Photographs

Her pictures are an incredible gift.

I have placed them throughout my home and in moments of struggle or frustration I find my eyes fixed on them.

Yesterday, amidst the busyness of life in our home, I was notified that our wedding was featured on Spoken Bride.

Robin’s photographs again appeared when I most needed the reminder.

There are some days more precious than words could ever describe; praise God for the Robin’s in this world who capture them with a camera.

http://www.spokenbride.com/blog/2018/5/16/heather-matthew

 

 

Birthday letter #1

Dear Sydney,

You are 11!

This year has been a joy. I’ve enjoyed every second, learning about who you are, what makes you tick.

The learning isn’t over. We get to spend the rest of our lives figuring each other out.

What I have discovered is that you are one hardworking, young woman.

Your dedication to schoolwork is incredible.

You have boundless energy. How do you manage to spend hours jumping on the trampoline after school and never get tired?

You’re motivated to try new things and you have a bit of wanderlust. I can’t wait to share that with you. There are places I want you to see and places I want us to discover as a family.

I love how you always offer to do Zoey’s hair in the morning,

the way you appreciate order,

how you put up with my stories,

and your newfound love of Kevin Henkes books.

But mostly I just love having this front row seat, watching you grow.

Thanks for hanging out with me this year, for putting up with me through all the transitions of the last 12 months and for making your daddy who he is today. No doubt Syd, you as the first-born played a special part in making him the man he is.

I love you so much.

I look forward to your new year.

Happiest of birthday’s beautiful girl.

Love,

Heather

P.S. of course you get your own birthday song. I promise I’m not going anywhere. Just hold on, this is home.

 

 

 

 

 

One

An engagement, a wedding, two homes sold and one purchased, a year come and gone since that evening.

A good Friday service, then to a local bar for dinner and music, and twelve months later we sleep with our six girls under one roof,

nearly six months into our marriage.

On that night if you were to have told me where we would be today, I would have believed you.

My heart knew.

It wasn’t just that evening of laughter and good conversation that led me to know he was the one.

Four years of work lead up to that date.

Relationships with others that helped me to learn.

Nights of prayer.

Lord, I give up. I place this in your hands.

When it was time, Matthew arrived.

Finally unencumbered by the “stuff” that weighs one down, we only needed the minutes alone together to know this was the start of the grandest adventure.

Many a night now I fall asleep mid prayer.  He and I whispering words while children sleep in rooms above.

Matthew says I take a deep breath and he knows then he has lost me to slumber. On those nights he finishes the prayers for both of us.

A broken women’s prayers all those years ago, answered now in the form of a man who speaks her prayers when she cannot.

Grateful.

 

 

 

Home

“It’s just a house”, Sid reminds me.

People make a place a home, not the walls or windows.

Yet these walls provided shelter, these windows light.

As the boxes are packed and a new house takes shape, I am reminded of the blessings of the place we leave behind.

A house that had been purchased to raise a family of five.

It rather quickly became a shelter for four.

Straddling the world of what was and what is, a daily, tangible reminder of possibility.

I could raise these girls here.

I could pay the mortgage, change the air filter, mulch the beds, clean the house and still dance in the kitchen.

Late nights spent sitting on the cool tile of the bathroom floor, holding back little girls hair as sickness overwhelmed them. I could parent alone.

Days listening to the sounds of laughter as my children played with their neighborhood friends. I could find joy in the moments of my day.

Evenings, after girls were tucked safely in bed, when a knock on the door meant a visit from my own dear neighborhood friend. A chance to connect over a glass of wine and the knowledge that I was safe. I could share my fears wrapped in the cocoon of this house with those who sought the best for me.

On February 23 we will say good bye to what was.

A new world of possibility exsists in a place where a family of eight will take up residence.

He and I will now do this together. Maya Angelou quote about home via Hurray Kimmay Blog

Family

I can’t recall why all six had to be at the doctor’s office that day when only Molly was in for a visit. But a few weeks ago as I sat in my office at work, a text from Matthew stopped me mid sentence. A few words about the appointment taking longer then expected, a comment about how well the girls were enduring the wait and then this image

We stumble over one another quite often.

Meals can be burdensome with taste buds of eight taunting us with their differences.

Most mornings we debate the benefits of a sugary cereal breakfast that they will eat versus a warm plate of food no one will touch.

We still can’t quite seem to get an evening routine down.

But here, in this picture, is the image of what we strive for.

Bored out of their minds, leaning on one another and technology, they are a family, they look like the sisters God intended them to be.

 

 

 

To Blend

People often inquire now how the “blending” is going?

It’s simultaneously beautiful and hard I confess.

Grace doled out on a daily basis from husband to wife, girl to girl, stepparent to stepchild.

Like my races, some miles punctured with highs and others with lows, I find the hours of my days stretching out in the same manner.

The secret sauce I am finding is in the surrender.

If I recognize that so much of this transition cannot be controlled, if I lead with love, our new family thrives.

Nothing worth having comes easy my papa would tell me. How right he was.

 

 

 

Breckenridge

At first the thought of leaving seemed selfish.

Money had been spent on a wedding and a Disney vacation with our girls was around the corner.

But, if we didn’t carve out time alone now, then when?

After sifting through options it became clear that 4 nights and 5 days in Breckenridge, CO was where we were meant to land.

Twenty- four hours into our married life, we boarded a plan and found ourselves in the middle of those mountains.

And with nothing preplanned we made our way to daily mass where beautiful people prayed for our marriage then gave us some tips on good food and hiking.

Up to 12,500 feet elevation we climbed one day. My stubbornness almost got the best of us but this man, this partner, he’s my balance and his steadiness gave us direction.

We spent hours talking about our goals for the future, for ourselves and our family.

And when it was time to go, more gratefulness flooded my heart.

Happy to see our girls and ready for the real journey to begin.

 

People

These are my people now.

They love on me and my tribe in such an effortless way that it teaches me how to give more generously.

After five days together, in a sea of Disney, they still love me (I think).

A case of the “hangries”, meltdowns and tired legs (all of which were mine) and yet they have kept the invitation open for Christmas Eve at their house.

They are pretty special.

Not to mention they raised this boy into the most incredible man, husband and father.

I look forward to more of everything with these people.

Grateful that they are now mine.