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Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Shirt

I feel like I can't keep this kid in clothes! Every time I turn around, something is too short, too snug, or just plain too small! It's gotten to the point that when I do his load of laundry each week, I pull out at least one, if not more, pieces of clothing that don't fit (this week, I think I pulled out at least 6).

I've been trying to go through his drawers more regularly of late and rotate out the things I know don't fit. Then I'll pull out things that are the next size larger and move them into rotation. He won't be 4 for another 2 months but I've been removing all the 3T items pretty consistently in favor of 4T and even a good amount of 5T.

That is, except for one shirt...

In the bottom of the back corner of his drawer of shirts, there lives a single 2T shirt. A shirt I know without a shadow of a doubt doesn't fit him. A shirt he only got to wear a couple times over the course of 6 weeks. This shirt.


Until a couple months ago, this shirt was still in his drawer. It lived there for 21 months. Months during which he's told us time and again how he wants another baby (lately it's been a baby sister specifically). Months where he will cradle a stuffed animal or baby doll and call them his baby. It stayed there long after every other 2T shirt was packed away and some 3T too. It stayed there through changing seasons and passing years.

I finally removed it. It was time.

Technically, it was way past time for that shirt to go but it finally came time when I came to terms with that reality. When I came to terms with the fact that removing that shirt did not mean I was removing hope. Because I still have hope.

Hope every month that, even after 2 years of disappointment, I might still get to take a test and see a positive result.

Hope that I'll be able to give my boy the big brother book I still have stashed away for him.

Hope that someday this picture will become a reality and not just playing pretend.

However, my hope isn't in modern medicine, though I avail myself of it. My hope isn't in my cycle charts, though I appreciate all the information they afford me. Because my hope is not in me...

My hope is in the One who time and again has proven Himself faithful; who multiple times provided the miracle of a child to many women throughout the Bible; who is sovereign over even the smallest parts of my body.

"O Lord of hosts, if you will...remember me and not forget your servant..." quoted from 1 Samuel 1:11

"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." Psalm 39:7

While I certainly hope and pray daily for a certain outcome in my life, I know that the One who is my Hope transcends even these circumstances and that He is good even if the desired outcome doesn't come. My Hope is not in vain, even when the shirts keep getting outgrown and the tests keep coming out negative. So I continue to hope and pray, for my God is a God of miracles and worthy of my trust.
"Though He slay me, I will hope in him..." Job 13:15a

"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth." Psalm 71:5

Soli Deo Gloria,
Meghan

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tinybeans

I love sharing photos of my Munchkin with friends and family. However, I know sometimes that not everyone wants to see ALL my pictures and that there are inherent security concerns with sharing photos of young children to a wide audience. Also, I'm very much aware that I could be prone to oversharing with very little effort. :) Enter Tinybeans...

I'm really thankful a friend of mine introduced me to Tinybeans. (Thanks, Danielle!) The app allows you to upload daily photos that are then only shared with the people you've added to your distribution list! It limits who is seeing your photos and allows you to give specific permissions to access the journal so you can allow a spouse or grandparent to add photos as well. One of the best things is your friends and family don't need to even download the app! They'll get summary emails send to them each day you upload and they can also access everything and even upload photos (if allowed) through the Tinybeans website (www.tinybeans.com). They can even "heart" moments you share that they love and leave comments!

We've chosen to stick with the free, basic version for now but there is also a premium version. A couple of the differences are with the free version you can only upload 1 photo at a time and videos are limited to 30 seconds. Premium users are allowed longer videos and multiple simultaneous uploads. You can try a free month of Premium access here (and I'll get a month too!): https://tinybeans.app.link/JN85UDpXZz?referralCode=4EYEEY

I have been sharing this little tidbit with many of the new parents in my life. It has been immeasurably helpful in our lives, especially with family scattered across the country. We want them to be able to see our Munchkin as he grows up and with Tinybeans they get a glimpse of just that. It also allows me to share all the photos I want without anyone complaining about "oversharing"! ;)

If you have a little one and want to send pictures to family, especially if they live far away, I highly recommend using Tinybeans!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Meghan

This is in no way, shape, or form a sponsored post. I just love it that much! :)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book review: "The Magic of Motherhood"

I really enjoy reading encouraging blogs that my friends have found or that others have shared with me. Many times they have reminded me that I'm not alone in the trenches of mothering a little one and that what I'm feeling is not crazy (well, except maybe when I am actually feeling a little crazy). There is a lot of truth in the CS Lewis quote:
Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." 
"The Magic of Motherhood" is exactly like this. It's a whole book full of "What? You too?" moments. Written by the moms behind the blog "Coffee + Crumbs", the 33 entries span the experiences of motherhood. There are stories both joyful and sorrowful, recollections of "mommy guilt" and of hard-fought battles won. It is a beautiful gift-style book with beautiful images to complement some of the memorable moments shared within its pages.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book. Sure, the subtitle was "The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything in Between" but I still didn't know if it would meet me where I was. However, it didn't take long for me to experience the "what? you too?" feeling as I delved into stories that resonated with me, especially concerning miscarriage or insecurity as a mom. I laughed and cried then laughed some more as I connected with truths about this crazy thing called motherhood and was reminded of the importance in sharing our stories. After all, you never know when someone needs to know they are not the only one. You might even make a new friend ;)

Rating: 5/5 stars!!

Soli Deo Gloria,
Meghan

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 27, 2017

Would Have

Dear Sweet Baby,

This past week, we would have celebrated your first birthday (approximately).

We would have gone overboard celebrating you, though maybe not as much as we did with your big brother. We learned our lesson (I think...). There certainly would have been lots of pictures.

We would have let you have too much sugar as you dug into your birthday cake. Would you have investigated this new confection before diving in or done a faceplant right in the middle of it all?

You would have celebrated possibly your first Thanksgiving. We would have loaded your plate with all the fixings, eager to see which you would devour first.

Your big brother would have shown you how yummy olives can be and how to eat them properly (on your fingers, of course!). Would you have liked green olives like your daddy, black olives like me, or both like your brother?

Your Daddy would have snuggled you and taught you about football as we watched the games while your brother pretended to play "Minnesota touchdown". Would you have had your Daddy's slight build or his kind eyes? You would have loved having him as your Daddy.

And me, sweet baby? I would have introduced you to some of the wonderful traditions like snuggling up to watch the Thanksgiving parade on TV in our pajamas with a special breakfast. Would you have loved the music and marching bands or been more interested in the balloons?

You will always be intertwined with Thanksgiving in my heart and mind now, little one. You were our "holidays" baby. We found out about you on St. Patrick's Day, announced to the world you were coming on Easter, and lost you on Mother's Day. Your short life changed so much of ours.

I will always love you. And though I may cry, I will also smile at the "would haves". For, you see, you will always be a part of our family though we never held you.

I can't wait to meet you someday.

Love,
Your Momma

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Days of Plenty

On a whim, I recently started rereading "Little Woman" by Louisa May Alcott. I hadn't read it in a long time but have fond memories of it, especially the old, worn copy my mother passed down to me. As I started reading, it reminded me of the "Little Women" Broadway musical production that I had the privilege of seeing many years ago. If you haven't heard of it, I highly recommend checking it out! ;) Sutton Foster! Maureen McGovern! Wonderful songs! :)

Of course, thinking of the musical meant that I had to look up and listen to the soundtrack for it. Some of the songs I remembered, others I had to be reminded of, some I had completely forgotten about. As I scrolled through the list, I saw one that I couldn't remember called "Days of Plenty" and decided to listen to it. I wasn't prepared to be reminded.

Sung here by the original actress for Marmee, Maureen McGovern.


I burst into tears as I listened to this song. As the family mourns the death of dear Beth, Marmee pours out both the depth of her grief and the strength of her resolve to daughter Jo. I couldn't help but draw parallels to the baby I lost last May.

"I never dreamed of this sorrow..."
While we struggled to get pregnant with our first, the pregnancy itself was very smooth and uncomplicated. I knew we'd probably have issues getting pregnant again, but I never dreamed after my first pregnancy that the problems would come after that positive test.

"How I wish I could change the way things went..."
 No other words are needed. I don't know why God asked me to walk this valley, but I do know it's not a road I would've chosen for myself.

"Not this bare emptiness..."
And it feels oh so bare and empty at the moment. It's been more than 10 months (almost 11) since we found out we were pregnant, almost 9 months since we lost that baby. I've lost count of the negative pregnancies tests in that time.

"I wanted days of plenty..."
I wanted to see my son become a big brother, watch my husband hold another child, celebrate every milestone with that baby. First words, first tooth, first steps...days filled with plenty of joy.

"There has got to be meaning, Most of all when a life has been so brief..."
I think this is why I blog so much about this right now. I'm still trying to find the meaning in the tragedy. I told my husband one day that I wish this loss wasn't so all-consuming, especially as we get close to being a year removed from it. I know one day it may not be as raw, but right now, as I search for where to go from here, the weight of it feels suffocating at times.

"You can't let this defeat you, I won't let this defeat you..."
 I feel like this is the pep talk I need to give the woman in the mirror every morning.

"So believe that she mattered and believe that she always will...She will always be with you, she'll be part of the days you've yet to fill..."

My time with them was fleeting but oh-so-meaningful. My baby will always matter. And so does the Munchkin that I have with me. I have been blessed with days of plenty with him and for that I am incredibly grateful. I look forward to the day yet to be filled with his joy and antics.

As I try to find my way forward as the mother of two children, one on earth and one in heaven, I am grateful for the days I have been given with both my children. I pray there will be many more to come with my Munchkin and maybe, someday, days of plenty with a new little one here on earth.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Meghan