Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Wait (NIAW)

Truly, I had every intention of writing this post yesterday but it just didn't happen.

Infertility. If you have read my blog like at all, you would assume that I have not had to battle with this ugly beast. You'd be right. Sort of. I am what they call, "Fertile Myrtle." It's true. I've never had a miscarriage. I've gotten pregnant every time I set out to. We are blessed. So, so very blessed to be enjoying this bliss.

However... The pain is all too close. 

She waits.

She wonders.

Why ME?
I would love her so much. 

People pass by.

No idea of the pain she holds.
Deeply it cuts.
A baby carriage. 

Maybe this month? 

Not Pregnant.
Not surprised.
Devastation sets in like infection. 

She knows.

He loves her.
Jesus really, really loves her.
Hope is Alive. 

Friends reach out.

Ignorant comments.
Well meaning.
Their hugs mean the most.

If I am totally honest, I've been that friend. I am that friend. With everything in me, I try not to be ignorant. For all the beautiful woman I know (or will know) that have struggled with infertility, let me say, 

"I'm Sorry" 

More than you know. I am sorry for your grief. I am sorry for your wait. I am sorry for the inevitable stupid things I have & will say. As a mama, I can empathize but I will likely never truly know your pain.

My promise is this... I will pray for you. I will pray with you. I will never lose hope. When you are weak & hurting the most, I promise to be available. To the best of my ability, I am here. A shoulder. An ear. A support. A friend. I promise to try to only have loving, kind, considerate words for you. Please know that I look forward, in faith, to the BLISS you WILL know. Whatever that may look like.

Maybe you are reading this and you don't really know what I'm talking about. You, maybe are the person that ignorantly asks, "So, when are you all gonna have a baby??" "Do you even want kids?" Humorously, you comment, "You know, that biological clock runs down eventually." It isn't funny. Many, many women (and lets be real, men, hopeful daddies) carry this burden silently. 

My encouragement? Take a step back, fertile myrtle. Do some research. Educate yourself. Find out about this painful emptiness called, infertility. Learn how to be a better friend. Learn how you can help. (Here is a  helpful link to some Infertility Etiquette for us fertiles of the world)

This week (April 22-28) is National Infertility Awareness Week
Show some love. Don't ignore it.

Here's to BLISS, ladies!

Click here for more info

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Not Sure I Should Click Publish

Hearts are a funny thing.

I'm being totally honest when I say, this is more of a struggle for me to publish than my "belly" post so bear with me.

The past couple of posts I've mentioned the 10 Days of Intentional Parenting series featured over on the inspirational blog, Finding Joy- seriously, if you haven't clicked over, do it. Now! (but at least come back and finished reading this post later) Day 2 encourages you to write a letter of encouragement to yourself. I never, ever expected it to be so challenging. I feel like so much of what I've written so far, are just words on paper. I don't necessarily feel them in my heart. At least not yet. If the instructions were to write an encouraging letter to a fellow mom/friend- easy peasy- no bigs and I could believe every word of it.

I realized after draft 392, my letter needed to begin this way,

Dear Sarah,
You are your own worst enemy. You're making the enemy's job too easy. Stop listening to the lies. Stop believing the lies
JESUS is the way, the TRUTH and the LIFE! Follow Him. Rest in HIM. He loves you with an everlasting love. Believe that.

Isn't it so true? Too many mornings I wake up tired and discouraged before I even raise my head out of bed. I'm not talking depression but already realizing I am going to have to hand wash cups because the night before I wrote a blog instead of cleaning my kitchen after the children were in bed. "Sarah, you should have taken that time to be productive. Why are you so lazy? Great way to show love to your family."  

Those are not life giving words. Not even a little bit. And those are not the worst.
He creates all things beautiful. You are beautiful in His sight. You are exactly the Momma that Malakai, Ava & Lillian need. You are exactly the wife God intends for Michael. You have purpose. You are a gift. You are loved.
Life. Grace. Gospel truth.

The past couple of years have been full. Sometimes I wonder if I even fully grasp the life we've been living. When people tell me I'm brave or hard working- I honestly don't know what to say. I try to receive it and give God the glory but inside it confuses me. He has carried us through the toughest times and let me tell you, it could have been a lot "worse". Worse doesn't even seem like the right word because I truly feel so blessed.
You are brave. You work very, very hard. And it isn't in vain. Your plate may be full but the weight isn't on your shoulders. Stop trying trying to carry it alone. Rest. Rest in Him for He cares for you. Trust him with everything. 
Slowly but surely the truth is there. His spirit is in me and when I listen I can hear his still small voice.

Home. This is where you struggle the most, Sarah. In your mind you hold a dream... full of expectations... only to realize where you fall short. You desire a safe place. A peaceful haven. You want it to be something your family looks forward to. Those things are not built on cleaning, organizing, or any of the mundane tasks you feel so required to accomplish in order to not be a screw up. The foundation is found in Jesus. He is your peace. Show them Jesus. It is okay to mess up. Practice grace. Practice forgiveness.
 A good friend just recently said this, "Trying to clean a house while raising small children is like shoveling sidewalks while it's still snowing." So when the tornadoes follow you from room to room, breathe them in. Seasons change far too quickly- especially when children are involved so take it all in. Thank Jesus for the hole in your foot from stepping on the army mans. Blink and that plastic toy soldier may suddenly be your little boy.  
Breathe it in like the crisp fall air. 
So this is where I am right now. There are so many other things I could say but I'm going to stop here. Maybe this will bless some one out there. I don't know but I knew I needed to write it. Truly, this time in my life feels like it is flying by but I am loving this season. My family are my favorite people. Most days, I'd be content to spend being together- the 5 of us... doing anything or nothing at all.

This week has brought me so many opportunities... I am thankful for Finding Joy and the intentionality she is bringing to my parenting. Thankful for toes. Thankful for little hands. Thankful for my friends that draw near when my husband is away. Thankful for grace.

"But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:16 (ESV) 

friday favorite things | finding joy

Friday, April 20, 2012


Today was fun.

Usually Thursdays that start out with my husband leaving for a few days do not go great.

Today was good.

Intentionality is key. 

You guys, my son likes to play with me. He loves it. Don't get me wrong, he plays alone quite well. Sometimes he even tells me to, "please leave." Today, he wanted to play. So we did. 

1&2. Hulk. Scares babies. Especially Lilly.
3&4. Kite flying! So fun!
5-8. Playing pretend.
9. Taken a few days ago but a super sweet moment that needed documenting.

He's 3. He says the most ridiculous things. Like sometimes, I can barely handle it. Also, I need to carry a notebook to record all the ridiculousness. We made new friends. Played with old ones. And just plain had a great time. 

One short story:
Tonight, as is the routine, I instructed him to go potty & get a pull-up because it was almost bed time. He went in the bathroom, pottied and returned holding out his empty hands. I reminded him that I told him to get a pull-up. To which he replied, "I did! It's right here! I need you to help me put it on." I laughed as he proceeded to put on the (imaginary) pull-up. I told him that was great but he also needed a real pull-up. He rolled his eyes, took the imaginary pull-up off, huffed and put it on the couch before returning to the bathroom to retrieve a real one. 

Seriously? What am I going to do with this kid?

Anyway, today was a lesson in new beginnings, getting out of a rut & SPRING! Thank you, Jesus, that your mercies are new EVERY morning. 

designed by, me <3

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Look at Toes

Hello friends :) I'm forewarning you, this post is unplanned and probably not that well written but it is what it is. Just sayin.

If you jump over to a really precious blog, Finding Joy, you will see she is currently hosting a series called, 10 Days of Intentional Parenting. Today, I decided to join in the fun. The journaling for Day 1 led me to where my thoughts are now. In the 5 things I would like to see change/grow in my mothering I listed:

"Look at their toes." 

Think about how many things change, grow and even disappear in your children- right before your very eyes. It is slow. It creeps up on you. But it happens. Ever so slowly, it happens. Their tiny little faces begin to grow into their seemingly huge eyes. Teeny tiny noses no longer seem teeny tiny. You forget the smallness of their little ears. One day you can just rub their head with a towel after bath and have a perfectly dry head of fuzz and the next, you need conditioner, a comb and time. Their tiny little lips are suddenly forming words- "Momma." "Daddy."  "NO!" Just yesterday- it seems- I was their only source of nourishment. Now it's all cheese sticks and fishies. One day I needed coffee to get up with them, now I need it to keep up with them. All THREE of them. 

Photo credit: In His Grace Photography

And then there's those toes. Those little feet. Thirty little toes that I've kissed, smelled, covered, held. They change too. Boy, do they ever change. I kick myself for never making imprints. I had the stuff- just never made it a priority to get it done. 

Now I can't remember the smallness. 

They come from the womb completely unblemished. New. Untouched by this world. No dirt or sweat or scrapes or scratches. Just perfect, lovely, little tiny wrinkled baby feet. 

Photo credit: In His Grace Photography
Photo credit: In His Grace Photography
When I really think about it, I can remember the stretches. Their feet extended as far as they'll go and toes spread apart as if to say, "I'm here! I'm ready to go! And you're never gonna squish me back into that tiny space again!"

Today, all those feet have touched the ground more than once or twice. They've been scratched, stubbed, dirtied. They've grown! My goodness, they have grown! Malakai's are wider- they remind me of my brother Sam's feet. He has short stubby toes. They smell awful. I mean, it is truly terrible. My girls feet look the same as  one another but very different from their brother's. They are long & skinny. And hello? Nail polish on baby toes? Duh! (it's how we told them apart after we brought them home from the hospital) 

You may think I'm strange. You'd be right. 

Regardless, I am a mom that avoids infant shoes at all cost. They are adorable but I like to hold on to that innocence. My girls were born in winter- they wore lots of thick tights & socks. :) Shoes are for walking and they weren't ready for that yet. It seems silly but it's completely the truth. I remember the first week we took them to church after they started walking, I thought, "shoot, I have to find shoes for them to wear." Added a whole 10 minutes onto my routine ;)

As I'm writing this, I don't know if it is even making sense. All I  know is, looking at their (still) small feet and toes is going to be a priority. It represents all the small stuff. Those fleeting moments that are easy to forget. 

Feet tell a story. Innocence lost. Wisdom gained. Memories and miles. All part of life. A glimpse into the past- evidence of life lived. At the start though, they are a promise of a story to tell. Miles yet to be had. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friday Fun Photos

good times

Ava laying in the tube

my pretty Lilly girl

weeeee!!!! slide!

Definitely my child

Getting too big! Such a little climber!

climbing. avoiding photos at all cost.

this girl loves to slide!

Ava looking far too beautifully cute <3

He DOES smile!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Real World

It's a Good Life...

Following my last post, our house was filled with an ugly cold. The kids & I are feeling much better but Michael is feeling pretty yucky... 

Sunday was a beautiful reminder of new life and a RISEN SAVIOR! We had a great time together with family and enjoyed the reminder of the unmerited favor & grace of our Lord. The day started out all crazy, getting ready for church (including my realization that I had neglected to even look at the size shirt we bought for Malakai to wear... needless to say, he's small but not 12 month small) while the kids scarfed down candy for breakfast. Of course, we followed that up with church and then a gluttonous lunch with family-YUM! The afternoon was spent napping, dying eggs, hiding & then finding said dyed eggs, candy for dinner and bed. All in all, it was a fabulous, blessing filled day :)

Lilly, really frustrated that I made her stop to take a photo w/ Mama

Our little fam ;)

The Littles

So proud of his egg finding skill :)

Today, we celebrated my favorite's birthday! He was feeling terrible but took some meds and enjoyed a home cooked meal with some friends :) The menu? None other than meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes (any other little ones that refuse to eat them- they were always a favorite in my house growing up but my 3yr old won't touch them) & spinach. This was followed by, "Mammaw's Chocolate Pie" & ice cream. I failed to take any photos but I promise, a good time was had by all and no one went hungry :)

Birthday Boy & his "mini me"

All I'm going to say is this... 

My life is better with this man in it. He is one of the hardest working, honest, loving men I know. He has a servant's heart and would give anyone the shirt off of his back. I love him more everyday and am blessed to lay my head next to his every night. His children adore him and he adores them. I have grown up with him and look forward to growing old with him. If you don't know him, you should and if you get the chance to, he'll make you feel like you always have. He'll talk your ear off about anything but he's genuine, caring and a loyal friend. Oh, and the cherry on top? He's easy on the eyes :)

Papa Cain... I love you. You're my favorite & my best <3

ps- Hon, you share your bday w/ David Letterman... :) I know, I know... you don't care. But you may care that he just said, "A study shows that men make better life decisions when they're drinking beer." LOL So, throw 'em back, baby... haha Too bad you'll probably never read this- it could have opened up a whole new world for you ;) bahahahaha! ::winkwink::

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Not Dead.

So I've been out of the loop for a few weeks... 

I promise 

I'm not dead.

The fam headed out of town about 3 weeks ago because my husband was going to be away and I thought it would be a good time to spend with our family in Kentucky. 

Speaking of Kentucky...

How 'bout them WILDCATS!!!!! I was so happy to be in Kentucky when they brought home #8!!! :D

Anyway, this is just a little post to let you all know that all is well and as of today, consider me BACK! I've missed writing as well as reading! Looking forward to some more of both!!!

Love you all!!!