Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fee 18 months

 since I've blogged, never mind a whole post dedicated to Fee. Here are a few photos from a couple days of trying to capture this spunky, sweet girl. I keep thinking I love her so much, there's just no more for more. And then, there's more. Here's Fee at 18 months in photos & random little bits about her I don't want to forget. 
She's a quick, active little thing. Her little sprouty pigtails fit her perfectly. After a nap, they sprout even more, like little bug antennas. So sometimes I call her "Bug". Sometimes "little stinker" is more fitting. Mostly she's Feezy Wheezy. She even calls herself "Feezy". 

 She's pretty opinionated. And quick to lash out. But she's just as quick to offer a kiss & tight squeeze of forgiveness. She says, "Please," & "thank you," & "bless you, mommy" when I sneeze.
 Anytime we get in the car, we are going to "Grammy's house". I love that she calls Dar's mom "grammy," just like he called his dad's mom, "Grammy".
 She looks nothing like I did as a toddler, & lots more like her Uncle Riley.
 She has a thing for apples. And my ratty blankie from childhood. Our night time routine is tucking her in bed with the blankie, a bottle filled with water, & a prayer. She is easy to get to sleep, but wakes up usually once a night for a bottle refill (if you would've told me when she was born that I would still be getting up at night a year and a half later, I would've cried). "Eggies & bacon" are her favorite breakfast, & she'll eat a whole one of each. Even though she's just 19#2oz, which puts her in the 8th percentile for weight.
 She is small but mighty. If she could pick her outfit everyday, it would be her favorite owl shirt with rainboots & her coat.

 She takes just one nap a day now, & I find myself so excited for her to go down for it, & just as excited for her to wake up from it. She's my kitchen sidekick & knows which cupboard the snacks are in. There is little that makes her more pleased than to "help mom": I let her set the silverware & throw trash away & put shirts in her drawer.
She is my favorite Feezy Wheezy. I'm not sure what I did before she came along, but I am so glad she's here, challenging me daily, watching my every move, & loving me wholeheartedly.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Home. A word that is so complex & full. I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. Not least because we just made it “home” for an extended, glorious, harvest stay. It was just lovely. My favorite trip home yet. It’s so hard to live away from family. Yet, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. Here in Oregon, I’ve had the most sense of belonging I’ve had in my life. I always blamed the itchy feet on a sense of wanderlust passed down from my forefathers. I never quite felt like I had roots in any of the places I’ve lived. A new place always beckoned just over the horizon. until now. Oregon feels like home. (All photos are from our recent trip to IL with the friends & family we love so dearly.) 

 It would be hard for me to leave it. Not that I never would, or never will, not if God calls us elsewhere. But it has become home to me. I feel guilty sometimes that I feel more home here than in my childhood state. Or than in the place where my family originated. Or away from my own family. What’s wrong with me, I wonder, sometimes. It’s not that I never get homesick for my family, or quilt-square comfortable miles of cornfields, or the woods & creeks that were my childhood. I do. But I can’t go back there either, not to what I remember anyway. Life hasn’t stopped for them either. Trees have fallen, babies have been born, friends have moved, my old bedroom has a new coat of paint. I would return only to find my spot has been filled. And that is okay. There are times I just don’t know if I can bear it, to be missing out on all the little life events, the growingups of my precious nieces & nephews, the subtle everyday life happenings that end up being the most treasured memories.

When those feelings of homesickness overwhelm me, when the 2,000 miles feels like an impossible barrier, I find comfort in another home. Our real home. The one we are all waiting for. The one where distance is nonexistent, where separation is no more. Where time is forgotten & those we love will all be there, at our fingertips, by our sides. Forever. I won’t be living two places at once. My heart won’t be scattered across this country anymore, little pieces left wherever I loved & lived. It will be whole again & fuller than I can imagine. Heaven. Our true home. The home we were made for. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

the last summer visitors

This summer's theme has been "how to entertain while working 80 hour weeks". It has only been possible by the grace of God. We just said goodbye to our last visitors of the summer (unless you're still coming, Evan?...cough, cough.). 
When Bryan & Lisa came, we invited them into the madness of berry harvest (Will they ever come back this time of year?...perhaps not:) ). They babysat Fee from 5 am til I got done for the day. (Some vacation!) They made their own breakfast, their own lunch, & didn't complain when we ate out 80% of the time.
We carved out moments in between where we had fun. It wasn't ideal, but we did what we had to.  It's hard to believe we're here already. I only spent a week in Illinois with David & Roxy before I moved 2,000 miles away. And I was about to get married, so the time hardly counts. It's been so good to have them come see us so we get to know them. Roxy was a good little model this trip. 

Ollie and Fee got along well most of the time. They'd chase each other around the island, giggling. Fee was a bit of a bully. (Really. We've got our work cut out for us.) Overall, Fee did well having more family here. She is turning into quite the entertainer. 

They'd heard about the alpine slides from their cousins, & wanted to try them for themselves. So I made another trip up to Mt. Hood:). I am so thankful Oregon has so many cool things to do! Our little apartment, as delightful as I think it is, just wouldn't keep kids occupied for a week.

Roxy's birthday was the day before they got here, so we celebrated it with them. Nothing big, just chocolate cake & a hand-me-down shirt for a gift:). I rarely get to celebrate these milestones with my Illinois family though, so I took advantage of the opportunity.

In all the craziness of berry harvest, though, we never did go on the birthday swimming outing like I'd promised her. I think Riley & the pond were a suitable replacement though. 

It's hard. It's hard to be so far from family. I can't think about the future: I worry about how we'll make visits work, we'll be busy in the summer, school is the rest of the year. Our school breaks might not line up. Tickets are so expensive during holidays. Somehow though, I know God will make a way. He always has.

Until now, it's worked. It's been good. I've gotten to spend half my summer with family this year. It's been crazy busy & I can't remember the months of June or July. But I know this: Fee knows her cousins now. And that's worth whatever crazy stunts we have to pull to make the visits possible.