Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Untested Virtue.

My two very curious kids have been asking me some pretty tough questions lately.  I've already gotten the questions like "how did Spencer put the baby in your tummy, Mama?" and "well, how will the baby come out?"  I'm totally fine answering those questions in scientifically, yet age-appropriate ways, and the kids seem to be cool with the answers I've given.  The questions I haven't been prepared for, though, are things like my 3 year old son asking me, "who made the world, Mama?" and my daughter following up with "but who put the stars and the sun and the moon in the sky?"  I of course can't give my 3 and 5 year olds an answer about cosmos and nebulas and supernovas and the Big Bang Theory because 1) they won't understand it which will leave them confused and frustrated and 2) I don't even have a good grasp of what that all means.

I am not a religious person.  I was not raised religious, and never grew up in a church.  I dabbled in going to church in middle and high school, when my friends and I found a Unitarian church that we were pretty intrigued by.  It was a welcoming place, but I never gave much thought to the things I was actually learning in the youth group, so my takeaway was next to nothing, except that church wasn't as bad as I'd always imagined.  When I went away to college, I jumped head first, full speed ahead into the church.  I knew very few people when I started at Coastal Carolina University, so I tagged along with my then-fiance's sister and her roommate, and I found myself going to weekly meetings at a group called Refuge.  This is where I got my first real introduction to Christianity.  I went to a Methodist church every Sunday, and actually felt very at home there.  I came very close to getting baptized, and had a very few real moments of "wow, I think I actually believe in this stuff".  I remember one specifically when I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, on the phone with a friend named Aaron.  We were discussing my recent breakup with my fiance, and he was trying to be encouraging.  I flipped open the bible (my very first bible) that I had recently been given, and the first passage I laid eyes on gave me exactly the guidance and answer that I'd been seeking.  I can't remember the passage now... I wish I could, but I remember thinking, "did that really just happen?" and wondering if, truly, there was a God looking out for me.

Fast forward a few months, and I fell away from it all.  I began to see the very judgmental sides of some of the friends I had made in the Christian community, and in the end, it disillusioned me to it all.  I felt like I was in an all-or-nothing community, where I had to be a bible-thumping, God-fearing, Jesus freak.  Questions weren't allowed here, and I fell away from it just as soon as I'd fallen into it.  Since then, I've never revisited it much, except inside of my own head. 

I remember expressing to my ex-husband how much I wished that we could raise our kids in the church.  I'd seen my friends growing up who had friends from birth onward that they grew up together in the church with, and I always felt some serious jealousy.  I was envious of that beautiful community that they were all a part of.  At the end of the day though, I've never been able to really commit myself to believing in the higher power that the majority of the world has such faith in.  I'm a big proponent of "you have to see it to believe it", and since I've never seen any such proof, I can't seem to wrap my head around it.  I would love to, and I have such envy for people who can have that unwavering faith, but I guess I'm not one of those people, even if I desire to be. 

Anyway, I'm at a loss as to how to answer the questions.  Do I answer them the way I want to answer them, even if I have no faith to back that up?  Or do I answer them by stalling and giving as best of a scientific answer as I can, which, thus far, has been a lot of "I don't know"?  The kids' dad is not religious, by any means, and he hasn't had much input as to what we tell them.  On the other hand, Spencer does believe in God and always has, and I wonder then what we will tell our child together, if we have differing beliefs. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daddy's Girl.

      I have to say that I feel like the luckiest lady in the world when I think about my sweet family.  Spencer and I found out last week that we are having a sweet little girl in July.  I wasn't sure if I had a preference one way or the other, and honestly thought that I'd kind of wanted another little boy.  But when the ultrasound tech told us that it was "definitely" a girl, I felt my heart swell up and I was just so excited.  I am ecstatic that I am growing a little girl inside that is Spencer's little girl.  I see the way he treats my daughter, and he is a wonderful role model.  He builds her up, uses unbelievable amounts of patience, and always manages to be convinced by her to read just a few more pages at bedtime.  I think it's safe to say that she's fairly tightly wrapped around his finger, even if he's only her stepfather.  I am so excited to see him with his own daughter in just a few months. 
      Spencer has been so excited since the ultrasound last week, and sometimes it seems that if he's not at work, then his nose is in the baby name book.  We do have a name picked out that we are pretty set on, but not set enough that we have announced it to the world.  It seems pretty perfect for our girl, and is comprised of a name that I chose and a name that Spencer chose. I think finding out the sex of the baby was what he needed to get really excited about the impending arrival.  I imagine the pregnancy will only fly from here on out, and before we know it, we'll be staring at a list of must-haves and realizing that we've only got a few weeks left until The Day.  All we can do at this point is to sit back and enjoy the ride from here on out.  It seems like it's going to be a fast one, no doubt.

Monday, February 9, 2015


In a couple of days, Spencer and I will be just about halfway, give or take a few days, to meeting our little boy or girl.  I am 19 weeks and 4 days today, but July 2nd still seems a long way off yet.  We find out the sex of the baby a week from today, and I am definitely ready to get another peek at our little one.  Aside from wanting to know if I'm carrying a little brother or sister in there, I am looking forward to the ultrasound to see the growth of the baby, to ensure that all of the necessary parts are present and accounted for and working just as they should.  So far, all prenatal testing has come out just fine, but the anatomy scan is always helpful at easing my mind.  Instincts have told me all along that I am carrying a little girl, but I've been so sure that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if a boy was in there just to give me a little surprise.  Like all parents, I'll be happy either way, and honestly don't know if I have a preference for one sex over the other.  My girl, Cori, is a handful and a diva, and honestly, the thought of battling it out with two girls sounds mildly terrifying.  That said, a girl would be neat to even out our two boys and one girl, and to give Spencer the pleasure of raising a little girl all his own.  On the other hand, boys sure are sweet, and tend to be so much easier... at least in my experience.  Either way, I am so excited to find out next week, and truly can't wait.  We have a lot of pretty solid candidates for baby names, but haven't settled on anything definite for either boy or girl.  While I find it hard to believe that I'm already halfway done with this pregnancy, I also feel like I've been waiting forever for the mid-point anatomy scan.  I'm in no rush to the end of the pregnancy by any means though.  I am pleasantly happy with keeping this little one growing on the inside for as long as he or she needs me to.  Babies are, after all, much easier on the inside than on the outside. :)

We have been living in our new house for about two weeks now, and I am in love with it more and more as we settle in.  It is becoming our home, and I am beginning to imagine what it will be like to bring a new little one home here.  The kids are thriving in the new house, loving the extra space inside and out.  Fox is picking up on potty training all of the sudden, and seems to be getting very excited at the prospect of being a big brother.  When we ask him, he insists he'll be having a baby sister, and Cori and Avery seem to think the same thing.  Fox will be transitioning from daycare to K3 soon, and I wonder how that, as well as a new baby, will affect him.  He seems to have really come around to me finally, and doesn't cling to Spencer's side like he did for so long when we first moved in together.  Life with two different homes is all he knows anymore, just like Cori and Avery.  Speaking of - Cori and Avery are both doing wonderfully in K3 and K4, and have surpassed what they were supposed to learn this school year.  Cori spends her days drawing and writing constantly, and I imagine she is a born writer.  My question is what to do with the stacks and stacks of books and papers and drawings that she produces every single day.  I imagine at this rate, our entire attic space will be filled with boxes of Cori's artwork.  Soon, she'll be reading I know, and I'm sure we'll never be able to get her to stop from there, which is just fine with me.  Avery has come out of his shell a lot this school year, and while he still clings to me some mornings at drop off, he has gained a lot of independence.  The three of them together get on quite well, but certainly have their sibling rivalry going for them.  Cori and Fox like to gang up on Avery sometimes, but ten minutes later, Fox and Avery are racing trucks around their bedroom floor, and Cori is screaming from across the hall that no boys are allowed in her room.  Ah, kids.

I often wonder how in the world I so quickly found myself here in life, mother to a 3 and 5 year old, stepmom to a 2 year old, and expecting a new baby with my soon-to-be 2nd husband.  Life sure is funny, and really has no way of letting you know what's going to happen down the road, but it sure is a blessing.  I am grateful every morning when I wake up that I wake up next to a man that I feel is surely the mate to my very soul, and that just down the hallway, we have the most wonderful bunch of children amongst ourselves.  I hope I can always find myself in a moment like this, admiring where life has brought me, and appreciating the tough times that always lead to something greater.