Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Quick Getaway / Ode to My Family

This weekend I had a quick 32-hour weekend getaway on Amtrak to see my family. It's just a few hours on the train, and I'd decided to join my aunt from Chicago on her schedule so that we'd be riding the train together {makes the trip go faster and sweeter--we talked nonstop both directions!!}.

Even though it was only 3 weeks ago that I saw them over Christmas, I couldn't help but barrel straight into my mom's arms the moment I was off the train. Something about pregnancy just connects you with people in ways you never expected. 

I have never felt more connected to my mom and my sister-in-law Jeremi. Even my two nieces. It's incredible. The connection is surreal. I needed this weekend.

Because on the flip-side of all that, I've never felt less connected to some of my friends.

People, I can hardly put into words just how hard the past several weeks have been. I can't go into it now, but it really has been rough. I've been struggling. Weeping. Sobbing. Tossing and turning. Unable to sleep. Unable to control my emotions. Snapping more than I care to admit. Handling things poorly. Reacting badly when people insult me, my intelligence about raising kids, or give me mass amounts of unsolicited {and often bad, to me} advice.

Trying hard to fight for joy. To find my self-control again. To sift through the chaos and remember how excited I am about all of this.

Because it's just been that hard. I'm not proud of how I've acted but I'm praying for God's grace on me and his spirit to grab me so that I'm not so all-over-the-place at any given moment. God bless my incredible husband for his gentle love and kindness over the past few weeks!! He is one gracious man who has put up with a lot and done a lot for me and baby! I'm still so amazed. And I really am so excited about baby and all of this! It just slips away as the other hurtful, hard things slip in.

Anyway... so I'm really, incredibly grateful to have had this little trip away. It was too fast, but it was also extraordinary. Just what I needed to also be able to get back home and get some rest before heading back to work yesterday. Just what I needed to feel encouraged, loved, supported, and overly excited for again. Just what I needed to plant me back on solid ground again.

Just what I needed to remember to laugh, snuggle, and let things roll off my back. Just what I needed to remind me why I want kids and how we want to raise them. Just what I needed to remember that it's okay to forget other people sometimes and focus on the here-and-now, this is what I need to do because this is finally MY time.

I needed this time with my mom. Prayers and Scripture reading with her. Laughs and sweet time together. This time with my brother. Alone time talking about fears, concerns, excitement, and joy. Time with my sis-in-law. Even though she is a nurse and had to work a 12-hour shift on Saturday so I only got to see her less than 2 hours on Saturday night, but it was perfect. She sooooo encouraged me!! Time with my nieces. Getting to hear them pray at night for our baby, kissing baby, rubbing my belly, writing surprise letters for baby, and just their general joy and exuberance to see me and to see baby growing!

Time with my nephew who finally sat on my lap for the first time this weekend, ahhhh!!!!

Time with my Grandpa as he's aging and fighting more and more dementia and we aren't sure how long he might make it. Attending a special childhood event with him that may have been for the last time.

Sweet time with my aunts at this event, playing cards, and hanging out all together with Grandpa.

Wow - I love my family so much and feel so blessed!

Not to say that every moment was perfect as it wasn't and I wish I'd had more time with each of them. But I'm so grateful. So very grateful.

Oh and then there were the Wii canoe competitions... good times.

Leaving them was so hard. I cried Saturday night as I left my brother's house. There's something just truly special about all of them and this extra connection. Finally... after so many years. And they are all truly excited for us. That's what I really, really needed.

And I just had to share this with you all.

Because I needed this break more than I can say.

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