Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday, Augy


My baby, you are 1 today!  How you've taken 2 people's world and filled it to the edges and to the brim with light.  It feels surreal to me that we have a 1 year old, that we are the parents at the birthday party, that I delivered a baby a year ago today (I know, I know, get a grip, right?)  But even while it's all surreal, my love for you feels more real to me than can be.  

From the moment I met you in that dim, windowless delivery room at 4:32am on a Saturday morning, you captured me, heart and soul.  Your chubby face!  The bags under your eyes!  Your beautiful coloring and bright soul.  Everyone says how much you're growing and how fast it's all going and while that is certainly true, I marvel at how it's just been you all along.  Augy, it's always been you.  At 1 year, at 6 months, at 4 months, at 4 weeks, at 2 minutes.  It's been you. 

Handsome. Social.  Happy.  Expressive.  Fun.  Curious.  Smart.  Confident.  Tender.  And hungry.  Mercy, were you a hungry baby.  

I've loved spending every day with you (even though you once broke my nose, my back is threatening to send me to physical therapy with all 26 pounds of you, and breastfeeding was the great villain that must not be named).  Really and truly, my heart cannot hold the love and delight I have over you.  Oh but hold it I will, with all my might for all my life.  I am so proud to be your mama, Augy.  I've never met anyone I like quite so much as you.

I love you, August Wells.  Happy first birthday!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What A Blast

Oh my gosh, you guys.  Second summer read was "Where'd You Go, Bernadette."  This is the perfect, perfect, perfect summer read, and I'm absolutely lost without it now that it's over!  It is everything to me right now.  Funny, witty, interesting, delightful, easy yet not simple, curious, quirky, and just such a blast.  You cannot talk to me lately without having to hear about how much I really think you must read this book.  So sorry.  But not.

I'm pretty jealous of you right now, because you have this delightful new book in front of you to read, and for me it's over.  Cannot move on.

Hope your summer is going well!
Where is it going?!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First Summer Read

"Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone.  Dawn and doom was in the branches."

I finished my first book of the summer, on this first weekend of summer.  Goodness knows it doesn't feel much like summer though lately.  The city has been cloaked in fog and clouds and rain and humidity, and we really have been having a time of watching the skyline take on all types of different appearances with the fog sectioning off parts of skyscrapers and at times making them disappear altogether.

Summery or not, my summer reading list is off to a great start.  The first one on my list was "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston.  It's a modern classic of American Literature, published in 1937.  The book is known for being the "most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature" and also holds a significant place in women's literature.  While those accolades are true, it's not fussy and it's written in a particular African-American voice, much like "The Help," if you've read that book (one of my all-time favorites!).  It's a love story, as well as a story about a woman finding her voice, about community, and about brokenness and living and possibility and change.  I recommend it, certainly.

The very last paragraph in the book will stay with me forever, I'm pretty sure.  Some of my favorite lines I've ever read:

"She pulled in her horizon like a great fish net.  Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped in over her shoulder.  So much of life in its meshes!  She called in her soul to come and see."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Project 365: Week 21

Day 143: Hanging with Big Papa out on the patio at Grammy's.
 Day 144: Ty & my grandparents over Memorial Day weekend. 
 Day 145: My sister Hope asked me to do baby Cruz's newborn photos.  He was so sweet!
 Day 146: The Lurie Garden at Millennium Park + pretty light.
 I have to sneak this one in there too.
 Day 147: Ellie Sue saying a mealtime prayer.
 Day 148: Book Club's last meeting before our summer break.  Can't stop the love.
 Day 149: New spot-- Stan's Donuts in Wicker Park!  Hello, lemon pistachio old fashioned donut.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Project 365: Week 20

Day 136: Watching him grow.
 Day 137: The northern part of Lincoln Park is such a pretty and relaxing area, and one that a lot of people (us included!) often forget about.
 Day 138: Chicago spring tulips
 Day 139: Ellie & Augy.  Buddy bears.
 Day 140: Face.
 Day 141: Our book club read Donna Tartt's new book, The Goldfinch, this spring.  Fannnnnntastic.  Read it this summer if you're looking for great writing at 800 pages+.
 Day 142: Blooms on Moody campus.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Project 365: Week 18 & 19

Day 122: Morning reading with Grandpa.  Wakin' up.
Day 123: Mailed out invitations for Kirra's baby shower, made perfectly by Katy Girl Designs.
Day 124: We love walking up to Plum Market for their Glazed & Infused donuts.  Any day.
Day 125: Favorite L platform.  And it so kindly has a working elevator, unlike so many of the stops.  Which can basically give you a panic attack when you have a stroller.
Day 126: 9 months and it's like a light switch was flipped-- he is so into reading books now!
Day 127: Joan Cusack's store on Wells St.
Day 128: These two playing together.
Day 129: That's a lot of coffee.
Day 130: A new favorite.
Day 131: The Montrose view we love so much.
Day 132: August's dedication at church.
Day 133: First Mother's Day!
Day 134: Dark chocolate treats re-stocked. 
Day 135: Most fun person I know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Psalm 19:7-14

On Sunday-- Mother's Day-- we dedicated Augy at our church.  It's something I've seen done over and over my entire life in church, and it seems ever so completely surreal that it was me up there with my son in my arms on Sunday. 

Besides feeling surreal, here's how else dedicating my child felt: Sweaty, from trying to keep Augy quiet in the service up until the dedication, a bit like a juggling act passing Augy between myself, Neal, and Pastor Brian, and feeling how bright the lights actually are in your eyes when you're up front.  Still special though, most definitely.  In a sweaty sort of way.

The verses we chose for Augy's dedication are also the verses from the reference that is engraved on the inside of my wedding band, Psalm 19:7-14.  It's my favorite passage in all of Scripture and has been for probably the last 11 years or so.  I first fell in love with the passage my second year of college.  I printed it out and slipped it into the cover of my binder that I carried everywhere for school.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Choosing this passage for August and his dedication got me reading it again, and it reminds me of when I was pregnant with Augy.  What I remember is that when I tried to pray for my unborn baby, I was so surprised that all I could find myself praying for was that he would know and love Jesus so deeply.  Everything else literally paled in comparison that I couldn't even pray for those things.  I guess I was surprised because I'm a person who cares about those things.

Those things like health, good friends, great school experiences, good grades, a fulfilling career, a wonderful spouse, on and on.  And it's not like I won't do everything in my power to give August those things.  Heaven knows I'm into it all.  And heaven knows I have never felt more devoted to a creature in my life than this child.

But the thing I know too well in 30 short years of life-- the terrible wonderful-- is that circumstances come and go.  I also know that bad things happen to good people.  And that good people make bad choices sometimes.  That the world is full of heartache and toil and trouble and tragedy amongst its more pretty moments.  And that he will be no more in ultimate control of all of this than I am.

My prayer for him is that he know the Jesus who is an anchor for the soul in this terrible wonderful.  If he does, then I know he will be ok no matter what.  If he does, then I know he will be spiritually alive, wise and rejoicing in heart, bright-eyed and confident that his life is centered around what is true, lasting, and void of evil.  That he will be satisfied much deeper and more richly than riches can ever provide, and that he will taste sweet reward in this life and most assuredly in the next.