letters to our child | forgiveness | jack truman

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today is my first memory of needing my child’s forgiveness. i wanted to make banana bread and do all the laundry. but little boy had other plans. he needed to be held, talked to, soothed. he is sweet and smells delicious and i am learning his needs. but i was selfish. i needed  to bake. i needed to clean. but really, i didn’t. i wanted. i thought i needed but a perfect gift in front of me is all i needed  to pay attention to. 

i felt the most frustrated because even when i tried to play or soothe or rock or nurse, he still didn’t seem content. he was fussy and fighting. i felt inadequate. which made me more upset. i was short with him and felt myself getting heated. 

i had a decision to make. continue down or make a change. i needed a moment in prayer. i needed  to confess to jack. it started younger than i thought! and i wrote to him in his notebook how sorry i am that he will have to learn so much forgiveness with me. i should teach him, and i will. but i wanted mostly to teach him to forgive others. he will learn it best though, as he has to forgive his own mama. 

i am wonderfully humbled this morning. and i am thankful for the opportunity to pause. guess what? the banana bread is in the oven. one load of laundry is done. the hours are long even though the days are short. i can still find time for both, most days.  

after fighting him to sleep, he slumbers.  

he is beautiful.  

he is my joy.  

i am learning. 

girl, wash your face | book club

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i’ve wanted to be part of a book club since i found out how cool reading was. but i am also that person who starts all the things and then i am burnt out trying to be everyone’s everything. so i have just enjoyed reading by myself and loving the occasional conversation with others when we find it we’re reading the same book. and then a friend of mine said she would host a book club and i was invited! huzzah! i was so excited. and i haven’t been let down IN THE LEAST.  

book clubs are awesome. this group especially. we want to read all the things. all the books. all the words. we love discussion and debate and learning from each other’s perspectives. the best feeling is the common language of love that we thread through our conversations. we have that base line understanding and so we are free to explore and debate and question and not agree. it’s magic! it feels mature and correct and awesome to be this way with other women. and it is absolutely what my adult life was missing.

so this new book GWYF is getting a lot of heat. my club wanted to read it. i am not going to fully go into the arguments or debates here, you can google it and get lost for one entire week and have a splitting headache reading the back and forth on this. 

i have opinions on the book of course which were fully discussed in club, but after reading so much on the internet about this book and this author, i just really related with her and thought a post would do well on this topic.

being misunderstood is a living nightmare for me. going public with your heart is incredibly difficult and then being misread or mistaken is painful. no matter my opinion of this author or her words, she did it. she did a hard thing and wrote her story out for the world to see and read and get or not get and be nice or be mean about. i get that. when i read a book that isn’t the bible, i just let it be that. a book filled with words that someone else took the time to write. sure it’s disappointing when a book is less than good or is just plain bad. and you’ll have that.

it’s not my gospel. even if something in a book claims to be gospel. it is my job as a christian to get my gospel from the actual gospel. and then i have freedom to read and get to know other people and circumstances that help me connect to the human race. ugly flaws and all.

i am thankful for the internet. i am thankful for words. i’m glad even the people who have bad thoughts put them out there. to them, it’s good thoughts. it’s a lot to search through and to explore and sometimes people are maddening with their ideas. but it helps us get to know people better if we really listen and take the time for them.

i hope to write my own book by the time i’m 31.
i just realized the other day that i’ll be 30 in 2019. so i immediately panicked. i’ve wasted so much time being hurt by a silly few. so instead of freaking myself out to have a full book written and published and out there by 30, i’ll give myself a deadline of 31.

a lot of my readers have been super supportive. a lot of my friends and close community have been spurring me on. and then a few, small few but mighty in my mind, have very much discouraged my writing and my words and my heart and any further ventures in words. that’s been super painful. and even though i feel some redemption has taken place in the last year, it’s still incredibly hard for me to just move along, move on. but reading GWYF has helped me see just how loudly i will be some people’s flavor and not some others. like, people who just love plain vanilla ice cream? i cannot get on board. i’m sure we need you, but. it’s mint chocolate chip all the way, all day. we can all still be friends. and we’ll each have enough ice cream for ourselves.

in the next year i hope to be brave with my writing. sharing again as i once did. especially since God has done so much in and through my life in the last three years. it deserves to be shared because God should be bragged about.

enough is enough and i’m just making excuses and living in the pain of a few hurtful sentences that i don’t need to live in any more.

jack truman burt | love burt baby

our sweet boy jack truman was born on september seventh!
this also happens to be my birthday. which i did not care about at the time because OUCH, but now that time has passed i think it’s pretty darn cool to share a birthday with our little love.

he’s a boy! what a surprise!
we did not find out the gender of this babe and it was so much fun not knowing.
i did have a moment at 35 weeks pregnant where i told ethan it was a boy.
but then the next day i had another dream it was a girl. so i questioned my heart.
something in me still thought maybe. just maybe it’s a him.

i was still very surprised to meet him!
i mean, i’d never met my baby before. i got to grow him but there was so much mystery until he came out and i could see him!

i went into labor around four in the morning on september sixth.
i progressed really quickly and very much enjoyed much of the laboring process!
we were so excited to FINALLY be having this baby. he stayed put for 41 weeks and 5 days.
I WAS READY.
i woke ethan up and told him it’s labor! and we both got so excited.
we slept a little longer and then got up for the day around eight am.
we texted our midwife and she was already in prayer for us because she felt a nudge that i was in labor! this was so special to me!

we labored at home and everything was going so well that we expected to have the baby at home by dinner time! this excited us because we wanted good lighting and had the gopro set up.
always loving the good lighting. we can’t help it!

we labored around our home. it was magical.
i took walks around the kitchen island. swayed while ethan held me.
our bed is on the floor and it’s memory foam so super comfy material and i had a padded yoga mat on the floor next to the bed so i could go back and forth between positions more comfortably. our midwife would check on us from time to time and would check on me and told me i was doing so great. i felt like this was true. i was so happy to be experiencing this!
labor got more intense and i wanted the birthing pool so they set that up in record time and i was in the hot water in minutes.

really, i couldn’t ask for a better beginning of labor story.
it got much worse after this. but i am holding on to those sweet hours.

we did not have baby by dinner time. i was becoming discouraged as the sun went down.
i wasn’t able to eat anything and even drinking water would make me throw up.
i was becoming increasingly exhausted and weak and dizzy.
my midwife checked me and i was 10 centimeters.
we started pushing.

i pushed for i think literally ever, and nothing was happening. baby wasn’t coming.
we did this for hours. it was now the next morning.

something felt wrong. i had never had a baby before but i did think that after all of this, there should be a baby coming out by now. we couldn’t tell exactly what was going on by checking me and ethan and i had a tough decision to make. keep going like this or head to the hospital.

it was now around five in the morning on the seventh.
we exchanged looks and we both knew. it was time to go.
it was pouring down rain, naturally.
also we didn’t have a bag packed at all.
i had packed a bag a few weeks earlier but then unpacked so i could feel settled and comfortable and trusting in the home birth process.

so now i was in super labor and ethan had to scramble around to get us ready.
it was kind of awful. but ethan did an amazing job.
i tried to use words to help me locate things but really i just said a prayer that we wouldn’t leave anything out and that he would at least remember to pack our toothbrushes. he did!

our midwife drove us to the hospital.
i couldn’t sit down so i had to squat and hold myself up on the seat in front of me for 45 minutes.
i prayed that i would just deliver the baby in the van and we could go back home.
no such luck.
i had ethan call ahead and ask for immediate help when we arrived.
i was scared.
ethan hated that i didn’t have a seat belt on.
i tired but i had a baby in my birth canal and couldn’t even.

we arrived at the hospital.
now 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant.
it was nearly seven am.
we were dropped off at the emergency room.
i got out of the van, somehow my legs still worked.
ethan was trying to rush us inside but i paused.
i grabbed his hand and we prayed outloud.
we just said anything and everything.
we asked God to protect this baby and me.
we asked God for amazing care providers.
we asked God to keep ethan’s strength up.
we asked God to just be near.
He was so present.
the tears flowed.

immediately we were beautifully taken care of.
nice humans surrounded us. i was wheeled up to labor and delivery where we met an angel of a nurse. we quickly gave her a recap and then i got an epidural.
it took the gal three tries. that was not pleasant.
i don’t think i would do an epidural again just because of that.
but i needed it at this point. i then got two hours of sleep. glory.
after those two hours our angel nurse came back in and i started to push.

another two hours of pushing and nothing.
my body was going back and forth with these crazy weird contractions.
one would be a full pushing and delivery type of contraction and then the next would be super whimpy. i wouldn’t feel a contraction and then all of a sudden i would and would feel like pushing.

after another two hours of this the doctor came in to check me while having a contraction.
he felt the baby’s face instead of head. baby was trying to come out cheek first.
he told me we could try the vacuum or i could have a c-section.
we decided c-section.

again, amazing humans.
everyone took such sweet care of us.
they were helpful and clear with direction with ethan and they were loving and caring with me and my body and our baby’s safety.

i remember crying joy tears and thanking everyone who helped us along the way.
i wanted to meet everyone, i repeated their names back to them and held their hands.
i loved touching the hands of the people who helped us.
i thanked God for them all and said prayers the entire time.


sweet baby came out at 3:10pm on september seventh.
9lbs 8oz.
21 inches long.
beyond perfect.

the doctor let ethan see and tell me we had a boy!
ethan immediately said he had my philtrum. which made me laugh.
(ethan loves my philtrum. if you don’t know what that is because i didn’t until ethan loved mine and i had to google what it was, it’s the part between the top lip and the nose.
he has strange likes).

they immediately let us have our baby! they put him on my chest and ethan came close.
we just cried. ethan held it together because he would have loudly wept. he’s not a quiet cryer when he gets going. he would’ve shaken the whole hospital.
it was everything to see him hold it together but want to burst over our son.
i will never forget that moment as long as i live.

we saw him and knew he would be jack truman.
this was the only name we had ready for a boy and it fit as soon as we met him.
thankfully! i didn’t want to meet him and have to come up with a new name! ha.

jack truman burt.
jack means God is gracious. truman means loyal.
also, it’s just an awesome name. if you ask us!
it did take us months to settle on the boy name. we have a girl name ready and agreed ten thousand percent. but jack’s first and middle took a while longer.

the nurses took jack to clean him up and do the things.
they told ethan he could go be with jack. and i said, oh yeah! you can go to him.
while i was being worked on still.
but ethan said no. he told me i am first priority.
more weeping.

i had that giant curtain covering all my belly stuff (blessing)
but if i moved it slightly i could see jack!
this was a joyous discovery for me.
i was watching my baby boy over there!
he was perfect.
this part i remember the most clearly.
we just looked at each other and then i would look at jack exclaim things about him.
”he’s so long!”
”he’s so perfect!”
”he’s a boy?! how is he a boy! he’s so beautiful”
and i just cried and ethan cried and everyone in the room rejoiced with us.
the doctor told us he was trying to concentrate on his work but was getting weepy. his voice was cracked when he said that. he said we were blessing him with our joy.
i kept crying and the doctor would check to make sure it was joy tears and not pain tears.
i felt nothing but pure bliss and magic and thankfulness and joy.
our nurses cried, too.
it was one of the happiest moments of my entire life.
jack was so beautiful. he was here. finally.
he was ours.
God gifted us.

it feels so undeserved. and so appreciated.
so wanted.

ethan kept holding my head and forehead and hair in his hands.
we kept eyes on each other and on our new son.
he told me he was so happy he is a boy.

the days and nights following would be some of our hardest ever.
but that’s for another post.
this is just the one about the perfect birth of our surprise baby.
joy fills our souls.
jack is here!

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Fall Afresh | fall 2018 women's retreat | roving hearts

something awesome has been coming together perfectly and we are ready to launch just a little piece of that. my dear cousin and close friend brooke and i are working together on some really beautiful new things that God has whispered to us separately and we are being brave and making space in our lives to make this thing real. we don't know what it looks like exactly or where it will take us but we believe. and that's enough to get us up in the morning and moving in a direction! 

we want to be intentional and slow, but not timid or afraid of the unknown or complications that may arise. we aren't naive. we trust God can use us, exactly as is, in the present.

and so, we invite you..  

we have a fall retreat (our first of many we hope!) planned for November! and we have SEVEN openings. we are keeping it very small so it can be true and intimate and deep and as helpful to hearts as possible. our fall 2018 theme is “Fall Afresh” and we invite women who need a fresh start and some time away in the woods. we have a small group of leaders (four women) who will lead us in meal time, yoga mediations, barefoot walks and tennis shoe runs through the woods, learning how to add things to our lives or take them away when needed and with grace and freedom. we invite you to pray with us and for us and for the women who will come to this retreat! we know this is all in God's hands and that's exactly where we want it to be. we want this to be the beginning of something beautiful and fruitful. if you are interested in being a part of this, please contact brooke or myself! 

you can follow long here on my blog and also go check out brooke and begin to get to know her through her amazing writing and blogspace : Fit, Grit, & Grace. 

FallAfresh

Awaken my soul, come awake
To hunger, to seek, to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
And do as You did at first

Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow,
to overflow

Spirit come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade

la vie en rose | love burt living | at home with bb

ethan made me leave the house the other day from one to four in the afternoon. he was going to be using loud tools which makes it impossible for me to be anywhere near. i gathered some friends and met at the park and then the coffee shop and then a summer walk. when i arrived home e was in a tizzy. he wasn’t ready quite yet and came to meet me in the driveway. we had to leave shortly for a chiropractor appointment and then baby class that night. i had to change and pee. he didn’t want to let me in the house! apparently my surprise had arrived! a super secret surprise he was so adorably giddy to give me. a while back we found the perfect credenza at an antique store. perfect shape, lovely mid-century vibe and we both liked it and purchased it for forty dollars. a win-win! e made me promise to not paint it for at least three months and i am happy to report we’ve had it now for roughly two years and i still haven’t painted it. sitting atop the credenza was a BEAUTIFUL RECORD PLAYER!! i have been deeply desiring one for years and today was my surprise record player day! i asked e why now? and he gave me a list of sweet answers. a few of which i will share. he wants me to get back to myself, truly. reading poetry, writing at random hours when feeling led, listening to records, slowing down, preparing for baby love life and motherhood, knowing a day of rest and reading is a blessed day and not useless. and filling our home with all sorts of music, teaching our family how to love intensely. 

this morning i was awakened first of course, to pee. thanks, baby. and secondly because the birds called to me and the sunrise beckoned my soul. 

i had “la vie en rose” and “it is well with my soul” on repeat in my mind so i rose and sang to baby while opening the blinds to the day ahead.  

then i wanted to read poetry. and i am wonderfully in love with words and morning and summer light.  

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who made the world?

who made the swan and the black bear?

who made this grasshopper?

this grasshopper, i mean -

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

now lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

i don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

i do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what i have been doing all day.

tell me, what else should i have done?

doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—mary oliver

baby burt | community | stuff about ethan | love burt living

written at eight weeks pregnant

ethan burt knew he wanted to marry me within a day of meeting me. 
probably just hours. here's a list of a few things he was feeling that night :  

1. i terrified him. 
2. he didn't immediately want to sleep with me.
3. he immediately wanted me to have his babies. he wanted a woman like me as a mother of children, especially his. 
4. i helped him meet God without once saying a bible verse, Jesus's name, or anything about salvation in our first hundred hour conversation in his car. 
5. he thought i was the most beautiful human he'd ever seen. 

i think it's hilarious that i terrified him because he can be intimidating. 
he's very intense. he looks intense, has intense feelings, shocks people with his intense conversation. and yet i terrified him! he didn't know what to make of me. he couldn't immediately figure me out like he can with most people so i was very interesting. and also, he totally had the hots for me so he was freaking out. which is totally adorable. he still hates that he was wearing his office max uniform that night. and i was thankful i changed out of sweatpants at the last minute and put on real clothes. 

the sex thing. 
ethan and i were very different when it came to this topic. 
we had very (read; VERY) different life stories leading up to our meeting at 20 years of age. my ideas of sex and marriage were what you'd call "wholesome" or "after school special" but also deeply romantic as he would find out later i believed that sex would be great between a husband and wife no matter what because God makes it so. not because of "trying someone on" to see if you're compatible or "mixing it up" so you know what you like. he believed differently and had other partners. which was a difficult truth for me in the beginning. but quickly faded as God healed and grew us together. and, i was right. it's always worked beautifully, i've never felt like i'm missing anything, and he finally feels like he's purely having the perfect intimate life. 

the baby thing. he's wanted kids since he was a kid himself. he's always thought most about becoming a husband and father. the very first poem he wrote me talked about me looking out the window holding our baby while the baby gazes at me and laughs joyfully. the years of not being able to give him a baby sometimes broke me thinking about and rereading that poem. but also brought me so much joy knowing that he's enjoyed every day of our married life together no matter what we get in this life. he is the best. 

the God thing. 
God is so good. so clever. so loving. he loves to connect us to Him through each other. i have seen it so many times and now experienced it so many times that i could not believe any other way. God was working on ethan's heart for many years and i am just amazed and thankful that i get to be a part of his journey. all of ethan's hold ups and angers and fears were swept away as we talked and got to know each other and God poured so much love into that car and our conversation that night. it softed ethan's heart and just days later he was a complete goner. he was woken up in the middle of the night and punched out cold with full forgiveness. i wished i was there to experience his experience but it was all his with God alone. it's now part of his testimony that he gets to share with others and i get to hear over and over again. 

the beauty thing. 
i don't think there's anyone else in the world as attracted to each other as ethan burt and i are to each other. heart eyes for dayz. 

--- 

last night we enjoyed one of the best nights. we brought dinner over to our friends who are remodeling their new home and are also 30 weeks pregnant with their first baby! they were elated at our news of being 8 weeks pregnant! and we spent the night snacking together after a full dinner and relaxing on their amazing couches talking about raising these babies. what i loved most was their openness and questions. their willingness and hunger for community with us. none of us have these things figured out but we are all better together and it was so refreshing to hear their take on discipline, love, and building character in these tiny humans. we told stories of our childhoods and encouraged each other. they also were reassuring that even at 30 weeks, they worry. at 8 weeks, we haven't heard the heartbeat, i haven't felt anything baby like inside, just a little growth and a lot of insane-lady symptoms. she was helpful with ideas for maternity clothes. they were both sweet-eyed about the excitement of their sweet baby girl coming so soon. they are some of the most easy-going, genuine, kind, welcoming and warm souls. definitely people we want to keep being around. 

and ethan talked about how i will be the perfect mother. 
he's been doing this for years. way before the news of this pregnancy. 
i'm getting more used to it. now i just eat my snack, let him go on and wait for him to be done. and try to remain humble. ha! i mean, he's ridiculous. he says if i had lived in a different time and maybe suffered a little harder i would definitely be a saint. he cracks me up and i love him and his outrageous love for me. 

they asked how we both feel about each other and parenting together. 
i wished later that i had answered and asked them the same. ethan answered with sweet words about how he's so excited to watch me mother. reflecting on that conversation and allowing myself to ask the question what am i most looking forward to him teaching our kids? made me think of qualities. ethan mostly mentioned my character. and the qualities that i have which will translate into building up a great kid. i immediately thought of the fruits of the spirit. the ones that come naturally to ethan are not the ones that come naturally to me. i may have more of the fruits of the spirit at one time, but he has the amazing ones. like the ones that i think are the most hard to come by. longsuffering, faithfulness, self-control, patience. he is the most enduring soul. he is the most faithful to me. he suffers the most joyfully - the best example i have. i lack self-control like mad. i don't even try sometimes to pretend to have it. i just let myself be the weak one and get the extra donuts. but he has incredible self-control. he is very loving and incredibly disciplined. he keeps a tight rein on his vices. he allows himself to be upfront about them, very upfront when he's currently struggling, and spends most of his days conquering the vice/sin/selfish desire because his eye is on this Prize. 

i might more easily feel or express or show other's love, joy and peace. but i lack the meaty fruits. i am incredibly thrilled for him to father our baby. they will grow up to see a strong, fruitful tree. their father will bear all for them. and show them how to become strong in their love for God and become very fruitful. i desire for them to follow his lead. i'll have the easy job with sweet joy, calming peaceful presence, and loving people. but their father will truly be teaching them the fruits that will see them through the hardest moments of their life. and will strengthen them to depend on the God ethan depends on and looks to to gather his character fruits. he will also be in charge of teaching them math. 

i know ethan is already prepared and ready to lose this baby. and i know exactly how good he'll be at weathering the sorrow. and seeing me through it, too. 
in my head i know the possibility. i'm worried about my emotional state and physical state if we do. we are thankful for each pregnant day. and that's enough for now. we can't expect anything more. 

i really don't want him to lose another loved one. the pain he has endured is just too much. but we will do as God sees fit for our lives. and we will know he is good, not because this baby lives or dies, but because time and time again he has proven to be good and is always the answer. 

we already decided we would remain a husband and wife who are having a baby. 
not a wife who finally gets herself a baby and becomes a mother. not a husband who may finally have a son to carry on the burt name. we want to not lose each other in the hopes and dreams a child can bring. he sweetly pleaded with me to stay with him, as in remain very present and husband and wife first and not emotionally leave him because of my personal sorrow or joy, but to remain one, as we have been one for many year before children. and whatever comes our way, we will handle together. this was our conversation on the very day we found out about this wee burt. after the happy tears. we talked and talked. and vowed to each other. 

at this point i'm finding it very hard to not share the news. 
a lot of my close friends still don't know, and neither do our families. 
we want to hear the heartbeat. we want to get a little further along before more and more people know. we are setting back up plans in order for our weddings during that baby-due time before announcing so our couples don't freak out in panic. it's sweet having this secret but also very hard since i love instagram and daily picture journaling on it. sharing life with so many awesome people online. 

we are making plans now to share with our families in the coming weeks. as soon as they know it'll probably go quickly with the posting and the sharing. i have so many people i feel i need to share in person but it'll probably happen at the touch of the fingertips, sharing a belly photo and excited emojis because i can't possibly see in person all the people. especially with this ridiculous exhaustion. 

we are just assuming everything's fine unless we feel/hear otherwise. we will see our midwife at 10 weeks and hopefully hear a heart beat. we are telling our mentors this weekend. they are also pregnant, but with twins! and she's 35 weeks. and has 4 other kiddos! they are welcoming us into their home for the weekend and we are going to tell them and ask for a blessing. 

they blessed us getting married and we would be tearfully thankful for another moment of our lives like that, but this time for our sweet little one. a staple in our memory and we've looked forward to sharing the news with them as soon as we found out. we were going to visit the day after hearing the heartbeat but with their babies due so soon we needed to push the visit one week sooner in hopes of no labor, and time to see them for a few days before their lives get even more covered in sweetness and spit-up. 

these are the days. 

i'm amazed each morning and it's all feeling like a happy dream.

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baby burt | love burt living | the story of finding out

"you should write all of this. don't publish it yet, but have it ready. it'll be good for you to experience and good to post later" - ethan burt. january 6, 2018. the day the lines turned blue. 

i never want to forget the emotions of today. 

it was morning. ethan was still sleeping. 

i had been sick for about two weeks at this point. i got something at christmas and the weekend following we had a double header wedding weekend. one in kentucky and one in illinois. we loved both couples so we couldn't say no but it was really stupid. we were so miserable and tired and i was sick. i had a fever of over 100 (i was living around 101.5/102 for four days) and i was useless. ethan had to do everything and take care of me. i didn't even pack enough clothes for myself. i had to wear his underwear. thankfully he packed extra for himself. i was just not myself. not thinking. i was sniffling and feeling awful that i was going to make everyone sick at each reception probably. an amazing man named rodney with a servant's heart at the second wedding kept bringing me hot tea refills. he was amazing. our couples were so sweet to us and extra kind to me and my sick face. so after that weekend we came home. our roommates were also experiencing some of the sickness by this point. they also got it from christmas gatherings. no one is safe. everyone was getting better each day except me. but my symptoms went from sinus pain, air hunger, fever and aches to intense nausea and super charged cravings and heavy emotions like feeling depressed and not wanting to get up in the mornings. nothing sounded good and then all of a sudden i was starving and only wanted amy's organic veggie soup. of course i didn't think of that when we were out. and my sweet best friend/roomie offered to make me homemade soup but that's all i wanted was the canned stuff. and ethan was kind enough to go get some. i also had two pints of dairy-free ice cream within a week. usually we allow one pint a month and sometimes we don't even end up doing that. still most of this is normal for me. i have lyme disease and sometimes have very weird and random cravings and symptoms. i even have been late on periods, thought i was pregnant, took a test, cried and then started the next day several times just because lyme is weird and makes my body weird. also sometimes very stressful months can cause my period to be way late. so, still i was not thinking much about it. just really upset at the longevity of these weird, newer symptoms. 

i kept feeling like maybe i was pregnant around christmas and new years. my sister told us about their new baby (ahhh!!!! oh, yay!) at christmas and i really wanted to be like ME, TOO, MAYBE. COULD BE! wouldn't that be cool!?!)
i missed my period around the 20th which isn't super uncommon, again, but for the last year i have been very regular. so when it was the 26th and still no sign of period but definitely having body symptoms i started to secretly wonder and hopefully wait. 

i told ethan as i have before.. maybe i'm pregnant. he sighed sweetly and said probably not, love. 

this didn't upset me. at all. i know how much he loves me and in what way he meant his words. but something really made me think maybe this time he's really wrong. and how beautiful it will be to let him know this time it's actually a pregnancy. he will be so happy to be wrong. 

a few more days pass and i am just in turmoil in my brain. do i take a test? do i risk it being negative and feeling that awful feeling again? do i tell anyone? who would i talk to? once i tell someone it'll be negative and i'll be the fool again. 

we went to menards. it was a friday. i am struggling to stand and walk around. all the smells of the warehouse building and items inside start to make my lips curl up. ethan is with the guy who has been helping us fix our impossible photography studio space and i'm trying to find a place to throw up. i decide to text my doula/midwife friend. i tell her all my fears. and this is only the fears if i am not pregnant. there are so many to come if i actually am. i tell her how i don't want to buy another test. also, i'm never not with ethan and he may not believe it's time to take one so how foolish i'll feel if i bring up the convo and he doesn't want to take one. then i remembered my roommate has pregnancy tests in our upstairs bathroom. maybe i could use one of hers. but if i ask her then she'll be waiting on my answer and i'm so not ready to deal with the emotion of another nevermind-negative. midwife babe friend tells me to get one from the dollar store and take it. and she'll help me through the process. she is unconditionally loving and i'm so thankful for her in my life. i still don't feel like i'll take a test. i tell her i'll just wait and pray i get huge. she tells me i'm a amazing. i almost cry. 

i meet back up with ethan. it's so hard to not just spew all my thoughts and also everything in my stomach currently right there in the nuts and bolts section.

i just stare at him. he smiles at me.
he looks ridiculously handsome today. i totally want to have his baby. 

we head back to the studio and of course nothing worked out (that's been a theme), so we grab pizza for dinner and head home to watch the crown. our roommates are out celebrating their five year in their favorite city. we let little daisy (their dog-o) snuggle with us in bed. we are softies. then she pooped under a chair the next day just to remind me she's still boss. 

saturday. back to this morning. i wake up super depressed feeling. again. 
finally make my way out of bed around nine. ethan was having a rough lyme morning so he was in bed until around eleven (some days ethan feels really "pulled-down" it is awful to watch. he feels awful that he can't just wake up. some days are better than others but when he's on more lyme kill, it's nearly impossible for him to get up). i was in the turmoil again about taking a test or not. i was trying to just enjoy a saturday off but i was so uncomfortable. being in chronic pain with lyme i'm already uncomfortable but this was worse. i was so angry that normal people can just lay or sit in a position with a book and a blanket and just read it. but i was moving around and uneasy and nauseous and hungry but so incapable of making myself anything. i ate a banana and that helped. read two chapters. felt worse. grabbed almond flour crackers which are my favorite and then felt blah. i crawled over to the other couch, and sat on the floor with upper body on the couch cushion using my arm as a pillow. and waited. am i crazy? am i pregnant? should i just take the test? ethan woke up. came down and sat by me. he held my hand and told me how rough he was feeling this morning. that pulled-down feeling and he was sorry he wasn't up earlier to help me. 

he asked if i wanted bulletproof coffee. which i really didn't but i said ok, sure. 
then, while he was making it i decided it would just be better either way to take the test today. if i am, well. wow. and if i'm not, he's with me. we can handle it together. i have to know now. 

i listened in the kitchen, knowing very well all the sounds of making the coffee and determined i had just enough time to pee on the stick and wait for the results. i've taken enough pregnancy tests to not have to read the instructions anymore. the test box had one more left and i already decided i would replace the box and apologize later. i silent prayed and peed and as soon as i placed the cap on, the first line was turning blue already. the second one was coming in but very faded. i was worried that would mean i wasn't but i kept looking and reading the guide and it looked like the first circle is the most important. and i have very much seen an empty first circle many many times before. never before a first blue line appearance. 

i immediately cried. but also it all felt so unreal that i could be experiencing a positive test. i was was just like WHAT THO? HOW! GOD? AMAZING. REALLY? AHHH!

i thought of all the cute ways to tell your husband you're pregnant and how to quickly become adorable but instead i just cry-called loudly for ethan to come to me upstairs. i always startle him and sometimes it's just because of something cute or cat sleeping in some adorable way or i just wanted to tell him a funny or an idea. but also sometimes it's because i'm so ungraceful and i've fallen or stubbed my toe or hurt myself somehow and need immediate husband help. he is used to this but still is always in slight panic mode to get to me. so he was in mild panic mode and then as he came up the stairs he say me holding my mouth with tears in my eyes. he said, kind of sighing and out of breath, "did cat just do something cute?" and then searched my face .. "or what happened??" 

i told him "i really thought i might be pregnant, you know??" and then he was like "what do you mean!" he looked worried and so curious. he looked very serious. i just kept saying "i really think i'm pregnant!" he looked around me at into the bathroom, searching. 

we walked into the bathroom together and i just gave him the pee stick. 
still serious. looking at me, looking at the pee stick, he asked for the instructions. i forgot he hasn't read a ton of these! i handed the paper to him and he looked puzzled. then happy. then worried some more. i knew he wanted to be elated but also we are very aware of my disease, and the issues pregnancy may cause. and has caused for others. but also wanted to be so happy. he said "but what about the faded line?" so i told him i could text our midwife and see what she says. so we immediately went downstairs, both holding back happy tears, and texted. i sent her a picture so she would know exactly what we are dealing with. she said "ommmggeeee bethany!!! this means you're pregnant!!"  i told ethan and me gushed with joy. and tears. we asked so many questions, ethan immediately made me take a multi vitamin, and tried to do the math of how far along we are. between five and seven weeks. WHAT!? WE ARE PREGNANT!! 

ethan was very cautious. sweetly. 
he said he wanted to be elated. but also, didn't want to get to far ahead of himself. i told him i understand. i am not even thinking farther than this very day. he said that made him feel better. he kept looking at me with serious, deep, ethan burt intensity eyes. i knew he was already seeing two options. devastation and heartbreak or the happiest little joy of our lives. and i know it, too. i feel it very much. he worried that i was already seeing this kid as a 5 year old and 19 year old and we just don't know. and he knows the pain of loss so well. he said he felt the worst loss of all 18 years ago and lost the rest of his sentence in tears. i know. but this time i'm here. and he didn't have me last time. and we are in this together. and he told me now we prove what we believe. that this doesn't make God good, God is good no matter what happens to this baby. at any time. agreed. but also, in this very moment, we are pregnant. there is a baby in there. life. and that we can celebrate. and oh, did we. the sweetest exchanges. the best i've ever felt in my heart since after falling in love with him for the very first time. 

he cried thinking about telling his dad. we can't wait to tell our mentors. 
i cannot wait to tell my mama!

we can't believe this is real right now. 

i haven't even wanted coffee. that should have been a sign!

i don't know what tomorrow holds. but today i'm thankful for this little baby we got to create!

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bacon and egg sandwiches | getting a new season | helen keller wisdom

and we're back to our normal program. it's 4am. i cannot sleep. and my life has turned into a never ending episode of What Can I Eat Now? the star of the show is baby burt. cute little lime, craving all the diner food.

i made bacon and egg sandwiches for dinner last night, second dinner for me and now 4am first breakfast. i've woken up three times to eat and five times to pee. i'm officially into pregnancy mode. the other three eating times i tried to stave my cravings off by just eating pecans and dried cranberries. i would eat a handful, prop my pillows up so i didn't get sick from immediately lying down, fall asleep, wake up again with a horrible kink in my neck and repeat. until i couldn't not eat bacon for another second. which is now. 

i used to be so holy spirit lead with my writing. i would feel woken up for no other reason than to write. and i would. and it was amazing. of course i'm sometimes misunderstood, but for the most part after i would write something and even years after, God would (and still does) send someone who needed my words and they would be blessed or confused or convicted or healed by my writings and they would come to me with questions or desires for coffee dates or even became my brides because of it! i used to love this connection. i wrote freely, almost always around 2-5 in the morning, which i was sometimes annoyed by, and enjoyed my life to the full. 

then some things took place. life got harder. things were messier in my life which meant my writing got wonkier and more sensitive. fear crept in. too many misunderstandings took place at once. i started losing people. i worried my writing hurt people. i found that some people just aren't ready for certain parts of other people's journeys. and that's OK. i'm not always ready for other's stories either. but for too long, i've stopped telling mine. i felt like i lost permission to share my real life.

after my mom died my cousin reminded me with a post she sweetly wrote about her that she always desired to be a writer and a speaker. and how she (my cousin) felt like with the way she lived and the advice she gave and the way she jumped into all the things that we were all passionate about and spoke wisdom into our lives, she kind of did it! in a way she was a writer and a speaker. she lead worship for a million years (she went into labor with me at church camp where she was leading worship!). she taught so many women, so many bible studies. she and dad taught us scripture and so many songs of praise are stuck in my heart because she sang them to me from infancy. she did write and speak into my life. all the years of cards and encouraging words. all the conversations we got to have. the ways she in our adult years stepped into our lives and joined the IF gathering with us, our worship campfires, our praising in the park ideas, she was all in. 

my mom wasn't necessarily bold. she was smart, had her opinions and usually voiced them, but she wasn't always as confident or bold as i am to just say the things. a few years ago she said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. she said she was amazed and envied my confidence. and also wondered where it came from! (probably dad, she concluded) she said she loved watching me as an adult. who i've become. there are parts of me she wished she had had. which is such a cool thing to hear from my mom! i have also gotten into more trouble than mom probably ever did because of my boldness. it's a more fiery way to live for sure but it's a lot of fun. and mom saw beauty in that. 

i also heal in my own writing process. i have found myself in a mess of unfigured out things. unsettled emotions. horrible itchy anxiety about some relationships. losing sleep. feeling unsettled in my career and almost all of the ares of my life. 
i used to write this out, to you, to nobody, to myself. it was my way to get through the things, and i got better on the other side. each time. but then i stopped. so my way of dealing stopped, too. 

then we changed our life drastically, left our home and moved in with our best friends. 
then we stopped making as much money.
then we found out just how hard it is to add more people to a company. 
then people i love died. 
then i got more migraines. 
then the happiest thing ever happened and ethan and i got pregnant! 
then i keep getting violently ill. 

i find myself in a season of wanting.
wanting more privacy. 
wanting less freaking beastly migraines. 
wanting a healthy pregnancy.
wanting someone else to deal with all the mom things and house things and will things and horrible things we have to do because we lost mom and dad within two years of each other. 
wanting less chronic pain and disease. 
wanting better sleep. 
wanting a two week vacation on the beach. 
wanting to not have to wake up every hour to pee or eat. 
wanting someone to figure out my studio for me. 
wanting more work to magically appear for burtco. 
wanting less struggle. 
wanting to be left alone. 

when i hear about others struggling with these wants it's easier to point out and offer suggestions. right? it's always easier to just tell someone else what they need to do. "you know what your problem is!?" ha! 
i'm great at advice with my friend j. she'll tell you! i'm great at her life. but i'm not always great at just freaking doing the hard things myself. because i don't wanna. *pout* 

i'm not saying this is cute. i'm not looking for pity. i kept telling myself it's just a season. 
and maybe to some extent it is. it's OK to shut off for a while and just catch your breath. and i feel like i have done that. i did back away from all the things. and it was lovely! but now it is to a gross level of self loathing and no motivation and lack of gusto or trying. bad attitudes are probably a signal for change. switch gears, lady! get a new season! 

i am comparing this season change to when you read a FANTASTIC book. just, the tops. and then you are in a slump for a few weeks when you can't decide if any book would ever be worth picking up and trying because this book was EVERYTHING. 
but then you eventually give another book a try and it's also BEST and you're happy again and books are awesome and life is great. 

it's like that.

i had a great season of rest. and i feel myself actually organically needing to come out of that rest and be in a season of production, giving, availability. but HOW. because the resting book was so good. and now i know the productivity book will also be great but also i'm a touch depressed at having to put forth effort to get into this new book. 

i think it's my first time actively switching gears. changing seasons. i've always just let the life run me. let the tide and the waves and the people and the things crash around me and when i got a break i would try to catch my breath but always be available for the next wave. there was never a full stop. a full rest. 

it's hard to say no. especially as a people pleaser and especially when my list of people i LOVE AND WANT TO BE WITH keeps growing to insane numbers. it's just outrageous. i've never said no for so long and then all of a sudden said yes. i am afraid of the YES now. too many and i'll be crazy bethany again. running myself thin, working with other people's schedules and needs and wants to be with me and never considering my own life or job or schedule or needs or family. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, girl. it'll be hard to balance. but i feel more ready now that i've rested. i hope i can hear that still small voice say enough. rest for a day. i don't have to go into a full season of rest each time i need air now. i can be in a season of productivity and also find rest. hello, lovely sabbath. which comes beautifully every week. i don't have to wait long. 

i hope to write again. like this. i feel brilliantly free. 
something about it being almost 5am with the quiet, still night time feeling and only the sound of ethan sleeping and the click of my keyboard does that to me. 

last night i decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and read from the best person i could think of, helen keller. i'm so thankful she decided to write the story of her life. what a blessing her life has been to me and so many. 

and something she said in my reading last night reminded me of exactly what i love about bouncing back from a selfish phase. perfectly timed help. i love writing/reading. connecting in friendship over her wisdom.

"but i soon recover my buoyancy and laugh the discontent out of my heart. for, after all, every one who wishes to gain true knowledge must climb the Hill Difficulty alone, and since there is no royal road to the summit, i must zigzag it in my own way. i slip back many times, i fall, i stand still, i run against the edge of hidden obstacles, i lose my temper and find it again and keep it better. i trudge on, i gain a little, i feel encouraged, i get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. every struggle is a victory. one more effort and i reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire"

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