You Might Be a New Mom If...

- A "good day" means you took a shower AND put on makeup.  (Hair washing = REALLY good day - a.k.a. husband is home. :)

- When you took that shower it was the fastest one of your life and there's a baby in her rock n play in the bathroom...and you're praying she doesn't wake up yet!

- The glider is your new best friend.

- You listen to Praise Baby because it's calming to YOU.

- When the baby does go to sleep you find yourself SPEED WALKING from one end of the house to the other trying to get stuff done.  (Then yes, your body has something to say about moving that fast!)

-  When you sit down to feed the sweet baby you run through the list in your mind...did I eat?  Did I shower? Does the dog need to go out?  How many dirty/wet diapers has she had today?  Who have I yet again forgot to call/email/facebook back?  Do I have anything non-maternity to wear in public...that actually fits?!  Oh, and how IS my husband today??

- When you do get a chance to eat dinner with your husband while the baby's sleeping, you have to discipline yourself not to talk about breastfeeding or that precious and beautiful baby.  Seriously, what did we used to talk about?!

- You hope no one spontaneously comes to the door...because 9 out of 10 times there's a good chance you're not fully clothed.

-  You think watching a new little human sleep to be the most beautiful, blissful thing in the world.

- When your husband takes you to the doctor's office those first couple weeks you get "dressed up."  And when you leave you desperately think of where else you could go to feel like a functioning member of society again.

- Your iphone has at least a hundred pictures of the most beautiful sleeping baby on it.

- You cry at all the Pampers commercials.  Yes, a baby changes everything. :)

- You get a random headache in the middle of the day and ask yourself, "Why am I so tired?"

- You have to tell yourself that one day you do have to return to the front seat and sit next to your husband in the car.

- You've never prayed harder in your entire life.

- When you ask your husband to please get you some breast pads, he responds with, "Oh, are those what I find lying around everywhere?"  (First week stuff of course :)

- If you had to choose one toiletry item to take with you somewhere...it would be medela lanolin.

- You realize that the moms who are getting a whole lot done are the ones who one day decided they could live on a whole lot less sleep.  (I'm not quite there yet ;)

- You finally grasp the meaning of being thankful in all circumstances...because it is an absolute privilege to endure and adjust to whatever necessary in honor of the amazing little life you've been entrusted with. 

- If you're like me, you wake up each day feeling like you just landed your dream job...and the longevity is prayerfully promising.

- You wouldn't change a thing.

I'm a new mom...and I'm loving it. :)


On Motherhood

My grandma lovingly made this beautiful cross-stitch for my mom many years ago...and now it has been passed on to me.  It so wonderfully sums up my heart and my days with my special sweet baby Selah.  Becoming a mom has been an overwhelmingly joyful experience...having waited so many years for this dream to come true makes it all the more sweeter.  Even as I'm writing this I think of all the things I've wanted to put in a post lately, but now it's difficult to put into words.  I have spent the last three weeks snuggling and soaking up all the squishy, squeaky wonderfulness that is my daughter.  That first week at home was crazy...recovering from giving birth, learning how to feed this tiny person, trying to remember to eat, exhausted from such little sleep, the adrenaline of being overwhelmed with gratitude for this gift.  Seriously, my excitement over having our sweet little baby home felt much like the week after I found out I was pregnant...I was so excited and thankful I couldn't sleep.  That's how it was when we first came home.  Kevin would tell me to go lay down for a bit and I would just lay there saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," over and over to God.  Then I'd get up to go hold my precious baby. :) 

 Dance time with Daddy :)

The second week was filled with a couple dr. appts, a couple sessions with the lactation consultant, and a whole lot of feeding...trying to put some weight on my little one.  If I read your blog and you breastfeed, I might just be emailing you soon.  I am determined to persevere and I so enjoy it...I really am hoping to feed her that way for a long time...it's just thrown me quite a learning curve with some unpredictable scenarios.  Definitely a full time job - but the best kind in my opinion!  I've had a bit of a struggle with milk supply more than anything, so any feedback or encouragement from any of you who have been down this road and got it to work for you eventually would be much appreciated! :)  (Though I think I'm trying every trick in the book!)  Now we're at the end of our third week together, getting into somewhat of a rhythm, and being fully initiated into motherhood with some projectile poo the other day.  :)  That's what mommy gets for changing that diaper a moment too soon!

I don't believe you can spoil a newborn baby...I do believe in loving abundantly and holding a lot and savoring such a special, short lived time.  I even prayed that God would allow me to have long days filled with memories and special moments with her these first weeks - because I know all too well, even without fully experiencing it yet, that she will be so different in such a short time.  Even when she's sleeping I reach over and lightly feel her tummy to make sure she's breathing...what seems like a million times a day and night.  I just so love this fragile, beautiful and delicate little life and I don't want to miss a second.  I read several blogs of new moms and wonder how in the world you all now have 7 month old babies!!??  I feel like I was just the one waiting on all their arrivals!

Selah makes the best facial expressions - in her sleep, when she's waking up, and recently when she's awake.  We have seen her smile in her sleep so many times - and it is precious.  Today she was sleeping in my arms and I was on the phone with a friend...when I laughed she made the sweetest giggly face - it was awesome.  She is quite curious, yet so peaceful at the same time.  Even when she was born she had her eyes wide open when they laid her on my chest.  Checking me out and quietly looking for love from the beginning.  She especially gets a kick out of her daddy when he reads to her and talks to her on his lap after work.  She is an amazing sleeper - (which of course caused us a little freaking out at first!:), and only seems to scream when she's hungry...which is why we're definitely thankful we figured out early on that she wasn't quite getting enough to eat with just what I was able to give her.  I am praying hard that won't always be the case.  She loves being swaddled, she enjoys car rides and walks in the stroller, and she loves being held close and rocked.  When her tummy hurts she prefers daddy's special football hold.

I love everything about this little girl...and I'm still getting to know her.  It is quite amazing how quickly it's hard to remember life without her.  Pregnancy feels like a million years ago.  Can you believe all that time I had a little girl growing inside me??  I certainly didn't know or was never really honest about how much I have always wanted a daughter...until I had one.  We adore having a little girl...and since it's still pretty new to me I have moments of seeing something cute or girly and getting excited about the fact that I'm part of that world now too!!  About pregnancy...I did love it so much...I felt so good with my baby belly all the way to the very end.  That has definitely been confirmed now that I'm left with my post baby body...funny how it doesn't matter if you lose 18 lbs in the week or two after giving birth - what remains certainly begs for some serious work, and the leftover pounds hang on for dear life! :)  Now that I can see my thighs again I'm reminded of them too.  Ha.  Totally worth it of course.  And the several stretch marks I didn't get until the last few weeks but that will be with me forever will always be a beautiful reminder of the special season God was knitting Selah together.  That was an amazing time...and life with sweet Selah in my arms is even more so. 

New baby days are not all daisies and roses, don't get me wrong.  (And I'd be happy to talk in more detail about those dandelions if you'd like to email me and chat about it. :)  Today is actually the first day I have my mind and thoughts together as much as I do!  I certainly have had my fair share of irritability and emotional breakdowns.  (Kevin has learned quickly not to say much when I'm pumping.  Ha.)  And I've quickly grown a mother's heart as I'm often overcome with an overwhelming desire to make every right decision for my daughter.  This is truly a new season and time to live in and offer grace.  All that said, I do choose to focus more on the daisies than the dandelions.  Because when God does an amazing work like creating new life, it is too powerful and priceless to miss.  For me, it's years and years of dreaming and praying coming true.  Ironically, just like I said in my last post before I had my sweet girl, this is a time to "savor and be still."  And to once again give God the glory for what He has done.

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward."  Psalm 127:3 NASB

I will share soon about her name and her crazy amazing birth story...I just had to get my heart out before too many days go by!


Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

That's what little GIRLS are made of!!!

Look who God has graciously and abundantly blessed us with...our precious and prayed for Baby Love, 
who is a beautiful, amazing daughter!

I'm excited to finally introduce you to...

Selah Page
7 lb 4 oz.
20 1/2 in.
9:48 am

(I wore this dress as a newborn...it was her coming home outfit!)

We are in love and consumed with our sweet Selah girl.  Delivering and meeting her was the most powerful experience of my life by far.  I can't wait to share the birth story, the inspiration for and meaning behind her name, and the beginning of our adventure together with you!  Thank you for your prayers...God is so faithful and we give Him all the glory for this new life!!!


The Wonder and Weight of Waiting

I have to be honest with you...you already know how ridiculously excited I am to meet this baby...but I'm really finding great peace and joy in this "waiting for baby" process.  The first day or two felt weird, like I was "late" for something, the next couple days felt like bonus free time, and now I'm in the "savor and be still" stage.  (Though I have my moments...particularly when the dreams get weirder and WAY more real! :)

Today I strapped on my more supportive Teva sandals and enjoyed an hour long walk (without waddling!) with Chai on our favorite trail.  I savored the fascination of this full term baby snuggled and squished in my belly, being rocked to sleep with every step, and as physically close to my heart as he or she will ever be.  I was overwhelmed in amazement that in a matter of weeks, (prayerfully!), I could be pushing this very baby in stroller, having to take breaks to make sure he or she is warm enough, fed enough, or changed.  Even when it feels slow, life happens so quickly.  So I certainly don't want to miss right now.

I was able to do some great thinking and reflecting about the times in my life I've had to endure the waiting...or the times of waiting others in my life are enduring right now.  It's crazy how stories of others' experiences can at times be overwhelming when you're in the thick of pregnancy craziness...but now, when strangers ask me when I'm due and I tell them last Wednesday, their stories are actually the comforting ones, as so many tell me how long they had to wait!  Makes me feel a little more normal, instead of like I'm missing the party or something.:)

Isn't it difficult at almost all stages of life to wait??  As children we struggle with waiting our turn, or sacrificing our own instant gratification for that of another, and waiting on our parents when they say, "Not now."  (Actually, this is kind of true of adults too...yikes!)   As teens we just want to grow up, be respected, be included, be loved.  We think if we could just get out of that stage of life we'd get there.  Then, if you're me, you go to college and wait to be pursued, or "wait" for all your dreams to come true and prayers to be answered.  Sure, we try to follow God's lead and take the appropriate action steps, but often our hearts still feel like they're enduring the elevator music when we've been put on hold on the phone.  Then we "wait" or endure the search for the just right job, or the next direction we're supposed to go.  Or for the promised rental home you're waiting for while pregnant with your first child.  Pray and wait, pray and wait...it can start to feel quite rhythmic if it lasts long enough.

But today, like so many times before, God convicted me with the richness that's to be found in the waiting process.  It's the finite, one piece of the puzzle principle.  We can and will only ever be able to see small pieces of the puzzle at a time, until it is complete and we can view with God the whole picture.  Though often, when it is complete, it's a masterpiece and we feel silly for freaking out and throwing our tantrums because we couldn't see it sooner.

There's no doubt those times can be incredibly tough and pain-filled, sometimes demanding moments of grieving over unmet expectations or the loss of the ideal while we're in the throws of the wait.  Times when it just doesn't make sense this side of Heaven, and it feels more than we can bear.  Especially when it comes to waiting to conceive, longing to be married and have a family, waiting for a loved one to be healed, or waiting for healing yourself. This is when we cry out to God from our depths and have to get real honest with our desperate need for His peace that passes all understanding.  I completed a bible study on Exodus this year called God-Seeker.  At one point, after highlighting the amazing verse that says Moses changed God's mind when He became angry and wanted to destory the people who had turned from Him, (Exodus 32:14), she asks the reader, "Who are you storming the gates of Heaven for?"  This entire pregnancy I have been more drawn than ever to "storm the gates of Heaven" for so many.  Like little Kate McRae who is only 7 years old yet has battled a brutal and awful cancer for two years.  Or my blog friend Amy, who has also battled this ugly disease for a year now, yet has remained so faithful and honest with her almighty God.  And now a family friend and co-worker of Kevin's who recently began his fight with what seems like an ugly and unfair cancer diagnosis.  And a family member who has been desperate to conceive another child, praying for God to hear their requests as they long to add to their family for His glory.  The stories could go on and on...the waiting can seem and feel awful and heartbreaking.  So gut-wrenching and difficult for any of us to make any sense of.

Our pastor shared a great quote a couple Sundays ago during his sermon on prayer.  He said something like, "We shouldn't make requests of God when we're not willing to also take action ourselves."  I have thought about this over and over, particularly when I am sharing my petitions with God and have to question what I could be doing to be available for Him to use in order to answer the request.  Like if I see or hear about people who are hurting and am immediately compelled to call out to Jesus on their behalf.  I now also start reflecting on how He might be wanting to use me to bring comfort.  Though I know I must choose to be willing and take action.

I will never forget the moment my persepective on "waiting for a husband" changed pretty dramatically.  I had longed to be a wife and mom my whole life, and I felt like it was what I was created to do.  I prayed and surrendered over and over, and I believed God placed that desire in my heart and wanted to answer my requests.  But I couldn't see far enough in front of me to really get it.  So I kept making choices and looking at my life in my early and mid twenties in terms of, "Well, in 2 years I'll probably be married, so I should or shouldn't choose this."  And I'm even talking little stuff like buying a set of dishes, new silverware, (instead of using my mom's old), or investing in the comforter cover I really wanted.  (Bright colored multi-striped!)  I would think, "Well I wouldn't want to get something my husband wouldn't like, so I'll just wait."  Crazy!!  This is the perfect, (even if seemingly ridiculous) example of fixating on only a small piece of the puzzle. I think I was about 24 or 25 when this realization dawned on me, and I immediately decided to take a different course of action.  I decided to savor the moment and live now.  I bought a set of white IKEA dishes that I loved, and the comforter cover and shams, (and pink sheets!) from The Company Store I had really been wanting, so I could finally make my bed and decorate like an adult.  And wouldn't you know it...3 or 4 years after that, God brought the amazing man He had for me into my life and we got married.  And up until last week we have used that bright striped comforter cover!  Ha!  Turns out it didn't even matter!  (Don't worry, I have worked hard to create a sacred space for us - without that cover - in this new home. :)  Also, we are still using and love those white IKEA dishes as our only set.  We didn't even register for dishes because of them! 

Those might be minor and silly examples, but they will always be a huge lesson for me.  During the years I was feeling the most discouraged about wanting to be married, Kevin was not even yet a Christian.  I wouldn't have even considered him as a potential husband.  Yet today he is a phenomenal and God-seeking man.  God has done a powerful and amazing work in his life, and I am changed so grateful for it!  He leads our family well, disciples others as his job, and is more than I could have ever asked for or imagined....and I asked for and imagined a lot!

What's on my heart that motivated this post is this:  God is sovereign and we are not.  He is our Creator and we are His creation.  He loves us more than we can imagine, but while on earth, we will never not be small and human.  He knows how the puzzle fits together and why.  We would be foolish not to trust.  Which reminds me, we also just recently had to make a tough decision about my job.  Very long story, but at the end of the day, we prayed and were at peace with me making the difficult decision to walk away, regardless of the potential for circumstantial fear that might pose.  Wouldn't you know it, a few days after that decision was made on our part, the family took a new position and relocated to California!  Ha!  Thank you God for confirmation of that decision. 

It amuses me how theoretical and analytical we can get about life...and it must amuse God how often we try to understand and explain the details of why things are the way they are...rather than surrender and savor what He has for us in the middle of it.  Which is what I'm doing now.  I don't know when this sweet baby will come.  But I know he or she will.  I don't know what he or she will look like...but I guarantee you I'll say this baby is the most beautiful creation I've ever laid eyes on.  I don't know how labor and delivery will go, but God has known since He started knitting this baby together.  I do know that I have confidence in Christ, I trust Him, and I am praying fervently to Him about the whole process.  Even when it's hard, I know He is in control and I just can't be.  I am praising Him for the depth and richness He has given me while reflecting during these "extra days" of waiting.  The Israelites wandered and waited in the desert for 40 years.  And not without grumbling and wanting to give up, I might add.  Sometime I'll have Kevin do a guest post on how much God has taught him during these 9 months through that story.  If they had known what the Promised Land would behold, don't you think the waiting would have been so much easier?  But then again, they would have never had to trust.  They would have missed out on seeing the magnificent beauty of God's provision and answered promises...and they would have missed that He is to get all the glory.

Check out this admittedly heavy but ridiculously rich quote I just found in C.S. Lewis' article or sermon, The Weight of Glory, referring to how we think about God and how He thinks about us:

"In the end that Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other, either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised. I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us. It is written that we shall “stand before” Him, shall appear, shall be inspected. The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God. To please God...to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness...to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain.  But so it is." WOW.  (I just came across this, but will be reading it and reflecting on it so much more!!  I can hardly wait to read the whole sermon!)
My doctor just left for vacation today.  Much of the reason we chose this doctor is because she does whatever it takes to deliver each and every one of her own patients.  Yet when she hesitatingly told me last week this might happen, it surprisingly didn't phase me a bit.  For whatever reason, it seemed like I knew it was coming.  God has done a real work in my heart during this pregnancy, squeezing out any desire of mine to be in control.  I am constantly reminded that He is everything, and I am nothing without Him.  And Kevin has reminded me, we have prayed the whole time, and God knew this scenario and how it would play out from the beginning.  I've been reminded that my faith, hope, and trust for the growth and delivery of this baby has never been in the doctor...it is in God alone.  That is the only way that He gets what He deserves...all the glory.

So my encouragement to you while you wait...or while others seem to be anxiously waiting for you ;)...give him all the glory, right where you are; be grateful and savor whatever He has to teach you in the unknown. I pray you'll be joy-filled in simply knowing that you are delighted in by the One who made you.  And when the tears come because it seems too painful to bear...let them fall.  That's often when our Hero and his love shines the most.

Psalm 115:1 - "Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness."


Song for the Sabbath

LOVE this song!!  This summer our church did a beautiful service centered around the message of this song.  Hope you are encouraged and uplifted on this beautiful Sunday!


"Extra Recess"

So what does a pregnant lady do when she's overdue??  She embraces what I'm affectionately referring to as "extra recess."  While I know meeting this little baby will be more fun than I can imagine, I am definitely choosing to make the most of this "overtime" Kevin and I are sharing.  As two people who tend to have plenty to do last minute, (I'm trying not to call us procrastinators:), a few or more extra days doesn't hurt.  Also, while many of you might start telling me to walk like crazy, unfortunately my first injury of the pregnancy just came on a few days ago...the ball of my foot throbs pretty excruciatingly when I walk on it.  Probably the result of carrying around an extra 25 or so pounds and wearing sandals with horrible support all summer.  Anyway, walking isn't currently easy.  But here's a list of some other fun ways we're spending on time waiting on God's exciting and perfect timing:

* Enjoying a "date-a-day" with Kevin, eating at our favorite places and getting out and about.  So far we've had an amazing dinner, an awesome breakfast, and a dessert night.  We are trying to plan some other favorites for each day...a pre-baby bucket list...we'll see how far we get. :)

* Lots of pre-baby pool time for the pregnant lady.  SO.MUCH.FUN.  All summer I've embraced the peaceful times I've spent reflecting, reading, and praying while floating in the pool.  I just love being in the water.  Kevin and I had it all to ourselves for about an hour and a half tonight while the sun was going down.  I hated to even get out.  We have made many fun memories the last couple summers enjoying great talks and swimming together in the pool.  Also, I haven't exactly mentioned that the place we just moved to is a patio home community...a.k.a...the average age of the residents is probably older than our parents. :)  But let me tell you, that makes for some FUN conversation with the afternoon ladies.  I was blessed to hear some great stories yesterday, including the tales of the dancing they do often with their hubbies...the waltz and polka...LOVE IT.  So sweet.  And of course they are so excited about the baby...they especially loved that I was taking it easy for a few hours at the pool when I could be having a baby at any moment.

*A trip to the mall - I'm having that last minute anxiety over wondering if I have just the right outfit for a boy or girl - so silly, I know.  Another result of not knowing what this sweet one is and freaking out about not being prepared.  At least I know I'm acting crazy.  And we did not buy anything...but it was therapeutic to look.

*Catching up on all the new mommy reading I haven't yet finished in all my preparations.

*Reading non-'new mommy' books...like "One Thousand Gifts."  I've had it all summer, but have yet to finish it.  Such an amazing book to draw you to live in gratitude as a first resonse.  I know it's well known in the blog world, I've just been slow going in getting it read!

*Replenishing my makeup and maybe throwing in a new sparkly illuminating powder from Sephora...to try to stretch the prego glow to new baby days.  Ha ha.

*Praying, praying, praying and journaling.  I am daily surrendering my fears, praying for courage and peace, praying through some powerful scriptures, and praising God for this amazing time leading up to holding my little one.

*Sharing some sweet conversations with my husband about the 3 yrs. we've enjoyed leading to this special new time, and talking about our hopes and prayers for our marriage and family.  And dreaming about who God has created this little one to be...so exciting!!!

*Resting at home, enjoying the quiet, and icing my foot. :)  Also spending time in the nursery getting excited and thinking about my future plans for it...and being patient with myself.  I've also managed to squeeze a couple loads of laundry here and there.  Notice my "nesting" doesn't exactly have me running for the dust bunnies!

Who knows what tonight or tomorrow will bring?!  Until then, we'll just keep living to the full our last days before being parents FOREVER.  Can you tell transitions are a big deal to me?!  ha.  Such an adrenaline rush of trust...exciting!