5 years of marriage.

Five years ago we were married.  It was a beautiful day in East Tennessee and we had such a sweet wedding day.  I know that neither of us imagined what our future would hold just 5 years down the road.  As we stood up together in front of our family and friends we made promises and committed to each other forever.  In sickness and health, in good and bad, in rich and poor, for better or worse.  Those words were dear to my heart, but I had no clue how deep they would become and run in our marriage.  We were happy and started our life of bliss together.

morgan wedding

 

 

morgans

 

A mere 2 weeks after we got married we moved to Maryland.  It was when we finally got there after a 12 hour drive that should have taken only 9 hours and pulled off into our new apartment, that I first realized life wasn’t always going to be what I had imagined.  The very nice apartment I thought we were moving into, wasn’t so very nice.  I had never lived outside of Tennessee before.  I had never seen so many of the things we saw in DC.  I had never been so far away from my family.  I had never lived in 600 square feet with anyone before.  I had never taken the Metro to get around.  Never ridden buses to get places.  We had never bought a house before or worked with a crooked realtor in the past.  These were all things that Tommy and I had to adjust to and work through together.  These were all things that helped to form the foundation for our marriage.  These were all really, really good things.  Some moments were tough, some were scary, some were fun, and some were just down right hilarious.  Most of these things are things we look back on so fondly of our first year of marriage.  Most of them are things we look back on and laugh about and appreciate so much.

 

I think being able to handle the little twists and turns that happened in the first year or two we were married, really helped pave the way for how we would handle the real stuff next.  While we wouldn’t have imagined having Jack the day after our 2nd anniversary, having him in our lives is far better than any plan we had.  We didn’t think we would end up back in Tennessee for a long time, if ever, but we got to come back home when Jack was just over 5 months old.  Just when we felt like we were back on the track of planning our life out again, we decided to have kids 2 years apart.  And as you all know, we learned how to let go of planning and control.  We certainly never would have imagined having a baby with a fatal chromosomal syndrome.  We never would have thought we would lose a child.  While being a parent is hard in general, losing a child is the worst thing parents could go through.  But the amazing thing is that I didn’t have to go through it alone.  I have always had my husband by my side.  The man God chose for me — knowing he would be my best match to go through all of these things in life.

 

When I reflect on our marriage and our 5 years married, I am blown away by how loving and wonderful Tommy is.  He has always stood by me, supported me, loved me well, and the same for our boys, too.  He is one of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever known, and I’m so thankful I get him.

 

Now when I think about our future, I don’t plan or really imagine what things will be like.  I’ve learned in these 5 years that I just can’t even imagine.  And while we’ve been through some really, really bad, worse, sickness, and death stuff, we’ve also been through some really precious, sweet, lovely, hopeful, joyful, and life stuff too.  Five years feels big and while I’m celebrating that time together, I also look at it and just celebrate that we’ve survived all of this stuff that we have.

5 year anniversary

 

I am so very thankful for this man, my husband.  I love you, Tommy!  Happy anniversary!

happy mother’s day.

Happy Mother’s Day, dear moms.  I hope you feel loved and celebrated today.  I hope you are appreciated and are able to appreciate your blessings as a mom.

 

Yesterday I shared some words of wisdom from a dear friend.  Today I have a post I want to share written by one of the most precious women in my life.  God has used Kelly in my life in so many ways.  We met Kelly and her husband during a very formative time for us — our college years.  As a dating and then engaged couple we really learned a lot about marriage from Kelly and Adam.  I loved babysitting their awesome kids and seeing how they parented.  Many years ago Tommy and I heard Adam talk about how we are stewards of everything and how even his kids didn’t belong to him, he was just stewarding them.  That has always stuck in mine and Tommy’s minds.  That was before they lost 2 of their sons.  And before we lost Gabriel.  Tommy and I also believe that the example of how these two walked through that paved the way for how we would walk through losing our child.  God has used them in big ways in our lives, and we are so thankful to know them.

Kelly is a wonderful mama, and I look up to her so much.  I want to do pretty much everything like her — I want her to come help me decorate my house, teach me new recipes, and more importantly pay attention to my kid’s heart.

 

I hope you will read these words that she has written.  I was incredibly moved by them.  As I read her post I realized that I have been off track.  I have been more focused on my performance as a mom and Jack’s performance as a kid.  I’ve been focused on perfection and not on his heart or mine.  His heart is the most important thing to me, and I am so thankful for the reminder of that and the awesome privilege it is to be his mama.

 

from Kelly…

 

Over the past 12 years of stewarding little stories I have realized the importance of parenting with a pupil’s heart. Moment by moment as they change, I am offered the priceless invitation to grow right alongside them. So, before I launch into what being a mommy means to me… I feel led to begin with what I know it is not. Being a mommy is NOT about being an expert or getting it perfect. Instead, it’s ignoring the reoccurring voice of fear… choosing to be a constant learner and daily embracing the greatest gift of all… grace.  

In our crazy, wild home, being a mommy means knowing my 4 Smalls have just as much if not more to teach me… than I have to teach them. It means… apologizing often … laughing at myself, dancing crazily as people watch, nursing ailments and personal “chefing” for little bellies with special dietary needs. It means advocating health on ALL levels (spiritual, emotional, physical and mental). It means super- raggedy homeschooling. It means equipping and celebrating successes in the midst of giant failures. It means modeling out respect and honor beginning with my relationship with their daddy. It means publicly grieving over pain filled losses as well as publicly belly laughing as I play. And, in my less than glamorous world, it means… being transparent enough to admit… most days I don’t really know what I am doing. I too, am just a little person in need of MUCH GUIDANCE as I walk out this God-given assignment. And, not only do I deeply desire the grace-gift they carry, I desperately need it.  

To be completely honest, I have received more education in these past 12 years of being a mom than I could’ve ever obtained at any prestigious university. And yet somehow I feel like I know less than ever before. So, at the end of everyday… I always come back to this one thing… GRACE. Being a mommy means an abundance of grace-exchanges. At some point on my journey I hope to receive a “Masters” in this subject. But, today, I am just thankful to have the opportunity to sit under some of the most powerful, little teachers my heart has ever known. So thankful.  

 

Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your words and wisdom!

 

_______________________________

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom!  She has been a rock for me my whole life.  She works hard and is so respected and loved by all of us.  Mom, you take such good care of all of us — still — and I’m so very thankful to have you as my mother.  I love you!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother-in-law also — to the woman who raised the love of my life.  You raised a wonderful man, and I’m so thankful for that.  We love you!

 

If you know anyone who has lost a child or could use a pick me up today, share my letter for mama’s with them.

you are amazing.adventures

 

On this day, I’m acutely aware of how hard it can be.  Last year was awful.  It was 1 week after Gabriel was born and died, and I can’t believe I even got out of bed that day.  But I did, and I don’t remember a lot of it.  But it was a very hard day.  I know there are many reasons for people to be sad today.  The cemetery is pack on Mother’s Day — mostly with people visiting the graves of their mom’s, but for some like me, it is to visit the graves of our children.  Whether today is hard because of death of a mother or a child, infertility, dreams that haven’t happened, just know that you aren’t alone.

 

happy mother’s day!

a mother’s perspective.

It’s the eve of Mother’s Day.  For some of us that means we are spending the day with our moms.  For others it might mean doing a little last minute shopping or card buying or Pinterest searching and trying.  This weekend I am thinking a lot about motherhood.  Reflecting much on my mom and all she has done for me.  Reflecting on motherhood with my boys.  Doing a lot of heart reflection.

 

Today I wanted to share some wisdom from a woman I admire so much.  Sweet Maureen watched Jack for us while we lived in Maryland, and she has been impacting my life for over 4 years now.  She is an awesome mama.  I asked her about what it’s like to be a mom and this is the wisdom she shared with me:

 

Raising a family is like conducting an orchestra. To make all the instruments work together in harmony, you have to understand and appreciate each instrument individually. There’s no sense in trying to make a drum sound like a flute. Each instrument must be guided in its own technique in its own time, while also learning the character skills needed to perform with others. Being a mother means learning each instrument, respecting its unique design and style, and developing its repertoire so its music can soar to the heavens.  

 

 

Thank you for the wisdom, Maureen.  Happy Mother’s Day eve mamas!

for the mom who’s lost her child.

you are amazing.adventures

 

 

Dear mom who has more children than anyone can see with you,

 

[Deep breath]

Hi, sweet mama.  How are you feeling this Mother’s Day?  It’s nice to be celebrated as a mom, but it can be so painful when it just brings reminders that part of us is no longer here.  That we are forever changed because a chunk of our heart has passed away.  That our very life as we know it, will never be as we had imagined or thought.

 

I know this day is hard and that it can bring so many emotions with it.  I know we all remember and celebrate in different ways.  I also know that ignoring this day, ignoring the memories and the celebrations of our children — of our motherhood, is so much worse than embracing it in all its forms.  While remembering and talking about the hard parts of our motherhood can be painful, pretending it didn’t happen is just excruciating.  Our children are precious and each of them should be celebrated.  You are a mother — whether you were pregnant for 8 weeks or have children who have children of their own.

 

Be strong today.  Stand tall and remember that you have strength and support from those around you and those who walk this road with you.  Be proud today.  Be proud of your amazing children both here on earth and those who are already in Heaven.  Share their stories and take the opportunity of this day celebrating moms to do what moms do best — brag on their kids.  Be real.  Tell people how you are doing today.  It’s okay if today seems impossibly hard.  It’s okay if today isn’t really that hard.  Share with people who don’t understand what all comes with losing a child.  Tell them how you wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything in the world.  Be brave.  Even though this day isn’t the same for us mamas who know the loss of a child, it doesn’t mean we need to hide out around this time.  Be kind to yourself.  So much of motherhood is demanding.  Do what you need to do today.  Want some quiet time?  Ask for it.  Need some help?  Ask for it.  Want to do something adventurous?  Go for it.  Want to spend the day in your PJs?  Call me, cause I’m in!

This is my prayer for you today — that you will be all of these things.  That you will feel loved.  That you will celebrate the special blessings in your life, even if they were here for way too short a time.  

 

And know that you are not alone.  Ever.  At all.  You may not be surrounded by children, or you may but are still missing the one who isn’t here.  But that doesn’t mean you are alone.  Because even if you have no one beside you, you have all of us mamas who know the ache you know.  Who hurt deeply on this day where we celebrate moms.  Who don’t get to hug and kiss those precious faces that we see each time we close our eyes.  Who take a deep breath before walking into a room of moms and kids, knowing we are “that mom” — the one who lost a child.  Who feel torn between living in a world that is our reality and wondering so often what could have been.  You are not alone.  And you are loved.  So very loved.

 

Mama, you are amazing.  Happy Mother’s Day.  

Gabriel’s first birthday.

May 5th came and went just like that.  On Monday, we celebrated Gabriel’s first birthday.  A year ago he was born, and we held him in our arms and watched as he took breaths and listened as he let out sweet cries.  And we loved all over him, and we kissed his chunky cheeks so much.  And we spent hours just admiring every single thing about him.  It was such joy.

 

He passed away 2 hours later, so the same day that we celebrate his birth, we also celebrate his arrival in Heaven.  Monday was the first anniversary of his arrival in Heaven.  It would have been his first birthday if he had still been alive.  It marked one year since he was born — since I gave birth to our miracle baby.  It’s amazing how quickly this day arrived.  It’s so hard to believe it has been a year since we had him.  This time last year I dreaded being this far out.  I hated thinking about being so distanced from when I held him.  I hated thinking about the memories fading.  How I wouldn’t be able to feel him in my arms any more.

 

And it’s true that the memories have faded.  I can’t remember vividly what it felt like to hold him.  So many things have faded.  But I will never forget that day.  And when I close my eyes I can almost still smell how amazing he smelled that day.  I will always cling to what I can hold on to from our second son.

 

May 5th is a day worth celebrating, and we had a lot to celebrate this year.  I wanted to celebrate Gabriel’s birthday.  I wanted to celebrate that Gabriel is in Heaven, and I wanted to celebrate how far we have come — that we are still here, that we are survivors.  Sunday was more of a pensive day for me because I had Gabriel on a Sunday last year.  I kept remembering how I was in labor and when we went to the hospital and what time he was born.  I thought about that a lot on Sunday.  But on Monday, I just wanted to celebrate!  If Gabriel was alive we would have had a party for him and celebrated his life.  Gabriel was alive and is now in Heaven which gives us so much reason to celebrate.  So we had a really fun day!

 

We went to Dollywood!  I hadn’t been in over ten years, and Tommy and Jack had never been.  So we sun screened up and made the hour drive to have a great day.  And we did!  We had a blast!  It was just so much fun to be together as our little family — the 3 musketeers.  We call ourselves that because we are such a bonded unit and we have been through so much together.  The weather was gorgeous!  A little hot — or a lot hot to me — and so sunny and just perfect.  I was surprised at how many rides Jack could ride.  He LOVED it!  He wasn’t afraid and had so much fun.  The water ride we went on was my favorite, and he loved it, too.  We spent the day at the park having such an awesome day riding rides, carousels, trams, and trains.  Then we headed home.

 

On our way back into town we stopped by the cemetery.  It was beautiful and sunny and just another day at the cemetery.

 

 

It was the perfect way to spend Gabriel’s first birthday.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day, and more importantly, we couldn’t have had a better day together as a family.  We miss our precious baby — a lot — and hitting this mark feels like so much time.  It feels like an accomplishment — sort of like a sense of ‘we’ve made it’.  We will still grieve and still miss our G all the time.  But we have come really far, and have continued to stay bonded together through the hard times of last year.

 

One of the biggest parts of Monday was the love we got.  We are so incredibly overwhelmed by the love and support we have. It was so amazing on Monday to be so loved.  We felt completely undeserving of such love and are just so very thankful to all of you who have reached out to us and supported us.  Thank you for the cards, the love, the gifts, the food, the messages, the kind words, the prayers, and for remembering us.  I couldn’t believe how many people remembered our sweet G’s birthday, and that made my mama heart just burst with joy.

 

I used to be so afraid of people forgetting our sweet G, and Monday just showed me that hasn’t happened.  Thank you for loving our family so well.  We are incredibly blessed.  And we are thankful for you.  God has been so gracious to us and brought us through the last year and a half.  And we have seen the hands and feet of Jesus through friends and family.  So thankful for the love that has been poured out on us.  Thank you, sweet friends, for loving us so well.  We love you!

 

Here are some pictures from our G Day…

g day 2 happy first birthday Gabriel!

g day 3 g day 4 g day 5 g day 6 sleep kid on the way home  g day 7 g day 8 g day 9 g day 10 g day 11 g day 12 g day 13 g day 14 g day 15 g day 16 g day 17 g day 18 g day 19 we’re going to Dollywood!  g day

the quiet + what motherhood means to me.

I took a little unplanned break from writing.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  At first I thought it might be bad, but then I just decided to roll with it.  I realized it was a theme in my life — needing a break, needing to retreat, and just be quiet and just be.  So I took a little time.  I’m sure it had something to do with Gabriel.  I’m sure it had something to do with his birthday coming up.

 

But there have been so many things I’ve been wanting to share with you all.  Now I’m sure I’ve forgotten them 🙂  but I have lots of updates to do from weight loss attempts, exercise, healthy eating, to being organized, and to Gabriel’s birthday yesterday.

 

 

Today I am sharing on the Knoxville Moms Blog a little pre-Mother’s Day post.  I wrote about what being a mom means to me.  Head over there and let me know in the comments what being a mom means to you!

 

Jack and mommy.adventures.jpg

weekend fun + a new week.

We had a nice weekend.  Hope you all did, too!  Saturday was beautiful.  We were really productive and stayed busy.  Jack spent the morning with his Nan and Pops having a blast doing everything he could and pushing his toy mower all around their yard.  While he was there Tommy and I took the dogs to the vet for check-ups and vaccines.  My friend, Sarah, is our vet now!  She and her sister are both vets at the same animal clinic, so we are excited to be going there now.  Sarah and I have known each other since 7th grade.  We lived together in college, and she was in our wedding.  So we are really happy she is going to take care of our dogs now.  Anyway, it ended up being a pricey visit since they both needed vaccines, and heart worm meds, and ears cleaned, and apparently Eli has a moderate to severe double ear infection.  The ear infections are back to get me, guys.  Thank goodness it’s in my dog and not my kid.  Whew.  If you ever see me walking down the street wearing goggles, maybe a ski mask, and maybe a highly unfortunate outfit, you will know the ear infections are back for Jack, and I’ve lost it.

 

In other news we ran a bunch of other errands, while Jack went out to breakfast with Nan at “Old McDonald’s”, then to the library for some books and reading.  We had a slow-paced evening at home Saturday.  Sunday was raining.  We got some stuff done around the house, I did chores, and then Jack got more time with Nan and Pops while Tommy and I went to his Uncle Will’s wedding.  We are so happy for his Uncle Will and his new bride Christy.  It was such a sweet ceremony, and we are excited for them as they blend families and start their new lives together.

 

I am so excited for this week!  There are some really exciting things happening — mainly tomorrow.  I hope you will come back tomorrow and read my post which has A VERY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT [that is not a baby].  Here are some pictures from the weekend.

 

family selfie

silly faces

three musketeers

will and christy

 

jump jam

On Friday Jack and I went to Jump Jam for the first time with some friends.  The boys are about 2 months in age and Jackson is so cute!  They had a great time together.  And Jackson’s mom [Ms. Taylor who is one of Jack’s preschool teachers] and I had fun/were pretty nervous about all the jumping.  This place is basically wall to wall trampolines.  I felt pretty old, but we had a good time!  Tommy says Jack looks like a giant in this picture, but I think it’s so cute.  The boys are having so much fun.

spring, winter, sun, snow, and nutrition.

The weather this week has been crazy!  Tuesday afternoon it was 74 degrees.  Wednesday afternoon it was 44.  Tuesday I was hot while we were playing outside.  Wednesday I was bundled up in my coat again preparing for it to dip down into the 20s.  This morning I woke up and saw snow on our deck.  Wild.  Today it is supposed to warm up again, so hopefully we can get back outside.  I like winter, but I only needed one more snow and that big one did it.  And now that we have had warmer weather, I’ve gotten the taste of warmth and I’m ready for spring to be here.

spring
Enjoying the spring weather with a selfie [what am I thinking?]   

 

march snow
This morning.

 

 

In other news, the Morgan household has had a dramatic shift.  Jack is no longer using pacis.  We cut him off last Friday, and he has done really well this weak without them.  He asked for his baseball paci before nap and bed on Saturday and Sunday but otherwise hasn’t mentioned them, other than to tell people that he isn’t sleeping with his pacis anymore.  He’s proud of his big boy status.  And we’re proud of him!  He’s used a paci since he was hours old in the NICU.  That was all he had to suck on those early days when he was too sick to eat, so I know they were a huge comfort thing for him.  

We told him that he was a big boy and big boys don’t use pacis, babies do.  We told him that he got to give his pacis to a baby who needed them.  He kept saying “and then that baby [or that kid] will bring the pacis back to me.”  He realized they weren’t coming back.  It was emotional Friday night, but he has done great!  So proud of him, and really not too bad.  The only down side has been that this appears to have been the catalyst to him dropping his nap.  He has been staying awake in his bed at night for several months now.  Some times he would stay up until 11:30, just chatting.  For months.  It was driving me crazy, but I felt like he still needed his nap.  Well, he has not taken a nap in 8 days and has done great.  He loves hanging out in his room for “rest time” and then independently deciding when he is done in his room.  He quietly leaves his room, goes to play in the office for a little bit [doing what he later tells me is helping me clean and organize], comes downstairs and turns the tv on, and plays with his toys quietly in the living room.  He loves having this independence.  He actually gets disappointed when I come out and say hi to him.  It’s adorable to see him being independent and operating on his own, and I hope to continue to foster his desire for independence.  That has been our routine every day this week.  He is precious.

 

 

last paci

Jack’s last paci sucking on Friday evening.  He got to suck on it driving around and then shortly after we got home, he put his pacis in a box to give away.

 

first night without paci
Going to sleep for the first time without pacis.  

 

 

naptime smiles
He was supposed to be up in his room napping, when suddenly he turned the corner with a big smile on his face and his entourage with him.  He’s adorable.

 

 

Continuing with the NNM theme this week, I want to share this article about my friend, Lindsey.  Lindsey, aka the DIY Dietitian, is an awesome RD in Nashville.  Lindsey is one of my best buds from college.  We went through all of our nutrition classes together, she taught me how to make iced coffee, and she’s adorably fun and thoughtful.  She is actually the one who encouraged me to start this blog.

Check out the article above where Lindsey is interviewed by another RD about grocery shopping and all that good jazz.  Then check out this post of Lindsey’s about low calorie food finds.  Great suggestions here, and she gives a calorie breakdown, too, so you can know exactly what you’re getting when you eat these.

have a happy weekend.

I took the day off of writing yesterday.  Busy day running errands.  Dropping off birth certificates and death certificates.  Researching medicines.  Trying to get a little work done.  Today has been slower paced.  I have to balance my days like that.  I often believe I can do it all, when the reality is that I can’t and no one can.  I hated that I didn’t blog yesterday so much that I dreamed about it last night.  Someone was scolding me for skipping a day.  So weird.

As I’ve shared before I have had some health problems in the last year.  I have not felt well in over a year, but once I wasn’t pregnant and I still didn’t feel any better, I knew something was wrong.  Several doctors told me it was just stress.  But I knew something was wrong.  I missed my people at the OB’s office.  I wanted them to see me, but they said no.  Apparently you have to be pregnant.  So the doctors I saw wrote me off as a young woman stress case.  But then I started going to a new doctor.  An amazing doctor and friend of ours from our Bible study.  And right away he gave me an autoimmune diagnosis.  I am so thankful for him and his wife.  They are wise, kind, and so supportive.  God was definitely taking care of us by putting them in our lives.

Then nearly a month ago I saw a rheumatologist for the first time.  And she is fantastic.  She really listens to me, cares about me, and takes my symptoms seriously.  She got me started on some treatment right away until we hit a big bump in the road when some lab work came back.  My treatment for my autoimmune diseases is on hold while I start antibiotic therapy for a bacteria I apparently have.  I’m not contagious or anything but have a very long road ahead of medication and treatment.  It will be fine, but truth is I am bummed and know that any long course antibiotic therapy has consequences.  And it will set my autoimmune treatment back by 2-3 months, so that’s also disappointing.  And we all know that anytime someone says “it will be fine” they are saying it because they really don’t feel fine about it, right?

But I just keep reminding myself that I am generally healthy and there are so many people fighting something threatening their life every day.  I am thankful for the days I have and that I am able to live life each day and take care of my people fairly well, even if it isn’t as much as I used to be able to do.

 

In news outside of my own health — I’ve been working on some exciting stuff lately.  And I’m very excited to share it soon! Cannot wait.  In other news, we got a new computer last weekend, and it is awesome.  Finally went with the MacBook and I am obsessed with it.  My old computer was an almost 5 year old netbook that we didn’t expect to last a year, much less 5.  So it served us well, but it got to the point where it took me 2 hours to get a simple blog post with 2 pictures done and I couldn’t do any documents, web pages, downloads, or printing.  So I’m living in luxury now.  And I can no longer use the excuse that my computer stinks.

 

JT is rocking life.  He is so much fun these days.  He’s always been my little buddy, but now he really is.  He is a little conversationalist.  And these days he isn’t just repeating what we say, but he’s also coming up with his own things to say, which is both awesome and hilarious.  He says the sweetest things from his sweet little heart, like “God made me happy, Mommy.”  And he says the funniest things too like “Don’t pee on your bed, Daddy.”  He also appears to be a little bossy.  I would say I don’t know where that comes from, but who am I kidding?  I think we all know he’s like me in that.  He is seriously the sweetest kid and is really enjoying being around friends, the kids in his class at parents’ day out, family, acquaintances — he’s a people person.  He’s also really into dance parties.

 

To wrap up this random post, here are some random pictures from the past few weeks.

 

Grandfather and familyFebruary 23rd was my grandparents’ anniversary.  They would have been married 63 years.  It is amazing to have such an example in our lives of long lasting marriages.  My Grandfather and Granny were married for 62 years and 8 months.  So on their anniversary, Grandfather took a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers to the cemetery.

Grandfathersanniversary

 

holding handsHe asked me “Mommy, can I hold your hand?”  Be still my heart.

 

Jack at airportWe picked Tommy up from the airport last week.  This was Jack’s reaction when he saw Tommy walking towards us.  Goodness he’s precious.  What a welcome home!

 

I hope you have a great weekend!

when you only see the imperfections.

I look around my house and all I see is this awful color on the wall.  I notice every mark on the wall.  Every spot on the carpet.  I notice every scratch on each baseboard and those few spots where the crown molding doesn’t meet perfectly.  I notice the scratch on the sink.  The worn floor in the kitchen.  I notice how Jack’s room needs something else but I’m not sure what.  I notice how my bathroom is missing something fun, something special. 

When I look in the mirror I see that my glasses make my left eye bigger than my right.  I see the scar on my lip from where I got hit with a softball and my lip got stuck to my braces.  I notice how my hips are quite wide these days, forgetting that it’s because I’ve birthed 2 children. 

 

It’s easy to see the imperfections.  It’s easy to get caught up in the negativities of life, missing the beauty.  And I have certainly been stuck there.  Believing lies of all that is wrong, things we don’t have, and how this is not enough – how I am not enough. 

 

And those are just that – lies.  We are so blessed.  God has been faithful to us.  We are still here.  I have an amazing, loving husband and two precious boys!  One who I get to raise here and one in Heaven with our Father.  We live in this amazing city.  We have a beautiful home.  My husband has a good job.  I get to spend my days with my sweet JT.  All of these blessings and so many more.  But I tend to quickly forget those things.  These important things that I should always be thankful for, I tend to overlook.  And instead I look at things that don’t matter, things I can’t control, or things that have no eternal significance.  I don’t want my focus to be there.  I want a thankful heart.  One that is overflowing with thankfulness for this life.  And the beauty of it is that I can control what I focus on.  I can shift my thinking and re-focus on what matters. 

As I stood washing dishes in my sink thinking about all of the things I would change, I realized all of this.  There will always be imperfections in life, but I’m choosing to see past those and just see the beauty. 

Family Pictures Fall 2013 006