Sunday, May 25, 2014

Like a Cork in Water

It is the eve of Owen's first birthday. Here's the honest to God truth. I have been really sad in these days leading up to his birthday. I tell myself I'm being ridiculous and to pull myself together but I can't help it. I feel sad.

Since Owen was our fifth baby and since he followed triplets, there was little worrying about how to do things, in terms of baby care. With Owen, I followed his cues and my mothers intuition more than ever. There weren't any feeding charts or diaper logs or "should he be doing ______ by now?" worries. I just purely enjoyed him.

And by darn, he's growing up! They're all growing up. Today, that felt so bittersweet. Also, I know Owen will be our last baby. We are so blessed, but it's weird to think that the baby years will quickly be behind us. I've had a baby on my hip and/or one on the way for so long now.

Also, our family was supposed to be in town this weekend to celebrate. Because of unforeseen health issues, my family wasn't able to come. I wish I could be with my family to support them and I wish they could be here with us, enjoying the beautiful day and watching our kids play together. That too makes me sad.

At some point today, I decided to pull myself together! I know it's okay to feel sad.... and at the same time, it's important to party on and celebrate with these boys.

Chris and I decided that a picnic at the beach would be just what we all needed. We planned on making our favorite caprese pasta salad, along with fresh strawberries. What a delicious summer picnic meal, right?! Well, long story short, neither the salad or the strawberries got made and we ended up grabbing grilled cheese sandwiches from Panera. You know what? They were pretty darn amazing. Also, our time at the beach was amazing.

The whole thing reminded me of some of the best advice I ever got. I was 22 and just about to leave for the Peace Corps. I'd just met up with the rest of my group in Washington D.C and sat in a room listening to a returned peace corps volunteer give us the logistics of what to expect over the next two years. Then, he gave one piece of advice pertaining to our service and I've never forgotten it.

"Whatever you are imagining your peace corps experience to be, I promise you, it will be different. It will be different than what you are picturing. Be like a cork in water and go with the flow. If you try and go against the flow, you'll likely be miserable. If you can be like a cork in water and go with flow, the current will take you somewhere different than what you imagined. But guess what? It will be better."

That little bit of advice has stuck with me and I often think of it when I find myself resistant to change. It was true of the peace corps. What I imagined it to be like and what it actually was, was different. Embracing the experience that it was, made it amazing.

Owen, that piece of advice was in the forefront of my mind as I watched you discover sand and play with your brothers on the beach tonight. I wished your cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles could be with you digging in the sand, but there will be many other days for that, God willing. Life is good, even when things don't unfold exactly how we picture it or when life seems to be moving too fast (like you growing up!). I hope that someday you will read this and find it helpful. If you can find a way to be like a cork in water and go with the flow, life will lead you to some pretty amazing destinations. Really, it's about enjoying the moments you're given and focusing on the blessings you have right now.

This was our first time to the beach this year and Owen is very distracted by the water!

Mmmm, Panera

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