Concerning The Royal Rebels

I thought I wasn’t really interested in the whole royal wedding hoopla, but as it turns out– I AM!

I highly enjoyed that entire ceremony and only have about 42 thoughts concerning it all.

1. I’m 100% here for Harry. Gah, I spent a good portion of my teenage years obsessed with Prince William, but daaaaaang– HELLO HARRY. That beard, his smitten looks at her, his black outfit thing over PW’s red a few years ago– I felt like he was a win all the way around! I have only the heart eyes for him!

2. The Dress. I felt… underwhelmed? Maybe that was intentional? Second wedding? 36? I don’t know. I wasn’t in love.

3. I loved Meghan and her mom riding up. So many feels and just goodness all around.

4. However, it did break my heart her dad wasn’t there.

5. The veil carriers (? I’m sure there is a more fancy name for them) were everything! I loved all of that and all of the little ones holding hands… PRECIOUS. I want to get married again just for that to be Roman, June, Ian, Smith, Laurel, and Annabeth carrying my veil hand in hand!!!!

6. Speaking of veils– LOVED hers. That part of her dress didn’t underwhelm me!

7. Their eyes and looks toward each other were so on point. I visibly felt the love through the screen, 12 hours after it all went down and I actually had so many feels and lovey moments remembering my own wedding and all the feels– loved that so much.

8. Stand By Me by the gospel choir- PERFECTION.

9. Princess Kate and Princess Charlotte– killing it, as always.

10. Do we think Megs and Harry waited for tonight to be THE night?

11. The kiss! Gah. I had to go find Ry Ry and kiss him because it was all too much and wonderful!

12. Oprah’s outfit– get it, girl. I was a fan.

13. Prince William and Prince Harry’s bromance before the ceremony started– precious. With a side of smolder.

14. Okay for my last thought but maybe my first I wanted to write… THAT HAIR OUT OF PLACE/OFF THE PART. Guys, I couldn’t. Like wanted to cry inside about that. I am SURE it was intentional which I want to feel better about but gah, no. Just no. She has such good hair and just man, I was also very underwhelmed and a bit stressed about her hair.

15. Speaking of hair, I love that he’s a redhead and she has dark hair– I feel like it’s just a gorgeous combo.

16. The vows were so sincere and I cannot say enough about the genuine and pure of their looks and affection toward each other– it all ALMOST allowed me to ignore The Hair.

17. Harry’s “You look amazing.” slaaaaaaayed me and took me back to my own such moment of something The Shippmate whispered to me up there! Gah, gah, gah— I LOVE LOVE!

18. Her bouquet. I hate to keep using this same word but I was underwhelmed again? Maybe that was the vibe and as someone who had a bit of a shoulder injury per my three dozen rose bouquet I carried all day (BUT LOOKED AMAZING SO: WORTH IT) I do get that she will be in no arm pain from that thing but I just wanted a little more?

19. Nineteen thoughts about something I didn’t know I cared about until today feels good, but despite all the underwhelming feelings, I was absolutely ZERO percent underwhelmed with their love for each other and their looks at each other— I was so here for all of that and it had me just the most smitten kitten!

I really loved being there for the whole thing (and by “there” I, of course, mean my own living room with my Captain Crunch) and I’m so glad I jumped on that bandwagon and the whole thing has me nearly confident I’m going to wear my own wedding veil wherever The Shipper is taking me on our anniversary later this summer. Because I LOVE VEILS.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got.

Someone talk to me.

PS:  Sorry on #14 I said it was my last thought and kept going for like 5 more. I didn’t want to end on that negative note LOL.

The Monday After Mother’s Day

After the kids were bathed and in bed last night, The Shippmate and I did something we NEVER do.

Instead of doing all the things that needed done, we somehow ended up on the living room floor (collapsed basically) and just cuddled and talked and DID NOTHING TO THE HOUSE.
Which was kind of glorious.
I mean it was absolutely glorious in the moment– what had been the perfect Mother’s Day weekend ended with me snuggled up to my favorite guy just talking and laughing and being all heart eyes and rainbows.
However, because it was coming off a weekend where I was gone shopping at dinner with my mom Friday night, gone all day Saturday doing my own thing– pretty toes included– while Ry was putting together THE sweetest Mother’s Day gift with the kids and then we were all gone all day yesterday to Powell Gardens, getting home only in time to get back for church and then home for baths and bedtime routines– well, let’s just say all of that left our house a complete tornado of a disaster.
I feel like in this stage of life we either can spend our weekend catching up/getting ahead OR having fun/being gone.  It’s really really impossible to do both with our current litter of children and me so pregnant.
Therefore, choosing to cuddle and talk on the living room floor was a pretty risqué move with the house I was going to wake up to today lol.
So much so that my Shippmate- and I LOVE him so much for this– sent me a text first thing this morning telling me not to try to do it all myself with the kids but he’d help tonight so we could get back on track.
Which was so sweet and VERY appreciated but we’re going to be gone tonight and it was so bad, the kids and I couldn’t function today and I especially didn’t want to be gone tonight and start my tomorrow like this again, so thanks to Annabeth waking up covered in poop at 7am (a solid hour and half earlier than normal) (but just an hour after I had been up to use the restroom because FOREVER PREGNANT) I was already up and cleaning and scrubbing and dealing by 7am.
From 7am to now (2pm) I got A LOT done– as in every single bedroom picked up, the kitchen completely transformed (IT WAS BAD), the living room picked up and cleaned (ALSO VERY BAD) and the bathrooms scrubbed and wiped down and put back together, along with making breakfast, lunch and changing an insane amount of diapers– and despite all of that and working non-stop the last 7 hours, there is still ALL of the laundry to be sorted, washed, and my own bedroom floor full of clothes to be sorted and put away.
BUT our actual living spaces out here are completely under control and the dishwasher is running and I’m about to fall asleep to it and ignore the laundry one more day because I am WORN out.  The absolute craziest thing about this pregnancy is how exhausted I get and how I only have a certain number of hours in my day before I’m just done. Out.  Dying to be in an ice bath.
Anyway, I do love the feeling of getting so much done and so I genuinely and sincerely do not regret the time Ry and I spent just loving on each other last night to end our blissfully wonderful Mother’s Day weekend over us doing all the things, because something about starting Monday morning out that productive is kind of fun to my weird self.
AND in a perfect storm of wonderful, the one day I made a hot lunch (that is NOT the norm around here) Ryan called and said he would bring me lunch or bring me a drink or anything I wanted and instead I got to tell him just to come home and he could enjoy a lunch with us!!  WHICH I LOVE.
An around the table family lunch on the Monday after Mother’s Day?

Makes my heart quite happy!
OH and hilarious enough, one of the topics discussed last night collapsed on the living room floor was how NONE of our kids pooped yesterday.  We joked that it was some kind of Mother’s Day magical gift EXCEPT what that also meant was I changed 4 poopy diapers today LOL.
A little less magical this morning!
Okay, I have a house full of sleeping babes and a very clean living room awaiting for me to fall asleep in– I’m nearly too excited to sleep!
Keyword: nearly!

Typical Spicy Things That Happen Here.

Okay, so EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY hasn’t quite happened.

Funny enough, I first typed it out as EVERY FRIDAY IN MAY but putting my fingers to the keyboard to type felt so good and so right and so very May that I was all: SURELY THIS CAN BE BETTER THAN FIVE POSTS IN MAY!?

Which I think it can, but gah– things change and happen and spill more than they go smoothly right now, so maybe EVERY OTHER DAY (or so) IN MAY would have been more appropriate.

However, I AM so blissfully happy to be in my driveway, my feet up in my stroller of an ottoman in my new lawn chair with a water and some sweet country tunes coming from my van pairing so nicely with the birds chirping and the smell of a spring storm just around the corner.

Bliss.

I’m going to take you through my morning as just the most minute example of how I can plan things out so well and things suddenly go such a completely different direction.

Last night, I stayed up late and on my feet way past when I wanted to be in bed to make breakfast and lunch for today.

With our current #threethreeandunder + me pregnant vibe, if I want good food to be cooked, I have to do it when the kids are sleeping.

So I made egg muffins and Sloppy Joes until nearly midnight.  Cut up fruit to be ready to go.  Left the kitchen clean and ready to start tomorrow off right.

Today was a school day for June, so it was even more important I had things lined up– clothes out, breakfast ready, water cups waiting to be filled– all the things.

June came in and woke me up with a good 30 minutes before we needed to leave, so she and I snuggled and chatted it for a few minutes before I sent her to her room to get dressed and meet me in the kitchen to eat her breakfast while I would then go in and get Smith and Annabeth out of their cribs and change their diapers, dress them, and load them with their breakfasts and waters.

June and I even stood outside their door together for a minute just admiring at how sweet their little babbles of morning giggles and talks are!

I actually thought I was videoing them as June opened the door to tell them good morning, but actually I was not and thus how I have these pics of them.

Mostly of JUNE.  Reacting to the complete horror of a smell and situation we walked into.

But first, let me explain that June is dressed, finished with her breakfast, ready to walk to the van while I quickly change both of their diapers and change their clothes to the ones I have out and ready to load them with their breakfast and water.

So we are T minus 5 minutes from pulling out of our driveway at this point and it’s 8:23, so we’re nearly going to get June to school on time.

Until.

Until we smell and see what we see.

June said it first, “HE IS PEEING!!! LIKE ACTUALLY PEEING OUT!”

While trying to mask my face from the awful smell, I say– “Wait- no, what? You have a diaper on, right Smiffy?”

*in my mind quickly and silently thinking SO HELP ME IF RYAN FORGOT TO PUT A DIAPER ON HIM LAST NIGHT*

But Smith says, “Uhhhhh, no diaper, Mama.  Diaper (then uses his hands to show me what he had JUST done with his diaper) (which was tossed on the blue chair)….”

So I see a COMPLETELY dry nighttime diaper we normally pull off of him SOAKING WET (and leaking through) (causing every morning and every afternoon me to have change and wash bedding) (my favorite pregnant pasttime) and then I see he is sure enough just peeing all over with no diaper.

Immediately I look at June and realize she’s not getting to school on time.

I quickly get Annabeth out, change her diaper, and give her some fruit in her highchair with my biggest helper of a June promising to sit there next to her and keep her company.

I run to Smith’s room with my diffuse and purification and get that going STAT.

I then lift his heavy and soaking wet body out of his crib, strip him down, strip his bed, and help get him lifted into our tub.

Where oh yes, the morning I stayed up past midnight to make smooth is now starting with bathing my Smith Bomb.

I looked at my phone at 8:35am and thought, “My back and belly feel like they’re now done for the day.”

HA.

Quickly, I got him all cleaned up, lotioned, new diaper, new clothes, socks and shoes and sent him and June to the car while I carried Annabeth and their breakfast bowls.

And we were off.

Instead of nearly being on time, June was clocked in more around 9:15 and I know her teachers have to think I’m a complete fail of a mom but gah, I try to plan and be prepared and people piss all over my plans.

June is very flexible and chill about it all and really just makes my life so much easier with her as my firstborn daughter.

She sprinted to her classroom excited as can be, kissed me goodbye and had a great day.


As I get back home with my babes, I get them out, give them their allergy meds and both settled while I take all the pee laundry to the basement to deal with.

Naturally the dryer is full, the washer is full of wet towels that kind of make my back want to cry unloading, but I get it all switched and throw in more purification with all the pee stuff that smells AWFUL and then sprint back up the stairs to find a Annabeth and Smith smiling at the gate at me.

I love those two so much.

I had scheduled our exterminator man to come at 10am, so I quickly re-load Annabeth and Smith and then climb our stairs for the 10th time this morning to let the bug guy in, pay him, make sure no matter how many diffusers and oils he sees around my house I WANT NO KIND OF NATURAL BUG TREATMENT BUT ONLY THE WORST KIND OF THINGS TO RID MY HOUSE OF ALL OF THEM (which he chuckled and assured me he’d do) and then I get in the car to realize my back and belly hurt so bad and I need my ice pack for wherever the three of us are headed.

So I sprint back up those stairs, get the ice pack, bid goodbye to the bugs and the bug man and get back in the van quite unsure of where we’re headed but very sure Annabeth has NOT appreciated this complete chaos of a morning and she’s unusually annoyed and screaming at me and so I decide to just drive.

Anywhere but here.

With my ice pack and the air blasting on my face.

Smith says, “Where we go, Mama?”

I answer him honestly with, “I’m not quite sure, buddy.”

Smith- “Go see Pa?”

Ha.

I get on the highway because Annabeth is screaming and I realize by this point it’s time for her morning nap but we’re not going to take it with the bug spray, so I decide to get on the highway to get her to sleep and before I know it, she’s quietly fallen asleep and happy, Smith is enjoying the airplanes out the window, and I’m loving the ice on my back and catching up on Voxer.

I look out the window and realize we’ve passed Crest Ridge and I contemplated leaving this whole part out of the story but me and Miranda Lambert neither have really ever been known for hiding our crazy, so I’m just going to keep it #100 with you.

When I realize we’ve passed Crest Ridge, my pregnant body that has yet to have a single bit of breakfast or food or anything except water and sweat in my mouth thinks, “Well shoot– we’re basically to Chik-Fil-A, so I guess we’ll just drive ahead to get some lunch and then pick up June from school.”

There are some of you reading who maybe have no idea the geographic markers and mileage of my house — Crest Ridge — Chik-Fil-A, and for that, I AM GRATEFUL.

Because I really don’t think normal people get to Crest Ridge and think “I’m almost to a spicy chicken sandwich!”

But whatever man.

That’s so what we did.

Smith and I had a great talk on the drive.  Annabeth got her morning nap, and I pulled in with just enough time to order my Spicy Chicken Sandwich and some nugs for the kids and head immediately back to pick up June from school.

I wish I could even say that’s where all the madness and crazy ends, but you guys– I get up to the window to pay and I CANNOT FIND MY CARD.

I KNOW that I have it because I just got gas and I’m furiously searching and sweating and I have my pregnant belly basically balancing me on the middle console while my butt is in the face of all  the workers standing by the window waiting for my payment– I open my car door, look all over the side, look in every bag, ask Smith if he ate it, look in the crease of the seats… I’m thinking to myself I DID NOT JUST DRIVE THIS FAR FOR A SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH AND GET THIS CLOSE FOR NOTHING.

I then ask if they take checks and the girl thinks they do but needs to go verify.

She comes back and it’s actually not their pleasure to take checks after all.

I’m a hot pregnant mess and her manager smiles at me and he says, “Hey— this is on us today- you take your food and just enjoy!”

Oh, bless it.

I still can’t believe he said that.

Because you know the only thing that tastes better than a chicken sandwich you might have driven 35 miles for?

That would be a free spicy chicken deluxe — that shoot, while we’re being all in the open and #100 I might as well go ahead and admit that yes, I made it a large drink and a large fry LOL.  Also free and free.

I am so emotional and passionate about food and needed to just savor that sandwich that I put on a Curious George for Smith, Annabeth is still basking in her morning nap, and I loved every bit of that sandwich so much.

I was telling the whole story to my friend on Vox and you guys, as I tell her all the places I looked for that card, I all of the sudden say “OH MY GOSH- I THINK I KNOW WHERE IT IS” and I even had to re-listen to this Vox to hear my voice be so genuinely surprised when I reach into my back jean shorts pocket AND THERE IT IS.

I nearly died!

You guys– if you recall, my big pregnant booty was up in the air and faces of all the workers while I’m like head diving into my van looking for that card and my shorts are pretty tight and lasted through an entire Smith and Annabeth pregnancy so also the material is worn and tired and I NEARLY WONDER IF THEY KNEW AND SAW IT AND DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME!

Well what to do with me besides send me and my chicken on and out of their drive thru line that was now nearly backed up to Red Lobster.

I am honest to blog writing them a thank you note and mailing it tomorrow.

Because per the pee and The Assassin and the sore pregnant bod and the fact this all occurred before 11:30am,  you just don’t know how much that free spicy chicken meal rocked my world.

2k words later, you now know why EVERY (OTHER) DAY IN MAY is going to be a bit fluid of an expression, because well— this is my life and despite it needing lots of purification oil and iced trips to Chik-Fil-A, I’m not going to lie– it really is a crazy kind of wonderful.

A Belated Birthday Shout Out

This birthday post is five days late, because there really are no words adequate for how much my dad means to me.

Anything I could tell you would just be an understatement, and thus I am nearly too overwhelmed to even attempt to put words to the feelings in my heart.

Simply put– he makes me a better person in every way possible.

In this current season of life, I cannot tell you how his willingness and work ethic to be helpful to my family makes me a better mom and wife.

He thinks of ways to be helpful before I can even ask— and it’s so huge to me.

Not just to me, but my kids.

Each time he’s helping me, he’s helping me in another way by nurturing the most tender and loving and precious relationships with my three kids. They all three adore him like none other— he has been present from the minute they’re born and never missed a moment.

One day last week, things were falling apart around here (as they do when I’m pregnant with three little kids) and June saw me in frustrated tears and said, “Okay- this really seems like a situation where we need to call Pa. He will completely make it all better.”

Only four years into this world and she knows this truth about her Pa.

Smith doesn’t wait for a stressful moment to suggest we call Pa, as he truly and sincerely asks me every morning— the MINUTE he wakes up, “Me see Pa today, Mama?” and then will beg for me to take him to Pa for a good portion of the day if we’re not already seeing him.

And Annabeth? He was the first person outside of this home that she “recognized” with her eyes and that she tried to wrangle out of my arms to get HIM to hold her. The Pa adoration starts young around here.

Not only does Pa love them so well, but the guy I know as Dad within Pa is so pivotal to my world, too.

Anytime he’s here helping us, he’s also providing me such a lifebreathing form of company during days that can feel so lonely and long as a stay-at-home mom.

I really couldn’t ask for a better dad, a better Pa, or a better friend to us all.

Happy 55th Birthday, Dad— our lives are immeasurably better because of you.

PS: I know I said I didn’t know if I could put words to the feelings in my heart, but if you know my dad or have ever been to a sports’ banquet where Coach Dyer had a microphone, my inability to be concise comes honestly!

EVERYDAY IN MAY IS BACK… with a twist!

Oh hey there!

Thought I forgot all about this site of a Dyer-E, did ya?

Actually NO, didn’t forget– just keep having all these babies.

I especially didn’t forget on May Day. (which is the beginning of this super special and near and dear to my heart event called EVERYDAY IN MAY that if you don’t know about, you can catch up back HERE where it all began)

I cried myself to sleep that night because an annual event that meant (means) SO MUCH to my writer’s soul wasn’t going to happen.  I had contemplated forcing it to happen but that particular night, I was feeling so exhausted and so frustrated from plans changing last minute, and I just could not.

So then I decided I know!  I could tweak it from EVERYDAY IN MAY to EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY!

The ring isn’t quite the same, but it still semi-rhymes and while I realize this is a season of life– especially while pregnant with my three littles (two of which need picked up constantly and are actually not that literally little) — when I have to give up things I want to pursue and dream big about, I feel like completely burying them isn’t necessary either.

So I’m going to be here.

EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY.

It feels achievable but not too much to make me crazy.

But before I start, I had to tell you that I had a window of time I was going to write my first post (not this one, this is just like the pre-post before the real posts begin) and I had my unsweetened tea, my oils burning, kids sleeping, sunshine coming through all my windows I love– I was PUMPED.  I was READY.

And first of all, I got distracted over on a letter Beth Moore wrote to her brothers and I started crying so hard reading it, I could not find my contact in my eye!

I am not kidding.

I spent at least 7 minutes searching IN MY RIGHT EYE for said contact. I was basically ripping at my literal eye ball and finally gave up and went to get a replacement contact only to realize that well, yes– I’m out of contacts.

I put on my glasses with my sore right eye and came back to the lap top with the oils still going, tea still strong, sun coming in, and only minorly set back from my writing vibes.

You guys– my Internet wouldn’t work.

I then spent TWENTY minutes wrestling every cord, every button, every TURN OFF AND RESTART because I was like HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?!!  I’ve wanted to write since May 1st– well really since LAST May– and here I have a semi-rhyme with EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY and I try to write and first my contact gets lost in my eye and now this.

I called my Shippmate in tears, he tried to troubleshoot from his Plumbing Hole because he’s good to me, and finally — which maybe I should have started here– I called Charter to find out there is an outage in our area.

Because naturally.

Hasn’t been one in… I don’t even KNOW when.

But yep.  During that little window I had to write– OUTAGE.

Which you might be wondering, “Why didn’t you just write on your computer in another way?”  And that is an excellent question.

I have no Word, no Tablet, and could not even open my Notes section to write because everything on that docket I try to open says “no space- delete files” BUT I HAVE NOTHING ON HERE.  It’s a virus I got trying to get the Royals on my computer last year- I don’t even know but I do know it was the third strike and I retreated to the shower to shave my legs and go bask in the sun.

As I was undressing to get in the shower to shave my legs, I look down and right there on my big ol’ baby belly was my right contact.  Hard as a rock but it was there!

THAT was the beginning of things turning around.

I soaked it up in some solution while I soaked in the shower with my about to be freshly shaven legs and then used the Internet outage as an opportunity to get my favorite Vitamin of the D variety.

I even fashioned my very own lay out chair combining the new lawn chair I bought (because we have no patio furniture and no lawn chairs and I’m all I AM GOING TO BE BIG AND PREGNANT FOR THREE MORE MONTHS- I NEED SOMEWHERE TO SIT) and for my feet, I wheeled up my fancy City Mini I bought off of Craigslist, and wah-la! Quite the pregnancy lay out chair if I do say so myself.

Normally I start the EVERYDAY MAY posts with May Day flowers– which I’m going to (because TRADITIONS)  but I’m going to bring a bit of a current and 2018 vibe to post for literal representation of why it’s now EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY!

Me, 2018 with EVERY OTHER DAY IN MAY!

Me, in 2012 with EVERYDAY IN MAY:

Let’s do this!

Life Lessons in the Chik-Fil-A Play Area

I was already not in the best place emotionally just because we’ve been gone and way off our normal evening routines the last two nights per June’s urgent care visit and then Ryan’s concert, and so today I am totally paying for that with a mess of a house, no groceries, behind on everything, suddenly Annabeth has ZERO things that fit her– just nothing and everything feeling so overwhelming, so I decided to load all the kids and run away to Chik-fil-A.

Where they can play happily and I can eat a salad I love.
June came out of the play area with sad eyes, which is NOT normal for her, so I quickly asked what was going on.
She said to me, “Mom- I asked every one in there to play with me and not one person said yes.  They actually all said NO!”
Gah.  I’m crying typing it LOL.
I was fighting back tears then, and I said, “Well, let’s eat some fruit and chicken bites and after lunch, we’ll try again and maybe some nicer kids will be in there.”

She says back to me, “Oh, Mom.  They ARE nice kids in there– which is why I want to play with them. They just don’t want to play with me!”

So much there.
Leading with some truth– I’m sure they honestly are nice kids!  How profound of June to see that while I was all LET ME GO IN THERE AND GIVE THOSE LITTLE SHITS A TALK ON HOW TO BE NICE.
(whoops) (that wasn’t very “nice” LOL)
I’m so bad at being a Mom sometimes.
I care a little too much and feel a bit too deeply.
This was my first time of watching June felt left out, and the feelings were FOR REAL.  All of them.
The feelings of wanting to make sure she knew this was normal.  The feelings of wanting to make sure she remembered this feeling and showed kindness and inclusion to other kids that wanted to play with her one day when she was the big kid in the play area.  The feelings of wanting to just call Roman and Ian and Malachi and Reina and Ella and give her friends instantly to know she has friends and people that love her and her own #squad lol.  The feelings of gratitude I have a million and one kids and while Smith struggles in those areas currently (no, really- he got stuck in the tunnel and like 10 kids were shouting SMITH! MOVE! to my linebacker of a Fat Baby Bingo Winner of a son who sat in the airplane tunnel grinning and blowing me kisses without a care in the world) and Annabeth is currently not able to participate, one day they both will be forever built in buddies for each other.
But also, I felt a feeling of “this is okay.”  A feeling that said no matter how much it hurts that every dang kid in there, looked at my Baby June who very confidently approached them and said, “Do you want to play with me?” and said no… that’s actually okay and important and part of life and growing up and learning.  I’m 32 and sometimes I still see a situation (or hear of it) and think, “Ah man- why didn’t they invite me?  Why didn’t they want me there?”  And even at 32, it’s not a fun feeling but it’s one we have to experience and learn from and be kinder people because of it.
The four of us ate our lunch and talked about friends and including people and told knock knock jokes to get back to smiles and laughs and then I encouraged her to go back in there and try again.
And because I hadn’t had time to process it all or calm down, I looked in there with Mama Evil Eyes like ONE OF YOU BETTER SAY YES.
I also sent Smith in and said, “Smiffy- play with JuJu, okay?”
In his deep voice I swoon over, he looked up and said, “Yeah, Mama.”
And in they went, and within minutes, June sprinted out and said, “MOM! LOTS of people want to play with me!  Also, I made a new friend name Izzy!!!!”
And off she went.
I cried in my salad for a minute and thanked Jesus for Izzy.
Momming isn’t for the faint of heart, y’all– you try to run away from all your messes and overwhelming in your own home and end up with some kind of life experience of a lesson right there in the Chik-fil-A play area.
But I’m so glad we did.  Whatever germs and gross things we contracted from that play area today was well worth it for a life lesson encountered, talked about, and overcome.

Reflections on Pine

As stated earlier, The Shippmate and I have both been without a working phone for nearly a week.  To say that’s been a strain on a marriage would be an understatement.

Paired with some incredibly difficult things endured while I was very newly postpartum, it feels as though it’s been a hard and stressful time for our marriage since Annabeth was born.
And kind of for no fault of our own, but just: LIFE.
And lots of kids.
Two weeks ago, we had an argument over NOTHING– like literally nothing, and we’d been, to quote myself to a friend on our status- “functioning but not better” ever since.
Not because we didn’t want to be better but because we honest to blog had not had an uninterrupted hour of time to make things better!
That sounds ridiculous but with three kids three and under and all that involves with our evenings, it is the truth.
We could have stayed up super late (which I normally do) to talk but by that point at night when he’s exhausted from working all day, stuff here all night and me the same but also with breastfeeding Annabeth until nearly 11 every night and some serious hanger issues, it never seemed like that would be a quality conversation to walk into.
I remember learning in pre-marital counseling you should never discuss important things or argue when either person is Hungry, Angry, Lonely (? is that right lol?) or Tired.  The acronym HALT was supposed to remind you to do just that.
I think it’s sound advice except ummm… that kind of leaves us ZERO time to talk in this season of our lives LOL.
So we continued and pressed on with “functioning but not better.”
Which is NOT my favorite way to live.  By a long shot.  I do not enjoy anything I’m doing as much when I am not all heart eyes Emoji feels toward The Shippmate, and it’s just not a place we are often nor do I feel content residing.
But, again- LIFE.  Add to that weird time of not having had the opportunity to really talk things through and be better the fact that we didn’t even have phones to communicate to each other with, which is HUGE for us because something I love that we do well is flirty and fun texts through our day.  And now that was gone.
Then to pile on some more unfortunate, for the first time EVER in our marriage we were sleeping in separate rooms because it’s hard for me to sleep hearing the swing and Annabeth’s little noises in the night, so Ryan had been sleeping with her in the other room because apparently you’re supposed to sleep in the same room as baby for like the first YEAR now?!?  Because the American Board of Pediatrics wants to ruin all marriages apparently? (That’s a joke, I am sure there are good reasons but we are going to have to skip out on that recommendation here very soon.)
I also read in a pre-marital counseling book the importance of making a point to go to bed together and we’ve always done that and it’s been SO good for our marriage.
And now that wasn’t even happening!
During a time when I lost my aunt tragically, so many emotions surrounding that, the postpartum emotions still so fresh…. I mean it was all just the worst combination of things that weren’t even the fault of anyone’s but just such unfortunate pairings and timings of everything.
Last night, Ryan had tried three different phones– none of them working and he was forced to go to Wal-mart and go phone shopping at 11pm after an exhausting weekend when he wanted to be going to bed.
I was sorting laundry and when he came home I asked if he got it fixed and his reply to me was such a perfect example of where we’ve been lately: “It is not working, and do not talk to me. I will very likely not be nice.”
Which I absolutely understood because it’s all just been too much.
So again, the no talking.
Then today he came home from work to me actually in tears over my phone not functioning again, and I wasn’t mad at him but I also wasn’t better with him from two weeks ago and he was the only person in the room so I recognized myself starting to want to get mad at him and just left for a walk.
Again, with the not talking to avoid being mean.
On that walk, I was able to get my phone to work briefly enough to get a text that Brad could work on my phone and also that my parents were having so much fun at Water Festival with all the grandkids, they were keeping them even longer for dinner and bathtime.
I decided to put aside my grumpypants and see this as an opportunity to drop off my phone and go on a “let’s get on the same page” kind of date with my Shippmate.
I almost always have a preference or pick where we’re going but I was just in an annoyed enough mood not to care or know what I wanted, so I told Ryan I really wanted him to just pick.
In my mind thinking nowhere sounded great because I had been loving walking in the sun and didn’t really want to go to an over air conditioned restaurant but I DID want to get on lovey terms with The Shipper again.
Ryan says, “Do you want to try a place we’ve never been– it’s called Reflections on Pine?  It would be perfect for reflecting on our last couple weeks and lives.” (he was being sarcastic in a way I love lol)
I laughed and agreed to try it.

You guys- it was EVERYTHING I WANTED.

This patio!  IN THE SUN!  Annabeth sat there perfect the entire hour and a half while we were outside, at a new place, the smell of pool and summer all around AND EVEN THAT ASH TRAY WAS PERFECTION.
I know you’re thinking how could that be but when my phone failed me for the 35th time today and I realized I’d been without a phone for 19 days, I truly text a friend and said, “I don’t even smoke but I just really need a cigarette.”
Hahahahaha.
So literally, ALL MY DREAMS CAME TRUE HERE!

And I wasn’t even super hungry and ordered grilled vegetables and chips and salsa and it was all so good.

And during that hour we just discussed everything that had mostly been out of our control and how annoying it had been and how I so need just alone uninterrupted time overlooking a golf course in the sun (with cigarettes LOL) to get our happy place again.
It was truly the best hour and a half ever.
We only needed about 6 minutes to get back to normal and then we just got to be us and laugh and catch up and talk dreams and big things and silly and hilarious things, and I loved and soaked up every last bit of The Shippmate and the sunshine.
I am so incredibly grateful that my parents love my kids so well because I see the benefits of that SO VERY MUCH in the lives of June, Smith, and Annabeth.
I absolutely see the way it makes ME a better mom to my kids.
But oh… the blessing it is to my MARRIAGE– it’s priceless.  It’s irreplaceable. It’s so very, very huge and important to me.
To have been given that extra time was such a gift.
I’m also proud of myself for putting aside my immediate feelings when I realized we had some time, because part of me wanted to keeping walking and not take the time to go make things better. I even Voxed my friend “this might not even help or be fun but I guess I’ll try” and I’m so glad I wanted to try.
This season of parenting littles and trying to have a rockstar marriage can be tricky.  Granted, we’ve had some major events happen making it more tricky, but still, I think that other likely have, too.  I know Facebook can look a bit like a highlight reel, and it is my constant prayer and ministry to be #💯 about what a real marriage with real parents of real kids looks like, so despite how sweet and perfect my marriage could look, please know we absolutely have two week periods of life where we’re “functioning but not better.”
And I am strongly not a fan of that status, but I do believe it’s real.  I believe some of you have been there or maybe are there right now.  Just know you’re not alone and this stage of parenting and marriage is not easy!
I’m so thankful for our very own “Reflections on Pine” tonight, because everything feels a little happier and little sweeter when I’ve got my heart eye Emojis back on for The Shippmate!
PS:  In the spirit of being #💯about the tricky parts of marriage, I’d be doing a grave disservice to the joy of marriage if I left out the part about the conclusion of a couple of weeks of “functioning but not better” is the part where you “make UP and make OUT” ….  TRUTH!

THE FINISH LINE

I made it.

I really actually made it.

Man, this month hasn’t been pretty.

(see post I wrote in the most annoyed and irritable and emotionally hungry mood last night LOL)

Which, can I just say, I love y’all?

For every comment you saw (on Facebook) (and there were lots of them)– I kid you not for every one public comment, I have a private message inbox of SEVERAL private messages for every public one you saw.

Moms and women writing me through tears telling me either of their inability to breastfeed, their desire to quit because it was too much, their shame for quitting, their joy in supplementing, their pain from never having had a successful breastfeeding relationship and regretting that years later, COUPONS for formula… all of that.

The message with coupons especially made me smile.

The messages with shame from not breastfeeding and not wanting to admit that they didn’t breastfeed publicly on my wall made me sad.

Here’s the thing, guys– we’re all in this thing called motherhood together.

Whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed– I love what a friend said yesterday in “Fed is best!”

Yes.

All the yeses to that.

Despite my 11pm post that showed me so raw, so annoyed, so done, and SO dang hungry– I’m very likely not going to quit breastfeeding Annabeth.

For several reasons, but does that mean I think less of any mom that decided formula was better for her family?

Ummmm, no.

But do you want to know a secret?

I used to.  I absolutely used to judge moms that weaned at 6 months or never tried breastfeeding or said they didn’t make enough milk so they had to use formula.

In my narrow perspective of what mothering looked like, as the mom of one June Harbor, I didn’t think any of that made sense.

I thought #breastisbest was the only way and everyone could and should do it.

Oh, goodness gracious, I’m embarrassed even typing that out, and I pray you’ll forgive me and honor my honesty in what I used to think.

I’m going to go one further and re-live an actual real life situation from when I was nursing June and got mastitis for the first time when she was not even 2 months new.  It had become pretty bad and I had to go to the emergency room.

I can remember as clear as day the fear and absolute worry that flooded my heart.

NOT for my own health nor worrying about all the things that could be going on with me, but such a concern for June and how she was going to be fed if something was really wrong with me and they had to do something to me where I couldn’t breastfeed her.

In tears, I remember texting my sister-in-law (who is also one of my best friends) asking her if she would nurse June if something happened to me.

Which honestly, I still love that I did that and that Bailey was willing and I would do the same for any of her babies, BUT here’s the problem with it all… I was SCARED of formula.

My dad came in to check on me and I don’t remember what the doctors were discussing doing to me, but I just started crying and said, “Dad- what if I can’t feed her and they have to give my Baby June… formula!!?”

And I said “formula” with a scrunched up face like it was some awful bad word.

My dad, who has always had an uncanny ability to calm me in my most stressed out of moments, laughed and with such sincere eyes looked at me and said, “Erica… my mom gave me…. ‘formula’ (he even scrunched up his face and said it identical to how I had) and I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly still doing okay.”

I am crying and laughing and smiling remembering this whole scene.

You guys, I looked at him— in a hospital gown and bed, with tears in my eyes– and instantly realized how radical and crazy I had become.

All the #breastisbest hashtags and propaganda had filled my mind with this thought that formula was poison I couldn’t dare give to my precious Baby June (EVEN IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION) and all of the sudden, as I looked at my Dad and realized he’s one of my favorite people ever and HE GREW UP ON FORMULA LOL, I realized how crazy and ridiculous my fears and thought process had become.

As a new mom, you’re just overwhelmed with information and it’s so hard to know what is best and you so very, very badly want to only do the best for your baby, so I really know my poor judgement came from such a place of good intentions but goodness, I was so many kinds of wrong in thinking there was only one “best” way to feed a baby.

Because you guys, I feel so much differently now.

Fast forward 3 years, a Smith and a pregnant with a Bomber belly later as I’m sitting at Pillar Church one Sunday night.

I looked around and I saw not one, not two, not three, but FOUR moms with nursing covers on breastfeeding their babies that Sunday night at church.

And where a former me would have thought, “Awwww, that is precious and look at all of that sweet bonding and nursing happening…” that is about the opposite of what I thought.

I looked around, looked down at my big belly that was proof my time was coming and thought, “Oh crap. I am NOT ready to be doing that again.”

I even told my Shippmate a few nights later over a dinner date at Texas Roadhouse, “So yeah… I am completely dreading breastfeeding this time. I just do NOT feel geared up to give my body over like that again.”

I remember Ryan looking up at me over those amazing rolls and cinnamon butter (SOMEONE TAKE ME THERE RIGHT NOW) (FOOD IS SO EMOTIONAL TO ME RIGHT NOW AND I NEED IT ALL) (and it’s 4pm, not 11pm yet so WATCH OUT lol) and he said, “Erica- are you serious… like are you really considering not breastfeeding this baby?”

I was 39 weeks pregnant and I looked back at him and laughed, because I said, “Oh my gosh NO, of course I will but I just do not want to right now, but SURELY once she is born and I see her I will want to feed her and it will be all magical and amazing and great.”

….

Except it wasn’t.

I’ve never once loved nursing her like I did with my others.

I HATE admitting that.

I am looking at her sleeping so sweetly and beautifully in her swing right now and I feel awful that I have to be honest that I really don’t enjoy it the same with her.

BUT, I love her ABSOLUTELY NO LESS than my other two.  Oh my gosh, not at all.

In fact, since we’re in the spirit of confessions here in My Dyer-E today, let me just go ahead and be so honest to admit I think she’s the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

…as in including my other two in that pool of babies LOL.

She just is.  Like I did not expect that or even plan on it but oh my gosh, I can’t even with her– she’s flawless and beautiful in such a way I can’t even believe sometimes.

But nope.  I’m still yet to say, “Ah Ryan, I DID change my mind and I now am geared up for this and I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!!!!”

A few weeks ago, June was playing with her dolls and Smith was the grandpa and I overheard her say to him, “Ugh, Pa- I HATE breastfeeding. It is SO much work!!!!” while holding her baby and pretending to be me.

I couldn’t stop laughing at that then and I’m still laughing at it today.

It’s true.  This time breastfeeding is a chore for me.  It wears me out and exhausts me and takes every last bit out of me.

I do NOT want to sit down and be what I’ve called “a prisoner of the couch” for all the feedings.

I want to be up and on a walk with my big kids. I want to be cleaning things up or getting things ready.  I don’t want to just sit and feed her.  I don’t want to wear weirdo breastfeeding friendly clothes.  I certainly don’t want to be trapped under a breastfeeding cover with a sweaty baby against my sweaty boob.

No, sir.

But I’m going to, because it’s what I think is best for our family.

I also was so sweetly reminded by a few private messages that I’m kind of in the trenches right now.

Cluster feeding is INTENSE.  I’m still just 7 weeks postpartum and have had A LOT happen since Annabeth was born.

It WILL get easier.  It WILL get less intense.

My Shippmate looked at me in tears and so hungry and worn out last night and said, “Can I order you some food or make some protein balls or shakes or something for you for when this happens tomorrow night?”

God bless him, I do love that guy.

And honestly, it was even comforting reading SO many messages of other moms who got so hungry nursing and have to eat something even at 11pm to just feel better.

Sometimes, when you’re in the trenches of nursing a newborn and cluster feeds and all the emotions, it’s just grandly huge to hear another mom admit she’s been there and it’s just hard.

Those honest and vulnerable words are so important.

Those kind of words felt inspiring to me today.  I can do this.  I can nurse a third baby.

It might not be as magical and full of rainbows and unicorns as with my first two, but I’ll keep on keeping on with her and what I lack in enthusiasm and heart eye emojis this time, I will make up for with a sincere and steadfast commitment to keep going!

That’s a sweet kind of love in and of itself.

Which kind of brings me full circle to where I started this post in celebrating the end of EVERYDAY IN MAY.

It wasn’t as enthusiastic nor the quality I would have preferred, but I kept on keeping on.

I wrote something every night.

I didn’t give up when I really, really wanted to.

I cried that my posts were lame and that I had thoughts and great posts that never would make it to the keyboard.

I cried that it wasn’t fair so much happened that was out of my control that absolutely affected my ability to write.

But today, on May 31st, with iced coffee, the most special and thoughtful of EVERYDAY IN MAY flower delivery (and three not pictured babies sleeping peacefully) I finished what I began and am proud to say–

I did it.

Thank you for your patience, for your love, for your support, and for your friendship.

You are a very precious tribe to me– one that sends formula coupons when I say I’m over breastfeeding, one that prays for my people, and one that shows me grace when I have none to give myself.

For each of you, I am the most grateful.

-E

And I had to share these two pictures I came across on my phone from this weekend.  Just so you wouldn’t think I spend all of my time nursing her scowling and annoyed lol.

Far from really.

Ramblings of a hungry, irritable breastfeeding mom that is over breastfeeding

I’m so glad tomorrow is the last day of May.

This has been the absolute worst May of EVERYDAY IN MAY I’ve really ever had.

I didn’t even feel like I had the energy or effort to type EVERYDAY IN MAY in all caps because I just feel so very, very exhausted.

I think I always feel that way– I could go back and look but I don’t even want to because it will make me more upset– in these last days of blogging EVERYDAY IN MAY but normally it is because I love the month of May and it’s been one amazing thing after another and too much goodness happening and trying to fit in blogging amidst all the good.

Not this time.

I mean, I DO have SO many things I wanted to write about and make happen and really, the whole month derailed for me when my aunt died suddenly just 4 days into this month.

I’ve really yet to recover and I feel so behind, so tired, and still just so hurt from all that came with that.

Don’t get me wrong— lots of happy and fun things have still occurred this month— so many that I have a long list in my notes of things I keep wanting to blog about and then by the time I make dinner, clean up, do bedtime routines, get kids to bed, all while simultaneously breastfeeding all night, including when I finally could sit down to write when June and Smith are in bed, then by the time Annabeth doesn’t need me, it’s 11pm and I’m so hungry and so exhausted and so irritable from breastfeeding and being so starving at 11pm that I can’t write the meaningful things I want to write.

AND THEN that very fact makes me SO upset.

Like tears on my keyboard right now as I type so upset.

Had I known all that was going to happen to start this month, I think I would have chosen not to do EVERYDAY IN MAY.  I knew it would be difficult with a newborn and three kids three and under– I even stated that but said even when you don’t feel like it and even when it doesn’t look the prettiest, you still go out and run to train for a half marathon.

I just feel like every single day I’m having the kind of run where I’m limping through the run so exhausted and in pain and not able to give my best AND I HATE THAT.

I hate how crappy these blogs have been.

I hate how bad it’s made me feel about myself EVERY dang night when it’s 11pm and I’m faced with the choice to try to stay up and write when I’m irritable and hungry or when I just write something not important like this because I can’t tackle important or big things in the state I find myself at this late hour every night.

It’s really been a tough month– for so many reasons and the pressure of trying to produce quality content has been too much.

So for the first time in EVERYDAY IN MAY history, I’m so dang glad it’s almost over.

Despite having a list of things that never got blogged about (which kills me) I just need to not feel bad about myself every night again.

Also, the way my body feels like it cannot keep going and is so hungry and weak by 11pm is a little unreal.

My husband and I fought this weekend (which I also hate) and it was especially dumb because it was over nothing and after processing it all, I realize I truly believe some (a lot, really) of it stemmed from me and some serious hunger/anger (hangry?) issues surrounding breastfeeding and my body being so depleted and just run down.

I’ve probably said 20 times in the last few weeks, “I wish I could go somewhere with a lot of food and just get to keep eating until I felt full.”

We joked that for the first time in my life I could like Golden Corral lol.  The thing is my body really craves GOOD food though.

Ugh, okay enough about food lol, but truly– it’s all I can think about at this point in my night and it’s so weird and yet another reason I’m so over breastfeeding.   It’s truly so demanding– on my time, on my body, on my wardrobe.

This is going to sound terrible but it’s really a wonder I adore Annabeth as much as I do with as much I am over breastfeeding!  But I really really do.  Thank goodness my disdain for breastfeeding has not made me resent her– in fact I feel bad TO her because I am not as into it and want to be done already lol.

I love her so much.

Okay, I’m going to wrap up this non blog of a post and go to bed hungry.  Again.

I’m half tempted tomorrow for my final EVERYDAY IN MAY post to just copy the forever long list of things I wanted to write about all month.

Gah.  Just thinking about how poor the entries have been makes me annoyed all over again.

Feeling not proud of myself is not a feeling I resonate with much and I’m REALLY not a fan of it.

One more day.

OH.  And speaking of things I’m so terribly, terribly behind on that doesn’t ever happen by the time I have free time to myself at midnight… that would be thanking people.  I have so many wonderful people in my life that have done so many nice things for me lately and if you’re one of them, PLEASE know I so appreciate your kindness and I’m just so behind that I haven’t got to thank you properly.  I do NOT forget kind things nor do I not care about them… I just am really very, very off my thank you acknowledgement game per… well, everything.

If I could describe my current state it would be “surviving not thriving” and that’s not my favorite way to live, so I’m hoping to get back to normal soon!

And on one happy note, I do want to say that if it wasn’t almost midnight and I wasn’t starving and irritable from breastfeeding all night, I did love so many things about my day including that the kids and I woke up to a park invite and went straight from our beds to the van to meet our faves at the park, where we played so blissfully all the way until lunch time.. that I had already cooked the night before and had waiting to be warmed up when we got home, which I loved and then it was already nap time and then I made us a wonderful homecooked meal that we enjoyed before all the nightly chore stuff started happening.  It seriously is just so annoying I never can writing until this time of night when I’m in the worst and most irritable hungry state of mood because I loved so much of my day with my kids… I just lose steam and happiness around 11pm lol.

Which maybe in the month of June I will get to go to sleep at that time instead of feeling bad about myself per mediocre to poor blogging.

I can’t stop rambling.

PS:  Did I mention I’m so hungry I could cry?

No?

Hahahaha.

Good night and if your mom breastfed you, call her and tell her you owe her dinner because once upon a time it was midnight and she was emotional and irritable and hungry and it was all for you.

One final ramble of an annoyed thought:  the irony that I’m so hungry and yet not skinny is not lost on me and yes, absolutely pisses me off.  I miss being skinny and frolicking at the pool in a bikini.

Memorial Day Moments

On a whim of a moment, I decided to take my million kids by my great-grandmother’s grave this evening like I used to do with my family growing up.

Because I’m not nearly as together and impressive of a person as my mom, I didn’t even have flowers.

But I had been trying to explain what Memorial Day is to June, and when I told her my great-grandma Me-Me was actually buried here in Warrensburg, she wanted to go see.

I was more than happy to oblige.

June immediately (upon me talking of Me-Me) said, “Yep, I know exactly who that is because her picture is on my wall! With you and Daddy and then Nanny, too!”

Which made me so happy, because I have three framed black and white pictures of the legacy of her name, if you will.

My great-grandma Me-Me’s picture next to my grandma Nanny’s picture with their June birthdays listed below them and then a picture of Ryan and I from our June wedding date.

June was quite excited to find her name on Me-Me and Pa-Pa’s gravestone, and then we realized my Smith Dyer Shippy’s name was on there, too!

Annabeth would have felt left out, except she was sleeping in the van lol.

While at the cemetery, June asked me an interesting question.

She wanted to know if everyone dies eventually.

Which for some reason in telling her yes, we all die, I found some peace and comfort with that fact. We don’t get to live forever and death really is inevitable.

That sounds completely NOT comforting or peaceful… without Jesus.

In telling June that through Jesus we actually DO get to live forever and with Him and in heaven… it brought such joy to a discussion about death that could seem so dreadful or sad.

That’s what Jesus does. He brings light to the darkness and life to death.

Parenting allows me such precious opportunities to explain faith and Jesus and love, and I love it so much. I love the chance to see Jesus through June’s eyes.

I’m so glad we ended up here at Me-Me and Pa-Pa’s gravestone tonight, but I’m even more happy that, like I explained to June, their residence isn’t really here in a cemetery in Warrensburg but actually in heaven with Jesus.

I couldn’t feel more certain that the two of them, likely with Eileen and Maurice sitting nearby too (my great-grandma and her sister married brothers! I love that so much!) listened in and watched their first great-granddaugther talking to her daughter about Jesus and just basked in the joy that was that scene at their gravesite!

My Me-Me went home to Jesus just a couple months after I graduated college, which means I had 22 years to know and love her. What a gift and treasure she was to me and my family, and though she was 94 years old when she died and had lived a full life, it was always going to be too soon to say good-bye. I love you, Me-Me, and I think of you often. I’m so grateful my June has a piece of you in her room and in her name, too!

For the fifth consecutive year this fam has participated in the Memorial Day Run for Rachel that I encouraged everyone to do with me the Memorial Day after my grandmother Nanny went home to be with Jesus that February of 2012.

And every year, we all get up and show up and keep coming back.

I’m so glad we do.

These faces are so precious to me and the last month has been basically unimaginable for us all– we said see you later to Atticus for a year which felt so many kinds of difficult and not even one week later our Aunt (mom/grandma/daughter/sister) Debbie passed away very suddenly. A piece of me still can’t believe she’s really gone. I’ve caught myself at several family functions since then looking around as if “we’re not all quite here yet…”

Because we aren’t.

My last memory of Aunt Debbie was her holding my sweet Annabeth for me at Pillar’s baby dedication. Annabeth and Aunt Debbie were both so beautifully happy and content together, and the memory of that moment makes me both happy and sad, too.

Happy and sad– the way they can find themselves right there next to each other is confusing and real and beautiful and tragic all in one.

This past month has been tough to say the least, but I’m so grateful for the way this family continues to get up, show up, and finish strong together.

I love these people something fierce and I don’t know that I’ll ever quite feel like “we’re all here” anymore with Nanny and Debbie both missing from our gatherings.

It’s times and months like these that make me especially and eternally grateful for the cross.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us life eternally through You and You alone. ❤️

#runforrachel #memorialdayweekend