Thursday, May 31, 2012

The long way home

In addition to processing verbally, I process musically.

I don't know if anyone else has this, but I am moved to my very soul by music.  It touches me in a way that so few other things in life do. 

I knew I was pregnant after 8 months when I heard this song on the radio.  I don't quite know that I can explain it any better than this, but I know in my heart: God spoke to me, right there in my car when this song came on.  I had to pull over and cry, because I felt it.  I knew that this time was different from all those other disappointing no's. 

It seems I have something of a love affair with Steven Curtis Chapman when it comes to big life messages.

So today, after finding out that we lost the house - the one I wanted, the one I felt sure was our next house - all I could think about was this song:

"'Cause our God has made a promise
And I know that everything He says is true
And I know wherever we go, He will never leave us
'Cause He's gonna lead us home."

I'd like to tell you that I've learned my lesson about faithfulness.  I hope it's true, and frankly I hope God never puts me to the test.  So this summer, I'm going to do what I should have done all last summer - I know that God is faithful and that He always provides.  I know that I've been blessed beyond measure, and that if this door has closed, there is a good reason for it.

I may not know what it is yet, but this time it's not going to shake me. 

Every single step of the long way home.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Update: Move-pocalypse 2012

Finding The One.

All Matrix references aside, it's important in so many aspects of life.

And I'm telling you, people: I think we've found it.  That house that you walk into and the angels sing and the flowers bloom and you just know

I'm trying really, really hard not to get too excited and to make sure that I'm trusting God.  I know that He has a place for us that is right for our family.  I know it may not happen in my timing.  I also know that this may well not be it, and that the journey may continue. 

And we all recall from last summer how good I am at dealing with circumstances like this, where the future is all uncertain and unclear. 

I'm also trying not to get my hopes up too much, because whatever talk of "housing recession" there may still be, it's not as easy out there as it's cracked up to be. I haven't really talked about it with anyone besides Casey because it's about as far from a sure thing as it can get.

(Which, of course, is why I'm telling the internet.  I process verbally, people.)

So if ya get a sec, say a little prayer for us, will ya? 

One way or another, we have to be out of our house in less than 30 days...

Cue the dramatic music.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We're gonna make it after all

My sweet little Peanut,

You're not even born yet, and already I feel like I have to apologize. 

It's really, really unfair to be a second child.  With your sister, I can't tell you how many hours I spent sitting and thinking about her.  Talking to her, reading to her, singing to her.  Rubbing my belly and dreaming about her little face. 

I was light during my pregnancy with Sis.  Which, of course, is ironic, given that I was as big as I'd ever been (until now). 

It's not that you're any less loved, belive me.  You've already got me under your teeny, tiny thumb. 

But the time and energy I have to devote solely to you is so much less.  I'm not light the way I was two and a half years ago.  In so many ways, my soul is heavy.

It seems this pregnancy has been harder on me in just about all arenas.  There are so many more demands on my little body, from the 26 pounder I have to cart around on top of you, to the quick little energizer bunny I chase around all day, to even the soccer kicks I have to endure - and I'm talking about sister while changing her diaper.  I truly hope you don't have some kind of damage from getting kicked and punched and elbowed (frankly, I hope I don't, too.).

It's not just that.  It's the amount I have left in my reserves at the end of the day - which is pretty much zilch. 

I wish I had the energy to sit and dream about your little face and who you will become the way I did with Big Sister.  Instead, I find myself nodding off and literally dreaming instead.

It was the first trimester yuckies, which I think we survived pretty well.  Then I had a sinus infection that, because I can take no meds, lasted for weeks on end.  Then early spring allergies kicked in.  Now, your Daddy has been gone for three weeks, home just long enough to get the whole household sick and is gone again.  You know better than anyone, 'cause you're there on the inside: I'm exhausted.

You must feel like we just can't catch a break.  I know I sure do.  It all leaves Mommy so wiped out

Please know that in my soul, I am so beyond grateful for you.  It's just this little body of mine that can't quite keep up. 

One more week, sweet boy.  That's what you and I have to survive, and then I think we'll have a little more time and energy to enjoy each other.  Summer time has never, ever looked so good.  Especially since, given the timing of your arrival, our summer will be quite extended.

We're gonna make it, my little man.  One more week.

Love, and love and love, 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The one about my hormones taking over

I think I've been pretty good with all the hormonal changes of pregnancy.

I've never been one of those to complain, and I don't think I'm some kind of hormone-crazed maniac who can't control her moods.  Talk to my husband, and he may tell you a different story (but probably while I'm out of earshot, 'cause he's no dummy).

With Leah, I spent the first trimester a bit weepy.  The oddest things would make me cry... a car commercial, a bottle of milk past its expiration date.  Just about every song on the radio.

And of course, I always cry when I'm happy, pregnant or not.  I'm pretty sure it's a family trait. 

This pregnancy, though, I feel like my hormones have been mello.  I don't think I've had many obviously pregnacy-induced mood swings, although my patience is definitely less this time.  Partly, I'm sure, due to the lack of sleep I experienced during the first half of this pregnancy. 

For the last week, though, I have the weepies again.  I have no idea where it came from.  Out of the blue, I can't seem to stop crying.

Covering up Leah one night, I got that same old feeling of desperately wanting time to freeze so she can stay exactly as she is.  The same one I had for the first six months or so of her life that left me kind of a messy, sobbing wreck.  I think it was brought on by the fact that I watched the very end of Father of the Bride, where he talks about never again seeing his baby girl at the kitchen table in her socks, hair all mussy from sleep.  - Sob -

In hindsight, I probably should have picked a different movie...

Then again last night. 

If you haven't heard, Casey and I are officially under contract on our house.  I am soooo excited, and I should be nothing but grateful for this amazing opportunity.

Our realtors put together a slideshow of images of our house set to music.  It's advertised on Craigslist, and like a sucker, I watched it last night.

Let me tell you: anything even remotely nostalgic set to music should not be watched by pregnant women.  Ever.

I couldn't turn the tears off.  It was almost enough for me to cancel the deal altogether.

I just kept thinking about how much this house has meant to us.  How it was truly the beginning of our lives together.  How we spent hours and hours planning and executing projects.  How it made us stronger, gave us faith to trust in one another and appreciate the unique abilities each brings to the table.  The Halloweens.  The Christmases.  The parties.

Casey proposed to me while I was folding laundry in our bedroom.  This is the house we came home to after getting married.  I got those first, second, third and fourth all important two pink lines, mostly while waiting anxiously on the edge of the bathtub.  I laid in bed and cried after first and third amounted to nothing.  Sitting in the quiet, rocking my pregnant belly in a brand-new, carefully and lovingly designed little girl's room.  Leah everything - her first steps, her first words.  The first time she stood up in her crib or climbed the stairs in our basement.  Those memories are forever embedded in the very fabric of this house, linked in my heart and mind.

It has been such a good home to us.  There is a huge part of me that is devastated to have to leave.  Which, of course, is crazy, because the truth is we can't stay here forever. 

I think in large part all this boo-hooing is fueled by pregnancy hormones.  That, and how much and how quickly things in our lives are changing.  For the better, no doubt. 

But the truth is I'm not great with change.  Even when that change comes in the form of showers of blessings.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fight for your right to potty

I don't think it's an understatement to say that this job of motherhood is the biggest adventure life gives us. 

Nothing I have ever experienced changes a person so completely as that one special moment in which a baby enters the world. 

It's a moment that captures your heart so that you can literally hold it in your hand, stare into its eyes and awe and wonder that something so beautiful could not only exist, but have come directly from you.  The kind of moment that makes you want to shout with joy and twirl until you're out of breath and dizzy.  The kind of moment that makes you yearn to pull it protectively close, wrapped delicately in your fingers like the treasure it is. 

And, of course, that tiny miracle changes and grows.  And so do you.

Where once you wanted to fight for your right to paaaaar-tay, now you'd settle simply for making a trip to the bathroom without having someone open the door and shout, What are you doin', Mommy?  Can I have some paper, too?

Kiss the boo-boos.  Rock them to sleep.  Brush the hair and pick the outfits.  Give the medicine when they're sick.  Hold the hands across the street.  Sing the songs.  Cut the peels off the apples and crusts off the sandwiches. 

Oh yeah, and grow the people.  Have the people.  Feed the people. 

Moms are pretty special. 

Good thing there's a whole day devoted to celebrating us. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Big Sisters.

Everyone warns me about what a struggle it will be fore Leah to adjust.  You know, to the whole big sister gig. 

I'm not saying they're wrong.  It's not like either of us have done this before, and there is no denying that she is a momma's girl. 

She is also incredibly sweet, nurturing and empathetic by nature, and ridiculously excited to be a big sister.  She loves Baby Peanut to pieces.  Truly.  She sings to him at night, asks to give my belly kisses and talks about him non-stop.

Granted, he hasn't yet tried to take any of her toys or snag Mommy time when she wants my attention, but still.

Even so, we wanted to help prep her for this big transition. 

The idea came to me like a year ago when we were first trying.  That girl loves books, and she has always learned a TON from them. 

So I created:

Ahhh, bless Shutterfly.  And free deals that allowed me to make this beautiful book for a grand total of $8.  I have to say, it turned out pretty awesome. 

Left to my own devices, I would take pictures of every page and post them.  Since that seems a little excessive, here's a little sneak peak:

Hopefully it will be one of those things that eases her transition into big sister-hood.  I know she'll never really "get" it until he actually gets here, but my prayer for these two little ones is that they will have a special bond right from the start. 

'Cause the truth is, whether she's ready or not, her time as an only child is coming quickly to an end. 

I have every faith that she's going to do beautifully.

Friday, May 11, 2012

24 weeks

Baby size: Standard letter (because we've outgrown the fruit section of the grocery store.) 
Height: 11-13 inches
Weight: 1.5 lbs
Weight gained: I'll tell you next week... 'cause I don't know!

Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles.  Doesn't seem to be related to any particular foods (Leah went NUTS for blueberries), but I can definitely tell when this boy gets hungry.  He is also fairly mello in the car, which is exactly the opposite of his sister.

The food cravings and aversions have disappeared, although I have discovered that a bowl of cereal before bed helps me sleep through the night (hallelujah!).  It's been about 2 weeks since I've been awake for hours in the middle of the night - and let me tell you, sleep is a beautiful thing.

My belly button is rapidly approaching critical max.  It never popped with Leah - probably because I spent the better part of my third trimester pushing it back in.  Not sure that strategy is going to work this time 'round.

Favorite moment has to be when the little sings to her brother, or when we lay belly to belly and she can feel him moving.  You might get sick of me saying this, but it is an absolute dream come true.  Those moments are sheer, complete, light-shining-down-from-heaven perfection. 

I'm also starting to get really excited for the labor portion of this journey.  Maybe that sounds crazy to some, but I sooo deeply long for a natural child birth.  To wake up in the middle of the night all wet and gooey because my water broke.  (I know, I'm a little weird.) 

I'm starting to daydream about it, mostly right before I fall asleep.  The thought gives me such comfort and excitement.  Obviously, there is a strong potential that I may not get to actually have a natural child birth, and I think I'm okay with that if it comes down that way.  But I want desperately to be able to try on my own this time.  To have that crazy - am I in labor?  Am I not in labor? - guessing game.  Not to know the day and hour this babe will enter the world. 

What's that? you say.  Type-A hyper-controlling Melissa doesn't want everything perfectly predictable and scheduled out?  I know, I know.  I've already admitted to being weird. 

16 weeks to go - and frankly, with all the crazy contractions, I'm convinced we're not going to make it that long.  As long as he's healthy, early is okay by me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

'Cause our house rocks.

Yes, it's official.

This house?  It could be home to a brand new family any time.

I have to tell you, it's kinda flattering having your house on the market.  I mean, it's not like we've done any showings in the all of 5 hours it has been in circulation.  But we got GREAT reviews from the realtors (and I'm sure they never, ever lie to their clients). 

Besides, they put up these really cool little signs all throughout our house.  You know - as if it were a brand new, model home. 

I'm getting house nostalgia; all this talk of selling is making me appreciate just how much I love our house to begin with.

For example, did you know that we have...

Or that they paint I spent so much time selecting and applying is actually...

Or that our house boasts a...

I'm sure I used to know all those things, but when the floor is covered by toys, books, blankets and a variety of odds and ends - not to mention the mail, dishes and dirty clothes that pile up - it's tough to remember that there is a nice place under all that life

I mean it when I say that we got rave reviews.  How, I'm not sure, as these people represent million dollar properties.  Either way, I'll take what I can get.   

Will it sell?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see. 

But it's exciting to think about the possibilities.  Much more exciting than thinking about the fact that I'm going to have to find a way to keep it "show-ready" for the next... well, let's not even go there.   


Sunday, May 6, 2012


Lovely is...

...Cool breezes and spring rain.
...Freshly mowed grass.
...The nights the little falls asleep without so much as a fuss.
...May birthdays.  All 459 of them.
...Banana bread.
...Three weeks of school.
...Husbands who come home on Thursday.
...Orange tulips in a vase.
...Children's birthday parties and cake pops.
...Chocolate icecream.
...Big Sister singing ItsyBitsy Spider to Baby Peanut before bed.
...Asking to say her prayers.
...Vowing to take more pictures this summer.
..."What are you doin', Mommy?"
...23 weeks pregnant.
...Blanket snuggling weather.
...Reading Harry Potter to a wiggling boy.
...Rocking the little to bed while the littlest bumps against her.  Oh, how it fills me with awe and gratitude.  Dreams are made of such perfect moments. 

I changed my font at