04.13.2017

Stories change

I’ve neglected my blog for some time, but I have a pretty good excuse, in my opinion. ūüôā Let me explain.  

Last August, Erik and I found out that we were expecting a baby – baby #3, which we both wanted and had talked about for a while. A family of 5 seemed full, but not overwhelming….not too cold, not too hot, but just right. We were thrilled, and being the planners that we are, we decided to do an early blood test to find out the gender of baby #3. We soon found out that our girl-dominated tribe would be welcoming a BOY! Hooray! What a perfect story. 

But stories change. 

Pause. Before reading on, I have a disclaimer. I was never planning on sharing this video, but now that we know how our story unfolded in the months to follow, it feels like a pretty important piece to cherish (and one day, I know we’ll be able to look back on this and laugh!): https://youtu.be/XbaAtX2GOas. Hopefully it gives you a good laugh, too. 

Ok, continue…

Because we had opted to do a 10 week blood test instead of an early ultrasound, my first ultrasound was at 20 weeks. We’d finally be getting a glimpse of our little nugget. I wanted to see with my own two eyes who this little being was, as being pregnant with him had felt so different this time around. I had been so much sicker during this pregnancy than I was with my girls. I felt bigger, I was carrying him differently, and I was exhausted on a level I didn’t know existed. I chalked all this up to the fact that our little man was giving me a run for my money…plus, this was baby #3. I knew that each pregnancy was different, after all.

But then, 10 fateful words came which rocked our world.

And no amount of justifying why this pregnancy felt so “different” could prepare me for what our ultrasound tech said just seconds after she got started: “Ummm, you know what, you guys? You’re actually having twins!”

The first photo taken of these two together. Twin “A” (our girl) and twin “B” (our boy), right after we found out.

When all you can do is laugh

I may have blacked out for a second at that point (just kidding). Actually, what I saw was white. White on Erik’s face, every ounce of color gone. Jaw to the floor. Panic. My heart skipped a few beats and if I’m honest, my first reaction was to cry. You know that panicked feeling you get when you are put on the spot, totally unprepared, for something you weren’t expecting? Imagine that feeling, multiplied by 5,561. That about sums up how I was feeling in the moments after hearing those 10 words. There were feelings of awe in God’s capacity to both take away and give back, and feelings of complete overwhelm. My body took over my mind at that point and did the only thing it knew how to do to cope – laugh uncontrollably. 

This is what 34 weeks with twins looks like. I know one day, I’ll appreciate this belly!

I didn’t want to laugh –  but I also didn’t want to cry. Anyone who’s been pregnant knows that your body does some pretty whacked out things when you’re carrying another human (or humans, in my case – a boy AND a girl!). Laughing was all I could do to keep from crying, and to be honest, I was more worried about Erik and how he was feeling than reacting in any sort of sane way. I wanted to unravel, but I knew I needed to be strong for Erik in that moment. And laughing seemed like the stronger thing to do. 

A journey in letting go

I could go on about the conversation Erik and I had, just the two of us, when we stepped foot in our front door after hearing this news for the first time. Or the hug. I’ll never forget it. Or the tears that followed. Or the long conversations about the special bond our soon-to-arrive duo will have, what their names will be, or how in the world we’re going to fit 6 humans in our 2 bedroom home. But instead, I’ll just say that the days and months that followed have been a journey in letting go. They have brought me and Erik together in ways I can’t explain, as we’ve both served as each other’s rock at certain points. I’ve had days of tears alongside days of amazement. Woven through the fear, excitement, anxiety and anticipation, however, is God’s infinite grace.

Despite my own doubts about my abilities to parent (and pay for!) 4 kids, God has given us exactly what we needed, I’m sure of it.

There are so many lessons to be learned ahead, and we’re only just beginning. 

 

 

 

06.19.2016

Father’s Day Reflections: Grace Matters

Today was Father’s Day. It was a day full of¬†celebration¬†and laughter and big hands holding little hands and, for me, lots and lots of reflection. Because I’m super sentimental. And because I’m an INFJ through and through.

It got me thinking about parenthood. About how I had no clue the sacrifices and worry and remarkable love wrapped up in being a parent until I was one myself.

It got me thinking about my husband whose young, adventurous soul reminds me to lighten up when I’m¬†taking life too seriously. Who embraces fatherhood with lightheartedness and humor and adventure. Who is the balance I need when I get too caught up in my own thoughts or feelings or when life feels heavy.

But most of all, it got me thinking about my own father who, despite the worry and angst I’ve caused him over the years, still loves me and my sister¬†fiercely.

Only as I’ve gotten older have I been able to peel back the lens with which I’ve viewed my parents for 30+ years and see them for the real, honest, broken-but-holy¬†people they are…and not the flawless, infallible, dove-white human beings I expected them to be as I was growing up.

With Hindsight Comes Clarity

I look back on my own expectations of my parents as I was coming into adulthood and I’m grateful that they still talk to me. Let alone love me. God bless me when I have two teenage girls of my own under my roof someday.

When I look at my parents today, I see a mirror, a reflection of myself coming more into focus, for better or worse. I’m able to see years of hard work in their hands and joy and laughter in their eyes. And even glimpses of sorrow and weariness once in awhile. Perhaps it’s because I’m a parent myself and have infinitely more grace for those who have walked the parenting journey before me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve matured and I understand that the world revolves less and less around me than I thought it did when I was a teenager. Or perhaps it’s because after having children of my own, I’m capable of loving infinitely more.

Whatever the reason, I see their brokenness, just as it is in me. And I see their holiness, just as it too, is in me.

Today was Father's Day. When I look at my parents today, I see a mirror, a reflection of myself coming more into focus, for better or worse. I'm able to see years of hard work in their hands and joy and laughter in their eyes.

We are all broken AND holy. We are all prideful and humble. We are all greedy and generous. We are all discontent and content. We are all lonely and yet, seek relationship. We are all human. Even our parents.

As I get older, I understand more and more that grace matters.

It matters to those we love and it matters to the stranger asking for money at the stoplight. It matters that we see the person behind the problem. The dignity behind the shame. The kindness behind the hostility.

Today, I’m grateful for my Dad, and I also have¬†grace for my Dad. I see all of the “ands” in my Dad that make him the unique, gifted individual that he is and I’m simply grateful. Happy Father’s Day Dad, and to all dads, everywhere.

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