Teaching

I used to dream of all the things I would want to teach my children. I would want to teach them about the beautiful area we live in, how to be respectful, how to read and write. I would teach them about great food and music. I would teach them about love and Our Father. Little did I know that I would learn more from my 10 month old, than I think I am teaching him.

Here are the things I’ve learned so far:

  1. When you get knocked down, get right back up and keep on moving. SBR never seems to let a little slip stop him from getting to what he really wants. His tenacity astounds me. I sometimes forget that keeping going part. I get bogged down in the details. I let all of the obstacles stop me in my tracks. I’m working on having just a fraction of SBR’s tenacity.
  2. You will have more fun if you share your time (and snacks) with friends. SBR would give his last bite to the fur babies just to make them happy. He is the living version of the Rainbow Fish, and I love it!
  3. When life gets to be a little too much, take a nap. A nap will let you wake to a new beginning, and let you start anew. I need to follow this advice more often 😉
  4. Enjoy each bite. With every bite the SBR takes, he makes a sound “mmm!” or lip smacking or grunts of approval. Sometimes, I forget to savor things and just rush through meals, days, chores when really I should be enjoying every moment.
  5. Make a joyful noise. When the moment strikes, make a silly sound because it makes you happy. Sure, people might think your nuts, but if it gets you through a tough day, then GO FOR IT!
  6. Life is messy… Enjoy a bubble bath. SBR can be fussy and moody, but put him in a bubble bath and suddenly he’s a new kid. He really enjoys those baths, and I enjoy those little moments with him. I need to remember the healing of a bubble bath for myself from time to time.
  7. Finally, SBR has taught me to find comfort and rest in the arms of a loved one. For him, Miles and I are those arms that rock him to sleep each night. We are the arms hold him when he’s hurt, or comfort him when he’s had a bad dream. This advice is the most poignant to me. I am learning (again…) that our Heavenly Father is those arms for me, and whatever the road holds ahead He is holding our family through it.

Who would’ve known that a 10 month old could be so wise? I have been blessed with this little reminder, that He is with me. I see it in his smile, in his go-get- it attitude, and in his overall enjoyment of life.  I am so glad that I am able to sit back and let my little teacher show me the bigger picture that He has in store for me.

 

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Living For The Weekend

I used to “live for the weekend” it was a time to sleep in, rest up, cook for the hubby, and rejuvenate. Miles and I would go to anywhere the wind blew us, and life was so different. The weekends were always different, and I could count on time to sit around and just be. Although, I didn’t do that often.

Now, “living for the weekend” has a completely different meaning. Every Monday morning, I wake up and tell SBR that we have only 5 more days until we can leisurely wake up, cook breakfast together, and play and snuggle. As the week progresses, I so look forward to Saturdays. I know that I will finally get some time to sleep in (if only a few minutes). When my sweet little alarm clock wakes me, I know I can bring him into bed with us for our weekend snuggles. Those moments are all I have ever dreamed of. His sweet smile and funny giggles warm up my heart.  I love how he crawls over to wake up Miles by grabbing his nose, lips, or poking him in the eye. He rolls around in the blankets, and play peek-a-boo. When we finally get up, I look forward to chasing that sweet boy around as I cook breakfast… He loves being in the kitchen and snacking as I am working. We make a really good team 🙂 . We like to have a leisurely breakfast, and then play time that follows. Miles always wakes and is so excited to have some morning time with the sweetest boy around. To say we are nuts about this boy is an understatement. By Saturday evening, I know I have one more day with my loves, but I know it will pass way too quickly. The weekends have always been fun, but nothing could’ve ever prepared me for the fun that would come with being a mom. Now, I am really living for the weekends, and the time with my little family. I am beyond blessed!Image My sweet boy enjoy his Saturday morning breakfast! Love the one handed sippy action 🙂

Mom Stains

As a new mom, there are many things to learn.

1. You get very little sleep in the beginning. Sleep while you can is advice that does not even seem useful, simply because there is no amount of sleep that can help you catch up. It does get better! SBR had several 6 solid hour nights this week and last night he made it 11 hours! But, those first 6 months are definitely the toughest.

2. All of your favorite accessories look best in your jewelry box. If your little one is anything like mine, there is pulling and ripping off and teething happening on anything that can get in his mouth. So, to avoid injury and having to find replacements, my accessories are left in my drawer until I have that rare night out with the girls or the hubs.

3. It doesn’t matter if you have just showered and put on fresh clothes, be it pajamas, work clothes, everyday clothes, THEY WILL GET MESSY! You will feel like you have a constant crust, if you will, on your hands, arms and face, at all times.

4. You will not have a meal that isn’t shared with your little one. In the beginning, I was sharing my meals with my little one because of breastfeeding. Now that my little guy is eating solids, I rarely get a serving to myself. I don’t mind though, it’s a great weight loss plan and he makes the cutest little noises when he likes something. 🙂

5. You will never make it ANYWHERE on time. Even if there is an hour window of time to get somewhere, I am still late. I don’t understand it. I don’t know where the time goes, but I do know that I used to be 15 minutes early to just about everything. Now, I’m lucky if I am only an hour behind.

Despite that fact that these things seem less than appealing to most, I cannot imagine my days without them. I will forgo sleep for some extra snuggling time with my little man or some time to play and giggle. I will happily not wear accessories. Chances are, I would spend too much time picking them out anyway, and I could be taking that time to be with the sweetest smile I have ever seen. And most importantly, those mom stains… You know the ones from the applesauce sneezes, runny noses, teething drool, and Lord knows what else, are not just stains or dirt. They are a badge of honor. Those stains, as crazy as it sounds, I have waited for my whole life. It allows me to shout from the rooftops ” I am a MOM and I LOVE IT!!” without looking like a complete nutcase.

So, when Miles teased me the other night about going out with my mom stains, I simply responded, “Yes, I plan on leaving the house with them, I’m a mom.”

As for the other things, nothing trumps being a mom… Even if you are late to everything. Being a mom is the best thing I have ever done with my life. It is the greatest gift that has ever been given to me and I know that I am truly blessed to have this wonderful, sweet, handsome, funny, smart boy in my life. So, if you see me looking grungy and without my normal earrings and jewelry, just remember that I am simply showing off how much I love being a mom.

This Time of Year

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This was SBR last year on December 7th. This time last year, I was terrified. We were scheduled for an ultrasound at MUSC to check to see that SBR had all necessary organs for life outside of the womb and to check for neural tube defects. I remember working half a day, and then heading to Charleston. I remember waiting in the waiting room trying not to think of the outcome. My parents went with Miles and I, so that no matter the outcome we would not be alone. We had made that long, lonely journey home 2 too many times. So there we were, waiting,praying, and hoping. When they finally called us back, I felt like I could hardly breathe. When the technician told us that his head looked perfect, I started breathing a little. But, when she said there were 2 kidneys, I not only breathed again, I couldn’t hold back my emotions. I was so relieved. My prayers had been answered.

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Now, a year later, I cannot even imagine my life without him. He is truly my Ray of Sunshine. I knew I wanted to have a baby last year; I had no idea how he would change my life. He brings a smile to face every day. He brings pure joy to each day with his new tricks, cute laugh, and sweet little hugs. I don’t mind not sleeping in on the weekend, because it is more time to spend with him. I miss him even when I’ve just gone to the grocery store for a few minutes. When I look at him, I know that God IS indeed with us. He has heard our prayers, and blessed us beyond measure. I often wonder if Mary felt this way about Jesus. Was she able to set aside the scandal that surrounded her pregnancy to love her little Baby? Was she overcome by the joy and love for this child? My son is not God in human form, but I am completely infatuated. This time year, having him here, I am just overflowing with this…. I don’t even know the words to describe it… joy, love, adoration, enamor,  infatuation, intrigue, pride, and so many other emotions.

God is so good! This time of year, really hits that home for me. Merry Christmas, y’all!

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Stretching

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

 I haven’t felt this way in some time and I’m feel like a rubber band being stretched to nearly a breaking point. I feel like I am trying to do so many things at once that I am stretched out beyond words. Being a mother is wonderful, but takes a lot of patience and time. SBR constantly needs me and he is my first priority. But, making sure that he has everything he needs can be overwhelming at times and forces me to stretch in a way I never thought imaginable.

Miles has been having some health issues, so he also needs me. He also has just been laid off from his job and the closest replacement is in Maryland. This has also caused me to stretch myself just a little further to make sure that he is getting what he needs as I support our family through this difficult transition.

I recently started a graduate program. This is requiring a great deal of time and has many responsibilities. I am thinking ahead to the coming school year and the duties I will have to my new class, in addition to taking care of our home. Yet again, stretching a little further. I am beginning to wonder how far can I stretch?

I know there is a plan for us. I know that He is faithful and will see us through this difficult time. I am just so saddened that the family we have dreamed about for so long is going to stretch across several states. I worry that Miles will miss all those special moments we have long anticipated as SBR grows. That may be the worst of all of this. It seems that we make it through one trial and into another. I continue to pray. I continue in my faith. I know that He might let me stretch, but He will not let me break. He is with us throughout this mess, and I am so thankful to have that walk with Him.

I ask that you pray for our family as we enter into this new chapter of stretching.

Dear Lord,
Please be near. We need your hand and mercies on our family and our hearts. We will faithfully follow Your plan. You are good and we are thankful. Amen.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

On the wall

I am my mother

afterall!

As a child, I teased my mother when she said “my heart is full” and she would get emotional over the smallest of moments. Today, as I sat snuggled up with my little man I felt my heart overflowing with this intense love and gratitude for that moment. No one was here to witness it, just SBR and I sharing this moment. I kissed his little cheek and he smiled ear to ear. I felt so lucky to have this blessing and this time with him.

I thought back to a time just a little over a year ago, when I thought having a child would not happen for me. When I would go to bed each night thinking of my angel babies and aching for a baby in my arms. I thought of those nights I would sit in my bathtub and weep and question where He was when I needed Him. I thought about how empty I felt. And now– now, I have my arms full of this bundle of joy, my face is full of smiles and happy tears, and my heart is beyond full of love, happiness, and gratitude.

I can no longer tease my mother, because I have become her. I have a deep understanding of her saying “my heart is full” and the emotions that follow those moments that most would think as just those everyday moments. Somehow, those moments seem so much sweeter when you think you’ll never have them.

In short, My heart is full!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for filling my heart with Your love, Your blessing, Your grace. I am grateful. Amen.

Experiencing God

**** I’ve been working on this for a few weeks, and couldn’t seem to put my little man down long enough to get it finished. Anyhow, here it is…

Blessings’Laura Story

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

I was listening to this song the other day on my way to the grocery store. It was one of only a few times I’ve left SBR at home, and it gave me time to think and pray without interruption. In that moment I realized that all of our trials and heartache were a way to draw me nearer to Him. That because of my trials, I have decided to live my life letting Him be in control and in utter awe of His greatness. I feel far more blessed with the gift that SBR truly is. I’ve struggled to find time to blog because I am spending most of my time with my sweet baby and I couldn’t be happier.

My pastor recently relocated, and I was so sad to see him and his family go. It was because of my pastor that I started this journey of blogging in the first place. He gave me so many words of wisdom and questions to ask myself, and I am so appreciative for everything he’s done for me. During his last sermon with us, he talked about living out Christianity and not shouting it out. He spoke of truly experiencing God— with that, my mom leaned over and nodded toward SBR, she said,” I’m experiencing God now.” And I couldn’t help but agree.

I wake up each morning in awe of His greatness and faithfulness. I blogged several times about the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and I now know exactly what it means. I look at SBR’s sweet little face and I can’t help but feel overcome by His glory! He is my miracle! I’m enjoy this blessing  (I feel like I FULLY understand what it means to be blessed). My healing did come through tears and sleepless nights, but lead me on a journey to happy tears and sleepless nights with a bundle in my arms. Not only did I get my heart’s desire, I got a closer walk with God. I want to sing His praises and show off my blessing as much as possible. I’m so in love!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the blessing of SBR. He is love and he is how I feel closest to You. Amen.

Mother’s Day

When I was young, I liked Mother’s Day. I always dreamed of how nice it would be to be a mom. My mom was awesome and I couldn’t wait to be just like her.  As I got a little older, we started making Mother’s Day weekend a “girls’ weekend”. My mom, sister and I would get together and spend the whole weekend doing girly things. We would watch our favorite chick flicks, eat out at our favorite restaurants, get pedicures, anything that we wanted that didn’t involve “the boys”.

After we lost our first baby, I remember someone wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day, and I burst into tears. I felt awful. How can you be a mother and have no baby to show for it? I had never felt so empty. I remember spending that weekend with my mom and sister and feeling like I could cry at any moment. My mom assured me that I was indeed a mother to my angel baby, and that one day I would have a sweet baby to hold and call my own. We shared a little cry and a hug. I felt again, that I couldn’t wait to be like my mom.

After our second loss, I was really trying to move on. Mother’s Day came around once more and I was more chipper, but still in my head and my heart I felt empty. I’d started counseling and that helped, but I still longed to have a baby to hold. We spent our girls’ day on Tybee Island. We had a yummy breakfast, went for a walk on the beach, had a cocktail on the pier, and finished the day at our favorite seafood place. We were silly and it helped keep my mind off of things. While we were having dinner, we looked over at the river and saw a mother dolphin helping her baby to the surface. It was incredible. It was the second time that year that I’d seen this happen. I know several people that say they’ve never seen anything like it, so I felt certain that this was sign for me. We sat and talked about what this could mean. I prayed, “Dear Lord, I am open to your plan. I am ready for whatever you have in store for me.” I couldn’t help but think that maybe the next year I would have a baby…

When I found out I was pregnant, I was pretty excited to have a May due date. I was certain that I would actually deliver my baby on Mother’s Day.  I’d been at a meeting last school year and written the date for Mother’s Day this year.  My friend noticed and said that something important would happen that day. Well, I didn’t deliver on Mother’s Day, but I made it the week prior. I couldn’t be happier to be included in the Mother’s Day group. It was so nice to have my baby in my arms, to have strangers wishing me a happy mother’s day, and to be there to participate not just as a spectator in the family dinner. It was such a strange feeling to be on this side of things. While I’ve known the heartache, and I will never forget my angel babies, it is so wonderful to have a baby here. I wake up every morning and just pray prayers of thanks for this blessing I’ve been given, to be a mother, and to have my sweet baby in my arms. Having my little man to hold makes it hard to remember how awful I felt before, how empty I felt. I know that part of that comes from the faith I’ve built and part comes from having a baby. But, without a doubt, this Mother’s Day was the BEST Mother’s Day there ever was.

Bathtime

Before I was pregnant, bath time was a time for me to decompress, to pray, to wash away all of the bad feelings I had. It was a time for me to let go. It  was just me and Him, and I could open up. It’s where I first realized that I wasn’t walking with Him, and that I’d gotten so far from my walk. It was the place that I asked Him back in my life.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified to take a bath. I worried that water would be too hot and hurt my developing baby. I didn’t want it to be too cold because no one likes a cold bath. So, I steered clear. Around Christmas time, I had a “boo-boo” that required me to soak a few times a day. So, I braved the bath.

I ran the water, slid in, and waited. I waited to feel differently… Then, it happened. I saw the baby move! It then became a time for me to sit and focus only on my sweet baby. It became a time for us to read and talk. It became my favorite time of the day. As I’ve gone through my pregnancy, I’ve gotten away from our nightly bath for whatever reason (showering seems to be more time efficient). I’ve missed it, and I’ve wanted to get back to it.

So, in an effort to help with my swelling last week, I took a warm bath. It was relaxing– until it was time to get out. It was not as easy as it once was. It took some doing, but I was successful. This week, I decided to take one because I needed to get my head together. But instead of thinking like I had intended, my Sweet Baby Ray reminded me of his presence and the goodness of God. He rolled and wiggled and I couldn’t worry about the things I’d gotten in to worry about and wash away. I was completely distracted by my little miracle.

It amazes me, even still, how good God is. I am still just humbled to have the opportunity to experience this precious gift. I am so in love with my little man and I hardly wait for him to make his grand entrance.

Lord,

Thank you for this blessing. Thank you for bath time. Help me to remember to focus on what is important and leave the worries and troubles with you. You are so good and I am so grateful!

Amen.

Absence

I’ve been absent in my writing for a while. There has been so much going on, that I just couldn’t decide what to write about.

First, Miles’ grandfather passed away in February. This put us through a strain we’d not yet had to encounter. When someone is ill, I’ve decided that God is our Ultimate Healer, and that the ill are better off in His comforting hands. Miles takes another approach. He closes off, he gets very agitated easily, and he struggles to finish a task or thought. The day we found out his grandfather wasn’t doing well, Miles snapped at me repeatedly. My first instinct was to be defensive. I’m already an emotional person, and then add pregnancy hormones to the mix, and well, it’s a recipe for disaster. I prayed that I would be able to support him through this trying time, and as I always do when things get tough, I called my mom.  Grandpa Charlie did pass, and Miles and I survived the stress that comes from such a loss. Part of me thinks, we even came out a little stronger.

Next, we hit a milestone. We reached weeks 30, 31, 32, and 33! We’ve had healthy checkups for both me and the baby. My blood pressure has been great and his heartbeat is strong. We are growing so quickly and it amazes me every day. What’s more is that we got to take a class on the birthing process and Miles really took all of the information very serious. We’ve also started a class on newborn care. I’ve been dreaming about Ray’s sweet little face. I’ve also been preparing our home for his arrival.  It seems like a dream that we get to prepare our home and our hearts to have this sweet blessing. I tell Ray everyday that he is an answered prayer, a blessing, and a dream come true. I’m just so excited; I want to scream from the rooftop, “I’m going to be a MOM!”

This week, I’ve been on spring break, so I’ve really been focusing on getting the house prepared for baby and the visitors that will follow. I’ve cleaned out about every inch of our house, scrubbed bathrooms, organized closets, and set up the bassinet next to our bed. I love waking every morning to see the bassinet there and knowing that in a few short weeks it will hold our little blessing. There was a time not so long ago that I was sure that I would never have a baby of my own, and I was trying to prepare my heart for the route of adoption. It is amazing to me that if you ask for God’s favor, you will receive it. I pray constantly that he continue to bless us with a healthy baby, a healthy delivery, and the means to provide for our growing family.

Next weekend, we will have our 2nd baby shower, and I continue to feel blessed and excited. We have been given so many gifts and I am so grateful for EVERYTHING. Our baby is so loved already, and he isn’t even here. It puts my heart and mind at ease.

Dear God,

Thank you for the blessing of this healthy baby. Thank you for the gifts that have been giving to help us prepare for our baby. You are so good! My heart is full and I sing your praises. Amen.