Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, March 30, 2009

doggy drama

Darin and Deanna have a fun Canon digital SLR and I've been enjoying playing with it, since we are contemplating saving up for an SLR. Schatzi and Doc made willing subjects...after a few treats and chewies.
Schatzi staring miserably at him, coveting his chewie...even though she has one of her own.
Doc keeps on chewing.
Schatzi takes a break from her coveting for a belly scratch.
Doc still chewing.

Finally, Doc takes a break to groom his paws. I love his big, big feet.

And, Schatzi picks up her own chewie....with her little dainty feet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

random shots from our weekend







jumping beans

The Gemmers arrived at our house last Tuesday for a Girls of 207 reunion (Team Eddy arrives tomorrow). Sam and Daisy have been having a lot of fun together...although sometimes their fun makes their moms' cringe. They started out taking turns jumping. Later, Sam was bouncing in his jumperoo and Daisy would shake it...what's a little shaken baby syndrome between friends?
video

Saturday, March 28, 2009

our special needs boy

We lovingly call Doc our special needs boy. He was a rescue dog and has a lot of anxiety. He follows me around the house whenever I am home. When I sit on the floor or climb into bed, there he is...laying on top of me.
Doc "shuts down" periodically. He sort of slumps over and doesn't make eye contact. He doesn't move. It's like talking to a statue.
If you yell at him, he shuts down.
If you grab his collar, he shuts down.
If you make him do obedience training too long, he shuts down.
So, we've made slow progress with Doc and have long ago reconciled ourselves to the fact that he is not a quick learner. He needs a gentle handed, patient hearted human.
But, last night I learned that being a slow learner is not the same thing as being dumb. I was awakened by Doc and Schatzi last night, pushing around their empty water bowl in the kitchen. When I finally forced myself to get out of bed, I walked into the kitchen and saw Doc's solution to the problem: he'd stood on his hind legs and used his front paws to depress the water dispenser on the fridge door and was lapping the water up as it ran down the fridge!
Maybe he's smarter than I thought.
Good thing we don't drink out of that water dispenser, anyway.

Friday, March 27, 2009

whipped cream baby

Sunday was Tancie's birthday and in our rush to get dinner and birthday cake done, we missed nap time. So, we had a crabby Sam who wanted to be held-put down-held. It was a hard afternoon...until Tancie came up with the brilliant idea of letting him play with the whipped cream container. She stripped him down and away he went.
If there's one truth about my son, it's the way to his heart (and happiness) is through his tummy!
Doc looked on. Those two have a love-hate relationship. Sam loves Doc and shows his affection by pinching him and pulling his hair. Doc loves that Sam gives him food...but that's all he loves about Sam. I think sometimes Doc wishes we'd give Sam to some nice rescue organization.
Sorry, Doc...he's here to stay. At least you got some whipped cream out of the deal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sam's first haircut

Sam was feeling crummy last week and was extra cuddly. So, what did his Mom and Aunt Tance do? We took advantage of his malaise and gave him his first haircut.

No more mullet, but still has the fauxhawk going on the top.

No good deed goes unpunished...he paid us back by puking on us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

weekly wisdom: once bitten, twice shy

Since we got back from Maui, Sam's been biting me when nursing. I've tried the Dori Kaufman Nose Pinch, which brought me so much success in the past...but it wasn't as effective. My goal is to nurse him for 12-18 months, but after having such sensitive areas bitten with such sharp teeth, I've been rethinking my goal.

I try to keep vigilant about when he is sucking less and get him the heck away from the boob. The little turkey smiled at me a few nights ago in the bathtub, latched on and bit me! I pinched his nose and told him no. He did it several times at bedtime and I put the boob away and put him to bed without nursing. He cried his little heart out! It was total sadness at our house that night. I felt like a bad mother with sore boobs.

I scoured the internet and nursing resources and learned a few new strategies, which have been helping. Mainly, I'm hypervigilant and the second he stops nursing, I put him down. I'm trying to keep it light and not get all punitive about it (although sometimes I want to). He's just less interested in nursing than before and I've wondered why.

So, I googled it a bit more and read a kellymom post that said her baby only started biting her when she got pregnant with her second child; this was before she even realized she was pregnant.

I'm going to stop reading things on the internet; it's a scary world out there.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

too efficient by half

We are preparing for a "home invasion" next week. Both Team Eddy and the Gemmers are coming to Idaho Falls and I can't wait! However, this means that we have to achieve some semblance of order in our house before we cram 12 1/2 people into 1700 square feet for 4-5 days.

So, Joe and I have been squeezing in projects whenever we can. One of these projects was to change our nasty old shower liner and hang a new one. I asked Tancie to help me with this project last Saturday before we left for Maui. I felt a small sense of accomplishment as we left the house.

After we returned Monday night, after we put Sam to bed, I was getting in the shower and noticed the shower liner was missing. I wondered out loud where it had gone.

Joe: Oh, I finally got that thing thrown away. Now I just need to hang the new one.

Jen: You threw it away? When did you do that?

Joe: Saturday. Do you know where the new one is?

Jen: Uh, apparently it's in the garbage now.

I watched his face fall as he realized his error of over-efficiency (and the water from the shower sprayed all over our bathroom). It's a wonder we make any forward progress at our house at all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

a firm grip

I have a hard time learning things from my husband. I used to blame it on his teaching style. Joe likes to master a subject, so when he teaches it to you, it is as a master. It's impossible for him to dumb things down or teach things slowly. After a few frustrating attempts, we have agreed that it's best for our marriage if I have other people teach me stuff (except for driving a grain truck...he was pretty good at teaching me about that with Dori's help...but I digress).

However, after 5 1/2 years of peace, we decided to try our teaching partnership out again...so I could learn the ukelele. I now recognize the problem is two-fold: Joe's teaching style is in direct contrast to my learning style, which includes being easily frustrated. Finally, I sent him to clean the kitchen so I could practice in peace.

When he came back to hear my progress, I complained that my hands were too tired to play any more.

Joe: Well, don't press so hard!

Jen: Everything I do is hard. When I learned to open a patient's airway, the doctor had to tell me to ease up or I'd leave bruises on their forehead. When I was trying to figure out how to nurse Sam, I think I left my fingerprints on his little head I was trying so hard to position him. I don't know how to do it any other way.

Joe: You just need to relax a little...it's okay.

Jen: I don't relax. Why don't you go back and clean the kitchen?

I guess I'll learn to play the ukelele or Joe will die trying. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

grown on Maui


Again, being married to a farmer (or former farm kid), requires you to be interested in the business of growing things. So, when Joe heard the second annual Maui Ag Festival was going on while we were on Maui, he was so excited about it...and I willingly agreed to tag along and learn about farming on Maui.

It rained, but attendance was still steady. If there's one universal truth about farmers, it's that they are always grateful for the rain. Even Maui rain that comes down in sheets upon sheets. I got some very muddy feet as we browsed through a farmers' market, informational booths on invasive species, sampled local products, and learned about ag issues on Maui. Joe had a long conversation with a Farm Bureau employee about Maui water rights and we even found a booth that was sponsored by Monsanto (Phil's employer). It was a fun day and I learned a lot about ag in general and ag specific to Maui. This is Joe and me chewing on some sugar cane; Joe likened it to sweet, tough celery.All of the above was fun, but the highlight of our day was the Taste Education booth. For $25 admission/person, we sampled a wide variety of entrees and appetizers from local chefs. It was a little oxymoronic to be eating this delicious, beautifully plated food off of paper plates, but that didn't stop us...we left stuffed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It ain't all sunshine

Joe has a hard time with Hawaiian names. There are just too many vowels and too few consonants for his German mind to process. To compensate, he transposes syllables, adds extra letters, or fakes it with a similar sounding name. Saturday afternoon, we drove up to Haleakala Crater in the hopes of seeing the sunset and some stars come out. That is said "Holly-ah-ka-la", but if you ask Joe it's "Hock-a-lia", "Hack-ey-acka", or "Wicki-wacki-wala". (Honestly, sometimes, I think he just gives up).

It's a windy, windy road up to 10,000 feet in elevation in under 40 miles, so it was slow going. We began our trip at roughly sea level with a temperature of 74F and ended our trip at 10,000 feet with a brisk 39F. videoIt was, literally, like being in a cloud...cold, wet, misty and windy. Only a few other brave souls accompanied us to summit and none of stayed to watch the sunset. Joe and I drove down another 1000 feet to a different lookout, though, and waited for the sun to set. While we waited, Joe gave me a lesson on the ukelele, for which I proved to be a natural superstar. (Ok, that is an exaggeration...I learned how to play 3 cords...S-L-O-W-L-Y...but it was fun; I am better at playing the uke than I'm at playing Guitar Hero).

Eventually, the stars came out and were beautiful! We were so high up that some of them seemed parallel to us. I've never seen so many stars in my life...it made me wish I knew my constellations better. We identified the Milky Way, Venus, the Big Dipper and Orion's belt. It was such a clear night I thought I'd take a picture with a long exposure to show you all.

Unfortunately, it was also very windy and the picture didn't really turn out...so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Lahaina

On Friday, Joe and I headed over to Lahaina and walked around for an hour or so before heading to the Old Lahaina Luau. We wished we had more time in Lahaina; there was a lot more to do than we'd found in Wailea (where the conference and our hotel were) and decided we'd stay in Lahaina the next time we came to Maui. The ambience was more exciting...and it appears that high profile guests are planning to arrive in Lahaina soon, too!

We walked along the waterfront and enjoyed the beautiful ocean scenery and sunshine. We took a few photo opportunities at a huge banyan tree and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
On our walk back toward the Luau, we had some delicious coconut pineapple ice cream. (In case you haven't already realized, my vacation goal is to sample as much good food as possible...my clothes are fitting a little tighter already, unfortunately).

The luau was fabulous and I would recommend it to anyone going to Maui. We sat "traditional style" on mats, which was a little challenging for my almost-30-year old body and the open bar, but we had a great view and Joe kindly let me lean against him after I reached my 3-drink threshhold. The food and desserts were delicious and the entertainment was great. Joe loved the Hawaiian steel guitar in the band and I loved the hula dancers. We sat with a honeymooning couple from Australia (we felt compelled the Eddys' cautionary tale about honeymooning in Hawaii and bringing back a special sort of souvineer...Noah) and a family from (of all places!) Bozeman, Montana.More on our adventures tomorrow...

Friday, March 13, 2009

lazy day

Yesterday, I went to my conference and Joe picked me up as usual at noon. We headed back to our hotel, planning to go to the beach, but it was so windy, that we decided to take a nap instead.

Yep...we're on vacation. No pictures...you didn't really want to see my drool-soaked pillow anyway.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

another day in paradise

Being married to a farm kid, I have endured numerous agricultural conversations and experiences. I've alternately been bored, overwhelmed, or confused. Finally, some of it is starting to sink in and I've actually started to be interested in agriculture...(I'm a slow learner). So, yesterday, we decided to check out some items of agricultural interest in Maui. (And it doesn't stop here, gentle readers...Saturday, we are heading to the Second Annual Maui County Ag Festival). First stop: Surfing Goat Dairy, combining Joe's love of farming (and an interesting discussion on local water rights) and my love of goat cheese.
We found a parking spot reserved just for me and then we headed out on a tour of the dairy. We saw the goats, newly dehorned kids, the milking station and the cheese making room.
Then--my favorite--we sampled and bought goat cheese. And some fabulous soap. The great news is the dairy ships stateside, so I can enjoy these fabulous Maui discoveries even when I get back to cold Idaho Falls.After our tummies were filled with delicious goat cheese, we headed further up the mountain toward Ali'i Kula Lavendar farm. It was cold, so we got a cup of lavendar coffee (delicious!) and walked around the grounds.
Joe took some photos of our surroundings...I took some photos of him.
We were so high in elevation we saw people paragliding down the hill and we also got a great view of Maui below us. After being in the cooler mountain air, I was ready to warm up, so we headed back down toward the beaches.

On the way home, though, we had to stop and pick up Joe's requested Hawaiian souvineer: a ukelele. He was so excited that I had to drive back to the hotel so he could play his ukelele right away! It's nice to have a musically gifted husband; we turned off the radio and he played while I sang.

And, to cap off our day, we went to a slack key guitar concert in Kapalua. We were the youngest people there. Not even kidding. In fact, at one point, Joe thought there was a problem with the sound system because there was some feedback. I pointed out it wasn't the sound system...it was the audience's hearing aids feedbacking. Yep...we (well, my husband) were born in the wrong generation. But, the music was amazing and the band had a great ukelele player, so Joe picked up a few licks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

inclement weather

We've been suffering through Maui's inclement weather, as the locals are calling it. It's slightly windy, in the 70s-80s and partly cloudy...if they are calling this inclement, I wonder what they would think about Idaho Falls???

I'm attending a conference in the morning, but our afternoons are free, so Joe and I headed down to the Shops at Wailea and did a little shopping. I bought Sam and his cousins these awesome swimsuits that have a swim diaper already in them. Then, we ate ice cream and strolled along the beach. Sadly, we weren't wearing our suits, so we had to head back to our hotel.
We realized it was our 5 1/2 year anniversary this Friday, so we decided to celebrate by heading over to the Pineapple Grill for a fabulous dinner. Their pineapple upside down cake is to die for! We met another (older) couple who offered to take our pictures. I guess we must have looked pretty lovey-dovey...they asked if we were on our honeymoon. :)

After a nap today, we're going to head down to the beach and then head out to hear a steel-guitar concert this evening.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

we made it!

We spent the night in Salt Lake last night and headed to the airport early this morning. After a tearful good-bye to Sam (my tears, not his) as he boarded his flight to Spokane with Tancie, we had some time to kill before our flight left. While hanging around the airport, we ran into some old friends: Collin, a college classmate of Joe's, and Bill & Kathy Neumayer, some friends from Lewiston who were (ironically) returning from Hawaii.

Finally, it was time to board our plane and...seven hours later...we're here in Maui! We'll hopefully keep you abreast of our Hawaiian adventures with some pictures to come. Until then, let me share some random pictures of our week last week with you:Have you ever seen cuter baby buns? I think not.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Well-read?

The BBC suggests that most people will have only read six of these books. I stole this list from my friend, Deanna, who'd read 26 of the following titles. (An asterisk indicates titles read).

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien*

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (4 of them)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee *

6 The Bible *

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte *

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell*

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens*

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott *

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy* (Joe says, "Is there anything more depressing than a Thomas Hardy novel?". Jen liked the book.)

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien*

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald *

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck *

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis *

34 Emma - Jane Austen*

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen*

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis *

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden*

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell* (Jen is currently reading this, but is going to count it anyway).

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown * (One of these things is not like the others...what is this doing on this list???)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez *

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery *

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding*

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen*

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens*

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley *

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez* (Jen is currently reading this, but is going to count it anyway).

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck *

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tart

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas* (Joe says, "What self-respecting boy hasn't read this?")

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville*

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett *

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce*

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens*

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White *

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom*

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle*

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad*

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole* (Joe says, "Don't waste your time.")

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas*

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare*

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl *

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo*

I've read 33. Joe has read 20. Joe and I thought it'd be fun to do together and, combined, we have read 41 of these titles.

How about you?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Interview Me (part five)

5. I've never met someone as close to their mother as you (and your sister). How do you maintain that relationship?

There was a time when I felt like we were all too close. That my mother was too involved in my life. I even wrote a paper about in one of my psychology classes and my professor described our family as “enmeshed”. I attempted to give us all a little more distance once I got married since Joe’s family tends to be a little more private. But, you can’t fight nature. After many discussions about how my mom needed to “let go” and let her adult children be adults, I realized I am (mostly) blessed to have a close relationship with her. We talk on the phone almost every day. We visit each other about every 6 weeks. My mom thinks I’m too sensitive and I think she doesn’t listen to my feelings until I get upset. When something bothers one of us, we fight about it and then get over it. We’ve had a few big fights that result in scheduled meetings to discuss the best way to resolve our conflict so we can continue to be close. Sometimes, Amy mediates. Sometimes, I just call Amy to “tell on” our mother. It all works out. I guess we’ve all realized that we’re in this for the long haul, so we might as well get along. It works out most of the time.

Amy and I were born close. We fought, as all siblings do, but were always each other’s best friends. I can tell her anything. We talk once or twice a day and email daily, too. I miss living so far away from her. The only other time I’ve lived this far away from her was when she lived in Mexico for two quarters; that’s when I fell in love with Joe, in part, because I didn’t have Amy to share everything with. So, I shared everything with Joe and we grew closer together…and the rest is history. When I got married, we made a pact that we would always celebrate our birthdays together, no matter what. The one with the youngest children didn’t have to travel. Since then, we’ve revised the pact, so we don’t have to celebrate our actual birthday together, but we do have to have a birthday celebration together. Having a twin is the best thing ever and it makes me so excited for Amy’s twins, Kate and Glory, as they grow up.

If you would like to join in on the interviewing party, follow these directions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me”.

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (And you don't have to include pictures.)
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Interview Me (part four)

4. Share with us some of the best perks about being a twin.

You have a built in friend, always…like when you go to a party and don’t know anyone or move away to college.

If you need a baby picture for a school project and can't find one of you, you can always turn in one of her.

You have someone who will always be honest with you and tell you the truth, even when it hurts.

You can share clothes…this used to apply to our regular wardrobes, but now extends to maternity and nursing wear so we can cycle back and forth.

Only one of you has to try on clothes when you are clothes shopping (unless one of you is pregnant, nursing, or still hanging on to baby weight).

You have someone who has known you your entire life and knows all your funny stories. This gives you an inside track to victory when you play games like Guesstures or Mad Gab…I say one word and she knows the right answer.

You can nurse each other’s children. Don’t be weirded out. Our kids are genetically half-siblings.

Your kids look similar.

She always understands your feelings, even when no one else can.

One word can lead to wet-your-pants-giggles. It feels so good to laugh like that…except for the whole wetting-your-pants thing.

You can mess with each other’s boyfriends (and, later, their husbands) who can’t tell you apart over the phone.

You have a special kinship with other twins. Like one of my patients will mention a twin and I’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m a twin, too”…instant friends.

You always have a good time together and miss each other when you are apart. I used to miss her so much when one of us had to stay home sick from school. I still miss her every day and wish we lived closer to each other.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Interview Me (part three)

3. What was the biggest surprise of motherhood?

The biggest surprise of motherhood, for me, is simply how much I love being a mom. Sam was a much-longed for baby. In fact, that is the reason behind his name (after Samuel in the Bible, whose mother Hannah prayed for a baby and said she would turn him over to God if she had a baby). We lost a baby at 11 weeks in 2006 and struggled to get pregnant again until we finally got pregnant with Sam. Our pregnancy was difficult and I wondered if any baby could be worth such misery, but as soon as Sam was born, I was in love with my wonderful son.

Sam has been a true gift. He is a joyful, easy-going guy who loves to laugh and play. He reminds me every day about the simple joys in life: discovering new things, giggling his silly giggle when he finds a fun new game, snuggling up for a hug and then breaking away to go exploring again. I see God every day in my son and he has been the best thing for renewing my faith.

We have gone through the trials that every new parent goes through: sleepless nights, feeding difficulties, conflict over parenting philosophies. But, I have embraced all of those struggles as part of my experience of motherhood. I expected to be crankier about it all. I expected to have some regret for losing my old life of sleeping in and spontaneity. I expected to have some disillusionment as my life seems to have shrunk somewhat: my life revolves around my husband and son. I enjoy my work, but my career is no longer at the forefront of my priorities, and each decision I make about life is always made in light of what is best for my family.

I guess what I’m saying is that before I became a mother, I didn’t have as much respect for the vocation of motherhood as I should have. And, I have been so pleasantly surprised at how blessed I feel every day to be a mom.

On a lighter note, another big surprise about motherhood: how much I hate pumping.