Sunday, October 27, 2013

Living with Intention: The Beginning

Over the last couple years I have noticed a trend with my friends. Whether on social media or in person, it seems everyone is obsessed with being busy. And looking busy. And having so many plates in the air, they just can't help but let everyone know how busy they are. The busier, the better.

At first I almost envied this busy-ness. You see, I was just a married gal teaching school. We didn't have kids or many commitments outside of work. That meant my life must have been boring. I read gobs of books (my busy friends lamented about wishing they had time to read). I had more than enough time to work out every day after school (my busy friends either didn't, or couldn't, or would have to wake up in the 4s to do it). I took at least one nap every weekend (not my friends, they hadn't had a nap since college). I secretly longed for that busy, full schedule...I wanted to need some huge planner to organize my every day.

I moved back to my hometown and was able to spend more time with the friends I had been watching from afar, and I realized that busy is not better...AT LEAST NOT FOR ME. Lunch after lunch, I found myself having stop-and-go conversations with my friends (and family!) as they answered texts, read emails, and checked out Facebook notifications. It made me feel unimportant. It also made my life seem even more boring. I mean, I had no pressing texts or notifications that required my immediate attention!

And then I had a baby.  A sweet, beautiful, blue-eyed bundle of love. With the first few blurry months of motherhood behind me, I looked up to take a breath and realized just how quickly this dream was going to happen. I felt like I turned around and little Will was a month old, then two. Then five. What?! And all of the sudden, I didn't want to be busy. I just wanted to savor time with him and my husband.

I know there is no way to slow down time, but I can be more intentional with every single second God gives me with my sweet boys. If I focus on each moment we have together, I will be able to look back and have no regrets of missing out on anything.

That is where this journey of living with intention begins.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Staying Home

I am lucky enough to get to stay home with Will.

I remember vividly in sixth grade talking to a kid named Robbie about what we would be when we grew up. We were discussing the merits of staying home, and out of my mouth slipped the words, "I want to stay home with my kids." Until that moment I never realized it was something I wanted.

My mom was a teacher and then principal when I was growing up. She was also a single mom. Oh, and she earned her Master's degree taking night class and summer school. What a great role model, right? It was never a question I would go to college, and I am so thankful for that expectation. After the conversation with Robbie, I was with my grandfather one day, and I told him my plans about staying home. He said that was long as I had a degree and something, as he put it, to fall back on.

Well, fast forward about 20 years. It was finally my turn. We were expecting. We waited longer than most of our friends to start a family, but boy was he worth the wait! To top it off, we had just returned to our hometown after being gone since high school. I was one week and one day into my job here when we found out I was pregnant. Staying home didn't really enter my mind until I started looking at child care options. There just wasn't anywhere we felt completely comfortable. We tossed around the idea of me staying home, but it would be a stretch on our budget, I loved teaching, and I honestly was a little nervous about telling my mom. We reluctantly settled on a church daycare and put a deposit for baby boy's place the next fall.

Then when I was 34 weeks pregnant, we found out Will had a cleft lip. We were completely shocked. Everything had looked completely "normal" up to that point, and I was worried. What would he look like? How severe would the lip be? Would his palate be affected?  I was worried about possible medical complications. I was worried some college girl working at the church wouldn't want to love my baby because his lip looked different.

We changed our decision that night. I would stay home with Will. It was the easiest and hardest decision.

I am so grateful to get to love on my baby every day. I am so grateful not to have to drop him off at daycare, although, I am now certain no one would be able to resist loving him. It hasn't been all easy. We are stretched financially, especially with added medical expenses. Some days are really long, and I will look for any excuse to get out of the house. But when Will gets fussy and falls asleep early, I can watch him sleeping and smile because I'm not missing out on my time with him.

I am living the dream and staying home with my baby.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I become aware of the sounds coming from around me. Snoring...on three sides. I send up a quick prayer of thanks for this snoring. For this snoring, is proof that I'm living my dream.

You see, the snoring comes from the guys in my life. All three of them. To my right is my husband. His snores are so familiar and comforting. For almost fifteen years, I've fallen asleep to the soothing rhythmic sounds of his breathing. A comforting assurance that I am blessed. I was lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams in high school. We dated for a short forever before we got married, but I wouldn't change a thing. We have been on many adventures together, and there is no one else I'd rather do life with.

To my feet is my dog, Hank. A sweet and very rowdy boxer puppy of 8 months. This not-so-little-anymore dog joined us when I was about 32 weeks pregnant. My pregnancy was long awaited, much prayed for, and so hard. I pretty much felt worse than awful all but about 3 1/2 weeks of my pregnancy. While we were so grateful to be expecting, the constant sickness definitely took its toll on both of us. And then there was Hank. He helped bring both of us out of our funk. He was sweet and feisty and wouldn't let us just come home from work and go straight to bed. People said we were crazy to get a puppy when we were pregnant. Some even said we would be looking for a new home for him once the baby came. But, no. Hank pretty much rocks. 

To my left is my Will. Our precious 5 month old bundle of love. Oh, this boy. I am amazed every day that my heart can love him even deeper. My dad always said I would understand God's love for us so much better when I had a child of my own. And how true that is. Will was born with a cleft lip and palate, which we found out about pretty late in our pregnancy. I was nervous about meeting him, but I fell in love immediately. He has the best temperament, is so quick to give smiles, and his eyes speak to you. He has been through a lot in his five short months...a second hospital stay for failure to thrive/feeding issues, a feeding tube for about five weeks, and then surgery for lip and nose repair. Waking up to his sweet breath and soft snoring makes even this night owl eager to get up in the morning.

I know some people have difficulty sleeping due to the snoring of their bedmate. If I ever find myself in that position, I pray that I can look back and remember tonight. I pray that I will remember that this snoring is proof that I'm living my dream.