when september ends.

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hello from mid-october. here is where i usually write a little bit about the month, but the end of september just so casually slid right into october and here we are (except i backdated this post for the sake of continuity and future reference).

this is what my whole life feels like. each day slides into the next and i am forever playing catch-up. i feel kind of panicky about it, to be honest. i have a list of things i want to do and write and read and there never seems to be enough time. i am always falling short. it seems silly, because the pressure i feel is all put on myself. but even when it's a personal goal or expectation, it's uncomfortable to realize my limits and it takes extra effort to push back against what shame tells me i should be.

every day, i offer myself a little bit more grace. it's okay. i am enough. i have enough.

i'm trying to remember to just show up. to offer what i have. to just start. it's enough, for now.

september happenings

i moved out of my house.
i moved in to an apartment.

the belonging cø released their first worship album, cover the earth.

i started one new job.
i started another new job.
i'm working on a third. (what.)


THIS YEAR so far

january | february | march | april | may | june | july | august

charlotte | for jack.

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this trip, this handful of days, is not what anyone had pictured it to look like. what was supposed to be a trip for jack's birthday turned into a trip for jack. for luca. for T and lee. for my parents.

in short, jack spent eight days in the hospital, including three days before my arrival and all five days of my stay. what happened, exactly, is a toss up. a perfect storm, perhaps, of self-weaning and a sore throat and not yet knowing how (or why it's important) to drink out of a sippy cup and, later, not having access to outpatient services while still being an inpatient. whatever series of (unfortuanate) events led up to it, jack was severely dehydrated, without the ability to properly hydrate himself, for eight days.

i arrived late wednesday night, which was only a slight change of plans, but allowed me an extra full day at the hospital.

thursday was day four. what was new and fresh for me was four days stale for everyone else. this is, perhaps, why my perspective on it is probably so different. i had missed the worst of it. but i think it's also why the timing couldn't have been any better.

i arrived full, ready to meet their empty.

on friday, luca didn't have school, so i got to hang out with him all day. we went to target and got treats at starbucks (a coffee for me, a cake pop for him). we played hide and seek and watched his new favorite, tarzan, and colored pictures and made friends with a tiny lizard on the mailbox. we ate and talked and snuggled, just luca and me.

friday was also jack's birthday, so i went to the hospital for a few hours after dinner to give him birthday smooches in person. and, of course, take a slew of selfies –– as jack likes best.

saturday was another full day at the hospital.

and sunday was another day with luca.

we were fresh out of bed, waiting for coloring pages to print. bed head and sleepy faces and all, these are some of my favorite photos of us. (of him, mostly, because i'm obsessed with his face and his hair and his willingness to even take these in the first place.)

aunties and nephews who color together stay together. or something like that.

sunday was mostly coloring. even after we went to nana and pops' house for lunch (for TROLLS MAC AND CHEESE), the coloring continued.

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on monday, i dropped luca off at school and then went to the hospital for the day. monday was the day of progress. jack went from drinking 0 ounces and swatting away any attempts we made at offering to drinking 6 ounces out of a sippy cup by himself.

on tuesday, i went home in the morning and jack went home in the afternoon.

i think the general thought, and reaction, to the realization of what this trip turned out to be is, "oh, that's a bummer." jack, in the hospital for the entirety of my trip, meant split time between the hospital and home, between jack and luca. it meant stepping up instead of tagging along. and after all of that, i missed jack's homecoming by only a handful of hours. but i can't help but think, "oh, that was perfect."

i arrived four days in, as i mentioned, and i think the timing was perfect. wednesday was the only day that week with anything on the calendar, and i was tempted to call the mom i babysit for and tell her i couldn't come; she would understand. but i chose to wait, to keep my commitment, to be still.

arriving on day four meant i came with my whole self, ready to fill in their gaps. by day four, there were gaps. there was unraveling. by day four, extra hands were helpful.

jack switched hospitals on day seven, and i think the timing was perfect. it didn't feel perfect. it made the previous six days at the old hospital feel like wasted time, like they should have gone to the second hospital first. the fact that he was drinking, sucking ounce after ounce, out of a sippy cup within 24 hours at the new hospital, and discharged the following day, only added extra weight to that should-have feeling.

those eight days were draining, frustrating, challenging, tiring, heavy. the waiting was almost unbearable. i don't have any reason to call them perfect, except i know that god is good, that he works all things for good, that he's in the waiting. maybe we will never know exactly why the timing worked out the way it did, but i know it's not because we were forgotten.

as i pulled away to leave, to drive back to nashville, i got the text that jack would be going home that day––in just a few hours, and i think the timing was perfect. i came and helped out and filled in the gaps. i put in the work and poured myself out. i didn't get to see the end results, the turned page, after all the effort, but that's not really what i did it for.

my trips to charlotte are not for fun, they are for love. when i started making regular trips after luca was born, the thought wasn't to get more baby snuggles or more face time so i'd be his favorite auntie. it was never about what i could get, but what i could give. the thing that kept me going back was the need to make sure he (and now jack) knew my love. the only way i knew to do that was to show up. for diaper changes, for bottle feedings, for holidays, for birthdays, for soccer practices, for high fives, for back-and-forth trips to the hospital and bringing luca to school.

this trip was for celebrating jack's birthday, sure. but it was always just for jack. so what if it meant watching him eat blueberry muffins in the hospital instead of smashing cake in his face at home? i am always thankful for each time i get to show up.

books of 2017 | 004

the history of love (nicole krauss)

a fiction book! can you believe it?

it was added to my list after seeing this line quoted on tumblr, years ago: "once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering."

i finally picked up a copy at the library a few months ago, but after reading a few pages, i ended up ordering one from amazon because there were so many things i wanted to underline. it less about highlighting quotable lines and more about wanting to dog ear whole pages.

i was intrigued by the storyline––about a writer who wrote a book and a girl named after the main character––but it was her writing style that kept me turning the pages. 

love lives here (maria goff)

if you've read love does by bob goff (which you should, if you haven't), you've heard about his wife, whom he calls "sweet maria." she has now released a collection of her own stories about love, faith, loss, what it's like being married to bob, and being a mom.

originally, i got a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of the launch team, but i ended up buying a physical copy so i could mark up the pages. almost every page has something highlighted, as she shares lessons and advice i want to keep in my back pocket.

if you're wondering, like i was, about whether she'd print her phone number on the last page like bob did in love does – she doesn't; fittingly, she includes his phone number instead.


books of 2017: 001 | 002 | 003

favorites of all time.

JACK CHRISTOPHER | one.

dear jack,

before you were born, i was thrilled to meet you and also curious about what it would be like. i've always been good at math, but i couldn't quite calculate how two nephews would add up.

and then i met you, and it felt immediate and obvious. but i couldn't have known, before i met you. so much of it feels that way. i couldn't have known, before you, how much value you would add, how much joy you would bring, how much room there is for more. more love, more peace, more laughter, more challenge, more growth.

you keep me on my toes. you keep me moving forward. i'm so thankful for you, and still curious. i'm excited to see where you go next. i'm excited to go with you.

happy first birthday, jack.
i love you more than you love taking selfies.

love always, auntie sarah.
 

p.s. i guess someone should've told you the hospital isn't where you have to celebrate your birthday each year. let's pick a new spot next year, k?