Resting, Corin-style

I would like to share an example of how Corin’s nap time – and I use that term extremely loosely – goes these days.

*Loud and long tuneless singing of made-up songs mixed with a few selections he’s learned at church or Mother’s Day Out. Today’s lyrics are along a salvation theme.*

*Loud clapping and cheering*

*Whispered: “That was a good song, wasn’t it? Yes, it was a very good song.*

*Repeat*

This is currently being followed by what sounds like a full re-enactment of the David and Goliath confrontation.

I’m not entirely sure how restful “nap time” is any more.

Happy birthday, Luke – Part I

This past weekend was chock-full of celebration. My youngest nephew, Luke, was dedicated at church on Saturday, Corin had a little birthday bash with our Georgia family Saturday night, and we celebrated Luke’s first birthday on Sunday. Nothing beats celebrating milestones with these kiddos.

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Trying not to miss a thing is a little tricky when one is also drinking a bottle.

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The cupcake eating is getting serious.

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“What have I done?!”

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Headed to the bath tub

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Four and flying high

Yesterday afternoon, I sat on the floor of the self-proclaimed largest indoor playground in Nashville and fought back tears.

Anyone watching probably thought I was going through some crisis. I wasn’t. I was looking at the clock and realizing that just about exactly that time four years ago, I was holding my son for the first time.

Corin’s birthday always takes me back to the years of longing that preceded his arrival. I think about the crushing disappointments, the yearning, the physical toll of fertility treatments. Then I look at my son, now four years strong and full of life, and… truly, words fail me. Everything I might say falls short of expressing the overflowing gratitude I feel. He is a walking, talking miracle, that boy of mine.

We had a party Sunday. Planes are Corin’s current obsession, so a planes party it was. My parents were kind enough to host at their house. As usual, I procrastinated and then spent several days working my tail off, but it payed off. Everyone had a great time, and I have the pictures to enjoy (no thanks to my son and his camera aversion).

Special thanks to my friend, Laura Wensell, for taking a lot of these photos.

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I may have forgotten to do the candles and song until Corin’s cake was half eaten…

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Like I said, camera averse

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Friends in (latitudinally) low places

And now for a post that’s truly overdue…

At the end of January, I took a trip with the kids to Florida to see a very dear friend and her family. We discovered that two adults to five children is not really any easier than one adult to two or three, but we tackled outings with gusto and balanced it out with some quiet time at home. I was a tad apprehensive about flying alone with two kids for the first time, but thankfully, both my kids travel well. We did not make enemies of our fellow passengers. The kids and I got sick half-way through our visit, which added an extra level of challenge. Baby Girl did not appreciate being in an unfamiliar environment while feeling markedly subpar. I know this, because she would not let me set her down for a moment without subjecting the neighborhood to ear-splitting wails. Thus, my pictures of the trip are a little sparse. (If you’ve ever tried shooting photos while holding an unhappy baby, you know what I mean.)

Whatever the challenges, it is always worth it to reconnect with friends. Our kids are growing up fast, and Corin and Eleanor – just a few weeks apart in age – played together beautifully. Corin happily would have stayed behind at Aunt Lila’s house. These times make me wish I could collect in one place all my friends and family spread out across the globe, so we could be a part of each other’s lives in ways so hard to accomplish long-distance. Here’s to loved ones in far-away places; we miss you all.

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Why, yes, that is a backyard zip line. Thanks to Frank and Susan for an awesome afternoon!

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A lollipop, a tire horse swing, some sidewalk chalk on the pant legs: more elements of a very good day.

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“I’m King Herod’s solider!” (That Christmas story really stuck this year.)

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I call this series, “A Study in Contrasts: Happy Baby, Sad Baby.”

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Lina was sleeping. Also, I am clearly not a professional photographer. Getting four kids to all look at the camera and smile at the same time is an accomplishment well beyond my skills. Actually, it’s just my kid who won’t look at the camera and smile. 

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18 years of friendship and counting

Ch-ch-ch-changing

My children do not always do so well with change. The truth is, neither do I. But life, I am learning, is change. That’s what keeps things interesting.

Over the past year or so, Jon and I have researched, talked about and prayed over the topic of our kids’ education. I won’t drag you through the details of our process, but we have arrived at the decision to relocate our family to Williamson County, on the south side of Nashville. The schools there are exceptional, particularly in their approach to special education, and the area provides access to tremendous resources for Lina, starting now and carrying all the way through to adulthood.

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Our house is currently on the market. That’s an adventure in itself. We have no idea how long it will take us to sell, and once we have a contract, there’s the challenge of finding the right new house in time to avoid homelessness. (Relatives have offered to take us in for a week or two, if necessary, and worst case scenario is renting for a few months while we shop.) Prices are steep where we’re looking, and inventory is low. It’s a seller’s market, and we’re buyers. But God has answered a lot of prayers thus far, and we’ll just keep following where He opens doors.

In the meantime, Corin is struggling with the idea of leaving the only home he’s known. We’ve tried to keep it all as low-key as possible amidst realtor meetings, packing up extra belongings and preparing for showings, but that kid is perceptive. He knows what’s up, and he senses our stress. We’ve garnered a few new ideas to try to ease the transition.  The tantrums and helplessness have eased – a little. (“But I can’t possibly put on these shoes that I’ve been putting on by myself for the past 6 months!”) He’ll be fine. He’ll survive and eventually settle into life in a new home, as we all will.

Just don’t ask me how I feel about leaving the hand-painted Narnia mural in his room. Or the bedroom where my daughter was born. Or the therapists and TEIS teacher we’ve come to love. Or… I better stop now.