Hi guys, it’s me.
I haven’t been posting as much personal stuff lately as I used to. I guess in a sense it’s been hard for me to “switch gears” after my time in Papua New Guinea. I still think about the women I met there daily. I think about their struggles, their strength, their resilience, their precious babies… and I want to continue writing about them, sharing their stories, being an advocate.
And I’ve been amazed at the way you’ve let your hearts respond to their stories as well.
But you’ve also been asking me about the boys. About motherhood. About life. About the stuff I normally write about.
And as I’m going through emails I’m realizing that maybe I should just write a little here about life, and reach out my hand to connect on a sit-and-have-a-cuppa-with-me level.
So here’s a few things:
My boys are ridiculously cute at the moment. I mean, like, the cute factor is waaaaay off the charts lately. I don’t even know how to describe it without waffling on and on and on, so I’ll just say. Wow, they are insanely, ridiculously, entirely cute.
Judah started walking just after 10 months and–BANG–we have two toddlers. Two toddler BOYS. (Mah life is cray-zay.)
They are loud. Like loud-LOUD. Judah especially.
Judah copies Levi and Levi copies Judah. This is sometimes hilarious, and sometimes disastrous. It also means that Levi thinks he can revert to babyish behavior at times. (Especially when it comes to vocal gymnastics and highchair manners.) Makes me remember that although he’s shot up into a little boy that holds full conversations and climbs trees… Levi’s still just a wee little guy too.
We just celebrated Judah’s first birthday. We had a circus party and the highlight was seeing Judah in a clown wig. (Ryan and I both felt like Cameron from Modern Family, but we didn’t care. It was seriously adorable.) And yes, eventually I’ll share a few photos – I know you want to see him in the wig… and, of course, devouring his smash cake.
Here’s a sneak peek – the before:
Things have been non-stop around here for about four months now. Our trip to America for a month. Home for two weeks. Outreach in Papua New Guinea for three weeks. Home for two weeks. Teaching for two weeks. In-laws in town for a week and a half. (So fun.) Teaching again for a week.
Yeah. Busy. Super fun–all of it–and busy.
But this week things are slowing to a normal pace again, and for that I’m grateful. Incredibly grateful.
I’m thinking a lot about “busy” these days and how it’s glorified in so many ways and yet how it’s also the enemy of joy. For me at least – the busier I get, the more task-mode I move into… and the less I’m aware of enjoying the moment. I forget to breathe, or at least just to exhale.
It becomes about lists and juggling and strategizing and getting. the. job. done.
So for me, even though busy can be exhilarating in some ways (and for short bursts), it’s also my arch enemy. I’ve been thinking and praying about how to prioritize and slow down more… and I think I need to keep praying and considering. I have a long way to go. (Or should I say grow?)
Goals? Not sure if you remember me writing about my goals for this year. Well, I’m glad to say that I’ve done well with some of them (about half), and have failed (sometimes miserably) at the other half. But the year isn’t over right? I still have time to make improvements. I started off strong for a good six months, so what’s to say I can’t finish strong in the last two?
But not if it will make me busier, right? Right?? (How are you doing with your 2012 goals?)
What else? Now that Judah is one, suddenly everyone is asking when we’re having our next baby. Even the receptionist at my doctors office asked me…. and then tacked on, “you really need to have a girl!” (Uh, thanks for that. Ya know, since I can control that sort of thing. Besides, just look at this gorgeous boy. Who wouldn’t want another?!)
So here’s the deal: We want more kids. (And yeah, a girl would be amazing, but certainly not a deal-breaker.) And–true story–having Judah turn one has made me all sappy and pining for another little baby in my world. It really has. But at the same time, I just don’t feel ready. By this time with Levi, I was ready to start trying for number two. But now? Not so much. These boys are crazy, loud, active, spirited, passionate, you-get-the-picture. (Did I say loud? Oh my gosh, they are so freakin’ loud.) I absolutely love being their mom but I can’t say that right now I feel ready to add to the chaos. So… to be continued I guess.
On that note, Judah’s VBAC birth story has been getting a lot of traffic lately. Not sure why, but perhaps there’s more and more women searching online about VBACs and/or natural childbirth. I think that’s fantastic.
I’m still thinking a lot about the blog. I’ve think come to peace with the fact that I will always have way, way more ideas than I have time. That’s just my nature. I’m an “ideas guy”. It means that my weakness can be that I start things and don’t finish well. But then I get tormented by the not finishing because I’m also a first-born highly responsible type. See the conflict there? Really, it’s awful. And then throw into the mix that I’m a perfectionist by nature (did you know that perfectionists are also often procrastinators? yeah, that…) and couple it with my tendency to be spontaneous and very passionate about certain things… and that I can jump to conclusions and think I can accomplish anything and everything – and you might as well consider it a small miracle that I ever finish anything. At all.
I think all of the above makes for a mind-numbingly confusing and frustrating recipe for a hot, creative mess. But hey, that’s how I’m wired.
In saying that, I’ll continue to write here. I have to. I love it too much and you guys have become my friends. But names and designs might change, content might change. It’s all still a little bit up in the air.
I do think I’ll need to stop taking myself so seriously though. Not everything I post has to change the world, right?
Plus there’s this:
You guys have been asking me about all sorts of things from potty-training to having kids in ministry to what kind of stroller I use to what my faith means to me to cloth diapering. It’s kinda all over the map, but I’m okay with that. Life is broad and complex and multi-faceted, and I hope to shift this blog in a way that reflects more of that. (Though I’ll probably always focus on connecting with moms and women in general.) I hope to continue to write about stuff you’re interested in, so keep the emails coming. I take every one of them seriously. But also know that I’m trying to cut out the “busy” a little, so if I don’t respond immediately, you’ll know why. (Mmmm, kay?)
And that, my friends, really should be a wrap. I started this thinking that I’d write a short little blurb about my boys’ budding friendship, and ended up doing a bit of a brain dump instead. I guess that’s proof that I’m missing this place. And you guys.
(But I’m missing these guys too.)
Dear friends, I love ya. That is all. Now tell me, how are you these days? I mean, like really – how are you??
p.s. Thanks so much for the way y’all are responding to Umi’s story and Project Baby Bilum. You guys make my heart sing. Truly.