sweet child of mine: benjamin turns 2

Sunday, October 20, 2013 | | 0 comments
oh sweet benjamin.

2 years ago to this day, we welcomed our little dude into the world.  it seems like it was yesterday....yet at the same time i can truly not remember life without him.

benjamin, you have always been blessed with the sweetest of temperaments.  even as a tiny baby, it has always been your nature to snuggle and as you grew a bit older, you began to grace us with the same smiles and laughter that fill our home to this day.  it has been this last year, though, in which your magical personality has really blossomed.  you have the greatest sense of humor and not only do you spend most of your time happy, you truly make an effort to try and make other people smile & laugh as well.  it's pretty remarkable, honestly.  you are a little boy in the truest of senses.....you LOVE trucks and as we drive to school each day not only do you have one in each hand but you point out all the ones that pass us by.  you love to run and jump and tumble....you put on quite the show the other night as you jumped in the air and landed on your bottom over and over and over each time followed by a hysterical new "maniac laugh" and i truly believe that you were trying to entertain the crowd! (and that you did!).  and, much to your mommy's happiness you, despite your wild boy antics, still maintain your love for hugs and cuddles (please don't ever lose that part, okay? deal?).  you are the best of both worlds.  you are the best of our world and we love you beyond measure.  you AND your sister who is clearly becoming one of your best friends.

and to top it all off, you are the spitting image of your daddy.  cue my melting heart.

you talk ALOT. in full sentences and say the cutest things.  you love to read and in quiet moments, we usually find you in the reading corner of your playroom reading a book (usually about trucks) aloud.

the issues we are having with your phosphorus levels and the bowing in your legs are working out.  i wanted to mention them here because this issue is NOT who you are but it is part of your story.  you are such a champ with your medication and make us so proud.  we met with the orthopedic surgeon on Friday who gave us the great news that you do not need leg braces and even better, no surgery.  you are going to meet with a physical therapist this upcoming week who will give us some fun exercises and games to play at home to help you run, jump, and tumble even better than you already do.  oh yes!

we spent yesterday celebrating you and all the unbelievable joy you bring to our life.  your grandparents, your aunt ellie, and babysitter turned member of our family + friend natalie + stephen joined in on the fun.  you ate LOTS of treats and got lots of love and attention (whats new?!).  you opened presents....your favorite of which was a new fishing pole.  you have spent the last few weeks wandering into the garage and finding daddy's poles so we thought this might be a good fit for you.  boy were we right.  this was one of the first gifts you opened and it was a looooong time before another gift was touched.  you danced and squealed and yelled to everyone, "look it! my fishing pole!".  when we tried to encourage another gift be opened....you ran to your room with your pole and shut the door!!!

sweet boy, you are just the most amazing person.  we love you more than you can possibly understand. you are our purpose and being your mommy is the greatest blessing in my life.  i love you to the moon & back and even more than that.

happy 2nd birthday, big boy.  here's to endless adventures to come!  love, mommy.

hitting the reset button : back from vacation

Sunday, October 13, 2013 | | 0 comments
i started this post weeks ago and never felt compelled to post it mostly because i never finished it but also because i didn't really have anything pretty to say.  it was just a rant.  a stream of consciousness vent session that i needed to have with and for myself.  


this one isn't going to be pretty.  and that's ok.  truthfully, i think i just need to start writing again or else my brain may just not know what else to do.  

i've avoided this post for weeks.  i've sat down to write only to hit backspace a million times....deterred by the fact that nothing i've had nothing beautiful or eloquent to say. by the fact that i can't make the words sound good or tie my thoughts together in a reasonable fashion.  it's frustrating, really.....as its the very thing i couldn't do that probably would have helped in these last weeks.

i've been in a funk and i'm not really sure why.  life is good and true and promising....but my head has been in a fog for the last few weeks.  the busy-ness of our life....2 very demanding full time DAY jobs, 2 very activeandbustling littles, a loving marriage & foundation to tend to, our SELVES to tend to...and all the other little things in between.....well, its catching up to me lately.  its overwhelming and hard and while i know we can do hard things....very hard things....i am just, as my grandmother used to say, plum tired.

i'm 31 and i am tired.  join the club right? i saw a quote a few weeks back...."adult life : if you're not tired, you are not doing it right".  i laughed when i read it....maybe i'm really not the only one.  the only one who crawls out of bed at 4:30 and back in at 10....with all the moments in between a jumble of caring for others (which i love) and gulping coffee (which i also really love).  sometimes i remember to eat lunch or dinner.  more often than that i get in a tough workout.  and despite my exhaustion i never forget to be mindful of this life, the health of my family, and all of our blessings.

but man would it feel good for things to slow down a bit.  for the whirlwind of life to just settle for a few moments so i could see through the dust and figure out just what in the hell is going on.  there will be time for peace and quiet someday...


...peace and quiet came.  in the form of an adults only trip to California for Ryan and me in honor of our upcoming 5 year wedding anniversary.  5 years married to the most wonderful man.  it has been a very busy, hectic, and sometimes stressful 5 years....but 5 years that i wouldn't change for the world.  we traveled to San Francisco and then onward to wine country.....Sonoma in particular although we did venture to Napa and some of the surrounding towns.  it was a trip full of fun, adventure, beautiful scenery (and of course delicious food and wine)....but perhaps more important than all of that.....a complete and total RECHARGE for us both. {i'll save some photos of the trip for another post. if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably gotten sick of them by now!}

we have both been nose-to-the-ground working nonstop for as long as i can remember.  deprived of sleep in a major way and trying hard to balance all the responsibilities in our life.  we do go on a weekly date night and, as all couples do, find ways to keep the romance alive despite not having all the time in the world to devote to deep and meaningful conversations.

but the trip changed all that.  we got to sleep uninterrupted and as late as we want.  we were able to finish each meal without distraction and actually got to talk about anything at all without the commentary of little ones in the foreground.  we walked streets hand in hand and remembered what complete and total US time is all about.  like i said.....a complete and total RECHARGE.  it was glorious.

and the looks on those little faces when we landed back in Gainesville....another reminder that this is what life is all about.  their faces were gleaming with complete and total joy....i have never seen smiles so big.  emma ran straight towards us screaming "Mommy! Daddy!" followed by hugs and kisses for us both.  benjamin, adept at the cool "lean in" hug dove into me, wrapped both his arms tightly around my neck and yelled "Mommy!" right as he planted a big sloppy "no paci kiss" on my mouth.

its really really good to be home.  and it was really really nice to get away.

silent sunday : mealtime shenanigans

Sunday, September 8, 2013 | | 0 comments
family meals have long been a tradition in my family...some of my fondest memories as a kid and the moments i look forward to as an adult revolve around us sharing a meal with one another.  the belly laughs and thoughtful discussion always make for the most meaningful time with one another.

the best meals in our home result in degradation to ridiculous shenanigans. plus or minus toddler muscle flexing...

wishing everyone a wonderful week filled with the kinds of smiles a simple sunday lunchtime, and the pictures i captured of its understated glory, gave to me. 

picture by Emma Murphy...

"flex your muscles, ben!"

morning people

Saturday, July 27, 2013 | | 0 comments
it's funny how parenthood converts you into a "morning person".  the sooner you come to terms with that, the easier it will be.  these days i make a semi-habit of trying to get up super early....even before my kids....to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and in today's case, some writing and a run {i have my best runs first thing in the morning....there is nothing, in my mind, as therapeutic as a run at dawn}.  benjamin and emma usually find there way to our bed around 6am.  "family cuddle time" usually consists of both of them laying there, wiggling around, snatching blankets, ben fiddling with his pacifier, emma holding all 4 of the stuffed animals she's brought with her....all the while ryan and i pretend to sleep, as if any normal person could actually get any meaningful rest four deep in a king bed full of wiggly babies.  usually cartoons end up being flipped on to calm the kids down and to squeeze maybe 10 more minutes of shut eye in.

it's hectic and insane and as i type the kids are running down the hall squealing...."chock-ee milk", "mommy it's breakfast time!!!!!" "mickey mouse house!!!" we are exhausted and we are in love.  it's hard work raising these little people and i would be lying if i didn't wish there were about 10 more hours in each day...mostly so i could use them to sleep.  i get more easily overwhelmed with the noise than ryan so he serves as a major calming force in our house.  thankfully i have long runs and grande coffees to help me on this very difficult but incredibly blessed journey.

the rain has kept us inside ALOT lately and it has been a major source of stress quite honestly.  you can feel the pent up energy in our house.  our kids love to be outside....running around, playing on the play structure, swimming in the pool.  unfortunately the constant deluge of summer storms have kept us inside far more than is adviseable with young children.  it's made everything difficult.  they get stir crazy during the day ~ let's be honest, there is only so much time you can spend playing nicely in your playroom or neatly doing art.  it's all the kids can do to contain themselves and i usually find them running the halls or jumping on emmas {new} bed.  sigh....

benjamin has always favored sleep more than his sister and things are not much different these days.....there is nothing in this world i love more than rocking him to twilight.  watching his little eyes flutter closed into that place of right before sleep.  he takes a few quick rhythmic breaths in followed by a long sigh....a sign that it's time to be placed ever so gently into his crib, surrounded by his posse of his favorite stuffed animals. but ooooooh little miss emma.  bedtime these days is a standoff.  fighting, questioning, bargaining.  anything to stay up just 5 extra minutes.  we are lucky if she is asleep by 9.  lucky i tell you.

someday, little one, you will wish for those extra minutes of shuteye.  oh how you will yearn for them.  hindsight is twenty twenty, no?

i don't have much to say on this early morning.  my fingers are out of practice with writing and my brain is too much the same.  i've been battling the worst cold imaginable and am still swimmy with cold medicine and an endless supply of cough drops.  i'm fighting like a champ to regain my normal routine of writing and keeping a running journal of this crazy little life of ours.

until then...enjoy the weekend friends.  get out there and have some fun despite whatever inclement weather might be looming.  i don't care what the forecast is today....we'll be doing much the same! in the words of benjamin "hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog!" {thank you mickey mouse house for this very charming phrase that i now hear 8349 times a day!}

photo by Emma Murphy!

it all works out in the end : on letting go of worry

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 | | 0 comments
things have a funny way of working out, i think.  i have heard this said and have had glimpses of this concept in my own life and believe it more and more every single day.

i sat with them over coffee to answer their questions about the upcoming year.  exactly one year ago, i was in their shoes....fresh out of a residency in Internal Medicine and preparing to start what i perceived at the time as "my dream job".  countless hours later....hours filled with thoughts of my patients, their families, the treatments i can offer to make their cancer go away, even just for a little bit....hours filled wrestling with difficult decisions about how best care for a patient teetering on the edge of death, at the mercy of what us folks in my line of work call a "coagulopathy" (short for a bad bleeding problem)....hours filled wrestling with my own mortality, my own perspective on my life's priorities....and probably most noteably, hours filled wrestling with the surprise passion i found for something i never intended to love, hematology.  countless hours later i realized that this is only the beginning.....that everything up until this point has prepared me for what and who i want to be, professionally.  all that internal wrestling and questioning....all those tears and life conversations....all of the discomfort i faced in my first year of fellowship....it was all for good reason, and it was perfect.

there is no way to explain this to them.  to explain how this first year of fellowship will help shape them.  how there are no papers to read or book to reference to guide you on that particular part of the journey.  that's the cool thing about life. sometimes you just have to wing it...

i know this to be true in many other aspects of my life.  ryan began the conversation about finally, after years of dreaming of it, starting his own business around thanksgiving of last year.  i've known for years its something he wanted to do.  we wrestled with it, slept on it, worried about it, prayed over it, cried about it (for the record, it was me who did the crying...not my ryan) and finally.....took a huge giant leap of faith.  i have spent countless hours pondering the what ifs, never once doubting my husband and his amazing capabilities but just worrying about the difficulties of any startup business.  instead, that leap of faith has proven to be one of the best chances we ever took.  we are finding our wings.  business is great and far more important than that....i've never seen ryan more happy, deeply happy, doing what he loves.

of course, as any mom does, i worry about my kids.  their happiness, their wellbeing, filling their lives with the perfect combination of fun and structure.  in the days following the visits with ben's doctor, learning that he would have to take medicine for some time, i was a wreck.  i felt so guilty for not having found this sooner (not that it would have made a difference) and worried about trying to get him to take medicine.  i worried about how it would make him feel and started thinking about the future...how could i keep him from feeling "different".  he has started treatment and drinks his own "special juice" 3 times a day and takes another medicine from a dropper in the mornings.  he's been such a little trooper about it and has done such a great job.  i still worry but i realize that i'm the one with the issues, not him.  he's amazing in every sense of the word and, if i do my job just right, will never know the difference.

about a month ago, emma's entire school underwent a transition.  in preparation for the opening of a new center next year....she switched out of a class that she has been a part of for 2 years.  the class where she learned her ABCs,  was potty trained,  and the class where she became a big sister.  every so often in life, you form a bond with a group of people that you just can't explain.  between her amazing teachers in this class, the sweet spirits that filled emma's life each day at school, and the fun time learning they all had together....this group was some kind of magic.  truly magic.  we found out she was moving in a not so magical way, on my birthday, and it was heart breaking.  her teachers did such a good job of preparing her but, even still, she woke up on the day she was to become a "growing gator" crying.  she knew.  at 3 years old....she knew.  it was time to grow up just a little bit and move to the big kid class.  i held back my own tears as i told her how awesome this was going to be....helping her imagine all the cool stuff she would get to do in the big kid class.  it was a rough week, i won't lie.  but she has LOVED it.  at almost three and a half, she is one of the youngest kids in her class and i think the challenge is just right for her.  i can tell her teacher is amazing and emma loves her already.  anyone emma thinks is great is alright by me.  she comes home from school everyday talking about her new friends, "miss braden", and even informed me that "i have 3 sisters at school mommy!".  her little gaggle of girlfriends have decided that they are all sisters....emma told me, "now i need a sister at home, ok?".  slow down there, little one, slow down ;)

with an ounce of worry off my shoulders, and the understanding that life might work out if i just let it....things feel pretty dandy these days.  i'm making time for me.  i'm finally writing again.  i'm finding fun projects to work on around the house.  i'm working on some pretty exciting things at work.  i'm simply being with the folks i love.  and trying not to worry so damn much because whether or not i chose to believe it, seems as if the universe is unfolding exactly as it should.

happy tuesday, friends.  here's life via instagram these days. my obsession continues...

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