Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're Here!

We're in North Carolina! ...kind of. Our stuff was left behind in South Carolina for the week, as Colin and I came up to stay with my parents while Colin started his new job this week. We'll be traveling back down just to load up our truck and clean our house before we're gone for good.

I made it through a lot of goodbyes and packing without feeling it. I don't know how we hugged our loved ones and put everything in boxes without it hitting us. When I got in the car, all alone, I broke down. The Lord blessed us with such sweet friendships in Columbia that we got to nurture and watch develop over the years. Friendships that saw us through painful things and happy things. I'm scared that we won't ever laugh so hard that we break our friends' chair again (like Colin did). Or that we'll never have the type of friends who let us waltz over for dinner, or borrow onions/any variety of missing dinner ingredient, or love us so much as to throw us any form of party that's necessary (baby shower, going away party...). We have been blessed.

So, as not to make my heart ache any more, I'll lighten this post up with a video of Olive! She has recently, in the past week or so, begun 'talking' to us a LOT. Many of times we will have back and forth conversations consisting of her cooing and me responding, and repeat. Her little sounds are adorable, and I love seeing her develop and hit little milestones! (Also, try to ignore me sounding like a complete idiot).

Hopefully soon I'll write more about our experience over the past TWO MONTHS (I can't believe it) with Olive. 

grace and peace!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother's day is a completely new experience for me, obviously. Now I am not only privileged to celebrate my two amazing mothers, but I am also privileged to be celebrated as Olive's mommy. It's funny, because I feel like I'm the one who should be giving thanks. Olive has changed me in so many ways in just her short little lifespan. 

-I've learned how to tightly swaddle, change diapers efficiently, eat in a matter of seconds, take the world's fastest showers, and to maneuver a stroller with one hand while holding a bunch of groceries in the other.
-I've learned that some babies don't just go to sleep at night, or go down for naps on their own, they need a lot of help. 
-I've learned that your heart can actually expand. And boy, does it.
-I've learned how to be more intentional when it comes to spending time with and loving on my sweet husband.
-I've learned and discovered just how much time I actually wasted before she came along! 
-I've learned that I'm not as patient of a person as I once thought. I need a lot of growth in this area. 
-I've learned that productivity is extremely healthy, and that sunshine and fresh air do everyone a lot of good.
-I've learned that no matter how bleak things seem at 4 am when I'm running on no sleep and the baby's wide awake, seeing Olive's grateful smiles (maybe coupled with a good cry :)) in the morning make every tension disappear completely. 

We had a great weekend, spent with my parents. We drank mimosas and locally brewed hard cider at the Columbia farmer's market, had seafood on Saturday night, took a NAP (courtesy of Gigi and Grandpa Fien!), and had sushi for lunch this afternoon. There was lots of loving on Olive involved-- Colin and I are officially second-class citizens (haha!) and are okay with that! 

Breakfast tacos and mimosas at the All Local Farmer's Market on Saturday morning! 

Olive all tucked in at Blue Marlin :) She slept the whole time! 

Colin thought he could smile with food in his mouth and get away with it...

Gigi and Grandpa!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mamas in our lives. We have tremendous respect for what you do and how you pour out your hearts and energy every single day. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gummy Grins.

This little branch has been pretty much all of what my days and nights consist of:

And, while I am incredibly tired at times (most times), and can feel like somewhat of a failure other times (not being able to figure out, for the life of me, how to get our baby to sleep some nights!), our new roles are an immense blessing and pleasure... Especially when this is the glimpse of gratitude you are given by your 5 week old! 

time, slow down a little. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Olive's a Month Old, and Big News!

If I thought before that I didn't have much time to blog, what must life be like now? I get computer time a lot of times when she is eating (which can take about an hour per feeding, she's a slow, lazy eater!), but I've found myself too scatterbrained to create a coherent post. So, apologies, this will probably be all over the place!

Olive is a month old. This post is probably going to be full of cliches, the first being this: time DOES fly. I  frequently get emotional as I realize how fast the days are speeding by, and how you can't regain them, as well as how much she's growing! We absolutely cherish these days where Olive clings to our chest and falls into a deep sleep for hours. Where her only desire is to be held and be close to Mommy. About a week ago she gave me her first real, non-gas, non-sleepy smile! Every day now, in the afternoon, she gives me a huge, gummy, mouth open, tongue out smile when I get up close to her face, talk to her, and stroke her face and head. There are few things on the planet that could delight the heart more. 

It's been a wonderfully selfish type of relationship. When babies come out of the womb, Mom is all they know and their only source of comfort. They crave our smell, the sound of our heartbeat, being at the breast, and hearing our voice. Olive's life is so simple. At this stage of her life, she cries when she's hungry or lonely, that's about it (unless it's during her 'witching hour' at night. She gets fussy around 6-9 every night)! Just hearing those pitiful little whimpers coming from her room in the middle of the night or early morning cause me to jump out of bed, no matter how tired I am, and readily scoop up that little swaddled bundle and kiss her mad little face. Her absolute reliance upon me for sustenance and comfort is wonderful, if not terrifying and weighty. 

Now, that's not to say that I don't ever hand her off to Colin. I love handing her off to him when he gets home at night... He's so ready to see his daughter after a long day! He's absolutely amazing at putting her down to sleep at night, too, which affords me a little break (and a shower!) and gives him some snuggle time with Olive. Sometimes it takes her one or two hours to go down at night for the first time, and Colin graciously does whatever it takes to get her to sleep (he even got in the car at 1:30 am the other night to drive her around. she loves her car seat. It worked like a charm!)

My family! 

We also have some big news! Colin took a job in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and we're moving to Raleigh/Durham on June 1st! Back to the area I grew up in. I never thought I'd move back, but for a lot of reasons, we are, and we're very excited about it! We weren't quite actively pursuing moving, although it has been on our radar for a while, but a great job opportunity was dropped into Colin's lap and everything providentially fell right into place. We are really excited for new opportunities, as well as being really close to my family and much closer to Colin's! After having Olive, it became apparent that being near to one's family is important and valuable. We want Olive to know her grandparents, aunts and uncle, and we want them to see her grow! And truthfully, having the extra eager hands to help out (built-in, happy to help babysitters as well as support) will be amazing. 

It's been really hard, though, as we prepare ourselves to leave our home. Colin and I met, dated, fell in love, and began our lives together here in Columbia. It's peppered with our favorite spots and so many memories. The parking garage where he proposed, the sushi restaurant where we had our first date, the coffee shop/bar where we got to know each other over many, many cups of coffee, our favorite restaurants (korean, indian, sushi), and hardest of all, our amazing church family/youth group and our friends. We have great community here, and saying goodbye to people who we love will be really overwhelming and hard. To be honest, I'm scared of moving to a place that, although it's familiar, is pretty "new" in that I haven't lived there for 6 years. I'm scared that we won't find a solid community/church and quality friends. But we will trust that we've been led to this place and these things will be provided! 

So, if you still live in the Cary/Raleigh area, let's be friends! Also, if you have a great community-oriented church, please let us know. We'd love to visit!

grace and peace.