Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Fave...

Here is my new favorite picture of Tracey Ann.



I think I just have to accept that I'm going to have a new favorite picture of her every few weeks from now until she's married...  With Easter Sunday tomorrow, I hope I'll have a new favorite in less than 24 hours.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Spinning Plates...

I returned to work this week... and it was an "easy" work week at that because the students in my farthest and most invovled school district were on spring break this week.  That meant the majority of my work week was spent on paperwork, emails, scheduling, catching-up, and seeing students nearby.

That being said, it was a really hard week.

I feel like life before Tracey Ann was born was like riding a bike.  I knew how to do it, I knew what to expect... sometimes terrain was more difficult, and sometimes my body was tired... but life and working was like riding a bike.  I rode a bike well.

Then Tracey Ann was born, and I spent the next 11 weeks learning how to spin plates.  Spinning plates on my head and with both hands... I have been slowly but surly learning how to spin plates.

Then, this week, I had to try to put them together.  I had to spin plates while riding a bike.  And suddenly I could no longer do either one well.  All of a sudden I could neither ride a bike nor spin plates well, and all my week consisted of was spills off of my bike, and broken plates.

I know things will get better, and my parents arrive this weekend to help... but this has been a hard week full of bicycle accidents and broken plates.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Love When...

I love when...
  • Tracey Ann stretches her little arms up in the air, stretches her back, arches her neck back, and sticks her little chin out
  • Tracey Ann is fussing in her bassinet, and I walk over to see her and she immediately smiles up at me -- she recognizes me and her whole face lights up
  • I hear my hubby make up songs, words, and notes while singing and talking to our daughter... some of his tones are notes I have never heard before
  • My baby falls asleep in my arms after nursing
  • My baby is fussing and I pick her up and she quiets down
  • Tracey Ann is screaming (more than fussing) and we play "Let It Go" from Frozen, and she inexplicably, but reliably stops crying
  • I'm nursing Tracey Ann, and Lexie jumps up onto the bed next to her, and sniffs her head... and then comes over to my free side so I can pet her
  • My baby smells like milk -- which is almost all the time
  • My husband and I get a few minutes to just delight in our daughter together
  • I nurse Tracey Ann laying down, and I feel her tiny little body right next to mine... it reminds me of when I was pregnant, and I felt her beautiful little body all the time
  • Tracey Ann watches FaceTime with either my parents or Chris' family, and her eyes get big and she smiles at the excited happy faces talking to her
  • Lloyd comes over to Tracey Ann, and she smiles up at him... and then he leans down and gently licks her

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dear Tracey Ann...

Dear Tracey Ann,

Your daddy and I looked back at pictures of you from when you were first born last night, and we cannot believe how much you have changed, and how much you have changed us in less than three months time.  You were the tiniest little newborn... and now you are a beautiful, smiling, plump infant.  Where have these 11 weeks gone?

Tracey Ann 1 hour old
Tracey Ann 2 months old
I am sure, before I know it, I will be teaching you Colossians 3:23-24,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance form the Lord as a reward.  It i the Lord Chris you are serving."  I know, as your mother, I need to set a Godly example through my actions... and that doesn't start when you're 3 or 5 or 13 or 18... it started long before you were even conceived.  It is on me to live a Godly example in the hopes that you, too, will delight in following Biblical teachings.

This verse is very strongly on my heart this week because, this is the week I go back to work after 11 glorious, blessed weeks of maternity leave.  The only place in the world I want to be is home devoting my time and energy to caring for you and your daddy, my hubby.  My highest priority is you... and yet, my calling for the next 7 weeks is to return to work, teach my students, and finish the school year.

From the very beginning of my pregnancy with you, Tracey Ann, there have been PLENTY of difficult stretches -- less than a week after Daddy and I found out you were on your way, I went off to Greeley, Colorado, without your dad, for a month of a blindfold graduate class.  Not long after that ended, when my first-trimester un-pleasantries were at a high, I spent 3 weeks, away from your dad, working in 100*+ temperatures in Tucson, Arizona.  Finally, I spent another stretch of time away from your daddy that fall, when I finished my studies in Austin, Texas.  All of those seasons were incredibly difficult -- but I think these next seven weeks will rival all of those in difficulty.

You grandparents will be arriving soon to be your full-time daycare, which will be so special for your relationship with them.  After that, your other grandparents are taking over for a little while.  Then, it will almost be the end of the year.  You will be very well-loved and well cared for these next seven weeks... but... despite the perfect arrangements we have made... the arrangements are not perfect, because I am not the one caring for you.

Tracey Ann 10 days old
Tracey Ann 11 weeks old
Did you know, I have not been away from you for longer than 60 minutes for the past 11 weeks?  And even the quick errands I have run without you add up to approximately less than 10 hours.  You have become my little side-kick.  You are always with me.  There is a reason my body responds when I haven't held you for a few hours (speaking of my milk coming in).  My body knows how often you need me, and how often we are supposed to be joined.

Okay, its time to wrap up this letter before my tears get bigger -- you, Tracey Ann, are going to grow up to be a very strong woman.  Sometimes you will have to do things that you do not want to do... but remember Colossians 3:23-24.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.

That is the example I am going to try to set for you in my work for the next seven weeks.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Verses for Today

These are the verses I'm clinging to today:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  
Jeremiah 29:1



Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 
 John 14:27

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wrinkles

Since our wonderful baby came into our life, Hubby and I have too many wrinkles.  Not wrinkles in our faces, although I'm sure those will be coming, but wrinkles on our clothes.

You see, while I have been home with Tracey Ann, I have worked hard to keep up with household tasks -- cleaning, some cooking, laundry, etc.  It has certainly been an adjustment doing my usual home-making duties while juggling a baby and working around nursing.  That being said, neither Hubby or Tracey Ann or I have ever been without clean and dry clothes or underwear.  This far, I have always kept up with laundry... And it is always clean and dry.

That being said, some days it is REALLY wrinkled!

While I always manage to get the dirty clothes in the washer, and the clean clothes in the dryer... I even manage to get the clean, dry clothes out of the dryer... But not infrequently, the clean, dry clothes then sit in a laundry basket for several hours (or days *insert ashamed face*).

I love taking care of my husband and baby, and recognizing that we have a problem with wrinkles at present gives me something concrete to improve in these next few months.

If you see us in something unusually wrinkled lately, trust me, it's clean... We just have a lot of wrinkles in our life right now.

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