Life Lately :: May 2017


Today is the day we celebrate three whole months since moving back stateside! There's a weird tension of feeling like we've been here for ages and yet, not here long at all. We're officially settled in, and this month arrived the last bits of furniture (we ordered a couch and it took 12 weeks to arrive, but it arrived just in time to have my parents help set it up. Thanks Mom and dad!)

The pool opened on Mothers day, so we've been hitting that up weekly. This means lots of sunscreen, lots of freckles, and lots of working on learning to swim with little people. It has been a pretty great time though, and it's looking like I'll have two little fish on my hands pretty soon.

The braxton hicks this time around are intense. I have a pretty bad case of diastasis recti, so I'm curious how it'll all play into recovery this time around. With Eowyn, I had her just a week and half from where I'm at now! With Elias, I had him just over three weeks from now. Hopefully we can hang tight till around the 39 week mark (a little over four weeks away) so that we can have family here to help. Luckily we have a few new friends who have already offered to help if I have this one early. God has been kind in leading us to some pretty solid families.

We're getting back into the groove of figuring out budgeting, planning out our year with vacation and work, and ironing out some details for the fall when we start Eowyn in Kindergarten. We're homeschooling her this year and it has been a good thing for me to prepare for. I'm really grateful that we have the option to do this (I was homeschooled for a short season as well) and am looking forward to getting to be there for these early years.

Elias is turning into a daddy's boy overnight, which is a deep grace from Jesus. Just a few months ago I wasn't sure how things were going to go down with a new arrival, especially with how clingy he was. Eowyn never really had much preference for me... perhaps its a boy thing? So, to see him transition into really loving to be with his dad is huge, and perfectly timed.

The crazy labor dreams are happening nightly. I have dreams on the regular with different genders, so I personally am still not convinced of one or the other. I'm grateful I dont have any real 'inkling' since it makes the surprise all the sweeter. People have asked if we have a specific gender we're wanting, and while on any given day I can give solid reasons why one would be better than the other, the very next day I can support the opposite claim. Ultimately, we're excited. This baby was a surprise gift, and I'm excited to celebrate whatever God's decided to give us.

I'm large and uncomfortable. At the point of waddling. Measuring two weeks ahead. A woman walked up to me today and rubbed my belly-first time that's ever happened to me. I've gotten regular "honey, you're gonna pop!" "what's going on in there!" " goodness, any day now" on the regular from women.  We are definitely not in Helsinki anymore. I honestly dont mind though. Perhaps having to field the honest questions of a nearly five year old makes any sort of blatant comments come past me unfazed. Eowyn regularly tells me "mom, you're belly is humongous!" so I suppose a few jokes about me popping fall in line with the regular run of the mill stuff. Eowyn is absolutely fascinated with babies, and being a woman and so right now we're all about questions and observation. It's been a really tender time for me getting to explain the joy of what being a woman means. Teaching her to be proud of her body for what it is able to do-for its strength. Showing off scars and explaining answers to all her questions has given me a grace with this pregnancy body that I haven't had in years past.

We met with the pastors of the church we've been attending for the past month or so and were deeply encouraged. God has been kind in leading us to this church and I'm excited to partner alongside them for however long we stay here. We're quite open handed with all the details....leaning into the rest that this season seems to be offering us. It's quite the contrast to the hard overtime we were growing used to.

Ben commented a while ago that he actually doesn't remember much of Elias' first year. This was mostly because he wasn't around. He would go to work before Elias would wake up and was back well after Elias was down for the night. So to have the chance to spend quality time with this baby seems to be an ultra special gift. I'm grateful for how hard working he is and even more grateful for the ways he has worked to be present with his kids. It's meant a lot of changes for us but I praise God for his boldness to pastor us so well.

We've been hit with sickness like you would not believe. Ben and I both have had flu like symptoms (intensinal bugs) several times over. Eowyn has too. Elias, fortunately has only had a fever once. Eowyn had a very scary one a few weeks ago....we aren't a fan of all these new germs.

Hopefully as time goes on we'll get used to it and we'll enter into a season of relative health. Hopefully well before baby arrives in a few weeks.

So, we're leaning in and setting up shop and finally settling in. These next few weeks we have a trip to Atlanta planned and then we're hanging tight till this bundle of baby comes.

Crazy to think that by mid july we'll be a family of five!

32 Weeks :: Baby #3


It's a sweet gift to be carrying a baby on the weekend of Mother's Day. After losing  two sweet little persons between Eowyn and Elias, this pregnancy has felt tentative, tender, and we've had all sorts of emotions throughout the weeks and days. This has been a gift. One that I had set in my mind I would never receive. Yet, here we are.

These children have brought me laughter. They've proven to me that our story is far from over, and that the good Lord has a plan much more beautiful than I could dare hope.

I'm so grateful to add this soul to our story, and to point them to the true joy giver.

Happy Mothers Day. I deeply hope each of you reading this has happy moments, be it from children of your own, family you treasure, or the hope of what is to come. May God answer your prayers and fill your hearts with the awe that he is far more kind than we deserve.

The yoga ball


Amazon prime delivered a bright blue yoga ball to my house yesterday. After my kids and husband pumped it up, we all played with it like it was the toy of the century. After about three minutes and twenty seconds I reminded the little ones that this was "mommy's ball and it's time to be done."

This warning came after a near death experience of a few of my fragile keepsakes. A few bounces in their direction and I was blaring the whistle. These are things I want to be left alone. Treasures meant for me. Things I can look at and protect and keep from sticky grimy baby hands.

thank you very much.

And much like those keepsakes being threatened by a big blue ball and a fore mentioned tiny fingers, I've often side eyed the very thing the ball was purchased for: This pregnancy. In similar fashion, I've been eager to blow a whistle. Desperate to try and remind somebody, myself really, that the rest, the peace, the quiet I've been waiting for is not allowed to be interrupted. I'm due for it, alright?

While we're on the topic, I'm not too keen on the reality that me and that yoga ball are looking like not-too-distant relatives.

I don't want anything to come and mess up the tiny teensy little square of space that looks like my feigned control.

But that's exactly what this pregnancy has done. It's come and it's taken the rest and has ushered in the thoughts that drive out the quiet. (Oh the thoughts of a new baby, It makes my heart all so fragile and desperate to make sure only the best of things comes its way. Fighting fears left and right.) This pregnancy has made my insides come up every few hours for months and left my body aching and not sure what to do despite eating well and moving and "I'm doing it all right and nothing is working." It's reminded me that the 'peace' I keep chasing after is illusive and non-graspable and actually is more like self preservation. It's reminded me that I'm not my own.

We've lived in a giant change vortex for what seems like centuries and what has been years. we've embraced change like we're built for it. We've  allowed the waves to rush over us. Many, many points over the past few weeks and months and years we've had too big of waves, too much water, too many moments where there was a desperate need of saving from life's undercurrent.

And perhaps that is what this is all really about, I constructed in my mind that setting foot on my familiar soil, after due process, would equate to a kiddy pool of sorts. Familiar rhythms would make way for not so much saving. I could command the water for once.

And perhaps that is exactly why we have been given this great big beautiful gift right now: A hard pregnancy. With every ache I've been reminded forcefully that there is never a second where we won't need saving.

 He is the one that calms the seas, after all.

So I'm left looking over at that ball, currently being rolled around by my other big beautiful gift. The one who has taught me laughter like I've never known and a surrender to grace that surprises me at times. He has brought with him grief and joy.

I'm reminded that bringing that ball into our home invited both.  Yes, it has the potential of messing up all these little things I've set up for myself. Give it a week and I'm sure I'll be looking at something broken....

But that yoga ball also has already brought a great deal of joy. And comfort. It has offered stability and a realigning of posture. That yoga ball has given an ease to my body that makes its value larger than the 14 dollars I spent on it.

And while it's just a yoga ball, and lord knows I don't need another metaphor bouncing (budumpchh) around in my brain, it has been challenging me with every glance. This life was made for many things. The human experience, with all its grief and ache, has with it joy and hope.

If we allow for it, if I allow for it, that grief and ache can often metamorphose  into the latter. A woman labors and is given the very best of joys. A aching heart made whole. A controlling mother learning laughter.

This pregnancy has looked a great deal like obedience. A great deal like labor. If I am unwise, I will forget the great joy set before me. If I am unwise I'll choose to disregard that even in this I can grow in Christs likeness, as I learn how to respond to my own minor sufferings.

It's just a yoga ball, but it's been a great grace to me. Reminding me of the joy set before us. Reminding me that my body, my heart, my emotions may feel broken at times. My control, my sleep, my self-confidence may be sliver-thin but with it, just like all the best of things, unbridled joy will follow.

"Because of the Lord's great Love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Fourteen dollars well spent.