baby J

I have just met you…

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(Courtesy of Pinterest)

It’s been 6 weeks since our team grew by one – SIX WEEKS! I can distinctly remember 6 weeks before she was born – I was well and truly over being pregnant. 1000% done with that period, that ‘waiting game’…and now we’re 12 weeks on from THERE! I can’t tell you how the days go by…it’s not as if we actually do a great deal, realistically…the first few weeks were purely feeding, nappy changes, sleeping, burping and learning that anything more than about 5 hours in a row of sleep is a rare gem! 😉 But as the days have rolled on, we have gotten to know our little teamster – some of her likes, her patterns and her little quirks and in the last couple of weeks, we’ve even seen that gorgeous little grin get bigger and brighter!

For those who know me, they’ll atest to the fact that I’ve not ever really been a clucky person…a friend handed me her new baby once and I remember thinking “well…what now? what do you do with it now?” So it’s been such a random experience with my own new baby because – and wait for it now – I just literally met her and I already can’t really picture our family without her! In the words of Doug from ‘Up’

“I have just met you and I love you!”

There’s a deepness to that love that extends beyond the fact that she might be screaming in my ear at 3am…or pooping all over her onesie that I just changed her into…or clawing at my face with her needle-like fingernails…there’s a love that comes from somewhere else, somewhere bigger and greater than I am, that overrides any of the anxious or depressed or overwhelmed feelings I have.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from smooth sailing! I still struggle to truly distinguish between her different cries and teaching her to self-settle isn’t as straight-forward as books led me to believe. Breastfeeding is a b*%$# sometimes and the photos I saw in blogs or articles of ethereal women whipping the boob out with a placid little bub sucking away, now just make me laugh! I still haven’t got the whole nappy-change-new-onesie routine down and yes, it’s hard to remember to have tummy time AND read to her AND play with her AND go outside AND feed AND sleep AND burp AND everything else all the books and advice are telling you that you MUST MUST do in a day…!

BUT -> 6 weeks ago our lives changed dramatically and we are both still in awe of how this little person – complete with her own DNA, thoughts, emotions and personality – has weaved her way into our hearts! The fact that those gangly arms and legs, thick head of dark hair and sweet little smile was inside me not that long ago continues to blow my mind! 😉

Every day is filled with new or different experiences – new milestones or new challenges, but at the end of each day when we’re all climbing into our respective beds and bassinets, there’s not really any other way we’d have it!

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baby J

Screaming

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She screams, I scream, we all scream…but there’s no ice cream involved. It might be 2:45am, it might be 11:15am or it might be 7pm – the time doesn’t matter, she’s hungry or hot or cold or has a wet nappy and she NEEDS our attention and she needs it NOW!

Adjusting to life with a little one is like nothing else. You can read all the books, all the blogs; watch all the clips, pin all the pins & have thousands of conversations…and still, nothing truly makes you feel ‘ready’ for caring for 110% of another human being’s needs.

So much has to change now that duckie is in our world – everything from when we eat and sleep to when we can go out of the house or even simply check the mailbox. Neither of us was oblivious to these huge shifts, but of course when reality is actually upon you it still feels surreal.

This week, there were two major stand-outs in my adjustment to our new journey:

1) I have a long way to travel in developing my patience. If I can’t fix her needs, I get frustrated too quickly. If I can’t stop the cries or settle her down, my initial reaction is to pull the plug and pass her over to my other half who (somehow!) has endless patience and a repertoire of songs to sing as he works out what she’s trying to tell us. Thank you God for that man – he keeps me sane, helps me breath & is somewhat of a baby-whisperer!

2) I have to learn how to be a different kind of friend. I can’t hold the friendships I have in the same way as I did before. My priority has to be my family unit & the daughter who relies on us for everything. This means that yes, catch-ups will be different, attending events will be different & generally being ‘around’ will be different. However, instead of wallowing in this shift & feeling guilty, remembering that change is the only constant in our lives is important. If friendships were strong before duckie arrived, they’ll be different – but they’ll be strong with her addition to them too.

There are moments when I feel like throwing in the towel, but if I can pause…take a breath…and look at her little hands and lion’s eyes, I can know that God wouldn’t bring us TO this if He wasn’t going to walk with us THROUGH it too.

baby J

More lessons from the bump

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I use ‘bump’ loosely…when in reality it’s like an oversized basketball concreted to my front! 😉

Anyway, this music legend just about sums up where I am right now in terms of welcoming Baby J into this outside world super soon…it’s the overarching feeling I have that on a general day, outweighs the nerves and the unknowns.

So I thought in light of these flutters of excitement intermingled with jolts of nervousness and anticipation, I’d share a few more lessons I’ve been learning with the bump 🙂

#1 – Flip flops are my friend. I am quite literally down to a pair of flip flops as the only shoes that fit and given that we’re still in winter here, that’s not ncessarily ideal…! My feet are so swollen by the end of each day it’s a wonder I can actually walk! 😉 I’d heard about swollen feet and ankles in pregnancy, but until you experience it for yourself it’s a bit of an enigma!

#2 – I’m ok with strech marks…seriously! It took nearly this whole time for me to see any evidence of these and to be honest, I’d been hanging out for them! I wanted to see that Baby J was growing and therefore my skin was streching. This said to me that Baby J was a size that he/she should be and was doing what he/she should be doing in there. These are my stripes. These are the stripes that I’ve earned during this period and it’s pretty amazing that the human body is able to strech out this much to house a small other human!

#3 – Pregnancy books are b-o-r-i-n-g! I thought I’d enjoy reading them – I thought I’d like to soak up the knowledge and highlight and sticky-note and fold down pages…but in all honesty, I find them to be a real bore! And it’s no particular author or book – it’s just kind of the topic and structure of them in general…don’t get me wrong, the information is important and useful but man it’s a slog for me to get through a chapter or two!

#4 – Swimming is the beeeest! Well, I already knew I loved swimming – I’d swim every day if I had the chance – but swimming while pregnant is awesome! I’m weightless. I’m mobile. I’m flexible. I’m comfortable. I can float on my back and swim on my front and my skin isn’t itchy! It’s ridiculously refreshing and calming and oh man I can’t rave about it enough! Haha swim swim swim…! 😀

#5 – Pickles…I love them. Now, I’ve read the stories about pregnant women wanting ice-cream with pickles at like, 3am – but it wasn’t until I felt like a toasted cheese sandwich with sliced pickles that I realised the gravity of this precious vegetable. They’re sweet. They’re sour. They’re delicious…not with ice-cream, but BOY are they good with melted cheese on toast! If I were to order a cheeseburger right now, I’d ask for extra pickles. If I need a midnight snack tonight, I know what I’ll be having. I’f I need an afternoon snack, I know what it’ll be. It’s not a ‘craving’ per se, but it sure is what my toasty machine sees a lot of these days…! hehe

But I think the most important thing I’ve been learning is #6 – God’s timing is sovereign. 100% – in every situation – in every life stage, His timing over-rules my own, despite how brilliant I think I am 😉 This isn’t always easy to comprehend or even accept…a lot of the time, I don’t even really consider that God truly knows what He is doing, I just sort of take it for granted. I whinge, I complain, I get annoyed at what God is doing…but in reality, He has me exactly where I should be and sometimes it takes a great whack to the system for me to realise it fully. But when I do, I’m thankful for His timing. I’m thankful for His patience and I’m thankful for His ongoing love.

I’m sure I could list so much more than I’ve been learning during this part of my life, but I’ll leave some sleeping dogs where they lie…!

What are you learning?

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Blogs, adventures, sailing & service

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Whose been on a cruise?
Hands up if you get seasick?
Ever travelled to a foreign land you never thought you’d get to?

I can tick off each of those, technically! For 3 months from 2010-2011 I spent time serving the Lord with other like-minded, passionate people onboard the Logos Hope ship. We sailed from through the Middle East, visiting cities and countries I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d see with my own eyes.

The Logos Hope is an incredible missions ship run through OM. It’s essentially a huge floating bookstore. They bring hope, healing and acts of service to places around the globe and some of my fondest memories are from my adventures onboard that floating home. You can read more about Logos Hope and OM here and discover the magic for yourself 🙂

A good friend of mine is embarking on her own adventure with OM in just a few short weeks. Se starts the amazing journey by heading to Africa before she boards the Logos Hope. If you’d like to read more about her travels, head over to her blog and say hi. Kathryn I’m sending you some readers hopefully 😉 I hope your trips are just out of this world, I can NOT wait to read about everything you get up to! God is up to some intense stuff!!!

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(Photos are actually mine!)

*new blog series*

Week eight – ‘I’m a fan’

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“Whose gonna call on Sunday morning?
Whose gonna drive you home?
I just want one more chance
To put my arms in fragile hands.”

“We are who we were when
Could’ve been lovers but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were when
Who knew what we know now
Could’ve been more but at least you’re still my day late friend…”

“Like lipstick traces on pillow cases
Some things in life are unforgettable
Like love, loss, lies and us and woh ohh
Some things in life are undeniable…”

“This is the correlation of salvation and love
(Don’t drop your arms)
Don’t drop your arms, I’ll guard your heart
With quiet words I’ll lead you in…”

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So if you haven’t guessed it by now, I saw this band live last week courtesy of three of my close friends and their brilliant birthday gift!! Anberlin have been my favourite band since high school. A friend and her brother introduced me to them one car ride and I haven’t looked back since! I’ve never liked a band so much that has resulted in tshirts and posters and every album and multiple, multiple concerts!! That same friend and I used to work in a bookstore and after hours, when the task of shutting up the store and counting tills loomed, we’d crank the store CD player with Anberlin and have a brilliant 40 minutes! We even went as far as to see them here in Adelaide and then fly out a day or so later to see them in Melbourne! We’re hardcore, original fans! Not only do I adore their music, these boys have such amazing skills when it comes to live performance! The way they work well together, their sounds and the atmosphere they create when they’re with fans is electric!

There’s something magical and ‘larger than life’ about seeing people you’re impressed by doing their thing…which makes me wonder what it would have been like for the Disciples watching and hearing Jesus ‘do His thing’ for crowds upon crowds. We’re they as enthralled, gob smacked and in awe as I was at Anberlin? I’m sure they were more-so! This was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of Mankind – He had skills and boy were they multiplying! Literally – bread, fish, healings, demons being banished…the guy was on fire! For the Disciples watching this, I can just imagine jaws dropping, hands clasped together and hearts racing. They were seeing The Lord in action and I bet it would have been astonishing and amazing. Nothing could compare to what they were privileged enough to witness during their time with Jesus…they were the original hardcore fans.

*new blog series*

Week seven – ‘K.I.S.S’

I’m a day late again with this blog series…and I don’t really have an excuse this time!
Nonetheless, here’s and entry – but it’ll be a KISSed entry…Keep It Short and Simple 🙂
Not much to report on from the last week. It was just one of those average weeks where not a great deal went down. It was however a busy week, with some definitely cool moments – like hearing hubby, his brother and a cousin rehearsing a song for a birthday coming up (they sound awesome!) and having a ‘Pinterest-Try-It’ night with the girls I mentor…that was pure hilarity and fun!!

Something I learnt this past week? Just because I’m the mentor and the girls I mentor are younger, doesn’t mean the learning, discipleship and encouragement doesn’t go both ways. I am continually touched at the perseverance of those girls – showing up, getting into it, sharing and praying. I am also blown away by their care for me and one another. They prayer, they check in, they encourage and they grow together and I love seeing that. Their hearts for God are big and hungry and it makes me want to be hungrier too!

What makes you hungrier for God?

*new blog series*

Week five – ‘distinction’

Welcome to the end of the fourth week of Uni and the fifth week of this new adventure…and you know what, I feel like I’ve been doing this for ages! I guess it’s all my original uni memories filtering through! I’m enjoying it though – I really am! I’m even liking the course homework for the most part. Some of the stuff I’m learning – really interesting! & you know what? Self-reflection and journaling is something we are encouraged to do! So how brilliant is that? This blog works brilliantly. High five!

Anyway, I want to share briefly with you about the weekend away hubby and I have just got back from. I’ll try and be as coherent as I can, but I’m pretty knackered, so apologies in advance if I’m boring – haven’t exactly got bucketfuls of mental power! So hubby and I are a part of a Wednesday Bible study group and we all decided to get away for a few days to le beach! Who doesn’t like mini-getaways, especially with friends? I do have to be honest though, I wasn’t super excited to be going initially…I knew I’d have to bring homework with me and so would hubby.

But guess who turned my attitude around almost immediately? God is good! A wise friend of mine made the poignant comment that He cares about the little things in my life as much as the big things. And this was a trivial thing in the grand scheme of things, but God knew I needed to spend time with people who build me up and encourage me in my faith. So as soon as hubby and I were in the car with another friend, heading down to the beach holiday house on Friday night, I was in better spirits 🙂 The weekend, while still holding homework, held hilarity, joy, fun, great food and perfect weather. I couldn’t have felt more blessed by those who came along. Just goes to show that I shouldn’t write things off before giving them a shot.

In other news –

I GOT A DISTINCTION!

Haha! I know I know, bit disjointed throwing that piece of news in here after my first story, but I wanted to get this down! I have an undergrad with a major and a minor in English lit and world history and a completed 6 months of a twelve month teaching diploma…and throughout that ENTIRE time, I’m quite sure I got 1 maybe 2 distinctions for my work. Now, I love studying. I love learning. I love being a student. It’s a bit sad, but I really do! Having said that however, I’m not a great student. I definitely have a credit average with quite a spattering of ‘passes’ thrown in there too. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s just always been that way.

Until now!

I was so pleased when I saw the mark! Even though the paper wasn’t very long or in depth, I was still stoked! Brought a smile to hubby’s face too which made my feel even better! And where does the credit for this ‘D’ go? All God, man! Hands down! He’s the one who has led me to this grad. dip in TESOL, He’s the one that brought those ideas and those words forth in my paper and I’m so thankful! It’s a real morale booster for future work 🙂

So there you have it, feeling quite pleased as we step into this new week. Pleased and expectant to see what God has in store!

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