“I Have More Than I Can Hold”

I’ve been “updating the blog” with snippets in my head, you know, the “oh, I should write this down” thoughts that never quite make it to the computer.  Something about wanting to polish it all up so beautifully keeps me from getting it down!  What’s up with that!?  I’ve wished for a camera in my brain for awhile now, but wordpress should really invent a “blog this snippet” brain-to-blog feature.  Anyways, the theme of my brain-only postings have been when the sweetness of life spills out of me and I just have more than I can hold, so I want to record it.  It’s as if when it gets to beautiful that I’m completely saturated, I feel like I need to turn to writing to mop up the extras that just keep flowing.  I was chatting with my good friend Missy Lee on a hike yesterday evening with our kids and husbands on a cool summer evening.  We dropped back, she nursed while we walked, and we discussed how being a mom is just the most amazing gift–and we have thought that every stage has been pretty fantastic.  I am so honestly thankful to be here and am amazed and humbled that God allowed me a part in this walk called motherhood.

Tonight after an Applebee’s date with Joel and Liesey, I brought her up to her room to feed her before bed.  As I soaked in the sweet relationship that is nursing, the dimly lit room giving her enough light to play with my bracelet while getting her night cap, I just was saturated.  Saturated by the sight at Applebees of her diving in with both index fingers at a tiny piece of chicken and cramming her whole fist into her mouth in an attempt to eat the tiny morsel.  Overwhelmed by the sweetness of Liesey and Joel’s greeting routine after he’s home from work–big smiles from as far away as they can possibly see each other, power crawls/lunges towards him, her reaching out for his face, her little mouth enveloping his nose in a “kiss,” upside-down kisses to her neck and belly.  After our date she looked up at him to say goodnight, reached out and said “da-da.”   I took her upstairs and attempted a diaper change before nursing, and she cried in frustration saying “ma-ma.” This little person is communicating, and it’s so much awesome!  After feeding her we went to put on jammies, which ended in a “wherrrrre’s Anneliese!?” game.  She holds her little dress up over her eyes (or over her head, eyes peeking out beneath), then tosses it down.  I squeal and jump dramatically.  “THERE she is!!!” She squeals and laughs, a completely unpolished, un-practiced emission of emotion.  The squawk-giggle gets me to do it again.  Ten rounds later she’s starting to bore of me, while I’m still repeating with the same level of excitement to get just one more giggle out of that girl.

We sit to read stories.  Barnyard Dance is on the menu, and we scramble with the chicks and “cheep cheep cheep” her into smiles.  She tries to pinch the picture and talks to the characters “tuu-tu-tu-tu.”  Next comes “The Lord is My Shepherd,” a book from my Amish friend Martha.  Martha, the one who told me, eyes shining, while holding her newborn tenth child, “you know, every one is so very special and you just love them so much.  You might think that after ten they aren’t as precious but really, they are.”  “The Lord is my shepherd; he gives me everything I need,” the book begins.  As we paged through the gentle drawings and simple, powerful words, I was really struck with the image of the little pastel sheep eating lush grass and red flowers surrounded by a field of the like.  The simple words read, “you bless me; I have more than I can hold.” I looked at those flowers, more than the little lamb could hold, and realized that I really have that.  The moments, the memories, the sweetness of getting to walk with Jesus every day and receive his love and peace for my family.  Knowing that he is blessing my occupation as mama and Ezer Kenegdo: “one who rides to save” (helper/wife), and getting to live those is just such a gift to my soul.  Each of those little red flowers are moments just like the one that I was in.  More sweetness than I can hold.  Thank you, Jesus.

ps: To be sure, I was fulfilled by and blessed fully by God before he answered my prayers for my husband and baby.  I don’t think I’ve realized a greater level of wholeness as a result (some of the most whole people I’ve ever met were single and childless), but I’m celebrating that within this place that God has for me I’m finding an amazing amount of joy.



Daddy just hung a little swing in the yard (actually about the beginning of April… there is no green in this photo and it’s super green out now!). It’s my and your favorite thing (thrills for both of us!)  You’re so cute letting your “hair” blow in the wind.  Big, open-mouthed smiles make my heart happy!


First big ouch

Well, apparently you have outgrown your baby swing. Yesterday we were waiting for daddy to come home from work so we could get on the road towards Michigan for a wedding this weekend. You were past your naptime but I didn’t want to put you down because we were about to get on the road and I wanted you to sleeeeep in the car! I put you in your cozy little lamb swing as a diversion, because each activity was getting less and less tolerable to you. I was on the phone with your Nana and went into the other room to make some coffee for the trip when I heard a big THUD! My heart stopped and in that brief moment I imagined the worst but hoped the best… that it was just a really big toy that you had knocked out. I raced into the dining room and Koda had arrived before me. You were on the wood floor on your back with a very scared look on your face in that horrible silence before baby lets out the scream building inside. The terror in your eyes.. The confusion.. The pain.. I know I should have checked you over but all I could do was scoop you up and cry with you.  I cry now just thinking about it. You cried hard for that five minutes and I kept trying for about 20. Daddy pulled up with lots of honks happy to be home and all I could do was greet him through sobs and kept replaying it in my mind. I think it’s time to retire the swing, you little roller you!

Six Months!

She is SIX MONTHS today (May 14th, the day I wrote this post). I sang her “happy birthday” intermittently, and as usual she grinned with delight (she loves singing). It was a pretty uneventful day… she slept in an extra 25 minutes (till 6:25 am! yeah!) Really, just long enough for daddy to be on his way to work-leaving at six- and not able to bring her down to me. She ate breakfast in bed with me, played, cuddled and went down for her first morning nap about 7:30. Today was the warmest day of the season so far (90 degrees!) and we had a Dr’s appointment, at the end of which she was pronounced “healthy and adorable.” Fast forward through various other naps and play times and daddy got home! We laid a blanket outside and she rolled from one of us to the other, grabbing faces and climbing on us and blowing raspberries (and getting blown raspberries on her summer skin). As she clambered awkwardly to each of our faces and tried to grab our eyeballs (getting instead an eyelid clenched in her chubby fist… super comfortable), Joel said, hmm this would be a really inconvenient age to co-sleep, wouldn’t it?  Haha.   We watched the sun go down laying there together, till her coos turned shrieky to tell us she was ready for bed. A diaper change and a song by daddy later, and she was in bed. Happy birthday, beautiful.


She loves her carseat these days.  Her giraffe and crazy-shaking pink cow keep her good company (once believed to be tacky playthings by mom, now given a prime place in our family tree, saving her countless freak-out sessions and adding years to my life).  She talks to them, mouths them, falls asleep hanging onto them.


When she’s not sleeping with her hands adorably folded in her lab.  Ughhhhhhhh those chubby little mitts!  I love them!z6-17

She can sense the time that daddy’s going to come home and usually cuts that nap short (or refuses to go down at all… yesterday she played in her crib for 30 minutes before falling off!) Because… when he gets home… THIS happens.  Chest time.  Puffs of breath in her face and getting lifted around like an airplane with one of her most favorite people.  I swear she keeps an arsenal of smiles reserved just for him.

He’s shaking back and forth with his whole body here.  She does this dramatic face and eventually breaks into a smile.z6-26

When I go in to get her from naps, this is the face she gives me.  It is HEARTWARMING.  I slowly lift the shades and sing to her, then rub her little back and tell her what a good nap she had (my mom and dad always woke me up really gently and I still believe in it!)

She’s been lovin’ on her Sophie the Giraffe (gift from Nana) lately.

She almost ALWAYS wakes with boogers in her nose and down her face.  I never thought I’d get so good at picking a baby’s nose, but yes.  Record lightning-fast strikes are what it takes to keep her happy  AND socially presentable.z6-33

She loves her brother, Koda.  She’s so grabby lately, and he is one of her prime targets.  He seems to like it, and even when she’s grabbing something like, oh I dont know, and EYE SOCKET, he just takes it until I pry her little fists open and release him, then he’s back for more!z6-34

Rolling! Back to front, front to back.  The girl is drunk with power. z6-40

Check out this adorable outfit from when I was a baby.  They don’t make baby clothes like they used to!  The bonnet! I die!z6-42

Ohhhh those toes.  Also a hot commodity, like Koda’s fur. Wondrous little entertainers, and delicious to boot.z6-45

Be still my heart!z6-52

This face kills me.  She’s only sitting for about ten seconds at a time, but I’m so proud of her when she does!!  Mostly because of the way that it emphasizes her rolls!z6-55

People comment most on her eyes… so big and blue.  I adore their expressiveness.z6-58

She’s also into putting things in her mouth and seeing how far back they’ll go, then gagging herself. Sheesh girl, life lessons.z6-60

Dessert and yoga poses, all in one!z6-66

This smile lights up my WHOLE WORLD.z6-74

I was doing “Peekaboo” from behind the bed.  No shame in my game.z6-77

After our strenuous photo shoot, she napped for two hours.  She is often a back-sleeper, contorting herself into these flailing positions.  I think she’s gonna be a draper like me!

Video Catch-Up

I’ve been a little occupied in the last month..big changes have been happening in our lives! We’ve moved accross state lines… and baby girl is rolling over and growing and amazing us all the time.  I’ve discovered the glory of phone-to-youtube single shot uploads (easy, peasy!), so I’ve been uploading them as I take them… this post is basically a compilation! On March 17th, the day before the movers came, I came in to pick up Anneliese first thing in the morning and she was grinning proudly at me face-up, rather than from her tummy as usual!  Here is a video of her rolling over a few days ago:


We’ve got things up on the wall in her new nursery.  This balloon wreath was made by her Nana in North Carolina. She really has adjusted well to her new space…



She’s constantly got her fist in her mouth, or one finger, or a thumb… I see little bottom teeth about to poke through, and she’s helping it in every way she can!

She loves naked-baby-in-the-sun-time, and so far Wisconsin has been a lot sunnier than Michigan…. which equates to more time spent sunbathing! I took this one to show Nana & PopPop in North Carolina… and she added in her own special surprise for them 🙂

here’s another kick-in-the-sun preview. A back workout and vitamin D therapy all in one!

She did so well on the nine hour road trip. This was taken towards the end. She isn’t giggling often… only in very special moments and maybe no more than four times so far. I’m still trying to figure out what’s the “special moment” and contort myself into all sorts of crazy sounds and faces to get her to giggle. I have no idea why “tookie-GOO!” did the trick this time, but as you can see I spared no dignity at all to get her to keep giggling. It’s the most amazing thing in the world!

With the advent of a less-spitting-up era, she is growing chunkier and chunkier… I love it! Squeeeeeeeze those little legs. Yes, I have no shame.

There’s also a bunch of new verbal developments going on. She passed (thankfully) fairly quickly through the “squeaking eagle” phase, and now she’s on to spit bubbles and jabber!

I still love dressing her up like my little baby doll, and her silver sparkle robeez boots are still my favorite thing (and hers, I think! Her feet stay so warm!)

She’s been exploring everything with her hands lately (and shoving anything into her mouth). While Joel was changing her yesterday she grabbed his face. Of course, a daddy can’t help but enhance the experience 🙂

Rollong over

Lately, we put you down for a nap, you roll righr over onto your back and look up at us like this! I can’t help but smile, but it’s a little naughty 🙂 you can’t fall asleep like this very easily, but you can see a lot more of the world like you want too!


Nap Time Wakeup

Wake up from nap time (14 of 10)

I want to use this blog to record some of the little things that are sweet memories for me.  Anneliese takes several naps each day–some shorter, some longer, but each time she sings to me to come get her when she’s done (unless it was a short nap–she often can’t resettle herself after 45 minutes– in which case she wakes up with baby profanities being shouted).  I documented my perspective of getting her out of bed.  It’s a sweet time.

First, Koda and I enter her room (well, usually just me since Koda is a heavy napper himself, but he was on the ball today)

Wake up from nap time (6 of 10) Wake up from nap time (7 of 10)There we locate a singing little Tookie in her bed.

She hears me….

Wake up from nap time (8 of 10)Turns towards me with a little smile on her face and ceases singing….

Wake up from nap time (9 of 10)Steeerreeeeeeetch

Wake up from nap time (10 of 10)

Wake up from nap time (11 of 10)Her little eyes of anticipation.

Wake up from nap time (12 of 10)After she wakes up, she lays on me all limp.  It is the sweetest.  It is often short lived, though, since she knows that right after waking she gets to eat!  She soon starts rooting around and trying to get a meal off of my shoulder or shirt… soon I have compassion and hook her up with the real stuff 🙂

Wake up from nap time (13 of 10)