Mama I Will Be

I’ve thought A LOT about what I want to do when all the kids are in school, I still have a little under four years to decide.
 
I need creativity in my life somehow. I still think freelancing in journalism is the best fit. It would let me work in graphic arts AND write. But I also want to keep sewing. So maybe I can find a job for a crafting magazine or at least steady freelance work in that area.
 
I need a degree. The curriculum for the early childhood associates degree is a bit different from when I was in school a few years ago, instead of the ONE semester I had left, I’d be looking at another year or more to finish a degree I’m not sure I want. Unless I want to try being a teacher’s assistant part-time, or subbing. It looks like most schools require you to drive a bus if you’re a TA now-a-days and I’m not doing that. Have you seen me drive a car? Bahaha, no buses in my future.
 
I do know that once they’re all in school, I’m still their mama. I will still need to be present to help with speech therapy, homework, extra curricular activities. And while the inner girl who still wants to be a rock star has fought it, I’ll probably end up being a PTO mom. Because darn it, I do care about this stuff. I care about ALL OF IT.MamaIWIllBe
 
I will still need to be available to my kids as I have always been. That’s my main ‘career’, mama! I’ve seen how far my kids can go when I immerse myself in their lives and it’s worth it. Do I get a salary? No, but I’m making a difference in this world. Yes, B’s speech therapists and his teachers play a big role in his success. But, so do I. He and I have sat at our kitchen table, sometimes both working through tears, to master new words, blends, fine motor tasks. I have seen my son’s eyes LIGHT UP when he finally gets what we’ve worked so hard at. That wouldn’t happen without a parent there to help it happen, it wouldn’t.
 
So, where ever I land, it’s going to be with them first. These children will be grown so quickly. Ya know, then, I might write that book I’ve always wanted to. I may never get to retire because this world won’t count my years of being a stay-at-home towards social security or any of that. I’ll know that I had value, even when I had no monetary contribution to give. My children will know too.
 
Scoff at me, call my old fashion. But mama was, and is, and has always been my calling. It has been the one thing I have striven for from the get go. Infertility,miscarriage, I BEAT THAT. I beat that so many times to get these three. And they were worth it. They may leave me tired, frustrated, almost hollow some days. More often, they leave me laughing, filled with love, and joy. No career will give me that. I was built to be ‘mama’. And so mama I will be.

The Work of Special Needs Parents

I don’t often talk about the struggles  of being a parent to a special needs child/ren.  I feel guilty because my children are for the most part healthy. They don’t need fancy medical equipment, but they have very real disorders that need a lot of my time.  Apraxia of speech, oral sensory issues related to apraxia, fine/gross motor difficulties,  a phonological speech disorder, congenital trigger thumb, and possible hip dysplasia in my infant.  It takes its toll.  So here’s a brief glimpse into the mind of a special needs mama.

I feel myself buckling a lot lately, thinking I can’t, but then somehow I always do.

I am lucky. For the most part, my kids are healthy. But I am so, so very tired of specialists and therapies. No, my kids do not have any life threatening conditions. You really wouldn’t know that HOURS of our weeks are spent running speech drills, working on coordination, me researching how to best help them. Am I thankful that our life has not been a revolving door of doctors? Yes. But I’m still tired.

There are still days when I angrily ask God, why??? Why can’t we have ‘normal’. We don’t want to be special today we want to be plain ol’ normal, no speech, no upcoming surgery, no doctors calling to ask if we’ve taken our child for this screening or that screening yet.

SpecialNeedsParentingPlease don’t ask me how I do it. The answer is raw and dirty. I cry. Behind closed bathroom doors. In my van in the front seat before I dry my eyes so they can’t see. In bed silently while everyone else is asleep.  I tell myself to suck it the hell up because there was a time when there were no babies. When my womb was empty or healing yet again from another loss.  I get so mad at God all over again because shouldn’t I get to  have it easy after it was SO HARD to become a parent to begin with.

In brief moments, He answers. He gently laughs and reminds me, this is it. This is what I was preparing you for. You worked for it. And now you work FOR THEM. Cry, let it out, then remember the strength you built through all the waiting and the loss. You get to be the mother of special children, and one day, no one will know the struggle until you tell them.

You’ll use it to encourage others who are crying behind  bathroom doors and in front seats of vans. You’ll use it to tell the mom whose child is struggling that one day this will only  be a memory. And I move on. And do it. Just do it, do the work to help the child that you prayed for.

Because the child is here, alive, and well.

Mother’s Day Memories

On this #TBT, I did something a little different.
 
Instead of a picture, I’m going to share some of my favorite memories of the special ‘moms’ in my life.
 
1. Christmas with my mom. Especially as a child although she does it just the same for me as an adult. I figured out Santa very early on, I was always a little wise beyond my years in some areas, others not so much. When I figured it out around 5yo she let me help her with wrapping ALL the presents and would buy me one special small something to play with while we stayed up late on weekends doing all the wrapping. Now, if you know my mama, you know Christmas is her thing. There was not a corner of our house not decorated, she even wrapped the range hood in wrapping paper and let me tell you, to see our house so transformed at Christmas was just magical to me. I always love remembering those late Friday nights, her bedroom strewn with toys and gifts while she taught me how to properly wrap a present and let me ‘test’ our Christmas gifts. She also always took us shopping for a new outfit before every field trip. It was always special to me.
 
2. My grandma had a big impression on me. We stayed with her in the summer, anytime school was out, and after school. She lived right next to us. I’m so sad that dementia is not letting my kids see the granny I grew up with. It’s a hard thing for me to come to terms with. My granny taught me to do chores first thing in the mornings. We’d sweep, polish furniture, wash dishes, all sorts of things. She’d french braid my hair and I thought that was the most relaxing soothing thing I’d ever felt. I still long for that relaxed, pampered feeling some days. Every day mama would pack us a ‘satchel’ full of books and my granny would put both my sister and I on her lap and read us every last one of those books. When it stormed, she’d turn all the lights off reminding us her house wasn’t ‘grounded’. Then she’d have us sit in the floor, away from the windows, and she’d tell us ghost stories for hours. She’d tell us all about her daddy coming home in the rain, lighting matches and seeing horses that weren’t there. Dogs that turned into balls of fire. My granny was the best ghost story-teller I’ve ever come in contact with. And every time it storms, I long to sit down in the floor, Indian style, and listen to her tell me a story. I probably chose to be a stay at home mom in hopes of recreating such a rich childhood like she did for us. There is such beauty in the simplicity that is motherhood and it’s something I have treasured from very early on.
 
3. Aunt Vickie. My aunt also lived next door to us for much of my childhood and we spent a lot of time with her. As I’ve grown older she is more like a second mother than an aunt. And my children think of her as another grandma. She would take us for rides in her meticulously cleaned and waxed car. The leather seats were well oiled and if we didn’t buckle up, we’d go sliding across the back which we thought was fun. She’d take us down ‘spooky’ dirt roads and tell us stories about the ghosts on them. This tradition she has passed along to my boys and they absolutely love it. She’d let us listen to her HUGE collection of CDs and play VHS tapes of The Monkees for us. And she’d let us come to work with her at the library in the summer which was an adventure for us. We’d get to desensitize discarded magazines and books and hide out in the work stations. Of course she’d let us watch our very favorite ghost story tape in the media room too. And I STILL miss those stories! She still spoils my kids and I rotten.
 
4. I miss watching my Granny Ollie quilt by hand. She also liked to tell us stories about growing up which we loved.
 
5. My aunt Anna used to bring my cousins down every Friday so we could play. And we’d often all pile into one car and ride to the Dollar Tree which we loved.
 
6. My aunt Jane would let us come to her house to swim and we spent many Sundays playing at Granny’s with Colby.
 
7. While not part of my childhood, I am very happy that Becky is a part my children’s. They love going to Nana’s house and I love that they are so richly loved and cared for when there.
 
No family is perfect, but I am blessed with ‘mothers’ who care, love, teach, instill values, and let us have fun. I am not a perfect mother, but I try very hard to be a good one. And these women taught me how to do that. Thank you all.

When Babies Aren’t Babies Anymore

Today, it hit me. I’ve been a mom for over five years, but today I finally got it.
 
For some reason I’ve never been able to envision my children as more than ‘babies’. I’m fully aware that they grow, but in my mind, they are and were always going to stay babies. My five-year old had a little exercise to do on what he might want to be when he grows up. So I asked him and he told me very bluntly and clearly that he wants to be a police officer so he can carry a gun and catch the ‘bad guys’. Now I hear about bad guys every single day from my son. He is an avid superhero lover and loves nothing more than to tell me what superhero he is and how is going to fight those ‘bad guys’. I always just thought of this as play, I never realized he might be doing adult work and thinking about how this play equates to life. I should have, he is a smart boy and like his mama he is alllll about analogies and comparisons. This small child is figuring out this world, whether I’m ready for it or not.
 
He and I had a chat about police officers, their guns, and those bad guys. I am not ready to tell him that the bad guys in the real world don’t carry weapons that shoot freezing webs, that the things they do are far worse than what he sees in all his superhero movies. But part of me knows that this precious boy who I was still seeing as my baby probably already knows more of it than I wish he did. We talked about how police officers might also help those who don’t have as much as others. I showed him articles about real police officers doing toy drives for needy children or helping a mom or dad who couldn’t afford a car seat get one. And he grinned. He grinned so big telling me he’d like to help too. That’s when I broke.
 
Boy to ManThat’s when my heart burst in sadness and happiness all at once. I’m raising a little boy, but I’m raising him to be a man. A man I pray for every single day. An honest, caring, loving, smart man who will do things to make so many proud while making this world a better place. I pray daily for my children’s health, their happiness, and the strength to be the mother they need. I pray that he beats speech apraxia and that he accomplishes much. But I never think about him as an adult. At least I didn’t until today when my mind finally broke that baby mold I’d placed him in. I could see him, my baby, as an equal. Not a child, not my baby, but my grown son. I knew then that I’d always pray, that I’d always be worried and hopeful for him. That it would never stop and only grow. It also meant I’d get to experience his triumphs and joys. Not just the first steps and the conquering of a speech disorder, but a graduation, a true love, a JOB. Today I got it.
 
I always knew that police officers, doctors, firemen, military, etc all had dangerous jobs. They do, whether it be guns or disease they fight against, they put their lives at risks. I never looked at these people as someone’s son or daughter. I knew they were and I was grateful they had the bravery to put themselves out there so wholly to help others, but I never got that behind all of them, there was likely a terrified mama. A mama who was so proud but so scared of what her child was doing. A mama who stayed up at night worried, wishing just maybe that child was sitting behind a desk in an office instead.
 
I have no idea what my children will grow up to be. My only thought is that they grow to be good. That they’re kind to others and have morals and values and that they love. I’m lucky enough that one of them also has more bravery in his youth than I probably have as an adult. Somehow, I’m doing something right and I hope they continue down that right path. For all those terrified mamas behind the brave, the good – thank you. I don’t know how you do it, but thank you for raising courageous good souls who add beauty to this world instead of marring it.

Five Ways To Cope With Morning Sickness

Five Ways To Cope WIth Morning SicknessIf you’re a follower of the blog, you noticed the sudden decrease in posts last month.  And then hopefully you saw that I didn’t just go AWOL, I was being held captive by a little alien invader 🙂 .  I’m happy to report that thanks to my doctor and lots of supportive family, I’m slowly returning to myself.  Week nine and Diclegis have brought some relief that will hopefully have the blog back up and running full steam ahead.

My morning sickness had me sidelined for about a month.  There were days that I barely moved from the couch and where caring for my two children truly felt like a struggle.  My sewing room has been empty and there hasn’t been too much excitement going on in my house lately.  But ya know what?  It’s okay!!!  I cut myself some slack to rest and feel yucky.  I let my body and my mind cope with all the changes going on and guess what?  Life went on!  Nothing catastrophic happened.  I learned that while life is much more fun when I’m participating fully, once in a while when there are more pressing concerns, you can take a break and things will turn out just fine.

Of course, there were times when I couldn’t just sit by and watch.  I still had two children to cook for, play taxi too, and just generally care for.  I still have a house on the market so there was still much cleaning and laundry to do be done.   I shared a few tricks for handling diaper changes when you’re pregnant over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer last month and many of those tips apply to just generally surviving morning sickness the first couple of months.  Here are the some ways I’ve coped with morning sickness that will hopefully get you through too.

Five Ways To Handle Morning Sickness

  1. Extra sleep.  I know, I know. I have two kids still under 5. I get that midday naps don’t often happen.  But if you can go to bed a little early or catch some weekend naps, it will help.  Being tired only exacerbates the nausea.
  2. Pleasing scents.  We’re all different, if you can find a scent that calms your queasiness, use it.  Citrus and mint are usually the most effective, but if watermelon or your favorite Bath and Body Works lotion brings you relief, rub, burn it, infuse it…just sniff it!  An essential oil diluted with a carrier like coconut oil or scent free lotion can be a god-send smeared under your nose or dabbed on your wrist.  You all know I loooveee some CJs BUTTer.  The minis are great to grab and sniff.
  3. Juice, soda…whatever stays down.  I gave up soda a year ago…don’t miss it.  But during my first months of pregnancy, plain water doesn’t work.  I gag, I throw up almost every single time.  After finding myself dehydrated and constantly dizzy, I tried having a soda. And it stayed down.  I found small sips of cold juice stayed down too.  So I did what I had to do to stay hydrated.  Getting myself back to functioning was more important than keeping up the anti-soda streak.  Once my morning sickness eases, I’ll be back to drinking boat loads of water, but until then drinking it and vomiting isn’t worth it.
  4. Eating less…more often.  If another person ever tells me to eat a cracker for morning sickness, I might get sick on them.  Even thinking about a cracker turns my stomach. Crackers don’t work for me.  But, I found that having about 6-8 small meals a day does work.  Cereal, sandwiches, jello, fruit cups….whatever eases your stomach, try having something to eat every couple of hours.  The minute my stomach gets empty, bam, nausea sets in and it is HARD to break.  Sadly the first trimester is not a glowing picture of health food for me.  But it’s okay.  When your main concern is keeping anything down, you can cut yourself some slack and do the best you can.
  5. When all else fails…call the doctor.  I spent almost four weeks a sick, shaky mess.  My doctor put me Diclegis at a very small dosage and after just one week, I felt brand new.  My blood pressure came back up, I had more energy, and I was not throwing up twelve times a day anymore.  If medicine isn’t your route, it’s okay.  But if you aren’t functioning, getting help from your doctor is an option.  They see pregnant women every single day, they will likely have some tricks to help you.  You don’t want to wait until you’re dehydrated as that isn’t good for you or baby.

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Why So Quiet?

The blog’s been quiet this month…mainly because of this.

Announcement

And then we got to see this…

8w3dUltrasound

So I’ve spent a lot of time with my head in a toilet the last month or so.  This baby was a BIG surprise.  Most of my plans for the year have been thrown for a loop as I’m in the midst of some pretty awful morning sickness that keeps me close to the couch or bathroom lately.  If you’ve never experienced severe morning sickness, I hope you never do.  It is truly exhausting.  But, Baby Boo is growing right on track so far and that is indeed reason to celebrate.

I’ll be back…

What Makes A Family?

There’s always been a lot of talk about what makes a family.  Now that times are changing and more people are coming to realize that the traditional components of a nuclear family are not what we once thought they were, the view of what makes up a family is changing too.

I believe the most important component to any family is love.  Without love, support, and compassion a group of people who live together is just a group, not a family.  Family loves you without conditions and provides support when you are struggling.  They offer compassion and try their best to be understanding of each other’s goals.  When a member of the family, or the family as a whole, is faced with an obstacle, true families stick together and persevere.

The type of people involved have nothing to do with who makes up the family.  It could easily be two men, two women, siblings, even friends.  There could be children, or not.  Children could be biological, adopted, or blended from past marriages.  There could be legal documents binding the members together, or not.  The family could own their home – or they could rent.  They may even live with extended family to make up a bigger family unit.

What Makes A Family
What families don’t do is judge and criticize.  A family is not a unit who puts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself.  A family unit is not cruel and their love for you does not depend on the life choices you make.  Sure, families who love and support you want the best for you.  They don’t want you to make bad decisions that lead to a bad life.  But choices like who you choose to marry (in healthy, non-abusive relationships) are not put down or judged.  Things like sexual preference, race, religion, and politics are not taken into consideration.  The character of one’s heart and the content of the soul are what matter.

So what is a family?  It’s love. Support. Guidance. Acceptance. A hug when words don’t suffice.  A shoulder to lean on when life throws a curveball you weren’t ready for.  Family is realizing that life is not perfect but as long as you have each other, it’s doable.  Even enjoyable and can be pure happiness. Family is a group of people who make you want to be better, not just for yourself,  but for those you love.  Family pushes you to try new things when you’re scared and they offer to catch you when you stumble.

Simply put, family is love.  What/who makes up your family?

Learn To Help Yourself

Take Care of YourselfLast week, I did something out of character for myself – I gave up.  I had a to-do list that was miles long and a pile of papers for my kids, my family, and my goals.  I felt in over my head.

As parents, we spend so much time taking care of our children and our families that we often become the background noise in our own lives.  We spend each day ticking off items on a list – appointments for the kids, a project for friends, maintaining our homes, work obligations….  At the end of those long tired days it is very easy to just snip off the end of list that we’ve put ourselves on and forget those tasks.  But the easy way, isn’t always the best way.

As I stared down the barrel of what looked like sleepless nights and a plate fuller than what I thought I could handle, I started taking off the parts that were for me.   When your days are already filled, it’s hard to imagine adding anything else even if it’s something you want and believe in.  I thought taking away those parts would make me feel relieved and at peace, but instead it left me feeling empty.  Yes, my days would be clear to fully devote myself to my children and my family, but there would be little room for myself.

Room for self – that’s an important part of being a parent that many people forget.  It’s easy to do.  From the time you become pregnant people’s reaction to you changes.  It goes from, “Good morning, how are you,” to , “How’s the baby, have you picked a name yet?”  For nine solid months your life will revolve around your growing baby and that growing belly.  When the baby enters the world, your own focus is fully centered on feeding, diapering, bathing, and loving this new being.  You will think of your child almost every single second of every single day.  Their care will, at first, leave little time for your own.  You may feel guilt when you leave them for the first time even and if you aren’t careful, you may very well lose yourself entirely.

The role of mother does not have to be the only one you take.  It does not have to replace your role as wife, friend, daughter, co-worker, even business owner.  While it can permeate each of your other roles, molding and shaping who and what you are, that isn’t a bad thing!  Motherhood can teach you patience, compassion, and perseverance.  It can show you just how strong you always were and how much you can accomplish when you are dedicated.  It can teach you to be humble and you will learn to multi-task with far greater ease than you ever have before.

Last week I gave up.  At least temporarily.  I threw in the proverbial towel and I resigned myself to give up the roles I wanted for myself.  Lucky for me, I’m not alone.  I have friends, family, prayers, and a power greater than myself.  Thanks to a combination of all these, I was guided back on track.  I realized that deciding to give up on the parts of myself that were just for me might make completing all my daily duties easier, but it wouldn’t be living in its truest sense.  When we exist without passion or goals, we aren’t truly living and I want to do more than exist – I want to truly live.

There’s a popular saying that God only helps those who learn to help themselves.  In one sense, I very much believe this.  I believe that God helps those in need, but I also believe we have to play an active role in bettering ourselves and our lives.  When you’re given an opportunity – take it.  When you’re given a chance to try something you’ve always wanted, you owe it to yourself to do it.  To be the best parent you can be, you must also take care of yourself and learn to let go of guilt when you do.  An evening away or a decision to take on roles in addition to that as a parent are good for you and your children.

Being Happy As The Parent You Are

There was a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine anything more fulfilling than being a mother.  I longed desperately to be a mother and finally, finally got my wish.  A struggle with infertility had made being a mother feel like the only thing I needed to be complete.  And for a while, it was.

Before ChildrenBefore having children, I worked full-time.  I enjoyed working and had no intentions of becoming a stay-at-home-mom.  However, once my oldest son was finally here and those weeks were speeding by to the end of my leave, I realized that I just couldn’t leave him.  I trusted the daycare providers we had chosen and visited, but there was a strong bond between my heart and this new being’s that pulled me ever so close to him.  There was no way I would be returning to work.  That was just over four years ago and I’m now a stay-at-home-mom to TWO little boys.  My boys are still young, but they are no longer babies.  They are capable of playing independently for longer stretches of time and I’m no longer caught up in bottles, naps, and mountains of diapers and spit-up laundry.  I’m still quite busy being their mother, but I’m often not nearly as content as I was in those first three years.

Occupation of MotherBeing a stay-at-home-mom has awarded me the luxury of witnessing so many of my children’s firsts.  I saw first steps, crawls, rolls, laughs, words.  I’ve watched fine motor skills become more precise and language skills flourish.  I’ve watched my children began to discover just who they are and what they enjoy in life.  It has truly been miraculous.  When they were infants and still loved to nap, I reintroduced myself to sewing and learned that my talents and passion for it were stronger than I’d remembered.  I learned to crochet, cook from scratch, and grow a garden.  I became an advocate for living more naturally and frugally.  I learned to help moms learn to cloth diaper and embrace more natural products.  My children not only brought me (and my family) joy, they brought me back to life.  They were an awakening I hadn’t known I’d needed.  It’s almost painful for me to look back on a life before them because there was always such a strong emptiness with me back then.  There was always anger covering a pain where my soul was aching for these little beings that I didn’t even know yet.  There was part of me there…but my kids brought back the rest of me.

Love Yourself MamaI love being able to stay home with my kids.  We make sacrifices so that I can be so involved in their lives and I truly wouldn’t change that.  I would be lying though if I told you that it still left me totally and completely fulfilled as a person.  I wish it did!  I know mothers who are truly content and happy being ‘just’ moms and I admire them so much.  While my children changed me for the better, I am and will always continue to be an individual.  My own wants and desires did not fade to black when the occupation of mother was added to my résumé.  I am very proud of the me who was so content and happy staying home and devoting her every being to the care and love of her children.  I’m still that mom, but one wants to add in parts of my old self once again.  After all, isn’t melding parts of our old and new how we evolve into something better?

We all too often doubt who we are as mothers.  We shouldn’t.  Whether we’re the mom who is juggling a career and motherhood, the mom whose whole life is staying home, or the mom whose found a balance somewhere between – we should embrace the parents we are today.  We won’t get to relive these moments, we won’t get do overs.  If we’re teaching our children to love and we’re loving them back, we’ve got at least part of it right.  Love yourself mama, your kids already do.

The Day That Isn’t…

Beacon of HopeBack in September…I was so excited about Christmas this year.  Granted, I’m excited about Christmas every year, but this year there was to be a special announcement.

One week (or perhaps just a few days) before Christmas, we were to find out the gender of the baby that I lost in September.  Just as I had made an elaborate video to announce our new babies impending arrival, I had a big plan to reveal baby M3’s gender.  I was so excited that the time was going to work out so that we’d find out right before Christmas.  As soon as the ultrasound was done I was going to rush over to my favorite baby store and buy an outfit in the appropriate colors that screamed BOY or GIRL.  Two outfits actually – one for my mother and one for my mother-in-law.  And oh how a big part of me prayed for a girl.  One tiny precious little girl among my rough and tumble, but painfully sweet boys.  If that box had been filled with a pink outfit, my heart would have leapt higher and higher.  Of course, if that box had been filled with more blue I would have rejoiced just as freely at having another protector.  Another precious little heart for me to teach how to be kind and love.  And who could teach me in things like superheroes, race tracks, and playing in the dirt as my other boys so love to do.

I can’t help but be a bit sad – occasionally weepy this holiday season.  I am so blessed to have so much good in my life that it can often overshadow what I feel is bad.  Yet in the quiet of the morning and the stillness of the night I’m often left alone with the thoughts of what could’ve been and it becomes a heavy burden.  While there will be presents beneath my tree, there will not be the promise of another child’s birthday to await next spring.  There is not a growing life in my womb to be celebrated…

As it so happens, my oldest son was born just two weeks shy of Christmas.  It is always such a celebratory day for us.  We celebrate this beautiful child who brought into our lives so much more than a new life.  Through his labor hope and proof that miracles happen were born.  God's GiftsHe proved to us that dreams come true if you never give up on them.  He was a beacon of light that pushed his way out of a darkness many mother’s sadly know about – but not all escape.  His birth showed me that I embody strength and courage and still kept a soul gentle enough to be brought to tears by a brand new baby’s cries.  Such a small baby, born three weeks before he was to come, just couldn’t wait to tell the world – we did it.  My mom, dad, and I – we beat this infertility thing and we’re here.

I view my two boys as true miracles, it would be hard not to when you look at how many of their siblings failed to thrive in my womb.  With so many living, walking miracles in my life I often feel guilty that I still pray for just one more.  God placed within me a mother’s heart and that is one calling that I have never wavered upon.  There were many times when the darkness in me called upon me to give up…but, I was never one to be told I couldn’t do something.  My mother’s heart always won out in our battle to become parents.  And, I do sincerely believe it will win out in our battle for “just one more”.

I’m not wrapping up any big news to place under the tree this year.  The day that I was so impatiently waiting for will not be.  I am wrapping up love and hope.  I’m walking proof that perseverance is a trait worth holding on to and that if you want something to happen, eventually it can.  I do not hold time’s playbook.  I don’t get to peek under God’s Christmas tree and see what he has waiting for me.  However, if I take the time to breathe, let go of my fears and anger, I can open my eyes and watch all the past gifts that mean so much play out before me every single day.  For that I am thankful.  I am clearly blessed….