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  1. Josephine’s Arrival

    March 27, 2017 by louissa

    Our beautiful princess, Josephine Bliss, was born on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 3:45am. She was born at home — a planned home delivery with the area midwife who was also with us for Ellis’s delivery. Josephine was one of our midwife’s last babies she’ll “catch” before retiring, and I was so incredibly thankful that we were able to have her care one more time.

    After making us “wait” 11 extra days, Josephine came into the world in a fast and furious manner, taking us by surprise and bringing with her such joy. She is adored by her family.

    Her daddy knew she was a girl. From the very beginning he said Girl and I said Boy. He said, “I want a name that means Joy,” and I said, “And we still need to come up with some boy names.” He obliged and for the last month, I thought of the baby I was carrying as Wesley or Felix.

    Sunday night came and we put the boys to bed. For some reason (maybe in an act of hope?), I set out play clothes for each boy just in case something started during the night. Josiah had some computer work to do to prep for Monday morning and I was feeling tired, uncomfortable, and like my belly was upset. I folded some laundry, watched a TV show while Josiah continued working, and then we made our way upstairs. Ugh. Our bed. In a frenzied, hormonal state, I had complained about how dirty our sheets were that morning right before we headed to church. My husband, being as wonderful as he is, had made sure to get them through the wash and dryer that afternoon, but they hadn’t been put back on the bed. Whatever. I was too tired to do anything right then. We have a guest bed. We’d just sleep there.

    As happened with both boys, I woke right around midnight feeling abdominal discomfort. It always takes a few contractions for me to fully believe what it is that woke me. And this time was even more confusing, for the pains were coming every three minutes and lasting almost a minute. But they had just started, right? What was going on? I wondered if it was false labor. I wondered if I had had something to eat that was really bothering me. But, I also wondered if this was it — if the baby had decided that it was finally time. Deep breath. You can do this. You did it for Adrian, you did it for Ellis, and you can do this one more time. And just like you did with Ellis, you’ve got to lay back down and try to catch a few minutes of sleep between contractions for the next couple of hours. This might be it!

    That wasn’t about to happen though. 30 minutes later, and although I remained in bed, I woke Josiah, needing my lower back to be rubbed through each contraction. Already. Why did I need this relief so soon? I hadn’t needed counter pressure to be applied until after the first several hours had passed with the boys’ labors. Pull yourself together, Louissa. Close your eyes. Rest. It’s NOT as bad as you think it is. You’ve got hours to go. Figure out how to relax. 

    Another 30 minutes and I couldn’t handle laying down anymore. I sat on the edge of the bed as another round of pain took over my body and I remember crying at the start and saying, “I won’t make it. If it’s this bad at the beginning, I don’t think I can physically handle the rest of labor.” Josiah responded by asking if I wanted the birthing ball. Yes. And I started getting extremely cold between contractions so I figured it was time to move back into our room where I was planning on having the baby, grab one of Josiah’s hoodies, and try sitting on the ball in there. Walking from one room to the next brought on wave after wave of pain though and I found myself dropping to kneel on the floor while Josiah quickly started to press with so much force on my lower back. Again: Louissa, you’re losing it. And it’s only been an hour. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER.

    Somehow Josiah knew to start pulling together the last few delivery supplies that were spread around the house. Laundry baskets retrieved. Tea ball pulled out of the dishwasher. Flashlight grabbed out of his toolbox. He brought all the boxes of supplies I had put together and set them on dressers for the birthing team. And I learned that I really don’t do well laboring alone. While he was in and out and up and down, I didn’t know how I was supposed to survive without him rubbing my back and reminding me of Who my Help is. I resorted to rubbing my back myself while whispering, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” over and over. And surprise, surprise — I made it.

    The hour passed amazingly quickly and it was now 2:00. “Should I call Regina [amazing midwife] and your mom?” Josiah asked. I couldn’t even think straight enough to answer so he picked up his phone and called. Several calls to the midwife. Her phone wasn’t working. She’d pick up but we couldn’t hear her and we had no idea if she could hear Josiah. Call after call. Same thing. Finally, Josiah sent her a text giving her the report. I thought it sounded lame and like we were rushing things by contacting her so early on: “Louissa’s been having contractions for the last few hours. They’re about 3 minutes apart, lasting a solid minute or more.” Within seconds Josiah received a text back: “Sounds like things are really progressing. I’m on my way. Call the rest of the team.” Really progressing? Call the rest of the team? But it’s been just over two hours. Everyone is going to get here and twiddle their thumbs for hours before this baby finally arrives. But ugh, why are these pains SO INTENSE ALREADY?!

    Phone calls made while Josiah continued to rub. A sister arrived to help with the boys should they wake early — and 3:00 came and the oldest one did wake, quite confused by why his mama was sitting on a ball/half laying on a bed while letting out soft, low moans (poor kid!) every few minutes, and all sorts of people were arriving and rushing about the upstairs. My mom arrived and immediately set to work on making the bed ready for delivery (no having to unmake it though!) and stroking my hair and singing through each contraction. My midwife, Regina, arrived. Then another sister. Then an assistant-to-the-midwife/friend. Then a friend who will start midwifery school in the fall and is shadowing my midwife. And then another sister.

    I don’t think I acknowledged any of them — I was too focused, too shaky between contractions, too worn out feeling. ALREADY. Oh, Louissa. You’ve got to get a handle. This is going to be the longest day of your life if you’re already in such rough shape. But they were there, all starting to help prep things for delivery, rubbing my back when our oldest boy needed daddy to go to his room and help him process what was going on, encouraging me, and just being with me. I love delivering at home. Is it wonderful to be surrounded by the comforts of your own space while laboring and after delivery? Yes! And it’s wonderful to not think about getting up to leave a day later. But what I love most is the people that can surround me – a room full of women I love and who love me helping & encouraging me along. A midwife who I feel so comfortable and confident with doing her thing. A husband who is my biggest, best cheerleader in the world. All gathered in my home in anticipation of the arrival of another blessing. And the celebration of that new person only minutes after delivery with family & friends as they adore that baby with you — I love it.

    And I’ve gotten sidetracked.

    My midwife, so understanding and so bossy — like you need her to be while your body is going through what it goes through to bring forth life — took a quick second to check on baby. Good — still head down. Now to listen to baby’s heartbeat through a contraction and after it ended. Without thinking anything of it, I told her the contractions weren’t really ending at this point. Go use the bathroom, she said. Empty that bladder. Nothing in me wanted to walk down the hall to the bathroom, but I went. And blessed relief — there was a pause in contractions! Regina went downstairs to sterilize some tools, Josiah stood beside me, ready to support through the next contraction, and I sat there in the bathroom with eyes closed, reveling in the few seconds of calm I was being given. But suddenly, massive pain and I could feel baby starting to push down — and it felt like I had lost control of my body. I wasn’t trying to push, but I couldn’t stop and I yelled out, “I’m PUSHING!” So much scurrying. Assistant rushed in and yelled down to Regina who was up seconds later, I heard Josiah yell, “I feel a head!”, and I heard Regina say, “You are not having Baby in this bathroom. Get down to the bedroom.” I wondered how on earth I was supposed to waddle back down when it felt like the baby’s head was partially delivered (later I was told that the head had crowned, but it wasn’t fully out like it felt in the moment of walking and panting down the hall), but you don’t argue with Regina and somehow I managed. It’s amazing how much you can do when you absolutely have to. I made it to the bedroom. Not all the way to the bed, but to the bedroom.

    And minutes later, a few pushes more, after laboring for 3 hours and 45 minutes, our sweet baby girl was born. She came out with her cord wrapped around her neck and arm and leg, she gave out a holler right away, and she came soft, squishy, and absolutely perfect. I was the first one to say, “Ahhh! It’s a GIRL!” Josiah was right. And what an absolute gem. We love our baby girl.

    Josephine Bliss. God will increase/add joy.


  2. a little something

    February 3, 2017 by louissa

    The other night, as we laid in the dark and sleep started to overtake me, the husband suddenly said, “Wow. Six years ago I was reading your blog and falling in love with a girl I didn’t know.” I chuckled at how… 2011 we were. Falling in love and saying yes to a marriage proposal and we got to know each other through my blog and emails sent back and forth.

    He went on with, “I ruined it. I ruined”

    Then I laughed out loud.

    Oh, but my life is so much more than a small space only a handful of people ever see. And I’m rather glad my worth isn’t wrapped up in the continuing of what used to be a rather loved hobby.

    Today, out of curiosity, I looked and saw that it really has been 11 months since I last hit the “publish” button and documented a bit of my daily life.

    Yes, I guess he did ruin it. He ruined it by asking me to be his wife, the mother of his babies, his best friend — the things that now consume my time and energy and have taken away what was left for hobbies.  And I wouldn’t trade that for any sort of reputable space on the world wide web — even the sort where people write for fun and somehow make money doing so.

    But funny — the last time I blogged I was daydreaming of the day my boys would share a room. We’ve now tried that. And it did not go well. I stubbornly stuck it out for a week and a half, dealing with the return of newborn sleep patterns and insisting that things would settle down. My patient husband would say, “Okay, let’s try again,” after every awful night. Eventually I was too tired — and too aware that soon my nights would be dictated by an actual newborn — so I said “uncle”.  Ellis’s crib, which he refuses to give up, was moved back into a small, unfinished room he’s been sleeping in for the last year and life went back to it’s old blissful semi-restful state.

    The husband, having been an only son, isn’t quite as convinced that the sharing of a room is as necessary as his wife seems to think it is. BUT IT’S THE BEST! My memories of shared bedroom spaces are some of my favorites. So here I am, insisting that my boys will enjoy this someday. Just not today.

    Anyway. About  once a year or so I try to get myself back into the routine of this jotting down bits of life.  Memories are fading already and my morning journaling is not as dedicated toward remembering the elements of life as a young family.  Perhaps I’ll try to get back into the swing of things.  You know, for the next month.  And then Baby #3 will make his/her appearance and I’ll go into blogging hibernation for another year.

    But for today I’ll remember that although there are days that don’t go as I want or had planned at all, there are the Gift sort of days and today is one of them. This morning has been full of play and happy dispositions and helping cheerfully when asked and a mom who maybe doesn’t feel as undone as she does some days.


    It snowed and the home felt cozy and warm. Bach, Debussy, Mozart, and Chopin have played in the background. I’ve crossed a few things off my list but remembered to pause now and then to be present in the world these two were imagining at times. Yes, these are the Gift sorts of days.  Although they’re not all like these, these are the sorts I imagined (because my own childhood memories are of the days filled with calming music and candles and a cheerful mom and hours spent in made-up worlds), and these are the sorts of days I hope my boys will recall when they’re grown and thinking about their own childhood.


  3. a little something

    March 30, 2016 by louissa

    Ah! The afternoon.

    Laundry is rolling, soup is simmering away on the stove, two little boys sleep upstairs, and I’m sitting down to pause for the first time since this day started rolling and I think, “Ah! We made it!” (Made it = mama had a great attitude all morning long because maybe all that praying and scripture reciting and begging for Holy Spirit fruit is paying off???) Anyone else know that feeling?

    I’m making black bean soup for tonight. And just a few days ago I made rice and lentil casserole. My kids are going to grow up thinking that such food is totally normal. And my poor husband probably dreams about the life he used to lead which included steak and chicken and roasts and everything meat. He talks often of the day we’ll have an extra freezer and can split a cow with his parents. I should probably buy more meat for my family.

    And these two:


    They don’t actually sleep in this bed together. Yet. I kind of can’t wait till they do. I mean, I can because I can only imagine the difficulty we’ll have in teaching them that they do need to actually sleep even when in the same room or bed, but some of my best childhood memories are from sharing a room and bed with siblings. We didn’t always sleep that much either. Last night I randomly remembered a phase my older brother, younger sister, and I went through when Older Brother would set his alarm for 5am and we would wake up extra early just so we could play “Snakes”. Our snakes were friendship bracelets we would drag along the floor.

    We were totally normal. Not weird at all.

    BUT I LOVED IT. And I watch how much fun my boys already have together and I get all sorts of happy inside that they’re already becoming friends. God, keep them friends. Best friends. Always.

    Off to fold laundry! Happy Wednesday!

  4. a snowy Wednesday

    February 10, 2016 by louissa

    Hi there.

    It’s been snowing since I woke this morning. It’s pretty – this fresh, currently clean snow – and on these days I’m thankful that I did my grocery run yesterday so there’s no reason for me to load my two charges into a car that needs to be cleaned off to go anywhere.

    The few years of working — when work was 1/4 mile away from where I lived and most days I walked there (my life has always been so… easy.), I used to grumble on these days and be openly frustrated as stay-at-home-mom after stay-at-home-mom posted to the world wide web about how amazingly splendid these snowy, chilly days were. Yeah, sure, you can enjoy it because you get to stay in your slippers all day long while the rest of us tie up our boots and scrape ice off our windshields. Easy for you to celebrate the wonders of winter.

    I know. Great attitude. I’m really sorry for how much growing I needed to do at twenty.

    I especially hang my head in shame since here I am now, a stay-at-home-mom, and the only time I start to be done with winter is on the days it’s too frigid to take my two sweets outdoors and the cooped-up-ness starts to bring out extra mischief from the toddler (Because, please, we have enough mischief in our house. I don’t need more medicine bins pulled out, walls drawn on, or “tricks” that involve convincing the baby brother to jump off our toy chest into the waiting — but not strong enough — arms of the toddler brother.). Otherwise, I stay in my slippers and post to the world wide web about how pretty freshly fallen snow is.

    Basically, I wasn’t very good at rejoicing with all the blessed women who could stay put in their warm homes these days.

    I’d like to think I’ve grown up a lot in that area since those days of working in a little gray office. But oh my, if this winter has done anything for me, it’s shown just how much I need to continue growing. In so many areas. The good news is that I want to. I wince as emotions and habits are being revealed for what they really are — sin in my life. I am thankful that as I go through this pruning time, my church is also starting a series on the Holy Spirit. How I need His constant power in my life.

    So there’s that. Snow and slippers and growth and Holy Spirit empowering us to break away from areas of sin.

    There’s also all the cooking that goes into this season. I love summertime food, and I think I would be fine barbecuing some sort of meat and serving it over salad almost every single night, but I do love that my pots and pans and oven get a bit more use during these colder, darker months. I thought I would share a few favorites — although I sometimes hesitate to give out recipes since I don’t normally follow them completely as written, but that should make you feel at liberty to tweak to your liking as well!

    And pizza dough that’s become our favorite for when we have Friday night pizza!

  5. a happy sort of friday

    February 5, 2016 by louissa

    Yesterday I realized that for the first time since my sweet Ellis was born, we’ve had a set schedule to our days for three whole weeks straight. This is rather bittersweet since, at least with my babies, regular and predictable sleep times don’t come till they’re leaving the days of infancy behind, but I am fully embracing this new feeling of having structure and rhythm to our days and weeks.

    I say it’s my personality but perhaps it’s just that I’m controlling, but I love routine. I love knowing what to do when to do it, and knowing that chances are, I’ll be able to tackle whatever it is I’m supposed to tackle. I’ve learned where my expectations should be in these days of having a three-year-old and fifteen-month-old as my constant companions, so I made myself a very simple chore chart the other day. No more trying to clean the house top to bottom and do laundry and have a fancy dinner on the table all in one day. Now it’s all spread out and I know what my day will look like (sort of).

    The husband saw my list hung on the refrigerator one night and commented, “You don’t do chores on Friday?” I just laughed. That’s the day where the boys and I will spend (starting in two weeks!) the morning helping with a local homeschool enrichment program. By the time I get home, I’m doing really well if I can throw a load of laundry in and get dinner on the table and still be smiling as I feed my family. So no, no set chores for that day, babe. Just the general maintenance.

    And today, I loved my “free” Friday. Two boys with runny noses and a bit on the tired side, I was so happy to not do much other than sit and really spend my day with them.


    Books read, new games taught, castles built — a cozy-up day in comfy clothes with no place to go.

    One babe still sleeps (he was tired — we’re past the 3 hour mark) and the little boy plays while coming to lean up against me every two minutes and say, “Mom, what you doin’?” I think we’ll keep doing this Just Hanging Out thing until it’s time to light some candles for the night. And it’s feeling like a Hot Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks & Peppers, and Chips & Salsa sort of night for dinner. Let’s just keep things simple, shall we?

    Happy Friday.

  6. hey 2016

    January 20, 2016 by louissa

    January 20, 2016.  A new year.  I feel a little late in the game this time ’round since this is our first “normal” week since Christmas.  I missed the New Year hubbub in the midst of fighting a fever that lasted a few weeks.  Moms aren’t supposed to get sick.  I have no memory of my own mama ever getting sick despite the fact that she was constantly surrounded by snot, vomit, sore throats, and feverish kids.  I mean, not constantly, but with nine kids she must have had more exposure to all sorts of things than most.  But me?  I get sick.  I got the stomach bug a year ago.  A virus or bacterial infection or something (the doctor never really did tell me what it was) this year.  So what’s wrong with me that I’m a mom who gets sick?  And what’s coming next year?!

    There are multiple reasons why moms aren’t supposed to get sick.  It’s terribly inconvenient (especially when you have little ones and you are the in-home daycare provider), The Husband loses weight because you’re not cooking which makes you look like one lousy wife, and in a few short weeks your babies grow up SO MUCH.  I laid in bed for longer than I would have liked, finally got up, and so many changes!

    The three-year-old talks.  Like, really talks.  Full sentences!  Asking questions!  Genuine expressions of love and gratitude without being told to express love and gratitude!  How did that happen?  And my baby is suddenly not a baby.  He toddles about and points to show you what he would like and plays Ring Around the Rosie and thinks he should have his own plate and feed himself at every meal (have I ever mentioned how much I struggle with sticky, messy kids?!) and is generally showing us, his world, that he now has an idea of how life should go and lets us know when he’s not thrilled with us for not going along with his plan.  He wasn’t doing that 4 weeks ago.  4 weeks ago he was still my easy, laid-back baby.  Now I have two boys with set ideas.  And I’m one mama who also has ideas for how things should go.  It’s a crazy, fun home these days.

    So the calendar year changed while I was spending day after day in bed.  And winter also came.  We all knew it would.  After an incredibly warm December and start to January, these temperatures seem extra cold.  I thought of last winter and how faithful I was to bundle up one toddler, strap a baby into his carrier on me, and take a walk almost every single day.  Adrian asked repeatedly to go outside yesterday.  We were having one of those days where the seconds seemed to be dragging by, the baby wasn’t super happy because of a cold, and the toddler wasn’t super thrilled that mom was “back” and so was order and routine, so after being asked to go out to the snow for the hundredth time, I finally agreed.  Two boys bundled up and one mama somewhat bundled (I need proper gear for these single digit days!) and out we went.  Two minutes later the baby was looking at me like I was torturing him and he started to whimper as the biting wind took our breath away.  Three minutes after that we were inside removing all the gear and thanking Jesus for a warm house.  How did I take so many walks last year?

    That’s all.  Hey 2016.  Hi regular rhythm of life.  Hello structure to our days.  It’s good to be back.

  7. i will be joyful

    December 22, 2015 by louissa

    Christmas week is upon us! I started yesterday feeling the energy that always accompanies this incredibly wonderful week — it’s filled with extra practices for special Christmas music, menus being decided and responsibilities doled out for a family feast, and then there’s the panic that accompanies when you actually go through what you’ve purchased for presents only to realize that there are some major holes in the stocking department. No worries, a quick morning trip to our world’s favorite Walmart yesterday helped that incredibly.

    And then I woke up today. And in more ways than one, my body was telling me that it’s a bit worn out. The achy head, the scratchy throat, an incredibly swollen gland, burning eyes, and issues in the nursing mother’s world which I’ll spare you the details of — I’m feeling a bit run ragged. And I was so glad for the excuse for a day of Christmas week routine. Pajamas weren’t taken off till 10, I watched the Curious George Christmas movie with my two boys, dough for Christmas Eve cookies was made and now sits in the fridge, and we took a walk to get some fresh air. Two boys now sleep and I’ll join them soon.

    I’m thankful for a bit of hush in the midst of a full — full of wonderful, good things — but full week.

    The other day the devotional I’m going through had us read a well known portion of scripture from Habakkuk:

    Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

    Christmas is a joy-filled time. Sometimes, because of life, it’s hard to see the joy. Our eyes get clouded by difficulties, sorrow, struggles. And I’m struck that I can be light to those around simply by my ability to pursue and choose joy. No matter where I am or what I’m going through, God continues to give gifts and lavish His love upon me. That’s reason to be filled with joy. And sometimes I need to decide to seek and see joy in my life; to look for His fingerprints of goodness that surround and cover and are all over my life. He’s there. In the midst of it all. I just have to open my eyes.

    Now for a few minutes of afternoon sleep to make this day even more perfect…

  8. because boys sleeping mean I can continue to ramble

    December 16, 2015 by louissa

    My afternoons have been transformed this last week and a half. The baby, who has never been a very scheduled baby, and whose lead I’ve always followed, has suddenly started to transition to one afternoon nap. HIS NAP AND THE TODDLER’S NAP OVERLAP. This is an incredible thing in the life of a mom. I mean, yesterday afternoon I actually cleaned my bathroom. Like, scrub the grout with a toothbrush clean. And today I mopped my floors. This is incredible because of how full my days feel and yet how little it feels I get done.

    Oh, dear babies of mine, how I enjoy this busy, busy life you’ve given me. Just last night I sat at my mama’s kitchen table drinking coffee and eating Christmas cookies and talked of the mayhem you two energetic tots bring to my world. The broken decorations, the water from the humidifier tanks being emptied all over my living room floor, kitchen cupboards and the refrigerator being emptied in attempts to find food, vacuum filters and attachments being pulled apart and strewn all over, the bottom half of the tree looking absolutely dishevelled since it’s been the major battlefield this last week and a half and I’ve hastily redecorated it multiple times every single day.

    You two have so much fun together, and although there are moments I want to tear my hair out since going down to the basement to change a load of laundry is enough time for you two to get into something, I wouldn’t ever trade your energy for the world.

    Maybe someday you’ll enjoy sitting in one spot stacking blocks (do kids out there actually do such things?!), but for now I’ll enjoy the constant clamour of laughter, little feet running (even though they’re not supposed to) and little legs crawling (because why walk when you are so good at crawling), and the fact that half my day is spent redirecting you from trouble or helping you stay in one area and productively “play” (because yes, sometimes you have to actually teach a child how to play) or cleaning up from an incredible mess you made.

    And in the midst of that you run/crawl back to me for a kiss or you reach up to me with your sticky baby hands because you want a hug and I’m reminded that I’m the most important person to you. I will gladly kiss your dirty face (because my boys just somehow get so dirty) and watch your newest trick and tell you how awesome you are (because that’s your favorite word) because you are my world. Sometimes it feels like a monotonous, small world, but when I pause and see you for who you really are — future men — it seems like a wondrous, overwhelming world.

    And yeah, dear reader, you read that correctly. Our laundry is in the basement of our new home. It’s pretty much one of my least favorite things. I mean, for the basement of a house built in 1889, it’s pretty amazing, and the previous owners kept everything in impeccable condition, but can we just talk spiders? There will always be way too many spiders in basements. Moving our laundry up to the first floor is on our Someday list. It’ll happen. But for now I’ll keep going down and be grateful that at least I don’t have to go to a laundromat (because dirty, dirty boys).

    I’m off to go fold laundry because I have a few more minutes of quiet before my Energy wakes and needs my attention.

  9. december night ramblings

    December 13, 2015 by louissa

    December 13. A whole week of the glow from the tree lighting our small living room throughout the day. Cookies that are only made in December have been baked (and too many consumed). Christmas tunes are played during the rare moments when I can handle background noise (wow, being a mom has changed me!) or when I declare Dance Party Time (when I’m in the mood for attempting controlled chaos).

    The just-turned-three-year-old finds everything about this season positively THRILLING. Taking walks is not simply mindlessly sitting in the stroller anymore as his crazy mother drags him around town — he knows the route he wants to take to pass all his favorite blowup lawn decorations. He thought decorating the tree was magical, Jingle Bells is sung daily, and he’s been able to eat way more cookies this week than ever before which is obviously the best thing ever.

    We’re working on the whole Santa/Baby Jesus thing, but there’s slight confusion on the real meaning of Christmas or who Baby Jesus really is anyway. He recently informed me that Christmas is about Santa bringing him presents, and this morning he asked if the the overdue baby my oldest sister is carrying is Baby Jesus. I laugh as he informs me throughout the day of what he would like Santa to bring him. How does he even know that Santa “brings” gifts?!

    It seems that every Christmas season finds me wishing I was being more intentional; walking through this season more purposed. But I’ve been learning this: life with a three-year-old and one-year-old, regardless of how much you as an individual may like it, won’t ever be super routined. No day ever looks exactly like you think/want it to. You never have as much time (or energy) to do it all. And the romantic ideas of a little family sitting around the dinner table discussing God’s Gift doesn’t happen exactly as I picture it. At this point we do our rather short devotional reading and as much as possible we talk about how Christmas is Jesus’ birthday — try to help a little mind comprehend something about this holiday. And then the baby starts to cry and the toddler decides to join in and we end the conversation.

    Life’s all about being flexible anyway, right? I have to pursue grace daily for that flexibility to be my portion, but it’s needed and necessary to walk these days out in love. And I want that more than I want my perfect schedule and the perfect kid who sits surrounded by candlelight as we read lengthy portions of scripture (ha!).

    I have been working my way through Ann Voskamp’s devotional (just myself — a bit too much for my little guy right now!) and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Simple, short, and what a refreshing reminder of the Great Love that’s on display through all of scripture! If you’re looking for something for you and your family for next year, I’d recommend! I’m eagerly looking forward to the years to come when we can go through it as a family!

    That’s all for now. A few random thoughts on this December night. Our two boys are now asleep so I’ll go and spend a few minutes of quiet with The Husband as we gear up for another week.

  10. thanksgiving 2015

    November 26, 2015 by louissa

    A husband who sent me off on a morning run and made eggs, toasted bagels, and brewed me coffee while I was out.

    An energetic, enthusiastic brand-new-three-year-old sitting quietly in the back seat on our drive home from our festivities suddenly exclaiming, “The moon! Dad, that’s an awesome moon?!”

    A babe falling asleep on my chest as I lay on the couch watching While You Were Sleeping. (That same baby taking his first faltering steps just last night!)

    Parents who open their home and hearts to all us kids (and our growing families) time and time again.

    A day spent with sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandparents, and an aunt and uncle. So much conversation, laughter, and love.

    Ushering in the Christmas season at the end of  festive day by singing Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls and Rudolph in candlelight.

    An awesome God who created an awesome moon for my boy to notice. A God who gives me grace to live out the things He’s called me to. A God who saves, rescues, redeems. Everyday.

    The attempt at trying to get a picture of the four of us because hey, we all look decent right now. But really, getting a good shot with a three-year-old and one-year-old? Fat chance. But I love this. It represents this season of life quite well.


    My heart overflows because of His goodness in my life.