Friday, January 28, 2011

A birthday brings reminiscing

I am convinced time flies faster when you have children. Where have the last six years gone?

I recall that late night when, while preparing for bed after a nice long bath, I realized my water had burst. Soon, we'd have our first son. Soon, our little Merika would have a sibling.

The contractions were swift and strong as we made our way to the hospital, but once we arrived, and I settled into a sterile room, things began to settle. After a intense labor, Nolyn was born the following morning (around 6 am, I believe) to a weary set of parents. This would be our second and last hospital birth (so far). Our following two children would be much easier, simpler home births.

Our first child was a shock. We were accustomed to the get up and go lifestyle, and now there had to be planning and consideration for a little person. Just as we had become familiar with life with one child (a child who was very mind-mannered and naturally well-behaved), in stormed Nolyn.

Nolyn was a spunky little baby. He was very alert and loud. He didn't stay in the baby stage for long. He quickly figured out how to get around- usually by repeatedly lunging forward in a move that looked like a painful belly flop. And he was in to everything.

He was a sturdy child- the chubbiest of all of them so far- and his eyes were two different colors. They've since evened out for the most part, but are still very intense. He's always been the sort to explore and ponder. So much like his father, so much like his mother. This kid didn't stand a chance!

We lived in Indiana when he was born, in a small two-bedroom apartment. We spent our days walking to Trader Joe's, roaming the parks, and gathering with other families with young children. Of course, there were many difficult times as well, as Brandon and I were still young, immature, and probably not entirely ready to be married, not to mention become parents (although, we did not realize that at the time- obviously we had deceived ourselves into thinking we were quite wise). However, I know God used our children to bring forth growth and maturity, and I'm grateful for that. I only wish that our children did not have to go through the things they did while my husband and I sorted through our issues. But, to God be the glory, since all things eventually worked together for good. I always say it's a good thing most children do not remember about their first few years of life!

I do not remember a lot from those days- only bits and pieces. Thankfully, the majority of those bits and pieces are warm fuzzies, or at least little funny moments, like when Nolyn managed to dig in his diaper during nap time and not only smear poo all over his crib, but his body as well. That was one clean-up that had me gagging the entire time. When I remind him of this story, he laughs uncontrollably. Funny how some things are not even the least bit humorous during the moment, but are incredibly hilarious later on.

Nolyn has always seemed a bit mature for his age, and, as a mentioned, he didn't stay a baby for long. He was quickly walking and talking- keeping his mother very busy! Thankfully I had a little girl who loved mothering her younger brother. The two of them have been best of friends and enjoy doing everything together.

He's such a smart little fellow. He asks hundreds of questions a day. He loves pirates, indians, Garfield, Legos, and helping his dad "build stuff". He likes to play karate with his mama, ride his bike, and dig holes in the front yard (which Dad doesn't really care for). He has millions of inventions and ideas floating around in that head of his and he'll gladly share them with you. His favorite piece of clothing is a pair of hand-me-down Air Jordans. He doesn't know that Air Jordans are kind of a "big deal". He just loves them because they are his older friend's... so they've got to be cool, right?

He's not big on school. He's sort of an Einstein in my opinion. School stuff seems to boring to him. I feel like he's way ahead, but I've got to teach him the basics before he can really make sense of all the facts he's got in his head. He's a sponge- more than most kids, at least- and he soaks up everything he sees and hears. This is wonderful and frightening all at the same time.

He loves making his own PB&J sandwiches and his favorite foods are fruit salad, hamburgers, rice, hotdogs, ketchup, zucchini, bananas, bacon, and fish. Actually, I think it'd be easier to mention the foods he doesn't like (which would be broccoli and potato salad).

He's a sweet-heart. He loves to help, although he often gets distracted. He tries to be thoughtful, and he's cute as can be.

He's grown so much. I feel like I'm constantly saying (in regards to all our children), "What happened to my baby?" Sometimes the days seem long, but the years are most definitely short.

Happy Birthday Nolypie! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Hey folks,

I apologize for the lack of blogging. So much has been going on in our little part of the world, a lot of which I can't exactly write about on a public forum.

I will say, and I hope my brother doesn't mind, but last year, I had the joy of witnessing such a miraculous transformation of my sibling as He began to understand the Truth of Christ. I have long prayed that God would bring my brother and me into a closer friendship and fellowship, just as I have long prayed that he would have saving belief in Christ. It has been so amazing to have deep spiritual conversations with him and to see God turn around his life.

The last year was full of many mixed emotions. We had many roller coaster moments as we watched our oldest child struggle to learn and retain information due to a swelling, inflamed mass on her brain. Our merciful Father healed her just as He healed our baby Evangeline while she was still in the womb. And that sweet little Evie-Rose was our second homebirth, born just days before Keagan's third birthday. We watched each of our little children grow and flourish. We experienced the joys of parenting along with the struggle of wisely disciplining and correcting. Our marriage was strengthened by the trials and victories, bonding us closer together.

I have so many hopes for this year, and I know God has something amazing planned. I feel like I so often underestimate God's incredible greatness. I know I do.

I am so thankful for Jesus. I have often had to remind myself of the good news of the Gospel. I have struggled under guilt and sin this past year, while God has continued to assure me, "Who the Son sets free is free indeed."

Isn't it amazing that, as believers, we have been set free, yet we drag our ball and chain along with us wherever we go? Isn't it crazy that we KNOW the war has already been won, yet we still live such defeated lives?

I know the devil has certainly used these last few months to poke and prod at me. I have been experiencing a bit of post partum depression which has appeared in the form of spiritual warfare. I am so grateful to have such an amazing fellowship of friends within the body of Christ who have prayed for me and with me. There are times when I feel the pressure within ease and I instantly know someone has prayed for me. It's really an amazing feeling.

So, this seems a little ramble-y, but I wanted you all to know I'm here... :) And I love you!