Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Letters

Dear Marshall,

Tonight is Christmas.

This morning we slept in late. We had cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for breakfast.
We opened presents. We talked with grandparents and aunts and uncles. We snuggled on the couch and watched cartoons in our jammies all day.

We were all sick, but we made the best of it. Lots of snuggles. Lots of tickles. Lots of giggles and slobbery smiles.

We tried to take a family picture in front of the Christmas tree. Alice and Austin wanted nothing to do with it...even though they photo bombed almost every other picture we took.

At the end of the day, we filled the bath tub with bubbles and rubber duckies. After a bath and some milk, you were quickly sound asleep on my shoulder.

When I laid you down, you never opened your eyes, but you grabbed my finger and held it tightly. You were fast asleep again, still holding me close to you.

I laid there next to you, in awe of every rise and fall of your tiny chest.

Last year, I wanted nothing to do with Christmas. Dad and I went to Oregon, and I spent Christmas weekend running down the stormy beaches of the Pacific Ocean with Austin. I was hoping to run away from all the pain and exhaustion. I was praying for a break, for a change, for a fresh start.

One year ago today, on Christmas Day, I got the best Christmas present ever: those tiny pink lines that said I got another chance.

Those pink lines meant that I got you, and well, you really are the greatest present ever. My heart still hurts for your sister and your brother before you, but you make my heart so full and happy. Your smile and excitement for everything around you keep me going.

Merry Christmas, baby boy. I love you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


It's been well over a month since I've written on here, so I'm not even sure where to begin...or what I actually want to say. I've had some pretty nasty struggles with mastitis...and post-partum depression...bad enough that I admitted to the doc that when I'm up for a night feeding, I want to hit Bryan with a lamp because he's snoring too loud and hasn't been helping much. I'm happy to report that it's getting much better. And my lamp is still intact.

Marshall is 3 months old now.

Some nights it's still so hard to believe all this is real. That he is here. That he is mine. That he is real.

For the most part, things are going great around here. We still have our really bad days. And our sleepless nights. Bryan and I still fight. And I still have hormonal breakdowns. And sometimes I still cry for no damn reason.

But I take it all in stride. Or at least I try to. I never expected this to be perfect....or easy.

Waking up at 4 AM for work sucks. But when he wakes up with a big smile and waits patiently to be changed and fed, it doesn't matter anymore. That smile makes everything else disappear. It has easily made me a bit more of a morning person.

And bedtime. Oh, bedtime! That's my favorite part of the day.

We have a nice routine down.

Bath. Milk. Story. Bed.

We relax in the rocker recliner. He snuggles in close to drink his milk while I read him a book. And then we rock until he's falling asleep. Most nights I let him fall asleep against my chest, and I just stay there, breathing it all in. It's the one time of the day that I can shut everything else out. I try to make sure that I am fully present, fully appreciating every second, because I know that these moments don't last.

It's usually in these moments that I miss his brother and sister the most.

A few nights ago, we were reading "Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You" by Nancy Tillman. (Those books are my favorite!) He stopped drinking and looked across the room with huge eyes. He started smiling and nodding and making facial expressions and cooing like he was having a conversation with someone. 

"Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You" by Nancy Tillman

For the first time, I thought of them without missing them. I felt like they were there. I felt like I was reading to all of them. I finally felt like I was a mother of three, a mother to ALL of my babies.

For the first time, my heart felt complete...