Monday, December 31, 2012

A Lucy Life

If there's anything I learned this year, especially during this last month and season of holidays, it's that as much as our grand visions and scheduled activities and planned occasions are fun and memorable, they are not what's important.

All of those big moments that we build up, and plan on documenting, and anticipate celebrating, those can change in the blink of an eye.  Suddenly seeming unimportant.  If we put all of our efforts into those occasions, then it can be incredibly disappointing when they pass unmarked or simply not as grand as we imagined.

It got me thinking.

I love documenting life, through words, through pictures.  I feel like it's something that will be far more valuable to leave my children and their children than any material possession I could pass down.  What I started noticing however, was that the pressure is always on documenting the 'big stuff.'  Holidays, milestones, special occasions.  And I will continue to do so.  But that's not the only part of life I want to capture. 

It's the little stuff, the every day.  The moments you don't plan for.  The moments that are simply gifts you don't deserve, nor expect.  That's the part of life I want to look back on and be reminded of.

So I started a photo project.  Instead of feeling like I have to pull out my camera and go crazy every once in awhile, I decided to take at least one picture of Lucy a day.  Something that would be easy to commit to and not involve premeditated thought.  With a new baby coming in just a few months, I know life will get a little stressful and unbalanced again until we find our rhythm as a family of four.  But during that time, I don't want to forget what we have.  Those beautiful moments in between the big stuff, the planned stuff, the complicated stuff.

This project is for no other reason but for me to have something I can sit down periodically and scroll through to remind myself of the good stuff, and attempt to freeze the every day in my mind.  I'm sharing it because I received inspiration watching other photo blogs and thought I should pass mine along as well.  I hope it's a reminder though for us to look at our own photos, our own lives, and be encouraged and grateful for who we are and where we've been placed.

It's amazing what we overlook and forget when we allow ourselves to be distracted and caught up in what still needs to be done, and what next event needs to be planned, and what milestone we're waiting for to be achieved.

So here's to just life.  The simple and unplanned.  The here and now.  The every day good stuff.

For me, here's to A Lucy Life.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Christmas House

Well Christmas 2012, you didn't exactly go as planned, but you were memorable none-the-less.

We'll pack up our decorations and see you next year, with a new stocking to hang on the fireplace.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I thought I had it down pat.  Keeping focus on the true spirit of Christmas.

We weren't going to make it about things or spending money we didn't have to spend.

We decorated the house with things we made, as well as making what presents we could.

We were completely prepared and excited to start demonstrating for Lucy how this holiday is really about family, and time spent together, thankfulness, and being grateful for the joy and peace in our hearts because of the baby boy born to save us.

And with nothing left on our calendar, I was going to spend the last several days before Christmas baking, meal planning, and finishing up a special present for the husband.

Then 5 days ago a little girl became very sick, followed by a sick Mama.  And my days of preparation turned into house arrest, on the couch, holding a sleeping, pitiful Lucy, intermixed with Steven holding her so that I could sleep and be pitiful.

No baking done, no Christmas Eve dinner planned, and my special present for Steven will now have to help bring in the new year.

Nothing huge really.  Fever, achy, snotty, a cough.  Nothing permanent, nothing life-threatening.  Not that big of a deal.

But yesterday I snapped.  I was frustrated and disappointed and didn't think it was fair that whatever Lucy is fighting is lasting so long.  And that my joy filled Christmas plans were gone.  I was weepy and emotional, and quite frankly just wanted to pout.

Clearly I haven't figured anything out!

Here I was ready to fight the commercialism and all the 'stuff' and things on the outside that I thought had the ability to distract us from what's important about Christmas.  Yet my own attitude did the same thing. 

You can celebrate Christmas a hundred different ways, it's the heart that makes the real celebration.

It's always a heart thing, isn't it?

Long overdue, I took my frustrated sick blues and gave them to my Lord.

Do I still wish I felt refreshed, and better yet that I looked refreshed?  Or that I would have my normal funny, energetic, happy girl to open presents in the morning?  Of course.

But I have my little girl, I have a baby growing in my belly.  We have bodies designed to fight these bugs and bounce back fully.  And we have things to aide that fight when we need help.  I have a husband who puts aside his needs and plans to stay home and help and comfort us, and joyfully I might add.

And we serve a God, a Heavenly Father, who not only comforts and heals, but cares more about our souls and desires to spend eternity with us!

So we celebrate Christmas.  When our Savior was born, sent to show us the way, to point us back to his Father, and to remove what separated us from God.

Yes we have plenty to celebrate this Christmas, even when my plans for how that celebration will look change.

And in the midst of our Christmas sickness, I am thankful and humbled by the lesson learned.

I am thankful for the reminder that distractions and thieves of joy come in all forms, but none of them can hold power over us if we keep our eyes on Christ...the man on the cross who came to us a baby in a manger.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

27 weeks and a day

Dear second baby,

Fevers are starting to break in this household. It's been three days of Lucy's hot fever body sleeping on top of my hot fever body. Not always the most comfortable feeling. There haven't been days and nights. We've just stayed on the couch, resting, napping, and trying to drink fluids around the clock. Thankfully, your father remained untouched. But he hunkered down with us and he has spent the last three days filling water glasses, preparing meals, keeping me company, and holding your sister when she would allow herself to be pried off of me when my skin could no longer handle contact with anything.

You also helped soothe her.  When she would stir on top of me, her little hand would just rub back and forth over my belly.  Sometimes you would respond and kick or jump, and she would settle back down and be asleep again.

The last three days would not be classified as fun.  But still, it's time that passes like all other.  A reminder to listen to our bodies and slow down and to rest and to wait for it all to pass.  A reminder to be thankful for the past 362 days of health.

Sometimes it's the physical that makes us slow down and wait.

But sometimes it's the heart.

In 3 days we will celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Our family will once again slow down, rest, and praise our Lord and celebrate the birth of our King.

And I will continue to wait for you.


Thursday, December 20, 2012


listen to the mustn'ts, child.  listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts.  listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... anything can happen, child.  anything can be.

~shel silverstein, where the sidewalk ends

Friday, December 14, 2012

26 Weeks

Dear Second Baby,

You're still growing. Your fluttery movements getting stronger, more frequent.

Just when you've been quiet and still long enough for my thoughts to root back to the present, life as a family of three, the quickening flip-flops in my belly remind me of your approaching arrival.  Excited about seeing the perfect spot that you will fill.  A spot that is still unknown and unimaginable to a family that is already so full of love and life.

But then you will be in my arms, you will hear the joy in your daddy's voice, you will blink sight of your sister's face.  And you will be home.

And this family of three will smile and shout, "Ah-ha!  There you are.  We have been waiting for you."


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

21 Months

My Lucy,

You are 21 months old today.  Nothing particularly exciting or noteworthy about turning 21 months, except for the fact that the days of you being my only child are dwindling and you will soon be my 2 year old first born.  Perhaps being slap in the middle of the Christmas season has also made me a bit more sentimental.  So yes, I guess 21 months is a big deal!

Lucy I feel like things are constantly changing between us.  Changing in good, exciting, and challenging ways.  Your ability to learn new things never ceases to amaze me.  From the simple things like putting your own clothes and shoes on, to accomplishing new words, phrases, and meanings on a daily bases.  Your colors are down pat and you know several new numbers.  Just yesterday I wrote down your name on a coloring sheet and you squealed and pointed to it and said, “Lucy!”.  You like to point out the letters, Y, C, and S when you see them and name them correctly.  You can speak in phrases now and it has been such a joy to truly communicate with you these days.  Even the marathon vocabulary quizzes you like to give me make me smile.  You seem so eager to spill everything in your little head to me, and you’re so close baby girl.  Most of the time you are equal parts excited at all this new stuff you can do and say, and frustrated that you can’t yet do and say it all.  You’re so close.

You also gave me an unexpected gift.  I will only have 1 child at a time in diapers.  Thank you.  Lucy, while we are at home, you are fully potty trained.  I really do not feel like potty trained is the correct term.  I didn’t do anything.  You simply decided you would rather use the potty than a diaper.  So now I stay on the hunt for little bitty panties to fit your little tiny hiney.  I used to laugh about how your pants only fit you when you wear your cloth diapers because disposable diapers didn’t add enough padding.  Well good gracious!  Besides shopping for 18 month panties, I’m going to have to start looking for suspenders and belts.  Oh Lucy…my tiny little big girl. 

So about those challenging changes I was referring to...  

You’re growing, you’re stretching, you’re testing.  You want to know how far you can go and how much you can control; from getting dressed (and staying dressed), to the bedtime routine, to staying seated at the dinner table, to getting strapped into the car seat.  These normal, routine activities can erupt into full on battles with no warning.  Do you want to know a secret Lucy?  I’m growing, stretching, and being tested right along with you.  As much as you’re struggling to figure out how to become this new little person, I’m struggling to learn how to help guide you correctly.  I am constantly praying that God will teach me how to love and discipline with grace and patience, the way He has loved and guided me.  And Lucy, I don’t always respond correctly.  I’m learning too.

But I’ll tell you what I do know.  I know that I love you too much to not give you boundaries.  I love you too much to simply let you always have your way because it’s easier than having you throw a fit.  I love you too much to not discipline you even though I hate seeing your feelings hurt or your bottom lip quiver.  Lucy, I love you unconditionally.  Unconditional yes, but perfectly?  No.  That my dear, comes from your Creator.  The One who is always gracious and faithful.  And that is who all of my efforts hope to point you to.  It is His wisdom I want to teach you.  It is His ways I want you to follow.  I want God to simply use me to help guide you to be exactly who He created you to be.

I don’t really have a how-to list for exactly how that is supposed to go!  So again, Lucy I’m learning as well.  I will never pretend to be perfect for you, as I will never expect perfection from you.  Thank you though.  Thank you for being a vessel that God has used to continue to mold me more and more into His own image.  

With all that said.  I have just a few more thoughts about this month that we are in.  


The month of Christmas.  

I’ve been praying a lot and talking to your dad about how exactly we’re going to do Christmas in our home.  And really, I’m excited.  Your dad and I have never put a lot of thought into whether our lifestyle decisions appear to be the norm or not.  And I don’t suppose we’ll start now.  Many of our new traditions will start to unfold in the coming years as you get older and our family grows.  But I can tell you what my heart is bursting to share with you.  Christmas is about the birth of a child, born to be our Savior.  The only gift that lasts an eternity.  I want us to be a family who can sit down and write a list of the things that we already have and have us completely forget about writing out a list of things we want.  I want us to get excited about giving and serving, because that would be a fitting birthday gift for Jesus.  I want us to enjoy all the fellowship and festivities that come along with this month, but yet fight with urgency the tendency for those very things to accidentally steal the joy of the season.  We will not let this time rush by us without the quiet pauses taken to reflect on the excitement and anticipation of what really happened on Christmas morning over 2,000 years ago.

And once again Lucy, I don’t know exactly what all of this will look like!  But I’ve been talking to Jesus about it a lot and I know He will lead us if we just keep our eyes on Him.

There is so much to celebrate!

Lucy Pearl, you bring so much joy and laughter and love into my life.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Big girl...

Lucy isn't really known for sneaking off.  She likes company.  She likes direct attention even more.  Yes, there are moments when she is contently playing in a corner;  reading, taking care of her dolls, pulling out her toys, and just talking to herself.  Typically though, she wants me to be engaged in whatever she is doing as well. 

On rare occasions, I will look up and realize that she has gone to another room and is not hollering for me.  I always pause...should I take advantage of this moment and get something done without her assistance?  Or should I go and make sure she is not doing something 2-year-oldish, on the loose and eerily quiet?  Common sense prevails and I go check on her. :)

This morning was one of those moments.  But this time, I decided to grab my camera just in case.

I went back to her room and found she had pulled out a pair of her new panties and was trying them on.

And for those wondering, I was not planning on trying to potty train my 20 month old.  But the girl likes to be naked.  And we found that when she was without a diaper, she would ask to sit on the potty every time she had to go.

So we're rolling with it (only while we're at home!)

And clearly, she's into it...