the eagles family

Letting go of the baby

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

For whatever reason, Liam wanted me to rock him tonight after fussing in his bed for a while. It’s been some time since I’ve cradled him in that way; there’s something about an 18 month old that with all of his being revolts against being held like a baby. But tonight, as I cradled him, snuggled him close and could feel his breath on my cheek the memories came flooding back of a time not long ago that I spent hours each week doing this very thing. And my heart began to ache for a time I know I will never get back with him. I remember the way he turned his hand over as if massaging something unseen in the air, a sure sign that he was about to fall asleep, the sweet, sweet smell of his head covered in downy soft hair. His silky smooth and plump skin as I gently ran my fingers over his arm.

There aren’t many things that I honestly feel like I’ve excelled at in life or put my whole being into. College I pretty much did what I needed to to get by. My marriage I often find myself acting in my best interest, but there is something about motherhood that makes me want to give every ounce of energy to that is as natural as breathing to me. I have loved being his mother. Sure there are days I pine for hours to myself, shopping alone, or an afternoon at a coffee shop to just read. But the innate love I feel for Liam far surpasses those moments.

Nathan continues to remind me that our little boy is not a baby any longer, that he is our little boy. I struggle to see this, knowing that as the days pass this will become more true. As I held Liam close tonight, the reality that there will soon be a little soul younger than he taking up residence in our home began to sink in. I know that change will be good for all of us and God will once again knock our socks off as we open our hearts to another child and Liam gains a lifelong friend. I know that we will love this baby girl just as much as we love our little boy, but for now it is a little bittersweet to me.

For now I’m soaking up the last bits of time I get with just the two of us and trying to remember that God never intended for my baby boy to remain my baby boy, but that he was entrusted to us for a season to help him grow into the man he was made to be. I can’t think of any more worthwhile task than that.


We’re Alive!

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2012 at 5:39 am

I’ve been on an extended blogging hiatus but have the itch to rev this baby back up. Since our move “back East” as our California friends would say, we’ve kept busy with settling into our house, fighting over which cabinet should be devoted to Tupperware, settling into new jobs, establishing some new friendships, laughing at our little boy and growing our family (more on this to come!).

I’m loving the colder climate during the Christmas season and getting to watch Liam experience all things Christmas for the first time. Lighted trees, houses and eggnog are a hit; Santa, a complete bust. Perhaps we won’t do Santa in our home after all.

Liam is now nearly 17 months old. Having a child is some of the most fun I have ever had. And he is fun! He giggles, loves peek a boo, blows on hot food, loves to be chased and still loves to snuggle and sit on my lap. Play time with daddy elicits the most belly laughs and some days I am so relieved to here the garage door at 5 o’clock for my back up wrestler to wrangle him for a while. Liam sits on my lap for long stretches of time and will ask me to read book after book after book. I love his excitement over opening a new book.

Liam’s picked up a few more words. “Dada” is his favorite word and it is uttered about a thousand times a day. It usually is accompanied with his hands up in the air and a shoulder shrug as if to say “where’s dada”? “Mama” typically is uttered when he’s crying (go figure). He also says “hi” (my favorite) and often declares it when he comes into a room or when he’s trying to get in our face and get our attention. He says “hot” with a big emphasis on the “h”.

This new toddler stage is so fun as you see them put things together and develop new skills, sometimes within seconds, in front of your eyes. He still has a Buddha belly and chubby cheeks that often remind me that he is still my baby.

For all of you starving to see an updated picture of Liam here you go. I heard him rustling around in our bedroom and just about fell over laughing when he emerged with my bra hanging from his neck. He’ll love this one in 20 years!


Leaving in an Automobile

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Yeah, I meant to post this months ago. Yes…MONTHS. Ago. Oh well, here is the long and short of our move back to Iowa!…

If you see us on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably know that we are, within a few days, moving back to the Great Midwest. We’ve had quite a few questions about the who, what, why and when, so I thought I’d fill you in a bit on the crazy turn our lives have taken, a story, I believe that only God could write.

One morning, back in March, Nathan’s phone rang early in the morning and it was someone we knew from Cornerstone in Iowa. We weren’t up yet so Nathan didn’t answer it, but mentioned that it was from Mike. I jokingly said “He’s probably calling to offer you a job”. Nathan shrugged my statement off because we both KNEW that Cornerstone wouldn’t be calling about a job. Later that day we discovered that he was, in fact, calling about a job and we soon found ourselves flying back to Iowa for Nathan to candidate for a position at our old stomping grounds.

We had been in California for a little over three years. It probably isn’t that surprising to hear me say, if you know me at all, that these past three years have been difficult for us, for a number of reasons that aren’t particularly blogworthy. Suffice it to say, however, that God had completely deconstructed almost every facet of our lives that was familiar and was rebuilding us. I would talk to friends and family from home, see people’s lives online and weep for the simplicity and sweetness that seemed to encompass their lives compared to the difficulty we were facing. By Christmas 2011, we returned to California from Iowa and for the first time, I felt legitimately surrendered to the life God had provided us here, even with all of it’s difficulty. And bonus! I was excited about the possibilities that life in California had provided us. Life here had changed us and we were beginning to feel better suited for ministry here.

So when that phone call came in March I felt a bit deflated and protective over our life here. These three and a half years had been fought for with blood, sweat and tears. We had worked hard in our marriage, faith, jobs and friendships to get where we were. After returning from Nathan’s interview we talked it over, prayed and lost sleep considering the possibilities. In the end, we couldn’t escape the incredible opportunity that lay before Nathan and God opening that door for us was undeniable. With two weeks we had someone to cover our lease, saving us thousands and thousands of dollars. We made the crazy decision to buy a house that we’d never seen, but was purchased on the confidence of our realtor and parents who had seen it.

As we spent our last night in our apartment, I laid in bed thinking about all that we’d been through these last three years. Three years is barely a blip on the time scale. Barely enough time to call a place home. I remembered how we left Iowa the day after our wedding, to cross 1,800 miles of landscape to reach California. How we didn’t even make it 100 miles before we had to pull over because we were both weeping over what were leaving and what we were heading into. I remember having no idea how to communicate with my husband, now the only person and friend I had within a couple thousand miles, that I was sad, or why I was sad or why I was struggling. I remembered difficult days with Nathan’s job and not knowing how to handle the situation or how to encourage him. I remembered not being able to see God working and changing us on a day-to-day basis and feeling like we were failing at every turn.

With this move has come incredible clarity and understanding of what our Father was doing in us and I’m sure we’ll process that for years to come. We came to California with a 3-day old marriage and few belongings. We leave California in a few days with a 24 foot truck FILLED with all of our belongings, a sweet and gregarious baby boy, a marriage that has weathered storms that at times I believed would sink us, and a faith that has endured, and with friendships that have become like family. I’ve seen my husband grow and develop in character in ways that I never imagined. I’ve learned that sometimes the strength of our faith isn’t measured in how great you are at following every letter of the law, but simply that it has endured and held you fast when the waves continued to roll in and press you against the rock. That if you were still standing by morning, though tattered and bruised, that God could still look at you and be pleased. I don’t leave California with any amazing spiritual or theological revelations, but I leave seeing that He has provided for our every need, that He alone can change your heart and cause you to love a place and a people that in many ways do not feel like your own, and that Jesus is a strong tie to our heart strings. He is not some cute little god we put in our pocket to make us feel better, but He is mighty, consistent, and gracious to all who call on Him.