Stand still…

I was listening to a gospel pandora station one Sunday morning as I was getting kids ready for church. As I was bathing a child this song came on the station. I’m not one for mourning the loss of stages but this song spoke to me. In that moment, it made me cherish the thought of bathing a small child. And even more so it made me realize how important it is that I document this time – through photos, videos, personal anecdotes.

This song has popped into my mind multiple times in the last couple weeks as Christmas seems to be arriving at an abnormally fast pace. I love this season and there’s a part of me that just wants it to stay a little bit longer. I want to remember just how excited Briggs was to play the sheep in the live nativity. I want to remember Cannon’s excitement of telling Santa he wants a beanie boo. Or Hallie’s love for doing Christmas puzzles set up in the living room. Or Bennett’s dedication to making sure the Christmas lights are always on. Or Hunter and his friend riding their scooters down to the Christmas house to check out the lights. Or sitting by the tree to read another Christmas book.

Christmas Puzzle

There’s so many happy feelings and I know as they get older the excitement changes. This is what I want to bottle up – the feeling in our home this Christmas season. I would love for time to stand still just a little longer.

Ive been taking pictures for a long, long time
Some are on paper but most are in my mind
Snapshots and memories of the days when you were young
I plan to keep them long after you’ve grown and gone

I remember watching as you took your first step
Seems the clocks been running faster ever since
Every day a little taller, it says so on the wall

The days are passing
And they’re not going to stop
And if I could, I would

Ask time to stand still
So I could hold you a little longer
I’d make the minutes stop
So we would always have today
I won’t let the sun go down
Until you know how I feel
I love you so much
I wish time could stand still

Fingerprints all over the sliding glass door
And I can barely see underneath the toys on the floor
I have wished away the sleepless nights, the noise and the messes made
But my heart reminds me
I’m gonna miss these days
So if I could, I would

Ask time to stand still
So I could hold you a little longer
I’d make the minutes stop
So we would always have today
I won’t let the sun go down
Until you know how I feel
I love you so much
I wish time could stand still

 

New Stage…

I was at the grocery store the other day with my four boys – who all happen to be 2 1/2 years apart from each other. The lady at the checkout was kind and friendly and was inquisitive about our family. After surveying the ages of the boys she joked, “Looks like its time for another one!”

Her comment (unbeknownst to her) had interesting timing as someone just days earlier had said the same thing. I joked back with each of the commenters – I’ve already got my hands full!

But then I started thinking – this is the first time I’ve had a 2 1/2 year old and not had a baby. (or have been really pregnant – there’s a slightly larger gap between Hallie and Hunter). I hadn’t thought anything of it until their comments, but we are really entering a new stage. Briggs grows out of clothes and I don’t save them – they get donated. We’ve cleared out all the baby toys and even some of the other toys he doesn’t show interest in. With each stage he grows out of – we get rid of more and more gear – gear we’ve had for years and years. He’s the first kid we haven’t had to kick out of the crib – we can keep him in it until he’s 5! 😉

But what’s interesting is those baby memories are still really close to the surface. I think I’ve had babies on the brain since my sister told us last weekend that she’s having a girl (after two boys).

As I was getting ready this morning with my bedroom door shut, I heard what sounded like a newborn cry. And for a minute, I was panicked thinking I didn’t get ready before the baby got up…and then I realized, I don’t have a baby!  When I saw the lady in church holding her sleeping baby as she thumbed through a notebook I could feel my own arm going numb from her awkward position. I could feel the weight of the car seat as a dad held it in the crook of his arm. There are so many relatable moments. I’ve been there. I’ve felt the fatigue and frustration that comes along with babies and I want to give a hug to every mother and father I see juggling a baby. You’re doing an extremely exhausting and yet rewarding work.

Some of my early motherhood days seemed so long and the thought of being out of the baby stage seemed incomprehensible. And yet here I am with a talking toddler and I have to say I’m quite enjoying it. Each stage is better than the last.

 

Toys on parade…

I find these Little People every where. We’ve got a bucket full of them that we’ve collected over the years and yet the bucket is always empty. These 6 characters kept circulating around my office. One day I found them on my picture frame, the next day they were in the tic-tac-toe box and the next shoved in the chair cushion.

Its hard to believe that one day I’ll put them in the box and they’ll stay there. I won’t find them carelessly and not so carelessly scattered through the house. For now, I’ll take pictures of their randomness.

Treading Water quote…

Treading water is just about the best description of motherhood and the stage we’re in right now. I love when Jim Gaffigan jokes about having four kids. “You know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.” We used that line over and over again…until we had five kids! And although we laughed about it – it was all too true.

I came across this quote recently and it touched my heart.

Treading Water Quote

It spoke to me. Probably because of my stage of life but partly because it speaks truth. Yes, treading water is a necessary part of swimming, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. What it does is buys you time and energy until you can continue swimming. The hard part is we start treading water and we never seem to stop. And all the while we start getting frustrated that we’re treading at all and then we start to swallow water. Perhaps the question starts to cross your mind, “Why did I even jump in?!” Or you question if you even know how to swim.

We forget. We know how to swim. We love to swim. But swimming in waves has its challenges, so we tread. Luckily, waves change. Treading water today, this week, or this month doesn’t mean we won’t be able to swim soon. And it’s once we start swimming that we’re reminded just how much we truly love it.

 

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Keep on skipping…

This picture makes me laugh – mostly because it portrays Bennett perfectly. First of all, I was taking a picture of something else and he was off to the side, being completely silly and totally entertained with himself. Of course the minute I turned the camera to him he did some fancy dance moves and then pretended to be embarrassed and took off running with his long hair bouncing as he made his way across the grass.

He’s funny. He’s an entertainer. He’s animated. He’s emotional. He’s short fused. All of which makes him fun to be around and exhausting on most accounts. It is my daily struggle to remain patient with his antics. I kept telling myself he would grow out of this “stage” which is what got me through so many days. I’ve come to realize, it’s not a stage – it’s a personality. And I can’t expect him to grow out of it, we need to learn to manage it. Parenting is a journey and every kid seems to be on their road.

This guy is just skipping down his road and I’m just trying to keep up!

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