As I give thanks for the things both big and small, the giving becomes easy and natural.
pretty prints from: http://www.mandajulainedesigns.com/
The boys skipped their evening nap, ate dinner early, soaked in the tub with dad, and went into their cribs early tonight. Alarms are set for 3:30 am and a courageous friend is waking early to drive us to the airport: here we come, Boise!
Every time we lay them down in their cribs at the same time, we pause and stare at them for a few minutes. It's an awe-thing, you know? We just stare at two sleeping little babies who are growing so fast and developing so quickly, two babies we prayed for and hoped for and longed for.
It seems as though it's too good to be our actual life. He is too good to us. He has lavished grace and gifts and goodness upon us.
Despite the treasures these tiny people are, today was a long, hard day. Not all days are hard and not all days are long.
Truth be told, most days feel like they are swallowed whole with easy joy and many giggles. Raspberries on baby bellies, nibbling on little toes, walks in the stroller and friendly conversations with our neighbors. I may reheat my coffee multiple times a day, but that is what I longed for and in the reheating, I find grace.
Loren and I are constantly perplexed that we get to live this life and be these boys mama + daddy. The story He has been writing is delicious for my heart; I am gobbling it up as much as possible, knowing babies don't keep.
Babies don't keep.
Why is it so sad and so joyful to watch our little ones grow?
Why is it that as they begin to crawl, I clap and cheer but also experience a sadness? A sadness about things like their lack of needing to be worn in the wrap 24/7? Why is it that as they learn how to giggle and I uncover a personality wrapped up into these little people, that it is both exciting and also painful? Painful because life is but a vapor and time is flying faster than before and you cannot get moments back. Exciting because they are learning, developing, growing, and it is beyond a blessing to have a front row seat. Who knew a mama could be so proud of her son as he learned to do something as simple as smile or say "mama"?
I love finding ways to make my boys giggle and smile. I love discovering what makes them bubble up with joy and happiness. I love the sparkle in their eyes and I love being able to comfort them when they are crying. I love snuggling them. I love watching their features change. I love being a mama.
This time of our life is certainly sleepless. I am tired. But as I type, tears well in my eyes because the tired will not keep if the babies do not keep. Even after a long string of days of intense teeth-cutting, lots of stuffy noses and stuck boogers, and zero entire hours of sleep...I tear up because I am full of thanks. I am full of thanks because I have the honor of giving my whole entire self to two precious, so wanted, so longed for babies.
As I give thanks for these tiny humans and the miracles that they are, the giving of my entire self becomes easy, natural.
These are the days, and I am doing my best to sit in the messy, chaotic, craziness of it all. Sit in it with coffee and almond rocas. I am learning to not feel so guilty about enjoying being a mama. I am learning to give myself permission to thoroughly love it without abandon. But also to acknowledge that I am one hot mess.
These are the days of thanks and of giving.
Each month when I document the boys, I cannot help but remember and recall all of the generous gifts from so many people to help us become a family. The journey to here will not escape my memory. It only offers a space of grace and thanks.
A year ago on Thanksgiving Eve we packed a U-Haul of our treasures and drove them to our new home in Portland. I was sick and pregnant, high risk. We were praying for our baby via adoption, feeling his void but not knowing when he would be born, aggressively hoping to have two babies "next year." We always talked and dreamed of what family traditions we might do with kids and here we are.
It is next year, and we have two boys and I could not be more thankful. More in awe. More astounded at His goodness despite the brokenness.
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As a photographer, I greatly value freezing time in the way of photographs. I was thrilled to have a dear friend freeze these precious moments.
Thank you Angie, from Heartstrings Photography, for documenting some of the pure sweetness that is our life; it's hard to choose just a few of our favorites:
SWEET SIDE NOTE: we took these photos at the same place we took photos to announce our pregnancy with Ira and I'm wearing the dress I wore for the photoshoot to announce our adoption. FULL CIRCLE YA'LL.