month six

:: No joke, we're at month six.
:: We took these pictures on doctor day, which means he got his shots.
:: You can imagine my surprise at his generally happy demeanor.
:: I think he likes the camera.
:: What a ham.

:: He laughs.
:: Lots.
:: Sometimes Josh and I will bend over backwards to elicit giggles.
:: And other times he'll break out laughing when I'm doing nothing more than pulling out ingredients for dinner.

:: Asher is getting more and more curious.
:: He reaches for things and grabs onto things and puts those things in his mouth.
:: He likes to face outward and look around.
:: His back arching is solidly established, and he uses it to look around and to communicate, "Hey, pick me up!"

:: He can roll over both ways now.
:: But he doesn't really like to do it.
:: This basically means that I can put off doing a baby-proofing overhaul for a little while yet.

:: As you can see, he's a mostly balanced sitter now.
:: You have to put some cushions around him just in case he topples.
:: For the most part, though, his sitting is awesome.

:: Those neck rolls still collect lint and are easily chapped.
:: I regularly slip some lotion in them, and then he smells even more divine.
:: Sometimes when we change his diaper, he'll lift up his bum to get ready for the new one.
:: He's a smart one.

:: At six months, Asher weighed in at 17 lbs. 10 oz. and measured at 28 inches long.
:: He's a ridiculously light sleeper.
:: Like, crazy light.
:: He talks to us all the time and recently learned to spit.
:: It's a cute, albeit messy, skill.

:: His grandma gave him his first haircut.
:: Those three-inch whispies had to go.
:: As did the rat-tail/mullet.
:: His fuzz gets cuter every day.

:: Asher did the mommy dive for the first time.
:: You know, someone else is holding him and he sees me and dives for it.
:: The mommy dive.
:: When it's just the two of us at home, he'll sometimes start to cry when he can't see me.

:: He's taken to solid food splendidly.
:: His digestive system, however, has had a harder time.
:: We're eating lots of prunes, pears, and peas over here.
:: And we're holding off on more rice cereal.

:: He loves to read books.
:: His favorites are Goodnight Moon, the PANTONE Color Book, and his family photo book.
:: Josh asked me how I know which ones are his favorites.
:: I know because when we read books he doesn't like he squirms and fusses and hits them.
:: When we read ones he likes, he sits peacefully and looks at the pages.

:: I can hardly believe it's already been six months.
:: This babe is full of light and love and joy.
:: We just love having him around.


past participles

Assignment: Describe your week in past participles. Go.

:: Cleaned the bathroom, folded the laundry, ran the dishwasher, vacuumed the apartment, changed the sheets
:: Bought Josh's birthday presents
:: Sewed pleats and darts
:: Visited friends
:: Met a new baby
:: Took notes as a church secretary
:: Rocked a sleepy babe
:: Applauded poopy diapers
:: Pureed zucchini
:: Polished off season five of Grey's Anatomy
:: Texted Allison a frame-by-frame analysis of Grey's Anatomy
:: Spooned my husband
:: Laughed at the babe's infectious giggles
:: Fell asleep in the rocker, on the couch, and on the floor
:: Ate MegaStuf Oreos
:: Listened to Gone with the Wind audiobook, and Planet Money, This American Life, and Stuff You Should Know podcasts
:: Wrote blog posts
:: Wondered what your week looked like in past participles


lullaby prose, bedtime

Bedtime rolls around, and you splash in the tub.
Your splashes get bigger and bigger every time, I swear.
You love being naked.
We wrap you up in striped pajamas and dry that fuzzy head.
We give you raspberries on your tummy and on your ham hocks.
I nurse you and hold your tiny hand in mine.
You rub your eyes.
So sleepy. 
You snuggle into me.
We read some stories.
Goodnight to the old lady whispering "hush"
We pray. 
We pray for you and your body, for mommy and daddy.
We pray that you'll know how much you're loved.
Because you are loved. 
So, so much.
You start squirming, so into the crib you go.
You rub your face against your blanket.
Your eyes droop.
I kiss your head one more time.
I'll see you when you wake up.
Just one more kiss.


if only the public cared more about usage

Over the weekend I was checking out at Joann's, and I saw this sign posted on all of the registers:

Cash and credit/debit cards must be used only for purchasing gift cards.

Naturally I was perplexed. Because what this sign says is that you can't use cash or debit cards for anything besides gift cards; the only thing you can buy with cash or a debit card is a gift card. That's what it says. And I believed it. When I asked the cashier about the reason behind this new policy, she looked at me like I was the one who misunderstood the use of only

What the signs should have said was this: 

Gift cards can only be purchased with cash or credit/debit cards.



at the Wilsons'

Chocolate valentine cake

Paper valentines

An available valentine

Valentine flowers

Wrappers from valentine chocolate

Hard-won baby smiles

A reluctant, though able, roller

Over-priced, smaller-boxed minty goodness


the second time I fell in love with him

I let his calls go to voicemail twice. I answered the third time. I wasn't angry or even nervous. I was certainly curious. What could Josh have to say to me now, a year and a half since we'd broken up? In spite of all the empirical evidence against Josh, I agreed to see him. Frankly, I had nothing to lose.

{Christmas break 2009, three months after he called}

(For a while I wondered why I'd had that other serious relationship during my Josh hiatus. Why go through something so intense if it was never meant to be? Now I'm positive that that disappointing and frustrating relationship set me up perfectly to let Josh back into my life. Josh's phone call on that exact day wasn't luck or coincidence--it was Providence.)

After some pep talks from my mom, sister, and good friend Laura, I was ready to spend real time with Josh--no commitment, no promises, just time. We talked, and we talked about real things and real emotions. If you read Josh's post about the baby, you'll know that while Josh certainly has feelings, he has an incredibly hard time talking about them. But he voiced his feelings about me and invited me into his life in a way he never had before.

Over the next days and weeks I noticed changes in how I felt about myself. When I was with Josh I felt wanted and loved, a stark contrast to what remained from my previous relationship. The more I saw him the more I wanted to see him. After a month and a half of me holding back and him ardently persisting, I said yes. Let's try this one more time.

It wasn't long before I fell in love with him again, but don't mistake this love for the first love. I needed to fall out of love with Josh before I could fall again. My first love was something that I let happen to me; I surrendered parts of myself that needed to be there. This time, my love was a choice. This was a love matured and refined, felt and chosen. My love the second time had no ties to the love from before. Our first love hadn't been sustainable; our second one was--is--deep, enduring, beautiful.

{At my grandmother's funeral, 2010, three weeks before he proposed}

I choose you, my heart said to his. I choose to love you and to have you love me. I choose you every moment. You're my choice forever.


a small interjection from Mr. Wilson . . .

This couple's "how we met" story is about to reach its conclusion. Our heroine will find resolution, and the hero will find redemption. Let me set the stage for Act III:

I was casually involved with a girl down the hall, and on this particular day she and I were looking through some of my photos on Facebook. We came to a photo of Charlotte and me and I thought to myself, I would really like to see her again. I kept this sentiment to myself, and politely excused myself to make a quick phone call outside. I believe this is where our story picks up.

Any one of several thoughts may be going through your mind right now. "What does casually involved mean?!", "Was he picking up on two girls at the same time?!" or simply "What a tool!"

Your indignation is justified, and I am not proud of what you have just learned. But I think that it is the flawed characters of literature that are the most interesting, don't you?


when I fell out of love with him

It was hard for me to move on. Every day on my way to campus I'd pass his apartment complex, wondering whether I'd see him and what I'd say or do if I did. We had several run-ins that school year, some accidental and some not. Every time I pretended that I'd gotten over it, but I hadn't. I tried and tried not to think about him; my heartbreak was active and ever-present.

My moment of absolution came in the grocery store one day in February. I saw Josh in the cereal aisle, and when he turned on the charm I wasn't swayed. What followed could only be described as something straight out of a Meg Ryan movie. I left empowered and free. In the months after our grocery store encounter I pieced myself back together and emerged whole and healed. That summer I fell in love with someone else.


That interim relationship could easily win its own narrative, but I'll truncate it. It started out simple and turned complicated. After a few months it started crumbling, but I dived into denial and told myself it would work. But it wasn't working. I was unhappy. I didn't feel valued or loved or important by the person I was with.

That's when my phone rang, when my phone displayed "Josh Wilson" for the first time in nine months.


the first time I fell in love with him

First off, thank you for all your kind comments on my post the other day. They were truly thoughtful and kind, and it's so relieving to know that I'm not alone in sometimes feeling out of my element as a mother.

This month marks five years since I first met Josh. I remember it so clearly. Katelyn and I were at a friend's dessert party (can you say BYU party?), a party that, frankly, I didn't really feel up for. But Katelyn convinced me to attend. The first time I saw Josh he was heading up a back massage train. (Yes, a back massage train.) We clicked immediately, and even though it took him three weeks to call me, he did, and the next month and a half was a blur of heart palpitations, infatuation, and incredible kissing.

{March 2008}

I was smitten. Oh so wonderfully smitten. This is it, I thought. He's it for me. I had never felt more compatible or alive with anyone. I went to a place where I relinquished myself to infatuation and unbridled giddiness. My mind and emotions were going faster than the rest of me could, leaving me vulnerable and exposed. I never told Josh that I loved him, but I felt it. This fledgling, immature love was very real and, looking back, also very unstable and insecure.

Then Josh broke up with me at the end of the semester. I was crushed, devastated, throwing-up-in-the-bathroom heartbroken. The break wasn't clean, though, and I clung desperately to the hope that in the fall we would pick up right where we left off.

The next time I saw him, when classes picked back up in September, he was hand-in-hand with another girl. My heart broke all over again.


uncertainty and motherhood

The past few days have been pushing me down, making me second-guess my decisions as a mother and sometimes a wife. Why is it that one day motherhood can lift me up and make me feel so confident and the next make me feel inadequate and unsure? Lately I've been feeling uncertain, thinking How did I ever think that I could be given charge over such a perfect, wonderful, joyful soul when I, myself, am so lacking? 

I feel like all I do is experiment, pretend like I know what I'm doing: Will feeding him before bedtime help him sleep better? Should I go in at night to put the pacifier in, or should he just cry it out? Can I even handle crying it out? How can I make sure he doesn't get overstimulated when he's awake? But what if I'm not doing enough with him? How can I set boundaries for growth and still show him how much he's loved? And looming in the recesses of mind, What if I fail him? 

I don't know if these thoughts really have a conclusion tonight, but there they are, typed and published, my vulnerability showcased to the masses. So, that's that, I suppose (probably my lamest conclusion to date).
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