Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Birthday Blog Post

Sometimes I wake up really early. Sometimes it's for no reason (except that maybe I went to bed really early). Sometimes it's because my kids get up and then I can't get back to sleep. Sometimes it's because someone (ah-hem, one guess: it's not me and it's not my kids) is coughing. And sometimes I figure, well, I'm up . . . why? Sometimes I figure, maybe it's to read, pray, or write. Sometimes I can do all three (four if you count my coffee cup on hand). This morning I'm adding listening to a podcast on Family Life Today with a guy I enjoy listening to.

So, read on if you want - this one is a journal, it's all about me this time, memories I want to record to remember a sweet season of little gifts. Maybe it will be encouragement down the road, who knows . . .

I fell asleep last night thinking about my birthday and how I could possibly sum it up. I woke up thinking, "I think I like getting older". I think I used to put some pressure on the day to be what it HAD to be (i.e. the perfect day). Something about having unpredictable children in my care has taught me to set my expectations a little lower than perfect (last year was the prime example: we ended up at the doc for both the kids, Karis struck napping, Judah screamed through Potbelly's dinner). However, one thing remains the same about that special day: it's special and I look for God's hand in making it blessed. Last year I realized that my favorite thing is taking care of my family, and I got to do that on my birthday (now that attitude HAS to be God). I expect Him to shape my attitude, I trust Him with my life and with the day. I've often wondered what life would be like if I lived with this mind set every day?

(Quick disclaimer for the rose-colored post here: I'm purposely excluding the "not perfect", there were plenty moments this week, but this is a time for celebration. Just saying, not all birthday bliss, but still so, so blessed)

This year was truly beautiful (not perfect), and I do feel so loved and cared for. There was the early surprise celebration with a delicious lakeside dinner and gifts on Friday night from B & L last weekend in Alexandria (thank you!) . . . and the surprise Saturday afternoon alone in the condo reading the book Bob brought and sipping decaf . . . and the Sunday water-sliding and remembering that I do indeed like a thrill.

There was the Tuesday meet-up with some besties at Costco for a "we're all sick and miserable so let's be sick and miserable together and get an errand done". There was the Tuesday dinner at Noodles with Lee and Caroline, preceded by a random visit to a "new" library, where we met new friends with kids the same ages who want to have a play date.

There was the Monday morning with my mom and gma, and a quick visit to the Target clinic with my gma ("You have a cold, go home and rest"). That evening, Trev brought home special tea and coffee and chocolate from a place in Linden Hills - his time and thought meant so much, and the early gifts turned out so perfect - Karis and I enjoyed the treats for Tea Tuesday, and I've had a wonderful time sharing the treats with friends who've been here this week. Thanks, Trev (sipping the coffee now).

There was the weekend visit from my parents that came at the most providential time - Trev ended up in bed sick all weekend (which gets lonely for this momma), their company and help and attention was such a gift. Karis got pink eye and an ear infection, their extra love for her was so amazing. The Friday highlight was doing something that I really wanted to do for my birthday: have a Frozen pizza party. My mom, dad, grandma, Karis and me hunkered down and watched the movie in the afternoon . . . then went to Costco and to Nadia's cakes to get cupcakes . . . then finished the movie with Jets on the floor of the TV room. Delightful, delicious, memorable. The icing on the cupcake was putting the kids to bed early and enjoying decaf and cupcakes with "the adults". Saturday we celebrated at our fave neighborhood spot, Milton's. Judah was squirmy, Karis wasn't feeling good and wanted to go home, and I couldn't have been happier (again, that attitude has to be from the Blesser). I'll never forget all these things. Oh, and I got some gals-only outings (kid-less) on Saturday and Sunday, precious times of connection (and treats).

And then, the actual day. I left it pretty open, wondering what might happen . . . very unlike me, I love to plan plan plan. I made sure to have all the housework done the day before, my gift to myself was no laundry/dishes/cooking/cleaning. Karis was up early, so I brought her in bed with me to read the "Birthday Psalm" (139), and started the day soaking in the miracle of being Created with Love and intricacy and delight. We tried to think of all sorts of "B" things, starting with bacon (Karis thought we should have sprinkles on our slices, why not?).

The first surprise was when we went to Trader Joe's before preschool. Karis picked out my flowers ("Mommy, it's your birthday. Someone ELSE has to pick out your flowers!"). At the checkout, she told the cashier what the pink tulips were for, and the gracious grandmotherly figure said "the flowers are on us". And for some reason we got to talking about being a parents, the higher highs and lower lows (it has been a bit of a wild ride with Karis and me lately, so I was maybe a little sensitive). She said something that made me tear up: "You know, moms really have to learn to forgive themselves". She also ended up saying, "God only knows . . . God only knows." Goodness, yes. Thank you for the flowers and the apt words, Trader Joe's lady.

We had enough time then for my free coffee from Caribou, and the kids climbed around and I just loved that moment. Karis had pajama day at preschool, which really made her day, and it was fun to drop her off and see her head into her own little party. I got to rest during preschool while Judah napped. Before picking K up, I ended meeting my bro for coffee, which is always special (thanks for the donut muffins, DP!). Papa Murphy's was right next door, so I picked up my birthday dinner before heading to pick up K. Who proceeded to scream almost the whole way home, but that's another story (we also had some super sweet interactions throughout the day).

The afternoon flew with minor and major meltdowns (not-feeling-well Karis), but we weathered it all well, had some good cuddles. The other great surprise was having some dear friends swing by for afternoon tea, the kids played, we all feasted on berries and shortbread and yummy vanilla and chamomile tea (that is actually the flowers, so fun to show the kids) and their presence filled my cup.

There were the texts and facebook messages and cards that make the day a beautiful reminder of all the amazing people that grace my life.

Trev got home early, whisked the kids away to get cards at the dollar store (blissful quiet), we had a quick Frozen pizza party, opened the gifts my parents left (thank you!), early bed for all . . .

The gifts continued on Thursday with a spontaneous morning visit from dear friends - of which the mom was due with her 3rd child on my birthday and is now trying to fill the time in the "past-due" stage. And next in the form of picking up new eyeglasses - the bonus gift being the optician who listened to me talk about the ride there (not perfect, to say the least) and ended with hugs and treats for Karis that completely turned the day around for both of us.

Yes, I like getting older (for this season anyway). To be honest, some people I care about have been faced with grief and loss lately . . .  life is not always so rose colored and I can only hope I can be responsible with these seasons of "overflow" to somehow give. I hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter Wonderland (and some breaks from it)

This winter has flown (or, as they say: "the days are long but the weeks are short"), and for the sake of record-keeping, here's a recounting in chronological order:

- New Year's: What a gift to welcome Gpa Kirk & Gma Nancy to celebrate. Highlights included "pizza in", celebrating Uncle Drew's completion of his master's program, and just spending quality time together (also re-celebrating Christmas with D & M, and watching the kids enjoy the boxes, and Karis commanding everyone while she "played ship")

- Late January, Sanibel Island: We were so thankful for an escape to warmth and sunshine. We fell into an easy rhythm with Grandpa Kirk, Grandma Nancy, Uncle Drew, and Aunt Melanie . . . morning walks on the beach, seashell-scouting/picking (all of Karis's "for Everett and Marissa"), lunch, outings, dinner, kids-in-bed, games. I don't take for granted what a gift it is to spend time with family and just so wholly enjoy each other. Memorable moments were watching Karis splash in the water wearing her "surfer girl shirt", watching Tangled as a family, reading Olivia books, chasing Judah up the stairs, me and the kids very successfully all sleeping in one room together, stumbling on yummy coffee and ice cream and burger joints. So refreshing and beautiful.

- A late January weekend visit from Gpa Bob & Gma Lorie: swimming at the hotel, delish dinner at Good Day Cafe, fun chats. Memorable to some of these times is the way Gpa Bob carries Judah around restaurants and Karis chases them

- Karis got to ice skate for the first time, guided by master skaters Uncle Stevie & Aunt Debbie

- Trev got away in February to the men's retreat. Me and the kids filled the days with lots of play dates and treats (donut date within 20 minutes of waking up Saturday morning, lunch with friends, dinner at EPC with D & M) and early bedtimes

- Me and Judah got away to Amery, WI for a children's-leaders-team church retreat. So beautiful, and precious time with dear women. Reflecting, thanking, dining, supplicating

- Valentine's Day:  the wonderful traditional "pizza in" with Gma & Gpa and Drew & Melanie. Followed by a weekend of birthday and job celebrations (OPH, Eat Shop, and Stellas - yummy fun!) and a sleepover for Karis at the hotel (which translates - some fabulous quiet time for mommy)

- March get-away in Alexandria: Gpa Bob & Gma Lorie invited us to join them for a weekend in Alexandria. The place was gorgeous and I felt very spoiled with a birthday celebration, time to rest and get lost in a page-turner Bobby brought to share (the Invisible Thread, excellent). Memorable Judah moments are the way he plays peek-a-boo and teases, and the way he and Karis interact so hilariously (and mostly safely). Memorable Karis hilarious braved the big waterslides and got her face very wet - I even joined them on Sunday morning and was grateful to tap into my "wild side" (ha)

And now, it's already the middle of March. Which means, we're celebrating Gpa Kirk's birthday, and mine too. All month long, of course!

Oh, and we're celebrating Trevor starting a new job this week! To heighten the celebration, we got water in our basement on his first day at the new gig. He handled the mess with so much grace and composure - he's an excellent home owner and I'm always grateful to see his character shine through in those unexpected situations.

I had a revelation about him starting work, a humbling one: I was a ball of nerves his first week of work . . . . and I realized I can relate to Trev's exhaustion, etc. when I give birth. He's the one doing all the work, and I'm the anxious and spent one. Hmmm, put that into perspective for me.

I recently read this verse that made me think of this season of life. Psalm 13:5-6
"But I have trusted in Your mercy
my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because He has dealt bountifully with me"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Here's another post that has been literally months-in-the-writing . . . ironically, I'm writing as I watch water drip from the window. Our eternal winter seems to be ending! Just in time for the movie Frozen to be "in our TV" (in Karis's words - she doesn't know yet that it is indeed "in our TV" thanks to Amazon Prime).

Yes, Frozen. Frozen deserves its own blog post. Frozen was a huge part of our winter: viewing the movie 3 times (Aunt Cassie, Daddy, Mommy). Frozen dance parties almost every afternoon. Frozen paraphernalia scattered around the house. Talking about Frozen at the dinner table. Pretending to be Elsa on top of the snow mountains in our front yard. Karis enters the world of Frozen with her whole heart, I watch her emulate the characters, replay scenes, sing, dance.

One of my favorite winter memories was during Epiphany, we gave Karis Epiphany gifts, one each day for a few days. On Epiphany Sunday, we came home from church and had a rushed lunch and then gave an Elsa barbie doll to Karis as her final gift. Her exclamations included, "I'm so glad it wasn't a book! This is the best day of my life! Can we have more Epiphany?!". Memorable to the max. Then ten minutes later Trev whisked Karis away to see the movie (we often don't tell Karis about "treats" until they happen, it can be a long day of "when are we going to . . . " when she knows too early).

An apt quote I read lately in Russell Baker's memoir Growing Up, said about when he was young and for Christmas received a toy steam shovel from his grandmother : "Left to her own devices, my mother, I suspect, would not have thought of such a beautiful, ingenious machine but would have given me a book".

Indeed! I mostly give Karis books. This taught me that mommy's can be fun and indulgent too, and Frozen has indeed taught me to "Let it Go" (if you're not familiar, that's a hit song from the movie). Because here's the thing - when Karis latched on to Frozen and wouldn't let go, I was a bit anxious and fearful and hesitant. We "opened the Disney door" and it seemed there was no going back (why this made me anxious, well - I guess that's another post). As the days went by, seeing her imagination thriving, and watching some of the online clips with her, I started to "get it". I started to meet her where she IS. And wow, meeting in the middle on something Karis chose to love made such a difference in our relationship. We bonded over the enjoyment of the music. We decided to try Frozen clips as an "incentive" for trying to "sleep like a big girl" and for a while Trev was back in our bed.

This is a lesson I hope to remember - "Let it Go". Let Karis choose. Meet her where she IS, love and embrace and enjoy (when the object of interest is benevolent, that is).

Taking Karis to the movie is one of my favorite memories ever . . . we woke up one cold Saturday in February and I said, "Guess where we're going this morning?". We whisked away to a morning show and I took in the whole experience: the way Karis brought a purse to match mine, wore her purple-dollar-bin crown. The way several of the children in the audience were saying, "Mom, you're gonna LOVE it" (I was in the company of other moms whose daughters had seen it before and without them). As the scenes unraveled and we immersed ourselves intensely in the story, I saw why Karis has been so captivated - because now I am, too. The story reminded me to "open the doors" in staying open in relationships, to "avoid ice-olation", to "let it go".  It reminded me that inner conflict can be difficult but that there is freedom in embracing that that there is strength in weakness.

Karis and I came back from the movie exhausted - she went and laid on the floor in the toy room (and really kind of shut down and was quite out of sorts). I felt like I couldn't possibly articulate the experience. I guess we kind of came down from the high of the ice castles and back to reality. But really, what a wonderful memory of time together. And really, those Frozen dance parties saved the winter.

And really, I have so much more I could say about Disney and Frozen: the theme of mother/daughter/parent relationships, grieving lost time while moving forward, the villainization of mothers (!). I'm going to leave some of those jumbled thoughts in my head for now.

The barista even wrote "Princess Anna" on the cup

Some outside thoughts on Frozen:

This blog post  - I think both Karis and I have some "extra", and it's good to be on this journey of learning to not be ruled by emotion (yet to feel at the same time).

This article - her way of articulating a day with children made me laugh and almost cry. And the part about not being able to really communicate with Trev in the way I'd like at the end of the day . . . well, she just put words to the momma-feelings that are part of daily life.

Some other Karis-isms: 

- "Oh I wish I could just stay in bed until winter is done"
- (after I said to Karis, "Can you just stay little forever?"): "No mommy! The thing about kids is, they grow up!"
- "Hey mom, let's send a text message to Teavana and tell them the honey stick is good in hot chocolate!"
- After I asked Karis if she'd take me to see Frozen, she said, "But mommy, I can't drive!". Then she grabbed my face and said, "Mommy, I have to tell you. There are some little shows before Frozen comes on!"
- "Mommy, can you please be a good mommy and not throw my toys and art away?" (she sees scraps in the garbage sometimes. oops)
- "Best day ever!" (a line from Tangled, which really has become a fun catch phrase around our house)
- "Mom, I have a great idea! Judah should have an 'Olaf' Birthday when he turns two!"
- "I'm going back to Arandelle" (said while on top of a snow bank and I went out to check on her)
- "The internet is a bunch of computers connected to a network"
- "Mommy, I'll pray a quick blessing over you: Father, I pray that you would give mommy peace, and joy and confidence"
- "Da-da, what are the games behind my eyes?" (we think she means dreams)
- "So, do you have any husbands?" (said to a babysitter before she left for the evening)
- "Dear Lord, I pray that daddy would put up ALL his crafts at work. And I pray that we'd live in this house forever"
- "We'll have to just see how the day goes" (think she's heard that before?)
- "Well mommy, sometimes I can't do things right away" (think she's heard that before also?)
- "Oh wow, my room is a MESS!" (um, I try not to say that!)
- "I don't like your pajamas. I don't want to spend time with you" (I've for sure never said that)
- "I have two daddies: Trevor, and my daddy in heaven" (wow, I was blown away. I later learned this was an in-depth topic at Sunday school one day, when a precious little girl was talking about how she doesn't have a daddy. Heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time . . . )

Other tidbits from here and there:

This song: Come Down, O Love Divine

In reading:

From At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman: "One reason we have children, I think, is to experience through them the miracle of (creation): to learn that parts of ourselves we had given up for dear are merely dormant, and that the old joys can re-emerge, fresh and new and in a completely different form."

From A Step From Death by Larry Woiwode (don't even get me started on how much I loved loved loved this book):
"Up to the age of four, the loveliest age in children, when they're still wholly themselves, before the world of learning and its version of what is 'real' has had a chance to impinge--to that age you were mostly mine."

From What I Think I Did by Larry Woiwode (the paragraph that closes the book)
"It has all been gravy . . . and better, grace and gracious people put in my way, and yet more grace. I wring my hands as if washing them, wishing they were wings to lift me off in this wind streaming through me in a force I've never felt until now, or so I think, and then I think, I'm launched."

From Still Points North by Leigh Newman:
"Because talking is not always what is being said. Sometimes, there's a story underneath the words of husbands and wives - and fathers and mothers and grandmothers . . . - and, in my small, inglorious experience, regardless of how it ends, regardless of every indication that seems so emphatically to contradict it, that story is almost always a love story."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Judah is ONE (and then some)

Well, this is over 2 months late, it's been in progress since January. It feels like January here because we have snow mountains everywhere we look . . . no complaints, just saying. AND, I LOST about 1/2 of what I wrote . . . which is . . . so frustrating. Anyway, marching on. You'll have to live (rather, I will have to live) without the paragraphs of Judah updates I'd been thoughtfully compiling. Grrrrr. Not to mention, his birth story, which to me was artfully composed and I'm just not sure I can get it back. I will try. And I guess I will learn to hit "publish" faster next time!

Read on for some Judah updates, his birth story, and some classic Trevor stories . . .

My baby is ONE. Actually, my baby is over 14 months old. WHAT?! He is coming into his own, changing in so many amazing ways, lighting up the room and giving my legs and arms a complete workout every day (as his sister gives my brain and heart a complete work-over every hour, but that's its own post). This is a sweet season of life, and I do try to grasp those moments in memory of every stage and new "thing".

I can say with confidence (and a shadow of guilt) that this baby/child thing is way easier and more enjoyable the second time. You want to be held all day? Sure, I'd love to! Some nights are rough? No prob, tomorrow is a new day. You used to love bread and now you hate it? No problem, let's find something different.

We had a blast celebrating Judah's 1 year birthday right after Christmas with a "Lion of Judah" party. He sampled the cake but mostly just loved crawling around and trying to figure out what I kept putting on his head (see below).

We are beyond blessed by his precious life, sweet spirit, marshmallow mellowness. Judah, your name means "praise" and we praise God for every day that we get to spend knowing you, loving you, shepherding you, enjoying you, holding you, feeding you, walking you, watching you, savoring you.

Judah updates . . . 

- He loves for Karis to "walk" him around the house
- He "walks" around furniture like crazy, and sometimes walks around on his knees
- He melts into my arms and turns my heart to moosh
- He loves to be carried around, while sucking his thumb and watching the world go by (but if you try to sit, he squirms out of your arms)
- He loves to eat things from a fork or spoon
- He seems to love the color red
- He sleeps like a champ
- He lights up around Karis, and seems to say some version of her name
- He adores dogs, and says "wuh-wuh" and jolts his entire body
- He says "mama" and I melt
- He says "dada" adoringly and I melt
- He says "upf" as he pulls on my pant legs and I melt
- He loves our afternoon "Frozen dance parties"
- He can climb like crazy, onto chairs and other furniture
- He can zoom up the stairs like nobody's business
- He loves his thumb and pootsie blanket
- He prefers certain books, and flips them to the back every time
- He loves to put things on his head (food, washcloths, toys) and he cracks himself up when he does this
- He waves by just lifting one arm in the air
- He sometimes waves with his wrist
- He makes eyes at (and plays peek-a-boo) with anyone who will look at him when he's riding in a shopping cart
- He has "clever handwork" (according to Trevor), touching faces and eyes
- He adores his daddy'
- He loves to pound on the piano
- He loves to put things into things (balls into buckets, things like that)
- He goes and gets his stuffed puppy when you say "woof woof"
- He often cries when I leave
- He rides well in the car
- He likes to crawl around with anything in his hand, pushing the object ahead of him
- He goes by the nicknames "squishy", "Judah-rooda", and "Little"

And now, Judah's birth story . . . 

The eve of his birth found us scurrying around the cities looking at homes with my brother. A storm was a brewing outside, it was cold and dreary, which I think is how I felt too.  I'm sure we went home to scrounge leftovers from Christmas dinner. I'm sure I was crabby and tired. I'm sure I went to bed early. I remember being anxious about the "when's and what if's" of Judah's birth arrival. I remember my cousin was supposed to stay with us on her way through town (ironically, she was in town when K was born) but she passed through to beat the storm.

I remember waking up at 4:30am with an oddly familiar feeling of my water breaking. No, that can't be it, go back to sleep. Oh, there it is again, yes my water broke. Lay in bed and google search: "it can take several hours for strong contractions to start".

4:40am,  contractions are strong and 7 minutes apart. Call brother.

Call midwife. Wait for midwife to call back. Have more strong contractions.

Call midwife again. Call brother again. Midwife calls back, it's my favorite midwife. YAY, she might deliver my baby. Midwife: "I am so, so, so sorry to tell you this" (I'm thinking she's going off her shift) "but we're full. Our sister hospital is full. We have to divert you to Fairview at U of M. But don't worry, I know the midwives there, you'll be in great hands! I told them you go fast, they'll be ready."

Excuse me?! We now have to drive across town, in a snowstorm, in heavy labor to a place we've never been. Okay, here we go.

5:00am, shower, wait for brother (bless you, brother!)

5:30, write Karis a note. Bawl my eyes out: "I'm not going to get to see my baby girl before I meet my new baby! Life is going to change . . .

5:45, hit the road Jack. Drive in snow, contract often, shoot off texts to friends and family. Get excited.

6:15, Trevor pulls up to the hospital and ditches his car to escort me to the maternity ward. Limp through the mostly quiet halls in (wet) capri sweatpants and winter coat. Refuse offers for wheelchair. Receive sympathetic looks from people on the elevator.

Trevor: "Can I go move my car?"
Me: "I think so, but hurry!"

6:30, they're ready for me and I get to the room right away, meet the lovely midwife Ann and nurses (2 of them, both named Mary). I get down to business on my hands and knees on the floor.

6:40, Trevor returns.
6:42, Trevor leaves to get coffee (see below stories for more info on this)
6:55, Trevor returns with coffee and helps me answer all the registrar's bazillion questions (they needed every single piece of info from me for their records, good grief)

Labor, labor, labor. Talk to nurses. Go to the bathroom. Watch Trevor drink his coffee. Labor, labor, labor.

8:40, feel sick, start sweating, say "I think I'm in transition!". Midwife confirms: "Get her on the bed!". Enter MORE nurses, another midwife for a shift change . . . none of whom I can see because I'm still on my hands and knees with my head in a stack of pillows.

Experience pain like I've never felt (ring of fire "rings true").  Push a couple times, think, "I cannot push any more".

Trevor tells me I then said, "THIS IS IT!", and it was - JUDAH, THERE YOU ARE!

Yes, it was fast. Yes, it was a bit furious. Yes, it was one of the best moments of my life. Yes, I am crying as I write this.

Judah came to my chest and the world disappeared. My mellow man melted into me and my life will never be the same because he is in it. We nursed, he got his vitals and first bath (no crying - mellow man). Trevor continued to sip his coffee.

The nurses and midwives were stunning, they basically left me alone and I felt like I might as well been in a cabin in the woods (well, until I needed stitches). I'm so grateful, so, so, so, so grateful.

The rest of the day was a blessed blur (see below for some Trev stories). Brother brought Karis, be still my soul to watch her hold her brother! She still loves to talk about that day: "I woke up and when I said 'mommy, mommy' DREW came in! I got a lot of bacon, we watched Goofy, and painted!". Not to mention, he took her to MOA, slept at our house, took her to Chipotle. Oh brother, thank you. And oh Melanie, we missed you but were so glad to come home and see you the next day, the way you mooshed Judah and loved on him . . . thank you.

And Trevor, you are my rock and my knight, and all around the best friend and husband and father and I can't imagine these memories without you there in each one.

We savored those first family visits: Uncle Drew with Karis, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Taylor.

We savored the delights of unlimited hospital cafeteria goodies.

We slept (by "we", I mean Trevor).

We got poked and prodded (by "we", I mean me and Judah).

We got told by a night-nurse (by "we", I mean me): "You're nursing him too much, he'll think you're his pacifier and you'll get exhausted". Maybe true, but I sure didn't care.

We wanted to get home as soon as possible (Karis, we missed you so much!), and the next day was full of all those lovely tests and requirements, and strange looks of "WHY do you want to go home so fast?!".

All the good memories rise to the top, the ones of night sweats, sitz baths, and other things too private to write . . . well, those memories do fade. I guess that's why people keep having children, right?!

We got home with 30-hour-old Judah just after K went down for her nap, we slept (by "we", I mean Trevor and Judah), Melanie mooshed on Judah. We got Pizza Luce and were elated to welcome Jordan and Cassie for a birthday party. Cassie mooshed on Judah and I'm sure Trevor made everyone else hold him.

We celebrated New Year's at home (of course), we relished the visits and spoilings from parents and friends (oh that blissed state of the "newborn excuse" for letting everything go - cooking, cleaning, leaving the house).

And oh yeah, then we decided to go ahead and try to get a new house. Thanking God today for all these massive blessings, and praying to be aware of generous with the responsibility of it all.

So, after "re-writing" after all that, I'm now watching Trevor and Karis tromp around in the snow in our backyard, listening to stellar Pandora station, thankful for the chance to re-live everything again during this quiet hour. It all works out.

Some humor . . . 

A friend recently sent me a link to "things husbands pull while their wives are in labor", and wouldn't you know, Trevor "pulled" 3 of them (one of them at both births). Read on . . . 

There was when Karis was born . . .  I'm having contractions on top of each other, and think I have to use the bathroom, but really what was happening was that I needed to start pushing. There was no midwife in the room, I stumble in complete pain to the bathroom, and Trevor decides he needs to go get a cup of coffee! At which point I screamed, "I can't not push!" and within 15 minutes we met Karis. There was also that part where he got a migraine the first day we were home with her (bummer dude, birth is legitimately hard on the hubs!).

In labor with Judah, Trevor (remembering the coffee he DIDN'T get before K was born) left to get coffee pretty much right after we got to the room. This was when we were at a new hospital (our hospital was full and so we were diverted to somewhere we'd never been) and I was on the floor working through contractions AND trying to answer the millions of questions from the registrar. So, he sipped his coffee while helping me answer the questions. 

But the BEST was that after Judah was born, we moved to our overnight room . . . I'm in a wheelchair, holding Judah . . . we get to the room and Trevor finds the roll-away cot, collapses, and says, "I'm EXHAUSTED!". Yes, I had just given birth and was, let's say, not feeling very comfortable in that wheelchair. 

THEN, after a very full night of sleep that night (I know because I was UP and watched him sleep!), he woke up the next morning: "My back is KILLING me". 

Oh Trevor, I'm laughing as I write this. I'm glad for the stories, I love who you are. 

I love being on this family journey with you, Trevor - and with our children.