9 Comments

The Past Two Years

“Oh, Lord, please let this next season be an easy one. We’ve been through so much and we just need a rest, we just need to get our heads above water. Jesus, please, let whatever is next for us be a breath of fresh air”

I prayed these words every day for five weeks as I sat in the NICU and held my impossibly tiny, naked newborn on my bare chest and waited for him to grow.

I never considered that our long hospital stay was, in fact, our breath of fresh air.

— — —

Five days before Edmund was born I boarded an international flight from Skopje, Macedonia to Portland, Oregon. I was 30 weeks pregnant, bleeding, and I knew our baby was coming soon but he couldn’t come in Macedonia — no hospital in the country was equipped to care for a baby that premature. So we booked tickets back to Oregon and an unknown future. As soon as I deboarded the plane I was rushed to the closest hospital and Ryan woke up to a Skype call telling him he needed to change his plane ticket and get to Oregon now.

Edmund was born perfectly healthy, with his dad by my side, and we basked in the joy of our new baby, at least as much as parents of a baby who was born too early can. But uncertainty piled on uncertainty. How long will Edmund be in the hospital? Will he have long-term complications? What home will we go to once he’s released? Where are we going to live? Where will Ryan work? Will we go back overseas? What is life going to look like now?

Continue reading


5 Comments

Three countries. Three babies.

 

baby#3 announcement

Sometimes we set off on a great journey and we don’t even realize it’s happening. The beginning can be so subtle or such a tiny hint at what’s to come we can’t know we just embarked on a path that with transform us.

In March 2010 I stood in our bathroom in Hungary shaking with anticipation, waiting for Ryan to tell me if there was one line or two on the pregnancy test.

Two.

I knew this marked the beginning of my journey of motherhood, one that would change my life and me in ways that nothing else could.

I didn’t know that I was starting another journey at the same time. That journey would also become part of my identity, a defining part of my story.

Eight months later our daughter was born in Hungary. Continue reading


5 Comments

Backpacks, stories and faith

Backpacks, stories and faith

It’s been two weeks since we left Oregon for Skopje, Macedonia, our home for at least the next six months.

It’s a crazy thing to do: pack your family’s life into seven checked bags and six carry-ons and move to a country you’ve never been to, where you don’t speak the language and put yourself in the hands of complete strangers.

It only took long enough for us to hit cruising altitude on our flight out of Portland for me to wonder, ‘What the hell are we doing?’.  The fact that we were on a redeye, I’d hardly slept the night before and the kids were restless might have had something to do with it, but the thought crept into my head and stayed with me for the rest of our travels (which was a total of 30 hours – I don’t know how we survived). Continue reading


Leave a comment

A day in the life

House

I always love hearing or reading about other mom’s everyday lives. I usually learn something, am convinced to incorporate something new into our family life and I am always encouraged. I’ve wanted to do a post about what a ‘typical’ day looks like in my life for a while and I realized I am quickly running out of days in Oregon (20 days until we move to Macedonia!) so this is my chance. I’m not one to look back but I do enjoy remembering so while I do hope you can get something from this, I am also glad that I have one day of our time in Oregon captured in detail.

Here’s what Thursday, August 21st, 2014 looked like for us: Continue reading


Leave a comment

Kids and Major Life Changes – Guest Post at Red+Honey

6 ways to prepare your kids for major life changes

Today I’m posting at Red + Honey. Read the teaser here and click over to read the rest. While you’re there, stay a while! It’s one of my favorite blogs and I am constantly blessed by it.

It’s well known that kids need routine and predictability. They behave better when they know what is happening now, what is coming up next and they understand what is expected of them.

But what about when everything changes? What about when their routines are altered?

In September my husband, two kids and I are moving to Macedonia. Ryan and I have moved internationally three times already, twice with kids in tow, so we have a pretty good idea of how to handle the challenges we’re going to face. But when we moved before our kids were babies and while there were adjustment periods, they were minor. They’re 3 and 1½ now so we need to prepare them for the change and help them understand their new life when we arrive. We need to help our kids make this major life change.

Click here to read the rest!


Leave a comment

6 Small Habits to Increase Contentment – Guest post at Red+Honey

6 Small Habits to Increase Contentment When Life Isn't Easy Photo

I’m posting at Red + Honey. Read the teaser here and click over to read the rest. While you’re there, stay a while! It’s one of my favorite blogs and I am constantly blessed by it.

The couch is covered in unfolded laundry. The kitchen sink is pilled with dirty dishes. My unchecked ‘to-do’ list mocks me, my weekly goals are untouched. It’s already half an hour past bedtime and the kids are still running around, not even in their pjs. My husband asks where his work clothes are and I hear a child scream out through hot tears, ‘He hit me!’

What I want to do in this moment is scream, cry, run away. I want to be as far removed as possible from the responsibilities and pressures of managing a home and raising a family.

But what I need to do in this moment is to choose joy. To choose love for those entrusted to me. To choose contentment. Click here to read more…


4 Comments

Solo parenting survival skills

Solo parenting survival skills

Parenting is a hard job, even when there are two involved and active parents. But because life is, well, life there aren’t always two parents around. Whether a parent is gone for a multi-week work trip or a long weekend with friends, we all get landed alone with the kiddos at one time or another.

As I write this I’m halfway through three weeks of solo parenting. Ryan’s in Victoria, BC for his final classes and while I’m super excited for him to finish the academic portion of his program and to spend time with his fellow students, I’m still at home keeping two small creatures alive and relatively happy. Without daddy. Without the support of my husband.

This is my third extended stint of solo parenting, my first was for a month when Eleanor was 7 months old and then again last year for three weeks when Eleanor was 2½ and Edward was 6 months. While I am by no means an expert on caring for kids on my own, I have learned a thing or two that have helped keep me relatively sane and the kids alive long enough for daddy to come home. Continue reading