Full

8.19.2016


This summer has been full in more ways than one. 

Our schedule was full, for one thing. Between both of us working full time, we certainly packed in as much as we could on the weekends and week nights with trips, family time, and milestones. I turned 30, Jordan turned 31, and R turned 1 all within a month. 

R and I flew to Saint Louis to visit a friend in June, and in July we drove 13 hours to Illinois for a family reunion for my grandpa’s birthday. Between that we took a few trips to Texas. I started back to my regular Wednesday night/Sunday morning violin playing at church, and we attended baby showers and game nights, and I took R to the park and the splash pad (and of course to Target a lot too like any good mom). 

My heart is full too.

Full of laughter and thankfulness and lessons learned.

It has been almost a year now since I started back to work after maternity leave. If I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that all along I’ve been hoping something would magically change with my work situation. I hear about people who have jobs dropped into their laps that allow them to work at home or promotions for their husbands that allow them to stay at home, and I secretly hoped that would happen to me. It's not that I don't like my job or my coworkers (I actually really, really do!), but deep down I didn’t want to accept that maybe working full time is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. It surprised me how much I just wanted to stay home with my girl.

Dropping R off every single day sucks every single time. It’s easier to leave her than it was a year ago, but it’s certainly not easy. I was bitter for a while, and I unfollowed people on social media because it hurt to see their pictures of them having fun with their kids during the day when I couldn’t be with mine.

I think this is partly why I have felt God pushing me to learn more about prayer this year. I am not perfect at it by any means, but I have been trying to pray more, and as a result I have been focusing more on my blessings and focusing on praying for my friends and my family, and I have been focusing less on myself. 

And I feel full.


Although right now we can't live off one income, I am full of thankfulness that our jobs allow us to buy food and pay for our beautiful house that we saved for, for so long and go on trips as a family. Although my job doesn’t allow me to work from home, I am thankful that it does allow me to treasure the time I get to spend with R. 

Picking her up at daycare and seeing her reach her arms out for me and crawl to me as fast as she can is the absolute best part of every day. I can see how working at home might cause me to feel stressed about spending time working vs. spending time with R, and working outside the home allows me to spend quality, focused time with her, and I am thankful for that even though I still miss her so much during the day. 

This past year was not easy for our marriage, and I am full of thankfulness that although Jordan and I don’t get along all the time, we have committed to praying together every night, and we are continuing to learn how best to handle our arguments and disagreements. 

This summer was full.

I feel like we have entered a stage, however short it may be, where we have a good rhythm. R is sleeping 11-12 hours a night, and Jordan and I have time to take a breath and actually get back to some of our hobbies again. I am no longer pumping, we are weaning off formula and bottles, and I just feel like my daily routine isn’t so rushed. 

We paid for all the hospital bills, I’ve put a leash on my hair bow obsession, and after doing our budget for last month, I realized that we actually had some money left over like we used to before R came along.

When R was a tiny newborn, I would look at her sleeping and cry because she was so small and needed me so much and it was all so overwhelming. It’s been just over a year, but she is not so small and she already doesn’t need me quite as much, and yet it’s not as sad as I thought it would be. I know her so much better than I did a year ago, and I love it. She is a sweet, opinionated, smart, beautiful little girl, and I'm so thankful for her every day.

This summer was full of everything and nothing.

I went to work for eight hours five days a week. I washed bottles every night. I made dinner and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. Then I loaded it again. I folded laundry into piles so high I could barely hold them. I washed R’s highchair tray and cleaned the bathroom and pulled weeds. 

It was an ordinary kind of summer full of extraordinary moments. 

I chased R around the house on all fours. I read her books. I went on dates with Jordan. I stood outside and watched the sun set. I flew on an airplane and cheered at a baseball game. I went running and ate birthday cake.

I cried. 
I prayed. 
Stayed up way too late and got up way too early. 
I laughed. A lot.

And today, as I look back on this summer, my heart is full.

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (but not really small) gifts.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

*All photos taken by Makenzie.

33 comments:

  1. Beautiful words from a beautiful heart <3 It has been a good, good summer!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! I'm glad it has been good for you too.

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  2. love this post. it captures so much of both sides of how life with a little one and a crazy schedule and just LIFE can be!

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    1. Thanks, Erin :) I'm so glad you think so.

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  3. I don't really like this saying but girl: ALL THE FEELS. You are a beautiful writer, and I love how honest you always are. Your love for sweet R is so genuine and I love that you've chosen to focus on the best parts of your day, even when its difficult. Can I also just say these pictures are ADORABLE. I love your little family!

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  4. This! Everything about this post...it's like you were writing from inside MY head (except I could never compose my thoughts as beautifully as you've written the words!). This is real life...and it captures every possible emotion!

    P.S. Love love love R's little dress! AND...you got her to wear the bow through the entire photo shoot! :)

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    1. Thanks so much! I know you get it :)

      And yes I was excited about the bow staying on. Holler! In some of the pictures we are definitely holding her hands down. ha! But I love how they turned out and I'm so glad she fit into that dress! We got it for a baby shower before she was born and I have been hoping she would be the right size for it for her birthday.

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  5. Oh my goodness. This. All of this. There is so much truth and goodness in this post <3

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  6. I love all those full moments in life, where you feel as if your heart is going to just explode with all the goodness! I'm happy you are in that stage. I love the family photos!

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    1. Thank you so much! I love how all the photos turned out.

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  7. Oh thank you for writing this! And yes to all of it! I've been dreaming that maybe something would change with my work situation or income to allow me to stay at home, even though I don't think I really want to stay at home. I just want more time. My mother in law told me some wise words a few years ago. She worked full time and raised 3 boys and has always said, "my kids made me love my job and my job made me love my kids." And she is so right! And thanks for being honest about your marriage. I sort of feel like when you have your first baby, you have to learn how to be married to your spouse again. We are definitely in that same season. It's so encouraging to know that there is a light at the end of this long, newborn, nursing mom, working mom, crazy life, tunnel!

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    1. There is light at the end of the newborn tunnel, but then there is just more tunnel stretched out after that so I guess there will always be something coming. But it's fun too! And very full of lots of things. Those are very wise words from your MIL! Don't moms always know everything? :)

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  8. Beautiful reflections! You're not alone at all in how you felt about working. I never saw myself as a SAHM but then I had my Caleb and wished I could stay with him. I, too, felt bitter towards the mothers who could stay home with their babies. For the most part, I've now accepted that working is what I need to do for my family. I hope Caleb will see me as a strong working mother and that it will motivate him when he is older.

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    1. Yes! Same for me. Thanks for reading, Steph :)

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  9. Beautiful. Here is to more full for you and yours!

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  10. Okay so first: I am crying. You write so beautifully and although our lives aren't completely similar, I feel so much of this. "I know her so much better than I did a year ago" <- THAT. That's how I feel when people say how sad it is to see babies grow. You just summed it up so perfectly. And second: These pictures are absolutely beautiful!

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  11. This is so beautiful and honest and meaningful, Amanda! So many amazing moment disguised as "the every day." Your thoughts on summer are gorgeous and totally reflected in you! I hope you have a similar fall and winter, too!

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  12. Awww such beautiful words to go along with such beautiful pictures!!! You have an amazing little family and I just love that you are focusing on the blessing of your summer rather than dwelling on things you cannot change right now. I cant imagine how hard it is going to be to leave my baby for work every day either. But I know it is what is going to be right for our family when that comes.

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  13. Full, indeed! And I'm sure you wouldn't want it any other way :)

    You look so beautiful in these photos, by the way! Such a gorgeous family :)

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  14. Absolutely beautiful friend. I love every word here. So many reasons to be full. I love that you don't sugarcoat anything. Your realness is so admirable! You have such a sweet family!

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  15. Such beautiful photos and words! I'm so glad that you are so filled up right now, friend!

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  16. You have such a beautiful heart. Reading your blog refreshes me!

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  17. Beautiful photos and a beautiful family. Such a nice wrap-up for the previous year and your summer. It really is about the small things.

    Thank you for always being so open and honest about your thoughts. I sometimes think that I'm the only one looking at SAHMs Instagrams and being so incredibly envious; not only the the fact that they aren't stressing over their boss's demands, but have a beautiful child to spend time with all day. The long, soul-crushing trying-to-conceive process will bring out some serious jealously that you never ever thought you'd ever have.

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  18. This is beautiful, Amanda!!!! This is a summer you won't soon forget. I'll join you in praying for it to be possible for you to be where you need to be!!!!

    I can only imagine what it's like and the toll that it takes on all of you. God will lead!!!!

    In the meantime, you are an amazing woman who is accomplishing SOOOOO much. R and Jordan are lucky to have you in their lives!!!!

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  19. Man oh man, I relate to so much of this! This summer has been such a whirlwind of big and little moments.

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  20. Beautiful, beautiful family photos! I'm so glad we live in the day of these sorts of family photos and not the walmart studio photos I grew up with--aren't you? :) Glad you guys had such a full summer of life and love together! You have such a precious little girl.
    P.S. I love your green pants, but then I love all bright green pants so that's not very surprising.

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  21. Beautiful photos, but the words… they are the true treasure. It's refreshing (still) to read honest posts like this. Sounds like you summer was truly full, of highs and lows, but full - and in the end we come out stronger and closer to God.

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  22. What a wonderful post. I love how it was written. I really appreciated what you said about your job. I feel the same way right now. I don't have a job right now, but I need one. Yet, I don't exactly feel like a full time job is right for me right now. I just got married and--oddly enough because I said this would never be me--I just want to be a wife and writer for a little while. It's funny how things like that surprise you sometimes. It definitely made me feel better to know that someone else feels that way and I'm not actually just being "lazy," as a few people I know have so graciously implied recently. *deep breaths*
    Anyway, I have a job interview in a little while, so... Here's to crappy practicality. :)

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  23. This is so beautifully written! Although it's kindof the opposite, I understand what you are saying about your job and how through prayer you think maybe it IS where you're supposed to be right now. I kept praying for some awesome childcare option to work out, or some flexibility in my job to allow me to do both but neither one became a reality for us. I feel like Jared and I are learning to trust in God so much more right now... Our situation doesn't feel perfect, but we feel like it's what we're supposed to be doing right now.

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  24. This was so beautifully written. I'm not thankful for your hard times but I'm so thankful God refined you into who you are now through them. I'm also so thankful for prayer. It does wonders.

    I love the family pictures too.

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  25. Gaaah! Blame it on the hormones or maybe it's just your ability to write something so heart felt and relatable... but that brought tears to my eyes. My heart is full just reading your words and seeing those beautiful pictures of your family!

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  26. awww i love this! i'm sorry working and dropping R at daycare sucks so bad, but i love that you put a positive spin on it about spending quality time with her. i can't imagine how hard that is, but she clearly loves you and is doing fabulously which is what matters at the end of the day, right? i'm glad you are so filled up :)
    KC and I have talked about it a bunch and we do want me to stay home when that time comes.. which is why we haven't made the time come yet lol. Because we aren't financially ready. will we ever be? who knows? we'll see i guess.

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