Monday, November 24, 2014

thoughts on my birthday

Today I spent the beginning of my 34th year putting up our Christmas tree. I think this is a first for me on my birthday…a head start due to Thanksgiving travel and Advent starting the day after we return.

And it was quite possibly one of the better birthday’s I’ve had of late. My amazing mother in law had taken care of Elizabeth a few times over the course of the past week including yesterday afternoon so Alex and I could do just what I wanted. Run errands. Seriously. I chose in good conscience to run errands with my husband coffee in hand. And to be honest, I can’t recall the last time we did that. Window shopped, sipped coffee, did a few returns and bought a few fun things. It was fantastic.

I’m tempted to write “that’s what life has become…running errands as a birthday wish” all full of fun sarcasm and yet I wrote it and deleted because it’s not true. I was reminded this morning as I awoke to silence and the heard the littles awake, how much I’ve wanted this life. This life where on your birthday you run errands because the days are so full loving on littles.

I’ll be honest…the almost full day break, the sleepover, and the afternoon alone with my husband gave me plenty of time away from those girls but my heart ached for them to return. That’s the way it is as a mommy.

And so, on the eve of my birthday I sat on the counter with Elizabeth sharing a bowl of pasta because I hadn’t eaten dinner far later than she should have been awake. And we spent today making a royal holiday mess in our house because we had to examine and talk about every thing we brought out of the boxes. And I’m so glad I chose to slow down today.

To enjoy all those little stops and starts without any agenda for the day other than getting Chipotle for lunch because we have no food in our house. And God showered grace upon me because Meghan slept the entire time at the restaurant, our newly potty trained 2 year old told me she had to use the bathroom and we made it in time, and our lunch was delicious, not too mention the company in which it was eaten was fantastic. I mean how can you not love a 2 year old that looks at her half of the burrito bowl and says, “chipotle, get in my belly.” (side note…a burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side is the best bang for your buck. I love burritos but the bowls are easier for e to eat so it’s a win, win.)

A good friend reminded me today about how grand this life I’m living is. Just four short years ago I truly believed I’d never be a mommy. And now this. Mess and chaos and chocolate ice cream dripping down chins. Discipline mixed in when things don’t go quite right.

This was a random array of thoughts, but I don’t want to forget today. Because it was one of the best birthday weeks, not to mention actual birthday, I’ve ever had.

I’m going to blink and before I know it more years will pass…just as I was reminded when I posted a picture from my 21st birthday 13 years ago on my sisters facebook page. 13 years ago. So much has changed and yet it feels just like yesterday.

blink and life passes by.

andrea, don’t let the minor things get in the way of embracing those littles and loving them fully. you’re going to blink and life is going to pass you by. put your phone down. don’t worry about capturing the perfect shot. just take it all in. observe and treasure. and join right in.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Meghan?

Evelyn.  Catherine.  Isla.  Adelaide.  Meghan. 

Names leading the way throughout the process of naming our girl. This time around choosing a name for our second daughter proved far more difficult than we imagined. Almost everything we liked the first time around, wasn’t a great option this time.

We did a similar post on Elizabeth’s name and I thought it would be nice to have a similar post for Meghan.

We are very aware that once upon a time, not so long ago, Megan was a VERY poplar name. Thankfully the number of women Alex and I know with the name is not that many. So when we began paging through the name books, Meghan was an early contender that caught our attention. We had some criteria that we used for Elizabeth and most of them hold true for Meghan as well. Here they are:

1. Traditional & easy to pronounce & spell (our last name dictated this point)
2. Has nickname potential but we like the given, full name
3. Can stand the test of time…not childish or juvenile
4. Has meaning
5. Not a family name

Meghan actually has been around for quite awhile as a pet name for Margaret but only has become popular in the mid-20th century. We loved that it was traditional, easy to pronounce and spell (although she’ll probably always have to say Megan with an “h”!) and is NOT at all common for babies right now. When we named Elizabeth her name was around 40 or 50 on the top 100, the year she was born her name moved to the top 15:/ Meghan is so far down the list that I’m sure it won’t make a come back any time soon.

Like Elizabeth, Meghan has some British ties. While this was not a prerequisite since we love Great Britain, we love that our kids hold some tie to that love as well. Meghan is a popular welsh name.

Meghan definitely has nickname potential…we call Elizabeth “lizzie mae” from time to time and we have definitely started calling Meghan “meggie joy.” Liz and Meg seem like great names for sisters to have:)

As far as meaning, well Meghan for the most part means “pearl.” And she is our pearl of joy. I take it one step further and think about what comes to mind when I think of pearl. For me a pearl is something rare, precious and unexpected because not every oyster has a pearl. For us, Meghan is our rare, precious, and unexpected joy because she came as a very much desired surprise.

And of course, for us Meghan is not a family name.

I love hearing how others go about naming their kids. It’s fascinating and I’m incredibly curious.

So, how do you go about naming your kids?

I love hearing how parents come to name their kiddos…any criteria you have in naming babies?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recently I’ve Been…


Making: Cotton ball snowmen and lots of warm apple cider. I love apple cider and Costco has some of the best for just $3.99. Elizabeth is really into crafts so we’ve had lots of fun creating and coloring. Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon gluing cotton balls to paper…always amazes me how the simplest crafts can make the littles so happy. Between play-doh and paint our new little art space gets quite a work out. I can’t wait for her to open her arts and crafts box for Christmas!

Cooking: Scrambled eggs? That’s Elizabeth’s favorite breakfast and if we don’t offer it she’ll barely eat anything. But as for our family, well…the amazing kindness of new and old friends was incredible. We had meals a couple of times a week for the past month or so, so I’m just getting back in the groove. Last night we roasted a chicken and today Elizabeth is at a Nana sleepover so I’m thinking we won’t be cooking much.

Drinking:  Apple cider and Lime La Croix. And the occasional glass of red wine.

Reading:  Mountains of library books and the Read-Aloud Bible Stories by Lindvall. In my attempt to make Bible reading an everyday occurrence these books are great. Wishing I had time to read fiction or anything that wasn’t mail or child-oriented, but it will come.

Wanting: To not wish these days away. I’m not a “baby” person so this time has been a bit stressful for me but I don’t want them gone. Trying my darndest to breathe in every moment as I know she’s our last.

Looking: so forward to seeing my family for Thanksgiving and enjoying the holidays as a family. I love this time of year and it always brings me a lot of joy.

Playing: Tea party with Elizabeth (the girl could pour coffee and bring me tea for hours!) and Motown on Pandora. Seriously Motown always puts a smile on my face and I love dancing along with Elizabeth.

Sewing: Ha…no time for that:)

Contemplating: This new season of life. I knew when we moved churches last Winter that it would impact my friendships. But honestly the change that accompanies moving churches and meeting new people has been one of the hardest things of these early days with two. I really have missed my friends, my good friends, because we all have new schedules and the times we had cemented in to see each other (Bible study and Small group) just are not a part of our routine anymore. It’s life and seasons change, but oh how I miss them. All that said, the new friends I’ve met have been so loving and gracious so that has been a blessing.

Enjoying: the silence when it happens and solo time with each of our girls. Snuggling with Elizabeth when Meghan is sleeping and vice versa are life giving to me. It’s been a bit harder for me honestly to bond with Meghan but I know the days are still early and it will come, especially as she continues to grow.

Liking: the change of seasons and the fact that Christmas is on the horizon. I’m also loving watching both girls grow. With the arrival of Meghan it seems Elizabeth just totally grew up. And most days I like the rhythm of our life. Oh and how great my back feels after an adjustment at the Chiropractor…nursing and carrying babies and all that goes along with it is no joke.

Wondering: How moms with more kids do it. Some days I look around at our mess of a house and wonder when I’ll get back into a groove and get my act together. And then I remember just to keep giving myself grace…it’ll come.

Hoping: That one day all the clothes in my closet will fit again and I will be able to wear more than one pair of pants that I just bought in an entirely different size. Slow and steady…just being honest.

Marveling:  still at the fact that we have two girls. This is our life and we’ve said it to each other so often that our family now feels entirely complete. God definitely has a way of working all things for good.

Needing: the sermons our Pastor has been preaching on relational intelligence. Seriously…I’ve got so much work to do on being a better friend, not putting my foot in my mouth, etc.  A good season of being refined.

Wearing: Whatever I can find that fits and looks semi-decent. And loving scarves…perfect for nursing and make me look semi-presentable.

Following: my niece and nephews on Instagram and daily laugh out loud at what they are posting. Makes me feel so near them even though they are 5 hours away.

Smelling: The cinnamon scent of Thieves because we’ve been applying it liberally to keep colds away. Still loving our oils and hoping they continue to help ward of the sickies.

Noticing:  The amount of time I spend on my phone and am trying to desperately remedy that.

There you have it, a glimpse into our day and our life. Here’s the best of the best pictures from Meghan's dedication this past weekend. Seriously…one day we’ll all look at the camera!

(and yes, I purposefully dressed us all to coordinate. It’s a sickness I tell you!)

2014-11-08 16.31.44