Motherhood

This scene has become all too familiar in the last few weeks near bedtime. My three year old with big, fat, tears rolling down her cheeks, saying that she just loves me so much and she just wants me.

I cringe at my own internal struggle. I am tired. I want to relax. Actually talk to my husband for a few. Watch tv. Go to sleep. Read a book. Pick any of the above. Just give me 10 minutes, please…

But here is that little face so dear to me, needing me to wipe away those tears, tell her how much I love her, and wrap my arms around her and just let her relax into the safety of my arms for a few more minutes.

So we snuggle. I look into her big, beautiful eyes and tell her how much I love her and that I am proud of her. That she is so important to me. That nothing she could ever say or do would ever change that. She pats my cheeks, looks deep into my eyes and tells me that “I am her best friend”. And thanks me. Because she just “needed her mommy a little bit tonight.”

And my heart squeezes. Tears trickle down onto her hair as I hug her. How long before she won’t want me like this anymore? Before I’m not her best friend?

Motherhood is tiring friends. An all encompassing, life altering, bone weariness some days (especially when the baby is cutting her molars). But goodness, it is so worth it.

I love being a mom to my girls. And even when it’s hard. Even when I could use a break. Even when I wish I could put myself in a bubble so little hands can’t constantly touch me. I wouldn’t trade a minute of this crazy life I’ve been blessed with.

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Happy 3rd Birthday!

Avery,

Happy 3rd Birthday! Even as I sit here typing that, I cannot believe it’s true. Where has the time gone so quickly? IMG_2636

I’m sorry to say that a stomach bug took out most of our family last night, so our celebrations didn’t go exactly as we had planned. I’m glad that you are feeling better today, and that you didn’t have to spend your birthday sick.

Avery, you are such a blessing to me and all who meet you. I love how much you enjoy life. You so get excited over the smallest things and have a radiant happiness that is contagious. You have such a big heart. You love fiercely and express that love in thousands of small ways every day.

You are also extremely funny. Your sense of humor (which you get from your Daddy) is really starting to come out. I am pretty sure that we are going to get a few calls from you teachers in the future over some practical jokes you pull in class. Always stay silly, sweetheart. You make me laugh every single day. IMG_5720

I love watching you grow. My little baby that I was snuggling in the hospital three short years ago is changing in to a little girl. Gone are the chubby cheeks and legs rolls. The sweet “Averyisms” as you learned to talk. And in its place is an amazingly smart, beautiful and sweet little girl, that I am proud to call my daughter.

Please don’t change and try to stay little forever. You made me a mom three years ago today, and it simply has been the best being your mom.

I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 3rd Birthday, sweetie.

Love,

Momma

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Dear Piper,

You’ve been a part of our lives for seven months now. You are a delight and such a fun part of our family. You are my non-stop smiler, gigglebox, and little go-getter wrapped up in a lean 14 lb. body. IMG_1615

You are such a happy baby, as long as you are awake. You smile constantly and bat those baby blues at us all day long. But goodness child, you NEVER sleep. I don’t know how a baby who takes three thirty minute cat naps a day and still wakes up a bajillion times a night can be in such a good mood, but you are. And we love you even though you don’t sleep, although we may love you more if you started…just saying.

Ever since you were in my belly, I knew that you were going to be a mover and a shaker. I called you ninja baby, because you never stopped moving. And you are still a little spitfire. Changing your diaper is about as easy as I would imagine it would be to wrestle an alligator. You roll, flip over, wiggle, and try to do any number of stealth baby moves in order to make the job near impossible. And you also think it’s a game and giggle the whole time you do it. Thanks for that.

You’ve been crawling for more than a month now, are pulling up on everytIMG_1209hing, crawling up stairs, and starting to try and cruise between furniture. Feel free to slow down; I am not sure I am ready for you to walk yet. Plus you look way too tiny to walk, but I don’t think that is going to stop you from doing anything.

One more thing. I know that you love me, but I promise that other people aren’t out to get you. You don’t have to scream like crazy anytime anyone other than me holds you. Like your Dad, or your Grandma, or anyone really. They love you, and giving me a five-minute break every once and awhile would be greatly appreciated.

Love,

Your tired momma

P.S.

You are so worth it. The countless sleepless nights. The worry about your hoarseness. The feeling that I may never have another minute to myself. Even though it’s hard sometimes, I wouldn’t trade a minute of being your mom.

Almost Two

Dear Avery,

How is it even possible that you will be two in a few days? I still can’t wrap my mind around that fact. You change every day and are growing up with each blink I take. I wish that time would slow down.

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Here are just a few of my favorite things about you right now:

  • The way that you negotiate with me on everything. “Two minutes mommy” with your little fingers pressed up against your cheeks for emphasis.
  • The way that you come over and whisper “Come out baby sister, play me” to my belly on a daily basis.
  • The way that you learn new things every day. Like the day you surprised us with singing your whole ABC’s.
  • The way that you ask me to “snuggle for a minute” when you are sleepy/sad.
  • The way you ask me to buy “mole” (guacamole) the second we walk into any grocery store.
  • The way you absolutely love books and also just ask for “one more pease” after we finish reading the 100th one.
  • The way you giggle with your whole entire body. There is nothing better than your laugh.
  • The way you enjoy life. I will never tire of you squealing in delight and telling me that swinging, cooking, blowing bubbles or any other small thing in life is”so fun, so fun.” Enjoy those little moments in life forever.
  • The way that you come up to me and wrap your arms around me and say, “It’s ok Mommy” whenever you think that I am sad or upset.
  • The way you ask us to “Come back, come back” whenever we have to leave you for a little while.
  • The way you repeat everything we say, and talk non-stop. I love that we can have conversations together now.
  • The way you come up to me and tug on my hand and say “Play with me,” a hundred times a day.
  • The way you love music and can sing the words to your favorite songs.
  • The way that you get this impish little grin and say “hi” whenever you are caught doing something that you aren’t supposed to.

And speaking of doing things that you aren’t supposed to, there are definitely some hard moments these days too. You have embraced almost being two, and have a strong stubborn independent streak. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of living life every day with you. I love being your mom and you make my life so wonderful and fun.

So Happy almost Birthday. Mommy loves you, and I can’t wait to watch you grow this next year. I know that you are going to be a great big sister!

Goodbye Charlottesville

It’s time to say goodbye to the city the has been our home for the last five years and three months. And a lot has happened in that time. We got married and moved to this city to start our life together, all our on own. We got our first IMG_0865“grown-up” jobs. We bought our first house. We had our first child. We’ve made many great friends and cherished our time at our church.

There are so many memories here. And as always, the leaving is hard. It’s hard to leave what you love, what is familiar, and what you know. It’s hard to leave the known, for the unknown.

Don’t get me wrong. We are very excited about the future. Of moving back closer to home. Of being near both our families and living daily life with them. It is so clear that this is where we should be going next.

We just have to trust that God will work at the little details of this next chapter of our live, just like he has faithfully done for us here.

So, goodbye Charlottesville. Thank you for opening your arms to us and being our home over the last few years. You will be missed.

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Snow

There is just something magical about snow for me.

IMG_4497Remember the anticipation as a child when they were calling for winter weather? You would sit in front of the TV waiting for the news of school closing to flash up on the screen. You would then fall to sleep praying and hoping that it would actually come. (At least for us in Virginia – our weather people tend to exaggerate about the quantity of snow we actually receive).

When morning came you would jump out of bed and take a peek out of the curtain, hoping the whole world would be dusted with the powdery goodness. And when it was, it made the world stop for a minute (remember we’re in Virginia where an inch cancels school), wrapped in a white fluffy blanket.IMG_1710

And you would rejoice. SNOW DAY! No school. Sledding, hot chocolate, snowmen, rosy cheeks, snow angels, mittens, and snow forts.

I love the memories I have of snow days as a child. Sledding for hours with my brother. Sparky (our jack russell) trying to pull us up the hill. Making snow angels with my Mom. Building a snowman with Dad. IMG_1723

My love of snow hasn’t dwindled in becoming an adult. I still wish that work will be cancelled (it rarely is) and I still love waking up to the world all frozen and beautiful.

We finally got our first snow of the season this week! I was so excited when they said we were going to get 4 to 8 inches. Even though that ended up being about 2, it was fun to be able to play with Avery in it! We made snow angels, went sledding, and ate snow (well Avery did). IMG_4514

She really had a lot of fun. I hope she loves the snow as much as I do!

What about you? What are your favorite memories of snow days?

Reflecting on the past year…

It’s New Year’s Day and I’m sitting in a coffee shop sipping a peppermint hot chocolate while my hubby and Avery are at home. Avery is going through a new phase of not wanting to be away from mommy for a second AND not wanting to sleep unless being held by mommy.

So since Cole has the day off, he graciously told me to get some me time and get out of the house. I brought a book with the intention of reading, but for some reason I just can’t seem to focus.

Maybe it’s just the time of year that makes you reflective. 2013 was an amazing year:

  • We had a baby! We’ve been blessed by our sweet baby girl for almost 10 months now (how is time passing so quickly!) Life with Avery is fuller, richer, and so much fun. We are loving every minute (well maybe not the last couple nights of her not wanting to sleep) of being blessed by having her in our family.
  • Cole and I celebrated four years of marriage and man do I love that boy. He stole my heart when I was 16 and I think he gains a little more of it each year. I love watching Cole with our sweet daughter. He is an amazing father. I hope that Avery gets his sense of humor. And the way he sees the good in everyone and every situation. The way he has unlimited patience and how he will go so far out of his way to do something nice for somebody.
  • We said goodbye to my paternal grandfather and I miss him. Saying goodbye to a grandparent is never easy. This year has made me miss living near family in an intense way. Watching time pass so quickly in Avery’s life makes me realize how important family is, and how I wish we lived closer and lived life together.
  • I struggled (am still struggling) with loneliness. I miss the feeling of having a close best friend, the kind that when something happens you can’t wait to pick up the phone and let them know what happened.
  • I transitioned to part-time at work. At first I was upset at returning to work after Avery’s birth, but working in the office one day a week has actually been a nice outlet for me. I enjoy the challenge of work and the camaraderie of my coworkers.
  • We bought a new-to-us car and became homeowners for the first time. I can’t tell you how much of a blessing both have been to us.

I wouldn’t trade a minute of the sleeplessness, cuddles, milestones, laughter and tears that 2013 brought us. Happy New Year to all! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for all of us in 2014!

…because time flies.

Grandparents

Last week I was shopping with Avery at our mall. It was the middle of the day, so I was mostly surrounded by other moms with small tots and retired folks. While we were out, those older shoppers kept coming up to me and commenting on how cute Avery was or how happy she was or how it made their day to see her.

And you know what? Their comments warmed my heart. For all you moms out there, I know this happens all the time. But it made me happy on that cold rainy day. Because you see, I now only have one living grandparent. And that grandparent lives far way in Florida. So I miss all of them on a daily basis. And these small interactions, they make me thankful for each of my amazing grandparents, and give me a glimpse into how happy they would all be to see my sweet daughter.

I am so grateful that Avery got to meet her Grand-Nana this summer, who flew all the way up from Florida to meet her. We are super excited to be heading down to Florida next week to stay with her for a few days.

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As for my grandparents that are no longer with us. I love you. I miss you. I wish that we could sit down and talk for an afternoon. I want to hear more about your childhood, about how you fell in love, what it was like being at war, or raising my mom or dad. But mostly, I want to wrap you in a hug because I miss sharing life with you. I wish that you could meet Avery. She is a delight, an absolute joy, the highlight of my days.

Please don’t take time with your family for granted. Love them well. Tell them often. Spend time with them. Because each moment is a gift.

And we have a tooth!

This little guy popped through Avery’s gums on Saturday! From the looks of it, his twin brother is not far behind.

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So far the teething process has gone pretty smoothly. She’s been up a little more the last few nights, but hasn’t been overly fussy – just wanting to play at 4 am. And she wants to chew on everything. My phone, her toys, pieces of paper, my face…you name it and she will chew on it.

Another milestone down, and time is continuing to fly by.

I guess it’s a good thing she already likes to brush her teeth!

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