Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thankful.

The house lays still as Over the Rhine calls me to my secret thoughts.  The sirens have stopped professing our fate.  The rain has decided to heed our cries to regress and come again another day.  My mind is finally free to nurture all the ideas that yearn to stretch and grow.
Winter is coming.  The fear of being a stay at home mom in the blistering cold months is popping like corn in a kettle.  The Shining comes to mind.  Everyday Charlee wakes up and says, "Where are we going or who is coming over?"  I think it might cramp both of our styles.  Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The push and pull of life seems to be at it's peak this time of year.  There are so many things to be thankful for.  Holding Aubrey and Isaac and feeling their little heartbeats, seeing the same nurses taking care of Amy...I am brought right back to those first nights that I held those little, familiar strangers in my arms.  I still remember the overwhelming emotion of just watching these two noses scrunch in protest of the cool hospital air...or maybe it was my morning breath.  The anxiety that these fragile faces were my responsibility now were enough to make me disappear in anticipation of complete failure.
The twins are almost 7 months now and I still sit and marvel at those adorable faces that are just begging to be covered in my utmost adoration.  I watch them stare at each other in complete confusion and unexplainable affection.
I have the best circle of support that anyone could ask for.  I have aunts that will drop anything to help.  I have mothers that will take the kids so that Bran and I can take time to remember that first and foremost...we are married to each other...not the kids.  I have a brother, sisters, friends and cousins and neighbors that want to know how I am doing, try to help when my answer of "fine" isn't as convincing as I think it is.  I am covered by such graceful humans that tell me I'm great when I really really really need every pore to let those words sink in and take root.  This village has lessened grey hairs and shown me what Jesus looks like in flesh and it's the most beautiful thing I could ever thank God for.
I can't forget the boy with the curls who makes me laugh until my sides hurt.  We've been through more in the past 3 years than most people will ever experience.  Mostly behind the scenes, we've learned what love really looks like when things get tough and don't go by the book.  We've figured out that marriage isn't to make you happy, but to make you holy.  Nothing displays grace like fessing up to your biggest fears and deepest rooted baggage.  And there is no greater feeling that knowing you are loved anyway.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Real time.

There are simply no words to describe todays exhaustion. Every sense begs for release and rest.  Every nerve tingles with sensitivity.  You may think (so people have said to me)..."I think I am tired and I don't even have children!"  Let me be clear, I think everyone hits this point.  Single, married, kids, grandchildren...every person feels the heat of their tears when they evaluate a bad day.  Every person searches for answers where there are none.  Each and every one of us grasp the thin, dry air of our sanity as it slips through our weary bones. No one is exempt from sorrow.  No one is lacking their very own ragged, dirty baggage.  We've all had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (or week, or month, or year, or 3 years).
Emotionally, I am spent.  My beloved tear ducts used to be nicknamed Old Faithful.  Now, they've run dry, unable to physically produce the evidence of the condition of my heart. This isn't woe is me.  This is my effort to be real.  And there is no need to display the messy details. I'm just trying to remember, it's ok if you want to put on a happy face but more importantly, I don't always have to be ok.  When I am not ok, that is where the growing and the stretching happens.  That is where the secret doors of my heart are found. That is where character is able to be fed and flourish.  
Physically, I need to work out.  Between the lost sleep and the skipping meals, I may be down in weight but I have never felt more unhealthy.  My nails are pealing and my hair is falling out.  I look like a hot mess and occasionally I will put on something (somewhat) clean and leave the house.  I used to read those magazine articles about how to keep looking great after marriage.  One of the tips said, "Occasionally, don't wear your sweats to the dinner table.  Put on nice clothes and you will feel more confident."  When I first read it I was a newlywed.  I laughed and thought...I don't even own sweats.  Now...I still don't technically own sweats, but I just wear Bran's.  ALL. THE. TIME.  I think that might be worse.  I need to take care of myself. For me.  Only for me.
Mentally.  Yikes.  I hate to admit how impatient I have become for babies who don't understand that I don't have four arms and a toddler who just wants to know why I said Ok "like that".  I am so starved for adult conversation that I carried on with the Duke rep who called to schedule an appointment, the mail lady, and the check out lady at Kroger.  Seriously guys...it was sad.  I need a job out of the house that I can feel a tad bit of normality.  All of you amazing stay at home mommas are probably cringing inside to hear the truth from my fingers...but I just need a break from the insanity that ensues.  Every single night. And day.  And mid morning.  
So, sorry to be Debby Downer.  I just felt like sharing my personal struggles in hopes that writing them out would give them less power.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Life. Unfiltered.

The saddest songs are happiest.  The hardest truths are the easiest.  Put yourself to the test and see if you still need me.  Oh sweet soul, why must you cry?  Why must you be made of sugar and spice and everything nice when there are so many rainy days ahead?
My body aches.  It's not the "hey! great workout alysun!" ache (I forget what that feels like).  It's the life ache.  The heart ache.  The inevitable ache of being real.  Living and breathing and blood pumping through your veins seems effortless...except when you are aware of every nerve.  It's not so easy to exhale when an invisible elephant has taken a seat on your ribcage.  Forgive my transparency.  I hate the "Life gives you lemons? Make lemonade."  Life doesn't always supply the sugar and water.  And, here's something I just learned...lemons go bad if you don't use them.  I really had no idea.  I feel the same way with parts of my heart.  They've gone bad.  They've taken a turn.
Being is easy.  Just be.  But to live, to really live...God has a front row seat to some beautiful disasters.  Being a wife is hard.  Being a wife when you don't want to be anything but a sponge in hot bath is humbling.  Being a mom is hard.  Being a mom to twin newborns and a 3 year old feels damn near impossible.
Make no mistake, I could not be more grateful for the blessing God has overflowed my cup with.  I just feel the need to be real life.  I have found myself, more than ever, comparing myself.  To facebook statuses.  To pictures of friends and strangers.  To a life that I don't necessarily feel entitled to, but sometimes secretly wish I had.  Oh, your husband only does amazing things because that's what you post on facebook.  Your kids , always well mannered and in constant entertainment of your perfect parenting.  Your house?  Perfectly decorated by Pinterest with homemade crafts that look like the picture.  Again, I am not saying we should post our drama on these here intranets.  I appreciate you leaving your business, just that...yours.  I am just here to say, (as if I had ANYONE fooled)...I am not perfect.  Sometimes we go whole days in our pjs and I forget to brush Charlee's teeth (there...I said it.).  Sometimes I cry right along with the twins.  Brandon and I have some of the craziest throw down (not literally...easy guys) fights that would make Jesus blush.  Our house hasn't been dusted since March and polka dots of spitup is the new design on our furniture.  I want you to know--I am real.  I am really living...most days.  I look at the person I see on the screen and assume that every day their husband brings them breakfast in their self carved wooden dream boat.  I assume couples don't fight.  I assume your house is perfect.  I assume you are a parent that never tires and would never give in to the "Can I please watch Brave AGAIN (3rd time in a day)?" requests.  I know you aren't.  And most of you aren't putting yourself out to be that way.  I am just making an ass out of you and me.  And I'm trying to stop.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy birthday Dad.

I woke up in a funk. As I stepped out of the shower, I realized the true culprit of my mood.  Not only is it that blasted heinous Tuesday, but today my daddy would have been 64.  No.  Today my daddy SHOULD have been 64.   After a rough start to the morning, I realized Bran had left his lunch at home as he rushed out the door with Charlee.  I called him to see if he was close enough to turn around.  He said he wasn't but that he was just dialing my number to tell me what Charlee had said.  "I love Mommy.  I love to hug her and I love to kiss her."  My heart felt pulled in 2 directions.  The innocent love of a child is something no one could ever duplicate nor prepare you for.  Those words pierced my heavy heart.  I had wished my dad could be around to know her, to love her, to invest in her the ways he invested in anyone wise enough to accept it.  But in that moment, I realized my dad is with her.  Her grace is beyond her years.  Her perfectly timed affection is honest and real.  Her connection to my heart is a direct route.
Suitcase by Over the Rhine always takes me back to that warm day in February that he left us.  A host of confusing emotions took lead role.  I came into that hospice room not knowing what exactly to feel or do.  I knew it was coming. I felt relief that it was all over.  I felt nervous about seeing an image of my lifeless father.  I felt as if I needed to plant my hand to my chest to keep my heart inside it's broken nest.  They let me have my time with him and as I lay my head on the familiar spot of his chest, I instinctively grabbed his hand and gasped.  It was warm.  His soul was gone but his blood was still flowing through his body.  Air in my lungs, beat of my heart, bones working their hardest to keep me together...a piece of me floated away with him.
Today, almost 5 years since we said our goodbyes, that part of me is back.  Charlotte has restored life in those secret places.  She opened my eyes to the love that can only be shared by the one who has heard my heart from the inside.  I can think of my dad while laughing and crying all at once.  I can remember his dancing, our harmonies, his goofy phrases, the way he honestly loved people.  The way people honestly loved him.
So, to a man worth taking note of, happy birthday.  You loved more in your 59 years than most will in their countless time here.  You learned your lessons and retaught them well.  Our lives will never be the same, but your love will.  It prevails death.  What a legacy you've left behind.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year?

The snow is slowly vanishing.  All the signs that Christmas invaded our December have been boxed away. 2012 came and went without much to say that hadn't already been said.  Seeing 2 tiny bodies on the screen will be something I can forever remember.  Heartache that has a name and a familiar face will be something I try to forget.  2013 already seems breathtaking...and it's more than 2 tiny heads of lettuce reducing my lung capacity.  However, two boys playing tag at 4 A.M. makes reality clear.  God has something so much bigger than I ever imagined for myself.  Not only is it bigger, it's completely different.
This pregnancy has taken so much from me.  I have tried to keep my complaining to a minimum.  I have tried to see the end result instead of focus on how much my body, heart, and soul feel like they are foreign instruments...instruments that are dusty, old, and unwilling to make the beautiful music they once created.  I am so grateful for this gift that God has given me.  I tear up just thinking about the years I spent begging God for just one.  Just one life I could help create.  Now I am serving up two at a time.  God's image includes a great sense of humor.  It's just extremely easy to cry.  It's no problem to sigh as I ask for help rolling over in bed to relieve the heartburn that feels like it might melt my chest and throat.  Who wouldn't cringe to hear from strangers..."Are you having a Christmas present or hoping for a New Year's baby?"  "Oh ma'am/sir...I am not due until APRIL."  On the other side, in a crowded restaurant, I could swear that I must have a staff in my hand as people magically part to get out of my way.  Strangers hold doors, smile, and wish me well just as soon as they catch a glimpse of this bump.  One lady at Crossroads reached out, grabbed my hand, and said "bless that little baby in there".  I smiled and said "babies" and her eyes filled with tears as she said, "God is so good."
 I have realized, yet again, that I have the ability to choose what I see when I look in the mirror.  I can decide to be thankful for the aches and fears that having these babies bring because my body can create eyes, fingers, toes,...kickstands.  2013 can seem overwhelming, but because of the years underneath this smile, I don't mind to welcome the challenge.