Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saying YES to Hospitality

*This isn't a typical "Yes to Adoption" post, but I feel like the Lord has been stirring in my heart to show you a part of our family that we don't often blog about.*

Some of you may know that my husband is a college pastor here in Alabama. We moved here a year and a half ago from Raleigh after Will finished seminary. In NC, we often hosted our small group in our home, and since moving here we have a weekly small group in our home and frequently have students over for events or small dinners.

Hospitality is something that is not foreign to me, because my mother is probably the most hospitable person ever. She is also a pastor's wife, but she has set the bar super high. If she ever invites you over for coffee, don't expect the McGee treatment you would get at my house (pick a mug out of the cabinet, pour yourself a cup out of the pot and let me find the sugar) - she would have teacups on a tray with pretty napkins, a sweet treat and a variety of sugars/creamers. She's amazing!

But as a seminary wife-turned college pastor's wife-I don't have the same hospitality styles as my mom, but the heart is the same. Here's a couple of things I've learned about doing ministry in our home:

1. Hospitality can be Low-Key. To have people over, you don't have to set out the china or even have a clean house. Food doesn't have to be amazing. I've served hot dogs and chips to people! The point of having people over is to get to know each other and to have community, not to showcase your culinary skills (unless you have them- then by means, showcase them and invite us over while you're at it). The relationships that form over a cup of coffee are more important than the cup of coffee. Now, if you have the hospitality talents of my mother, and enjoy taking the time to set up a pretty tray or a festive feast- then do it! Keep your hospitality efforts within your means and in the boundaries of what keeps you from being stressed. When we first got married, I used to stress out every time we had company because I thought everything had to be perfect in our entire apartment. I couldn't even really enjoy the company because I was worried that everything wasn't exactly right. Slowly, I loosened up. I'm not a perfect host, and I have people over while the laundry is running and my diapers are hanging up to dry in the living room.

2. Hospitality is about Inviting People into your Life. I recently read a book where a pastor's wife said she was intentional about making sure everything wasn't perfect every time they had guests- and even would answer the door in her pjs or without makeup at times just to show people that she is a real person too. Having people into your home allows them to see more of you- from your home decorating style, to the pictures you value enough to frame (for us you will see that amazing touristy Western picture we got made at Myrtle Beach a few years ago- complete with moneybag and gun). There is something more casual about being in a home rather than a restaurant. In a home, you're not rushed by the timeline of your meal and how soon you need to give up your table. In a home, you are showing off your flaws, your messy corners (I have a lot of those) and sharing your favorite chair or coffee cup.

3. Hospitality makes you Reach our of your Comfort Zone. Having people into your home may BE your comfort zone. I know I would prefer to watch a movie on our small tv or in our backyard than at someone else's house because I love being home. But, for others, having people over is awkward at first. When we moved to AL last year, every time we invited someone over at first was out of our comfort zone. We were readjusting to Alabama culture and were forcing ourselves to pursue relationships- which is not comfortable or easy. But the fruit of stepping out is relationships. It may be hard for you to invite someone over because you have lots of crazy kids, or your family has strict diet restrictions and you're afraid you wouldn't please your guests. Get over it! As I mentioned before, having a hospitable spirit doesn't mean everything is perfect. If it is completely stressful to have friends over while your kids are awake, do it at naptime or at night. Have a cookout in the backyard where you don't feel as enclosed. But having a hospitable home will always require SOME sacrifice (keeping toilet paper in stock, required cleaning, etc). But it is worth it.

4. Hospitality Teaches your Kids about who you Accept. Who you accept into your home, and the type of relationships your family pursues is speaking to your children. If there is no diversity in your houseguests, you are teaching your children that only certain types of people are worth investing in, loving, and developing relationships with. As mentioned before, hospitality can be awkward at first- but the relationships are what is important. Ask coworkers, or fringe friends or moms from the park to come over for playdates or coffee. You are setting an example for your kids- and if you are not having a diverse kitchen table, then you are teaching your kids that diverse relationships do not belong in your home.

5. Hospitality Reflects the Gospel. I'm sure you will agree that it is much easier to share the good news of Christ with those you actually know. How else will you know people unless you open up to them and develop relationships? By developing relationships with others, especially those who don't have something to give back or couldn't reciprocate hospitality, you are demonstrating the gospel. Pursuing relationships with others on the basis of just knowing and loving them, is a way to live missionally in whatever your context is. Perhaps you are a stay at home mom, you could invite another woman to meet monthly or weekly (whether play date or coffee date) and develop a discipleship or accountability relationship. If you're not in relationships with others, you cannot be making disciples.

I hope you will see that this is something we are passionate about. I certainly fail a lot at being hospitable and often choose my own comfort over the opportunity to love others. If you have any questions, please ask!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

Last weekend was one of those really, really good ones. It started off with the news that our next baby was a girl, and we could finally call our sweet baby by name (Edith Joy!)- read about that here.


After our ultrasound, my parents stayed in town for a bit longer and we all took a walk in the sunshine and then ate some delicious Mexican food! It was so nice to spend time with my parents.

Will had a BUSY weekend full of teaching- he was on a panel at an apologetics event and then was the speaker for our church's Disciple Now retreat for the youth. He had a late night Friday night speaking back-to-back events. He also had to speak on Saturday morning and Saturday evening, AND preach on Sunday morning for our church. He's such a talented preacher!

Since Will was busy Friday night, I was able to catch up with my college friend Kari! She found out the gender of her baby on Thursday (a girl!) and it was so fun to celebrate our daughters and to chat in person. She even shared her pink flowers with me!



Saturday Israel, my friend Lindsey and I went to a large consignment sale in Oxford, AL and I had a mission: get lots of girl clothes for Edith! Now, don't start feeling sorry for Israel because that kid has more clothes than he could ever wear! After spending $78, I came home with 26 outfits for our sweet girl.


Will surprised me with Taco Bell for lunch. Now let me go ahead and admit that Taco Bell has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures of this pregnancy. I love it. I don't care if you think it's gross.



Saturday afternoon Israel and I headed to his friend's 2nd birthday party! It was at a bounce house and he had so much fun at the party!

We came home, Israel got a quick nap and then we headed to the university for our favorite school event- the International House Taster's Fair! Every year, the international students host an event where they provide an amazing dinner with a taste from every country. We were MOST excited that our friend Simret provided delicious Ethiopian food! It was a fun, free dinner with our awesome college students. Israel even wore his Ethiopian outfit!

Sunday Will preached an amazing sermon and after lunch, during Israel's nap, Will and I took a picnic blanket in the backyard and "read" aka took naps in the sunshine! It was so relaxing and reminded me of all of the times we would study on that picnic blanket while we dated! When Israel woke up, we went on a walk downtown and just soaked in the beautiful weather.


We're loving the spring!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pregnancy: It's A...

Friday morning was our ultrasound! I was so excited in the days leading up to the big day. My parents came in Thursday night and spent the night with us. It was fun to catch up with them! We woke up on Friday morning and Will made all of us strawberry pancakes (he's the best pancake maker I know!).

Will and I headed to the doctor appointment while my parents watched Israel. I was really thankful for this because last time we took Israel with us, and it was hard to focus on what the doctor was saying (or really hear the heartbeat) when Israel was so distracting. This time, it was just us and it was really special. As soon as we got there, we went back to the ultrasound tech and she showed us our healthy baby! It was amazing to see how much the baby had grown since our 7 week ultrasound. The ultrasound tech soon told us the news we wanted to hear: it's a girl!

I cried when she told us the news. I've wanted a girl ever since we got pregnant. I don't know if it is just because we already have the COOLEST, cutest little boy we could ever parent, or the fact that I just want to have a little girl to connect with and teach and dress. The whole pregnancy, I would talk about our baby girl and we only had a girl name. I just couldn't settle on a boy name because I had such hope that it would be a girl. The Lord is so good, and even if we had been told it was a boy I would have been excited, but having a girl just seemed like such a blessing. We have the most perfect, adorable son ever and now he will have sister to love and protect. I'm so thrilled.

So, the name: Edith Joy!


Edith. We chose Edith a long time ago, after deciding that we wanted to name this child after someone. We thought carefully about Israel's name (read about it here) and wanted our other children to have intentional names as well. Our Edith is named after Edith Schaeffer. The Schaeffers were a missionary couple in Europe and Edith is an exemplary woman who is known for her hospitality, grace, selflessness, faith, and willingness to go or do anything so that others will know the truth of the gospel. Edith is a model of biblical womanhood, and we hope that our daughter will also be such a woman. She is also an author, and her book L'Abri (titled after the name of her home and ministry that she founded) was such an inspiration to me as I hope to keep an open home that will allow others to know Christ. 

Joy. Continuing the theme of naming after people, Joy was the name of C.S.Lewis's wife. Now, they were only married a brief time before she passed away, but Lewis's books and life have been influential (to say the least) to us and we love to honor him in our family as well. We also loved Joy because that is an attribute that we hope our Edith will portray. Not happiness, but joy found in Christ alone. Just as our son Israel's middle name means "blessed" we hope that our daughter's life will be a testimony of the joy we have through Christ.

Another fun fact is that after we told our family the name (we waited until we had official news of gender to share our name, just like we waited to share Israel's name until his referral) it turns out that I had a great- aunt Edith! She was a ballet teacher and secretary for the governor of Mississippi! I never met her, but it is fun that this is a family name too.

We are so thrilled about our new addition and feel overwhelmed with gratefulness for another blessing in our family. Thanks for rejoicing with us!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Sickness, Post-Adoption Report and a few other Randoms

1. Last week, our family had THE SICKNESS. It started with Will on Wednesday night around 11pm, and at 1am we heard Israel screaming from his crib, covered in throw up. Will was very sick himself, and we bathed Israel and calmed him down enough to finally get back to sleep. Thursday morning, Will still had a stomach bug of various sorts, and thankfully Israel was acting his normal, happy self for most of the day. During Israel's naptime, I managed to buy $60 worth of gatorade, Pedialyte, crackers, soups, etc. Why is getting sick so expensive? Will was in a comatose state and slept through the two Redbox movies I rented. That night, I was sitting on the couch when a sudden first-trimester flashback hit me, and I barely made it to the bathroom without throwing up everywhere! I joined in the sickness fun. Israel had some diarrhea, Will started to feel better, and I earned the most-sick award so I got to rest a bit while Will parented. It was really rough. Thankfully, Friday we were a more tired, but seemingly healthy version of ourselves and were sickness-free all around. Being sick as a family is not one of those bonding moments you dream of. To celebrate our recovery, we cashed in on a Cracker Barrel gift card Saturday night for the most delicious first-real-meal food ever.

2. Wednesday the 13th we had our last post-adoption report with our social worker! She was writing our 12 month report, and we are officially done with all paperwork for Israel's adoption. Every year on his birthday until he is 18 we will send in a small update to Ethiopia, but it will be much simpler than this. I'm thankful to be done!

3. A local church here in Jacksonville hosts a large consignment sale every season, and I was able to participate in consigning and volunteering this time. Israel didn't need that much, but it was nice to buy a few things for him and the new baby for FREE because of the money we made consigning! I'm planning on consigning again in the fall, although I'm going to do all of the prep work months in advance because it will happen right after baby #2 arrives.

4. Speaking of baby #2, we find out the gender TODAY (I'm 17.5 weeks, by the way). I'm really excited! My mom & dad drove in last night so they could watch Israel during our OB appointment. Last time, Will and I took Israel and we could barely hear the baby's heartbeat over Israel's singing/crying. Unfortunately, our appointment times seem to line up with his naptime so it wasn't the best timing to bring him. I'm thankful that our parents are willing to drive up and keep him for this exciting appointment!

5. I took Israel to tour his future daycare the other day. He will be going to daycare at his Early Intervention clinic 2 days a week starting in April. I'm really excited/nervous/scared/happy/everything. I'm really hoping that this will be a great step forward for Israel in a lot of ways. I'm excited about having 2 days to really work on schoolwork so that I don't have to be a distracted mama when I start classes soon. And I'm really hopeful that the time away will increase our bond and attachment, but allow Israel the freedom to make healthy relationships with peers and other adults too. 

6. Other important/ fun things on the horizon: seeing my sister and brother for my birthday in 2 weeks, registering for grad school classes (ahh!) in April, and a little beach vacation with our friends the Bratchers! Can't wait for Israel and Hewan to be reunited again!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seventeen Months!

Israel,

Today you are 17 months old! Yikes, how are you this big? Next month you'll be halfway to your SECOND birthday, and I'm just not ready for that!

This month you have had a few milestones. Another tooth poked through so you have FOUR top teeth and TWO bottom teeth....six total! You are officially done with bottles and I am proud of how easy the transition was for you! You even stopped wanting milk right before bed in your sippy cup- you got to the point where you would just be so silly with it and spit it out, shake your cup to make it squirt, or let it drip down your cheeks when you smiled. Have I mentioned you are very silly?

You are babbling non stop these days! We still don't have any new words but you seem to know what you are saying to us. If I agree with you or just say "yeah, uh huh" while you talk, you just smile and keep going. Sometimes you will just sit and talk at us until we look at you and you finally get our attention!

You had a few big trips this month- one to North Carolina where you got to see your Buhler cousins and lots of aunts and uncles and your Nana and Papa. On this trip you received a new TV for the car and we introduced Elmo, as Mama couldn't handle the 6 hours of screaming that you were providing. Whatever works, right? You also stayed with your Gaga and Pops one night by yourself while your mom &dad went off to celebrate their anniversary. You did great for them, and you even got to spend time with Gran and Bowie!

This month we started OT and Speech therapy on top of physical therapy, and we learned lots of new things to do with you. You are already doing a great job at making choices, and you will choose which book you want or which cup you want (milk or juice). You've started to feed yourself the squirt pouches of pureed foods and it is really nice to just hand you a snack and watch you finish it! I'm so proud.

Son, we love you so much! You bring so much joy to us. It is hard to believe that this time last year, we were just coming home from our first trip to Ethiopia where we met you and fell in love with all the details about you. We are so thankful to be your parents. Even on the hard and fussy days, we wouldn't trade you for anything.

Much love,

Mama

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pregnancy: The First Trimester

I'm thankful to be out of the first trimester! We found out on December 14th that I was pregnant, which was very early.

We decided to tell our parents and siblings for Christmas, even though I was only a few weeks along. There is a history of miscarriages in my family and I wanted to have the support of close family if something happened to our baby. They were all so excited and supportive.

Before we even found out about being pregnant, I started to feel sick. I had typical pregnancy symptoms- nausea, exhaustion, sore and tender body parts, cramps, etc. The first few weeks of my pregnancy were somewhat of a fog as I tried to be a mom and wife when I felt like I had no energy to give. The worst part was when Will left me for two weeks for a conference + for school. I was so thankful for my friend coming to visit and for being able to get some respite at my in-law's house!

I tried not to take Zofran that often, but there were definite times that I needed something! I did get in the habit of picking up a Sprite during my grocery trips :). I had some serious food aversions and there were times that I had to just walk away from any foods before I got sick! (Including at the Created for Care retreat- I had to walk out of dinner once!)

We got to see our baby on January 3rd at my 7 week appointment. It was very surreal seeing a baby on the screen, and I had been in some disbelief up until that moment. There was proof that there truly was a living baby inside of me!

Around 10 weeks/ at the Created for Care conference was a huge turning point for me. I don't know if it was hormones or just spiritual attack, but for the first part of my pregnancy I had a really hard time accepting that I was pregnant and being excited about it. I carried a lot of guilt and fear around. I worried about how I would handle having two small children, and how I would be able to care for Israel's special needs with a newborn. I didn't feel equipped for this. I felt guilty that I wasn't overjoyed when I knew so many women wanted to be pregnant and weren't.

God was so faithful though. I had some amazing friends praying for me, and at the retreat I was prayed over by two strangers who spoke into my heart about how God is sovereign and He picked me for these two kids- not because I am equipped but because God is faithful and He will be glorified in my weakness. I am so thankful that God blesses me even when I don't deserve it and when I am ungrateful for His gifts.

So to sum up the first trimester? Classic first trimester symptoms, and a huge transformation in my heart. It's not like I hadn't wanted to get pregnant or have another child BEFORE we got pregnant, but when there was a definite by-August-there-will-be-two-kids, I got really scared. And God was faithful and taught me so much in the first trimester. I'm so thankful for this baby and for what God has already taught me through this pregnancy.

I will say, the first trimester of pregnancy... MUCH EASIER (and less expensive-ha!) than the first trimester of adoption. The first trimester of adoption is all paperwork, writing lots of checks, and waiting on people to do their jobs quickly. You're still exhausted, but probably more stressed when it comes to first trimester of adoptions :). You know I can't help but compare these journeys! I can't believe it has been 3 years since we started our adoption process!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Journey to a Second Child

I always knew I wanted kids back to back. In fact, long ago I used to pin nurseries with two cribs on my pinterest boards, because I just knew I would have two crib-needing babies at one time. The urge to have a second child started even before Israel was home. I mentioned before how the spark for adoption was still very much alive when we came home with Israel, because we saw how his crib was already filled at the orphanage.

What I didn't expect was the complete roller coaster of emotions that I experienced this last year. Adopt or get pregnant? Those options seemed to battle within my heart and I had months where I wanted to fully commit to each option. Let me hash it out for you:

As soon as we had our referral last December, it was finally OK to get pregnant, because at the time our agency had a no-pregnancy rule until you were referred. So once we knew that little Biruk was ours, we could get pregnant and not worry about never having an Ethiopian babe first. But time wise, I didn't really want a newborn and a freshly one year old at the same time. The interesting thing was that until we got our referral, I had NO DESIRE to get pregnant. The entire time of our adoption, I had no interest in carrying a child and even pitied friends who would get pregnant because of the changes they would go through, the trials of pregnancy, and the experience of childbirth. I often feared that I would get pregnant during the adoption process, and that we would lose our opportunity to adopt first. Would I love our biological child if it meant the loss of our Ethiopian one?

So, when the opportunity to get pregnant finally arrived... the desire was suddenly there in a way that it had not been for our entire marriage. This was around December- February of last year. We didn't "try" but in the back of my head I wondered if that was next for us.

Then, we went to Ethiopia, and the following months we knew we HAD to adopt again. Leaving Ethiopia the second time was gut wrenching as we knew that we had to do something more. Bringing one child into a family wasn't enough.

But at the same time, when Israel was newly home, I desired so much to have had the physical connection with him that pregnancy and breastfeeding would have provided. I envied our birth mom and at the same time, I thought that maybe if I got pregnant I could somehow identify with her.

August- October 2012 I was full on adoption mode again. It was really fun to be older this time and have lots of options for international countries! It made me grateful for such an easy decision the first time. We contacted a lot of agencies about adopting HIV positive kids, their policies on birth order, how much time we needed to wait between adoptions, etc. We looked at a few countries pretty seriously and then decided we might stick with domestic this time, because it was where our heart was. We really liked this one company that works with several agencies at one time. So, we settled on waiting until January 2013 to start because Israel would be 15 months old and home 8 months at that time.

In November Will and I had a little retreat to talk about our future and we agreed that both biological and adoptive kids were in it. We wanted to be careful not to elevate adoption as an idol and look down on pregnancy as a lesser option. (Some of you may not understand that, but if you are deep in the adoption community you'll probably get that).

November also was a time where things with Israel's therapies and development seemed to get a bit more complicated. So we agreed to just WAIT for now. Until God makes it clear, we're staying put and not moving forward in any direction.

Then on December 13, I saw a message on our agency forum that a domestic adoption agency in Texas had a shortage of adoptive families per birth moms, and had a desperate need for adoptive parents. I went ahead and sent an inquiry with lots of questions, and then forwarded the email to Will.I sent an email to the adoption agency in Texas. I really didn't have that butterfly feeling or a sense of "this is it!" but just felt like it was something I needed to do because we wanted to adopt again, and there was a need. It was more out of obligation than desire. Will told me that he wasn't really sure that was for us. 

December 14, I woke up not feeling my best. That entire week, Israel had been having some pretty awful teething and neither of us had slept much. There had been a lot of crying on his part and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was talking to my sister about how we had been going back and forth about adopting or getting pregnant, when it suddenly hit me that I might be pregnant right then. I don't know why I thought that so clearly, but I decided to go get a few tests from the store just in case.

Lo and behold, there was a positive test. Then another. And a third just for good measure. What? Was this happening?

I was in shock. Just the day before I'd inquired about adoption. And now, we were pregnant. I couldn't wait to tell Will. He came home for lunch about an hour later and I basically attacked him with the news when he walked in. He was thrilled!

I, however, was just shocked. Excited? Yes, but more filled with fear, confusion, and disbelief. The entire first trimester was a roller coaster of emotions for me as I grieved our adoption timeline and also grew in excitement for our growing baby.

So, we're having a biological child next. I'll be honest that my mixed emotions have left me with some guilt. We still want to adopt. I still plan to start grad school this year. Israel still has special needs that require a lot of attention. But God is faithful and we are excited about this new adventure and trust in God's sovereignty as He opened my womb for the purpose of His glory.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Anniversaries!

This week has a lot of BIG anniversaries for us!

First off, just a few days ago was our FOURTH wedding anniversary for me and Will! I am so thankful for four years of marriage! Each year has had its challenges, but I am so thankful for the journey we have had together. This last year was CERTAINLY the most eventful for us!





For our anniversary Will and I went to Chattanooga, TN, for one night. We left Israel with his grandparents and he did great! Meanwhile, Will and I enjoyed a VERY relaxing trip- with a trip to the movies, lots of eating, and a load of people watching thanks to a science fiction convention being held at the same hotel we stayed at. We didn't have the courage to sneak too many pictures but we did get this great one. Lots of costumed adults all weekend! It was wonderful and hilarious and a bit creepy.



In addition to our wedding anniversary, we are celebrating the anniversary of becoming a family of three! Last year on March 5, Will and I stood before the Ethiopian court and were told that our little boy was now a McGee. To read all about our first trip to Ethiopia, click here.

When we met Israel for the first time!



What a year it has been. With anniversaries come a lot of reflection, and even little Israel is dealing with the anniversary of our first meeting. It may be hard for those of you not in the adoption community to understand, but if you ARE in the adoption world, then you will fully understand that adoption is not without loss. The anniversary of adoption does not always trigger happy feelings in kids, and even little Israel has had some regression and hard times in the last few weeks due to what we believe is anniversary trauma. We were certainly educated about this by our agency and veteran adoptive parents, but ti see it flesh out in your own child is heartbreaking at times. We are reminded that it is a lifetime commitment to prove to Israel that we are his parents and that we will not abandon him.

As we have seen before, and as we are trusting now- we know that God is faithful. He has brought us through so much and He will continue to deliver us and to shape us through all of this. We are so thankful for our sweet boy, for the precious years we have spent together as a couple, and for the exciting years ahead. Let these anniversaries only represent what a faithful God we have.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sixteen Months!

Israel turned 16 months on February 12... this post is a bit late!

Israel,

You are 16 months old! It is hard to believe that you are getting so big. You are so much fun right now! We are absolutely delighted with you sweet boy.

You are still eating table foods and will eat anything we give you. We are trying to switch from bottles to sippy cup full time but we are letting you have your night time and nap time bottles still! You are still taking 2 naps, the first being very short and the afternoon being around 1.5-2 hours. There was a few weeks where you and I snuggled every day for the afternoon nap and although it just melted my heart, it spoiled you a bit too much! You started to regress with your sleep habits so your daddy said NO mama/Israel naps everyday! We still sneak them on occasion but not every day.

This month you have just become SO much more talkative. We still have no idea what all the babbling is that you're saying, but it is adorable and you love it when I talk back to you like we're having a conversation. You still love to sing and you have a pterodactyl yell whenever you're unhappy, so our house is pretty much a constant buzz of Israel noises.

You are so silly these days. We've definitely figured out some guaranteed giggle triggers, but you will sometimes just laugh to yourself while staring at a wall or rubbing your hand on your face. You're so funny!

This month we took another middle of the night trip to the Emergency Room because you were having some major stomach trouble, which led to the introduction of apple juice! Yes, I had been holding out on you but for good reason. Now, even with diluted apple juice you are so hyper and act so silly for like 2 hours after you have it! I don't really want to keep giving it to you everyday, but until you have normal bathroom episodes then we must.

Physical therapy has continued, although we skipped a few times this month due to sickness. You're getting so strong but things just haven't really progressed like we thought. We're still hopeful for you and we are going to work hard to keep doing your exercises at home.

Sweet boy, you are a joy to love. We go into your room each night after you've fallen asleep and just stare at you sleeping. Sometimes I pick you up and snuggle you for a few minutes because I love the way you just melt into my arms. We are so in love with you and so proud to be your parents.

Much love,

Mama


Friday, March 1, 2013

Back from the Break!

Thanks for being patient with me while I took the month of February off from blogging! It was honestly very freeing to not have to think about updating/writing. Also, I am sure I missed so much as I didn't check my blog reader very often at all (maybe 2-3 times during the entire month!). I hope that I get a chance to "catch up" but I honestly don't know if I will. I really enjoyed the month of decluttering my life a bit.

In addition to not being a part of the blog community for a month, I decided to delete all the fluff off my phone except for Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Gmail. Let me tell you how boring it was when I was stuck in the rocking chair with Israel and had nothing to entertain me with on my phone! It also showed me how much time I had wasted on my phone, because the first few days I noticed how habitually I grabbed my phone to look at stuff and soon realized there wasn't anything new to see.

Lesson learned? Taking a break is good. I am excited to share some fun things with you all in the coming days, but I think balance is such an important word for me. I need to make sure I'm balancing how much time I spend on the internet/phone and how much I spend interacting with real people in front of me!

Love you all, thanks for your patience!
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