremendous back pain since about 32 weeks pregnant, and the Ergo is the one and only thing I can carry emmy in that I have good posture and no back pain in.

5) Nursing cover

My sister makes these beautiful covers, and I've used it EVERY SINGLE DAY. They have a plastic band so you can see your little one without exposing yourself to the world. The one I have is lightweight, folds up really small, and is a pretty way to cover up. They are pretty similar to these. My sister makes beautiful covers from pretty prints. They are washable and dry up great in the dryer, which makes for easy clean up from spit up! Contact me if you want a custom one.

12 weeks old!

How can it really have been 12 weeks since this precious girl entered our lives? Everyone was right; it goes by way too fast. She is growing up right before our eyes.

Here are some highlights of her sweet growth and learning:

-Finally outgrowing newborn diapers (not sure why it took so long, but I think it may have been that I hadn't noticed they were so small. Oops! :)

-Wearing 0-3 month jammies and clothes.

-Sitting in the Bumbo like a big girl! We just got this, and she really likes it.

-Sleep: 9-10 hours a night, five 1.5 hour naps a day, self soothing in her own crib. Absolutely silent bedtimes, and her ability to put herself right to bed without rocking or nursing to sleep is amazing...she's been pretty much doing that from the start!

-Seeing Grandma and Papa every Tuesday while mommy and daddy go on a date, and having fun babysitters like Miss Emily, and "Uncle" Brent and Debbie.

-Still trying to roll over, but not quite interested in it yet, just wiggling.

-Entertaining everyone, everywhere we go. Target, grocery store, Starbucks. (It's pretty sad when the barista knows your kid...). Singing and talking to herself loudly attracts quite a lot of admirers.

-Being an overall giggly, happy, content baby! She is so easy and fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

on baby wise and sleep

our precious girl...eleven weeks already. can't believe it.

adjusting to being a mama has been hard but so incredibly worthwhile. i am so thankful to have a husband who supports me working or staying at home, and who encourages me to pursue motherhood and my career. we are both grateful that i can stay home full time right now with Em, since we both believe these are formative months, and it's important that i be the one teaching and bonding with her. she is precious, and i love being her mama.

the very best part of having her is having the peaceful sleep schedule that she has. before she was born, everyone joked that we would never get sleep and it became very discouraging as we approached her birth. this has absolutely not been the case at all, and i am SO thankful for the mamas who assured me that a schedule was both doable and would create peace for our whole family. people often ask me, "how i did it", and i have to say, the Lord has been especially gracious giving us a little one who LOVES sleep, and who is happy and compliant. i am NOT an expert by any stretch of the imagination. i read A LOT before she was born, and sought the advice from mamas who had babies who slept well.

i am so thankful for my friend Cathi, who recommended the baby wise method of sleep training to me. this method has gotten some controversy attached to it recently, and i will say if your child is not gaining weight, is a preemie, or has trouble nursing, this should be discussed with your care provider. the controversy stems from many parents doing baby wise incorrectly; and watching the clock instead of actually reading the book and learning your child's cues. you have to always put your child's immediate needs ahead of the "schedule', no matter what. i believe that there are families who do attachment parenting who have wonderful children and are good parents, but for us, baby wise works. for our lives, we need a schedule. every child is different and every parent needs to make that decision on their own, for their child.

Emmy wakes up at 9:30am for her first feed, then stays awake and plays for an hour, then lays down for a 1.5 hour nap. this cycle is repeated through the day until her bedtime at 10pm, when she sleeps through the night. She wakes from her nap early sometimes, and if she is hungry, i feed her. but normally, she just sleeps right up til her next feed. this cycle has made her into a happy, content baby who is cheerful in the awake time, and puts herself to bed without any crying for naps. she never slept in our bed, and moved from her bassinet to her own crib at 2 weeks old, and has slept there very happily ever since. contrary to public belief, baby wise is NOT about abandoning or neglecting your child (in fact, it's the opposite) when the child is seeing a regular pediatrician, is growing healthily, and parents pay attention to the cues. the articles that have misleading information (and that were forwarded to me about 18 times before we had the baby) are not research based, nor even medically factual. emmersyn is gaining weight appropriately, and is developmentally ahead of her age.

what i am most thankful for is the absolute PEACE that this has brought our family. i know when she will be awake, when she will be asleep, and can therefore enjoy her awake time without being tired or stressed out. it makes me a much happier healthier mama. it also allows me to have about four naps worth of time to get the house cleaned, make meals, do laundry, see friends, and work from home. MOST IMPORTANTLY, she is well rested. her good rest enables her to be alert and happy during awake time, and more able to learn and develop during our activities during the day. she has 15 minutes of independent play per hour of awake time, and we do tummy time and reading and a walk every day. TO OTHER NEW MOMS: you can do this! it's not impossible. it's hard but completely manageable.

Here's the books that helped me:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

why my two month old gets an easter basket

it's no secret that i LOVE holidays. it's sad, really, my love for holidays. i get really excited about stuff like matching outfits (and yes, we will be color coordinated for Easter, in case you were wondering). a silly dream i have had was getting to buy those beautiful Easter dresses for my daughter, and this year, i finally got to! Emmersyn's beautiful Gymboree dress is absolutely gorgeous and has a giant hat to accompany it. (I can't really see a whole lot of her face under the hat, to be honest).

my husband and i got her a little pink Easter basket this year, tinged with yellow and green, and waiting to be filled with all kinds of little girl toys. i know that she is tiny, unaware of what Easter is, and she probably won't care when we prop her up with her basket for photos. but it's about more than the Easter basket. its about parenting intentionally, about creating family memories from the moment she was born.

when we married in december of 2010, the pastor who did our counseling gave us a book to read together called, "Loving Your Kids on Purpose", in order to discuss parenting before we got married and had children. i love this book. while we didn't agree with it 100%, we loved the idea behind parenting with intention, and not "on accident". my husband and i also agree with a lot of mark driscoll's parenting philosophies (though not always his delivery of them), about creating a fun, joy-filled and family centered life for our children. Driscoll says that we need to,
"create an environment where Jesus is celebrated. Salvation is beautiful. It is something to be cherished and rejoiced in. Creating intentional, fun-filled holiday memories can be part of that, particularly at Easter and Christmas, when the birth and resurrection of Jesus are to be rejoiced over with our children. We can leave them a spiritual legacy through this".

Driscoll particularly challenges fathers to step up and make intentional parenting decisions for their children, rather than looking backwards and realizing that it's been too long and now the children are grown. Drew reads to Emmy every night. Does she understand? Possibly, but it's more about creating that environment of learning and love, an environment where her daddy will take time to read to her above all the other things he needs to do. I remember my dad reading to us almost every single night when we were little, and i cherish those memories to this day. We read narnia, patricia st. john books, and little house on the prairie...night after night.
we are by no means expert parents, but we are trying to start early with our Em; setting aside time each day for reading, music, playtime, praying, and time together as a family. She is still so tiny, just eleven weeks, but I know that starting these habits early will help shape the legacy we will leave her when she is grown.

so she will get an Easter basket this year and we will rejoice in the resurrection of our Saviour with our little one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 2012

Our sweet Emmy Grace is 2 months old! She is so precious, and learning all kinds of exciting things. We have definitely become "those" parents, who think everything their child does is brilliant. :)
Emmy is trying to roll over, and when she plays on the floor, she tries to swing her right arm around to roll over! She hasn't succeeded yet, but she is sure trying.
We have reached the independent play age, and she is doing great. I lay her on her playmat for 15 minutes per every hour of awake time, and she is reaching and grabbing for toys.
She also has "tummy time" for 10-15 minutes a day, and is holding her head up and tracking me with her eyes when I walk around the house. We are so pleased to see her developing and growing so healthily.
Best of all, she is sleeping beautifully. She sleeps from 10pm-7:30 or 8am without waking up once. we start our day together around 9:30, and I do baby wise cycles with her (eat, awake for 1 hour, sleep for 1 1/2hours) all day until 7, when she has a bath before her nap. At ten, we wake her for the last time, swaddle, and have a bedtime story with her daddy, then we all go to bed. I cannot tell you how wonderfully peaceful it has been since she has gotten the hang of her schedule, about five weeks ago. Drew and I are able to sleep 8-10 hours a night, and we all wake up rested and happy! I'm so thankful she is a fabulous napper and sleeper. Doing baby wise is very hard work at the beginning, but well worth the dedication. Now, I have resumed my normal life. I can go out with friends or shopping and she is perfectly happy and content, and sticks to her schedule wherever we are! It makes life so easy with her, and I know it makes me a "happy mama" and not grumpy mama!

I'm about to turn 24 (weird!) next week! Cannot believe I am married with a little one! Drew continues to love his job at Moto-Superstore, and I am grateful every day that I don't have to work outside our home right now. The moments with our daughter are precious, and I would have a really hard time being away from the little for these first months. Though it has been a REALLY hard adjustment being a stay at home mama (and some days, I admit, I don't enjoy it as much as I should), I remain thankful that I get to raise our little, and not leave her with anyone else all day long. I love that she recognizes me now, and smiles when I come to get her from her crib after naps or in the morning. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

We have discussed that I will most likely be going to work towards late summer, for maybe 5-6 days a month, maximum. This will help boost our student loan payments, and still allow me to be home 6 days a week with E. Right now, she keeps me plenty busy, and I have also recently taken on four new clients for Wonderment. I am excited about the growth of my company, as it allows me to contribute to paying down my student loans while still being at home. I love what I do; getting to be a part of these artist's journeys is amazing. We are so blessed to have a weekly date night still, every week, without E. We leave her with my parents, or family friends and she does great. It's so nice to spend time together to re-fuel and keep our marriage strong.

We feel so blessed to be parents, and blessed to have a happy, fun marriage. God is truly so good to us!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Our Emmy

Our little Emmy-bear is growing up so fast!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

heavenly work.

i emptied the dishwasher, changed my clothes twice, got the baby fed, into bed, and dressed.

that's what i got done yesterday. that, and ruining my good, expensive bath rugs in the wash.

i used to be a really productive person, i've worked since i was 16, and i now own my own company.

ask me who i am, and i'll tell you what i do.
i worked until i was 36 weeks pregnant, and i truly miss my job. i love work. i enjoy the structured schedule, the emails, the clerical work, the ringing phone. i find joy in work.
i'm a stay at home mom now, and i'd be lying if i said the transition has been easy. easing from the hustle and bustle of an office to constant time at home has felt like a deafening silence. i am working solely from home these days, often holding the baby and typing emails with one hand. i make phone calls during nap time, and eat smoothies and burritos because i can eat them fast while she is sleeping. some days, its a victory when i get makeup and clean clothes on and don't smell like spit-up. it's hard. i cannot define myself by what i do, because i am not doing more than keeping the baby and i clothed and fed most days!

but i read on a blog yesterday that this hard task, this day-consuming work of tending to my little one..it's heavenly work. it's not work praised by the world, or work that i can put on a resume. it's taking care of the least of these. i'm a mom now. i'm a wife and a full-time mommy and that's who i am.

and i was the first to fight that role before i had the baby. when i had her, i clarified, loudly, that i was still "working from home", lest anyone think that i was "just" being a mom. i said i wouldn't lose who i was before i had her, that i would keep my hair styled and not change my wardrobe and i would go back to work when she was 12 weeks old. and i was wrong. motherhood changes you whether you will it to or not. you become a person of more substance and more depth. sure, i still want to look nice and do my hair and wear makeup and do excellent work for my company. but i'm less selfish now...you can't be selfish when the baby is crying. you can't be selfish when you're changing diapers. you have to give and give and give and the baby can't really return any of it. i do feel some days like i've lost a little bit of who i was, but that's necessary. i still love time with my friends, i love getting out by myself and getting a babysitter so i can grab a starbucks. but it all matters less now, because i love my sweet daughter and i love being her mom. i believe i still can retain who i was, at least to a degree. i'll go back to work eventually, part time, but it doesn't really matter whether i'm working or not, because it doesn't define me. this is hard work, but its heavenly work because i depend every single day on others to help me. on my sweet husband, on my mom to help watch her when i have errands, on the guy at the grocery store to load my car, on others for meals and help and babysitters and errands. i can't do it alone. and it's heavenly work because i have to depend on the Lord. every single second.

if i am what i do, then what i do is very little according to my old standards. it's diapers and feeding and dishes. but i am not what i do.

i'm a mom. and a wife. and that is simply enough.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

welcome emmersyn!

it's incredibly hard to believe that three weeks has already gone by since we first met our sweet girl! she is so beautiful and healthy, and brings us such joy. i can hardly remember our lives before her.

The birth: I'll spare you the details, but labor was long and hard. as in, 27 hours hard. i went into labor at 5:30am on the 11th of January, and after an exhausting 23 hours, had not even progressed to halfway (5 cm). After threats of a c-section were looming, I had the epidural and progressed to 10 cm in four hours quickly (and mercifully painlessly). After only 20 minutes of pushing, our sweet girl was born, pink and screaming. I was very disappointed to have the epidural at first, but with all my other various complications, it was the safest, best decision and prevented me from having a c-section, for which i am really grateful. Emmersyn was born at 8:23am on January 12th, and immediately nursed and slept. We spent two days in the hospital recovering (and racking up a hospital bill to the tune of 8k!) and I can't say enough good things about my doctor or the nurses at the hospital. such kind, wonderful people, and they made the difficult birth much more manageable. i'm pretty sure the anesthesiologist who gave me the epidural will be a hero to me forever. he had to put in an epidural at 3am, into a tiny spinal space, while i was hysterically sobbing and shaking from the pain and the hormones. i've never been so happy to see anyone in my whole life.

i've been recovering well, and bounced back quickly, thankfully. Emmersyn has been a great eater/sleeper and has made the transition fairly smooth. she had one night of waking up 17 times to eat, but otherwise has been very easy. She is on a great schedule now, only waking a few times to eat at night, and has a very regular schedule during the day. helps keep my day predictable and allows me to run errands/clean the house. i've been able to keep my work-from-home jobs (ccm magazine and social media marketing) which keeps me sane and productive. i love being home with emmy and am grateful i don't need to work outside the home for now. She is making great eye contact now and is tons of fun to play with and watch during the day. i've lost a total of 34 pounds since she was born and have only 12 more to go before i'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight! she keeps me busy and active ;)

i love being her mommy! drew is a fabulous dad, always pitching in and changing diapers/watching her. she loves him and turns to his voice whenever she hears him. it's a blast being parents, though the first few weeks were hard, now we are functioning normally again and it feels great! we are so thankful!