It’s All Me

I’ve read in several places where some mamas are getting some things off their chests about Christmas. The feeling is that Christmas is a massive production and without us, it would never happen. I think by about this point in the show,  some of us may be starting to feel a bit unappreciated, and are really needing to remind anyone with a WiFi capable device that we are the people coordinating the magic that everyone is enjoying during this lovely holiday season so would it kill you to look up from your peppermint white hot chocolate and say thank you dadgummit?
I know that if there are any men out there who are like my husband, you are saying, “hey! I’m no slouch! My wife isn’t the only one making Christmas magic at my house!” And while I can tell you that, without a doubt, my husband is the jingle bell to my rock, 100% of the holiday festivities that go on in this home would not happen if I wasn’t shoving them down the track like a freight train. I prompt them all. And I love it. I love my job. It may be thankless in the more obvious ways, but here is the thing about Christmas magic: Part of its magic is the fact that it seems to just…happen. If my mother had spent my childhood Christmases telling me ALL
about how hard she was having to work, and what a thankless job it was to be mom at Christmas, I probably wouldn’t have grown up with the nostalgic warm fuzzies that I feel when I remember them.

What I hope I’m getting across is this… I work so hard all year long to instill gratitude and respect in my kids. I hope at Christmas they can just enjoy the magic, the beauty, all of it, and not really worry about where it came from. One day,  they will know. One day they will be working their little tails off, trying to manufacture “magic”, and hopefully I’ll still be around so that they can give me a call. Heaven knows I wish I could call my mother so badly. If she were still here, I would, NOW, tell her “Thank you, mom. You made Christmas amazing and beautiful for me. Now I know how much work that was,  and I never heard you say a word about it. You must have been exhausted, because Mama, I’m exhausted. Thank you.”
For now,  my thank you will be the things my oldest son does as the Christmas season approaches. Like, when he pulls out his favorite ornaments so lovingly, or when he gets excited and says, “are we going caroling?”
He has it! The warm fuzzies of Christmas. I’m so excited that I have been able to foster that feeling in him about Christmas. What an incredible job I have. It’s all me.

“Onlys” on Sibling Day

Thinking tonight about all my only child friends and kids today. Because of social media, “sibling day” may go from a silly unknown to a real thing. I saw B long for a sibling for as long as he was aware, and it was so painful to watch. Baby A may be the most cherished sibling I have ever seen, by his big brother who wanted him so badly. For my “onlys”: remember that adopted family, the friends who we take in for life, are true gifts from God and can be just as amazingly special as any sibling. We just have to nourish those relationships and commit to them. They are so worth it. Oh, how I adore the other “sisters” I have in my life! The ones my kids will grow up calling Auntie. Priceless. 

I love kids

Every year in February, our church is part of a rolling homeless shelter called Winter Haven, where we house some men for a week, and take care of them during the time until they move on to the next church, keeping them warm for the winter months. (Side note: I’m ALWAYS humbled by how Lis and the men of our church give up so much of their time and sleep to stay up at the church during this week!) Last night a few of us were hanging out there and Kim ‘s son was just so cute, making the rounds like these guys were his bestest friends, telling them all about his plane (and they all listened intently :)). Kids are awesome. Sometimes we can be intimidated by the situation these guys are in, and maybe standoffish, but really, none of us are more than just a few steps away at any given point from some really horrible luck. The streets may smell bad, people may have issues that we think we’d never fall into, but- NONE of us is better, and I love that sometimes it takes a kid to walk around and remind us of it. That’s all.

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Bedtime prayers

B tonight:
“…and thank you God for Mom and Dad and Mason. And thank you, Lord, for Baby A. He was really worth the wait. In Kindergarten I kind of lost my patience and I asked when you were going to give me a brother. But then we got this house, and I found out that we were going to get A, and he is really wonderful. ….I’m happy we waited for him.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Wow, Mom. That was a really long prayer, wasn’t it?”

Oh sorry, B. I can’t answer you because of ALL THE CRYING.

Goodbye 2014!

Hello 2015! This is only a snippet of the awesome people we got to see as we said goodbye to the year last night.

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While pondering it, my first thought was that there was no way that 2015 can compete with 2014. What an amazing year it was! So much waiting and longing in our life came to fruition! This will be the first year of my life, though, that I will ever have lived out as a mama to 2 boys. This will be the year that, Lord willing, our adoption becomes complete, our baby boy starts walking and talking, and our big boy will grow and mature in so many ways that it just brings tears to my eyes.

So, I leave you with a conversation I had with my big boy (B- 7y/o) while he was giving his baby brother (A- 3m/o) a bottle for the first time yesterday.
B, to A (whispered right down close to his face): “I love you, A.”
Me: “You know, one day, he’ll be big enough that he can say that back to you. I remember when you first said it back to be as a little boy. I thought my heart might burst, it made me so happy.”
B: “Yeah, and one day, he’ll say, ‘I love you, too, B!’ And my heart will want to burst. And then one day, I’ll have my own sons, and they’ll say it, too, and A will have his own, and our hearts will be so happy.”
Me: “And you know where we get all of this love? God pours it into us so that we can share it.”
B: “‘We love because He first loved us’, right?
Me: *heart bursting*

Happy Happy Happy New Year!!

Feel the Love(ie)

Guys, I love me a lovie. Give me a baby and I will do my darnedest to help him self-soothe. Key in that effort is The Lovie. I tried so hard to choose my first son’s lovie. I sweetly rubbed beautiful embroidered blankets up against his infant face for months. And yet, against my will, he attached to a soft, warm set of infant winter pj’s. They are hilarious.

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Poor kid was almost asleep when I made him sit up for this picture.🙂

Our second son, however, our new baby boy has cooperated with my Lovie Wishes! I was so surprised to see him attaching to a blanket, without any of my manipulation at all! I think I may have mentioned in my last blog, my sadness at not having a blanket made by my mom (as B did). But so many loved ones gave our sweet baby boy such precious blankets, constantly reminding us that he is loved dearly.

We love them all, but the blanket he fell madly in love with was from our Christy. It is a soft blanket from Pottery Barn, with satin edging, and his whole name embroidered across it. When we touch it to his sleepy face, his eyes roll back in his head and then softly close. He can hardly fight it. And it is precious.

If we learned nothing else from our experiences with Lovie and B, it’s that if you can find a backup, you should! So Pottery Barn, you should be expecting a call from us very soon.

One Sleep ’til Christmas!

That’s right! Knowing the you are one sleep away from going to pick up your long-awaited baby has got to be the closest thing an adult will ever get to remembering what it felt like to be a little kid on Christmas Eve. I’m too excited to sleep!! And I really should sleep while I can.

I’ve folded the blankets my mom made for B tonight, wishing so hard that she were here to make one for her newest grandson.

I’ve completely rearranged the nursery.🙂

And we had THE toast. Husband and I have carried a bottle of sparkling cider around in our fridge for over 5 years that we bought one day at IKEA, back in 2009. We had thought we were pregnant, or that we were about to be, or something, and we had planned to pop it open to celebrate. Well, when we found out we weren’t, we stubbornly decided to save that bottle, month after month-to celebrate with on that day we would find out we were “with child”. There were days in these past 5 years that I looked at that bottle and wanted to smash it against the wall. But tonight we decided to celebrate our “pregnancy” by cracking it open. And tomorrow…Christmas.

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