Please excuse the very last picture of me. It's a really worn-out first time mommy right after giving birth. Not exactly a "kodak" moment, but a life-changing one, for sure!
I'm sorry for all of you who want to hear how bad my life is.........I just don't have those words tonight. All I have is praise to Jesus for the life I live. I don't deserve one single moment of it.
I refer to this time as the "mountain top." I feel like it simply could not be better.
I've spent the better part of my days looking ahead to this time, and I believe I'll spend the rest of my days reminiscing about this very short stage of life.
I have always dreamed about having a handsome husband who revolves his life around God, me and his kids. Got it.
I have always dreamed about having numerous (a house full) of ankle-biters calling me Mommy. Got it.
I have always dreamed about being a teacher and enjoying snow days and lazy summer days with my kids. Got it.
I have always dreamed about having a yellow lab who spends his days laying by the fire. Instead, I got a yellow lab who has tumors everywhere and licks his body 24/7===pausing only to pass gas and run everyone out of the room.
I was talking to someone tonight about this year being my "grand finale" with teaching and it hit me. I am about to turn another page in this very brief chapter of my life. This sweet time with the first 3 children God blessed me with is about to pass. I am excited, of course, to move on to the next, even crazier, chapter; however, I want the world to know how much I absolutely love this one.
Call me crazy, but I went in to work over Christmas break one day when the girls were in preschool and Evan was at his mama's house. As I sat at my desk, my memory was flooded with all the time I've had with Evan in the mornings and afternoons in my classroom. It is exactly how I always wanted it: teaching in the school where my children attend. This year, I am teaching literally next door to his class. I can hear him sneeze in the middle of my lessons and be comforted in knowing how close he is. I am crying even as I type this, knowing how soon this will be over. It has been a lifetime of work to get to this point, and it's about to be over. It's very bittersweet.
My little Claire-Bear was my baby for so short a time. She became a big sister at the young age of 15 months. Since then, I've tried desperately to make sure she gets everything she needs and everything she deserves. I don't want to slight her at all, since she is the "middle" child. She is just as precious (if not MORE) as all her brothers and sisters, and I want her to know it. She went to her first dance class tonight. I had visions of bringing her home from the hospital when she was only 24 hours old and then fast-forwarded to a vision of her dancing with her daddy at her wedding. I know it will happen so fast----I'm trying not to blink. I could've watched her dance tonight forever.
Our sweet Sophie girl has been such a gift to us. She saved us from ourselves, we think. If not for her, we believe we'd be decently comfortable and MUCH less stressed out. We might even have time to think about ourselves every once-in-a-while. Tonight, as I rocked her before laying her in her bed (yes, I know you're thinking that she will be 3 in a month, but she is my BABY, people), she said "Mommy, I'm hungwy." I let out the most authentic laugh I've had in a while, because her little voice brought me the most satisfying pure joy. Her sweet little chipmunk voice will be gone before we know it.
We are excited that Evan will know what life was like before his Ethiopian siblings came home, and thrilled at the same time that Sophie will not remember life without 4 siblings.
I hope I never ever forget what this chapter felt like. I cherish it. The view from here is breathtaking. Thank you Jesus for letting me live even one day in these shoes.