Friday, August 24, 2012

You're like a big parade through town...

"You're like a party somebody threw me 
You taste like birthday
You look like New Years
You're like a big parade through town
You leave such a mess but you're so fun"
- Regina Spector "The Party"

When I was pregnant, I had a lot of time to sit and do nothing. I had it in my mind that the nine months of waiting would be the last time I could do "nothing" for quite some time. I often sat at my piano and sang. Anything from "Fix You" by Coldplay to Feist's "The Park." But my favorite was to sit and play Sara Groves' "He's always been Faithful," along with one of my favorite hymns, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." So many lines in those two songs ring true to my heart. I sing them daily and I think of them often. 

The last few weeks, I've had up and down emotions towards everything going on. It wasn't postpartum depression or baby blues (at all!) It was the pattern of every day, which was... well,there was no pattern. Yes, having family around is great. Sweet moments, tearful seconds of thankfulness, and I got to sleep more. But I also need structure, as does Laef. He was sorta in a groove of sleeping whenever, awake whenever, and eating from a bottle I pumped. 

Now I'm not going to go into my beautiful battle with breastfeeding. When I wasn't pregnant I didn't really care much to hear about everyone's breastfeeding drama, so I won't bore you with mine. But in the end it sucked (literally.) Haha! Laef would scream and wouldn't calm down. Every two hours I went through an hour or more of frustration, dread, and tears. I love my boy, but we both didn't like each other in those moments. At one point last week, I put Laef down in his crib as he screamed his head off. I seriously was tired of it. Pumping bottles for this boy sounded like a dream and seemed super easy. I ran down stairs and fell into Brandon's arms and cried. I was out of answers of what to do. Everyone and their mother told me what I needed, and the truth was: I was out of grace for this thing. 

Talking to my mom on the phone, I cried, saying "I'm going to give it until the end of week six, and if he doesn't get better, I just can't do this." She prayed for me and encouraged me. 

One of the lines in "Great is Thy Faithfulness" goes "All I have need of, His hand will provide..."
I always have thought about this as referring to more material things (money, food, house...etc.) So I told the Lord, "I need this to work. It doesn't have to be amazing, or perfect, but I need grace to keep going and I need Laef to like me when I feed him." In the end I needed "grace."

This week it was just me and him. I started him on a schedule--trying to get him up between 7:00 and 7:30, making him eat and stay awake, and putting him down for a nap every three hours. Let me just say that it's been like a dream this week! He's caught on so well! He's so sweet when he's awake and when he eats.

I've had such a great week with him. I've been able to shower, clean my house, work out, cook my husband dinner, and It is important to me to not just be a mom, but to be a wife. I want to clean my house for my husband and cook him dinner. It makes me happy. He's tired when he comes home from work too. Yes, he's super understanding, but I need it even for my own heart. 

So yes... all I have need of.... his hand will provide.... He's always been faithful. 

Laef is eating well and happy now. Thank God!

In other news, Laef hit 6 weeks today. *sigh* What a beautiful time it's been sharing it with Brandon, friends and family. He's smiling so much and laughing in his sleep. 

In spite of my want and desire for schedule and structure, I want to be careful to not let this sweet cuddle time pass by. I nap with him here and there on my couch. Laying him on my chest and hearing his little noises is magical in its own way. Makes all the world seem so complicated in light of the simplicity of the sweetness those moments carry. I still cry. (I may just say that in every blog.) 

This week I got to get out almost every day and spend some time with friends, have lunch uptown with Brandon and do some shopping. 

*above is Laef's girlfriend, Selah... <3

Brandon's family has been here the last few weeks...

*below: Brandon's step dad, mom, and G-ma

below: Brandon's dad and stepmom 

*below: Brandon's sister

Below: Brandon's mom

So, yeah.... just enjoying the little moments..... <3 

And Laef's Grandpa Lindsay had fun while he was here...

Can you resist that face? Okay... I'll be done now.

I sing Laef this song in the afternoons and mornings.... 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Once upon a time I grew a...

Anyone that knows me pretty well, knows that I didn't really love being pregnant. I didn't mind it, but I didn't love it. Low and behold having an 8lb 11oz boy did my belly wrong. I was huge! Ginormous! 
I decided to start the week by week photo of my belly enlarging at week 16. (I missed week 17. Sorry.)  The evening that we found out we were pregnant (November 20th) I took a few photos to remember. 

I wanted to finish the documenting of my belly before I shared it with everyone.

Enjoy watching my belly grow...

phhhhewww.... glad thats all over. (Week 39, I took right before I left for the hospital)

My sweet boy graced us with his presence a month ago yesterday. Yep, I had a cry fest. He's pretty much amazing. How blessed I feel that I'm the one that will get to watch and help him grow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We're Sailing... ⚓

"We're adrift on a sailboat, My love is the sea. Yours is the horizon, Constant and steady.
You set my limbs locked hard afloat, Lifted my lonesome sails
The tide is out, the moon is high We're sailing."
- Brooke Fraser "Sailboats"

When I was pregnant, I was dreading the thought of having to wake up in the middle of the night to feed a hungry baby. My husband and I would talk about our fears of what sleep deprivation would do to our sweet marriage and our lovely little personalities. In fact, every time (while I was pregnant) that I got up in the middle of the night to stumble, half awake, to the bathroom, I would say one of these prayers for my future life. "Lord, give me grace for future sleepless nights," "Lord, give my baby hair," (haha!) and "Lord, let my baby love to sleep." Nine out of ten times, I would pray one of those prayers in the middle of the night.

I made a goal at the beginning of my pregnancy that I would sleep until 9 or 10 every morning (unless I had somewhere to be.) I did it with the thought that sleep wasn't going to be as easy the next few months. I fulfilled that goal. :D

When Laef came, and we had some of those first sleepless nights, my mom helped us so much. She stayed and took longer shifts. My body was recovering from pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Laef sleeps in about 2-3 hour shifts and then he wakes up hungry. It's who he is. He's little and can't hold a lot of food. I journaled to the Lord often before he came, asking God to not let me "wish away" his sleeplessness, because it's who he was, and by wishing it away I would miss this stage.

Yes, I get Laef time at two AM and five AM. ;D And sometimes I want to cuss when he won't sleep. But, for the most part, I am trying to have the mindset of savoring his newbornness, and enjoying who he is right now. It will go so fast. And it's been much easier than I thought it would be. Mostly because I love him.



The last three and a half weeks have been super busy. I have only had one day all alone with Laef in the last three weeks. Brandon works from home as much as he can, which is amazing. I had my family here the first week, Brandon was home the second week, and my best friend and her husband came for a few days the third week, and currently I have Brandon's g-ma, mom and step dad here for a week. After them comes Brandon's sister and brother-in-law and then Brandon's dad and step mom.

So until mid to end August, it will be a bit crazy around here. Everyone is meeting our little person.

I spend most of my days sitting on the couch feeding this boy. It seriously takes forever because he is so little. It has tried my patience and my ability to do other things. I keep having to remind myself that this is the number one most important thing in life right this moment--to love, feed and spend time with my son. And I do enjoy it so much.


Last weekend, my friend Monique got married in the mountains of Boone, NC. Brandon, Laef and I took a road trip up to spend the afternoon/evening celebrating her day. It was absolutely stunning. We saw a lot of old friends from old days and danced to Michael Jackson on the back porch of a gorgeous lodge at the top of a mountain in a pouring rain storm. So great.


*Below is my close girlfriend, Molly Webb, with Laef

*Above: My dear friend, Ashley Webb, holding Laef. 

It has been amazing to spend time with dear friends and family the last few weeks. Having my close friends in town to hold Laef and see this next stage of my life unfold is pretty special.

Laef's room was featured on a few different sites recently... kinda cool. Apartment Therapy & Baby Lifestyle e-magazine on page 41.

I've just been holding onto the seconds as best as I can. I still have those moments where I hold my son and tears pour down my face. He's beautiful, he's sweet, he looks like his dad, and I'm so happy. I'm so thankful for the Lord's faithfulness. Brandon and I are more in love with each other than ever. And I feel like we can't keep our hands off each other. (Sorry if that's TMI.) We just really love this time and the beauty it's making.

Yesterday marked 7 years ago that Brandon proposed to me on the rocks of Greystones, Ireland. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. And 11 years ago (to the day) I met God on those same rocks and it changed my whole life. Now here we are married 6 years, having the best time of our lives. Watching Laef smile at us, yawn, sneeze, hiccup, cry and sleep.... it truly is a little bit of magic holding him. Such a strong love, yet different than anything we've ever experienced. It is perfect.

Emotionally, we are both great. Our dishes may pile up on our kitchen, and currently there is a basket of clean laundry that is a week-and-a-half old sitting in the corner of my bedroom. But, ya' know... some things can wait. Life is too short to clean every second. And I'm okay with a bed that hasn't been made in 3 days.

Every night as I swaddle my boy and rock him back and forth, I sing to him "Sailboats" by Brooke Fraser. Brandon whistles along. <3 Our hearts our full. ⚓

"Darling, your love is healing, it makes the bitter sweet.
 Warms the winter to spring again, secures the cold's defeat.
We're cutting anchor, casting out, into the glorious deep.
  The tide is out, the moon is high, We're sailing."
 - Brooke Fraser "Sailboats"