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.