where we are.

Over the past month, our family has experienced a lot of change. And from what I understand, the saying goes that change is hard. Regardless of what change is taking place, there is an adjustment period and, in case you’ve never experienced it, it can be hard.

But, as I was discussing with a friend yesterday, there is “good hard” and “bad hard”. And I am grateful that, for us, all of this change has been “good hard”.

I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with this new little life (who we recently found out is another sweet BOY whom we have named Case Daniel) and my pregnancy is going faster than I’m really prepared to acknowledge. Baby shower dates are being finalized and I passed my glucose test and now I have a stack of bins of clothes to go through, but we are treading water in this house, making barely any forward progress. We have no plans currently in place to redesign Dax’s room to be a shared room, and we have yet to reorganize our own bedroom to allow for a newborn. But there is still time and we are enjoying where we are.

One thing we have done in preparation for a growing family is take a serious leap of faith; facing the reality of no paid maternity leave or short-term disability, Dan and I (with the help of a very dear friend) made the decision for me to quit my job to work full time as a freelancer. (That’s a lot of reason for my blog silence; finding time to work on my own blog has taken a backseat to the blogs of my clients. In related news, I LOVE MY NEW JOB!) Since making that transition, I’ve fully embraced the idea of “good hard” change. For instance, now that I work from home, the hardest thing I deal with is not working too much, and slotting out dedicated times throughout my day where I am 100% focused on being with Dax. Since Dax is such an independent little soul (who still takes 4-hour naps in the afternoon!) I could easily spend my entire day at my laptop plowing away at my work while he plays, pausing briefly to have short conversations (usually about trains) and to throw together a little lunch or a snack. But I prefer to give him my undivided attention for good portions of the day when he’s awake, so finding that balance is a bit of a challenge.

Compared with the “bad hard” Dan and I both dealt with while I was working full time outside the home, this is certainly preferable.

Dax, being the fierce introvert that he is, absolutely loves our new routine where he is home with me more. Every morning he tells me that he wants to “stay home with Mama and wear Spiderman jammies and play with trains!” And maybe it’s a coincidence, but I feel like the number of time outs he earns has dwindled a bit (not that he isn’t being very two and pushing a lot of boundaries lately).

Lots of change. But lots of “good hard” change, resulting in higher spirits around our house and increased sense of gratitude for this precious little life we get to live together.

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love.

We cannot see light. We can only see the things the light illuminates. When we walk along the beach at sunset, we don’t say to ourselves, “What a pretty light.” We say, “What beautiful colors in the sky. What amazing sparkles dancing on top of the waves. What a beautiful sunset.

Similarly, we cannot see love. We can only see the people in our lives illuminated by our love. When I see my son or my husband, I don’t say to myself, “How amazing is love?” But instead, “How incredible are these people I’m blessed to call my family? The way my husband laughs makes me smile. The way my son holds my hand brings me such joy. I love them so much.”

Love does not “exist” but rather brings things and people into existence.

And for that I am grateful.

reality.

Like I was saying the other day, no one can prepare you for the things you believe you are capable of and the things you actually are capable of. This goes both ways; just like you are far more capable of doing certain things that you might think you can’t, there are some other things that you feel capable of that you just aren’t.

This is what we like to call a reality check.

For me, September and October have been the months of reality checks. For some reason, these two months I’ve gotten some wild hairs up my butt or SOMETHING that have “inspired” (???) me to try a bunch of new things.

But not just try them — dive head first into them.

  • Blog everyday for 31 days
  • Work out everyday for 30 days
  • Reread the entire Harry Potter series (I’m on book 6 since starting 5 weeks ago)
  • Meal plan every week
  • Come up with and maintain weekly chores schedule
  • Continue doing other life things as usual

Let me just be honest and say that this blog post is not like the one in which I find out I’m capable of way more than I think I am. Oh, on the contrary. REALITY CHECK: I am stretched T H I N.

But it’s all good, though! Because sleep is great. And sometimes I do that sleep thing.

joy.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10

“As soon as we pay off our student loans, then we can really enjoy life.”

“As soon as my son passes the ‘terrible twos’ and stops throwing tantrums over dinner, we’ll be in good shape.”

“As soon as I learn how to master every chore in the most efficient way possible, then I can really relax on weekends.”

These are just a handful of “if, then” statements I’ve muttered to myself over the past few years. There are plenty more, but they are all essentially the same in that they don’t allow me to experience joy until certain stars align. I get myself so focused on the THEN, that I feel like I can’t possibly enjoy the NOW.

I was thinking about that this week as I was preparing the discussion for our monthly small group and the above scripture jumped out at me. It is Jesus speaking and, in most teachings, the “thief” he refers to Satan. And certainly I think this still applies. But there are plenty of other thieves that Satan employs in our lives that come to kill and destroy the abundant life that God has promised:

  • work stress
  • financial woes
  • health issues
  • comparison
  • mean people
  • and many more.

The thing about that scripture is that there isn’t a waiting period. It’s not like, “As soon as Lindsay gets back from vacation, then the thief will steal her joy with a pile of demanding emails.” Or, “As soon as Lindsay’s paid off all her student loans, then the thief will attack her with a four-digit hospital bill.” The thief doesn’t play that game.

But thankfully, neither does the Savior. He doesn’t say in that verse, “As soon as Lindsay goes on vacation, then I will give her an abundant life.” Or “As soon as Lindsay can figure out how to tithe on the regular, then I will rain money on her head.”

It is automatic. Abundant life is automatic.

Joy is automatic.

We just have to quit waiting for it to show up.

Sure I haven’t paid off all my student loans yet; but I can afford my rent and I can buy groceries at Publix.

And sure my kid is in his terrible twos; but being his mama, I’m also his absolute #1 favorite person in the whole entire world.

And the scoreboard of my life is currently LAUNDRY-49, LINDSAY-0, but I have clothes on my back to keep me warm (regardless of their state of cleanliness and/or wrinkledness).

Joy abounds RIGHT NOW. Be glad in it.

rescheduled.

When you are getting ready to have kids, everyone around you (both those who have and have not had children yet) love to shower you with things — diapers (yay!), blankets, cute outfits your baby will likely wear once or twice before outgrowing them, hand-me-downs (more yay), and, of course, advice.

I got all kinds of advice when I was pregnant with and newly mothering Dax:

  • sleep when he sleeps (lol really why is this even advice, it’s so ridiculous)
  • breastfeed
  • formula-feed
  • cloth diapers are best
  • disposable diapers are best
  • swaddling always calms babies down
  • don’t give him a pacifier
  • please give him a pacifier

…and so on and so forth.

Some of it worked for us (shout out, pacifiers). A lot of it didn’t. But we did find that one of the most helpful suggestions was to try and get Dax on an eat-play-sleep schedule. It took a little while but by the end of my maternity leave (when Dax was 8 weeks old) he was sleeping “through the night” (meaning only waking once or twice to nurse and then falling immediately back to sleep) and napping through the day and we were all happy and sane-ish and loving life.

Thing is, since we chose to breastfeed, the schedule we implemented has always involved me. And since he has yet to wean, I’m still a pretty integral part to nap times and bedtime. But since he turned two and started school Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ve all kind of had to live with a pretty irregular day-to-day schedule. Sometimes I can be there to nurse him, sometimes I can’t. Don’t worry, though — on days I can’t he does great. (Basically, if Mama’s in the house, nursing needs to happen OR ELSE. But if she’s not, it’s cool.)

Mondays are days I usually can’t be there. Dan works from home and I leave the house before Dax wakes up and come home after he has gone to bed. So on my way home from work tonight I swung by my friend’s house and had her touch up my latest dye-job. (Red, guys!) But being that she was rushed and I was also rushed, she sent me home with the dye still in my hair and the cape still around my neck and instructed me to wash it the second I got home.

When I walked through the door I expected to see Dax’s door closed and hear the soothing sounds of the white noise machine telling me he was fast asleep in his crib. But nope. Instead I found him wide awake in his Spider-Man jammies all ready for bed and ALL READY FOR MAMA TO DO BEDTIME, YAY!

Mama with her goopy head of hair dye. Mama who couldn’t do ANYTHING AT ALL, much less snuggle a toddler, until she got in the shower and all the color was washed out of her hair.

I’m sure you can imagine how well that went over. But Dan just told me to go on into the shower and he would handle it. I washed my hair as I heard Dax cry for me in the other room.

When I got out of the shower pushing 10PM, Dan said to me, “So I got Dax to calm down. But only because I told him you would go in to his room once you got done…you know, if you could.”

This frustrated me because it was already so late, and he should be going to school tomorrow so he should be getting up early, and me going into his room would only make him excited to nurse and snuggle and keep him awake longer. My head was telling me, “Just let him get over it. He’ll fall asleep and be fine.”

But my gut said, “Nah. Just see if he’s still awake. What’s one night pushing bedtime back? Even if it IS till 9:30?”

So I went in anyway. And sure enough, there he was, quiet as a mouse but awake and waiting for me. He sat up when he saw me.

“Mama milk!”

So I pulled him out of the crib and we snuggled and nursed and I rubbed his back and smelled his freshly-washed head. And after a little while I looked down at him and said, “Bubs, it’s time for night night. Can we do one more milk then night night?”

I braced myself for a tantrum but instead, he popped up off my chest and said, “One more milk! Night night!” And he nursed one more time, and then said, “Night night!” And laid down on my chest.

Then I placed him in his crib, gave him his TWO pacifiers (wasn’t kidding about that shout out), his plush Spider-Man and plush Elmo, and put his blankie over him. I bent down to kiss him and said, “Night night, Bubs. Love you.”

Then I walked to the door of his room and just as my finger tips were about to reach the handle I heard what made it all worth it:

“Love Mama.”

fire.

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Tonight I discovered the hard way that if you stand in a swamp or marsh long after sunset, you might feel a fire ignite around your toes and spread up your legs. And when you scream and pant and try to put out that flame with your hands, they too will become engulfed. And when you finally get to a light source you will find that it isn’t actual fire, but fire ants, and they have now scorched your appendages with their fiery poison and, thus, now own you.

That said…

Happy write31days! My theme is simple: 31 days of discovery. Come along with me!

[DISCLAIMER] This post is so short because I left my computer at work and I’m blogging through the WordPress app which is trés annoying.