2016: looking back

I never thought that my best year ever would include pregnancy and a baby. Feeling huge, waddling around, enduring a 100% natural birth at home (in a pool, no less), changing diapers, and blurry-eyed middle-of-the-night feeding sessions would not have sounded awesome a couple of years ago. I was perfectly happy being married and kid-less.

But now I can’t imagine what my life would be without her.



This is sappy mama stuff. Something that used to make me emotionally gag now gives me emotional and spiritual peace and fulfillment. Not that a baby fixes everything (believe me, they break a lot more things than they fix), but Rebecca fills a part of me I didn’t realize was wanting.

Other things have happened this year, but Rebecca Meagan was definitely the highlight. It’s hard to remember anything else, but for the sake of posterity, I’ll create a list of other occurrences:

  • We refinished a dresser. Our first real DIY project!
  • I celebrated my 5th year at Farmgirlfit, and started doing childcare on Wednesdays there.
  • Jordan & Kyah got married!
  • Esther and I started running YUM Meals, a monthly food service for busy families.
  • We saw the Piano Guys in concert (SO GOOD).
  • We took Becca glamping (we used an RV, so it wasn’t real camping) when she was 1 month old.
  • Jerod began serving in the high school youth ministry at Valley Bible Church.
  • Jerod and I both turned 28.
  • I ran my first 5K on Aug. 6, exactly 2 months after Becca was born.
  • My long-distance bestie, Cortney, came to visit and see the PNW for the first time.
  • I tried to make my own kombucha and it turned into a mold and fruit fly attractant. I didn’t drink it.
  • We did hydro-boarding for the first time on Cd’A Lake.
  • Sarah, Becca, and I ran away to Cannon Beach for a few days, and managed to catch the only sunny days that month.
  • My parents got a new chiweenie puppy, Henry!
  • Jerod and I read through the entire Bible.
  • Celebrated Becca’s first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Holidays are so much cooler when you share them with a kiddo.

Goodbye, 2016. I know a lot of people are talking crap about you, but you’re one of my favorite years. Stay classy.

A Mama’s Confession

Rebecca is 8 weeks old today. Two months in this world, and she has a knick on her finger to remember it by.

Jerod suggested we trim Becca’s nails for the first time, since they’ve been slowly turning into claws. I pulled out the adult clippers, way too confident in my eyesight and clipping abilities. In the back of my mind, I could hear my mom saying, “The first time I cut your nails, I accidentally cut your finger and we both cried.”

That won’t happen to me, I thought. Famous last thoughts …

My mama heart magnified everything that happened next. The speck of blood on her fingertip became a rushing river. Her heart was literally breaking in half. Her mouth was a chasm of pain, out of which charged screams that could be heard around the world.

All of these things, of course, are hyperbole. But my heart was breaking for my baby, and out of that came my perception. I hated that I was the source of her pain, however unintentional.

Rebecca’s tiny finger is now clean and bandaged, but I’ve never felt so incompetent to treat an injury in my life.

Living in a broken world sucks.

It means my daughter feels pain. It means she will feel sadness and her heart will be broken sometimes and she’ll know what tears feel like. She’ll get bumps, bruises, scrapes, and breaks.

As imperfect people, we will hurt each other. I wish I could save her from this reality. But in the long run, that wouldn’t help her grow. She won’t learn if I shelter her from everything that is a tic less than happy. And the mistakes I make will help me grow to learn to be a better mama to her.

And that’s where grace is so key. “A gift given we don’t deserve.” Even in our deepest failings, grace is there to cover the gap created by our brokenness. I can’t wait for my daughter to understand the gravity of this great gift.

Rebecca’s poor little finger is still knicked, and my heart is still pricked with guilt. But the Lord’s mercies “are new every morning,” and that makes my mama’s heart rest a little easier tonight.