A year ago, I was one week away from walking down the aisle. I was sixteen weeks pregnant carrying high risk mono-amniotic twins. And, I was on medical leave from UNCG only seven weeks shy of receiving my bachelor’s degree.
Today, I am one week away from celebrating one insanely beautiful year with my best friend. We have had eight and a half months of utter joy with our beautiful, healthy baby girls. And, I am officially a college graduate. Have mercy.
It is the most incredible feeling to be done! I am so thankful for the March of Dimes and how they gave this Mama the opportunity to finish her degree. I was blessed with an incredible staff of women who understood the unpredictable world that is known as motherhood. The job I was doing in helping other babies like my own, made leaving the girls each morning a little easier. I will forever be grateful to this organization for saving our family twice. And, let me just say this: I have so much respect for working and single mothers. You go girls! After working an eight hour day, you still have to come home feed everyone, do the laundry, bath time, bed time… y’all know the drill. Kudos to you, Mama. Kudos to you. I am beyond blessed that I have the opportunity to stay home with the girls. For the past year, I have been awaiting the day to say that I am finally done. The weight of school is off of my shoulders forever. I can finally enjoy my days at home with the girls.
On Thursday, the baby girls and I set off to Wallace in our [should be U-Haul]… at least that is what it feels like! As you can tell, our family never does anything the easy way. The night before Mom’s surgery, she and Daddy were unloading the entire attic due to a leak from the A/C unit. Last week, an entire new unit was installed upstairs. These are the perks of living in a 70+ year old house, y’all! Since Mom can’t lift more than a toothpick practically, I went down to help her organize the “treasures” of the attic and put everything back into its place. A quick one-day trip turned into two and a half days. We spent our time rediscovering memories, playing dress-up in old costumes, laughing hysterically, and trashing…junk. I mean, who needs an Andy’s [excuse me, Highway 55] kid’s meal car or a paper napkin with details about a wake-up call from an eighth grade field trip? Nobody. As I sorted through keepsakes and organized more pictures than Nigel Barker’s taken in his career, I came across the girl who would practice clogging routines in the kitchen, sing Mamma Mia till her throat went hoarse, and felt at home with a paintbrush in hand. I came across the girl with jacked-up teeth, mouth full of braces, and four eyes. The girl who didn’t know quite how to style her hair and wear her clothes. The girl who drove the ‘gold Chevy cobalt’ and never learned how to leave the house for school on time. And amongst this discovery, I found the girl who grew up to marry Mr. Wuf and deliver two babies sleeping in the very next room.
I saw my old life.
So, my new life consists of mani/pedis too far in between, dry shampoo on the reg, and not enough yoga pants. Do I miss staying up till 2 a.m. reading a new book or talking to a friend or watching an entire season of Friends without having to worry about an early morning wake-up call from two hungry little ones? Absolutely. Do I miss my pre-baby body? You better believe it. Do I miss when Andrew and I could go out without the worry of when someone else will eat or nap? Of course! I’ll be honest. I have been aching for that life again. I have been drowning in a pool of parental cluelessness and have been buried under mounds of laundry. I look in the mirror and see someone I am not quite sure I know. I have felt like I am back to square one not knowing how to style my hair or wear my clothes.
God found me alone in my bedroom as I sorted through the memories of a life that has already been lived. Each step in the journey of my old life, led to the beautiful life I am living now. In the pile of my ‘mess’, this is where God met me. I started to feel it. The weight of glory, the glorious ordinary that is a gift. A gift to those who are knee deep in a world where it can sometimes feel like we have lost all the parts of ourselves we used to know. A gift from a God who names every part of who we are and what we do significant. Because “he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” There is no part of our everyday, wash-and-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and worries and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime routines that Jesus doesn’t look deep into and say, “That is Mine.” In this glorious ordinary everyday life, I am His. He blessed me with this life for a reason, and I want to glorify Him through this new life. In my yoga pants, nonetheless.
Most of all, I want to do so with confidence in who God has called me to be. As I looked into my past, I saw a reflection of the childhood I desire Amelia and Leah to experience. I learned that what I desire more than anything else is to raise them to know the joy of putting God first in their life and the wisdom to show them what that looks like. I want them to be the best version of who God has created them to be, to embrace their individual qualities and gifts. I have the microphone ready for them to sing. I have the dance shoes packed away. I have a bat and glove that I rarely used, just wasn’t Mama’s thing. I have a piece of paper and paintbrushes. I have the Nancy Drew collection if they feel the desire to be a teenage detective. I have the cowgirl boots and hat if they have the urge to join a rodeo. There is world open to them to explore. There is a world open to them to learn and grow. They are my daughters, so it is inevitable we will one day have two mouths of metal and ‘eight’ eyes. I hope they embrace it and flaunt the wonder that is their ‘awkward years’. Because I know one day, they will return home and go through their own memories. I pray they never lose sight of who they are and where they came from. Most importantly, I pray they never lose sight of whose they are. That day will come, and I know Jesus will look down upon them and say, “That is Mine.”
Wherever you are in your life, take comfort that you belong to a God who loves you just where you are. You don’t have to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, have everything in order, or have freshly manicured nails. He will find you in the unexpected places. He will breathe life back into you when you need it the most. Why? Because you are His.