This week I have been faltering drastically between fear and faith. Last week we took a trip several hours north for the hubs to attend a weekend seminary class. He has been doing extension classes for almost 4 years now. His summer course required a two day class on campus. The girls and I tagged along for the weekend and we stayed in the "commuter housing" for a cheap 39$ a night. This was my third visit to the campus.
I went with my parents at the end of my senior year of college to "check it out." I didn't have a clue what I really wanted to do as a career and I thought their women's ministry degree looked interesting. I came home and decided to focus on teaching since I was almost done with my degree. Interestingly, it was the very day that we returned home from that visit that Kev's Aunt Pam called wanting to set us up on a blind date. I think we met for the first time two days later.
Kev and I visited the campus almost three years ago as he was beginning to go back to school. We were in the area and visiting some friends of ours. I was about 7 weeks pregnant with Ella and was a nervous wreck. I was petrified at the thought of moving away. I felt as though I needed my doctor (as she had been through our loss of Samuel and knew our history). I felt scared about leaving my family. We were just coming out of such a season of grief and loss that I wasn't ready to move. Honestly, I couldn't imagine moving so far from the cemetery where Samuel is buried. The thought of leaving...was more than I could handle and after lots of prayer we felt peace with staying and Kevin continuing to take courses on-line.
Over the past two years I have stumbled onto several blogs of women who's husbands have attended the same seminary. It has been neat to look into their lives from a distance and wonder if the Lord is calling us there too. Many of these families have since graduated and moved on, yet I am thankful that the Lord used their blogs to open my eyes more to this for our lives.
For a while now I have felt that perhaps now is the right time for us to make a move and for Kev to get this degree DONE! He will have a small portion of classes that he will have to take there. I feel the Lord changing my focus and giving me some new desires. For example, the desire to downsize and live a simpler life. The desire to step out once again on faith and live life solely dependent on Jesus to make our path. The desire to establish some new friends and see a new area. I actually think I felt more leading in this area than Kev did prior to visiting.
So we visited and I could feel some fear building in my heart. What will I do on the days when Kev is working and goes straight to class until like 10 at night? How will I deal with being in a new city with him so busy? Will I be so homesick? Will we really live in an 800 square foot apartment? What will we do with all our stuff? Where will we go to church? Will I find friends? Will Kev find a job? Will I have money to still buy groceries? And the fear continued.
So here I am faltering between stepping out of the boat or sinking with fear. I am praying that the Lord will guide our path as He always has, and lead us to what He has for us. I do know that if you never get out of the boat...you never see His provision in your own life. I have seen many times before that Faith honors God and God honors faith. I have experienced that His plans for me are so much better and well suited for me than I would choose on my own. I have also learned that the narrow path, the way of faith is sometimes hard and requires great sacrifice. Oh Lord, help me.
I read an article in a local Parent Magazine and it was entitled, Long days, Short Years. As soon as I read the title, I completely related. Somedays, I feel as though I am breezing through this stage of motherhood, cherishing the snuggles, the messes, the fun conversations with Ella, and the joy that my girls bring to me. Other days are LONG and it is all I can do to make it until I hear the beep of their daddy's remote alarm locking his car and we see him walk in the door. Somedays I feel overwhelmed with discipline, tantrums and selfishness, that it leaves me questioning my methods and job as a mom. Some days are LONG.
When I look at my Ella who has completely lost her baby look except when she cries and I can still see that little round face that and pouty lower lip that I fell so deeply in love with almost three years ago...I cannot believe she is growing into such a little girl. When I realize that Eliza is not too far from walking, eating real food, and is changing into a busy and moving toddler..... I wonder how in the world has time past so fast. It makes me want nothing more than to slow us down and bottle up every little second with my little girls.
I want to cherish them each day...even on the LONG days when I feel like a rotten mom. Even on the days when we've done nothing but play in the playroom, make more messes than anyone can count, and practice the art of sharing for the one billionth time. I want to love them as you love them Lord and teach them to love you supremely. Lord, Help me value these SHORT years on the LONG days!
I am terribly late on updating my blog on Eliza's growth and stats. I love being able to look back and see what she was doing at different stages as she grows. I am so late posing this time...seeing that she is almost 10 months! I cannot believe her first year is almost over. I have already begun thinking about her first birthday, knowing that it will be here before I know it.
At nine months:
Eliza weighs about 16 pounds and is 28 inches long. I have vowed to stop worrying about why she is a little on the smaller side in weight, and just accept that God made her that way. She is rather petite and dainty and such a sweetie. I am still nursing her twice a day and she is taking formula for three feedings. I hope to wean her by her first birthday. This has helped us so much because she was not wanting to nurse much at all during the day. She was distracted by every peep her big sister made...and her sister makes lots of those. I felt like I was spending all day trying to get her to nurse...which is not fun and restricing to what we could do. Her drinking some formula has helped so much because I can monitor exactly how much she has taken in and I'm not constantly having to nurse and stop and nurse and stop. Things are just different when you have more than one child and I am learning to monitor and adjust! This was a great adjustment for us.
Eliza is now on the move. She is pulling up and starting to cruise from one item/furniture to another. She loves crawling after her sister. She follows Ella all over the house. Eliza is becoming more and more of a daddy's girl and wanted him over mommy for the first time the other day. I could tell this made his day! She has got the cutest little wave and can blow a kiss. She loves to clap and patty cake and loves her little pink blankie square like crazy. She loves to nuzzle her face right in it and love it like she's missed it all day. She generally crawls while carrying it in one hand. She can hold her own cup now and she likes to drink it in the swing. A few weeks ago, she began refusing to eat more than a bite or two of anything on a spoon. I was leary to start her on table food since she had no teeth, but she has done great. She is a little eating machine. Last night she sat and ate continually for about 35 minutes. So far she has tried: peas and carrots, black beans, baked beans, avocado, rice, pasta, chicken, bread, tortilla, banana, apples, pears, and peaches (cooked and softened). She pretty much has eaten anything we have given her so far...and don't worry Mimi, I mush it all really good!
She gets upset when sissy takes toys from her or when mommy has put her somewhere to sit and walks by without getting her. She goes to sleep well, but is often very fussy if she gets woken up early by....sissy!
Eliza, I love you so much. I love when I pick you up and you pat my back. I love when you say mama. I love to watch you eat and make a huge mess, because I know you are getting your little tummy nice and full. I love to watch you chase your sister around the house. I love to see you get excited when daddy walks in the door. I love to watch you reach your hand out of the car seat to hold onto sissy's hand. I love to hear your little squeals and laughs. I love seeing how happy your blankie makes you. I love you and I think you are such a wonderful little girl. I am so thankful that the Lord preserved your little life throughout some challenging times in your pregnancy and I am so thankful that He has a wonderful plan for you. Love, mommy
1) I have lots to blog about, but I need to upload a ton of photos first!
2) I still don't know how to upload pictures from my new camera. You have to do something weird like converting files. So, for now, I will wait on Kev who is swamped with paper writing.
3) Eliza's first little tooth popped in today. Glory to GOD in the Highest!!!
4)Each child is so different. Ella never had any trouble or really any fussiness when teething. In fact, I used to not really believe people when they blamed issues on teething. Let's just say...Miss Eliza has had some issues. Poor thing...she has been so fussy which is not like her!
5) Ella has been calling Eliza and I her PALS lately!
6) I am usually a pretty motivated person, but I have been so lazy lately!!
7) I am dying for highlights and a trim. I have 50.00 in my hair envelope (aka budget) and my next installment is still a bit away. What to do...what to do!
8) Eliza LOVES real food. She is chowing on black beans, peas and carrots, avocado, peaches, pears, , pasta, cheese and anything else that is mushable! Maybe the Lord IS answering my prayers for a good eater in her.
9) We had a great time watching the fireworks on the beach on the 4th. I did put Ella on a leash (aka) backpack(It was pitch black and crowded in my defense). Some people have very strong opinions on these, as did my husband. Let's just say, Ella keeps me humble. I'd rather lose my pride, than my child. I can think of nothing worse. And yes...we do discipline...A LOT!
10)I really wish my girls liked to sleep in a little like their mama. They are always up around 6:30am. I am just NOT a morning person as much as I wish I was.
11) Ella uses expressions now like, "Of course" and "Probably!" It always makes me laugh.
12) Ella is a pottying queen now! She prides herself at climbing on the pot all by herself. I love when I find her taking a sitting. She is no longer terrified of a public potty. In fact, she finds them quite entertaining.
13) I have this thing with dressing my girls to match holidays. I think it correlates with my obsession when I taught school to have desk tags that correlated to the season or holiday! I love seasonal wear...what can I say. (In my mind, I am picturing me wearing a long jean jumper with leaves....and no this is not the seasonal wear I am thinking of...and no I do not own one)!
14) I somehow gained 4 pounds over the fourth. I am serious! I think I have figured out how....we made homemade Oreo ice cream and it was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life...and I have eaten a lot of ice cream! I looked at one of the whipping cream containers that was leftover and that stuff has 5 grams of fat per Tablespoon! Let's just say it had a lot of it and that was only one ingredient. Maybe I should be glad it was only 4. Don't you just hate that!
15) Since I am talking food...I love love love sliced and salted avocado. Of course I would love the most fattening vegetable...or is it a fruit??? Either way...I love them. I buy them for Eliza (she needs the fat) and we share!