Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cold feet

I'm a sprinter.  I always have been.  I like the adrenaline, the push, the drive, the acceleration, the speed, and the quick finish.  I loved the 100 metre dash in track, I always choose short-term, intense projects, and I have been told, often more than once a week, that I move remarkably fast.  Silas even says to me, "Mommy, why are you so fast?"  I don't know why, son.  I just do everything fast, and I don't know how to slow down.  Of course, at a cost to speed is meticulousness and in my rush to do things fast, I often make more work for myself.  I am not gonna lie, most of the time I end up walking ahead of the rest of my family.  My need to 'get there' often makes me lose the joy of 'the journey.'

As I was pushing my poor, plump, pregnant body to the max (again) today: shopping, laundry, pre-school, chores, cooking, etc... I realize that my brain and personality just simply does not understand that my body can no longer keep my usual pace.  Like, at all.  I grocery shop and need a 2 hour recovery window, which I don't have, to get my tired and aching body to function.  

35 weeks pregnant?  I am done.  

I am a sprinter.  My body is over-burdened, over-whelmed, and cumbersome.  To push myself to the end of the couch requires an enormous amount of energy and positional gymnastics.  And then there's managing my ridiculously energetic and busy boys.  I barely have the energy to feed and clothe them, let alone answer the 100th "mommy' plea that comes from Toby in a 2 minute period.  "Come here, right now!" he's started yelling at me.  Perfect.  Oh yeah, and in 3 weeks we're having a third child.  I'm sorry, what?!  I thought this whole pregnancy thing was just, for kicks.  I kid you not, I actually wrote on my calendar on March 20th (date of schedule c-section) "have a baby."  Like, as if it's an afternoon activity.  And the calendar continues as though my world hasn't completely fallen off its axis.  Just out of curiosity, who exactly is going to manage her needs?!

I'm starting to get cold feet, "Oh my gosh, what have we gotten ourselves into."  P.s. it's too late.  Baby is coming.  How in the world am I going to keep up, for the long haul, with three little ones?  Most days, if I'm honest, I am barely keeping things together.  There is yelling, there is shushing, there is cleaning, there is groaning, there is whining, there are tears, and that's just me.  

I read this today and I was not encouraged.

I'm a sprinter, and I'm rounding the bend in the track, heading towards the finish and I'm done.  I'm no stinkin' marathoner.  We've just completed potty training with Toby, we've just got him settled in the same room as Silas, and we can hope for, usually, at least 4 nights a week when no one is up in the night or up too early. That is all over.  Done.  Back to the beginning. All independence we have struggled to gain back over these past 2 years is about to be immediately and irretrievably removed from us, again.


Someone tell me the transition from 2 to 3 kids wasn't that hard?  Someone tell me that it's just cause I'm pregnant and hormonal and overwhelmed because my smart car brain is trapped in my freighter truck body? Someone tell me that we weren't crazy and that somehow I will, overnight, increase in capacity?  Or be able to tune more out?  Or get used to a messy, chaotic house, or maybe just won't care as much about those things? 

Someone tell me how to prepare for this life-altering event when we go from a family of 4 to a family of 5?!

I have exactly 3 weeks to completely lower my expectations about having any sort of organized life.  Help!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Food Simplification Project

Remember how I was writing a bit about cutting back on the food excesses in my life? Remember how I wrote a lot about it, and then there was relative silence on the subject? Well, here are some of my reflections on my recent month-long 'fast.'

I got the privilege of sharing this video with the 250+ women that meet regularly from our community, (at our Church) and thought I'd share it here too:

P.s. My husband did an awesome job with the video, didn't he?!  He rocks.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Baby Names

I am 34 weeks pregnant, and "no," we still don't have a name picked.  And "no," I will not tell you the names we are thinking of.

Why is it so hard to pick a name, you ask?  Well, I'm not picky at all it's just that...

1. We want it to be meaningful - or at least, not mean something horrible.
2. We don't want it to start with the same letters as anyone else's name in our immediate family
3. It can't sound funny with 'Brink'
4. We don't want people to mis-spell or mis-pronounce our daughter's name for the rest of her life 
5. We don't want a duplicate name to the more than 100 people in both of our families
6. We want it to be uncommon but not weird.  Like, not a name that spells something backwards, or a name like 'abcde' or 'harper 7' or an inanimate object like 'apple' or a place like 'virginia' [p.s. no offence to those of you who do this, frankly we are just not 'hip' enough to pull it off]
7. A lot of our friends have kids or are having kids, and we don't want to duplicate their kids' names
8. We don't want to duplicate friends' names either...which in the facebook world is getting harder

Those qualifiers leave us with few names we like- or if we like that name, we can't find a middle name to work with it. 

See?  Not picky at all.  But, it's okay.  Jason and I are SO good at decision making, so we've got this.  Not like we spent 4 hours in Ikea trying to decide whether or not we'd buy a blue couch - another earth-rocking decision [insert sarcasm here].   

Does anyone else find picking kid's names extraordinarily difficult??

Monday, February 10, 2014


A co-worker asked me yesterday, "do you like having a family, is it what you expected?" [Referring to having kids and and a husband, I imagine].  I was a little blown away by the question, or more the lack of my quick response.  I answered something completely inadequate like, "Of course I like it, it's hard, but it's good- you know, how the most worthwhile things are hardest?"


When I was driving home, I was realizing that the hard stuff is often magnified in my eyes. It's in my nature to look for reasons to complain, which I admit, is my least attractive and my most ungodly trait.   I often have to work harder to see the 'good' and the 'joy' and the 'beauty' in the mundane, expected, daily things. 

I was wondering on my ride home, what would my life really look like if I didn't have a family?  If I had no loving husband, if I had no little children?  What if I were all alone?  Well, I am sure I would have more freedom, but is that really what I would want?  What would my life be like having never been loved so unconditionally and having the opportunity to love others so whole-heartedly?  I could have started to cry. What I should have said was:

My life would be lonely.  Who would I share the view with?  Journey with?  Who would I even be?  It would be like someone having only one leg their whole life and then gaining a second one.  Sure, you can manage on one leg, in fact you can be quite capable. You can enjoy life, there is no question.  But with two legs you can walk, you can run.  Suddenly, there is a fullness that you never knew was missing.  Having a loving family is a gift.  Imagine a life without a loving family and I'll tell you what you'll find: brokenness, pain, sorrow, loss, suffering, fear, loneliness, insecurity, and vulnerability. 

Interestingly, I came home to an empty house.  The boys were out together and the house was still.  It was dark.  It was quiet.  Most days I crave all of the above, "just give me 5 minutes alone!"  But today, the quietness only confirmed that the true beauty in my life is love.  My relationship with the author of love Himself, and His gifts to me in the people He has given me to love and be loved by.  The world around me tells me that experiences are the most important- what you see, what you do, what you accomplish, where you go. But that's simply not true.  It's relationships.  It's love.

I love so many things about my family that I could fill books, not simply webpages, about them: my boys' cheeks, which I can hardly stop myself from kissing all the time.  The sound of the door cracking open at 5 pm and my husband's loving arms around me after a full work day.  Laughter and giggles.  The sound of my boys high-pitched voices on the phone.  My husband's tender looks and touch.  Little hands, little feet.  Sleeping faces on drool-covered pillows.  I cannot describe the beauty in these things.  There is an ache in my heart even imagining for a second, being separated from these people I love. I need them in a way I never knew I could.  The sound of stampeding feet when I walk through the door after work, eyes sparkling and smiles breaking at the idea of a cookie.  I could go on, and on.  And I haven't even mentioned my parents, my siblings, and all the blessed family I call it a privilege to be part of.

It's absolutely wasteful to spend another day not appreciating the beauty that I am drenched in.  My family is not what I expected, but it's so much more.  It's beautiful.  It's valuable.  My husband, my boys, they are weaved into every fibre of my life and heart and for them to not be there would rip me apart.  

So, on this family day, I will stop and just see.  See the beauty.  I will stop looking at crumbs, loud noises, and interruptions as hiccups to the life I really want to live and instead gaze upon the gifts I have been given. They fill up my world and I see things I would have missed so easily without them.  Thank you God for family and for the ways we are all meant to fit together.

[By the way, for those who are waiting for a family, for those who are yearning for a family, who dream of one, please oh please, I hope I am not stabbing your already bleeding wound.  Or for those of you who are perfectly content and happy living a single and independent life- your life is by no means meaningless - I am not implying that at all.  I am simply reflecting on how I should appreciate, as we all should, what is right in front of me.  I just want to express gratitude for what has been given me and become more present in my own life.  Whoever your family is, whether it's your siblings or parents, or grand-parents, or an aunt or whoever, may we all appreciate more how their love and lives have impacted us]. 

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