9.20.2018

Dear Marlowe // Five Months

 Dear Marlowe,

Happy Five Months! I can't believe how fast time is going with you. "People said" everything happens must faster with your second child and I can agree with them. Summer is coming to a close and you are growing so much - it is a pure joy to watch you grow.

The sleepless nights are over and you've settled into an amazing routine. We've said goodbye to rocking you to sleep (which has been sad because that is one of my favourite things) but you've learnt to put yourself to sleep by yourself, without crying and I'm so proud of you!


You love your sleep and have an amazing temperament when you are back to sleep within two hours of being awake. This has caused some problems because I don't always like staying in the house but I know you need sleep as much as you need food so am trying to prioritize that and keep Jackson entertained with being in the house all day. You head to bed anywhere from 6-7pm and sleep until 3-5am for one night feed and then immediately fall back asleep until 7-8am. You normally sleep for 13 hours in the night. Once I put you down at 5:30pm because I missed your last nap and that was the first time you slept through the night!!! You didn't wake up till 7am! It was amazing!! But I don't mind the one feed in the night because you go right back to sleep - however your Momma stays awake for hours. I've had such trouble being able to fall back asleep now that I'm rested and head to bed at 10pm most evenings.

You still won't take a bottle or a soother despite many many many attempts. We are going to start you on solids this month which I am excited about. Hopefully that prolongs the milk feeds when I have to do more weddings in the coming months. You still nurse every 2-3 hours during the day and then do a massive long stretch in the nighttime.


You love playing with your toys and are pretty good at rolling over. You have yet to be on your back and roll onto your tummy but you are close. You reach for toys on your tummy but still don't enjoy "tummy time" and can't be on your stomach for more than a few minutes. You love your Bumbo seat and have enjoyed sitting at the table with us and on the counter while Jackson and I do dishes.

You give us the biggest smiles in the morning or whenever we come get you from your nap. You are such a content baby and hardly ever cry (I think this is because of all the sleep).

At 4.5 months you weighed 14 llb 12 oz and were 65 cm long. You are right in the middle of the pack for your weight and about 80 % in your length. Your hair is still a bit crazy (sorry about this) and we call it the rooster tail because it always sticks up and I can't for the life of me get your hair to stay down. You have lost some of your hair but not to the extent of your brother, which I am grateful for. You still have pretty bad eczema and I will try yet another cream from the US this month to see if anything will help.


You cry when others hold you and aren't the most receptive to strangers...you just thrive when you are on a schedule with your Momma and able to sleep in your own bed! I'm not wishing these days away with you and can't wait to watch all that you will discover and learn as these months go on.

I catch myself dreaming of all the fun girl things we will do together and I smile so big thinking about it all. Yet, I want to remember these mundane ordinary days of baths, folding laundry and laying on the floor with you talking in an extremely high pitched voice.

Jackson adores you so much and still loves to jump in your crib. When you go to sleep he gives you the best hug and kiss and says "nih nih Mar Mar." It makes my heart explode seeing his love and adoration for you. He always makes sure I don't make any noise when you are sleeping and tells me to "Shhh" often. He won't play with any of his trucks that make loud noise because he is aware that you are sleeping. Too precious.


Happy Five Months to my Daughter. I will never be able to explain the deep love I have for you. I pray that I will love you with Christ's love and you would experience and begin to grasp at a very young age the love He has for you as well.

XO

Your Momma

9.02.2018

This is 26

Another year has come and gone and I love when my birthday comes around because it forces me to pause and consider. It always (yes, always) causes me to love the Lord more and sing His praises with more assurance - He continues to mould and shape me and reflecting on the year is such a sweet reminder of His goodness. He is a good good Father. So here we go...


Hello Twenty-Six. In high school when I would dream about my twenties this was not what I had planned. I figured I would get married later in life (early 30's) and work in the international development world somehow. I would live in a big city, wear my high heels and pant suit and fight for those who were voiceless. I would educate and rally people, bring people together on platforms around social change and work my butt off to change this world.

Today, I'm sitting in my rental home in a town that doesn't even have a mall or public transit. There are toys pilled up all around me and burb cloths that need to be folded. I don't even own a pant suit and I can't remember the last time I wore heels. I barley know what is going on internationally and any time I try to turn on the news my toddler begs for Daniel Tiger instead. I'm cramming this letter in between naps and making supper because I know once I get both kiddos to sleep I will crash and probably be asleep by 9pm with no head space to write this letter. I sometimes don't leave my house and don't talk to another adult all day. When Mark comes home (my high school sweetheart who waited forever for me while I figured out my life) I talk his ear off about theology, and everything deep because I have talked about garbage trucks all day. His kisses me and gently entertains my conversations even though he has talked about theology all day and would love to talk about garbage trucks with his son.

So this is 26. It is the best and each year gets sweeter and better.

After a super rough year for our family work wise, we both felt God calling us elsewhere - to more. We didn't know that telling God we would go anywhere and do anything for the sake of His Kingdom we would end up in Muskoka. We moved exactly a year ago at the end of August 2017. I was so sick being pregnant that I didn't pack or move a box. I didn't leave our home for the first few weeks because I knew no one and was literally too sick to get out of bed, let alone take a toddler out. I missed home, my family and my people who I had so intentionally invested and poured so much of my life into. It wasn't an easy start but Mark and I had utmost assurance this is where God wanted us and when you have the Lord tell you that - nothing else matters. You are content.

This year we fell in love with this sweet town as we began to learn all about it and its people. Our church is thriving and people are desperate for more of Jesus. Month by month we found more of our groove. We got our dentist and doctors and we decided it was worth it to travel to Bracebridge for the cheaper grocery store - aka we started putting down roots.  My husband has his dream job and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I gave birth to our baby girl this year in April and I can't fathom some days how good the Lord is to let be their Momma.


In chatting with Mark earlier this week about it being a year since we moved, I was having all the feels. I'm just so stinkin grateful that I get to live this life with my best friend, raise my kiddos and give God away to this world so desperate for answers and purpose. There is a phrase going on in the mega churches that says "we get to do this" and as corny as it, it has stuck with so many people, including myself. I get to be Jackson and Marlowe's Momma. I get to be married to be the best human on this planet. I get to serve at a church that loves us and loves people. I get to have a job where I don't need childcare. Grateful, grateful, grateful.

I still struggle with wanting a comfortable life and not laying down my life for my brother and sister. I am struggling with postpaturm weight again and have no idea what self care is. I still don't have any balance in my life - I'm the all or nothing girl and I wonder if that will ever change. Mom guilt is something fierce most days as I convince myself I am doing everything wrong and going to permenantly ruin my children. But JESUS. Each day I learn more about Him and His heart through His word, the bible and can't help sing his praises and fall deeper in love with Him.

This past year Jesus has truly become my best friend. He knows me so deeply, so intimately and is the first one I run to in the good or the bad. I've always wanted Jesus to be my everything but I still relied heavily on other pastors teaching or ran to my husband first before the Lord. But this past year I can honestly say that has changed. Jesus is so near, so true, so faithful and my best friend. I know we are all on our own journeys but I am so desperate for others to know Jesus this way. To be excited about spending time with Him and not feel like it is the "Christian thing to do." And I know that it is only going to get better. As time goes on Jesus promises to continue to sanctify us and make us more into His image. That process is painful and and strips down so much of pride, but wow, it is so good coming out of the pruning season and seeing fruit. I know this life isn't easy and everyone is dealing with such deep pain but I just know we are on earth for such a short time. I'm already 26 and this could be my very last day on earth - it is Jesus that gives me each day, each breathe and I just want to keep my eyes fixed on the cross to run my race well. I long for this next year to be one where I look back as I write my happy 27th birthday letter and say I was fixing my eyes on the eternal things- the things that matter. I know I mess up so much and hurt so many but I want to be quick to apologize and learn from my messes and move on because we aren't on this earth for ourselves.

So here's to an unbelievable year of growth, for putting down roots in a new town, for having another baby and loving Jesus more. Yes 25, you were so so good to me and I welcome what my 26th year will bring.

XO
Maddie

somehow in the midst of being super sick and moving I never published by 25th birthday letter but you can find my 24th letter here, and turning 23 here and even 21 





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