Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Everything Just Right

Sometimes when I put Sam to bed at night, I am overcome with a rush of gratitude so huge all I can do is sit there and kiss his little hairy head over and over again. This child. He fit me perfectly from the very first.

Don’t get me wrong, my “sweet Sam” has started to show himself these days,making his presence known when things don’t go his way. We all have the bite (and pinch) marks to prove it. He enjoys tormenting his sister (who is really very sweet to him…most of the time) and will do something he knows he is not supposed to do looking you dead in the eye all the while. Bad. But all is quickly forgiven after appropriate reprimands are given, and the snaggle-toothed grin is still an almost permanent fixture on his chubby little face.

Yes! We have rolls! After his first year of being in the 5th percentile of nearly everything, baby boy discovered wonderful things like pizza, chicken, rice, peas, yogurt, anything in squeeze form, mashed potatoes…basically food. He likes food. A lot. While his sister picks and prods at her dinner, Sam plows through his and signs for more. I swear our grocery bill went up by half when the child started eating solids.

Also in recent developments (like, the past week or so), he speaks. Words include: bye-bye, mama, dada, stop, hot, all done, rock rock, woof woof, and uh-oh. You would likely not be able to decipher any of these words but I am his mother and I am telling you, this is what he is saying. Boy genius. Additionally, in our wheelhouse is shaking our head “no”. Frequently.

Sam is still a Mama’s boy. He loves to cuddle and generally finds the best time for a cuddle to be when I am unloading the dishwasher, getting dressed, or trying to shower. One look at that little face and stretched out palms and I am toast. 
Sammy is an easy laugher, loves a good game of peek-a-boo (who doesn’t?), and books. He is ticklish all over and I believe has had four bloody lips in the past two weeks (I don’t think Gracie has ever had one).

I adore my rough and tumble lover of a baby boy. He is sweetness and light, and my everything just right. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Balancing Act

I, along with seemingly half the people on my Instragram feed these days, just started reading Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love. The first night I got the book I did something that I haven’t done in I can’t tell you how long. I got in a nice, hot bath and started to read. This actually is a something I find to be better in theory than in practice. I enjoy baths and I love to read, but it unnerves me to get wet fingerprints on my books and then I have to keep adding hot water and my top half is always a little too cold, so I end up reading a couple of pages before jumping out into the comfort of my sweatpants, but I digress.

Anyway, I managed to shiver through a few pages that really hit home about balance. Hatmaker uses an analogy of a balance beam, which anyone who knows me knows is not really something I can relate to…I can barely keep my balance on land…but her point is that it is really, really important for us to find what is crucial to our lives and get rid of the rest. 
That’s something that I have been having trouble with lately (always).

I’ve mentioned before that I am a little bit (a lot) impulsive. Its a part of my personality that I really do love. I love the fact that I think everything sounds like fun, that I truly believe everything is going to be great etc. etc. It is also a part of my personality that can bring me a lot of unnecessary stress. For instance. In the last 6 months, I signed up for a second “side gig” (read: job), a half marathon, and several freelance writing gigs…on top of my full-time job, kids, husband, house etc. So in between flooding rains, stomach bugs, ear infections, flashbacks to five years ago when we lost Rip, and doing all of aforementioned “normal” things, I was also attempting a sales job, fitting in 10 mile runs, and writing about this and that. 
No surprise I ended up feeling like I was failing at all of it.

What stays on my balance beam? What goes?

 I had to say goodbye to the side gig, and maybe next year to the half marathon. Then, in true Anne fashion, I immediately started to think about all of the things I could add.

I need to see my friends more. And I need to exercise. And I need more faith activities. So, I could call this friend about a Bible Study, and this friend about yoga, and I really love to write so maybe I add more…

And then that train of thought just stopped dead. Most likely it was God beating His head against some celestial body. Probably like, “ANNE! Dear. Sweet. Anne. For the love of Me. Can we just…not? For this season, anyway. Let’s. NOT.”

Which is fair.

While this is, to say the least, a bittersweet time of year, it is also such a special time to have kids. Gracie is about to bust she is so excited about Halloween and Christmas (not to mention her birthday). Sam is learning so much every day, his little personality is just starting to peek through. What would happen if I really took the next few months and just-stopped. If I just enjoyed them, as they came. What if I had impromptu drinks with friends instead of planning things way in advance? What if I kept reading good, faith-inspiring books? What if I took the kids on long walks in the sunshine (and ok, maybe threw in some 8 minute abs for good measure)? What if I treated myself every now and then- or just cut myself a break?
Listen, this isn’t going to be a permanent change, I know that. Hopefully, by the ripe old age of 30 -something we have all realized we are who we are. Since I had this epiphany two nights ago I have almost signed up for a gym membership and considered writing a book. This ain’t gonna be easy, friends-its a balancing act, to say the least. But you know, shaky baby steps across the beam are okay. 

And, if you see me in your jazzercise class before January 1st, please just escort me to the door.