Posts in May 2012

Happy Talk

Wes has been a long-winded talking machine recently – and especially all day today. Super duper cute!

Posted: May 28th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Big Green Couch

I love our green couch and love seat. So much happens there every day. We may be terrible in that we let our dogs lounge all over the couch, but it’s their domain. We spend a lot of time on those couches – eating, reading, playing with Wes, snuggling, fighting sickness and sleeping there when contracting every 10 minutes.

The couch is in every other photo taken, it seems. Photos taken when friends visit feature the green couch. We’re sitting, chatting, playing a board game or posing for a group shot. When Wes has a monthly milestone and it’s photo time, we usually start out from or end up on the green couch.

The green couch is now 5 years old. We purchased the set with leftover wedding money, and I remember squealing when I saw it. My favorite color. Green is the color of growth, new life and new beginnings. My eyes are sometimes green (when I’m wearing green). My birthstone is an emerald.

Frankly, it’s a pain to clean. Microfiber picks up everything, including dog hair and dog smells. It has its share of cookie crumbs, spit up and slobber embedded deep within the fabric. (It does get a deep RugDoctor cleaning every so often.) I knew it would become outdated quickly, since it wasn’t brown, leather or plain. But we got it anyway.

I’m so glad that Wes will have “that green couch” in all of his baby photos. So many memories are made on that piece of furniture.

Posted: May 25th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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A Wedding Story or “The Fainting Bridesmaid”

If you follow @StevenShattuck, likely you’ve been itching for the details about Saturday’s wedding.

We’ll get to that later.

Jordan is one of my closest friends from elementary through middle school. Freshman year at Ball State, by chance our dorm rooms ended up two doors down from each other. That year was filled with laughter, impromptu “movies,” music videos, discovery and just plain old fun. Her roommate, Laura, was another friend from middle and high school days, and combined with my bestie and roommate, Rachel, the four of us were always finding something exciting to do in Muncie. Jordan transferred to UT the next year and Laura and Rachel both left BSU the following year, so we look back on those days with fond memories. Even the distance from Tennessee to Indiana doesn’t keep us from seeing each other at least once a year. J is my gal-pal, and when she giddily told me about this guy named Matt, I knew I had to meet him.

They came to visit around this time last year, and I got to witness the true, innocent love shared between Matt and Jordan for nearly a week. I was pregnant and swollen and secretly hoping that Wes would be able to attend their wedding. Sure enough, just a few short months later, I got a phone call and photo text of a beautiful engagement ring. Jordan asked me to be her matron of honor, and what an honor it was!

Wes was a star. He was happy and pleasant the whole trip – even during the unexpected 1.5 hour detour, which made Steven madder than a hatter. He slept and napped well. He sported many smiles. Getting the Pack n Play set up was a struggle, however. The bruises all over my wrists are a lovely shade of blue. Must practice more.

Steven was great, too. He pretty much babysat Wes so that I could have fun. I’m sure Matt would have liked Steven to be around more, so next time I think we may leave him with Grandma. Note to self.

Laura, mentioned above, was a bridesmaid, as was Hayley, Jordan’s 15-year-old niece. During the rehearsal, we kept teasing each other about the possibility of fainting during the ceremony. You must realize that the ceremony and reception site was absolutely beautiful, but the balcony where the bridal party stood had little ventilation. It was down right hot up there. Laura giggled that she’s never been to a wedding where someone DID faint, but that it’s largely talked about and witnessed on youtube and the like. Wouldn’t it be fun to attend a wedding where someone did?

Once we were all in place and the floor was marked with tape where we were to stand, Laura and I jokingly told Hayley that if she needed to faint, she could lean forward on me or backward on Laura. We had her back. Good thing, too.

Now, I only tell this story because Hayley is fine & well and able to laugh about it now. Serious kudos to her for taking it lightly!

It was a wonderful view, to look down from the high balcony on Jordan and her dad coming down the aisle. In this photo, you can see the adoration on Matt’s face as he watches his bride. I mean, completely smitten! The minister’s words were fantastic, and the couples’ written vows made for a waterworks show. Just as the ceremony was starting to wrap up, Hayley put her hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I’m going to pass out.” At first I thought she was kidding, but I said, “I’ve got you.”

Everyone – well, nearly everyone – had their head bowed in prayer, which was great timing for all of the following events to happen. The bridal party were all turned inward to face M&J, and in the next moment, I felt Hayley’s chest on my back. She wasn’t kidding! “Ok, we got this,” I kept telling myself. I bent my knees and leaned far forward to absorb her weight as she indeed passed out. Laura wrapped her arms around Hayley so she wouldn’t fall to the side. It was a sight to behold, I’m told.

After a few long moments, she stood up straight and gasped. The prayer was still going strong, but I think that’s when a few family members and a couple ushers noticed the scene. Hayley said next, “I’m going to pass out again. I need to sit.” And almost instantly, she started to fall backwards into Laura. Her pretty face was getting paler by the minute, and we needed to make a quick decision. Team Laura/Leah sandwiched her again, and by the grace of God, an usher appeared on the opposite side of the locked french door behind us. He quickly opened it, and thankfully there was a couch right by the door. We laid her down and fetched orange juice. The prayer ended just as we got her settled! Surely Jordan was slightly confused why her bridesmaids disappeared!

I’m confident this event will get funnier and more dramatic as the years go on, and I sure hope they can embellish it to make a very unique and entertaining wedding story. So, Laura in fact, DID get to witness a fainting bridal party member! I doubt any one got footage of this encounter, and it truly is a shame. We were hailed as “the best bridesmaids in the world” by several wedding attendees throughout the night, and one even joked that he thought we were just “feeling the power of prayer” as our bodies bent in every which way.

The rest of the night went smoothly and was a lovely time. Matt and Jordan are meant for each other. Their love is sweet, sincere and full to bursting. It certainly is a wedding I won’t soon forget!

I dragged around my new birthday camera received just a few days before. I tried to be creative and artsy. Let me just say that it takes several days to figure out how to operate a new-to-you camera. I have plenty of awkward, missed-moment shots from the weekend. Dang shutter speed! (View them here.)


Posted: May 14th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

I Am the 1%

Here’s the long-awaited “working mother” post. I’ve avoided this topic, mostly, because I don’t fit in. I enjoy working. “Wait, what?! Don’t you have a kid?”

Facebook is great. I like keeping up with people and seeing photos of families and hearing of news that I probably wouldn’t otherwise. It also opens up all kinds of silent judgments, and for that, I often contemplate pulling back from social media. I don’t want to, so I don’t, but it comes to mind more often than not. Usually it just means I hide certain types of posts and be done with it. I know I still have that new-mom grace period so I’m allowed to post a kajillion photos of Wes everywhere, but I also wonder how many people have hidden ME because of it. Posts about wanting to stay home with children but can’t, posts about kids growing up too fast – all that – I just don’t fit in.

Maybe it’s because I have a job that challenges me and keeps me craving more. Maybe it’s because I love my coworkers. Maybe it’s because I’m working for a fantastic mission in the face of a cold and scary national reality. Maybe it’s because it’s pretty much my dream job. Well, I’m sure it’s all of these things to an extent, but the fact is, when I was pregnant, I didn’t think I would want to stay home fulltime. I had many people tell me I would change my mind, but I haven’t. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. Will Wes think I love my job more than him one day? Will it make me a worse mom?

Yes, my job is overwhelming at times. 2012 is my busiest year yet. Throw in a new logo design and launch, and you don’t have nails for the year. And yes, I am truly looking forward to family vacation in September and my dear friend Jordan’s wedding next weekend. They keep me going. Knowing that I have so much to look forward to keeps my pace. But I still don’t believe I would trade it for staying home. It’s possible my life may change, and I may look back on these times and think Past Me is crazy for not being home. And that will be another windy post.

While I’m on the podium, I’m also “weird” in the fact that I’m just not in love with the infancy stage of life. I know it’s supposed to be some of the best years – watching tiny people grow into little people in just a short year. Since Month 6, we’ve had much better sleep and a much happier baby, but I’m ready for him to do toddler things. GASP. I know, I probably will regret saying that in the near future. I don’t want to wish away his life, either, so I’m savoring what I can each day. But honestly, mothering babies is so competitive. Women are the worst, most judgmental people in the universe. And I know I struggle with envy of nice, rounded heads filled with hair on a mobile baby. Why does it even matter? ALL KIDS GET HAIR. MOST KIDS WALK. It’s not like Wes has a terminal illness. I am blessed to have THE cutest and most expressive kid on the planet (Mothers: judge away). And more seriously, I am blessed to have Wes at all.

All my needless worries about hitting developmental milestones melt away when I slap myself back to reality. Too many of my friends are facing some sort of fertility, pregnancy or special needs battle. And again, Facebook opens up a world of knowledge I wouldn’t know about people otherwise. Through social media, my heart aches even MORE for people dreaming and praying for strong, healthy children and mothers. How can I be so thoughtless?

I am the 1%. I’m weird and like working. I’m ready to tackle “terrible threes” (yes, I know it’s supposed to be “two,” but frankly, 3 is harder!). And I feel like the lone person in the world who doesn’t know how to best comfort and console a hurting, wounded or barren woman. However, I do know the immeasurable power of prayer, and you’d better believe my list is growing.

Posted: May 6th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 3 Comments.

Mrs. Robin and Baby Blues

It feels like such an honor to be chosen as the residence for a little robin family. I discovered the nest on our porch nearly two weeks ago, which was still in process at the time. I immediately squealed with anticipation. I mean, how often do you get to be that close to a mama bird and her babies?

She hangs out in our front yard redbud tree – a great escape, yet close enough to keep an eye on her porch-home. Usually she flies there whenever a door opens, closes, a car passes or the mailman comes to the porch. I used to worry about those poor baby birds… what if Mrs. Robin got too scared to come back to the nest?

But the last few days, there have been terrible rain and thunder storms. She has spent more time than ever cuddled in her nest. I’ve peeked in a few times, and as of this morning, there are four perfect, baby blue eggs just waiting to release new life.

Aren’t they beautiful? Seriously. I can’t wait for the next few weeks as little babies emerge from those shells. It’s amazing how mothers of all shapes and sizes know exactly what to do to care for little ones.

Posted: May 3rd, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

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