Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday

As one would expect, I've been thinking about thankfulness a lot this month. Sometimes, the frequent November posts on what a person is thankful for drive me crazy. After all, aren't we thankful for those things every day, every week, every month? I truly want to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in myself and in my family. And so, in that spirit, I am starting a goal of posting every Thursday what I am thankful for. I want to name and explain my thankfulnesses (which is definitely not a word). I don't know how this will turn out, but here goes...

I am thankful for my healthy child. I know that no one says this flippantly or without thought, but for me the thanks for good health is a little different.

I am thankful for this as one who has buckled a limp, feverish baby in for the ride to the ER.

I am thankful for this as one who has prayed, "Please, God, don't take my son." 

I am thankful for this as one who has cried through a chest x-ray, a spinal tap, three IV sites, and countless blood draws, all on our infant.

I am thankful for this as one who waited for three days to know what was wrong but never got a complete answer.

I am thankful for this as one who slept in a broken hospital bed for seven nights to be close to her sick little boy, to nurse him and change his diaper and help the nurses take his temperature.

I am thankful for this as one who cried for seven nights as her husband drove home reluctantly to spend the night alone. 

I am thankful for this as one who rejoices in the miracle of modern medicine, as one who know the value of hospitals and drugs and doctors and especially nurses.

I am thankful for this as one who got to take my baby home a second time. 

I am thankful for this as one who gets to watch my baby grow and learn.

I am thankful for this as one who still tears up when I think about that week.

I am thankful for this as one who prays every day to never forget what a blessing this healthy little one is. 

Yes, I am thankful. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Eight months


8 months old!

You have an amazingly long attention span (at least it's amazing to us) and will entertain yourself for 20-30 minutes at a time with the right toy.

Your fine motor skills have really taken off. You feed yourself (unless it's something like yogurt or applesauce). You also love to open books and turn the pages, especially paperbacks. You rarely try to eat the books anymore. When you have a book you want, you are completely oblivious to the world around you - kind of like your mommy.

Your tear duct still isn't completely open, but it seems to be getting more clear the last couple of weeks. You tolerate the massages much better than you used to. We will decide at your nine-month appointment whether we need to consult with the ophthalmologist or not.

To say you are an eater would be an understatement! You eat just about anything we do (even buffalo wings and pineapple!), and you almost always clean your tray. You'll still take yogurt and applesauce, but no more baby food purees for Lincoln! 

You realized just last week that you are able to get yourself where you want to be by rolling and scooting (on your bottom and on your tummy). No crawling yet! These monthly photo shoots are getting more and more difficult. You love to pull yourself up when you have a handle or hands to grab on to, and you'll cruise from one end of the ottoman to the other when there are snacks or a fun toy involved.

You had a high fever one day (102.6), so you got an extra trip to the doctor. You had a touch of an ear infection, but we waited it out for a bit and the next day you were just fine. It definitely scared your mom and dad, though!

When you get yourself to the bookshelves, you pull every one off the bottom shelf, open one of them, and try to turn the pages. Favorites right now are your mini-Leap Pad toy (it only does color and number songs and doesn't have a screen or anything - we all have the songs memorized!), Jazzy, Legos, paper of any sort - especially books, shoes, and the vacuum cleaner.

I have a hunch the next month will be filled with lots of adventures - including turkey and pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 18, 2013

family pictures

About a week or so ago, a co-worker of mine took family photos for us. As it goes with little ones, Lincoln chose to hardly nap that afternoon, so he wasn't his normal "overflowing with joy" self. Instead, he was quite stoic when he was being held and wanted nothing to do with pictures on his own. I was a little disappointed about that, but then I remembered that I have - literally - hundreds of pictures of him on his own. And, despite his moodiness, Audra got some great pictures of the three of us.

{all photos c. 2013, Audra Shelite}

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Does anyone else have a dream or two that they know is a never-gonna-happen thing? 

I hope I'm not the only one.

I want to be a writer. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.

But writing, it takes discipline and time and commitment and ideas and vulnerability.

I get tripped up with the vulnerability part.


So I indulge that here, with my little space online that my grandma reads, my little space that feels safe no matter how real I get (like tonight). 

My other dream is to be a photographer.

A real one.

Not just a mommy one.

In case you haven't noticed, I love to capture moments.

The good and bad and ugly, the cries and the smiles all with the runny nose and the goopy eye right there for the world to see and the messy home in the background.

But there is quite a lot of pressure in the act of capturing moments for others.

What if they don't like it?

What if I don't get it just right?

And so, in this too there is vulnerability.

I've thought a lot about it.

I even have a name... Untouched Photography... because I don't edit my pictures. (Okay, sometimes I crop. But other than that, I really do nothing. Truly.)

I know (of) some people who wouldn't be caught dead with untouched pictures on their blog or facebook page.

But you know what? I like mine better this way.

Honestly. It's not laziness or lack of Photoshop education. For a while I really thought I would get into photo editing. And I still may - some day.

I like it when I get my manual settings just right (there's my pride speaking).

More than that, though, I like my moments straight out of the camera.

We're human. Our memories may change the moment, make it into what it never was. Our minds can play tricks, elevate our mountains and deepen our valleys, dull the everyday and shine the special moments even more.

But in the moment captured, there is honesty. There is truth. In the untouched moment there is happiness and sorrow and uncertainty and vulnerability and strength and confidence.

And that is what real life is.