The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Since last posting, I’ve traveled thousands of miles and have countless stories I long to tell. My intent is to begin sharing some of the true, and hard to believe moments here. You will be astounded at the things we’ve seen and survived. Some are hilarious. Some are horrific. All are humbling. This first post, however, is simply to get back to getting and asking you to come along for the ride!
While it may appear I’ve all but ceased writing that’s actually far from the case. Yes, I’ve taken far too long a hiatus from this blog, but part of that is because I’ve been working as the blogger for Parenting Pathway, a blog designed to equip and engage Christian parents–which is hysterical given I am about the biggest goof of a parent there is. But, I’m fairly certain that’s why God brought this opportunity to me when I wasn’t looking nearly two years ago. When it comes to ministry, I think being authentic is a must and one that is typically overshadowed by the “perfect” people teaching a false gospel. The God I know and love has rescued me from who I am, and while I strive to be a better reflection of Him day in and day out, I fail miserably. Good thing He reminds us there is no one perfect but Jesus and we can’t work our way into salvation! It’s a gift. A gift I don’t deserve, but I’m so grateful I have. All that to say, my children are phenomenal. Life is crazy. I’m messy. But when you add it all up, it’s one heck of a blessing.
Aside from writing the parenting blog, I’ve kept busy birthing and mothering another baby. That’s right–our family is now a “party of 5” with the addition of our little girl who was born at the end of March. She followed the example set in motion by our second born and came at exactly 40 weeks + 6 days. That’s what some would call late, but if you know me, you know I firmly adhere to the “babies comes when they are ready” philosophy, so she was right on time. This was my second unmedicated VBAC, and she was delivered by the same group of nurse midwives and in the same hospital as our second born. The one big difference was this baby was born in the water which was a dream I had but didn’t think I would get to experience. That’s another story for another time, but in the nearly four months since her arrival, she has brought more smiles and joy to this family than words can express. I never thought I would be a mother, and now I have three people who call me by the very best name I’ve ever known: “Mommy”.
My boys are now 4 and 2.5 years old. Both potty trained at 18 months and overnights before 2. This is not a blog about potty training, but since boys always get the short end of the stick on parenting blogs, I want the world to know that’s a load that should be put in the garbage. Boys are not harder than girls–many moms just tend to listen to the masses and don’t give them the opportunity to prove otherwise. We have one potty training rule and “sign of readiness” in our home: if they can walk, they can walk themselves to the potty. It’s worked beautifully both times. I don’t do pull-ups, believe in treats or singing toilets. I simply believe in what children have done since the dawn of time and don’t buy into marketing ploys. This paragraph was way too much unnecessary information, but I’ll just leave it so when my boys get older they will know how proud I am of them and how much money they saved us!
Each of my little guys is creative, energetic, and incredibly smart. They are so much alike yet so very different. My oldest will enter Pre-K this year, which means one year until Kindergarten. How did this happen? When they say “the days are long but the years are short”, boy are they right. I’m so proud of him, but I find myself walking a tricky line keeping my emotions in check as he grows. He is still very much a little boy in need of boundaries, but will grow into a young man who is learning lessons at the same time. Right now he wants to marry me when he grows up. Be still my heart! I know he won’t feel that way for long and we have plenty of tough moments, so I soak up those words every time they pour forth from his lips. My youngest guy, whom I refuse to call “the middle child” is the most passionate person I’ve ever met. And heaven knows, I know many passionate people. But no one compares to this 2 year old. There is nothing lukewarm about him. He loves hard, plays hard, fights hard, and is off the charts brilliant. He can build anything and adores his brother. Both love music and books. They have developed an insatiable thirst for literature and will dance to any song they hear. They also make up fantastic stories and lyrics. It’s fun to see part of me displayed in them. What a treasure they are!
As for Husband, well he is older, thinner (and extra handsome!), and working harder than ever. While we don’t post much public information on social media, we have grown through many trials. His parents both passed within a few months of each other this year, but he had lost them in many ways quite some time before. Out of respect for him I’ll leave it at that, but we did not have the benefit of them there in more traditional parenting and grandparenting roles. It was soul wrenching on many levels, but ultimately the situation forced us to press into the Lord and one another more. Like all things in marriage, you choose to grow together or apart. We chose the former and have labored relentlessly to plant new and abiding roots for this family. God has brought us so far from the time we first met until today. For every dark season, there is a light in the distance and right now we are in a season of light. Yesterday, Husband began working for a new company that found him via a headhunting firm. This company has chapel once a week, has prayer rooms on each floor, and believes families matter. Yesterday was the first time we have had dinner as a family together at the table. It was amazing. This may seem like a minor deal, but if your spouse works for a company that is all about the company, you may not see them before the kids are in bed…or your kids have a very late bed time so they can see Daddy. Not only that, but his new employer is less than 20 miles from our home, so no more horrendous traffic or leaving before the sun rises. To say we are excited is a tremendous understatement. We are overwhelmed by this opportunity and not taking it for granted.
What more can I say? Quite a lot, actually. Did you know there’s an election going on? Have mercy. I’m out of the loop because I don’t watch the news in front of my kids, but I have still managed to witness my once dark brown locks sprout more silver strands by the minute. You could chalk this up to aging, but don’t discount the pressure brought on by observing what’s going on in this great big world where we live. I have a lot of thoughts (hello…my name is “Gabbie”), but I’ll reserve those for another post. Yes, there will be another post. And another. And another after that. So if you’re up for hearing my brand of crazy to make you feel better about your own, I welcome you back with open arms. Thank you for checking in to see how I’ve been and as always, I hope you have found your own moments of light in your seasons of darkness as well!
Hanging on to Him,