Monday, December 30, 2013

A year to remember!

I think the holidays (especially New Years) tend to be a time for family, and food, and.... reflection. I know I can't capture in words what we've experienced this past year. Going through IVF, having Gabe, and living through the past almost five months with an infant has been some of the hardest, best times of my life and of our marriage.

Some days are completely sweet, with a smiling, plump, happy baby (and consequently, a happy momma and wife). Other days are exhausting, when Gabe won't sleep and when he seems so needy I can't even find time to go to the bathroom alone (No joke-- yesterday, I had Gabe in the bouncy seat IN the bathroom with me. I literally was singing to Gabe while attempting to go to the bathroom. TMI but true, my friends!) Being a mother is a role for which I've been gearing up my whole life, yet nothing could have completely prepared me for the role in its entirety.

Being a wife AND a mother is another new combo that I am still working at---I want Chris to remain my number one priority, best friend, and partner. It is hard when work, a baby, and the demands of life jumble together and make Chris's ranking as numero uno fluctuate. I want to keep him as my main man, my main squeeze and helper extraordinare; to do so, I have to remind myself that WE as a couple deserve maintenance time and energy too (which is hard when Gabe/work/life sometimes sucks out my energy before 6 PM when Chris gets home).

Every New Year, people make resolutions and try to "fix" what they perceive as broken or less-than in their lives, their work, their families, their bodies, their marriages... the list goes on and on.

I'm not making any specific resolutions. I am just going to keep on keeping on. God calls us to love each other, and I think we often only ascribe the loving one another-ness to strangers or friends or neighbors. What about our husbands? Our kids? I know that am I loving Chris and loving Gabe the best I can. It might look totally different from the way you love YOUR spouse, or YOUR kids, but I am really loving and living only the way Rachel Knipe can love and live, the way God wired me to love and live. It might not be exhilarating in comparison to others, but diaper changes, eating take-out Chinese, and watching football together on TV are all ways I've loved in 2013.

I have really tried to be PRESENT in whatever situation I find myself. Each new milestone of Gabe's is such a gift, something I don't want to overlook. Each night I spend on the couch with Chris is time to cherish. Here's to maintaining that mentality in 2014 and beyond.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Card 2013 and a throwback to 2012

As you may have picked up, SLEEP  (or lack thereof) has been a common theme in our lives to date. As such, our Christmas card is particularly fitting: 


Here is a photo from last year's card, with commentary:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daytime Napping! (shhh!)

I don't want to make the statement that Gabe takes daytime naps now. I'm afraid that if I write it, he'll stop.

For the first four months of his life, the kid never slept during the day for longer than thirty minutes at a clip. King of the cat naps, we called him.

Starting last week, I decided I would swaddle the crap out of him, place him in a dark nursery, and turn the white noise machine as loud as it could go. As soon as I see one eye rub, I take him upstairs to his crib.


He's not consistently napping; no routine or anything, but there have been a handful of one-plus hour naps since I started the magical combination stated above.

Probably because I just stated that he is starting to nap now, he will choose not to do so tomorrow. Alas. It was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Facebook: Blessing and Curse

In our ever-present digital age, it has become even more evident that the keeping up the the Jones' mentality lives on. I'm not necessarily speaking of material items (new homes, cars, jewelry etc), but more about life milestones. One could argue that never before has society so visibly "lived" their lives for the world to see.

Here are a few highlights from my Facebook Feed today:

- Someone is pregnant. Again.
- Someone just got married.
- Someone got an "A" in a masters course.
- Someone's significant other broke up with her.
- Someone posted pictures of a stunning Christmas tree, mantel, and light display from their home.
- Someone posted about her child making the Honor Roll, again. Wait. The Distinguished Honor Roll.
- Someone's baby slept through the night and then proceeded to roll over for the first time.
- Someone just bought a puppy.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I think Facebook can be fun, and a really great way to connect. However, we also can fall into the trap of reading about other's lives and then comparing them (both good and bad) against our own.

Compared to so-and-so, my life is great! OR Compared to them, we are slackers with nothing to show for our lives!

I think we need to really LIVE a little bit more, as opposed to framing and constraining our lives to how it will appear on a Facebook Feed.

Life is so much more than that!