One year.

I love being Rosemary’s momma, even on the hard days.  I love rescuing her from bed in the morning with her big smile, immediate conversation and outstretched arms.  I love when she shoves most of an entire banana in her mouth.  I love that she really eats meat more than anything else.  (She is hearty.)  I love that she shows excitement by twirling her ankles and wrists.  I love that she is very interested in people, especially kids, but is pretty shy.  I love that she clings to me when strangers talk to her and while the coffee is grinding.  I love that she listens for the garage door and anticipates who might walk in the door (Daddy!).  I love that she holds objects to her ear to talk on the phone.  I love that she discovers items by twisting them around and around.  I love that she twirls from a sitting position, getting a 365 degree view of the world around her.  I love that her first word was “hi.”  I love that her happy place is the bathtub and outside.  I love how she finds the satin on the blanket while taking her bottle and then sleeps on top of her blanket consistently.  I love that she prays with me when I pray over her at night.  I love that she shrieks for Daddy.  I love that her daddy and I are her people.  Being someone’s person is such a pleasure.  It comes in a few ways in life; none have been more satisfying to me than through motherhood.

Photo credit: the Great Karis Martin

I know that motherhood was not promised to me. It was to Sara (of Abraham and Sara) but not to me.  That was one of my biggest worries.  What if I was not intended to be a mother?  In some respects I feel like God provided for us in a similarly dramatic way as with Abraham and Sara.  I am so very thankful for His faithfulness throughout the journey.  It has made me compassionate towards those wanting to have children and finding their way.  We each have our own way.

My prayer for Rosemary is that God grows her to be strong, smart, kind and gracious.  I pray that she knows and is known.  That she peeks long, long after high school.  That she is supported and understood.  That she walks in the ways of Jesus.

In these 365 days, our lives have been enriched by this little person profoundly.  We haven’t eaten out as much…. or slept in….or been spontaneous….those things will return sometime.  But for now, experiencing Rosemary Drake Buchholtz discover the world, is pure joy.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.  You make your momma and daddy so very, very grateful.

Photo credit: the Great Karis Martin

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Surprises about motherhood

You know how young love is dreamy. Where you can’t stop talking or thinking about this new person in your life that makes everything appear like butterflies and rainbows? That’s life with Rosemary. I had no idea it would be like that. I thought we would trudge through the first year or so, bleary-eyed and enduring the hard parts of parenthood. Instead, I am surprised to say that even the hard days are good. It is just such a pleasure to be Rosemary’s mom. To be called Mom. To know her every move and tendency. To dress her and cuddle her. To calm a cry and to get her up in the morning. I just love the whole experience. I did not expect for parenthood to be weighted so heavily towards wonderful.

Coffee turns cold faster than before parenthood.   I don’t know why that happens but I am fine drinking it that way. Now I understand why my sister pounds coffee so fast. There just is not too much time to savor coffee.

I am surprised by how uninterested I am in leaving my house. It’s like this peaceful, happy place where our little family of three simply, peacefully exists. We have everything we need there. Venturing out means preparation and packing. Not much is worth that. I am shocked that I would be that mom. I thought I would be crawling the walls, dragging Rosemary everywhere. We do get out but home is so great.

I love sleep. I need sleep. I think about sleep a lot. And I am getting some sleep. But it surprises me that my favorite time with Rosemary is in the middle of the night. She sleeps through the night a lot but sometimes wakes between 4-5 to eat. She goes right back down. But she is then up early, especially on weekends it seems. But middle of the night and early morning time is by far, the most tender, sweet time with my girl. I don’t mind.

These surprises are sweet reminders that we may think we have things all figured out (I certain think I do) but we really don’t know what each stage will be until we are there. I am grateful for these blessed days. They are not easy days. There are plenty of challenges. But I would not change it for the world.

Oh!  And we have kept Rosemary Drake Buchholtz alive for half a year.  Scott and I are grateful for the help in doing so.  We need all the help we can get.  Happy half, Rosie Drake!

Three months of Rosemary.

Its official.  We have kept a small human alive for an entire quarter.  We feel quite accomplished.  This little girl has captured our hearts completely.  And if fat cheeks and thighs are signs of thriving, this girl is living large.

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Rosemary discovered her hands and eats them with great urgency.  She learned to smile and that melts us. She has quite a lot to say in a language primarily consisting of “oohs” and some growling.  She plays on the floor and grabs hold of loops and shiny things from her activity gym.

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Her best trick is sleeping.  She pretty much sleeps from 7 to 7.  Its like she knew that she could win us over by valuing sleep as much as we do.  She is very advanced…

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And going back to work has actually been okay!  I love work and the time passes so quickly I hardly have time to be sad.  The anticipation of returning was definitely worse than actually doing so.  I felt the prayers of all of you who have prayed for me.  I stare at my phone waiting for a picture to come through while in meetings and I beeline to Rosemary after work, but so far, so good.  Its not easy, but its good.

P.S. Rosemary came home from the hospital in the same outfit she is wearing in these pictures (the monogram came later).  Think she has grown much?

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On returning to work.

I did not look forward to Christmas.  Our first Christmas with sweet Rosemary and I was dreading it.  After Christmas, I would go back to work.  Really it is after the new year but in my head, Christmas was the beginning of the end.

I want to work.  I love my job and feel drawn to do what I do.  I look forward to returning to what I know, to the different type of productively, and even to be able to write my grocery list on my lunch break. But as I rock Rosemary to sleep, I smother her in kisses and cry, thinking of what I will miss while being at work.  It is just hard wanting to be in two places at once.  I anticipate being at work, wanting to be with her and then being with Rosemary and feeling like I need to be working.

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In many ways, I think staying home is the harder road.  I know that it is right for me to return to work.  I firmly believe that each mother’s path to work outside the home or not is personal and good.  There is no wrong answer.  What is good for one is not for another.  I read a blog post about women saying about each other, “good for her, not for me.”  I like the flexibility of the statement.  Being a mom is hard enough without the condemnation of each other.  There are many different paths.

But for me, the transition back to the working world is hard and sad.  I have spent the last week purchasing things like mad—a refrigerator for my office, duplicate pumping supplies, a few bras that let you nurse and pump (a bra name like “Dairy Fairy” sure makes you feel beautiful), button down shirts, clothes that fit (that hopefully will be too big soon).   Its like the only thing I can control is purchases.

I have so many questions, the answers of which I cannot control.  Will Rosie still want to nurse with so much bottle-feeding?  Will my supply stay adequate?  Will the Capitol finally designate a mother’s room so that I can pump somewhere other than in a bathroom stall?  Will I have time to pump during the day (I must make time but will that be annoying to others)?  When will I exercise?  How will I get out the door on time in the morning?  Will it be okay if I leave the office earlier than I did before?  Will I still be good at my job?  Will Rosemary be okay if we have to wake her in the morning to take her to Lee Lee’s, Grandma’s or Megan’s?  What will the day look like?  Will I still be the expert on Rosemary?  How can Scott help?  (He is so willing.)  When will a routine immerge?  CAN I EVEN DO THIS?

I have had so little compassion toward moms returning to work until now.  What is the big deal and why are you crying?  Now I totally get it.  It is just hard.

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One thing I do know is that Rosemary will be in the best hands.  She will spend time with my mom (Lee Lee), Scott’s mom (Grandma), and my sister (Aunt Sis—yes, she has an aunt name).  She will be smothered in kisses and spoiled rotten.  I am not worried about Rosemary!

It seems right that I would go back at the new year.  It is a good time for transitions, fresh starts, and new beginnings.  And with this new year I will set a resolution to just keep things simple and to be kind to myself.  I know I will get back in shape but it will take time.  Its okay.  I know I will be productive at work, but it will take time.  Its okay.  I know I can have an organized home, but it will take time.  Its okay.    I will get into a rhythm one thing at a time.  This first week of working I will simply see how it goes and try to get a quiet time in before I leave.  When that seems sort of mastered I will try to also exercise a day or two a week.  When I have that sort of mastered I will go back to my small group.  Scott and I will work hard to have a date night and lean into each other.  We will likely say “yes” to very little until we figure out our new rhythm of life.  I know it will come in time.

Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends to his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have young.”  I am so grateful for a father that gently leads me.