Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hello to my (very) little blogging world.
I have been considering what it would take to blog much more frequently as a hobby and potential job. I love to write and always hope that my inability to filter well would result in encouraging some folks on occasion and it excites me to think that I might be able to do that online amongst all kinds of folks that I may not ever meet. The coolest thing about blogging is the number of people that can be reached in their homes around the globe, in their most intimate and vulnerable states.

Anyway, here's whats happening, seems like a great place to start!

In the fall last year we were living in Asheville, NC just bobbing around looking for our next move. We literally felt like it was time to "move" and probably leave our home of the last 8 years. What started as a dreamy little conversation about moving to Aaron's home town and opening a pancake house with some friends, turned real within a few weeks of our friends pestering us and us praying. In a month, we gave our notices, packed our things, and moved into an apartment above the "would-be" pancake house/whatever. We did move in with our friends, another little family of 3. Visions evolved and we decided to work towards a coffee shop with a strong community focus. ... We were open to the vision changing over and over again as we planted some roots and tried to make some plans. The vision hasn't stopped changing but over and over, every day we are so encouraged that we are in the right place.

Skip ahead a couple months, our friends are moving out of the apartment and we will be opening a coffee shop/salon on our own. Just so you know, a month or two of living with friends, you learn a LOT about each other. I also think that with a little insight, you get a little preview of what it'd be like to work together. Personality differences seem like the biggest reason we don't think working together was going to be best for all of us. As well as major differences in our expectations and little differences in our visions for the space. You probably don't have to use much effort to imagine how many conversations it took to get us here. How many miscommunications and awkward moments. But also, so much vulnerability and honesty. So here we go, Aaron and myself and our little babes being towed along with us on this wild adventure.  We have been so encouraged at how incredibly Christ centered this has all been as we all have committed full-heartedly to loving the Lord and each other well while we figured out our next steps. Aaron and I have grown together so much in this move and can't wait to see what we can accomplish together.

So if I were really doing this blogging thing, I'd have some incredible before photos. It's a wild mess down there. The landlord is a friend of the family, also a great artist with pretty eccentric tastes. In the "coffee shop" there are many murals and creative installments. The apartment where we are living in is such a cool space. So many fun homemade details, and so many things that we can't wait to transform into our own styles if we get to stick around.

Looking forward to journaling more as we continue into this new season.

Happy Sunday from Richmond, VA. The weather has been cold but sunny, yesterday it snowed all day and though none stuck around, it was a lot of fun to be out in fluffy, thick falling snow.

We are visiting friends we haven't seen in too long. It's been so good to just have a change of scenery, a real weekend off and away from our routine, and good conversations about all of our hopes for the next year and goals we are all working towards. On top of all of that, there was some epic karaoke last night, complete with lots of new faces, flaming Dr. Peppers, and a real microphone - all in our friend's living room.

Everyday I feel a mile closer to meeting our baby girl. Everyday I feel like I'm remembering new things I had forgotten about newborns and how much we loved experiencing the millions of new things that come with them. Similar to pregnancy, though not even close to the same degree I'm sure, it'll be so incredible getting to see the differences so up close between our two babes.

Meet Gloria Wild.

She has quite the story for entering this world. At this point, no matter how different they may be, I am convinced there isn't a story that is any less miraculous. I will say it took me quite a few hours, lots of replays, talks with friends and nurses to really know how to feel about this particular story.
Tuesday evening went late. We had friends over for a small group that meets here regularly and Aaron went to bed early - I didn't realize it but he was feeling terrible with aches of every kind and a fever. When everyone left I came to bed to find him super pitiful and very warm. Three or so trips later I had arranged a humidifier, brought water and a popsicle, and crawled into bed. Maybe 5 minutes later I had dozed off but woke to the universal body language of a subtle but sure trickle of water leaving me feeling confused and wet. I told Aaron but really couldn't believe it might be what I thought it was until the next small gush when I stood up and found myself frozen in a quick forming puddle. (Last pregnancy my water stayed in tact till Woodrow was crowning. What a gift I now know that was.) Aaron shoots out of bed and helps clean me up, gets all the way dressed, then starts packing bags and cleaning house, while calling our good friend Kaki who is here within minutes, to be with Woodrow, all out of excited-crazed-nervousness. I took my phone and sat on the toilet, a little shocked but putting together the contractions I now realized I'd been having for the last couple hours.
Contractions were about ten minutes apart but within 30 minutes they were 5 minutes apart, then 3 so I started to get nervous in a typical "lets not get alarmed" - apparently, me way. The midwife changed her suggestion to head towards the hospital from 4am to 1. We checked into the hospital and were taken to our birthing room, things felt like they were slowing down instead of picking up. Until about 4am it felt like we were sitting around talking about vacations, food, nursing, and comparing labor stories. Some time after 4 contractions were getting stronger but I was so ready to wait all day for it to be consistent that I started asking questions about what could help speed things up. In the next hour we stayed busy between contractions, breast pumping, and a home enema kit. The plan had been to get in the birthing tub but I was so sure it'd slow labor down that I didn't consider it. It must have been 5:15 or 5:20 when we started filling the tub with water "just incase" the midwife gave me the go-ahead to get in. She came in and checked my progress, 8cm. "Boo..." I thought, as I crawled off the hospital bed and began a big contraction. That contraction ended with an urge to push. I tried to say it but I don't know who heard me. I think at that point every contraction was seamlessly tied to the last as I was helped into the foot of water and I tried to take myself to that "happy place". There was no time. Im told it wasn't more than 10 minutes before it was over. I barely remember as it felt like an eternity inside of 5 minutes.
Once I was in the tub, everyone was either touching me, spraying my back with water, or pulling out needed arrival things. Aaron was trying to stay out of the way as the pace was picking up but he says he saw Gloria's face exit my body and no one else was watching. She came out in one FAST push so he managed to squeak something to alert the midwife who thankfully was within reach. If the tub had been full, she would have been born underwater, still not breathing and they would have grabbed her, passed her to me through my legs and it would have been done. Instead, the tub was still maybe just over a foot full and I heard someone exclaim, "Don't let her go under!". That's the last thing I remember before I was told to stand up and they finagled her around me and handed her to me.
Like I said, it took me hours to catch up with what happened. Transition and everything after it was recorded as happening in under 20 minutes.
Aaron's version is really short and pleasant. I really like it.
Woodrow gets really still when he gets close to her. He always has a huge smile on his face around her. He gently pokes her a lot. It's like he's taking notes. Seeing their relationship begin has been incredible. From the first day when he came to meet her we asked him where his little sister was and he pointed to her. He only has about 15 words currently and he has about 6 or 7 signs so everyday we are shocked at the levels of conversation he is understanding well. His age is so much fun. 15 months.
I'm blown away with how different it is to meet a second child. It makes me even more grateful than I thought I could be. I am all of a sudden a little nervous about being at home without Aaron to give me an extra hour to sleep every morning. I've been waking up to smoothies and waffles. Every day has felt like my birthday. Sleepless nights can feel so productive that I don't notice or care (except for that first hour of the day). I'm soaking this up.
Anyway, here she is, we couldn't be more smitten. She was 6.11 when she was born and 18 inches. She's two pounds less than Woodrow. Imagine that! She sleeps a lot more than he did. I have to set alarms to make sure she's getting fed or she'd sleep right through. She is perfect.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

4 weeks, plus some days (6) left!

Time is flying! I still feel like I am going to burst before the day is here when we're meeting our newest family member. I think having had Woodrow has made this pregnancy feel a million times more real and exciting. I was still in some form of denial when we were waiting to meet him. .... I love anticipating her but am so ready to see and hold her.

She doesn't have a name. That feels a little tragic, names have been so hard to narrow down. We weren't sure about Woodrow's name till the day he came but it feels  really odd this time to not even feel close to having a name and her arrival being around the corner.

Pregnancy has been a blur. A happy, heavy blur. We've stayed so busy. Haven't had time to do a lot of the things I did with Woodrow. I have a million things I've wanted to make for this little girl and I haven't done a thing because every free moment is spent soaking up alone time with Aaron or sleeping these days. No overflow of cute, handmade clothes and nursery decorations. No time. ....... Granted, I am not organized. But nesting was a fun part of the last pregnancy and this time I haven't made time for it. She's coming whether our home is decked out in cute bunting and new handmade mobiles or not.

I'm a little nervous about isolation once she comes. I'm SO excited about not working. I am done at the end of the month and can't be happier to be through with it for a while. Since Woodrow was born, I haven't given myself a chance to be undivided. Work responsibilities have hovered over my head almost every single day. I don't know why, because I don't loathe my job at all, but it has been hard to be back at knowing I would always prefer to be with our little man. ...... Anyway, I'm almost there. Giving myself atleast 2, maybe 3 months of time just with our family. Learning to care for two babies and my husband. Learning what it will take to get showers, straighten the house, and make meals.

I am so excited to be passing around a new, squishy little human to our friends and family that come to visit. One of my favorite memories was when Woodrow was new, sitting with anyone that would visit us - how proud I was, talking about life, labor, lack of sleep, new developments while he snoozed in our arms. It won't be near as quiet with a 15 month running around exploring and getting into things, and I guess that makes me a little sad but I hope to get a lot better at asking for help as we grow this next year.

A lot is upon us.

We'll be going to Florida in May for an orientation with a mission organization to explore opportunities in the Middle East. I can't wait for that, I know we'll learn a lot regardless of decisions that are made. I'm excited to have the mandatory time with Aaron, traveling together and learning as a unit. I'm not even sure if we'll be bringing the new baby yet, but Woodrow won't be coming so that will be an adventure either way.

Whatever we decide about moving forward to the Middle East, we will be making a move likely out of Asheville, mostly because we are tired of renting and not feeling settled. So obviously the answer is picking a new city and buying a house, right? :) .......... really though, lots of prayer is happening surrounding these things. Richmond, VA is high on our "likely-to-move" list.

Oh man! February can't end fast enough. March though, especially if our baby girl comes quick, March should take its time... linger a bit. April, my parents are visiting for the first time this year. They'll be around for a few weeks. ... So yeah, things are happening.

Well, that seems like all of it. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's been a while.

Being a mom means that even when I am out in the morning and have the diaper bag well stocked, extra food on hand, plenty of gas in the tank - if the babe is aching or a nap, I go home and give it to him. Things can get done later.

Putting him into his crib and knowing he's taken care of makes the inconvenience so much more than worth it. Also, now I have mandatory "me time".

I'm 27 weeks pregnant with a sweet baby girl. I just started feeling the discomfort of the size I am and it feels really early to be so annoyed with it. ... I haven't been praying for this little one near as much as I did with Woodrow. Adjusting to being a parent, even after a year has been a struggle as far as spiritual discipline. Mornings were about solitude and now they belong entirely to Woodrow. I try to squeeze every minute out of evenings and I don't go to bed early enough to wake up early. I'm probably three times as eager to meet her though. Aaron and I constantly look at eachother and try to figure out how we became a family of four. It feels like we went from not having one, to having always having had him and I imagine once we meet this next one, it will be the same. In many ways, Aaron seems much more present than I am. If I ever will be again, it may not be until I'm not pregnant anymore. So I find myself needing a lot of patience from myself and other people. I'm a little absent minded most of the time and have to write anything I need to remember down. Also, if Woodrow is with me I rarely feel like I can have a real conversation. This is something that  feels like a parenting cliché and I cannot accept it.

Speaking of, Woodrow just turned a year old. He has had 6 teeth and seems to be settled there for a bit. He's walking like a little duck, still losing balance but not losing heart. He's on the move all the time. I think he's been getting bored in the house lately which makes me worry about winter and being inside. He's almost always content when we are anywhere but home. He is calm and intrigued with everything. He's very independent. People swoon over his big, blue eyes. I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing strangers remark about how happy he is. When he has a fussy day I am starting to panic less that he'll never go back to the easy baby he has been.

Lately things have been so good. "Good" seems to continually take on new meaning in my life. I love that about parenting and being a wife. Those things anyway are what brought me here. I do wish I'd found the type of peace and satisfaction that I have these days, while I was single. I yearned so much to be content and love myself well. I guess in a lot of ways I still don't do that, but being tied to a man and then having a child depend on you pulls you outside of yourself in a way that I will always just understand as being necessary for me. I'm super self-absorbed. Any chance I have to make things about myself, I am good at it. So imagine the time and resources I had while single. I needed more on my plate. Unfortunately, and fortunately, I am good at freeing myself from responsibilities. My plate doesn't get too full because when it does, I have a serious "simplify" routine that keeps me from getting, (or staying), overwhelmed. It's goes like this. I tell myself - "I don't have to do that if I don't want to." or "This will get done tomorrow, or next month." ....... So home is happy. I feel like a strong, healthy team with Aaron. When I don't it really is because I am tired or we have been busy and I want some down time with him.

We traveled more than we can really afford in the last month and it's been really good. We picked places we'd not been in a while, people we'd been aching to see and we just did it. No budget or planning... we just set the dates and got it done. It's funny how we got back and realize why most people don't take trips on a whim, especially with kids, and we found big miscalculations on our bank statements resulting in fees, then I have a moment where I think "this was very worth it." We'll deal with it, eat more beans and rice than usual.

Home has been wherever I am with Aaron and Woodrow. Good conversations with people we care about. Our community has been growing as we are on the road and I love that. We happen to be most like-minded with friends that don't live near us and it's hard going months or more sometimes without getting time together. Living in Ashevillle is insanely beautiful. We have great friends here too, people that I don't like going a few days without talking to or seeing... but no one in town is where we are and its lonely sometimes. A friend told me this week that she has a hard time with not ever really relating to what I go through daily being a mom mostly. Without intentional time spent together, I feel that way about almost everyone I live near. We're all so different and separate. I don't like city-living because everyone is so isolated, as much as they want to be and more. Facebook is what people use to keep up with each other, even living in the same town - and I haven't had one for going on two years. (I'm just saying how technically detached I am from life as most everyone else knows it.) If anyone wants to know me at all at this point, they have to spend time with me. And I have to ask questions. Your facebook friends know much more about you and your daily routine than I will without spending a few days with you.

Anyway, I didn't have an agenda when starting this post.
Feel caught up a little bit?


Friday, March 2, 2012

My World.

I'm giving up reading blogs for lent, but that doesn't count my own journaling.  Anyway, this isn't going to be lengthy. Just a few photos. I think he was 6 weeks old. I'm thinking we're going to try to get an "official" picture of Woodrow every 3 months. You can see the changes better than every month. Also, I don't know when I'll want to stop so it will save room when I make a book of his pictures when he goes to college. Haha. Just kidding.

I love lent!
I love that every year it means more to me. And I love that my husband loves the Lord and encourages me by walking with me through new scripture every year. Someday I will actually follow along every week to the extent I'd like to. Good gracious, this season is rich!

All that's happening these days is fighting to keep track of time. It's flying by. I am starting to enjoy work again now that I don't feel like my world is being dropped when Woodrow isn't in my arms. And I'm taking applications for babysitters. The kind that realize its a complete privelidge to watch my baby and won't take money. Haha. Also, babysitters that understand the importance of Aaron and I spending some quiet moments away from sweet Woodrow. (Necessary when having set a goal to put our marriage first.)

So here you go:
by Richard Israel.

My loves. My world.

Oh. My. Goodness. My heart is full.

Sailor Jude and her sweet mother Sheena.

Nothing sweeter.

This is a favorite of ours.

Aaron asked for a family photo by the tree. I love that we are almost guaranteed to look awkward. Really, I like that about us.

He's not this small anymore! More like twice this size.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2 and a half months, + a week = 11 weeks

Woodrow is 14 and a half pounds. He's in the 90'th percentile. Bad at math? That means, 10 percent of babies are as big as him at his age! We have a little monster.

Our family went to Charlotte for a weekend, I went with Woodrow and Kaki to Atlanta for a weekend. Cloth diapers are fully under-way and it is so great. It's so much easier than I thought it would be, probably because so many people give you a look when you are pregnant and say that's what you're going to try. I even used them traveling on my own and had to wash a handfull in the tub in order to have enough for the last day of our trip. It was surprisingly easy, fulfilling, and maybe a little repulsive to one of our hosts... but we did it!

So many things are happening that bring me joy that I think, "next baby we have I may not have the time to notice these things so take note of it now".

I was thinking about all of the random things I wish I had been writing down as the last 11 weeks have gone by and I figured I'd make a couple lists just to get it out. More so than with pregnancy, things change day to day and week to week and I wish I was more in the habit of writing it all down. 

Favorite things:
  1. Having a baby in our home -Hooray babies! I look at all babies with a new appreciation. I never had any lasting thoughts or interest in all the little ones before. Now everything about them and parenting has color in a way that I feel like it only can being on this side of things. Our home doesn't ever feel empty with Woodrow here. It feels bursting with beginnings and life, especially when he's sleeping and I can stop and appreciate it all.
  2. Thinking about more babies - It blows my mind to think about how much love I could have for more children now that we have Woodrow. The few days after labor, I already wanted to go through it again, just not pregnancy. I think maybe 4 or 5 weeks later I started to miss pregnancy. Everything is richer with him here and if we'd had things our way, we wouldn't have had Woodrow right now, our two year mark is this coming July... God's sovereignty has amazed us through all of this. Sure, ask me again after the next one, but right now I wouldn't mind having 5 or 6. (Aaron would probably look terrified hearing these numbers.)
  3. Woodrow's smile -Melts my heart.
  4. The first hour of each day - Woodrow is most alert and usually can't stop smiling or coo'ing about who knows what. He's totally a morning person so far.
  5. Hearing from Aaron how proud he is of me - Best thing ever. It beats all of the other affirmations I could hear. Not all the time, but sometimes, it is a lot of work taking care of a babe and it doesn't require notice to feel great, but to have someone hug you and tell you how hard they see you working, or how much of yourself you give - it beats all.
  6. Woodrow's sleepy gurgles, squeaks, and whimpers - They have lessened since he was born, but boy did those sweet noises surprise me. Not only had I never heard a noisy new born sleep before, but who ever knew it could sound so sweet.
  7. The moments when Aaron and I are alone are sweeter than ever before - Maybe because they feel like a sort of calm in the middle of a tired, not so wild storm, but they are so peaceful.
  8. Woodrow Bright Buchanan - the name. It's so good. And suits him so well. Most common said word so far about him when he's awake "he's so bright!" or "he's so bright eyed!" Haha, maybe those are cliche baby compliments but it works.
  9. Scheduled feeding/sleeping times - Also known as "babywise". I did a little researching and most resources spoke negatively of the Babywise method. I have only read a little of the book and asked a lot of questions but the more I have learned and played around with, the easier EVERYthing is for us. Woodrow has become predictable and consistant, I can read his cues and he rarely cries anymore without me knowing pretty much exactly why. In the beginning, these things seemed so confusing to me because it felt a little chaotic making it up as I went along... but now I do feel super settled and like I understand my baby. Anyway, this is really exciting to me.
  10. Breastfeeding! - Totally hurt at first. Actually, for me, it kinda hurt a bit at the beginning of every feeding for the first 7 weeks I think. But I'd just bear down and get over those first few seconds. I was also engorged like crazy on one side. That was also painful sometimes and I didn't know that it could happen. It was a journey but its so great. Woodrow had a gunky eye at like 3 weeks and I read to put breastmilk in it and it cleared it up in a few hours. Weird and AMAZING. Also, someone told me the same works to help loosen snot when they are congested. We will see!
  11. Moments with friends sharing life - There aren't near as many girl-sit-downs this early in the game but I am so refreshed by them. I love sharing my wealth of experiences and struggles and going through them with other people with similar or super different things going on. This is kinda big and vague but its friendship, its more meaningful than it ever has been.

Hardest things:
  1. Lack of sleep - People try to warn you but warnings can't prepare you for weeks without being able to really catch up. When it's not getting to me, it seems to always be getting to Aaron. In all the time I've known him, I've never known him this way... it's growing and hard at times. We actually left town for a few days and Aaron still didn't feel caught up. We're very different. Now, all I need is 6 hours to feel like a new person.
  2. How fast he grows - People talk about that all the time too. I have been shocked at how big he is since he was 6 weeks old. I'm serious, 90th percentile folks! Big, sweet boy.
  3. The first time I got sick being a new mom - Wow, I really felt like I had it under control. All I had was a cold but I am such a fan of totally pampering myself when I don't feel good and that couldn't happen. It felt like a gamble to see if he'd sleep long enough for me to get anything done, much less, lay down. It only lasted 3 days but it took the rug out from under me. I'm already confident though, after that first one, the next time will be so much easier. It was just such a shock.
  4. The first time he got sick - 2 days ago he started coughing and I knew something was up. A friend said it was likely just some drainage and propping him up, keeping our home humid would help. The first night, he woke up with a horrible sounding cough, he'd choke then scream with frustration. It broke my heart and scared me half to death. I woke Aaron up but wasn't making much sense as I was crying and talking about urgent care and choking. Apparently it's a common virus but since he's so little, we just have to let it run its course and keep an eye on his temperature. It's the saddest thing to see someone so tiny gurgle, snore, and cough so much.
  5. Being responsible with my down time - All I want to do is hang out with people, look at Woodrow, sleep, or watch movies. I've started a couple crafts and cooked a bit, and I have been working a few hours a week since he's been born but none of it is immediately what I want to do though it does feel great to be productive. Don't ask me when the last time I read something on my own accord was.
  6. I feel guilty, a lot. - I find myself apologizing a lot to people that are helping me. I don't ask for help well it turns out and I don't know how to take it well I'm afraid. Same goes for getting compliments, that's always been awkward. I hope these things change because I don't want it to be rooted in pride.

There were a lot more things on my mental list before I sat down, so I'll hopefully be adding things.