It’s Not ‘Just a Helmet’

When I found out my son needed a helmet for his flat head I was devastated. Sounds silly but I was. Wait, what? Yeah ok I see it, but doesn’t that usually correct itself? I guess in some cases they do, but not my son’s. I developed a lot of mom guilt. What if I held him more? What if I never used the rock n’ sleep (information has now come out that this particular product is not good for children to sleep in)? What if, what if, what if?! The questions swirled my mind as I would cry and blame myself for the inevitable: a helmet. 

But it’s just a helmet right? It’s just temporary? Yes and yes. However, no one prepares you for it being more than just that. No one tells you how miserable your child will be in the beginning, how his or her demeanor will change and the adjustment period (which we are still in). No one can explain to you the sadness you feel seeing your child wearing it and knowing they are uncomfortable. No one mentions naps and nighttime sleep with be completely affected.  No one tells you that people will stare. They will look with curiosity or judgement or ‘I feel sorry for you’. No one tells you for a while cuddles will be different, kisses on the head will be extremely limited and your adjustment to it more than your child’s will be challenging and even emotional. No one, unless they have gone through this, can share it and there isn’t much information or research that really provides you with any comfort. 

Yes, it could be so much worse, I understand that. I am thankful this is something that can and will be fixed. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t be hurting. It doesn’t mean that it’s easy. And it definitely doesn’t mean it’s ‘just a helmet’. 

I am thankful we are able to correct this problem now. I am thankful there is something to correct this type of thing. But I also can’t wait for it to be over! If you’ve been here, I’d love to hear your story and ask you some questions 🙂 Thank you (and hugs!) to the few people who have shared their story with me and helped make this transition a little easier for me!

I’m Not Ready

For some much of my life, I felt like time stood still. I couldn’t get through situations or circumstances fast enough. I couldn’t move on quick enough. I couldn’t let go fast enough. I couldn’t fast forward to get to all the things I wanted, or at least thought I did.

Now all I want to do is stop time. I want to freeze moments so I can hold on to them a little longer (like this photo of me and my daughter who loved to laugh and hold my face close as a baby).img_1620

I want to hold on to these moments because I’m not ready. I’m not ready for my daughter to grow up. I’m not ready to have to tell her all the things of the world and why things are the way that they are. I’m not ready to explain to her that the Internet is a powerful yet very dangerous tool. I’m not ready for her to be exposed to things that she doesn’t need to be, and definitely not at such a young age. I’m not ready for the cyber bullying or bullying in general. I’m not ready to explain to her that she controls her own body and no one is allowed to tell her otherwise. I’m not ready to tell her how she doesn’t need to ‘sext’ a boy, take inappropriate selfies or engage in intercourse before marriage just because society has now deemed them acceptable actions and part of the norm when I know in my heart that they are not. I’m not ready for the arguments about why she needs a phone before she is 16 because times are different from when I was young.

I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for her to see the world as I see it now knowing that as she’s growing up it will be even worse. I’m not ready to explain to her that the morals and values I have much of the world no longer has. I’m not ready to wipe away the tears from the first boy that breaks her heart or friends that hurt her feelings. I’m not ready to watch the innocence fade from her eyes when she realizes the world is not what she had thought or hoped it would be. I’m not ready to tell her that people will intentionally hurt her, disappoint her, let her down and try to break her spirit.

I’m not ready to let her grow up. I’m not ready to lose my little girl. So for now, I will enjoy every moment and as much as I can. I wish time could stand still but it can’t. I just hope as she grows up she will know as I now know (thank you mom) that I’m only doing and saying the things that I will because I love her and want to protect her (even though I know I won’t always be able to). I hope she knows I will always be there for her even when she doesn’t think I am or she doesn’t like the answer I’m giving her. But for now, I’m not ready and thankfully I don’t have to be.

I pray that as she continues to get older, the world changes. I pray that my generation is the change. I pray that we go back to simpler times before phones monopolized all of our time and all of the technology that now consumes every one of us and continues to start earlier and earlier in age. I pray we get back to being able to enjoy the little things in life like nature and family dinners or having a REAL conversation that isn’t over text message. I pray that we restore morals and values in this world and instill them feverishly in our children. I pray we teach kindness and have zero tolerance for bullying, abuse of any form or lack of respect. I pray that the world becomes a place where I look forward to the future and not fear it. I’m not ready for what’s to come, but God I pray it’s better than what we have now.

I Hope You Always Know…

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Being pregnant affects you in ways that are difficult to explain, especially to your spouse. As much as I feel he’s tried to understand my aches, complains, swollen feet and roller coaster of emotions, there is no way to really know what it’s like unless you’re actually pregnant. It’s taken every ounce of me to grow this tiny human. It’s physical, it’s mental and it’s EXTREMELY emotional. And let’s not forget women that work and have other children to take care of (raising my hand here for both). When you add that into the mix, pregnancy can take its toll on you. But honestly it’s a miraculous gift from God and despite the tough road I’ve had this time around, I feel very blessed He has granted us with another baby.

I happened to be looking at my wedding pictures the other day and it brought me back to what still is the most incredible day of my life. I remembered each picture like it was yesterday, despite how long ago it feels. I recalled my life when it was just my husband and I and things were….simpler. It sounds silly to say that but they were. Life before kids is different. It’s not good different and it’s not bad different…it’s just different. There are less expectations, demands and stress. There’s more sleep, spontaneity and on some level, more carelessness. You’re not waking up in the middle of the night for feedings or figuring out the best ways to discipline your child or deciding what schools they will go to. The decisions you make as a couple are definitely difficult at times, but nothing like the decisions you make as a parent. When you’re a parent, you grow up more than you ever thought you needed to (and fast!). You struggle as a couple at times because you both feel strongly about something child related and being first time parents your only basis for arguing your point is your opinion/beliefs. 

Yes, parenting together is challenging but it’s also the greatest joy I’ve ever experienced. I have never known a love like the one I have for my daughter. It’s incredible how complete they make you. It humbles you. I feel so grateful to God.

As we prepare for baby number two I’ve been thinking a lot about my marriage and how another child will affect us so I wanted to take some time to tell my husband things I hope he always knows. 

Dear Husband,

I hope you always knows that you were, are and always will be my first love. Yes, our children will hold a place in my heart no one can take and above all God will always be first but my love for you is one that took and has stood the test of time. It was butterflies, holding hands, the first of many kisses, smiling so big my face hurt, the look in your eyes, feeling your love, knowing you were the one and finally understanding what all the other heartbreaks before were for. It was sometimes challenging, breaking down walls on both sides, not giving up, never letting go, forgiving and remembering why we said “I do” on some of the hardest days. It’s a relationship that’s helped me grow, caused me to change and continues to make me want to be better. I always want to be better for you. 

And I don’t always show it. I let the days sometimes get the best of me. I’m tired, I’m crabby, I’m needy and I’m sometimes just downright un-pleasable. I get angry, resentful and irritated. I lose my patience and take my tough days out on you. I say hurtful things I don’t mean. I falter. But you love me. Through it all, even at my worst…you still love me. I hope you always know how much that means to me. And not because I want to continue to make the same mistakes, but because I have your unconditional love. I have your promise. And when the world around me seems to be crumbling, I have you. 

I hope you always know you’re my rock and the rock of this family. You work so hard to make sure we are taken care of and provided for. I see your stress, wanting to make sure we are going to be okay financially. I know those worried eyes you get. But you keep going. You fight and bust your way through life to keep us afloat. I hope you always know even when I don’t say it, I see it. 

So as our family prepares for this new addition, I want you to always know how much I love you. Even when I’m mad at you, I love you!  Life wouldn’t be as amazing as it has been if I didn’t have you by my side. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been worth it. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. 

Love always,

Your wife 

For My Baby Sister…

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My sister and I have this awesome connection. It’s like we’re twins even though we’re two and a half years apart. We can sometimes feel what each other is feeling (while not being together), we know what each other is thinking or wanting to say with one look, we say the same things at the same times (A LOT!) and have even found ourselves giving each other and our parents the same cards for birthdays and holidays.

I admire her for so many reasons and she is truly my best friend. I feel so blessed for the close relationship we have. I have to say our mother did an amazing job raising us to never stay mad at one another, even if that meant forcing us to hug and say we were sorry. Truth be told, we never really fought that much…maybe as kids but the older we got our bond and friendship only got stronger.

Being older, I have only wished for the best for my baby sister. I’ve watched her grow into a beautiful woman, inside and out. I’ve watched her faith life help shape her into an even more incredible person than she already is. I stood by her side as she married the man of her dreams (that she’s been with since she was 14!) and now I get to experience what I truly believe is God’s most beautiful gift, watching her become a mother.

With just a month apart, my sister and I will both become moms, her for the first time and me for the second. While there are so many things I’ve wished for when it comes to my sister, as we got older I prayed for this the most. Getting pregnant was very easy for me. I don’t like saying that because I know the struggles others have faced. When there were struggles with my sister, I couldn’t help but ask “Why God?”, “Why her?” There were so many times I prayed and begged God to allow her the same blessing that I was given. And when I found out we were pregnant for a second time, my heart broke knowing I would have to again tell my sister that I was pregnant (even though I knew she would be nothing but happy for me which she was) knowing that she wasn’t. Little did I know that a month later she would be telling me the same thing. I will forever remember that moment in my kitchen. Every time I think of it tears fill up my eyes. I cannot tell you how hard my heart leapt out of my chest in joy for her. She and her husband patiently waited and God provided. They did not get angry at Him, give up on Him or turn away from Him. Instead…they praised and honored Him for the blessing they were receiving. I’ve never witnessed such a strong and beautiful faith as I have in my sister’s journey to becoming a mother.

So with a few weeks left for me and a month for my sister, I have to say it’s been a lot of fun being pregnant together. We took pictures to document the experience (one shown above) from the awesome duo at Up the Hill Photography. A big thanks to Jill for capturing these special moments for us. From growing up together, currently living just two miles down the road from one another to our annual Dave Matthews concerts and now pregnancy, I can honestly say I’ve experienced it all with my sister. I am so thankful to have her as my best friend.

Steph, God knew just what he was doing when He gave you to me as a sister. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. You’re going to be the best mom there is. I can’t wait to begin this journey with you. BFF! Now get these babies OUT!!!!

One More Hug

My sister was talking with me the other day about when I go into labor and the plan for her to stay with my daughter Emma. I couldn’t even think about it without almost bursting into tears. I know it sounds silly but I’m not ready to leave her because I know in doing so everything changes. Of course this change is wonderful and a gift from God but I’m still having a difficult time.

It sounds so selfish to say that, it really does. But it’s as honest as I can get. I have so many emotions about another baby coming along and so much love for my baby girl that it’s all becoming a little too much for me (and too real with today being September 1st!).

So, I wrote this poem sobbing imagining that day not to far away when I will hug her one last time. I love you my sweet baby girl!

One more hug

I want to give you one more hug,
Before I say good bye.
Because this is the last hug,
Where it will be just you and I.

I’m going now but will be back soon,
And with me I’ll have someone new.
A baby that will live with us,
A brother just for you!

But as I look at you so grown,
With tears in my eyes.
I know this will be harder for me than you,
Having to say this kind of good bye.

So my darling sweet first daughter,
I give you one last hug good bye.
Our family is growing and that means some changes,
But I still promise moments of just you and I.

I will always cherish,
These first two years we shared together.
From you saying mama to I love you,
My heart is full forever.

And now we’ll make new memories,
With our growing family of four.
And it will be just as special,
If not, even more!

So here I go with one last hug,
I squeeze you tighter than you know.
A part of me doesn’t want to leave,
Or ever let you go.

God has blessed us abundantly,
And I’ll be back to hug you again.
I hope you know how much I love you,
And my love for you will never end.