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29 Jul

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Being scaredofrain

18 Jun

I have a vague memory from my childhood. My family was visiting my grandparents in Maine, and my mother, younger sister Heather and I were out running errands with my grandmother. At one point, my grandmother mentioned being “scatterbrained”. Later that day my little sister asked my mom, “Why is Grammy scared of rain?” – after a little confusion, we realized she misunderstood “scatterbrained” as “scaredofrain” (Think skay-uhd of rain) – easy to do with my Grandmother’s Maine accent.

It’s a silly little memory but one that pops into my mind a lot. I’m pretty scatterbrained naturally, but add a newborn to the mix and I’m just warning you right now that scatterbrained becomes a huge understatement. On Thursday I was bringing Logan to the airport to meet up with his Dad for the flight back to Vermont. We were inside the airport, heading towards security before I gasped, “I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I PARKED” Logan (who probably rolled his eyes) said calmly, “Level 3″

It’s a really, really good thing I have such a smart, grounded, attentive to detail kind of kid. Heaven knows I’m not.

What’s your most recent SCAREDOFRAIN moment?

How Great is Our God

26 May

Beckett is one week old today! Hard to believe – it seems like just yesterday we were heading into Labor and Delivery!

A lot has transpired in a week – most of which you probably know from Facebook. But since that was delivered in bits and pieces, I thought I’d share the full story here. Feel free to skip if you’re tired of reading about it!

I’m not one of those women blessed with 4 hour labors – clearly I like to hold babies in as long as possible – my contractions started around 7am on the 19th. They weren’t painful yet but very different than the contractions I’ve been having over the past 4 weeks. I started keeping track and around 11am they were coming about 4-5 minutes apart. I called my midwife, went in and they sent me over to the hospital. After leaving the dr, Todd and I decided to grab lunch, go home and repack before heading in. I just knew I wouldn’t have this baby quickly and I really wanted to take our time. We got to CMC Pineville around 2pm.

My sister came to the hospital to help. She is a doula (oh, and a photographer…and a massage therapist) and I can’t thank her enough for her help in getting me as far as I did. I really wanted to try a natural childbirth, so I held off on an epidural until I was 7cm. This is the point in labor where you reach a stage called Transition. It’s the most painful and intense part of the experience (or so I’m told) and all thoughts of a natural birth went flying out the window. I hit a wall very quickly and I’m pretty sure I became a crazed demon woman screaming at everyone in sight to give me drugs. Thankfully they were very quick to oblige and within 15 minutes or so, my room became tranquil and lovely again. I’m sure everyone in (and out) of my room was happy to hear me shut up.

It was time to push around 11 – and Beckett was born at 11:21. He came out screaming and wailing but they very quickly realized there were some issues with his lungs. To make a long story short, they determined in the end that his lungs were still full of amniotic fluid. Generally, babies expel the fluid as they are being delivered, but because Beckett came out rather quickly, he wasn’t able to. The nurses spent a lot of time trying to suction him out, but they just couldn’t get his color normal and his lungs clear. It’s a scary feeling to watch your baby lay on the little bed, being suctioned out by nurses who exchange worried glances with one another. I could see his color was a weird bluish grey, and I knew something was wrong. They whisked him off to NICU with promises to return in a few hours.

It wasn’t long before we found out that it wouldn’t be a few hours in NICU, but a few days. He was hooked up to oxygen because he couldn’t breathe well on his own, and they started him on antibiotics just in case the breathing issue was a result of infection. They had to monitor him for everything from fluid in his lungs to cystic fibrosis because the symptoms are all very similar.

It was kind of a surreal time for us – I knew I had given birth to this beautiful baby boy – but he wasn’t in my room with me. It was a long and sad walk from my room to the NICU and I watched visitors come and go to see other babies and moms in rooms near mine. Todd and I sat alone holding Beckett, carefully trying to avoid tugging on all his wires and tubes. When I needed to eat or sleep, I had to leave Beckett in his little bed and walk all the way back to my empty room. I was discharged on Saturday and we had to leave the hospital without our son in his carefully chosen outfit and brand new car seat.

I have a huge respect for mothers who have gone through serious trauma with their babies. We are so fortunate that Beckett spent only 3 days in the NICU. It was one of the most incredibly difficult things I’ve experienced as a mother – and I know that we had to deal with far less than some families. He recovered quickly and well, and is doing great today.

We are adjusting well to this sweet, wide eyed little boy. So far he is very good natured and content and I have to confess I am spending a lot of my days just gazing at him. Besides a small cold, I am recovering well and we are sleeping better than I expected. Thanks to those of you who have dropped by with dinner and flowers – it has been so appreciated. Plus, y’all are really good cooks.

Any time I need to be reminded of how great our God is, I’ll take a peek at these few images:

Baby Update

18 May

This post may not be one that you care to read if you are a) a man and b) weirded out by childbirth. Look, I’m just throwing it out there!

So as most of you know by now, I’m currently 8 days past my EDD. I never thought I’d get to this point, because Logan came right on time and things progressed pretty much how they are supposed to. Today we went into the doctor so I could be monitored to make sure Beckett’s heartrate is ok and that my amniotic fluid levels are good, etc. The good (no, great!) news is that he is doing very well. Everything looks awesome and they estimate him to be about 8 lbs. Logan was 8lbs 5oz, so I’m ok with that.

The not so great news is that my body is just not progressing the way they want it to at this stage in my pregnancy. Most doctors do not want you to carry a baby past 42 weeks because it can introduce complications. If I was really hardcore, I’d insist on going until things happen on their own, but with that comes a lot of testing on a regular basis to monitor him – with 3 other children to juggle, my husband’s job, etc – it just seems overwhelming.

We talked through a few different options – I refused a few, but the bottom line is that they have scheduled me for an induction on Friday morning.

I am happy and sad about this – I am happy because there is an end in sight. My little boy is healthy and thriving and that is a huge blessing. I know that if things go well, we’ll have our little guy sometime on Friday or maybe early Saturday morning. The sadness comes from not understanding why this pregnancy isn’t progressing like my first. I have a hard time balancing the desire for him to be here, and the desire to keep him as safe and healthy as possible without using drugs to get him here. It feels very much like failing and that is currently pretty hard for me to swallow.

So, my dearest friends – I could use your prayers. Prayers for peace, for comfort – prayers that Todd and I feel reassurance that we are doing the right thing for our son. And of course, prayers for the doctors that they use wisdom and that I can have a birth that is as complication free as possible.

I would really love that from you all – and looking at the brightside – at some point this weekend I’ll have my newborn in my arms and that is a blessing to be more than thankful for.

A Lesson in Waiting!

10 May

Well, I can’t say I expected to be sitting on my couch at home, still pregnant, blogging on the day I hit 40 weeks. But, here I am!

Logan came right on time though, just a day early – so I suppose this isn’t exactly unprecedented BUT I did hope that this guy would make a tiny bit early or on time appearance too.

Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows what the last few weeks are like. I’m a walking ball of hormones and I have to pee every 25 minutes. I cry at the drop of a hat. One minute I am feeling happy and upbeat, the next minute it’s possible I could punch a stranger just for walking by me. (Not really…) The last little bit is a rough time – so close, but no way to predict when the baby is coming. And because due dates are big, huge estimates they could be off by several weeks either way! Talk about needing to come face to face with a little thing called patience.

I have decided to try and avoid induction at all costs unless there is some danger to the baby (low fluids or something). I have done a lot of reading up on this, and there are some pretty big risks associated with it before 41 weeks so I’m not going to play with fire and pray that this guy DOES come on his own. Let’s hope he is ready to do that sometime very soon.

So – here starts the waiting game. Before it was counting up – 12 weeks, 18 weeks, 32 weeks…and then back down again…8 weeks left, 6 weeks left, 2 weeks left, 2 days left…the count begins again. 1 day late, 2 days late, 3 days… What a crazy roller coaster ride!

Yesterday Todd prayed with me, and he prayed that I would be able to remain close to God during this time. At first my defenses sort of flared up in a hormonal way. I thought, “What the heck does THAT mean?” But as I’ve been going through the ups and downs, the feelings of contentment, frustration, peace and anger I realized that now IS a good time to lean on God and trust that His plan for bringing Beckett into the world is the right one. No doctor, drug or at home induction technique will work better than that – even if God’s plan ends up incorporating some of the above methods in the end.

It’s interesting to think about my final days of pregnancy as a way to grow closer to God, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to focus on that because I’m so tired of carrying around this pregnant belly. I haven’t felt like myself for almost the entire first year of our marriage and at times that’s a hard pill to swallow. It has made for some tense internal dialogue over the past few days. I think in order to not harm those I love I will need to get very, very good at deep breathing and prayers to God for peace and comfort.

So – if you’re a Mom who made it this far or farther with your babies…give me some advice and words of encouragement. Make me laugh. I’ll love you forever!!

Disclaimer: The above pregnant lady is not me. And we do not have a nursery with Jonah on the wall. But I MAY be forced to serve an eviction notice quite soon. :)

Not About Me

4 May

There’s this thing I deal with on a daily basis.

Being stupidly self conscious.

It’s true – and when I say stupidly, I truly mean stupidly. Today I went to Logan’s school and had lunch with him. This may not seem like a momentous thing to you, but it was the first time in Logan’s school career that I have done this. To somewhat defend myself, I will say that up until this year I have been a single mom who worked full time and logistically couldn’t make something like this happen (at least not easily). But if I’m brutally honest with myself – and you – I will tell you I avoid situations like these.


I don’t know really. I struggle with feelings of self worth, with feelings of inadequacy, with the fear that I will do/say or act in ways that are stupid or wrong and so I tend to avoid situations (namely and shamefully situations involving other children and their mothers). I told my Life Group this semester that being a single mom felt a lot to me like walking around with a scarlet letter on my chest. It was to me, a cloud that hung over my head – a label I was ashamed and embarrassed of – and the last thing I wanted to do was mingle with the married folk. The ones who drove nice cars and lived in nice houses and had 2 income families. The ones who had other married folk friends and socialized and weren’t thinking about what happens if/when the power gets cut off or how to pay the rent this month.

I didn’t want to answer the questions about my non existent husband, my 15 year old car, my inability to do what “normal” families do. So I avoided any opportunity that might end up with conversations like these. And then I struggled with guilt over not sucking it up and pushing myself into uncomfortable moments so that my son could have more friends, or see positive family role models. But I often felt paralyzed with inability to get out of my own way.

When Logan asked me to have lunch with him this week in the school cafeteria, all those feelings resurfaced. I. was. petrified. But, I couldn’t think of any good reason NOT to, especially when he claimed I was the ONLY parent who hadn’t done so yet. When sharing my fears with my husband he just looked at me and said (lovingly), “Miranda, this isn’t about you. It’s about Logan. None of those parents or teachers will even be thinking about you, so get over it and do it.”

Talk about words that pierced my heart – and in the best kind of way. If you know Todd, you know he can be blunt at times but he is usually dead on. He was right. This had nothing to do with me. So today, I punched fear and self consciousness in the throat and had lunch with my son. Everyone was really nice. And Logan grinned from ear to ear the entire time, and I realized how precious these moments are – because pretty soon he’ll be too old to want me around. He will be mortified at the thought of his mother (especially 9 months pregnant) showing up at his school, waving to his friends and sharing lunch with him.

I am grateful today for a change in life circumstances that allowed me to take a step I have never taken, to give time to my son that I have never been able to give before. That, my friends, is a good, good day. Lesson learned – it’s not about me. A good thing to remind myself of often.

God in a Box

25 Apr

Yesterday was an interesting day to be part of Christian ministry in the Charlotte area.

Between secular music on Easter Sunday, Twitter updates about attendance and salvation numbers and services saturated with technology it can almost feel like a competition between churches. I saw some debate and argument on the social networking sites – people complaining about other churches, their attempts to reach the disconnected, the music they chose for their services, etc.

I got thinking last night as I was lying in bed, overcome with insomnia (of course)…why do we put God in a box? Don’t get me wrong – I do it myself at times, so there is no judgment here. There are times I feel like church and worship is supposed to look kind of like this:

But why? Why does it matter what church “looks” like? Don’t we have faith that God can work in the hearts of people in different ways? Shouldn’t we trust that God can use anything – ANYTHING – to touch the heart of someone who is disconnected from Him?

Interesting when you use Google images to look up the word worship, images come up that look more like celebration at a concert than the first picture I posted.

I guess my point in all this is it’s easy to criticize and feel judgmental because we have God in a box in our minds. What if we changed our mentality, and took God out of the box? What if we looked at the attempts of others to reach the disconnected as an exciting chance for God to show us just how great and magnificent He really is? People’s lives can be changed in the simplest of moments, in the loudest chorus of a rock song, through the prayer of a pastor, or with the unconditional acceptance from a stranger. And if something seemingly secular or frivolous interests a disconnected person enough to walk through the doors of a church and listen to a message about Jesus Christ, isn’t that the whole point? Isn’t that what matters in the end?

The journey of how they got there is unimportant. What gets one person to walk through the doors of a church may not work for their neighbor down the street. All of the different tactics and attempts come from one divine purpose – to connect the disconnected to God.

Like my husband always reminds me, “Worship is anything that puts God at the center” – and if someone is sitting in the seats of a church feeling interested in a relationship with Jesus Christ for the first time…that’s worship…even if it’s through the ear blasting chorus of a Foo Fighters song.

So take God out of the box and watch what happens. You just might be amazed.


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