When all else fails, the need presents itself for the celebration and relishing of the simple, little things. Thus, a happy and somewhat mindless post of happenings around here over the last month or so. We've covered some ground and we've gone backwards a few steps more than desired. We've seen breakthrough in areas longed for just as new refining opportunities make their way to the surface. Nonetheless, we've been a family. A family enjoying all things big and small in this sweet season. Saying goodbye to bundling for soccer games and dark morning sendoffs to school and hello to spring. This weekend the glimpse of spring and summer to come, makes me want to buy Peeps and paint my toes a different color every day.
Last May when my Bella had her 9 month check up, we quickly realized something was wrong and our pediatrician expressed concern because she wasn't meeting any developmental milestones. After almost a year of many doctor's appointments and blood work, we've been grateful for an amazing team of therapists, our neurologist, and friends in the medical field helping to process solutions and a possible diagnosis. Last month an MRI scan showed that one side of her brain was measuring larger than the other side. Our neurologist explained that at some point during pregnancy when Bella's brain was forming, an area of brain tissue never developed leaving a space in which fluid ended up filling. Not too much and not too little, the perfect amount of fluid. She went on to explain no surgeries or scans will be necessary as the hole and fluid will not change shape and over the next 5-6 years with help from her therapists, she will bridge the gap and her brain will eventually function normally without delays.
We're beyond grateful for this good news, for His protection over our girl, and the powerful words of life spoken over her that in time she will be fine.
News like this does a mama's heart good.
A friend sent me a blog post the other day, the general idea being that someone is always hollering for their mama, always needing something, always draining her of patience, rest, brain cells. You name it, those little suckers take until you're not sure if you have much left. But the sweet conclusion to the post was how in the midst of the hard, it's a blessing and gift to be someone's mama. To be needed and be able to meet their needs, how they'll be gone one day and won't need her anymore. And while I think it's next to impossible to approach every challenge of motherhood with a smile and have "I'm so thrilled you dumped purple nail polish all over the back of the car and played in it" stamped on my forehead, I do believe in the value of choice. I choose to be thankful and I choose to fix my eyes on the eternal realms of inheritance promised.
Thus, errands. We end up at the grocery story 3-4 times a week, it's a mystery to me how this happens but it does. This week I was grateful, for her company and little menu suggestions, the unorganized cart and loading of sacks in the rain.
Some day errands will look different. Really different.
This week I had a few sick kiddos and so I just threw them all in the car and hauled them into the pediatrician's office together. This time, my Emma and Bella. My day was shot and after stripping down that baby for a bath and hosing down her car seat from vomit, I laid their sweet bodies to bed, myself not any less tired or spread thin, but thankful to have the means to care for them and love them well.
So for the past 6 months we have further taken the steps towards healthier eating, including following a Clean Eating diet (no sugar, white flour, dairy...) and for the most part we feel better, enjoy our meals and see a difference in how we think about food in general. And we'll stick with it but good grief, girl has got to have some cookies, real cookies.
recipe and I cut out half of the butter and add peanut butter instead, then as those little goobers come out of the oven I top them with whatever candy I have on hand.
And then when I'm feeling extra naughty, I stick with her chocolate chip cookies, roll the dough in sugar and then make sandwiches with chocolate peanut butter frosting.
Because why wouldn't you?
I love the return of the cookies.
Anyways, although we love to go and do and all tend to be extroverted, I find that lately I want to be home more and so do my kids. Not that there's anything profoundly entertaining about our house, there's not. But there is something wonderful and simple about being home and for this season of life, choosing to be at home.
My kids bicker a lot, I mean a lot. It's about a 70-30% ratio of besties and then a fierce execution to pester the ever living daylights out of each other. Sometimes I think I'm going to lose my mind and drop kick them all into the next county.
But the sweet thing is when someone leaves, they rally around and watch the other one prepare to go. What she wears, what she packs in her bag, where is she going and with whom? They flock to each other and huddle around until the last possible minute she's gone.
I read a book last year called Close Kids, it's a short read about a study of adult siblings who have close relationships with each other still currently and what their parents did to foster the closeness when they were little. One of the values was all of the siblings going to each others functions and commitments. Sometimes it's doable and other times it's not. But lately we've given it a shot and it's been a lot of work but really sweet for them to step into each other's worlds at school, the park, practices.
All in all, we are thankful for the gift of family. And even though the days are long and some tasks are mundane and so repetitive at times I wonder if I'm even making a difference, deep down I'm reminded of truth in what it means to be a family and journey with Him together.
Does she understand that I said no to protect her because I know what's best?
Not now she doesn't.
Will my house ever be clean and presentable?
No, it will be unkept and dirty, even if cleaning products are actually used.
Will I always fight the spirit of comparison and wonder if I measure up?
Today you can choose. What's it gonna be?
I will look him in the eyes as he leaves and connect my heart to his.
I will touch her more when she's near. Just because.
I will choose her over productivity.
I will choose His peace over the forever chased illusion of peace from productivity.
We will bake more and make more messes.
We will remind ourselves that hurrying hurts them.
I'll tell Him over and over again, thank you.
Happy week to all.