It's crazy that just over a week of non-blogging can make me scramble for something to write. But it's like exercise, the longer you stop, the harder it is to re-start. Speaking of exercise, I am so so so so ready to start running again. I am aware that after a summer spent solely eating and laying on the couch, plus birthing a presumed BIG baby, it is going to feel like pushing King Kong up Kilimanjaro. I don't care. I have picked out my running shoes and my running skort and I am even ready for the dreaded Publix hill that my friend Nomo uses to torture us. Feel free to link back to this blog when all I talk about in October is lack of sleep and how much I hate running.
Wednesday, we buried Vania. Newly allowed out to go to the grocery store or Target, I used my reprieve to attend her funeral. There were so many emotions. From social commentary like why black, poor women in Atlanta are so vulnerable to why an advocate like Vania was taken so soon, my mind wandered throughout the Mass. Tears fell only when one of Vania's biggest cheerleaders and our friend from the Gift of Grace, Maria, spoke about her life. Then I cried soft tears for a world that doesn't get to have this spunky lady in it anymore and for all the people I miss, having met the same end to the same disgusting disease. And then, sitting next to an also teary Sister Brunetta, I did as the sisters inspire me to do everyday. I prayed for the ones we still have. I prayed for Shawn, Antonia, Maria, Tawana, Rhonda, David, Tyler, Jackie and countless others. There's nothing more or better I can do.
This week has been full of small mercies that reminded me of all the good in my life. Prone to 7 days worth of a case of the Mondays, I struggle sometimes to keep "an attitude of gratitude." First I ran our car over a large median, the kind that looks like a small plateau to separate two lanes. I got it stuck and couldn't move, blocking traffic into the CVS. Multiple calls to Ross and my MIL went unanswered because they were grilling dinner. After 30 minutes of wondering what to do and listening to the sound of the underside of my car getting torn in two as I tried to move, our Alabama neighbor with an Alabama truck and Alabama tools showed up. It took him less than a minute to yank my car free, check the underside and assure me that there was nothing leaking and my car would be fine. The very thought of another big expense had me boo-hooing in gratitude. How my car isn't destroyed I'll never know but I do know everyone should have a friend from Alabama.
And just to push His point home, God sent another "hey, I'm here. Take a breath, would ya? moment." Yesterday, a box from Omaha steaks arrived at our front door. A full meal of deliciousness inside, I stared at the box. I haven't seen Kimberly since my last recital at Doris Martin school of Dance in 1999. We read each other's blogs and have communicated every once in awhile over the years. I know Kimberly has a beautiful heart but would have never expected her to reach out like this to us. The ways in which friends have blessed our family during this time can't be measured. I feel like a jerk for the times I've whined and complained amidst all this kindness.
Reason number infinity to show some danged gratitude came Thursday at the perinatologist. A new doctor, who I shall call Dr. McDreamy, saw me and declared that baby is a big ole 4lbs, 8oz, fluid looks perfect and no signs point to labor in the next two weeks. He suggested 2 more weeks of bed rest to be sure but thinks that after that, we can probably just "take it easy." I can also stop being followed by them and just see my OB. Can I get a Hallelujah please?! At celebratory lunch at Ross's new fav, Del Taco, I told Ross I felt like we'd just been given a silver star sticker. It was affirmation of a job well done for weeks and weeks of fear, life changes and sacrfices by us and our families. Now, when I hold that full-term precious babe in my arms, then we'll take our gold star.
Mary Kate is in a way fun stage right now. The upside of toddler-monsterdom is an explosion in speech and conversation. She just came in from a ride on the "tractor" (bike) with Ross and gave me a 5 minute recap on dada and tractor and helmet and "I ride, I ride!" By far my favorite phrase is "I hold you." Oh my gosh does that make all six pre-7am tantrums disappear. Last night we saw our friends the Johnson's. I got to snuggle 9 month old "Sloaney." Holding her while MK smiled and played with her feet and said her name over and over made me so excited and so thankful that we get another one of these creatures!
The last of the grandparent weekly shifts ended yesterday. We still have some help coming in next week but the big guns have left. We are all ready for a sense of normalcy around our home but Ross and I will definitely miss the eagerness that only a grandmother has to get our child out of her crib at the late hour of 6:10 am every day. I have enjoyed very few minutes of bed rest but I have a deeper, renewed appreciation for both our mothers (and our dads who survived without them for weeks at a time.) We could not have managed this far without them and that gold star I expect in September is as much theirs as it is ours. Living with people outside of your normal routine is sanctifying on everyone but I don't think a greater servant's heart exists outside of a mama.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!