things lately

(Saturday at Tia and Marquis's wedding in SPFD)

Life lately has been busy and out of routine but still good. I am a planner at heart, so I am of course eager for routine and more normalcy. We've intentionally given our family some grace in this area because summer and because our crazy past four months, but we're looking forward to getting back into a routine this fall.

Some of our routine goals for the fall include:

  • Getting Miss Rosie back to her regularly scheduled bedtime program (bedtime before 9pm [you don't even want to know what time she's getting into bed now] and sleeping full nights in HER bed)
  • Meal planning Sundays and grocery shopping Mondays [a pre-Lindie routine Eliza and I once had]. (Can you believe I still have yet to grocery shop with the two girls?! I haven't been to Aldi since the Monday before Lindie was born. Don't pity me though- I've definitely been milking Walmart Grocery Pickup and Trader Joes in the meantime and it's been reaaaal nice. Our budget will be ready to go back to Aldi shopping soon).
  • Preschool! Starting this fall I plan to start at home preschool with Eliza 2 days a week. Nothing major, just working through a lesson book to learn the alphabet and numbers and work on reading.
  • Dance. One of the things I am most excited about this year is Eliza's dance class. The girl looooves to sing and dance all the time, especially when her favorite movies are on singing their songs (Frozen, Tangled, Moana, Trolls). Over the summer we enrolled her in a week-long dance class as a trial run and she loved it. So, starting this fall she will be doing dance one day a week from August to May. I am excited to watch her learn more in dance and I am SUPER excited about those recitals in our future. OMG. Heart eyes.
  • Quiet time. One thing that has been really lacking in this season is my alone time (something I desperately need) and time with Jesus (something I even more desperately need). Usually I pair these things. I'm still trying to figure out what this looks like, but its probably going to mean going to bed early and getting up early (something that used to be easy for me, but now is super hard). Still working on what that looks like.
We've still got a few weeks of summer though. So I'll keep milking it a few weeks longer...
love this man
 those arm rolls!
 Miss Rosie playing at Lindie's doctor's office
 "Am I Rockin' this extra chromosome or what?"
 first road trip in FOUR MONTHS! It only took 2 days of packing and prep work. (insert eye roll)
 this face

And the cutest video you ever did see...
"Come on! Hop on the bus. Today we're going to Chick-Fil-A!"

a birth diagnosis of Down syndrome: four months later

A little over four months ago little Lindie Fern came into our lives expectedly unexpected. I was more prepared than ever for our sweet babe but not at all prepared for the babe that arrived.

She was born on March 4, 2017 with a birth diagnosis of Down syndrome. At thirty years old and not a bit worried about things that were unlikely to happen, I hadn't even considered the thought of having a child with Down syndrome.

I remember years ago listening to a story told by one of my dear friends of the day their parents birthed their son to a birth diagnosis of Down syndrome and my heart couldn't believe the difficulty of getting that news in that way. I couldn't imagine bearing that weight, being overwhelmed with that kind of sorrow. It seemed an impossible day to bear.

And there I was on Lindie's birthday bearing it.
Recently the DSDN shared a blog post I wrote shortly after returning home from Lindie's 35 day NICU stay. She was a little over a month and a half old and had officially been home from the hospital a little over a week. Rereading the words I wrote just a few months ago was painful, yet freeing.

It was painful to read the words of a mother still in the thick of her grief- a mother who so needed to be reminded minute by minute in those early days that it was going to be okay and life would surely go on and (can you imagine it!) be joyous again. (Thank you to all those in those early days who spoke truth to me).

But it was also freeing to read the words I had written such a short time ago to see how much has changed- how the Lord has softened my heart toward my daughter, how I can go long periods of the day now without even thinking about Down syndrome, how I can snuggle and kiss my daughter and tell her I love her and truly mean it and how our lives (just a short while later) do feel joyous again.

(Although, don't get me wrong- I'm still doing daily life with a threenager and a newborn! It doesn't always *feel* joyous). 
So much has happened. Yes, she has grown and is developing more into the little girl she was born to be, but so much more has happened at the root of things. In my heart. In our families hearts. In my capacity of what I can handle in a given day. In what I see when I look at Lindie. In how Chris and I care for each other. In how we think about our future, Eliza's future and Lindie's future.

One of the biggest things that has happened in my life is Lindie has exposed my need for Jesus because despite how decent of a human being I thought I was before Lindie was born, despite how kind and accepting I thought I was of all people, despite how much I encouraged others and myself to love like Jesus loves, when it came down to it on the day Lindie was born I still struggled to accept her. My own daughter. My own flesh and blood.

And I know why. Because I'm human. Because I'm flawed. Because no matter how good I think I am or try to be, I still need Jesus. And Lindie has reminded me of that.

So much has happened in such a short amount of time- in our hearts and in Lindie's development- it excites me to think all the Lord will do in the course of Lindie Fern's lifetime.

So many people early on told Chris and I how fortunate she was to be born to parents like us. But now when I look at my baby girl I can't help but think it is the other way around- how fortunate we are that the Lord put Lindie Fern in our lives and that we get to serve her by being her parents. Don't get me wrong- there are still a lot of things that are hard and I wish were not the case, but despite all those things I am so thankful for her. She really is a gift.

Also, check out her four month update HERE!

little lindie fern: four months

Yesterday on the Fourth of July we celebrated four months of life with the sweetest #littlelindiefern!

At four months Lindie Fern loves her family, especially her big sis. She is happiest in the mornings. She loves sucking on her thumb, sleeping, grabbing toys on her play yard and breastfeeding.
She has made so many great strides this month: one of her heart defects (PDA) closed (!!) and the other (ASD) is smaller. She gained two pounds this month and started breastfeeding most of her feeds this month (although we're still g-tubing regularly after breastfeeding). She laughs now (mostly at her Dada), and smiles with her whole face.
We love our girl so, so much! 
Since re-introducing breastfeeding, Miss Lindie has been protesting the bottle more & more. So... we're going with it and changing plans. Instead of bottle feeding + G tubing most feeds we're switching to breastfeeding + G tubing most feeds. Thankfully Saint Francis came through with a scale rental to help make this happen.
Part of me is giddy with excitement that we are to the point where I am actually able to consider breastfeeding as an actual means to mostly feed Lindie. She has worked so, so, SO hard to get to this point, and I am just so proud. Part of me is super nervous because it's new and less controlled.
We're not 100% this is going to work, but man, it's so great. It's like Christmas morning. And I just wanna hug all the moms and tell them not to give up. 😁😁😁

1,001 here we come!

Just finished ordering boxes 11 and 12 of the number of 100-count lasinoh milk storage bags I've ordered since little Lindie's birth... which means I'm nearing having pumped 1,000 bags of breastmilk! (And two full upright freezers to prove it)! 

When Lindie was first born and we found out she had Down syndrome one of the first things we were told was that she was likely to have trouble breastfeeding. And she did. I was so nervous those first days that my milk would never come in and I wouldn't be able to give my precious baby my breastmilk. Early on, I asked a group of Mamas close to me to pray specifically for my milk production. (Sounds like a weird thing to pray for, but it was important to me). God answered *BIG* in allowing me not only to produce enough milk for Lindie but waaay more than enough. (Two full freezers, remember).

To this day Lindie hasn't mastered breastfeeding (we're still working on it). I despise pumping (and I totally understand why women choose to stop pumping! It's awful!), but I am so thankful to be able to give her this gift as long as I can. (Chris and I joke it's my part-time job). 😉

So, bag 1,001 here we come! 🙌🏼

June 20, 2017

There are so many things I want to remember right now, to savor:

  • The way Eliza Rosie says people but it sounds like "puckle" and how she calls herself one "puckle" instead of one person
  • The way Lindie Fern grabs things with her hands- little toys above her on the play yard, my face when I'm close enough, her outfit she's wearing
  • Eliza in her ballet dress and ballet slippers walking to her dance class with her Mickey Mouse backpack on. One of those kodak moments that I could keep for a lifetime.
  • Eliza at night time crying in her big girl bed (mostly because she doesn't want to go to bed in her big girl bed and wants to go to bed with me) but also because she wants "Anna and Elsa to be here"
  • Lindie holding up her head and working on her neck skills the week after I became anxious about it and started praying for strength in those muscles (praise you, Jesus)
  • The way Eliza says "I have to go potty" very seriously and all of a sudden and everything just stops (because Daniel Tiger says "stop and go right away")
  • Chris on Father's Day holding those girls in both arms wearing the shirt he has worn every Father's Day since 2014 (his first Father's Day) and still looking so young himself. 
  • Lindie in the morning when she first wakes up and smiles and her smile fills up her whole face and she is so distracted by smiling at me that she has a hard time taking her bottle.
  • Quiet evenings in the front yard drawing pictures of Minnie Mouse and flowers on the driveway, then chasing Eliza Rosie in the grass pretending to be the "bad guy" and getting rose petals thrown at me to keep me at bay
  • Weekend mornings waking up to the daylight streaming in the windows with Lindie girl to the right of me in her little bassinet and Eliza girl in the middle of Chris and I all snuggled up with her bunny and Dada
It's a good, sweet and simple life dear friends. I'm thankful for that.


We celebrated Memorial weekend with an overflow of Eliza's birthday weekend and lots of family.
 We ate donuts and barbecued and played water and hopscotch. We love this beautiful weather and time with family.
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