Monday, April 28, 2014

Texas Wildflowers

Last Monday (so thankful Baylor gives us a long Easter weekend), I headed to a local park where there is a beautiful patch of Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets with Taylor, two of her friends and baby girl. It was hot. And humid. And we were there for more than an hour but it was totally worth it. 

See?

















Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fierce


So I think it's probably obvious by now that there is a baby in our house. And though I can't share her whole story at this point (and it may be a loooong time before I can), it's impossible not to mention her or pretend her entrance hasn't changed our entire world.

To say that she came into our lives unexpectedly would be the understatement of the year, friends. But, in retrospect, I honestly believe that's the best way it could have happened for everyone involved. And it also explains why I kept seeing my baby verse - from THREE YEARS ago - plastered EVERYWHERE as the calendar turned from 2013 to 2014. I was confused and refused to read anything into it because, let's face it, once you've lost a baby it's just hard to believe it will or can ever happen again.

Not to mention the fact that she was so tiny and needed someone around who was comfortable with fragile babies who need extra care. Someone who would know exactly what to look for and how to treat her immediately so something seemingly small didn't turn into a huge ordeal for one so young.

Enter Tonto. Who, by the way, said tiny babe wrapped around her finger IMMEDIATELY.

And she does have extra needs. Things I never dreamed of doing with Taylor when she was this age. But it's become our new norm. And lately as I've read so many stories about preemies and the challenges they had and do still face, I realized one more miracle: the baby's health itself.

Because she is a fighter. And she is fierce. And she's literally had almost no major health issues despite being so early.

We are so blessed to have her. To be able to snuggle her. And to love on her. While I won't pretend that there have been no bumps in the road regarding other areas of the situation, the one perfect and innocent angel involved is the one whose face I so wish we could share. 

Because, y'all...she is BEAUTIFUL.

But one day, friends...one day she'll have an amazing story to tell. And, no matter what happens, we'll be some tiny part of that story. And I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

What's blown me away, though, are the number of people who had said things along the lines of how lucky she is to have us. And I understand the sentiment. Honestly. But every time I hear those words, I realize how the very opposite is true. Because just like Taylor has saved me from myself more times than I can count, this tiny one has healed a part of my heart I was absolutely convinced would remain broken - in some way - forever.

And, yes, she is little. But my, oh my, is she also fierce.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Regrets

I remember this day well. It was 4th of July and Tonto was working. The girl and I met my parents at the Belton parade - a tradition still kept - and she was having a bit of toddler angst. And she was in an orange soda phase. And the precious red, white and blue outfit my mom had gotten her for  the occasion was *almost* too small. But we made it work. Because it was precious. And festive.


We had purchased our first home less than a year before and it was currently Taylor's turn for a room makeover. She had chosen pink walls with a hand painted flower (think tulips, bright and happy) border. I had painstakingly worked with many colors of paint, brushes galore and a lifesaving stencil for days.

After the parade was over, my parents took the girl back to their house for lunch and a nap so I could finish up her room. And I did. And it looked amazing. I knew she would LOVE it.

Tonto got off work not long after and we met up with some friends for a bit before retiring to the home of some other friends. They lived close to a park where the local fireworks show was visible from their front lawn.

And I let Taylor go with my parents to a different location to see the show. By the time I picked her up, she was exhausted. And she couldn't care less that her new room was complete. She simply wanted to go to bed.

The good news is that she did LOVE the room. The next morning. And she loved the fireworks. I know that because she told me. And my mom told me. But not because I witnessed it myself.

The number of moments I've missed like this one aren't astronomical. But they're the ones that stick with me. The ones I regret. Because the truth is that motherhood (or fatherhood) is hard. And it brings with it guilt. For so many reasons. Some legit. Most not. But, again, the least legit items are the ones that remain in my head. Maybe I'm not alone?

There are so many more moments, experiences and memories I've made with my girl. And I cherish them. Even the ones - and perhaps especially the ones - that didn't turn out exactly like I had hoped.

And that's why I'm mostly absent these days. From the blog. From happy hour. From social commitments. From dinners out and almost anything else that takes me away or makes me miss moments like this...


...and this...


...and this.


Because right now life is a roller coaster. And it's exhausting a lot of the time as well. Sometimes just making it to work on time or making it through the day without bursting into tears is a giant win. 

But, no matter how anything might turn out in the next year or so, there is one thing I know for sure: I don't want to have regrets about how I spent my time. Or the amount of energy I poured into those I love.

And so I'll remain happily - and maybe annoyingly - absent for now. Because I just don't want to miss a singular, solitary thing.