"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, November 12, 2015


There's this kid.  Eleanor.  She's awesome.  
She smiles and lights up the room.  Then she squints her eyes & wrinkles her little nose to make room for an even bigger smile and my heart delights.  
You know that thing we do where I disclose a secret and you read it as if I'm talking just to you, even though this blog is open to anyone who cares to read?  Yeah, we're about to do that.  
This is easy.  There.  I said it.  It goes against everything to say such a thing about motherhood, but it's true.  This baby is easy.  This little girl makes my job a breeze.  I've done this parenting thing before Eleanor.  Twice.  I've been pregnant twice, given birth twice, nursed two babies, gotten up through the night, comforted them when they cried, worried over them when they didn't feel well, and prayed over them without ceasing.  I've  done all that before.  I've laughed and rejoiced over the smile on my children's faces.  None of that is different now.  Eleanor couldn't be any more mine.  She is ours.  She is a Mandy & Drew baby, no matter what her biology may be.  Zero doubt. Now, back to my point.  Easy.  
Every mother that is reading this may find herself mumbling curse words under her breath at my audacity here.  I don't mean that I don't ever struggle.  There are plenty of times when I wonder if she's eating enough or too much.  I wonder when we should start solid foods.  I wonder if others think I'm doing this or that wrong or right.  I do all of those things that every mom does.  The difference is, I've done this part before.  Sort of.  I've done this before but it was harder then.  Maybe it's becuase I was younger and less experienced.  Maybe it was harder with Alex & Emma because we struggled financially.  Maybe it was harder because Drew was in the Army.  Mabye it was harder because for 11 years I was exhausted and sleep deprived.  Maybe it was harder because even before Alex & Emma's diagnosis, there were special things going on... doctor visits, therapy, evaluations.  Lots of questions and very few answers.  Every one of those things grew my heart a little bit more.  Think The Grinch and how his heart grew at the end of the story.  Every single moment changed me.  Some moments were joyful, some moments were painful, ALL moments were life changing.  I was The Grinch.  That was me, every single day with Alex & Emma.  And guess what?  Each moment as a mommy grew my heart and my experience.  I've got this.  Somehow, God saw fit to make me a mommy again and by His grace we've got a baby that sleeps, eats, gains weight and is 'typically developing'.  She smiles and coos and interacts.  She loves us.  We love her.  It's just that easy.  
That's what I mean by easy.  I struggle, I question my ability, I wonder what the future will hold & how we will know what to do.  Being Eleanor's mommy & loving her?  EASY.  

Mission Complete

Our dinner party last night was a success. Look how pretty my table was. 
Drew was off for the day, so he was on baby duty while I puttered around the house getting things together & cooking all day. Makes my heart happy.  
Before everyone arrived... E was obviously thrilled. 
I made chicken & dumplings for dinner and homemade bread. (We may have been sitting in the formal dining room, but we have to keep it real.) I made snickerdoodle blondies for dessert and they were delicious. Everyone seemed to have a nice time, I'm glad we did it and I'm glad it's done (until next time). 
After everyone left... 
We all slept well last night and E is all smiles & giggles this morning.