waiting for the snow

I woke up this morning to cloudy, cold weather. You could feel it. Snow was on the way, and we all knew it.  Of course it helped that it’s all everyone has been talking about for days!  So we hunkered down, bundled up, and waited.

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We made oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, the normal, but gosh it seemed so special this morning. We read books about snow and talked about where it comes from. Afterwards I rummaged around and found some supplies for Max to make valentines for some of his favorite people, and we painted the morning away. Still waiting on the snow, glancing out the window every few minutes. A bowl of potato soup and a little snuggle time with Drew later, it started. And so did the magic.

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I love the snow. I love how everything seems to slow down. I stop worrying about my to-dos, and just sit and watch. The snow falls, the roofs and cars turn white, then the patio, then the grass and finally the streets. It’s piling up, and my boys’ eyes are filled with wonder.

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We all three (husband still had to work) sat cuddled up on our bed with the curtains open, just watching, for hours. It was glorious, and cozy. Perfect. The boys both napped, a rare occurrence lately, so I poured a giant cup of coffee, sat down in front of a window, and read. After dinner we ate snow cream. Twice.

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The snow is still coming down hard.

Is this real life? Did this day really just happen?

I cannot wait to get out in the snow tomorrow and play with Max and Drew. It is going to be the best day. Again.

A calmer sort of normal. Maybe.

This spring, it’s going to be so new and different for us. Quiet. Still. Calm in many ways. It is the first one in four years (FOUR!) that won’t involve us moving and/or having a baby. Three years full of two moves and two babies being born are behind us. 070-1-2 In 2011, we became parents when Max was born. It was a whirlwind of new parenthood and new baby-ness and it seems like I remember every second and nothing about it all at the same time. In 2012, we moved into a new (to us) house in Greensboro. A tiny, cute house on a quiet street with a fenced back yard and blue shutters. We thought we adored it, and that life there would be a dream. We did, after all, finally have our own washer and dryer.  We did end up adoring that house, but we still didn’t love life in Greensboro. Then, in January 2013, this house sort of fell into our laps here in Wilkes. We took a leap of faith and decided to just move home and trust that everything would fall into place with the house and Nick’s job. We closed on it when I was 38 huge weeks pregnant with Drew. Our sweet pudge was born a short 6 days later. Then? We moved into our home with a 2 week old baby and an almost two year old. It was the most insanely wonderful two months of my life so far. But it was crazy. 309-1 I say still, quiet and calm.  That’s what I wrote last night when I was reflecting on the last three years, thinking about what this coming one would be like.  But this morning I woke up with a completely different realization and a sense of peace about it. I am in the thick of it. Have you ladies been reading the Naptime Diaries blog?  Jessi speaks volumes of encouragement to me and so many other women that she writes to.  She writes to the women, the moms, who are “in the thick of it” as she says. ..and I can’t stop thinking about this post she wrote.

“But the grace is in the thick of it. God’s presence is in the thick of it. The good stuff is in the thick of it.” 

See, there is this little part of me that longs for quiet. Stillness. Calm.  Especially after years stuffed with changes, big ones. And then those months of husband working out of town and basically not living here. But then I realize that this is where the Lord has me right now, growing me, in the thick of it all. My life as a mom, the part where I usually have spit up and dried cookie slobber on my shirt, the parts where one is crying to be held while the other is crying because he fell down and needs comforting and it’s hard to do it all in that moment. And also in the parts that are glorious and pretty…the cuddling, the moments when I see him learning something I have worked hard to teach him, the success. My life as a wife, the part where we don’t really talk for a few days because we are just too. tired. by the time there is enough quiet to hear each other.  And also in the parts where he holds my hand as we are driving to grab pull-ups from Walmart and it still gives me the same grin and butterflies-deep-down feeling that it did eleven years ago. Before the babies, and the pull-ups.   I am in the thick of it. 293-1-3 I am learning to navigate all this.  Learning to have faith in Him daily, to lean on Him. To abide in Him. To sometimes find the quiet, the still, the calm in things like bubble baths and late night brownies after the boys are sleeping.  And it is all a blessing. I can rejoice in the place I am in, here in the thick of it, and “count it all joy.” 135-1-4

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”

(James 1:2)

*Photos are taken by me, of our every day, and edited by Chelsea.

I want to remember.

These sweet, sweet days. Some days they seem long and exhausting. I feel like I’m counting down the seconds until everyone is asleep and I have a few minutes of peace and time to myself. I focus more on being tired and needing quiet. I blame it on “the January slump” and just try to get through it. It is so easy to get into that routine as a full time stay at home momma, or so I have found. This? It’s happened before. I probably even blogged about it. And I’ve said it before and I will say it again, but these boys, they show me so much grace, and His cup overflows with it, thank goodness, but…

Then this thing happens. I realize the days are actually going by too quickly. My boys are growing and changing and learning and needing me less and less. It sounds so cliché…”they are growing up too fast.” But my gosh, it’s so true. And I’m afraid that I won’t slow down and sometimes even just. stop. To take in everything about these days with two huge pieces of my heart. To listen to them. To play and laugh, and just love on them.

And I want to remember, how these days were so so good. How Drew’s knuckles have these sweet little dimples and how it feels to hold him, warm against me, while he sleeps. How Drew grins and reaches for me, then snuggles into the corner of my neck and shoulder as hard as he can once he’s in my arms. I want to remember Max’s giggle and how he scrunches his chin down into his chest when you tickle him. How he says certain words like “snuckle” instead of snuggle and how he calls Drew his buddy.

I want them to remember how we played peekaboo and read books in the tent in their room. How we baked cookies every week, and how it felt to pile on my lap and have me hold them close.

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I don’t want to miss any of it.

And mommas? We can be so glad! Because even when those days seem long and it feels like we will never hear the sound of husband’s keys in the door, He gives us strength. He IS our strength. So that we can stop focusing on just making it through the day and rushing through the next task and start thriving, instead. To love the every day and be all in. To live these days with joy and purpose, to stop counting down the minutes and instead forget about them a little. And just take time. To remember.

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“‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)