Saturday, August 30, 2014

quiet in the chaos

right now i sit in our family room surrounded by quiet except for the errant voices drifting over from the pool on this late summer saturday. this kind of quiet only comes when everyone else naps, and i stay up drinking some afternoon coffee and thinking about life.

i should probably nap too, but moments to sit and think come so rarely now that i wanted to take advantage of it.

life promises to stay hectic for a while. the gradual slow-down will happen of course, but i have tried to enjoy the chaos despite the chaos.

there are things about this specific time that i just want to get past. i want to get to the 6 weeks out from a c-section so i can feel like a normal person, and pick up my son, and start exercising again. but 6 weeks out is a long time in the life of an infant. six weeks of life looks very different from less than 1 week of life. and even as i dislike and even dread parts of this time in adele's life - and this time of life in the world of our family - i don't want to miss it.

i don't want to miss keane getting to know his sister, and adele starting to understand her family. i don't want to miss watching them both grow over the course of something that will stretch them and their character.

i know that one day i will wake up and they will both be out of the house, and i will think back to these moments. the times when keane woke up because adele cried too loudly, and the first words he said were "baby! baby!" - very concerned for the well-being of his little sister. the times when he picked up his toys to show to her, and leaned his face into her to kiss her goodnight. the times when she reacted to his voice alone as he ran circles around the room playing with his toys.

one day i will think back and realize that because they are so close in age not only will adele never remember a time when keane wasn't around - he will not remember a time before her either.

sure, there are things that are driving me a little crazy right now, but all of it will pass one way or another, and i have a choice to make about how i react in the midst of it.

yes, life is chaotic. yes, life will be chaotic. the house will not always be clean. the kids will not always do what we'd like. schedules will interfere, appointments will run long, traffic will be bad, time for reflection will not always be available. but i can freak out about it - which will happen from time to time, though hopefully not as often as it used to - or i can breathe and take it in, and realize that life will pass by one way or another. and i can choose how i react to it.

i can be thankful for my kids and my husband. i can be thankful for the car i have to get stuck in traffic, and the house i have to get messy. i can be thankful for appointments with professionals who care for my family, and schedules that involve living life with other people. i can be thankful, or i can be upset. sometimes i will get upset, i know. because i haven't lived under a rock for the last 30 years, and i know myself well enough to know that. but sometimes i can take deep breaths, and remember the things i know in the quiet moments. and i can bring that quiet peacefulness into the chaos.

i can teach my kids to freak out, or to breathe, and calm down. every day, i have a choice to make.



Friday, August 29, 2014

welcome to the world, baby girl!

we made it home from the hospital yesterday. we asked to come home a little earlier than normal, and since everything checked out medically; they let us.

we're slowly adjusting to life as a family of four - with a lot of help from peter's parents!

she's already proved herself very different from her brother, even though she came out looking quite a lot like him. there will be more stories to come over the next days [and weeks and years], but suffice it to say that we're adjusting to parenthood all over again.

we love this little girl big! keane is slowly figuring her out, and i'm sure there will be lots of great stories on that front too. tonight he leaned his face in to kiss her goodnight while she was sleeping in her little swing. thankfully it wasn't swinging at the time, or he would have received a bonk on the head for his trouble. he's still learning the meaning of "gentle" and that she can't actually play with him and his toys yet, but he likes showing her his toys whether she's actually awake to look at them or not.

anyway, i don't have the pictures off of the good camera yet, but here are a few hospital shots of our sweet little adele jane.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

dear adele,

{found via pinterest from yarning made}

well baby girl, in less than a week i'll be holding you in my arms. it's kind of funny to think about holding you for the "first" time when i've been carrying you around for the past 9 or 10 months, but life has many ironies. you'll learn about them soon enough.

i cannot believe we're as close as we are to meeting you. in many ways time has flown, though admittedly december 21, 2013 feels like a very long time ago now. but you're almost here. i need you to stay put until your scheduled arrival date though, okay? none of this coming early stuff. your brother didn't have a problem staying snug as a bug in a rug, and it would be very helpful if you followed suit.

i hate that i haven't taken as much time to write to you over the course of my pregnancy with you. of course while i carried your brother we weren't moving houses, and i didn't have another child to chase around all the time, but please know that just because there isn't as much documentation of your pregnancy it doesn't mean we love you less, or that you're less wanted than him.

please know that we are immensely grateful for the blessing you are. please know that we love you always - no matter what. know that while we may have certain expectations of your character, we want you to be yourself. we want you to be the person God created you to be. we look forward to getting to know you and learning who that person is. we look forward to watching the way the Lord will shape you and grow you and teach you. know that no matter what, you were created in the image of God and you have value.
you have unbelievable worth.

if anyone ever tells you differently know that he/she is lying to your face. no one can take that worth away from you. no one. no matter what happens.

i won't lie to you and tell you that this life holds only wonderful things. times will be hard. there will be pain, and tough roads to walk, and heartache. but the struggles make you stronger. they still aren't fun, and knowing this probably won't make it a whole lot easier to go through them. nonetheless it is true, and you need to know that it's true.

there are so many things i want to tell you now and show you now and explain to you so they don't hurt you as much when they happen. i don't want you to hurt. unfortunately i won't be able to protect you from everything. you will get hurt at some point. trying to protect you completely from hurt will not end up making you a better, stronger person, but just the opposite. and i don't want to cause you more pain by trying not to allow any into your world.

when it does happen though, please know that your dad & i are always here for you. we love you so much, and will do what we can to comfort you. i know over the course of your life there will be times when you feel so very alone. please know you are never alone. even when you have to walk a certain path on your own, you are never alone.

i wish i could catalogue all of my mistakes for you and explain them in a way that would allow you to learn from them, but not have to make them yourself. i know that cannot and will not happen though. so, let me just share a couple things with you:
don't expect anyone else to define you. God created you and knows you inside and out. no other person can live up to that.
when the time comes for you to date - don't date jerks. no matter how cute he is, the decision to date a jerk will come back to bite you in the long-run.
marry someone whose character you love. people change. character remains.
don't be a know-it-all. no matter how much you know, there's always more to learn.
remember to be kind. everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.

i could go on for a long time, but i'll just end with this... please know that we will mess up as your parents. we are messed up, broken, imperfect people. so, in light of that, please know that we always always always want what is best for you. even when it's hard. even when it hurts. even when it means that you don't like us very much for a little while. we will always want what's best for you.

i love you adele jane.

your mama

Sunday, August 17, 2014

an abundance of gratitude

{found via pinterest from FLY}

our life has been more than a little crazy and chaotic for the past couple of months. it still remains that way, but i had to take a minute to pause and say thank you.

we've had so much help getting the old house ready to list, and readying the new house before and after our move. right now we're ahead of where peter anticipated at this point, and are actually sleeping in our own fully-put-together bed in the master bedroom of the new house.

if it weren't for the massive amounts of help we've had along the way though we would be much much grumpier, and not nearly as far down this path.

you guys, my in-laws spent their saturday afternoon cleaning our old house, and cleaning out our old shed. now, you may think "oh, that's nice of them" and i agree. i especially agree since at some point in the not-too-distant past one or more squirrels got into our shed and defecated all over a bunch of the storage boxes in there. yes. uber-nasty.

not only have we had a monstrous amount of help from peter's family - framing in a closet; massive amounts of painting; time spent watching keane so we could work on things; moving lots and lots of boxes, and furniture; and cleaning up squirrel poop - we have also received help from many other people too.

both of my parents have come through town at times to help us with various projects - painting, cleaning, and a lot of time spent with their grandson so we could check off our list.

and today, three of the guys that peter works with were in town for the weekend, so they came and helped peter demo about 90% of the master bathroom so our contractor doesn't have to do as much.

yes, we still have lots of projects. but the only two rooms left to be redone/refinished/repainted/renovated are the master bathroom and the kitchen. and the kitchen is fully functional, just really ugly.

yes, we bit off a lot, but this house is starting to really feel like home. this would not be the case if we had tried to do it all ourselves.

one of these days i'll get around to taking all of the "after" photos. it may not be for a few months, but i'm so beyond completely grateful for how many people have helped us out along the way.

sometimes it's hard to ask for help, and it's often difficult to accept help that's offered, but it certainly makes a difference.

so thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has helped us out, offered to help, kept us sane, and prayed for us along this not-done-yet-but-can-finally-see-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel journey.

oh, and i just have to tell you that amidst all of everything else over the course of the past few days: my sister-in-law gave birth to our third niece, and my dad turned 60!

crazy good, right? crazy good.


Friday, August 1, 2014


{found via pinterest from soroyalty}

august happened upon us today though it feels less like august outside than ever. truthfully, i cannot say ringing in august with a 73 degree day and rain launching from the clouds disappoints me when it could be 105 degrees as it has been in the past.

i don't think my just-shy-of-36-weeks belly could take the 100+ degree temps this year.

baby boy slept until close to 10 this morning. of course that could have something to do with the weather and the fact that he woke and woke and woke last night despite taking zero nap yesterday [not for lack of crib time...]. so i took my bonus time to catch up on project runway, paint my nails, and have a bit of a writing binge since i haven't had much time to put pen to paper, or keystrokes to screen lately.

we still have a lot to do before adele comes. we're making progress, but our checklist still intimidates me a bit. so, waking up to the "welcome to august 1" calendar this morning created a wonderful opportunity for deep breathing.

most women start to pray for the baby to come a little early at this point in their pregnancy. me? i'm praying she stays put until the 26th. like, no braxton-hicks, no contractions, nothing.

of course if keane's process is any indication of adele's then i have nothing to worry about in that department, but as my doctor says -- every pregnancy is different.

the biggest difference between her pregnancy and his thus far? i know she'll actually be born in the same month as her due date despite the fact that her original due date was august 30th.

i'm not going to lie, thinking about having two kids outside the womb makes me a bit panicky some days. keane is a great kid. he's so so so much fun, and i love him to pieces. but, like any toddler [or person, really] he has his days. those days when i want to pull out my hair whilst simultaneously screaming into a pillow. you know those days. all parents of toddlers know those days. they just happen. no matter who you are, or how you're attempting to raise your kid[s]. they happen. and they suck. really and truly.

so the thought of having two kids under two... well, it makes me think - what the h were we thinking??

thankfully this thinking only lasts for a short while before the gratefulness overpowers it. we are thankful. we are excited. intimidated? a bit, yes. but at the end of the day we also know that this time shall pass, and we don't want to miss it.

it's so easy to get caught up and held back by the little things. it happens to me at least once a day if i'm being really honest. ok, saying it only happens once a day is actually being generous, but you know what i mean.

a whole series of small things make up this life we live, but getting caught up on any one of them kind of sets us up to get screwed. life never turns out how you thought it would. hopefully it's better at the end of the day, but even if where you are is not better that doesn't mean it won't get better. all too often i let myself get stuck and wallow. it does no one any good. no one.

hmm... pardon my philosophical side. the cloudy, rainy day brought it out, and i haven't managed to put it away yet.

anyway, the cloudy, rainy, cooler than normal day also has me thinking about fall. i know that wishing away the rest of the summer seems [ok, is] counter to what i said earlier about not wishing time away, but i just love fall so much it's hard for me to wait for it! plus, by the time we get to the fall having two kids will be much more normal than it seems now! so, while i refuse to actually wish away the next couple weeks and months, i also eagerly anticipate fully settling into our new house, and being a family of four.

while there are many reasons why i don't want time to speed up and speed past me - i want to enjoy these last four weeks with keane, i want to accomplish more than a few more projects before adele gets here, i want to actually have our old house fully packed up and moved over - i also have much to look forward to. more than anything i'm excited to meet the little girl who has been poking, prodding, and stretching my belly for these last few months. i'm excited for fall sports, for keane's second birthday [though i still cannot believe he's turning 2], for the temps to consistently be more like today, to fit into normal clothes, to watch my sis-in-law get married; and so many other great things coming down the pike.

welcome to august, friends!


Friday, July 25, 2014

one L & an update

ohmygoodness. ok. i've not exactly been great about updating lately. apologies! so, today we're going to have a quick story time and then an update on life. ahem. a quick update on life.

{found via pinterest from pure joy paperie}

commence story time:
so. a little while ago i let you in on what our daughter's name will be. after the fact i realized that i unintentionally spelled her name wrong, and not only that, but have been spelling it incorrectly since we started talking about naming her.

i always thought that peter's gran spelled her middle name with two Ls. adelle. why? you ask. fair question. here's the answer:

quite a few years ago now i remember visiting gran, and noticing her college diploma hanging in the office at her house. the name on her college diploma read as follows: marion adelle.

the funny part about this is that when we received the message that gran spells her middle name: adele, not adelle, i told peter's mom the story of the diploma, and where our spelling of gran's middle name came from.

gran went and checked her diploma and it turns out i remembered it accurately. so, a few years after gran graduated from college she discovered [or quite possibly rediscovered] that her name is spelled wrong on her diploma.

all that to say that baby girl's name is still adele jane, the spelling is just: adele, not adelle.

{found via pinterest from}

and here's the rest:
we officially went under contract on our house a week ago. [woot! woot!] and we're one month and one day from adele's scheduled birth-day. oh, and we close on the old house one month from today. as in, we'll go close on the house, and then i'll go to my pre-op appointment[s] for the c-section. nothing like cutting it close!

our backyard fence is going in next week, and we met with a couple contractors this week to re-do our bathroom. in all likelihood the bathroom demo and reno will start when we're at the hospital having adele. 

there are still quite a few projects that need to happen before adele's arrival, and even more that have moved into our "ongoing projects" category. i have realized that it will likely take a couple of years before we have completed all of the projects we've set out to do, and i'm trying to be okay with that...

what else is going on? keane is growing like a weed and saying more and more. he loves reading books, climbing the stairs, saying hi and buh-bye to random people, going to the playground, going for walks on the greenway, going to the pool - or the "wawa", being outside in general, exploring and figuring out how things work, watching dora [but asks to watch "boots" and is generally restricted to one show a day], and generally making his opinion known on all subjects.

that's it in a nutshell!

happy friday!

Monday, July 14, 2014


{via etsy}

every morning i wake up, brew my coffee, and start my day. some days this whole process of pulling myself out of bed and out to the coffeepot goes more smoothly than others. but i do it every morning.

coffee is wonderful. good coffee, that is.

coffee has the ability to evoke a variety of emotions in me. you may think this strange, but that does not make it less true.

coffee always reminds me of grammy. always.

up until i was a senior in college i didn't drink coffee regularly. sure, i went to starbucks, but i never ordered just plain coffee, and i certainly didn't have it every day. but during my internship the summer before my last semester i started drinking it in the mornings. and excepting very few mornings since, i've been a coffee drinker.

grammy loved that. she seemed almost proud that despite neither of my parents being coffee drinkers, i had become one. almost like she gave me a coffee gene.

it's funny to think about in a way. for as many things as i remember and associate with her, coffee is one. she took a long time to drink her coffee, and you could often smell it on her breath. many times when i think back over the memories i have of her, she is either drinking coffee, or white zinfandel.

to me, coffee has a way of slowing things down, even when it speeds it up. most mornings i can take my time drinking my coffee. i can savor it, and while doing so attempt to savor the moments of life happening around me. i say attempt because life with a toddler does not give one a lot of time to reflect during said toddler's waking hours. however, good coffee and a moment to drink it remind me of what life is about.

it helps me pause and give thanks for my life, and reminds me of what my priorities should be.

coffee also has a way of bringing people together. not at the preclusion of other things, but over the years, i've had many coffee dates with friends. my friend tina and i used to meet with our small group girls in a coffee shop, and to this day walking into a cozy coffee shop makes me relax a bit even if i'm getting my drink to go.

the coffee mugs in our house hang on the wall of the dining room. when people come over they get to pick their mug. if keane is awake when i make my coffee in the morning, he has to approve my mug. [seriously, he'll point, and if i pick one he doesn't like that day he shakes his head no.]

i associate coffee with reflection - whether it's through writing, deep thought, or conversation. i associate it with getting things on track. sometimes it's my day, sometimes it's what is going on in my life as a whole.

as i've shared over the past couple of posts - life is crazy right now... peter and i just talked last night about how we have both started feeling a bit burnt out. we both crave a bit of personal time when we don't feel like we're "on the clock" so-to-speak.

all that to say that even though i honestly feel a bit guilty for wanting that time; the alone time i crave most is time at a coffee shop reflecting on life and getting my ducks in a row. [it seems there are quite a few ducks right now, and they all have their own individual minds and ideas about where we should go next. kind of like toddlers]

this morning i'm reminded of the quote i put at the top of this post - i need a little bit of coffee, and a whole lot of Jesus. and for some reason, my little bit of daily coffee reminds me that i need a whole lot of Jesus.

i hope you have a great monday.
full of coffee and Jesus.