Friday, January 8, 2016

Caroline: 5 Months

Five Months

Baby girl, you are getting so big!! Now at 15lbs, you are in the 50% for weight and 90% for height! That means you're sporting 9 month onesies with 3 month pants :) As challenging as it can be finding clothes for you, it's so much stinkin' fun. I know you'll roll your eyes at all the bows and leggings and bandanna bibs I put you in all the time some day, but trust me when I say you were one stylin' little lady! You are such a joy, Caroline! The most easy going girl, you are perfectly content laying on the floor reaching for your toes. You have started rolling over from your belly to your back in the last month or so, and are so close to rolling back to belly. Yet somehow you manage to scoot far away from wherever I put you down. We can't decide yet if you're going to have a laid back personality forever or if some day you'll surprise us and give us a run for our money. Either way, we love you to the moon and back and praise God for you and your sweet spirit!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Dirt on my Boots

Wrapping up 2015 was so much more complex and even time consuming than wrapping up presents for the kids just weeks before for Christmas. This past year was very heavy, to say the least. Big, illimitable emotions every where we turned. We said goodbye to my mother in law far too soon, then welcomed a new baby girl just 5 months later. Profound grief alongside profound joy.

I found myself standing outside on a cold March morning, boots sinking in the once snow covered ground, as I watched my husband and his family lay his mom to rest. Holding my restless son's pudgy hand by my side and feeling our new baby stretch in my belly, I tried to wrap my mind around the vigor in life and the stillness in death. We celebrated the end of her earthly struggle, we knew the Battle was Won, yet our hearts ached mightily. At some point God gave us the courage, the grace, to drive away from her grave. That's when "new normal" began.

Seasons came and went and just when I thought I was finding my way, winter came and I pulled my black boots out of the back of the closet. Chills covered my spine as I discovered dried mud on the heels of my shoes. I froze. The mud my shoes once sank in at her grave site was now dirt clinging to my shoes. It was such a great metaphor for me. The mud represented the heavy, yucky grief, and the dirt was what remained. Grief isn't quite as suffocating for me, for us, as it once was. Our God continues to shower us with grace and guides our steps as we wade into new territory, a life without Brett's mom. But it's there. It has stained our shoes. Little by little it will chip off, but a shadow of earth will remain. And in some funny way, I'm OK with that.

Our good, good Father knows all things long before we do, and I think that's why He chose to give us Caroline when He did. The blessing of a precious baby girl who shares her grandma's namesake has put smiles on faces once soaked with tears. Our broken hearts are being mended, and the heavy cloud of sorrow is lifting. I really am excited for what is to come, despite the expected tough days ahead. We are living Proverbs 14:13, "Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief." Thanks to God's great grace, unwavering hope, and indescribable joy, we're able to smile and laugh and enjoy life in this world with dirt on our boots.

Caroline: 4 Months

Four Months

Caroline, you are four whole months old and becoming more and more delightful each day! Other than the dreaded four month sleep regression that has hit, you are still the easiest baby! You have started to giggle more and more and you're really starting to love tummy time ("starting to" is key here!) No one makes you smile like your big brother! We had such a fun Thanksgiving with you. I spent the day snuggling you in my arms and kissing your cheeks, when last Thanksgiving I was only beaming at the sight of two pink lines on a pregnancy test. One whole year of knowing you exist, wondering who you are, and now learning all about who you are and falling more in love with you with every passing day. Needless to say, we had so much to be thankful for!! We love you Miss Ro, and continue to pray that you would know and embrace God's great love for you some day soon!