Monday, December 14, 2015

Rough Day

My precious boys,

Today wasn't our best day. At least for me. I was tired and cranky and short tempered. My fuse was short and my voice was loud. The memories of it make my heart ache. 

Today, we painted on paper plates. For some reason I thought you'd keep the paint contained. For some reason I expected you both to change your behavior and act like grown ups. Who was I kidding? You were both covered in enough paint to be considered leprechauns. There was paint all over the floor, on the cabinet doors, on the rug, and on the high chair. We all laughed, but you two laughed more. Instead of enjoying the moment I was so frustrated by the mess to be cleaned up! But in reality, it wasn't bad. You each grabbed a baby wipe and scrubbed away right along side your momma. There wasn't a grumble among you. 

When I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open, Caleb happily snuggled into my lap while I put on silly YouTube videos. When my heart broke with the weight of a thousand grown up troubles, you quietly joined your daddy in the living room and let me cry as I made dinner. You didn't even complain about the tears in the taco meat! :- )

Yes, you two had your moments too. There was lots of kicking and throwing and I'm sure you got pretty sick of one another more than once. But at the end of the day, I saw the look you gave each other in the bath tub. I saw Caleb's concern when he thought Noah was sick. I saw Noah giggle when Caleb did a silly dance. 

Bed time ended our day much like the tough moments that filled it. But as I sat in the living room, my tooth still throbbing from the most recent head butt, I realized how lucky I am to have two precious healthy boys. How blessed I am that of all the babies in the world, God gave me you two! So I tip toed into Noah's room, knowing his days in the nursery are numbered. He was pretty much asleep but I couldn't let the day end like it had. I scooped him up and sighed in contentment as he snuggled into my chest. 

I don't know how long I held you, Noah. But I know I apologized for the words I'd spoken and asked for forgiveness. I reminded you that you were nothing I expected and everything I needed. I thanked the Lord over and over and over again that He gave me you. I listened to Daddy and Caleb talk before their last good nights. I felt my heart burst with love for the three guys in my life. I prayed over you all. I prayed for grace to cover the ugly parts of today and for grace to FILL all the parts of tomorrow. 

I'm not perfect. I yell and cry and I'm short tempered when I should be filled with patience and grace. But I love you boys fiercely. I wouldn't trade the two of you for anything in the world! You made me a mommy and made family our name. Being your mommy may be the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's the best thing - hands down. 

I love you both my precious boys!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Dear Abigail,

Abigail. Abigail. Wow. I've named a hundred baby dolls Abigail (never Abby) and dreamed of the day is have a baby girl of my own. When God gave me your two brothers, I fell madly in love with being a boy mom and I was sure I would be one the rest of my life. Then God gave us you.

When the blood work came back and I saw pink highlighter on the paper, I screamed. Loudly. I jumped around and giggled and screamed some more. That paper hung on our fridge until a few days ago. I must admit, every time I looked at it, my eyes would fall to the bottom where a disclaimer clearly stated the results were 98.9% accurate. A tiny piece of my heart was terrified I'd fall in the statistical minority. That this little girl I was dreaming of was really a boy. I prayed and prayed that I wouldn't be disappointed when an ultrasound showed boy parts. 

But on Monday, we had an ultrasound. On Monday we saw what I never thought would be. Little girl parts. Finally, my heart felt peace. This dream is real. I'm having a daughter. I wish my words could describe how DIFFERENT this feels. It's a beautiful mystery I'll spend the rest of my life figuring out. 

Watching the ultrasound was amazing! Almost a worshipful moment for me. Your tiny heart is the size of a nickel but it beats perfectly with 4 little chambers and valves. You have tiny fingers and a face that looks so much like your brothers it's unreal. You have long gorgeous legs that love to stick straight out! No wonder I've felt sharp jabs on my right side lately. :) 

You are beautiful, my precious daughter, and I can't wait to meet you! Our house is buzzing with excitement and your brothers ask about you daily. Noah even learned to say A-gee this week when we talk about you. We all love you and are so excited that you're a part of our family!


Friday, October 9, 2015

A loss so great

Dear Caleb and Noah,
This morning we went to MOPS. It was not a typical day for us. As soon as we walked in, you both started crying. By the time I had both of you in your classrooms (still in tears), I was awash in my own flood of tears. Then we had a speaker that shook me up and rattled my heart in ways I was not prepared for. She spoke of the lessons she learned as her husband battled lung cancer. She had tears in her eyes as she told us about the day he met Jesus. As I'm sure you can imagine, I melted into a puddle of emotional (hormonal) goo. I cried for her and her daughter. I cried for my best friend that met Jesus when she was a young mom. I cried for you two and for Abigail, wondering how you would handle losing me or your daddy. 

As I rocked Noah before nap, the emotions washed over me all over again. I struggled to swallow my tears as I looked at Noah's sleepy eyes. My heart cried out. "God! My babies need me! They need their daddy! You can't call us home when their little. You just can't!" Yes, I know. I know that's not a wise way to talk to God. But sometimes it's best to just get real. And in that moment, I was in a panic. I was terrified that anything would cause us to leave you! 

I was washing dishes when the peace came. I knew God was listening to my cries. I knew He saw my tears and heard my fears. I also knew He had peace for me if I just sought Him. Without warning, my heart calmed as I scrubbed the spaghetti pot. There was a still, quiet whisper in my heart. "I knew Brandi's kids would grow up without a mom." 

I couldn't help but smile. A treasure of darkness peeking through from months of struggle. You see, when I was deeply mourning the loss of my dear friend I ranted at the Lord that those babies she left behind were now motherless. God reminded me that when He created Brandi's children, He knew their mom would have brain cancer. He knew her last days just as He knew the number of their days. That brain cancer knocked us off our feet, but it wasn't a surprise to God. For reasons I'll never understand on this side of heaven, that's the story God wrote for that family. 

Today, standing in front of the sink, that lesson washed over me again. God knows the number of my days, the number of your days, and the number of your daddy's days. He alone knows how long we have before He calls us home. And, He knew it all before He formed you in my womb. So while there is nothing in me that wants to leave my precious boys, I have such peace that God is going to hold you close - no matter what! 

I love you, my precious boys! I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that God gave me you. No matter what God brings out way, know that I love you fiercely and you will always be my boys! 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Humble gifts

The most beautiful flowers in the world are now mine! No florist can ever compete with the treasures my boys bring me! Simple weeds that will wither and fade by day's end, but the gesture from my precious boys will forever touch this mama's heart! 
(As I typed, Noah reached out and are one. Precious moments indeed.)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sleepy Snuggles

Tonight I did something I honestly thought I'd never get to do again. I held my Noah as he fell asleep. This used to be a daily occurrence for us but it's happened less and less until I was certain I'd never rock him to sleep again.

But tonight, he gave me a precious gift. After a very full day where naps were virtually non-existent, my baby was exhausted. So after the baths and stories and prayers were done, we settled into our chair in the corner of the nursery. It's no easy task settling a toddler and his bear and two blankets all in the right places. But as soon as we got settled into a smooth rhythm, his eyes got heavy. I have always loved watching babies fall asleep but watching my own children is a special kind of magic. Tonight I was so deeply grateful for that late summer sunset that cast a golden glow across his room. His eyes drifted closed slowly and then quickly, all at once. His breathing slowed and became deep and even. 

I just sat there staring at his sweet face. Feeling the weight of his long legs. Watching him clutch his bear. I remembered carrying him around Kohl's as a teeny newborn while he nursed under the cover. I remembered how light and small and helpless he felt in my arms. I thought back to the victory we felt every time we got our stubborn newborn to sleep. 

And my heart sighed. A deep, content, peace filled sigh of happiness. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pooh Bear

It's a silly thing, really, for a grown woman to be so thankful for a stuffed bear. But you'll never know just how much I love seeing my 17 month old toddle down the hall with you clutched under one arm. I know you get ignored most of the day but the way you move around my house I suspect you get hidden hugs and kisses when I'm not looking. I've stepped on you a few times (okay, more than "a few") and I'm certain I've kicked you out of the way. But that doesn't change my heart. I'm so glad you're there! 

You see, that boy who loves you so, didn't easily attach to a comfort item and it took a long time for him to learn to comfort himself. There were a lot of sleepless days and nights waiting for you to win his heart. And then one day, it happened. I don't know who shared the first secret or if it started with middle of the night joke telling. I just know that one day, out of no where, my sweet boy needed you. Do you know how I can tell? Because on those nights that I sneak into his room just to watch him sleep, you're always near by. I know he's fallen asleep under your watchful eye, hearing the stories that only stuffed animals can tell. 

One day, I'll have to pack you away. I'm sure I'll give you one final hug and thank you for the endless nights of taking care of my boy while we all slept. I'll tenderly tuck you in among cherished baby clothes and a baby blanket or two. One day, I hope our boy will open that box and see your face. I hope his heart will flood with memories of a childhood filled with laughter, his faithful friend always by his side. Maybe he'll even let his little boy love on you for a while. No matter what, know that I cherish you Pooh Bear and I am so glad you're snuggled up close to my boy tonight! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

To the baby

Dear Baby,
I've known about you for weeks now. You're tucked deep inside of me in the secret place even I'm not privy to. Sometimes I just marvel at the wonder of an eternal soul being knit together so close to me and yet so far away. God has such an amazing plan for your young life and you haven't even drawn your first breath. 

Today was a hard day. I was exhausted, your brothers were exhausted and therefore grumpy, and we all pushed each other to the limit. At dinner, the hard day spilled out into pterodactyl screeches, food flung to the floor, and a milk cup launched into the stratosphere. In the stress and the chaos and the exhaustion and riding a tidal wave of emotions and hormones, I said the unthinkable. "I don't want to do three of this!" Your daddy was horrified. I was horrified. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I regretted them. But they hung in the air like a thick, toxic cloud. 

How in the world could I not want three? How could I, even for a second, think that another child would not be a blessing? Oh my sweet baby love! I want you more than I can say. More than I can express. 

Pregnancy breaks me. It is tough and full of getting sick and hurting and aching. My insides are rearranged (literally and spiritually) and I am split in two in order to bring you life. The picture of it all is almost more than this tired momma's heart can bear. I wasn't prepared for this breaking this time around. But oh how God is breaking me. I was trying to lose weight when I discovered you were coming along for the ride and in no time vegetables became repulsive. I know you don't know much about this world, wee one, but it's hard to eat healthy when vegetables won't stay down! But during this pregnancy I'm learning that I can't put myself last. If I don't eat on schedule, I'm sick on the couch for the rest of the day. Not enough fiber, I'm feeling miserable and achy. If my blood sugar crashes, I can't function or think clearly. I need to care for me and you. I can't put your brothers first. In mothering littles, this is a tough lesson to learn. But oh how it's needed. I'm a better me when I don't get shoved to the back burner. I'm a better wife to your daddy. I'm a better mommy to you and your brothers. 

I am so excited you're joining our family in March! I am seeing daily that I need you just as much as you need me right now. The next several months I pray that God will rearrange my heart just as your growing body rearranges my own. And when God breaks me and splits me in two, I know that my love for you will explode into the room. It will flood my heart until it overflows and spills over. It'll mend where I ache and make every broken moment worthwhile. Keep growing, my love. And I'll wait to meet you. Wait to hold you close and kiss your cheeks. I'll dream of how you'll fill our home with laughter and squeals of delight. I'll dream of games of chase in the backyard (wait until you see it - it's huge), ball games with your brothers, and long days filled with bike rides around our quiet neighborhood. I love you, dear one. I can't wait to meet you! 


Monday, August 24, 2015

17 months

Dear Noah,
Tomorrow you'll be 17 months old. I hate to admit it, but I think I blinked. That's the only explanation I have for how we got here so fast! The first 3 months of your life felt like an eternity. (You were not a happy baby!) But since then we've figured each other out and have a beautiful groove going! 

Tonight when I rocked you at bedtime I thought back to when your brother was this age. At 18 months old a switch flipped and he became a totally different child. Is the same switch waiting for you in a month? Will you continue to be the easy going toddler I know now? Will your temper tantrums grow even stronger? Will you continue to have a laugh that comes so easily? (That laugh, by the way, is one of my favorite sounds in the world. I love the way your giggle rolls out effortlessly and your grin swallows your whole face. I love the way you have a laugh just for me. I love that you get hiccups when you laugh too hard.) Will you still adore your big brother? Will you adore the baby that's on the way? 

Your life is full of so many unanswered questions. I guess all life is, really. Your sweet smile sure makes it fun to watch the answers unfold. This month, I think I'll snuggle you a little closer. This may be the last month you let me do so. I love you my precious Noah-Roah. Always and forever.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Life as we know it

The beginning of TLC's "John and Kate Plus 8" always said "It's a crazy life, but it's our life." As a single young lady who managed a classroom full of children every day, I remember thinking "That is ridiculous! If your life is crazy, make changes. You're the boss of those kids. Just tell them to calm the heck down!" 

Now I have two boys and a baby on the way. My chaos isn't a drop in the bucket to the Gosslin household, but I can tell you this - it's chaos! Beautiful, loud, unrestrained, laughter-filled chaos. Yes, I'm the boss of my kids. They're incredibly well behaved. But they're also experts at "spin-a-roonies" off the couch and leaping into my lap until they knock me down. Our living room is so full of Duplos and balls and books about trucks and unfolded laundry, it's hard to walk. My hair and make up are never done and today I didn't get out of pajamas until at least 1pm. I hardly notice the chaos until I get crazy enough to take them to Belk. By myself. (For those who are curious, don't try it. It's not for the faint of heart.) 

But even when that chaos is in full force, I'm so content in this crazy life! Some days, I want to pull out my hair - like when no one takes a nap. Some days, my heart explodes with love for these little guys living in my home. Our house is never boring (or quiet) so feel free to drop by if you're ever restless. Just give me a warning before you visit the restroom! With a potty training preschooler and a morning sick pregnant mommy, I might need to wipe it down.