This season

I want to remember you both as you are in this season. When you still fit snugly in my lap. When you curl into my side, beneath my arm, bodies warm and wiggly. When you tuck yourself in beside me. The sweet smell of your head as you are nestled against me. I cannot catch that scent enough. I cannot kiss that hair enough.

You love our bed. Both of you. I find you there so often. Behind the pillows. Under the covers. Sitting on the headboard. Jumping. Snuggling. Sumersaulting. Reading. Driving cars. We find your treasures, as we pull back the covers and put tired feet beneath cool sheets.

A remote control.

A handful of matchbox cars.

An atlas.

A red sock.

A batman mask. 

A toothbrush.

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Oliver, you have a world that is entirely your own. We catch glimpses and hear stories and have come to know and love its cast of characters: Gabriella, your beautiful imaginary wife (who bears a strong resemblance to our girl, Darcy), Olivia, Stetson, Clapps and Mapels, and the baby twins: Oliver Jr. and Gabriella Jr. With the exception of the twins, you have maintained your imaginary family for close to a year now. They accompany us on trips and adventures, they join you at your work, you often discuss what they are learning, and how you and Gabriella have to "consequence them" sometimes. When the twins were "born" two weeks ago, you wrote them each birthday cards, telling them how happy you were that they were born and how much you love them.

You have a daddy's heart.

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Still a lover of information and facts. Your mind is so like your Dad's. Most recently you have become fascinated with road maps and atlases. How often do we find you on your tummy,  pouring over a road map, perusing the names of the cities. How often do you grab Daddy or I and sit us down with an atlas, inspecting various states, making mental notes of their state bird or flower, asking us to find cities. And suddenly we are all much more well versed in geography. 

Also space. And the human body. I seriously doubt there are other four year olds quite so well versed in the digestive "sys-teem" as you.

Your mind was made for information and you are constantly mining for data. 

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Your heart, though. Buddy your heart. It is piqued by redemption stories and by The Redemption Story. Most often your line of questioning leads us back to the heart of heaven to a God who loves you and died for you and wants to celebrate with you into eternity.

You have so many questions (still) about death and heaven. It has been a topic you have continued to bring up since last spring. And your questions are deep, echos of the depth of your heart.

Will there be sin in heaven?

Will there be kids in heaven?

How do we get to heaven?

Do we have bodies in heaven?

What is the shape of a soul?

Some of your questions arise out of fear. And we are praying a deep peace for you, that you would be very held by Jesus during bouts of fear and that you would always invite us in those dark places with you and that we could look for the light together. Comfort seems to come quickly when we start imagining heaven together, and you seem especially fond of two ideas: One: that no one ever throws up in heaven. Because that is the worst. Two: That God's glory shines so brightly we won't even need a light bulb. 

I hope your room is right next to mine in heaven sweet boy. I can't wait to sit at that banquet table with you.

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Milo Chapman. You are a whole hurricane. Aggressive and unbridled affection comes literally pouring out of you. 

Your firm hands cup our faces, and pull us against your face. Forehead to forehead. Nose to nose. Mouth to mouth. And you squish your face against ours. Hard. Like really, really, uncomfortably hard.

Nobody loves a good face smash like you.

And that is the reason we have all had the flu.

Twice. 

Face. Smash.

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No one gives affection quite like you.

No one insists on affection quite like you.

Sometimes we hear you screaming from your bed: "MOMMY! 'NUGGLE ME NOOOOOOOWWW!!!!!!" It's not the warmest of invitations, and it's not always greeted with the warmest of responses. But I hear your heart, buddy. You want to be held. You want to be close. You want to be secure. 

Daddy says you remind him of me. Like a lot.

I can't really argue.

Lately, you've been telling us your tummy hurts and that you need to see the doctor. We suspect it's the antibiotic you are on, but the result is that you want to be held. 100% of the time. And not just snuggled up in our laps, but wrapped around our waist, specifically while we are standing.

All 32 pounds of you.

"I caweee (carry) you, Mommy." (aka: YOU carry ME, Mommy. Like Now.)

All the time.

If you had your way.

Your spirit animal is a baby sloth. 

There is a reason sloth momma's move so slowly.

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You have few greater than joys in this life at this point, beyond face smash and "caweee me" than your Lightening McQueen matchbox car, woe-bots (robots), your pacifier (which I am so embarrassed we haven't gotten rid of yet, but it is quite honestly my only bargaining chip sometimes) and "pway tackwle Daddy"(play tackle daddy). If Daddy is not available, you will substitute Oliver quite gladly. He almost always obliges you. And the fits of giggles and belly laughs as you crash into him and roll around on top of him is contagious.

Because your belly laugh game is strong.

You laugh HARD.

You cry HARD.

You love HARD.

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Buddy Buddies, we love you. We love watching you. We love entering  your private worlds and joining you in them. We love watching your personalities grow and knowing you more each day.

We are captivated.

We are praying so many deep, deep things over your hearts. That God would win, that truth would win, that redemption would win, that forgiveness would win, that love would win, that tenderness would win, that courage would win, that generosity would win, that wisdom would win, that purity would win, and so much more.

And we are praying deep bonds of affection between the two of you. And if that means we sacrifice a good mattress in the building up of that affection, we will gladly bear it. 

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Brandon + Michelle Newborn Lifestyle

Oh. Gosh.

This baby. This family. This room with a blue wall.

And this birth story.

Next to the babies, it's their birth stories that melt my heart as I step into my client's homes and document these early days.

The beautiful and brave work that momma's do to deliver wee babies into waiting hands. The depth of tender strength provided by daddies as they hold up their wives as waves of labor wash over them.

I cannot even. 

Brandon & Michelle, such big and beautiful congratulations on your sweet boy. May you be washed in grace and peace in these early days as you walk through the newborn exhaustion to love your tribe well.

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Cherrios.

It has been cold. And pale. And rather dreary.  

I have felt cold. And pale. And rather dreary.

Christmas decorations are packed away in grey tubs and returned to the garage and our Christmas tree was carted off, either by the trash truck or by the wind that has been sweeping down the plains (I can't be sure of which).

Things feel bare. And the monotony of the wash, rinse, repeat of motherhood feels wearing. 

Psalm 8 describes the majesty of the Lord filling the earth.

The volume of the Pacific rolling in towards the beach in Pescadero. The height of the Redwoods and the scent of Muir Woods. The staggering magnitude of Half Dome and the crisp, cold air surrounding each of the falls in Yosemite.

The majesty of the Lord has certainly filled California the Whole earth.

It fills California.

And also Oklahoma.

And also the space within our four walls.

The majesty of the Lord is here. When the dust moats are floating, and my house is tidy, and I am cuddling on the couch with my long-lashed boys.

The majesty of the Lord is here. When cherrios are stuck to the kitchen floor, and a tiny undie-clad bum is sitting in time out, and I'm wiping a tear stained brother's face.

The majesty of the Lord fills the Whole earth.

I've tasted it at the base of Vernal Falls.  

Help me to taste it in a bowl of cherrios. 

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