Saturday, December 24, 2011

From Us to You

Wishing you all a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas.

With love,
The Morrisons


Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's That Time of Year

When I don't post for like...ummm...weeks, I'm at a loss at where to start.

Events have happened, emotions have been felt and funny things have been said. How do I put it all in one post? 

I'm often asked if this time of year is hard for me. And yes, usually it is. I dream of all the could have beens, but I'm doing okay. I feel full and happy and so very much in love with my life. I miss my babies like crazy, but the pain feels less this year. 

Less pain is nice. 

But it scares me. I fight feelings of guilt. Like I should always feel a wrenching pain. But as I process and reflect, I realize that I do always feel pain. And it's always deep, but the severity has lessened. My heart is not whole, and will never be fully healed on this side of Heaven. 

But don't we all live with the pain of loss? This world is broken. 

I know that for many of you, this will be your first Christmas without someone very dear to you. 

Or it may be your 10th Christmas without a loved one, but your pain is still wrenching and you find it hard to breathe this time of year. 

Like I did a couple of years ago, I want to remember with you. If you feel led, please leave a comment saying who you will be remembering this year. It would be my greatest honor to pray that your heart would find peace and be filled with joy.

God bless you, friends.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Don't Judge Me

Do you remember this?


My goal of getting rid of the pacifiers before August was born was only slightly successful. 

We got it down to one. He wasn't ready. I was huge and tired. It wasn't happening. 

Then our friends came for Thanksgiving and gave me this brilliant idea.


Bribery. A reward.


"Sylas, if you can sleep five nights without your paci, we'll give you a Packer beanie hat."


Three nights down, two to go. 


It's totally working.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness Day Three

I turned, and there she was, standing in my kitchen. 

She wasn't supposed to be home. Not until Christmas. 

My sweet baby sister, Kyrsten. Giving of her time working at the Dream Center in Los Angeles is home for three days. 

Words cannot describe how thankful we are.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfulness Day Two

On Sunday we were at my parents house and Sylas put his name badge from Children's Church over his eyes. He was trying to get around without his vision. 

Ryan looked at me and said, "I'm so glad he can see." I was caught off guard, realizing that all too often I get caught up in Sy's struggles and forget to be thankful for all that he has overcome. 

He weighed 15 ounces, for goodness sake. 

And look at him! He can see.




 I'm so very thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankfulness Day One

Life is busy. It just is.

But this week, I'm determined to be purposeful in my thankfulness. 

It's how I want to live really, with a thankful heart.  So many other things creep in and push the thankfulness out. I'm glad for the reminder of a National Holiday to get me back on track.

Today I'm thankful for a giggly girl, who shows me that even in death, there is joy to be found and there is always hope for the future. He [Jesus] will make all things new.






What is filling your heart with thankfulness today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

In 24 Hours

I snap and I'm harsh. 

I hug and I'm gentle. 

Some days I want more. 

And others, less is more.

My mind screams, desperate for peace.

I'm at war within myself. 

I'm two people. Trying to shed the old and become the new.

Before bed they love to read, The Night the Scary Beasties Popped Out of my Head, and inside I ask, "Why won't they pop out of my head?"

At Starbucks, I showed August off to the Barista and she rubbed her own burgeoning belly. She's due in the Spring she says and they can't think of a name for their boy. 

Before I could stop myself, I say, "What about Bennet?" At the sound of his name tears form and I'm overcome, thankful for the dim lights at the counter. 

She loves the name [of course she does] and is going to mention it to her husband. My heart is torn. 

want to say his name every day. It makes me happy and sad. But mostly happy and that feels a little bit like healing.

As I was feeding August upstairs, Ryan burst in the room. "It's 11:11 on 11-11-11," he said. "Let's kiss."

So we did.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing [A Giveaway]

Suck suck swallow breathe.

Gentle rhythm, soothing to the soul. 

We are getting there, he and I. It's been a battle, but it's been worth fighting for. 


August - 3 1/2 weeks

Ryan said I could feed triplets. And it's true. 

While many women [especially those who have battled with a horribly stressful low milk supply] might think oversupply is a wonderful problem to have, it doesn't come without it's challenges. And the truth is that many mamas give up breastfeeding because of their abundance

I know. I gave up with Ivy. I tried for 6 weeks and unfortunately did not seek out the help that was needed and went to exclusively pumping milk for 11 and a half months.

Why is something so natural, so difficult?

With August, I have been determined. I've joined breastfeeding boards, talked to 3 different lactation consultants, attended breastfeeding groups [or boob groups as they are so endearingly called] and have gone to extreme measures [cabbage leaves on the breasts, multiple doses of sudafed] to lower my supply. 

August is 9 weeks today and it's getting better. Slowly. Every feeding no longer feels like it's all hands on deck with crying and gulping and sputtering.


August - 6 weeks

Suck suck swallow breathe.

We are getting there.

August has his 2 month check on Wednesday. I'm anxious to find out his weight. He has been our fastest grower.

If you're up for a giveaway, feel free to leave a comment guessing his weight and height and the person that is closest to both numbers, without going over will win a $10 giftcard to Starbucks. Pumpkin Spice Latte, Baby.

[To help you in your guessing, at 3 weeks of age, August was 8 pounds 14 oz. and 19 1/4 inches long]. 

Winner will be announced Wednesday evening.


UPDATE: Due to a sick Sylas and Ivy, August's 2 month check has been moved to Friday afternoon. I'll post the winner after that. Keep the guesses coming!


Congratulations to Little Misses' Mama who guessed August's weight and height exactly!!!! 12 pounds, 2 oz and 21 inches long. Great job!

Monday, October 31, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

And we've been spending a lot of time there. 

So much sickness in the house and it's making me crazy. I think [I hope] we are nearing the end. The kids feel good. I feel good. Now we are waiting on the daddy. Sometimes I wonder why we live in this state and not in some warmer climate that isn't a breeding ground for germs. 

And why can't I put them in a bubble so they will always be safe?



But this makes us [our bodies] stronger, right? Better equipped to live. And maybe that's how it is with all of life.



The hurts, the joys, the grief...if we don't experience these things and we protect ourselves in our own personal bubble, who would we be? 

Safe, yes.

But alone.

And with no depth of character.

So we pry our eyes open, and drink chicken noodle soup, and we love and we live. 

Out of the bubble.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pink [Small Style]

It's a new era. 

Mingled with the matchbox cars, I'm finding glittery chapsticks and princess crowns stewn about our home. 



Ivy Pearl loves pink. Everything pink.




She is beauty and spunk and grace sandwiched between two boys. 

A happy waking, sweet voice talking, tight squeeze giving little Love.

She is delightfully girl.






On Ivy:

Dress - Matilda Jane
Tights - Matilda Jane
Boots - Primigi Enoras

Linking up once again with Mama Loves Papa.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's on the List

Do you see it? Go to the middle and then down a few. It's been there every day, but not getting crossed off.




I'm often asked how the transition from 2 to 3 has been. Of course it's difficult and more intense as I now have to care for an extra person...one who depends on me for his very food, but the transition itself has been smoother than 1 to 2. 

I'm finding I need to be more scheduled. Especially for meal planning and grocery shopping. A quick run to the grocery store becomes a 2 hour ordeal.

I now make a to do list every day. It's keep me focused, and even if only three things have been crossed off, it leaves me with a small sense of accomplishment. SO.MANY.THINGS do not get done, but those things will wait. 

These littles will not.


They will continue to grow and flourish and take my breath away with who they are.


I refuse to miss this.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Up

Right before I got pregnant with August, I made an appointment to see a counselor. I was in a dark place and I was struggling. By the time my appointment came, I was deep in the throes of nausea so it was cancelled. 

And now, that place seems distant. In the darkness of that place, lying on my bed in agony, I was given the grace to take more steps toward healing. 

My heart still aches. It always will. But it's less like a searing knife and more like a remembering



I call August, Bubba. Ivy and Sylas think it's the funniest thing. Especially Ivy. She says, "Not Bubba.

Then yesterday, I heard her talking to him and it made me smile when her sweet voice said, "Hi Bubba."




Last night, August was up for more than 3 hours straight. He hasn't been awake for more than an hour at a time since his birth, so this was new. 

And tiring. 

As I sat rocking him in the chair, I wondered if that last 15 minutes before bed while he was sleeping peacefully, I should have been doing the same instead of staring in wonder at his beautiful face. 

Nah.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Story

It's quiet here. Sylas is at school. Ivy and daddy are swimming at the YMCA. 

And me? I'm sitting in a chair with my baby snuggled into the moby wrap. I'm in awe of his soft skin and sweet baby breaths and delicious scent. We were discharged together. This is a first and quite frankly, a dream come true. 

Now for the story.

I woke up Monday (Labor Day, how fitting, right?) at 6:45 a.m. with my first strong contraction. Thinking to myself, hmmm....this might be it, I started timing. I timed for 30 minutes and the contractions were 5 minutes apart. By this time, both Sylas and Ivy were in our bed and I said to Ryan, "This might be it. Maybe we should get ready?"

My parents were out of town for the weekend, so I called my sister and warned her that we might need her a bit later in the day. Ryan proceeded to get the kids breakfast then jump in the shower. I dressed, made the bed, finished packing my bag and started the dishes. It was now 7:45 a.m., contractions were two minutes apart and becoming unbearable. I thought to myself, "Maybe we should get going."

You think?

I called my sister again and told her to come right away. The only problem is that it was a 30 minute drive for her and then a 30 minute drive to the hospital. At 8 a.m., not able to wait any longer, Ryan called some friends from church who lived nearby. It is incredible how fast this awesome dad and 3 kids were at our house. Their baby was even asleep when Ryan called and still they were at the house within 5 minutes. 

The drive to the hospital was excruciating. All the while I was praying I wouldn't have this baby on the highway and also gouging the center console of our Honda Pilot to death. I'm still digging vinyl out of my fingernails. Sorry Love.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:40 a.m., they checked dilation at 9 a.m.....I was at a six. By 9:30, I said, " I REALLY NEED TO PUSH!" Checked again, dilated to a 10. And at 9:54 a.m., screaming his sweet little head off,  August Nathaniel entered the world. 



He was posterior, or as one nurse said, sunny side up, which apparently slowed down my labor. Pushing him out that way sans drugs was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, but if he would've been facing down, my midwife was sure he would've been born in the car.


Sylas and Ivy are completely smitten and taking their role as big brother and sister quite seriously. 



Thank you for your well wishes on the last post. Your words of encouragement and love mean more than you know. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

I know we will.


Monday, September 5, 2011

He's Here!

This is The Daddy (aka Ryan). Our family would love to introduce you to August Nathaniel Morrison. He came to us this morning at 9:54am at 35 weeks and 6 days. He is 6 lbs 8oz, 19 1/2" and doing great. Brianna is doing very well too. More pictures to follow, but in the meantime...



Friday, September 2, 2011

He Started

Today was his first day. 

His excitement was contagious. Last night he awoke at 9:30 p.m. and told Ryan, "I'm ready. I'm ready to get on the bus and go to school."

And he was...he is ready, but wasn't this just yesterday?

He'll go 5 days a week for 3 hours a day. It will be good. It will be good. It will be good is my mantra. 

I want to protect him. I don't ever want kids to make fun of him. I want him to know how incredible he is.


It's hard for this mama heart to let go, but it will be good. It will be good. It will be good.



Shirt of choice - Patriots Jersey in Packerland. Brave kid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

They Call Me Mom

These pictures are from a few weeks ago. We live really close to Lake Michigan, yet we hardly ever go there. I'm not sure why. We should. It's beautiful. 


It makes me happy. It makes them happy. 


Their independence seems to be growing by the day. 

They call me Mom now. 

Thank goodness we're having another. I want to be Mommy for just a little while longer.



[The winner of the NEEDTOBREATHE album is Jenny D. I'll be sending you an email shortly].

Friday, August 19, 2011

NEEDTOBREATHE

We're in. It's all in. Thanks to the help of more than a dozen people, everything was moved in 3 hours flat. We are all loving our new place. The yard, the space, the being able to play our music as loud as we want. LOVE it.

We have been blasting NEEDTOBREATHE this week and Sylas sings his heart out reminiscing about our fabulous time in Chicago. 

I am struggling with how to adequately express our gratitude for everything that took place AND how to write about it without it becoming a book. 

Are you ready for a ton of pictures?

We picked up our tickets at Will Call at around 6 p.m. and were delighted to also find 3 meet and greet passes in the envelope. There was a little note from NTB's tour manager telling us to meet at the "West Gate" at 8:25 p.m. I thought it a strange time as the guys were playing from 7:25 to 8 p.m. and then Taylor Swift was starting at 8:30 p.m. We honestly don't know any of Taylor's music, but wouldn't other people be wanting to get back into the arena to see her? 

Come to find out it was a private meet and greet for JUST SYLAS!!!!

I've never seen our son so nervous. He was starstruck and could barely speak. The guys were great though, getting down on his level and setting him at ease. 









All four of the guys were so genuine, asking Sylas questions about music and his favorite instrument. Of course drums. We had been chatting for about 10 minutes when Joe (the drummer) stepped out of the room. He came back with the head of the snare drum and all of the guys had signed it for Sylas. 



After Sy's initial shock wore off, he started chatting a bit more and was asking Bear about the new record and which guitars were played and the name of the album, etc. I was so proud. We spent about 15 minutes with them and I know it's something that is going to stick with Sylas for a long time.


We then headed back into the show and shortly after Seth joined us. After that I think Sylas forgot about Ryan and me. 


Towards the end of the show, Seth took Sylas RIGHT DOWN by the stage. I think every member of Taylor Swift's band waved to Sylas. One of the guitar players even handed him his guitar pick. And right after Taylor's last song, she leaned down and handed Sylas her very own guitar pick. 

Sylas is now a Taylor Swift fan. 


 We didn't get back to our hotel room until midnight and sweet little Sylas just laid in his bed staring at the ceiling for at least 15 minutes. 

It was a magical night. One we will never forget.

This photo didn't really turn out, but I had to share as this is how Sylas looked for most of the evening.



Thank you NEEDTOBREATHE for being so incredible. We look forward to your new album coming out in September. [Check out their site to listen to a couple of their new songs.]

AND we have an extra copy of their album "The Outsiders" to give away. If you'd like, please leave a comment on this post and I'll choose a winner via random.org sometime on Wednesday, August 24. Giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Not Even Nine in the Morning

And here we are. $10.50 at Menards was so worth it.

[Also my first post from my new phone. Fun!]


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Moving

I am dying to tell you all about our fabulous trip to Chicago. But I can't right now, because we're moving. 

Ummm...

TOMORROW!!!!

We found a sweet little house to rent that will suit the needs of our growing family much better than our 2 bedroom apartment. 

So, needless to say things are bit crazy right now. 

But I do need to mention that Seth and all the guys from NEEDTOBREATHE are truly remarkable. I look at the photos that Ryan took and I get so emotional. Here we have this little guy who wears glasses and leg braces and walks with a walker and these four guys treated him with such respect and kindness. 

They gave him dignity in who is. They made him feel remarkable. 

See! I'm not even looking at the pictures, but writing those last few lines has me in tears. 

For now I'll leave you with a couple of photos of Sylas and Seth from our lunch on Tuesday. Amazing concert details to come.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Fighter

Last year, Sylas was one lucky kid and got to go on NeedToBreathe's tour bus. Pretty awesome, right?

Well, a little over a month ago, I received an email from Seth Bolt, the bass player for NTB. [He's the guy in the white shirt].






Seth had recently found my blog and said that he immediately remembered Sylas. [Really, who can forget Sylas?] He was so inspired by our story that he started sharing it with family and friends. In particular a friend [Ella Mae Bowen] who is getting started in her music career. Seth has been assisting Ella Mae in writing and said,  "Sylas has remained the inspiration for much of our writing and her [Ella Mae's] vision for the impact she wants to have on the world. Sylas has also earned a new nickname. To Ella Mae Bowen and I, he's "The Fighter"." 


Ella Mae is in the process of starting an organization called "The Fighter's Foundation," whose main purpose will be to help out families who have been hit with major medical bills. I don't know a lot about it yet, but I'm sure I'll be hearing more about it soon. 


Maybe even tomorrow, because, yes....


Yes, we are having lunch with a Mr. Seth Bolt in Chicago and then we're off to see NeedToBreathe and Taylor Swift, tickets compliments of Seth. Sylas is beyond excited to see his "Buddy Seth" and we feel so privileged to have this opportunity.

And lastly, I must not forget to thank "Buddy Seth" and Robyn from the NE Patriots for sending Sylas a great big box of goodies. I think we now have a Patriots fan in our family.






P.S I've been meaning to tell you all the Sy got new glasses. He picked them out himself.  Doesn't he look handsome and grown up? Makes me all weepy.