I'm taking a cue from a friend who recently caught up her own blog despite the enormity of the task. Like her, I have serious "catch-up anxiety"and, well, there is a lot to catch up on. It's safe to say I've been paralyzed by the task. There are pages and pages of writing stored up- mostly unfinished or too-honest thoughts. I feel full and tired and fragile. All in good and healthy ways, if that's possible.
Since last May we have acquired a puppy. And a cat. And a baby.
The puppy is named after this great state and also for her dreamy ginger coat. We call her Ginny even though she doesn't answer and she likes her name so much that I've walked this neighborhood with four children and an empty leash one too many times.
The cat was a rescue and the adoption story is one for another day. Just trust me when I tell you it is ridiculous at best. At any rate, she also ignores me when I call her name but I rather expect this from a feline. Her name is Buttercup (after THE princess bride) and the children carry her upside down while dressed in french berets and American Girl frocks. She has yet to draw blood or even show a claw. The children frolic with her at lengthy intervals and so when life gets crazy and the stresses mount, I tell everyone to go and find the cat. I maintain that obtaining the cat was my bright idea and that it was a good one.
And if the dog and cat and their accompanying allergens/fur weren't enough to cause our visitors to dwindle, well, we also managed to squeeze another tiny human into our cozy little space. The girls now live in the attic. Seriously.
So if you haven't been over in a while, don't worry. There are no hard feelings. There probably isn't anywhere for you to sit.
In November I birthed a sweet babe and she tricked me on All Saints Day with a fake water-break episode. When we arrived at the hospital to welcome her, she was upside down. And so somehow, my fourth baby joined us feet-first from the operating room. We all held our breath while the team assembled in the wee hours of the night and we cried relief when we kissed that perfect c-section head. I thanked her for not arriving on Halloween and I assured her of a great company of saints who prayed her into my arms on the following day instead.
For the record, whoever said having four children was no harder than having three is just plain fibbing. Or crazy. Or infinitely more together than I. But when I start to feel nuts and wonder what in the world were we thinking, I look at this chubby, now half-a-year old gal and I could keel over in love. Each new baby we welcome is simply divine in his or her own way. And each one grows into a divine little person. We are stunned each time by the journey, the family transformation, and the heart-space they find to fill.
Yes, I am madly in love with this one too. She is the first of mine to cry when I am out of sight and she holds the back of my arm with a desperate little grip. She sways quiet on my hip during church and I miss her when I grocery shop alone.
I have a serious baby girl crush and her name is Anna Katharine.
And so I suppose this is where I have been. Homeschooling and bouncing babes and wrangling pets. Singing ABC's and Patty Cake while learning how to be more organized, more patient, and more certain of this season at home. I remind myself often of how quickly it will pass.
I assure you it isn't always pretty. But I promise it is good.
All that to say, we are alive and well.
For old times sake, here are a few (pretty) moments.