Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Footprints Fade

My sister Molly is a writer. This is her newest piece, which also happens to be my favorite of her work so far. It makes me want to wander down the beach with all the time in the world to just be and think and breathe.
Please read, as well as rate it (the rating stars are to the left of the article).

The Footprints Fade

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tunnel of Chaos

This morning, Eric called me from the tarmac at O'Hare airport and needed me to upload some pictures for him and get them sent over to a client. The entire time I am on the phone with him, Lexi is following me around the apartment, screaming at the top of her lungs - simply because I am on the phone, and not paying attention to her. The phrase, "Tunnel of chaos" came into my mind at that moment, and I think it pretty much sums up my life right now. It is a phrase that got my family through moving multiple times in a 6 month span and surviving 13 months of language school in Costa Rica. We clung to it during our move to Mexico City and the adjustment period that followed. And then my sister and I carried it with us to Chicago, where we spent 4 years of our lives studying and where I eventually started my own family and have made my home.

The Tunnel of Chaos is not a permanent place or condition. It is temporary, and the end is always in sight. But at the moment you are in it, it feels all-consuming, claustrophobic, and dark. The important thing is being able to recognize that you are in it, and continue walking towards the light.

The past 5 weeks of my life I have been in this tunnel.

Eric got a new job out in the suburbs the day before Lyla was born. His hours are long, his commute is exhausting, and he has to travel to New York for 3 days every month, which is where he is right now. We are so thankful for his job, and proud of his position and influence, but we miss him. I have been so spoiled with having him working from home and setting his own hours for the past 4 years, that this new schedule has been a complete shock to our family system.

During the daylight hours, I have been learning how to parent a very strong-willed and energetic 2-year-old and a newborn at the same time, without my best teammate. It hasn't been easy. Despite all my awesome training tactics and discipline theories, Lexi is a tough kid to raise. She is fun and happy most of the time, but she has these completely awful, out of control moments that make me want to run and hide rather than patiently stick it out and work through it with her. Anyone who has spent a good chunk of time with her knows what I am talking about. Super smart toddler, but very independent and extremely strong willed.

In spite of the difficulties, we do have good days overall. I feel like I might finally be getting the hang of toting two around with me everywhere, and I haven't had to cook in a while - thanks to all my amazing friends. So we are making it work most of the time, but then there are those moments when I am reminded of this crazy tunnel that I am in.

Like how whenever I answer the phone Lexi follows me around screaming at the top of her lungs. Or how it takes so long to get everything and everyone ready to get out the door that inevitably one of the girls ends up pooping and I keep putting Lexi's shoes and jacket on and she keeps taking them off and then Lexi wants a snack and I can't find Lyla's binki and then I leave the house without my keys and then the other girl poops. Not to mention the fact that every single time I sit down to eat, Lyla starts crying. It's like she has a built in alarm clock that rings every time I lift the fork and start to bring food to my mouth to let her know it's time to start crying (It's kind of no wonder that I am already almost completely back to my pre-preggo weight...when do I get a chance to eat?!). Everyone needs me all at the same time and because I can't possibly do it all, there is lots of crying.

That's my tunnel.

But don't get me wrong. I am not unhappy, and I didn't write this as a complaint. I love my girls, and I love that I have the amazing opportunity to be home with them every day. And I am so thankful for my husband and all that he is and does to provide for us. He is a crazy good dad and a far better husband than I deserve. So I think that after some reflection, remembering that I am in this tunnel is actually an encouragement right now. Because I know that the light is there, even if it's hard to see sometimes. And I know that if I keep walking, I will eventually get to the end of it and step into the fresh air and sunshine (even if I have to drag a garbage bag full of poopy diapers to get there!).

God has been so faithful to us in always providing for us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. And I know without a doubt that He will provide for me now, even as He already is doing. In one completely crazy-ass month (excuse the expression, but there are no other words for it), He gave Eric a new job, gave us a healthy beautiful baby, gave us a house, and gave our landlord the kindness to let us extend the lease on our apartment another month so we can close on the house. There was lots of stress in between, but talk about pouring out the blessings! So I can trust Him for the now, and fully give myself to Him in these little chaos moments...and hope that He shines a little light on me as a reminder of the beauty that is found in Him and that is yet to come.