Seminary life has been so full these past six weeks. It's so hard to believe that we've been in the full Fall semester swing for six weeks now! I think we've finally got our heads on straight and we're doing the best we can juggling school, work and life. (God has been very gracious.) This is the first time that Chris has had a job while in school. (Well, besides his part-time Chick Fil A job back during undergrad. But he didn't have a wife then, or a cute little 17 month old daughter who demands her dada when he's home.)
When the semester started, I printed a weekly schedule to put under our calendar in the kitchen because I was having a hard time remembering where Chris was, if it was safe to call him, and when he'd be home. I feel much more relaxed knowing exactly where he is (in class, at work, or off studying) and when he's going to be home. My little schedule keeps me sane.
Another fun part of our days this semester is babysitting! Last winter I kept a little girl (who is two weeks younger than Hannah) for a couple of hours every Friday while her parents were in class, and now we keep her for a couple hours two days each week. Hannah Mae and E. are so funny together. They have both been learning how to share, take turns and how to walk around someone without running them over. When I ask them to take turns with a toy, they both look at me like I have four heads! I guess when you think about it, it must be a strange concept to a baby/toddler. I saw a lot of progress last week in the 'taking turns' department, so I'm hopeful that we'll all get the hang of it soon. Though, let's be honest, how many adults have issues with sharing and taking turns. : ) The girls ended the week with a lot of silly toddler hugs and their cute friendship made me smile.
We also have lunch guests/play-dates once a week in the form of two sweet little kiddos. They come over to eat lunch with us while their parents are working/in class. I. is almost a year old and his big sister is two. As you can imagine, Hannah Mae loves the big sister and follows her around invading her personal space every chance she gets. One of the funniest things is that Hannah Mae has just started the 'I have a baby, I am baby's mommy, I take care of baby, I LOVE baby' phase, and she thinks little I. is the cutest baby she's ever seen. She stands next to him and pats him on the head/back/arm and coos 'Oooooo, Ooooo' over and over again. That's her version of loving on a baby.
Next month, I start keeping another baby for a couple of hours two days a week and I'm so excited. She's a cute little bitty baby and I know she'll increase my baby fever.
Hannah Mae been acquiring all sorts of new skills these past five weeks and it's so fun watching her interact with other kids. I love having our house full of kids and their noise, joy and spirit, and I pray that we will soon have more children to fill our home. To see the way Hannah mothers every stuffed animal, baby-doll and real baby she comes in contact with, I think Hannah Mae was made to be a big sister. Lord willing, she will be one day.
I have been so humbled by the support and love we've been shown in the past few weeks and even though I can't say it in full here, I just want praise the Lord for the love He has shown us through His people.
This summer was full of some of the hardest emotional days I've had in a while. I had some physical issues that kept me from being able to do the things I wanted/needed to do around the house, including taking care of Hannah Mae the way I wanted to. Thankfully, praise the Lord, my physical capabilities have been restored and I'm able to cook dinner again, and change Hannah's diapers and keep up with the daily life that had fallen by the wayside this summer. I've been humbled by my body, and my mind for that matter, in the past few months and these struggles are just another reminder that this world is broken and is longing for redemption...which is coming.
Fall is another reminder of brokenness. As much as I love the relief of cooler weather after a season of hot, Fall is still a season of sadness for me and for a few of my closest friends. Fall reminds us of the last days of our joyful pregnancies. For me especially, a cool cloudless Fall day can send my mind right back to November 6- the day we found out Owen was gone. It was a perfect fall day, that day back in 2007. It was a day I will never forget.
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Please don't forget.