We're all still alive around here. We've been busy spending time with our nugget. Shes such a beauty. Would you look at this kid?!?!

This is actually the first time I've been sitting on my laptop since the last post. My pictures keep accumulating past the point of sharing all of them. I suppose that's a good thing though. I'll have plenty to scrapbook.

I'm learning a lot about myself these past 10 weeks. I'm learning just what it means to choose grace for myself, for Ben and for Eowyn. I've always been performance driven-its been something I've struggled with since I can remember. It was probably my biggest hurtle when really choosing to rely on Jesus. It was hard for me to admit that I needed help in the first place-and that I couldn't work my way into his graces. Even with that, I think in a lot of ways I function as a closet performer-I've told myself that as long as I was in control of the way things turned out-as in much as they depended on me-then I could keep this performance thing 'healthy'. Rely on Jesus for Salvation and the things that I most certainly couldn't work out-and work diligently on keeping every thing else functioning as it should.

Then comes this drooling babe who laughs at every attempt of me controlling anything. Tiny humans, I'm learning, are not a performance project. Eowyn  is God's way of blowing up my attempt at control in my face. Or rather, allowing my performance to detonate on itself and show itself for what it really is-a joy killer.

The books say this child should sleep X hours-but sometimes she doesn't. She sometimes just gets upset and expresses that. She was born a month early-which means I have no clue what milestones to look for. She's the most beautiful little baby I've ever seen, but she has given me a run for my money. She can be guided yes-but not controlled. She's been having bouts of reflux which is rather unfortunate and making a lot of our plans on potential sleep training have to be altered. And at the end of some days, I find myself saying  "I can't do this anymore."

Ben typically comes in then-4:54PM  is the best moment of my life. Its crazy how good that man is. He then reminds me that its not about performance-He starts pointing me to Christ outside of just salvation. He begins reminding me how blessed we are.

*Eowyn is healthy, other than that little bit of acid reflux.
*She's happy-that child is starting to smile like no ones business-the big wide mouth kind-and is overall content.
*We have a great extended family-two of which are coming to visit me TOMORROW!
*Friends that genuinely care about us.
*a home.
*A job that provides plenty for us.
*A fairly good sleeper.
* a surprisingly healthy relationship-despite the sleep deprivation.
*and a God who is, despite my inability to always see it, really is working in and around us.
*Good health for Ben and I
*A fairly easy recovery
*God providing literally everything we could need for E and then some
* Rest
*a lot of joy in this home.
*Laughter and more laughter
*Exciting changes in the horizons

Yet, I've been struggling through a lot these past few weeks. Struggling to not compare babies to babies, struggling to not get discouraged when I feel like I do not have clue whats going on. Struggling through a lot of this new territory. Labor happened and Ben and I sort of marveled at how-despite the horrible pain that it was-we did it. Ben mentioned to me that he was surprised at just "how good I was at it!" Nurses were asking if I had another kid at home because of how it happened. It made me hopeful. Fist pumping hopeful. Part of me hoped motherhood would be like that-I have no idea what I'm doing and voila! I discover I have a natural propensity for it! Mile high patience! All the awesome hormones that propel me to delight in every second of every moment! A sixth sense for exactly whats wrong with this baby when she's unhappy!

 Realistically that isn't happening. I struggle. Daily. I have no way to measure success in motherhood since everyday is different. One day she sleeps like a rockstar and is happy as a clam and the next all hell breaks loose and she's pissed and relentless in her tears.

And to not find my identity in being a mom has been something I'm still figuring out. I'm with this baby all day, I pour my life into this-and yet its not who I am. I'm somebody outside of just being a mom. I sometimes need Ben to remind me of all of this. To point me back to Jesus.

I'm kind of word vomiting, but I want to remember this struggle because I think its good. I think its good to struggle and to be open about it. Some mom somewhere may stumble upon this and be screaming hallelujahs that she's not alone. Well, future friend-you are not alone. I know I'm not alone either. Several moms were honest with me about how hard it was while I was pregnant. I'm thankful for their honesty-I am impressed with their mothering and am hopeful in that this is part of the course.  I admire them and I can see their children do too. This is so encouraging.

That being said, being Eowyns mom is the bomb. I wouldn't trade it-obviously. People ask me if I like being a mom. My answer has consistently been I love being Eowyns mom. But "Motherhood" isn't anything I dreamed of. Yet,  I love taking care of her. When she and I are playing, or when she's taking in the world outside-or sleeping on my chest-man I can't believe how good God is in creating this little nugget! or in the way she sleeps on her dad-or gives him the biggest grins ( I can't get half the smiles that she gives to her dad-she loves that man). Life is inexplicably more joy-filled since she came on the scene.

She's caused us to reflect on how we communicate, how we work out conflict, how we love each other. She's expanded our view of self-sacrifice and has shown us our worst and our best. Parenting really has been good for Ben and I. He knows me. and he can handle me. I know him. and I can handle him. The depths of our love for each other have grown because we've gotten to choose each other even in new worst case scenarios.

Some of the best moments have been talking with friends about parenting and being reassured. Or my sister who consistenly non-challantly says "thats normal." Its silly, but those side comments alone have been so freeing. Hearing Ben tell me that he's more interested in our happiness then in getting her to reach such and such goal. Having her begin smiling. Having friends who delight over her with me. Early morning when she's just eaten and shes out cold and sleeping heavy on me. Or the way her little hand brushes my skin when she's eating. Or the way she smiles and coos. The way Ben and I laugh together, and with her. Ben's surprise laugh when she does something unexpected-he has a special smile just for her. I get one, and she gets one. Its magic. The silly giggles that have made a permanent appearance in our home. Just life. Its so good.

Its all this stuff that make me realize I am blessed.. I like us. I like that us is now 3.

Labor Day Weekend



This Labor Day we got to take Eowyn on her first road trip to Wisconsin! There we dressed her up in the tutu my sister made for her, (gah! adorbs!) watch Ben learn archery, got a bath from nana and overall just enjoyed the boys and the rest of our family



  She got to meet her Great Grandpa and Grandma and we got to hear my brother-in-law preach. 

And Ben was able to learn a board game he had been meaning to learn for a while. It was everything a labor day should be. I love my fam.

There's something special about being with my sister and mom. I enjoy myself deeply. We have a girls weekend coming up in next month which I can't wait for. This was a sweet taste of the fun I'm looking forward to.

Happy Weekend.

Eowyn is Two Months Old!

Letter to my Little E: 2 months Old!


You're already two months old. Part of me is happy you've reached this age-the first weeks were rough. And yet, part of me is sad. Your little body is growing (howd you get to be 10 pounds?!) and you don't fit into your little newborn clothes anymore. You're becoming more awake which is allowing me to learn more patience. You like to play and be entertained! and I see it as a privilege.

I was listening to a sermon with your dad and they started talking about kids. A woman was speaking and made the comment about the "Women will be saved through childbearing" verse in the bible. Your dad and I always joke that I'm 'covered' because of this one-but she talked on what she things it really means. Some people say its just an old guy making sexist comments-but its not. Child rearing is sanctifying. And while Paul wasn't talking about eternal salvation-since that's not earned through works-I do think he was talking about sanctification. The way that everyday, raising you has taught me just what it means to die to self. I'm faced daily (and nightly!) with my own selfishness and I'm given the opportunity every 15 minutes to choose to become more like Christ-sacrificial and loving, and not in a begrudging "you owe me someday" but in a "I'll do this out of love-even if you never return the favor." This is sanctifying, baby. And I'm thankful. Raising you is hard. But nothing really worth doing is every easy. And Between me and you, raising you is worth every bit of hard.

Your little cries have changed. They used to be one thing-loud. Now sometimes you just are fussy and like to be a bit whiney, other times you're definitely mad, and other times you even have this sad little mousy cry accompanied by a pouty lip. You've got emotions girl!

You're starting to make more than just cry noises too, which I love.

Discovering you is so wonderful. So while I'm a wee-bit sad that my little 6 and a half pound nugget is now making my arms tired, I'm happy. I'm so happy you're growing and thriving and you give your dad and I so much joy. You've started to grab with incredibly might-which is great when you're holding my finger-not so much when its my hair. and you've started to just sit and chill with us and actually be engaged-not that misty eyed newborn gaze. I like it. I really like it.

I keep looking at baby pictures trying to figure out who you look like-I keep realizing that it really is your dad. You look a lot like your dad. I hope that you'll grow to look a bit like me maybe-but if not thats alright. He's pretty cute, and you're turning out to be quite the beauty-if I say so myself.

You're wonderful Eowyn. You are treasured.

Happy 2 months, little jellybean.

Your momma

P.S. To grandmas, click here for more pictures

dear john


The way you call us your 'girls'. The way you blow little raspberries on Eowyn's belly and her eyes get big. The chuckle you have when she does something funny. The statements you already make about never letting her wear anything strapless and about not dating boys. The way every time you see her, first thing you say is "Hey baby girl!" Your little songs you sing to her, the house tours you two go on regularly. The way she seems to sprawl out in your arms-she knows she's most safe right there. The patience and peace you bring to situations. The way you at random will affirm that I'm a good mom. The questions you ask when you get home from work (how was her awake time? How'd she sleep?) and the way you celebrate when she stays asleep longer in the night. The regular times you tell me that you appreciate my work here, and that when you come home and she's a happy girl-you know its due to a long day of working with her-its all of these things. 

I thought you were a great husband. Seeing you step into this new role has expanded my opinion of you all the more. You're quick to offer help, you allow me to cry over frustrations, and you're quick to admit that we're both still learning. You've set the tone for our parenting-and its a peaceful, gracious one. I'm in love with the husband you are and I am falling in love with the dad you are too. You should be proud. I know I am.



Life kind of is happening in a whirlwind around here.

I have over 900 photos on my camera-many of which I intend to share with you (no not all 900, you're welcome.) Finding time to sit down and write one of these beauties, however is sort of on the backburner with playing catch-up on the ever present laundry pile, organizing E's baby clothes, attending to that little nugget inbetween naps and coaxing her into naps,  and living life.

We have some potentially exciting news that I hope to share in the upcoming week and some cute pictures of ma bebe that we took over labor day weekend (including some smoking hott pictures of my husband being archer man with bows and arrows.) Eowyn did an awesome job with the 5 hour trip back home and life with her is now pretty normal.

I think I'm finally beginning to know her with some accuracy-I can start to tell her moods-when she's overtired or when she's just cuddly, and in the next few weeks the books say she'll start to smile and potentially laugh. She's a bit slower with all those milestones being as early as she was-but she's growing just fine. Just fine indeed. Makes a mama proud.

My life is most observable via instagram-praise God for instagram-I dont know if I'd take near as many pictures without it. I do however, have some pretty awesome ones with a real live camera-including some with her in a tutu her auntie made for her. ah-ma-gawsh. Yes.

Why I've begun typing like this I do not know-it simply seems fitting. That and my sister and I were quoting Austin Powers all weekend-since my husband LOVES that show (he's never seen it-and refuses-he's better than that.) Get in ma belle.

So yeah. Life. It's happening.

If you (grandparents that dont have instagram) want to see more pictures you can click the little camera link on the right inbetween the facebook icon (f) and the email button or just click here.