I’m thinking it’s time for an update. An Emerson update. A Fenley update. A grief update. A Lauren update. I read through some old posts the other night and oh my goodness, it made me so teary eyed and nostalgic and happy. So I really want to keep this whole blog thing going for my own sake.
Emerson Ruth (a.k.a. Emmyru, Emmy, Emmyroof, Emer) — this baby is a dream boat. 26 pounds, 31+ inches and off the charts in every category at her 9 month check up. She is a LOAD to carry. Not that I workout with weights but if I did, I could skip the upper body altogether lugging her around. I love it though. She poops through her diaper to her carseat about 4 times a week. She sleeps through the night. Baby food is our only solid food right now, simply because her mother and father are terrified of said angel baby choking. Her favorite foods are carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and anything mixed with any kind of fruit. But especially bananas. I am still nursing her and it’s so sweet. However. I think I may have to have an “I’m Done Nursing!!!” party when she reaches a year… lactation cookies NOT allowed. Champagne will be the ticket to get in. We took her to DisneyWorld a month ago and had a blast. BUT we were ALMOST in the red zone for a chaotic trip — she has really come alive since Disney. She’s almost on the move and I cannot imagine taking a baby on the move to Disney. OMG. All that to say, Emerson is so many answered prayers wrapped in one adorable chunky roly poly body. We love her and feel complete with her as our caboose. I cry regularly over her life and all that it entails — we all do, come to think of it.
Fenley Grace (a.k.a. Fennybooboochild, Fen, FenFen, Fensterella) — this child is hilarious and amazingly smart and has a killer memory. She is full of life. Sister loves to talk, loves her baby sissy, loves her daddy and loves her mommy. Fenley had a blast in DisneyWorld. She complained minimally and was not scared of one single ride. Oh wait. She was scared of a ride that wasn’t actually a ride — It’s Tough to Be a Bug — she actually said after it was over: “Mama, why did you get a FastPass for that ride?” Haha. Girlfriend has a mind of her own and is already pretty set in her ways. Which I have to respect — because I’m the same way. We butt heads a good bit because little Miss FenFen wants to do things one way and I want to do them another way, and you can imagine the rest. She lets me win about 50% of the time. Kinda kidding. She is starting K5 in the fall at the public school near us — she is pumped and so are we. We will be getting a raise and the school is LITERALLY half a mile from our house. And the school so far has been AWESOME. And they have school buses. Not saying she will ride it frequently but Hallelujah it’s an option. She gets in bed with us every night between the hours of 11:45PM and 6:00AM — gently taps one of us and says “scoot over” — pretty sweet. We are crazy about our funny, strong willed, bright, beautiful Fenley girl and hope and pray we are not totally flubbing this whole parenting/instilling values thing.
William Lamar/Grief (a.k.a. Wills, sweet baby Wills) — oh grief. What are we gonna do with you? Rocking along having a “perfect” (yeah right) life and then BAM. We get a diagnosis that changes everything. He would be 2 now. A perfect for us baby boy that we had the privilege of parenting for 15 days. He changed everything. Every. Single. Thing. Do we still struggle and wrestle? Duh. But geez. Things are just different. Was explaining to some friends — Disney was fun BECAUSE of Wills. Why? Because when you have had a child in your home that rocked your world and other people’s worlds yet he was on oxygen support and a feeding tube and never left this house after he got here — that stuff goes deep down and doesn’t let go. And when you have a healthy baby afterwards (which I highly recommend — if it’s not in the cards for you, PRAY FOR IT ANYWAY – don’t you buy any lies that tell you it won’t happen for you — I’m mad at the enemy just typing this out. Don’t you go believing that God doesn’t over deliver. And if His delivery looks different than what you had in your head, then check yourself in His word and GO WITH IT). Wait where was I? Haha. Oh yeah, and when you have a healthy baby afterwards and get to lug that chunky healthy baby all over the southeast, you get a deep down grin that NOTHING CAN STEAL. Treasure stored where it CANNOT rot or rust or decay. I. KNOW. THE. ONE. WHO. HAS. CALLED. ME. TO. THIS. LIFE. AND. I. CHOOSE. TO. TRUST. HIM. And THAT my friends is what has made all the difference. He has made Himself known to me over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and I will never stop talking about it. Psalm 9:1 “To be sung to the tune: The Death of the Son. I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all of the marvelous things You have done.” God has made the sweetest season of my life the one that required me to bury my son. I miss that season. I would do it all over again.
Lauren Masa (a.k.a. Mama Bear, Mama, Wifey) — I finally started seeing a counselor. Something I was overwhelmingly AGAINST for many many years. And then God 100% opened the door and then confirmed it. My counselor is teaching me how to guard my heart and take better care of myself – mainly my heart. Proverbs 4… guard your heart, for from it flows all life (basically the verse, ad-libbing here). I’m learning a ton and am thankful. He is encouraging and apparently I need a lot of encouragement. Which I am learning to be okay with. God made us to be encouraged by each other, not torn down or criticized. I’ve had more than my fair share on the giving and receiving end of criticism. But am noticing patterns and getting healthier I hope. I had a blast in Disney. It was an absolute homerun — in the parenting department, in the missing Wills department, in the relishing life department, in the marriage department. All of it. I really feel like God knew we needed some margin time away out of town and made it a really sweet trip for our family of four. And it didn’t hurt that we went with some of our best friends, the Davis’. They were around before our life got turned upside down, during (her chicken spaghetti sent me into labor with Wills) and have steadily been there after. I hope we are half the blessing they are to us. Dru has particularly been really patient with me in our friendship and encouraging and that makes my heart smile. I was having REALLY bad anxiety two summers ago at the beach (approaching Wills’ 1st birthday) and we were at dinner with them and she saw the worst of me and just loved on me through it. We all need more people like that. To sum up my days: changing diapers, carpool, feeding my family, baking, contemplating real estate license to help Walt, cleaning, planning imaginary family trips, looking at Wills’ pics and getting reality checks, reading, going to my counselor, binge watching Blacklist and New Girl, trying to diet, and trying not to be so hard on myself. I’m thankful for this season, it’s a sweet spot for sure.
Sometimes after I leave my counselor’s office, I am a bit too introspective. So I take it to the Word. Have been reading in Matthew… Jesus was so awesome. He loved. And He loved in truth. He wasn’t soft or cushy yet was so compassionate and warm. He healed people. He really changed people. He didn’t pretend we were all great. He knew we were sick and that’s why He came. Why do we try to say we aren’t sick? What’s so wrong with saying I’m screwed up by (fill in the blank) and Jesus saved me and is now sanctifying me. What a great life purpose. To just be saved and in the process of being sanctified and say to other people: “Hey! I know the answer to that doubt/fear/anxiety/shame you can’t quite shake!!!” I don’t think Jesus cares if you ever leave your zip code (sorry, David Platt). Sometimes He told people to GO HOME and share the Good News. The church is not some place where we get to pick and choose what happens or doesn’t happen, what’s okay or what’s not okay. We are simply faucets of whatever He’s doing — and you cannot possibly know what He is really up to without being in the Word. Jesus said ABIDE in me and I will ABIDE in you. What. A. Promise.
Thanks for indulging my little (long) update… please message me on here if there is any way I can pray with/for you or talk through anything at all – anyone that knows me knows that few topics, if any, are off the table.
Below… just some random goodness in the form of photography!!!
6 thoughts on “These Days…”
You know I love every bit of this & you so much! I miss you & our bible study. It brings me such joy to see sweet pics of your family. Keep these blogs coming I NEED them😘😘
Love you and so love your blogs !! Where will Fen be in school ? Barretts youngest,Anabelle, will be in K5 at Madison Crossing. Hope to catch you at Livingston some Thursday night soon for a macaron (or two) !!! 😃❤️👍
Hey Lauren, I really really enjoyed reading your blog. I had no idea you had one. You touch on some really great topics and give a fresh perspective on things that should be talked about more in our busy lives. You are a great writer. Keep up the excellent work .
Love this 🙂
You truly have a beautiful family. Absolutely gorgeous girls and little man. I know I’m a random human being but it really touches my heart that you posted his picture. I know that it must be hard for you to go though everyday but by the grace of God and your (clearly) awesomeness you hold it together go everyone. Today you have made me smile. Thank you. #mamaappreciation. Xxx have a great day.
I continually am encouraged and comforted by your posts. Thank you for sharing your heart. Although my journey is not the same, many of the same deep cracks are in my heart, too. I am thankful to know that the same Jesus who fills your heart fills mine, too.