10.13.2017

Blessings this Week: 10.13.2017 Edition

It's somehow Friday again, and it's somehow already the middle of October, and I'm not sure where the time went or how this week has flown by, but the leaves are changing colors all around me and sometimes I feel like I'm missing it.

Counting blessings helps me cling to each moment, noticing, being present before it passes by.

Because goodness is it going fast.



10.11.2017

I Hate Periodic Breathing, and Other Confessions of a Preemie Mom

So many of our friends and family have told us that we seem to be doing remarkably well, given the circumstances. And yes, we have managed to stay generally upbeat, keep our sense of humor, and cling to faith during our NICU stay with our teeny tiny premature son (born at 32 weeks).

But honestly?

This hasn't been easy.

nicu life confessions parenting preemie baby infant premature baby struggles with mental health after having a premature baby


I've been really working to stay positive, clinging to the blessings, praising God for each and every step in the right direction... but it's hard. And I think that acknowledging the difficulty will help me work through it and recognize the blessings more readily. And if you're a preemie parent, too, hopefully reading this will give you a little reassurance that you're not alone in how you're feeling.


10.05.2017

Little E's Birth Story

As the nurse and anesthesiologist lifted my now completely numb legs onto the operating table, it finally started to hit me...

This is happening.

After a very short 32 weeks, I was about to meet my baby.



9.29.2017

Blessings this Week: 09.29.2017 Edition

I can hardly believe that this week is already over- after last week's craziness, I thought this week would seem much slower. But that hasn't been the case at all. In fact, this week almost seemed quicker somehow.

Our baby is changing every day, and it seems like I'm having trouble keeping up with all the changes- his expressions, adjustments to his care, challenges of being a parent, new things I'm learning daily.

But I'm trying to just stay present in the moment, to enjoy every minute of this new life we have. I still can't believe how blessed we are.


9.22.2017

Blessings these Weeks: 09.15.2017 and 09.22.2017

(Just a very quick post today-- there have been so many blessings, but my biggest blessing is taking up a lot of my time and attention at the moment!)


Thirty-two weeks of pregnancy with our little one


9.09.2017

Blessings this Week: 09.08.2017 Edition

And just like that, it's September.

Summer is definitely changing to fall, and I know that pretty soon, our Iowa landscape will be changing, too- the corn that grew into hedges will soon be gone and the views will suddenly open up again to miles and miles of sky.



It's the one thing we can count on, it seems- this change.

And it feels like there are so many changes coming and so quickly, and I don't feel at all prepared.

It won't be long until our house gets a new roof, it won't be long until we're holding our baby in our arms, it won't be long until we're packing up to move back to Colorado, it won't be long until we're incredibly busy again with snowmobiles and phone calls.

But for now, I'm trying to be here. To enjoy the blessings of this moment, before everything changes and new blessings come.

...   ...   ...


Sunsets and windmills. 

...   ...   ...

There have been hawks everywhere for the past few weeks- I see them as I drive home, as I walk the dog, in the trees in our grove. I know they're hunting field mice (and I'm so grateful for that!), but they look so graceful as they glide, like a dance. 

(Oh, and I saw one hawk flying with a snake in its beak the other day- pretty neat to see)

...   ...   ...


While Trevor's working on the heavy stuff (like moving piles of gravel and measuring roof lines and hooking up a washer and dryer), I've been doing little projects around the house, too. 

Like decorating above the kitchen cabinets, finally weeding my little flower garden, and cleaning antlers to put by the fireplace. 


Those little tiny changes make a difference, and they make me happy.

...   ...   ...


This happy dog who's always ready for a walk (and a treat- which is how I got him to "smile" for this picture). 

...   ...   ...


(Because I missed the pictures from last week...) - 30 weeks pregnant, and...


31 weeks. 

Baby is coming so soon! We had a bit of a surprise shower with some dear ladies I know from Camp- they brought toys and books and blankets, and a very cute burp rag big enough for Trevor's burly shoulders (he was a good sport modeling it for all us giggling girls!). We're so blessed by these ladies who love us so well. 

Our little baby doesn't feel near so little anymore- I can feel him pressing on me all the time now, and it's fun to be able to watch him move as well as feel him. Just another change that means we're getting closer to meeting our little one!



Have a wonderful weekend, and count the blessings!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging habit, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. You may see a full disclosure by clicking on my "About" page. I will only promote products that I use, enjoy, or take a shine to. All opinions and reviews are my own and are not influenced by any compensation I may receive.

9.06.2017

Motherhood: Wrecking and Recreating Me in the Best Ways {Guest Post}

I'm excited to welcome back Natalie Brenner as a guest poster again today. Natalie is a fellow sister in the infertility struggle, victorious through Jesus. Welcome back, Natalie, we're glad to have you!


motherhood lessons changes wrecking recreating recreation


When she placed him in my arms, my whole body released a tension I didn’t realize it carried and simultaneously grew a necessary wound in my heart.

The gravity of a tiny life—which wasn’t tiny at all—shifted my whole world, changing me.

I breathed in his sweetness, only to exhale a gripping understanding of the sacred moments I was living.

There in the hospital we existed in complete complexity: immense and unexplainable joy crashing right into immeasurable grief and tragedy.

I could have never prepared for the sacred weight those moments held: his first mama placing him into my arms to become his mama.

Those moments changed me. Those moments of her deeming me worthy to be mother to her son changed me in ways difficult to process.

As I transitioned from childless and waiting to full arms and full heart...so much of myself changed.

Or maybe I simply became more of who I was created to be.




Either way, He has been using motherhood to transform me by placing a magnifying glass over my greatest weaknesses and strengths.

As she handed her son to me, making me mama, I stepped further into who He created me to be.

A confidence I hadn’t yet experienced bubbled up inside of me as I grabbed ahold of the commitment to protect, serve, and raise my new son with everything I had.This confidence created in me a bold courage I didn’t otherwise have.

Simultaneously a humility laid into me, bringing to focus the reality that I had so much to learn and so far to grow. A humility reminding me continuously that he is hers in a way he’ll never be mine, and vice versa. A humility reminding me there are so many hurt humans walking around due to their parents lack of humility...and I was not about to step into parenthood thinking I knew it all.




Becoming a mom has made me both more fierce and more gentle.

Motherhood has been teaching me the importance of courage and bravery, even when unpopular and uncomfortable. Motherhood has been teaching me the importance of sitting on my hands and listening to other’s experiences without trying to teach in return. Motherhood has been teaching me both speaking up and quieting down, honesty and grace infused in every piece.

Becoming a mama has changed me by inching me further along in my process of becoming more like Him. It is sanctifying in all the hardest ways, demanding my self-control and patience, demanding I set aside idols and ideals and control.

I’ve only been at this mama-thing for just shy of 19 months. By the grace of Jesus, I have two one year olds. Mothering has stretched me thin and also built me up. It has taught me patience and endurance. It has cracked my heart wide open in the best ways possible and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.



Before I was made mama, I thought motherhood would be hard...but I also thought it would be a delight.

It is. It is such a delight and such a gift and something I do my best not to take for granted.

Becoming a mom has changed me and wrecked me and broken me and is recreating me...and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



NATALIE BRENNER is wife to Loren and mom to two under two. She authored This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the gifts of grief and fullness of life which will be released September 18. She likes her wine red, ice cream served by the pint, and conversations vulnerable.

Natalie believes in the impossible and hopes to create safe spaces for every fractured soul. You can love Jesus or not, go to church or not: she'd love to have coffee with you. Natalie is a bookworm, a speaker, and a wanna-be runner. Connect with her at NatalieBrennerWrites.com and join her popular email list.

Preorder her book, email her “I preordered,” and receive pretty prints: This Undeserved Life
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DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging habit, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. You may see a full disclosure by clicking on my "About" page. I will only promote products that I use, enjoy, or take a shine to. All opinions and reviews are my own and are not influenced by any compensation I may receive.