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For this season, I’ve become one of THOSE bloggers. Those bloggers that update their Facebook statuses without a thought to updating their journals. Those bloggers that fail to respond to comments on what little they do manage to write (I’m so sorry!). Those bloggers that I probably judged in seasons past.

Alas, no more…

I haven’t had the creativity or the inspiration or the energy or enough coffee or any decent length of time alone to process in order to write. Much less read or think or focus. I think that is the key word…focus. That elusive state of mind that I find myself enjoying in 10 minute chunks in between rescuing Abby from near-death experiences (dare devil that she is) and prepping for doula client meetings and babies’ births.

Life keeps happening, folks, and I’m simply living it.

Loving.

Crying.

Laughing.

Nursing.

Sleeping. Not. IMG_3586IMG_3588

Last time I blogged, Abby had just turned 7 months old and was just beginning to crawl and pop teeth. Well, that week was monumental, and she popped three teeth in four days (though one has since disappeared). She is now climbing stairs like a champ, getting into EVERYTHING, chattering up a storm, and using every piece of furniture as handholds to “walk” around rooms. She is even “hovering” in standing and squatting positions in the air on occasion, letting us know that she will be walking very soon. We are pretty sure that she is regularly saying “Mama,” “Dada,” “Hi,” “Hello,” “Water/Wawa” and a whole lot more gibberish. Her enunciation is still rather poor, but she is very proud of herself. IMG_3592

In the last month, we have traveled to Houston to see my family, celebrated Thanksgiving here in Colorado, ran our first 5K Turkey Trot (placing “third stroller), and put up our very own first Christmas tree as a married couple (even though we are about to celebrate eight years of marriage this month). We have pondered Advent devotions and enjoyed telling Abby the story of Christmas with the Advent calendar nativity that her Grammy mailed us.
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I can’t believe that Christmas is just days away. We decided to stay in Colorado even though all of the grandparents are 16 hours away in various directions. We are exhausted. David had a very challenging school semester. I’m on-call for an expectant mama and for three additional families in the coming weeks. Abby is just barely reaching a point where I might dare to use the phrase “sleep schedule” (though the recent days make me think we are in the midst of the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression). I’m usually only nursing three times through the middle of the night. And, it was time to begin our own traditions. Advent traditions. Christmas traditions. Family traditions.

Since this post is going to be a hodgepodge of ups and downs, then I should be perfectly honest that there have been some downs. I’m stressed. Overwhelmed some days. My teacher paychecks are gone. We were recently approved for Medicaid. I’m feeling slightly claustrophobic with the combination of wintry weather keeping us indoors and our living situation. And, I’m grieving…the absence of my babies in Heaven. One of my little ones would have turned “1” in October and another one would have turned “1” this month. I’m not marking a day, but I have shed tears. Abby’s life brings joy to that sorrow, but there is still a lingering sadness that is hard to explain. Perhaps it coincides with the realization that it may be years before our family grows again. Perhaps it is simply the aching of this mama’s tired heart.

But ache it does some days.

Usually, there isn’t time though to linger long in the pain of what could have been. There is too much fullness in the here and now. Too much of God’s goodness. Abby gives open mouth kisses and shares her food, teething toys, and whatever “goody” she has found on the floor with her Daddy and me. She laughs when we pretend to chew on her treasures. She is learning to share and to laugh with us. She really is the most reliable appreciator of my jokes. IMG_3806

David and I consider showers a luxury and keep secret how many K-cups we use on a daily basis. I just about bathe Abby and myself in essential oils, and so far we haven’t gotten sick this winter season (even though Abby was licking the airplane seats. Ugh.). I miss cooking meals that take more than 20 minutes. I miss the gym. I miss my little townhouse. I miss my fellow teachers and students. I miss fitting into my clothes. I miss date nights.

But, I wouldn’t change this season for anything. I think that is the long and short of it. Life is different. Unpredictable. So far removed from what I imagined that it is downright ludicrous. But, life is Grace.

I’m meditating more and more on that word. Turning it over in the places of my soul that crave God, but don’t have the focus to pray or study or write. Grace for this season is bountiful and new every tired morning. Grace is more tangible than it has ever been before.

In the encouraging text message of a friend.

In a longer-than-usual nap for Abby.

In a day without teething.

In the friendships and adventure of a new church launch that has made us feel like a church family is once again in the cards.

For now friends, I will leave you with warm wishes this advent season and the promise of a photo update soon, as that is how this mama keeps time…photos on her iPhone. Sigh.

Blessings and hugs, friends.

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