Saturday, March 18, 2017

.maya turns eight.

Today our precious Maya turns eight. This birthday is, without a doubt, extra sweet for us. After experiencing 6 weeks of nausea, Maya became acutely ill two weeks ago and landed up in hospital. An emergency visit first, followed by a second (and more scary) emergency visit and a subsequent admission to the pediatrics unit. After a barrage of tests and consults, it was determined that she was experiencing dehydration from an acute GI virus, but the underlying issue remained a bit of a mystery. They were able to rule out a lot of the more serious possibilities and we stand hopeful that she will be completely fine.
Those are the facts...the story of my heart and those days and hours with Maya are a completely different story. As I was pulling into the emergency room the second time, Maya was very ill. She was so pale...falling asleep if she wasn't vomiting..she literally couldn't speak. They rushed her right in and started treating her, but my heart was stuck on the lyrics to a song I had just heard. Literally, as I rounded the corner to the hospital, these were the lyrics playing on the radio:

And when a sickness takes my child away, and there’s nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You, I trust you Lord

Every ounce of me just screamed "no." Absolutely not. This was not OK. My response scared me as much a Maya's illness. I am a Pastor's wife, a worship leader...I've loved Jesus all my life, but in that moment, the last thing I could imagine doing was trusting someone who would let my child be taken away. That strong woman that I picture myself to be these days...she crumbled. Thankfully, I am not the author of my faith. I am not the author of Maya's story or my own. When I am weak, He is strong. When I can't believe..he still IS. 
We saw so much blessing through that week...we saw the immense love and care of our family and friends.When we were on the floor, our people lifted us. We were prayed for, fed, gifted, called, texted. We were so LOVED. The day Maya went to the hospital, my parents arrived home from Hawaii. My mom moved in (and my dad let her). We couldn't have done it without her. The most beautiful thing though was watching Maya heal and seeing her response to this tidal wave of care for HER. Maya really is a classic middle child. She longs to be seen and noticed...often shadowed by her pre-teen older sister, and her insanely dramatic younger sister. The days in the hospital with her were hard, but they were also so tender and special. We had so much uninterrupted time...just me and her...that would really never happen otherwise. We snuggled, talked, watched movies, giggled...she received gifts, balloons, visits and messages...and she just BLOOMED under all the attention. Spring came early for my girl.
Maya - we are freshly reminded what a gift you are to us. You are a difference maker in our are so special, and important and so very treasured. And though the only place I ever want you is within my reach, I am reminded also that you are in the best of Hands. I absolutely love that I get to be your mom. Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

Monday, October 24, 2016

.anna turns five.

A lot of people assume that as children of a photographer, my kids will have thousands of beautiful photos of themselves. Sadly, that is not completely true. Their faces appear more on our iPhones than they do on mommy's "big camera." However, once a year, we make an intentional effort to document their current age to the best of our ability....the birthday session. My girls have come to anticipate these sessions...picking their outfits, planning a location, and going for a walk. Lots of laughing, dancing, exploring and of course, a reward afterwards :) Anna was SO incredibly excited for her 5th birthday session...she knew how she wanted her hair, that her leopard boots were a must, and that a caramel apple spice from Starbucks would be the treat. And this is just how Anna is...she knows very much what she wants...down to the detail, and help be to those who stand in her way. Her latest aspiration is to one day be a policeman. Her reason? So that she can take whatever she wants from stores and not get in trouble. That's peace and a safe community are not on her mind; she wants to be a crooked cop. Sigh. But her little story is not over, and she is not completely lost ;) Her ferocity extends to the way she loves. She loves big...she loves her sisters, her grandparents and cousins; she loves Jesus and her friends. She loves me and her dad so much and frequently reminds us with words, snuggles and kisses (her current favourite is on the lips...trying to discourage this one). I know that I baby her too much...but she is my baby. Her lasts are my lasts. All my kids have had lasts...last nighttime feed, last diaper, last time needing to hold my hand as they learn to walk. But it is different with Anna...her lasts, are MY lasts. As she proudly and confidently walked into kindergarten last month...that was a big last...the last time I would have a little one as my sidekick day to day. There is grief in that...there were some tears. But there is also joy in it. Joy in the next season, in the little taste of freedom. Joy in watching her grow, and thrive and become. Anna Grace...I really, really needed sweet third girl. I needed to be your mom and I'm so glad for the precious five years that you have been're my little white whale on the go.

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