This Saturday we took the fam to the MPLS farmers market. I forgot my camera, which left me relying on Instagram to document. Overgramming ensued. It was a great time and I enjoyed getting our home sunflowers, buying some black and purple raspberries (ever heard of them? Me neither.) and pure maple syrup. We had a good time and it was fun to get to show Ben's fam one of our favorite saturday morning place to be.
So, I know this one of those "OH EM GEE Look at how cute my baby is!" And I know most of you will watch this and be like... "you recorded 41 seconds of this?"
Yes. I did. Actually this is the shorter of the two.
We're proud of our child's accomplishments, people. For all you other mom-sorts, I hope you squeal as much as I do every time she does this.
Its especially fun that she realizes that we think its funny and just keeps looking back and forth.
We get the pleasure of getting to hang out with Ben's parents this week (and sister this weekend.) While they've lived in Minnesota, they never lived in the cities, so its been fun showing them the fun things to do around Minneapolis/St. Paul. Julie had made mention that she thought it would be fun to go to Minnehaha last time she was here, so this time we wanted to make sure we checked out the place. It was the PERFECT day and Eowyn was all squeals and joy despite the somewhat serious faces in these photos. There was a lot for that little girl to see. Which is why she is looking everywhere but the camera. Takin it all in.
We have this picture above with Eowyn in ma belly. It was sweet to come back to where we were when I was just a few weeks shy of meeting our girl. I'm excited to put the two pictures next to each other. (If anyone's curious, that carrier is the beco gemini. And we've used that bad-boy since she was about a month old. I bought it off craigslist and have loved it. Ben does too.)
The flowers were in full bloom, making me pretty happy and giving me a few pretty new desktop wallpapers. The waterfall was going pretty fast with all the rain we've seemed to have this July, which made the falls all that more the sight to take in.. We had fun snappin pictures, getting misted and walking around the place. Glad to have our family here to enjoy the beauty with.
After, we went to one of our fav pizza joints: Black Sheep. There's two locations one in St. Paul and one in Minneapolis. If you've never been, and are fans of Coal-Fired Pizza (and really, who isn't?) You'd love this place. Plus they're uber baby friendly.
We decided this week that it would be a good idea to get out and about and have a little picnic for dinner. We have never checked out a park nearby other than when there are festivals, like Irish Fest, so we made plans to hike over there. Once there, we busted out our little dinner, and ate while watching kickball and this crazy squirrel that Eowyn LOVED. After, we walked along the Mississippi and talked about life over these past 3 years. Who we are now is so different then who we were just 3 years ago. It was a fun little adventure and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time together and with our little girl.
If you ever thought eowyn seemed happy in all her pictures, the one below shows that she has reached the stage of fighting the camera(or fighting me holding her still)? We still will take pictures of her even if she looks crabby for the next year or so. I will also continue to squish her.
"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be" -C.S. Lewis.
For those of you who have heard, responded and loved on us lately through the tragedy that hit our life this past week, I can't say thank you enough. You have overwhelmed us with your prayers, kind words, and gestures. Thank you for choosing to be present both in body or spirit and for reaching out in light of this grief and the potential awkwardness it presents. We are forever thankful and praise God for each of you.
For those of you who have not yet heard, this post is for you. Or perhaps for me to officially make it known. We found we were pregnant in March, and were excited to share the news here when the baby had reached 12 weeks gestation. On sunday night however, we got the word in the ER after some signs of trouble that what we thought was our eleven week old baby had died at 8 weeks. We had whats called a missed miscarriage. This basically means our baby died near a month ago, but my body never let it go. In fact, in my case, my body kept thinking I was pregnant and kept growing right along. This reality led the doctors to recommend a procedure to remove it-since a month had passed and there were no signs of my body letting the baby go. This all has happened in the past few days.
We have become acquainted with grief these past several days. Our baby is dead and in some ways, parts of our hearts feel the same. Yet, we've felt Jesus through every step of all this and there has been no doubt that He is here. We have gotten to test out our 'theology of suffering.' We've gotten to see how a perfect good God can still be all that we know he is, while mourning the loss of our baby. God knows what its like to lose a child. And we praise God that in all of this-He's proving to be all we believed He was. And then some.
I feel like there's so much more I could say, but at the same time not too much more. It sucks. We live in a world with sin. Sin means death and not even those who rely on Jesus escape its pain. But we have escaped its power. We have escaped its finality and as good ol Ravi Zacharias says "death is dead." It is in all this that we are especially appreciative to have a real God that is tangibly active.
We're holding on to all these truths and we are anticipating heaven all the more. I'm excited for that moment when I get to see my kid. We praise God for the good gifts he has given us now: the ridiculous spraguelet this blog is already filled with, a marriage that while being shaken, has not broken under this grief and hearts that we can feel Jesus mending ever so slowly. We praise God that while we are guaranteed to suffer, we're guaranteed that He never leaves. That he brings the dead back to life. That he restores what is lost.
I'm not sure how many other posts will be posted about this. I've written other things, but they are so raw that it hurts me to re-read them. But I didn't want to just leave it be and keep posting all of our happy outings while leaving this out. I know so many have experienced this-so many of those that read this blog know far to well the sounds and screams a weeping mother makes. I never wanted to join your ranks. But, my heart is softer now towards you. I have learned how my words affect those in grief-as I have been affected. I'm learning-by the grace of God-what it means to be a better gospel friend. And for all that, I'm thankful. Who Ben and I are in the midst of this, is better, softer versions of who we were before-which is testament that God doesn't waste pain-even for those experiencing it.
All that to say, thanks to those who have mourned with us. If you feel the need to contact us, our email is email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org I know its hard to find words to say to stuff like this. So thank you for those who have done so anyways. I know I wouldn't know what to say either.
Please pray for us as we continue to walk through this. Its still relatively fresh and while we do feel 'okay,' it obviously hurts deeply. My guess is that this pain doesn't really ever go away.
As always, thanks for reading.
This past Sunday we invited our friends to celebrate our birthday girl! Two of Eowyns favorite friends came and made her one happy little birthday girl. It was a lot of fun. We had so much fun catching up with our friends and watching Eowyn figure out how to play with hers. They looked pretty awesome in their crowns as well!
The day really was just perfect.
My dear friend Katie took so many of these photos. She's been so good to us and we were especially happy to have aunt Katie here to celebrate our girl with us.
Thank all of you for coming. You fill our lives with so much joy. We love you guys.
We have already had all sorts of festivities, and are so excited to celebrate you one last time with Grandma and Grandpa Sprague coming in tomorrow. Eowyn, you have given us so much joy this season. So happy to have you as our daughter. Happy Birthday little.
See her whole year here.
Eowyn turned one.
and just like that she's defiant and tearful and emotional. Her highs were always high, but her lows have now reached new lows. The feared initiation to the target-store tantrum? Check. The whiny screams and croc tears at the slightest discomfort? Check. All day long? Check. Check. I keep checking her mouth-She MUST be teething. No check. Expletive.
and when I hide in the bathroom while she sleeps and pray to the almighty for deliverance (okay-dramatic. just kidding.), one of the things I keep being reminded of is this: "Cherish this season."
Initially it seems a little tongue-in-cheek to me. Almost like the mom's who with the slightest encouragement launch into their 'just you waits.' You think a one year old is hard? Wait till TWO! You think having one baby is a job, wait till you're outnumbered!
but I know that these promptings I hear in my too-long-since-cleaned bathroom are sincere. They aren't cynical. They aren't a warning. They're an encouragement. Really. Cherish this season.
" I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:11-13
Eowyn turned one.
and just like that she's crawling and literally doing a new thing every single day. She laughs and giggles to herself in the car and jibber jabbers. She's still a napping champ, giving this momma time to write and read some bible verses and talk to Jesus. She observes, and laughs and loves her dad with squeals and shrieks as soon as he comes near.
She's a little observer on our walks-taking it all in. She's responding to simple commands and as long as she's not hungry/tired/overstimulated, she plays alone and will look on over and give me the biggest smile before playing again. The child can eat. Like from 6th percentile up to 80 some percentile. Champ. She's fun to be around. She's so much my kid. I love that.
And while I sometimes dreamily watch the cute corporate gal go to and fro from her work place, I know God has called me to these four walls for this season. Its a short one-one I never anticipated. Yet, there's a peace in being here. While sometimes I dream of dropping that child off to a paid-professional that has seen the ones and twos and threes a hundred times over, God is using this season, this child, this stage to train my unskilled, ungracious heart. Other moms learn these same lessons without being at home during the day-but for me, this is what I need. To teach me discipline as I learn to discipline. To teach me how to give grace, when I don't want to. To teach me boundaries as I set boundaries. To show me my blind-disobedience as I see hers. To teach me the beauty and irony of the phrase "mother-load." Motherload of grace. Motherload of Joy. "A very large amount of something valuable." He's shaping me into the christ-following woman he's called me to be just as much as he's shaping her into the christ-following woman she's called to be.
and for all those reasons I will cherish these months. Because they are filled to the brim with good things and hard things and change-making things. And those are the best kind of seasons.
Well Folks, we've crossed the threshold. We kept our little E a live for a whole year and she kept us on our toes for those full 365 days. We got to celebrate with my mom, dad and sister's fam this weekend for Eowyns birthday, and we get to celebrate her TWO more times with our friends and with Ben's family in the upcoming weeks. You only turn one once.
Eowyn was pretty somber the entire day. Maybe she realized what a great milestone she was crossing, but more likely, she was just tired from the activities the day before, never the less she was a huge fan of the food, and the presents. And she had her first take on chocolate (If you don't count the chocolate chip cookie she managed to take a huge bite of a week prior without my knowing) and she loved it. We were surprised to see how much sugar affects her though-she gets a bit crabby both with the limiting of it and in general, so we will be probably hold back from giving it to her often from now on. That being said, it was all that a birthday party should be. Ice cream cake, kids to play with and good food.
You'll be seeing more pictures pop up as we celebrate some more-so get ready. These next few weeks the blog will be party city. And what a better way than to post her very first 'happy birthday' song. Plus my face looks sinister in the freeze frame, so there's a little something special for you guys. Enjoy!
Happy Birthday Eowyn, we love your one year old self and thanks to the fam for making this day so special.
This past weekend my family hiked over to a strawberry farm near my parents house and went on the adventure of strawberry picking. Every year we make strawberry jam and this year my sister and mom thought of the great idea to include the boys in picking the strawberries for it. The boys loved it! It was a good time and a lot of good memories were made.
Eowyn was out-of-it the whole time. She's like her dad in that after the temps get to over 80 degrees, she's not too huge a fan. But, she was a trooper, and Westyn slept right through most of it. We got tons of strawberries and my sister and mom made over 42 jars of jam. Ben got in from MN after a week of not seeing him, so the ladies allowed me to spend time with him while they did all the hard work. Cheers to you two-the jam was the best batch yet.