Eleven Months, But Not for Long!

Dear Jane,

For one more day, I can say you are eleven months old. I've been meaning to write to you all month, but I kept putting it off. I'm in a little bit of denial that you're turning one tomorrow.

This has been such a sweet year, and your eleventh month has been no exception.

You are saying "Mama," "Dada," and "more." I love hearing you call me "Mama" knowing that you are purposely saying my name. Dada feels the same way.

Jane, you are becoming such a sweet little girl. You are so curious and find great joy in simply exploring our house. Though it makes my stomach turn, it is probably worth noting that you are particularly fond of the screw cover at the bottom of the toilet. More than once, I've had to wrestle that out of your little hand. Much hand washing follows. (I really should glue that screw cover down, huh?)

While you were learning new words and becoming ever more mobile, we celebrated your first Christmas. You loved gazing at the Christmas tree covered in lights. Of course, you also relished grabbing ornaments off the tree.

Tomorrow will be bittersweet for me, my sweet girl. This year has gone much too quickly.

But for today, you are still eleven months. And remember, no matter how old you are, you'll always be my baby.

I love you, my little Love Bug!



It Isn't a Typo

I just sent an email to a friend and almost signed my name with only one 'z.'

That would have been a typo.

I haven't always used two 'z's at the end of Lizz. However, my Papa (my paternal grandfather) always did.

My first job out of college was as a travel agent. My boss asked me how I'd like my name to appear on my business card (my first), and on a whim, I said "L-i-z-z."

I've endured teasing from my husband ever since. He finally started adding the extra 'z,' but he still sometimes calls me, "Lizzzzzzzzzzzz" just to make a point.

Papa died about two years after I unofficially changed my name. One of the few things I have that remind me of him is a picture labeled with his handwriting. My name with two 'z's is scrawled on that same picture.

I confess, adding the 'z' was sort of silly thing to do at the time I did it. Now, it reminds me of the grandpa I'll always love and remember.

I'd say that is worth enduring a bit of teasing from my husband.

After all, he is probably just jealous that 'Tony" just wouldn't look very good spelled "Tonyy."

It's Not My Thing

Recently, another mom surprised me by saying something other than the usual, "you have your hands full."

Instead, she commented about how having several small children was "obviously my thing."

Really? I don't think so. It really isn't at all.

I mean I do love this job and wouldn't trade it, but most of the details involved just aren't my thing. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Five years ago, if you'd told my newly-pregnant self that I would soon have three small children, I wouldn't have believed you. If you had gone on to say that I would learn how to ignore temper tantrums while nursing a baby and reading to a preschooler, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I would have even doubted that doing all of those things at once was humanly possible.

Then again, before I had a baby I doubted that living on a mere few hours of sleep was possible not only for a day, but for weeks.

You see, much of motherhood isn't my thing. It really isn't my thing to change dirty diapers, wipe snotty noses, and answer hundreds of questions each day. Those things are tedious and take huge amounts of patience.

The snuggling, trips to the park, and reading of stories are all great fun. However, those things don't make up the majority of my day.

By God's grace, I'm learning to make all of motherhood my thing. I'm a work in progress.

No, it isn't my thing It's His thing. I'm just honored to be a part of it.


I Can't Think of a Title, How Could I Write a Post?

A couple of years ago, I realized that my love of coffee had gone a little too far. It sounded good all the time. I drink decaf, so it wasn't the caffeine that was a problem. It was the creamer.

Seriously, have you ever tried International Delight's Belgian White Chocolate Macadamia? Oh my!

I decided I needed to cut back on my coffee consumption before it became a full-blown addiction. So, I went without it for a few weeks. I missed it dearly. Truly, I did. However, once I finally let myself have it again, the obsession was gone. I still have it most mornings and even occasionally in the afternoon, but it no longer feels like a need.

Now, I'm asking myself, do I have a point. I do, I really do.

Blogging was once like my coffee. I wanted to do it all the time. Before I had a blog, I read several blogs. It became a bit like coffee in that I thought I might be becoming a bit too addicted. So, I would occasionally "fast" from reading blogs.

Once I started my own blog, I wanted to dedicate all of my spare time to writing posts. I viewed life through the lens of my blog. My three small children gave me more than enough material to blog as much as I liked.

Soon, I realized that I was becoming obsessed with blogging. (Are you sensing a pattern here? I'm the type of person who gets a bit passionate about new things.) A few times I took blogging break. A week here, a few days there, nothing major.

Then, my sweet Jane started crawling. Blogging couldn't be as frequent because much of my time was and still is dedicated to keeping her alive. Any mom of a older baby or younger child knows that isn't really much of a joke. It is easy to keep a house baby-proof when there are no older siblings. It becomes much more of a challenge when there are other children who don't always have the baby's best interests at heart.

The more adventurous Jane became, the more sporadic my blogging became. At first, it frustrated me, but then it just became what it was and is. I'm the mom of three small children. It is not the norm for me to have quiet time to do what I like when I like.

My blogging was already sporadic when the holiday season arrived. My husband was home for twelve days over the Christmas season. We spent some of it traveling and some of it at home. I spent the time enjoying my family and very little of it blogging. I didn't even blog anything in my head.

So, the holidays have come and gone. I want to be back and blogging and recording the lives of my family, but my mind just isn't there yet. The computer seems to taunt me from it's perch in the family room.

I've not posted pictures from Christmas. I haven't written Jane's 11-month letter. (She'll be 1 in a little over two weeks.) My mom comments that she is having blog withdrawal. It isn't that I have nothing to write. I just can't seem to write it.

I do miss reading blogs. But, did you know that they still make books? Oh, I kid. Sort of.

So, with the computer taunting me in the background, I've been reading to my children and to myself. We've been going new places and meeting new friends. They are growing, always too quickly. They will keep on doing that whether I blog about their milestones or not.

Like coffee, I still like blogging, but I'm no longer addicted to it. I'm now giving myself permission to be here as much or as little as I like. It seems silly, but it is a bit freeing. There is also the strong possibility that in telling myself I don't have to blog, I'll really want to blog. In fact, I hope that happens.

Perhaps one day soon, I'll be sipping coffee as I get back into the swing of this blogging thing. Until then, I have a life to live and I won't be taunted by a silly old computer.

Happy Belated New Year!


The Funny Thing About a Blog

A mom blog is a funny thing. It gives one a glimpse into others' lives, but we must remember it is only a glimpse.

A few nights ago, we had a wonderful moment in the van. We were on the way home from some friends' house. They live on quite a bit of land so the area around their house was quite dark. Ann and Chris were going on and on about being scared of the dark.

Once we started driving, they stopped saying that they were scared. (They really weren't anyways.) It was the conversation that followed that made me smile. Ann was telling Chris that there was no reason to be afraid of the dark since God is always with us.

I knew that was a moment that I wanted to document. Yet, since I've been doing a lot of thinking about "being real" I also thought a bit of how posting that little story would paint one picture of our life together. If I only posted about similar moments, it would certainly seem that we have perfect children who gently encourage one another all day.

Before I even had a chance to think more about this, much less post it, I once again found myself listening to my children in the van. Of course, it was impossible not to listen to them as they were screaming.

At one point, Chris began yelling, "Ann is looking at me!" His tone made it perfectly clear that he didn't want her looking at him.

Now, if I only shared those type of stories, the picture of our life together would certainly look different.

The stories are both true, but they are obviously quite different, just like our days. I want the picture I paint of our lives to be real. I want to remember what these days were really like. They aren't always full of giggles and grins.

Perhaps I don't even know the point I'm trying to make. The more I think about something, the harder time I have at expressing myself.

Maybe all I want to say is that our life is so much more than the recordable or blog-worthy moments. In fact, the things that don't seem worthy of remembering and the things we try hard not to remember may be the most important things of all.

It is those "negative" experiences that make hearing your daughter tell your son that God will take care of him all that much sweeter.


Uncle G, this one's for you!

One of the best things about being a parent has to be seeing others love on my children. I especially cherish seeing my younger brother love on my kids.

I have no doubt how much he loves them. This proved to be a good thing when he recently told me my youngest, Baby Jane, looks like an elf. He, of course, meant that she fondly reminds him of an elf.
I was a bit offended.

I got over it. Then, I bought an elf hat and took a picture.

I guess he had a point. Have you ever seen a more adorable elf?

Uncle G, we love you!


Better Late Than Never

Happy New Year!

We've just returned from a nearly week-long trip to see family in Iowa. As always, it is was so good to see them. However, it is also a bit strange since Tony's mom doesn't have Internet access at her house. It felt like we were living in a little isolated bubble.

After arriving home last night, I was checking email and found an invitation to a New Year's Eve party. We decided to be spontaneous and go.

So now, I sit surrounded by a house that looks like the entire contents of our minivan threw up on it. But, first things first.

Baby Jane is 11 months old today and I've yet to write her 10-month letter. Then, there are the Christmas pictures that I hope to post soon. So, I do believe this may only be the first the
"Better Late Than Never" series here at Yes, and So Is My Heart.


Happy Ten Months Sweet Jane!


I've put off writing this letter for a month. Sure, we've been busy with Christmas festivities, but the truth is that I can hardly believe you are almost one. Of course, I can't stop time, so I might as well continue to celebrate your milestones with you.

This month, like all the others, has been so much fun. You learned to pull up and even climb a few stairs. You were so proud of yourself when you realized what you could do.

You also enthusiastically wave bye-bye. Your other trick is to move your lips with your finger so that you make a silly sound. It always gets someone laughing.

We celebrated your first Thanksgiving with family in Colorado. Traveling with you was a joy. You sat contentedly in your car seat for the long trek across Kansas. It was such fun introducing you to family and friends in out west.

More than ever, you want to keep up with your brother and sister. You are happiest playing in the midst of them. They enjoy pretending that you are a baby shark that they are "swimming" away from in their pretend ocean. You all have such a good time together. (Most of the time.)

Finally, and perhaps my favorite milestone is that you had your first bow! I left you with a friend while Ann and I went to the dentist. I came back to see your hair pulled up with a little bow. It hadn't even occurred to me to start doing your hair. Now, you are rarely without a bow. I know it is silly to get so excited about a little hair bow, but there isn't much sweeter than a little girl with a pony tail sticking up from the top of her head!

We love you sweet Jane!