Sunday, December 13, 2009

12.13.09 - 6 months later.

Today I took a look back at my orignal entry - I started this blog while I was on bedrest.  I had no idea what was about to happen to our family in those moments.  I remember how scared I was when I was awaiting Julia's arrival.  I knew that I was going to be a good mother, but there are so many unknowns encompassed in the world of birth and newborns and all that goes with it. 
So here she is, Julia Claire, 6 months later...she is her own person!  When I was looking at her in those first moments in the hospital I couldn't quite imagine what kind of baby she would be or what she would be doing at this point.  So I'm writing it - for Julia.  Because I know it will be completely different in another month (or even next week).  I want to remember this time because each day seems so foreign because it's new territory, but at the same time it all just makes sense.

Julia -
6 months ago you arrived in true Julia style - peacefully in a chaos-ridden situation. You knew it was all going to be okay and as soon as you were here, it was.
I once heard someone comment that now that they have a child everyday feels like Christmas morning.  I never understood that until you came into our lives.  I get so excited to see you each morning.  You are so happy in your sleepy state.  You rub your eyes and kick your feet, but you have such a joy about you in the morning.  I am so quick to get you (even in the middle of the night) because it feels like a special treat to be in your presence.  I love sneaking into your room at night just to see you sleep.  You embody peace in those moments.  You have given me a whole new perspective on life as I slow down and take in my time with you.
You have grown so much in the last few months!  You are now sitting up and able to intentionally play with your toys.  You get the biggest kick out of the simplest things!  Tonight you were able to press a button on a toy knowing that it would release the ball that you wanted.  You are so stinking smart! (and you definately know how to get what you want!).  Lately you want to be held a lot.  I think you are just taking so much in that being held feels like "base".  You want to explore your world and then you need a break.  I hope you always keep that healthy's good to explore, but also know who/what you trust.  (Yes, I am the social worker mother who is already teaching you boundaries) :)
You have so much to say and you love making sounds - you just found your tongue and are pretty impressed with the new sounds you are able to make.  When we are in the car you have this little game where you yell out louder..and louder... and louder...and then when you get to your loudest, you fall asleep.  Your daddy and I just laugh at you and wonder what point you are trying to make when you do that.
You are laughing all of the time now.  Scout brings you a lot of joy (although most of the time she is kind of aloof), you don't seem to notice.  One of these days she will come around and you will both be ready to play together. 
Right now my favorite time with you is in the mornings.  Your still sleepy enough that you want to nestle in and be held tight.  I love being your mother and I can't imagine anything that compares with that feeling in all the world.  Each moment with you feels so complete and I thank God for the opportunity to experience this depth in life.
You are growing and growing - the next 6 months will hold whole new set of challenges and adventures.  I still have that new mom feeling of not knowing what's in store, but I guess that is the joy of parenthood.  You always seem to surprise me.
Thank you for your vibrant spirit and your unending joy!
We love you always!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The 12 Days of...

The Christmas countdown begins, but the past 12+ days have marked sheer craziness in our home.  If you set up a video camera outside of our home and pressed the fast forward button, it would reveal some interesting activity!  We literally feel like life has pushed some hidden fast forward button on us - Julia will be 6 months old next week!  The following photos highlight some of the finer moments:

Thanksgiving morning stared bright and early with a "I can now eat whatever I want now that I have completed a Turkey Trot".  Since the closest 5k was 45 minutes away, we decided to host our own.  Charles ordered trophies that were something to be proud of.  My last sprint to the finish line was purely out of the desire to claim the trophy for this year.  I won the female division...which included only 3 of us.  I have to defend my title for next year, which is my motivation to stay in shape!  Kirstan and my mom are going to make a comeback! 

And to complete such an "accomplished" morning, Charles and I pulled off Thanksgiving for 13 people plus 4 babies under 8 months old.  We had such a great mix of our friends and family all in the same room.  God has truly blessed us this year with these individuals who are encountering parenthood at the same time. 
We captured a photo of all of the dads...this was the best we could do considering we had very little cooperation!

On Saturday we headed out to chop down a tree at the most beautiful tree farm in all of New England.  I was so excited to take Kirstan there - being from FL, she doesn't often get to see pine trees :)  It was the perfect New England day finished off with some soup and homemade bread for dinner as we decorated the tree.  For all of the craziness of the weekend, we had these little glimpses of perfection...the simple moments of soaking in the time with family and enjoying the season!

And on Sunday was Julia's baptism, which was a very moving service of celebration as we vowed to raise Julia to know God and to grow in her chuch community.  Our pastor used the symbol of light to describe her commitment to faith and her impact on this world.  It is so appropriate for the season of advent as there are lights everywhere reminding us of Jesus - the light of the world.  One little is amazing to me to think of the impact she will have on this world!  I can already see how special she is.  I can only imagine how amazing it will be to see her grow and ask about Jesus and say her humbling that we as parents guide her through this journey? 
This is the only picture that I camptured with my is adorable!  Charles was carrying her out of the church and the only thing that we had to cover her head was this santa hat...quite cute!

And finally, the thread of the entire weekend was some really special moments with my sister, which doesn't happen as often as I'd like.  She will be Julia's Godmother and also walking this journey with Julia.  Our time together makes me feel that all is right in the world - like we can be kids again and reminice and also get excited about these big changes in our lives.  I am so happy for the place that she is in her life right now and I am even happier when we get to share it together along with mom.  Over a glass of wine and a game of Scrabble.  Perfection!