Two and a half.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dear Liam Worth,

You recently turned two and a half and it's hard for me to believe it (or accept it, really). With the way you're shooting up and suddenly conversing with us, it feels like college is just around the corner. Slow down, little buddy. Here are some favorites of mine right now:

+ You've adopted "Mama" as an endearing name for me that's all your own. We've always called me "Mommy," but when you're especially tired or sweet, it's Mama. Or Mama-doo. Sometimes it sounds more like "Mawmaw" like I'm your 90-year-old great grandmother, but it's always said with such tenderness that I don't mind. (When you really, really want something, it's "Mommygirl." How could I ever say no to that?!)
+ Dad is "Dadda" or Daddy and Lane is "Wanie girl" or "Pwincess" and is always the first person you want to see when you wake up.
+ Your transition from crib to big boy bed just after Lanie was born was flawless. You've never once gotten out of your bed without asking, which wasn't really something we instituted, but we'll take it. Sometimes on Saturday mornings when we want to sleep a little later, we'll hear you in your bed just happily talking and singing for up to an hour before we come get you. Then you say, "Sweep so good!" and ask to "slide out?" and hop right down.
+ You're a terribly, terribly picky eater. On the plus side, some of the (very few) foods you like are actually healthy: you eat hummus by the spoonful, gobble up scrambled eggs most mornings, and will gladly eat almost any fruit. We've resorted to hiding lots of things in smoothies: handfuls of kale, whole avocados, or even shredded chicken. We're desperate here, buddy.
+ Your little language is hilarious and impressive. Instead of saying "yes," you always say "okay."
Me: Did your hurt your head, buddy?
Liam: Okay.
Me: Are you going to be ok?
Liam: Okay.
Sometimes you sound like a valley girl. The other day, when I told you you needed to wait for me to get something for you because I was nursing Lanie, you said, "Umm... I need it, like, right now."
+ You're super proud of your daddy and love to watch him sing at church and tell everyone around us that that's your dad.
+ You go to new places with very little hesitation. In the last few weeks, you've been to two different church nurseries and spent the night at Mimi and Poppy's house and have just jumped in like you've been there your whole life. You're rarely ever shy.
+ My favorite time with you is when you're supposed to be going to sleep, and sometimes I sneak in and sing you one more song or just lie on your bed and talk to you. When I asked you the other night what you were thinking about, you responded, "Umm... dinos. T-rex. Big teeth. Sharp claws."
+ I know I'm biased, but you're astoundingly smart. Thanks to a Steve Green CD that's straight Scripture, you can say about 20 Bible verses from memory.
+ Just today at lunch, I saw you with your head bowed and heard you talking very quietly and asked what you were saying. You responded, "I'm talking to Jesus. I cwose mine eyes just wike Mommy."
+ The other day, you told us, "Jesus came help people. Mommy help people too. Help people at hospital. Daddy help people too. Daddy help people hearts. Biam want help people too sometime!"
If I could freeze you at this age (and maybe take away the occasional whininess), I'd keep you at two and a half forever.

I love you to the moon!
Mommy

Recent photography.

Monday, May 25, 2015

I've had the privilege of doing several photography sessions for friends recently. (If you go to our church, you'll probably recognize all of these people. :)) It's been such a joy to get to peek in on some of our friends' pivotal life moments: engagement, pregnancy, snuggly newborns. While I'm not looking for more clients right now, I wanted to post a few of my favorites because these moments were just too sweet not to share.

Baby A

Cole & Hope

Cole, Hope, & Baby A a few weeks later... 

Meg & Andrew

Baby R

The missing.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two weeks ago, I went back to work at a hospital for the first time in over two years. Life away from nursing hasn't been idle... I've sewn a lot of bags, given birth to two beautiful babies, and moved across the country. For me to go back to work as a nurse was a decision bathed in prayer and affirmed by our closest family and friends. It's an exciting opportunity, incredibly helpful to our family's financial future, and one we've waited for until just the right time. Still, it's been a more difficult transition than I anticipated (at least for me). I'm currently orienting to my unit at full-time hours, so it feels like I'm away more than I'm home. Soon, though, I'll be working part-time and getting back to our normal routine with a few long afternoons at the hospital thrown in. 

Eight years ago, when Shawn and I had only been dating for a week, we traveled to opposite sides of the globe. I went to Viet Nam; he went to the Pacific Northwest. After a long day of teaching English, I journaled, "I don't think I've ever truly missed someone until now." Dramatic? Maybe. But it felt so true. I thought about how long it would take to get back to him... all the hours in the sky traversing the Pacific. All the buses, planes, and trains it would take to see his face. After two weeks with very little communication, we both landed in Chicago and found our relationship to be a little different than before. The missing had made it deeper, sweeter, something we didn't take for granted.

The missing I feel at work has made me feel the same about these two. As I'm sitting at the desk charting assessments or helping a patient back into bed, I'm missing my Liam and my Lanie. Wondering if Liam said, "Sweep so good!" after getting up from his nap. Hoping Lanie gave her dad a break for a couple hours while Liam napped. Thinking of the little moments that create big love in my heart. Waiting until the clock turns to 8 and I hear, "Mooommmmmy!!!" as I walk through the door.

Soul resting.

Friday, May 8, 2015

After the past four months of not sleeping, Shawn and I were weary. Soul weary, even. The toll of exhaustion seeps into every crevice of life. So two weeks in Nashville with family and friends came at the perfect time.

Two weeks of handing babies off in the early morning to get an extra hour of sleep. 
Two weeks of not cooking one meal (pure luxury). 
Two weeks of doting grandparents who were, undoubtedly, exhausted but poured out every last drop of attention and adoration on two grandchildren who soaked it up.
Two weeks of watching the sun drop behind rolling Tennessee tree lines.
Two weeks of tromping down memory lane in all our favorite spots.
Two weeks of deep breaths and deep rest. 
We came back to Raleigh more whole than we left. We came back ready for this next season, a new season, which begins on Monday: the season in which I go back to work as a nurse. It's one we're really thankful for on many levels, but it's still a big transition for our family. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for lavishing rest on us. For these new parents of two, there couldn't have been a greater gift.

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