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Showing posts from 2015

Goodbye to Summer

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July 2015
Today I had to slip on a sweater. Not because the air conditioning was too cold, not because I had a slight chill from overpopulating my water bottle with ice-cubes. No, the air had shifted. In one simple movement, I declared this beautiful summer over. 

This summer has left me full of memories, lessons, love and blueberries. It was my very first summer as a mother and man, I can’t get enough of this stuff. The days passed quickly, as summers tend to do, but even more so than before because of the steps. The steps that get us from wake up to night-night are rhythmic and predictable and if I’m not careful they steal days right from under my nose. The “hi handsome’s” and “no thank you’s” and “kiss for mama?” and “the mama’s on the bus go shh shh shh’s” can mash together, separated only by new tricks. When this summer started, I could leave my son in the center of my bed and deliberate between outfits, brush my teeth, put on mascara and return to that find my sweet boy rolled a …

What's in a Name?

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My name doesn't have much meaning. In fact, I was almost a Stacy. My older sister Kristen and I have always said we should have switched names, for she is far more "Jill" than I ever was. I had lavish dreams of having a unique name-Azure, Jade, something that made people say, "one more time?" I decided if I couldn't change my own name, I'd just have to live vicariously through my babies. At 8 I filled my diary with "V" names for my 5 girls: Violet, Vanessa, Victoria, Valerie and Vivian. When I was 10 years old, one episode of VH1's Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous left me dead-set on naming my children Bentley and Bacardi, regardless of gender. Praise the Lord that phase was relatively short. My next phase was unusual spelling followed by unnecessary letters. This continued until I met my husband, Oshiomogho. My husband is Nigerian and I was told when we first started dating that the grandparents name the grandbabies in his f…

Stretched

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(mom days before giving birth to her fourth baby)
Growing up every single night once the clock struck 8:00pm and my mom had cleared dinner from the table and helped with math problems, she announced it was time for her bath. Some evenings as I walked down the hallway, now smelling of sweet soap and lotion, to say goodnight I would find her changing into her light blue nightgown baring her stomach lined with marks. Silvery purple marks lined the edges of her stomach, crawling a little bit up the sides and dancing around her naval. The older I became, the more I understood those marks meant she had been stretched. Stretched probably in ways she never would have imagined, and each stretching left visible evidence of its difficulty and her strength.

Being the third oldest of seven, I saw the pregnancy cycle. Flat tummy, big tummy, baby. I knew at a young age and understood better than many of my friends that a woman has to stretch physically in order to bear a child. It wasn't until …

Essentials for Baby's First 3 Months

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I am a mother of a three month old baby boy. Three months. I can't say "It seems like I blinked and here he was-three months old," because I am fully aware of each hour I have spent with him. The days seem to have stretched out so that each hour is double what it once was and yet I wouldn't slow it down if I had the power. I adore this child of mine. He is hilarious, sweet as can be and such a testament of God's grace. That being said- man oh man has he rocked our world. Even before I was pregnant I loved reading what a wide variety of mothers would say helped get them through those first three months. There are always some staples that seem to make everyones list and some items I had never heard of before. One thing rings true: every baby is completely unique and no one will know your baby the way you do. Here are our "Couldn't Have Made it Without You" essentials.

Colace: Yes. The very first thing on the list. I was told to follow this rule the fi…

One Month In

Our sweet boy is one month old. I'm not a person who finds every month to be monumental, but arriving at four weeks is truly something to celebrate. Something to marvel at. Something that in those first few hazy days seems to be a lifetime away.

There were sleepless nights, as promised. There were nights I talked to the pediatrician more than I talked to the Lord. Nights I spent the hours he was asleep watching to see that his chest rose and fell with every breath. Nights where my confidence was shattered and patience tested. He lost his voice screaming through his first bath (the water was too warm). He wet his whole outfit every time he peed (his diapers were too small). He broke out in a rash nearly every time he ate (I needed to give up dairy) and yet somehow, with all of our shortcomings, he is still ours. He still reaches his teeny arms and giant hands up for us to rescue him, still trusts that I will always feed him and hold him until he's resting peacefully enough to …

That's the Way Love Goes

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Our beautiful son is one week old today. Last night, after being up with him for what seemed like the hundredth hour of the evening, I realized what love is. As I waddled back from the bathroom and looked at my husband resting with Oshiolema sleeping on his chest, I truly realized how much our lives have changed. My Boppy was on the couch draped in a burp cloth, A table stocked with water, snacks and a breast pump was off to the side and we had the TV on a volume that was practically quieter than mute. "This is crazy." I whispered. My husband smiled back at me, "No, this is love."


Love is your husband helping you up from the toilet and sitting on the bathroom floor helping you relax enough to forget about a pretty serious set of stitches. Love is how he looks at you when you're limping in a nursing bra and compression band and says "you are more beautiful than ever." Love is your little sister committing to stay with you until the baby arrive…

Spiritual Amnesia

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Well, friends, here we are. I am 38 weeks pregnant. My belly has grown exactly 15 inches since May. My hips refuse to stay in place, I have a new stretch mark every day, my nights are just short of sleepless and my waddle is almost comical. As I was draped over my exercise ball last night, sharing with my husband just how badly I wanted to have this baby, he whispered, "it's almost over, love. But stay present in these moments, they're special too."

It got me thinking about spiritual amnesia. I think as believers we all suffer from it from time to time-some cases are severe while others are easily cured. I have learned that the best way to prevent spiritual amnesia is to hold tightly to the moments when The Lord reveals himself to us; to be full of gratitude for His faithfulness. So, despite sharing the story so many times this pregnancy, I've decided to put pen to paper and record how incredibly faithful The Lord was in giving us this child.

From as early as o…