Bought a house, had a baby, now what?

It’s been a while since I did an “update on life” post…this will probably be a little lengthy…just a warning!

So, we bought a house, had a baby, and moved all in matter of 2.5 weeks. Lets be real here. It was the most exhausting almost-3-weeks of my life, no kidding. But it was also extremely rewarding. We could not possibly be happier to be living in North Wilkesboro in this beautiful house! Everyone is so much more friendly and kind here, the surroundings and views are perfection, and we are so very close to our families. It’s perfect. Except that Nick is still having to commute to Greensboro, which is an hour and 15-30 minutes away…and that part is extremely difficult.

Because he manages one of the busiest Lowe’s garden centers on the east coast, he chose to stick around until the end of the busy season and then transfer to a closer store. And because of their crazy schedules, he ends up having to stay in Greensboro 2 or 3 nights a week (at his sisters house). For example, he worked last weekend on Saturday, and was scheduled to “close,” which is 2-11pm, and was off work on Sunday so he decided to drive home after work. Well, he almost never leaves by 11…and this Saturday they were particularly busy. By the time he got off work and drove back to Wilkes, it was 4am! Insane. So that’s why he usually stays overnight after closing the store down.

Y’all, it’s been hard. On all of us. We know its only temporary, and we knew it was going to be hard, but that doesn’t make it easier. Nick and I are both exhausted by the time he gets home, and it feels like we never see each other. It’s hard on me because I’m on my own a lot with both boys and because I miss my husband. It’s hard on Nick because on top of working overtime and commuting and sleeping on a couch a few nights a week, he’s also missing me and his boys and all they do and learn each day.

Hopefully he will be able to transfer to Wilkes or another store that’s much closer in June. Please be praying for us in this time of transition…that would be greatly appreciated.

I have come to rely on God so very much in this season. I don’t know how I’d do it without the extra strength and patience and energy He has given me each of these days. Even with Him holding my hand through all of this I have found myself crying in the kitchen floor a few times and napping when the boys nap lots of times. I was just not meant to do this whole parenting thing alone (not that Nick is gone ALL the time, but when he is, I get a little glimpse of what it would be like to go it alone). But my go-to verses have been just what I have needed.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Ephesians 3:20

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

And thanks to my friend Stephanie, who blogs over here, I have a new fantastic verse to share for times like these:

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)

Thankfully, we have managed to spend Nick’s days off playing with the boys outside in the sunshine and doing lots of other fun things together as a family rather than just constantly dreading husband’s next drive to Greensboro. We even went on a date (for the first time since Drew was born, and probably only the sixth date since Max was born) on Sunday! Sagebrush for dinner, driving around on some back roads (you can do that just for fun in Wilkes) talking and reminiscing about the almost 10 years we’ve been together, and Walmart to get juice for Max (welcome to dates as parents). We had a blast. I just love my husband so very much, and I’m so glad we get to be on this crazy adventure of ours together.

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Breast feeding

Let me start by saying that breast feeding isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine. I am not passing judgment on anyone who chooses to use formula…it is your decision and I totally understand why you might choose formula. Choosing to breast feed is a huge commitment and among other things it can be exhausting and time consuming.

I am, however, a big fan of breast feeding. It’s free (except for the extra calories I have to eat). It is always the right temperature, there is always the right amount, and its always already mixed up. I never have to plan ahead for how much formula to take on vacation or even on a day trip out. And let’s not forget that it automatically has exactly what Drew needs nutritionally.

I breast fed Max for 15 months, and I plan to breast feed Drew for at least that long. For the most part, it has been a fantastic experience, but it has one major downside for me. I feel like because I have chosen to nurse my children that I am shunned a little. And that is a terrible feeling.

I remember with Max that although I loved all the wonderful things about nursing him, I hated that every time I fed him I felt as though I had to excuse myself from the rest of the world. It was even suggested to me a few different times that I go in another room. It shouldn’t be that way!! If someone feels uncomfortable with me feeding my children in the same room as them, then maybe they should excuse themselves, not me!

I swore up and down that with Drew, it would be different. I wouldn’t feed him in the car when he needed to eat while we were out for dinner. I wouldn’t go to the dressing room at Walmart or Target if we were shopping. I definitely wouldn’t go to a public restroom and sit on the toilet to feed him (yes, I actually did that a few times with Max). When he got here, I started off great. I fed him while walking around in Target and wearing him in a sling, and in various restaurants. But then we moved. And I gave up. I love this small town of ours, but because I know so many people and its not nearly as acceptable to nurse in public, I stopped. I felt exposed. I packed a bottle when we were going out to eat, fed Drew in the car, and fed him in a dressing room once.

But I am done with that. While I believe in modesty and discretion, I don’t believe that I should have to hide away to feed my baby.

Maybe since I posted about it on here, I will actually stick to it 🙂

Thank you, Rachel Minick and Stephanie Mayberry for making me feel a little better about this yesterday! Maybe I’m not alone 🙂

The photo below is of me feeding Drew in Target in a sling for the first time…it was such a great feeling and felt so freeing that I took a picture!

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{dear Max} 2 years

Dear Max,

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

2 years ago on this day we welcomed into our arms a healthy, happy baby boy that we had already grown to love in our hearts. 2 years ago you made me a momma. 2 years ago we went from being happy newlyweds to even happier new parents…a family. When God gave me you, he gave me the most amazing gift that I always wanted my whole life long- to be a mother, and to have a little family.

Max was very shy about all the people watching him at his party...so sweet!

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Over these two years I have learned so very much from you! Of course I learned to feed you and take care of you. I learned how to go with less sleep and more caffeine, how to make baby food, and how to install a car seat. But oh, you have taught me so so much more than that. You have taught me to treasure the tiniest moments more than all the money in the world. You have taught me how amazing this Earth God created for us to live on really is. Max, you see things in ways that I haven’t in my adult life until now. Everything is so big and beautiful and wonderful to you, and we should all see it that way. It really is big and beautiful and wonderful!

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Since I wrote your last letter you have become a big brother and we moved into our new house in the town Daddy and I grew up in. I was so afraid of how that change would effect you, but you didn’t skip a beat. You love everything about our new house, and you seem so much happier here! I thought you were happy in the old house, but now…there is such a difference. You love the windows and all the sunshine that comes beaming in, your new room, and all the space you have to run. I think you love, most of all, that all our family is so close. Since moving to Wilkes you have also learned to love cows…you point them out as we are driving down the road and it makes me so happy.

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You are the best big brother, Max. Every morning you come see Drew and say “good morning” as well as you can, kiss him on the forehead and just stare at him for a few minutes. I know you love him…you two are going to be the best of friends.

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I can’t wait to see how your language skills continue to change over the next few months. You understand almost all of what we say, and you repeat words constantly…almost like you are practicing 🙂 Your doctor thinks you will start speaking in sentences any time now! You are learning so much every day- from how to do the laundry to puzzles and new words.

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My wild man…you are exactly that. We spend every day going constantly…you never stop moving. You have a chipped tooth and its pretty funny, even though it makes me feel a little bad. Every day you fall about 20 times and rarely cry! As your Mimi says, you are a rough and tumble boy.

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I love being your mommy, sweet boy. Every second of it. I’m a little sad that two years have already passed, but I can’t wait to see what the coming years will be like, either! We will play, laugh, cry, learn, and grow…and it will all be the absolute best.

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I love you to the moon and back!

Love,
Momma