Becoming a mom: in 30(ish) photos

Being a mom—being Edith’s mom—has been delightful and something that I have been documenting since August 2014. And I think those photos tell a fun little story.

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It begins with feeling like you have such a big belly and then continues to prove that the first time you thought you were showing, you really weren’t.
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And that belly becomes even bigger. This is four days before Miss E came along.
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And then the baby comes and the magic of new life overcomes your little world and all is suddenly changed.
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And that first night, you lie in bed and wonder how this happened and how you are going to keep this little one alive and will you ever sleep again?
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And then she sleeps on you—and the magic is new every few hours.
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And you go on your first outing together and feel especially proud.
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But feel prouder still when you figure out how to wear your baby and suddenly have two hands and the ability to make dinner while keeping baby happy, quiet, and sleeping.
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Because she truly doesn’t sleep much. #mylife
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And sometimes she is all smiles.
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But she also looks like this for what feels like a lot of the time.
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And she gets older and you discover how to smile and play and laugh together.
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You teach her about lying out under the blue sky.
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About cooking.
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About how some nights you just need to eat your dinner on the floor while watching cooking shows on YouTube.

 

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About selfies.
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About music.
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About baseball caps and mornings spent in bed.
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And about chocolate-covered pretzels.
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And there are many times she still looks like this.
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But more often than not, she is pure wonder and delight and that is exactly how we feel about her.

Love, enfleshed

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetLove is nothing if it is not incarnated.

I suppose my liturgical seasons are all turned around. This past Holy Week—the three days in which we celebrate the apex, the glorious climax, of salvation history—filled all of my thoughts with the incarnation.

Perhaps it is because I am living in this miracle of life enfleshed; of love given hands and feet and skin and lungs and movement. Our love, made flesh.

Yet without the incarnation, we would not have Easter.

As I considered the agony of Christ, I couldn’t shake the humanity and the physicality of such holy days. Jesus wept in the garden and stumbled under the weight of the cross and felt every millimeter of those nails pounding into His flesh. How earthly and human.

Sometimes I worry that the love of God seems like an abstraction: something that I must hold onto and believe in, but something that I can’t truly understand or have experience with. But Maundy Thursday brings Christ who washes feet and loves His disciples with His hands and leaves Himself for us in the Eucharist. And Good Friday comes and reminds us that Love is more than an abstraction or a pretty idea; it is the Man hanging on a cross, his body broken and scourged, His arms open as He welcomes the thief beside Him into eternity. After Good Friday comes Holy Saturday, the quiet and sober day when we realize what the world would be like without this Savior. Dark, still, empty.

Then the darkness gives way to Easter, that day that the risen Lord gives us hope not simply of an eternal soul, but an eternal body: a new, risen, perfected, glorified body. There is flesh to the resurrection; it will be a physical reality, however mysterious and unknown that existence is to our mortal minds.

Love has bones and skin and hair and veins. Love came to redeem and renew our bones and skin. Love gives us hope of perfected bones and skin, perfected existence.

And in just a few weeks, we will welcome a new miracle of love enfleshed. Our love given physical reality, just as the love of the Father gave the physical reality of His Son to the world. We will seek to give love hands and feet and concrete existence as we learn to love this child and this Lord in new ways as we enter into the beauty of new life.

And we will welcome hope—because this is not the ultimate reality. It is only a beautiful taste of the magnificent, glorified, physical reality that we will one day know. This baby, and this baby’s mother and father, were made for glory—real, physical glory.

A little Lacy

1413310191147It’s true! Come the first few days of May, a little Travis and Shannon will enter the world.

We are delighted about this new little life that has joined the family. Baby Lacy makes me feel like a child pretending to be a grown-up. Or as if I am dreaming and I must be imagining someone else’s life.

Life is a remarkable thing—we look forward to so many milestones, and they come and go, and before long become part of the everyday. In some ways, I can’t remember what it was like before we had this baby. I haven’t had the urge to read a pile of pregnancy books and I really haven’t felt a pile of emotions about this little one, but I am driven to contemplation when I consider this baby living off of my own life, with a heart beating because of my own heart beating.

And I think about the women in the Bible and their pregnancies. I think of the anticipation Mary must have felt, wondering when she would first feel the Lord moving as she didn’t have the luxury of doppler to find the heartbeat at twelve weeks. And of Elizabeth who must have been overwhelmed with joy when her son recognized the presence of Christ, even within the womb. I pray my own baby would know that presence, just as John did. How beautiful that the crowning event of history began with a pregnancy—something so real and physical and gritty, so contrary to the way we think of a far-off God of the universe, yet so true to who Christ is.

Pregnancy also has me in tears at ridiculous times (like when my baseball team takes the field in a postseason game) and leaves me starving after I just finished dinner, but so far it has been a fairly smooth ride and Travis is “pumped about the bump” that is slowly emerging. His excitement is infectious, and I am grateful that he is so thrilled.

I am learning to cherish every wonder and fear as we experience this growing miracle, knowing that in a new way I am learning to say with Mary the mother of God, “Let it be to me according to your word.” I couldn’t hope for anything more.