Monday, December 29, 2014

Nolan: Month Four (Oh, and Christmas!)

I LOVE Christmastime. I always have and probably always will. All of the family time, eating, reminiscing, and giving has always brought me joy upon joy. I couldn't WAIT to celebrate Christmas with Nolan here to join in all the fun. And on one side of our family, we have not one but TWO new babies to party with. It was going to be epic. I just knew it.

Sometimes things go exactly as we imagined they would. And a lot of times they don't. Sometimes Christmas Eve and Day with a brand new baby are holly and jolly as that tiny human adorns the most adorable Christmas frill (or in our case, button-up shirt) as he or she is willingly passed from one loving family member to the next. And...sometimes...your Christmas Eve is spent in a back room consoling your (potentially teething and, not to mention, gassy) child, conversing with your husband (tears rolling down your cheeks, if I can just be real here) about the struggles that parenthood brings all while working through a real-time hardship together: It's Christmas Eve, our baby is fussy, and it's keeping us from mingling with everyone else.
Needless to say, this Christmas looked a tad bit different from others in the past.

And maybe, like mine, your Christmas Eve was spent talking with another relative who, like you, doesn't have it all together. She, too, is trying to figure this whole "mommying" thing out and is mostly learning as she goes. Whew. I'm not in this alone. And we found that we share many, if not most, of the same fears, tears, joys, wins, and losses. Days can be daunting and most definitely difficult as a parent. Why would Christmastime be any exception? All I know is that I left my family on Christmas Eve feeling so encouraged and loved and reminded of my need for Jesus because He came and did what I never could, and that rings true even in my pursuit of being a good mommy. I can't be a good mommy, but God did something about that. He sent His son to Earth as a baby so that I could identify with Him in His humanity. He lived a perfect life and died a perfect death so that through Him, I can say that my identity isn't in being a good mom, or a good wife, or even a good person. My identity is in what Jesus has already done. When He died on the cross, He bore all of my inadequacies for me. I just have to rest in that and be changed by it. But...surprise...I mess up. And my heart wants to believe that I have to do better in order to feel complete. Or do more in order to feel good enough. But the Gospel says that I don't have to because Jesus did. I can't but Jesus did. And that's what my soul was reminded of this Christmas. Initially, my heart wanted to believe that my Christmas was ruined. That my time with family was interrupted and not spent entirely the way I had hoped it would be. Isn't that selfish? I could not be more thankful this season that God came and provided a way for me to fight that selfishness with the only Truth I have. And that's with the Gospel. 

We spent a whole week in hometown and it truly was wonderful. The three of us settled in and soaked it up. I'm pretty sure I changed maybe one diaper the whole time we were there, and it was glorious. I could not be more thankful for how our boy is loved. So loved. And for how we are loved by how our boy is loved. Get what I mean?

Here are a few of my favorites from the week:

Real men wear pink.
Kev & Maddie

We forgot to take a Christmas Eve family photo so we took a family selfie instead. 
And I love it.

Obligatory Christmas morning pajama picture

 Nolan was very much into watching old home videos

World's greatest Gamma and Nana

 Because you HAVE to take a Christmas Day family photo.

Ohh this boy.
Nolan also turned four months old yesterday! 
There is much to be celebrated:

You have found your voice. And, naturally, it's super high pitched.
You LOVE food. You know when your bottle isn't empty yet and hate breaks in the middle of eating. You're a baby who knows what he wants.
I get the impression that you already have a sense of humor. How is that even possible with a four month old?
You no longer sleep in your swaddle. You weaned yourself from it BEAUTIFULLY.
We're pretty confident that you're teething already. You ran your first low-grade fever this month. It wouldn't surprise me if we're talking about having teeth in the next month or two. 
You smile with your whole face. 
I affectionately called you "Monkey" or "Monk." Why? I dunno.
You have a favorite blanket. It's brown and fluffy and folds up to resemble a monkey, actually.
We survived our first extended stay away from Daddy while he was in Dubai.
Uncle Bub (We're still not quite sure what you'll end up calling him.) turned 17!

You visited Boyd Tire (where your mama worked her first real job) and helped Papa G sell tires.

You celebrated Christmas for the first time.

December 23, 2014 marked the day that we found out exactly one year ago I was pregnant with you. We told the family on Christmas Eve and Day of last year.

Happy four-month birthday (yesterday), Monkey.
Thanks for still bearing with us.

So I'll wrap up this post as little man stirs awake in his room. I'm pumped that I get to spend my whole day with my favorite little guy and my whole evening with my favorite man. get to do what I want. 

It is my birthday, after all ;).

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