Friday, March 09, 2018

Genuinely Three.

"You're full of life now
You're full of passion
It's how He made you
Just let it happen"

Our Sunshine Girl is three years old. As I put her to bed last night, she said "Mama, just snuggle me some mooorrre...". It was hard to peel myself out of her bed and up the stairs.

Good night, two year old. Good morning, three year old.

I have so many favorite things about Macy right now. She's got so much happening in her mind and her soul. Her brain is so active and what's inside comes out freely.

Confidently, she speaks. Genuinely, she shares her thoughts with the world.

"But mom, that one's not my faaaavorite..."
"Mom, I'm feelin' angry right now."
"It's okay, buddy, it's okay."
"Oh, yep! I betcha!"
"Here me are!"
"Ohhh, c'mhere baby. IIII gotcha, IIII gotcha."
"Mom, I think I need some mom time."

She's so gutsy and brave as she tries some new, big phrases on for size. Sometimes she faceplants and Jake and I try hard to hold back our laughter.

Other times, she soars.

I can learn so much from this girl.

Year Two was better than anything I could have imagined. Year Two was filled with joy and snuggles and compliance and such. Year Three might be a little different.

I enter Year Three boldly and confidently, just as my three year old daughter would. I'm not a good example for someone looking for perfection. I can't teach smartness. I don't know much about lots of things.

But what I can do is inspire genuine uniqueness. That's something I grasp, and want to share with my kids.

Be you, sweet Macyn. It's better than anything else you could ever be. You have strengths that we don't have. You know and understand things in beautifully unique ways, and when you share those things it makes all of us better.

We need you.

This is how He made you. Let it happen, little lady.

As you grow and change this next year, I wonder if you'll become more concerned with what others think. What I want to tell you is "Don't worry about it! Their thoughts about you don't matter!" but instead I'll say - Dear one, why would you worry? You are uniquely you.

This is how He made you. Let it happen.

Yes, I know, it's doesn't feel good when people don't understand you. That can be super hard.

But we understand you. And you'll understand you.
(Not everyone can say that)

And we'll work it out, together.

If anyone in our home is full of life and passion, it's you. Hang on tightly to that which drives you. It will be there your whole life through. We'll help you learn what it is, and where to find it, and how to use it best.

It's how He made you. Just let it happen.

Today, you are fearless. Ever since we can remember, when you jump to us it's with incredible freedom. Whether you're on the counter, at the door of the van, on the edge of your bed, on the side of the pool - when we hold out our arms to catch you, you jump in a complete, total-abandon, here-I-come way.

You don't wonder if we'll catch you. You don't pause in fear before jumping. You don't wonder what we'll think of your flailing arms and lanky legs.

You smile, and fly.

That's what I want so much of, and I'm learning it from you.

To Macyn Joy - on your third birthday. May we be more like you every day. Thanks for teaching us. We have so much to learn.

Here we walk, into year three, bold and confident. Smile & fly.

One Thing I Know For Sure: It's how He made you. Let it happen.

(Lyrics quoted throughout this post are from this song.)

Read Macyn's Birth Story HERE
Read Macyn's First Birthday Post HERE
Read Macyn's Second Birthday Post HERE

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Mr. ONEderful Turns One.

Last night, I gave you extra kisses. Kisses aplenty. It was our last night to have a baby in the house. 

Today, you are one. 

Of course, I just listened to the audio that Daddy took as you took your very first breath (one of the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts your Daddy ever gave me - recording the first moments of your life, and of Macy's life). 

The first four minutes of your life, all on audio. 

What I heard was so much love. Lots of laughing and affirming. Tiny little cries from you. A midwife who said "Silas, don't mess with your mama" because in two pushes, you were here.

And then I said what I so remember feeling.

"That was hard. That was really hard."

Your first moments of life were intense, for sure. I wasn't expecting it to go that way.

It was a hard 20 minutes of active labor, but I had no idea of the good stuff that awaited me.

I'm so glad we said "let's have one more". 

Silas Jacob - the friendliest of friends. Social butterfly, fully engaged, feeling all the people.

Our family needed you.

You've made life easy for this mama, who now has three kids to mind. You can entertain yourself for long periods of time while I help a Big Sister with her magnet tile creations and play doh sculpting, and a Big Brother with his snacks and dressing his babydoll.

I peek at you from time to time, and when our eyes meet you flash me the hammiest smile.

You don't need me, usually - but I'm thankful that you want me. I'll be your jungle gym, your food-giver, your two-second snuggle when you're upset.

It may seem like I'm busy, but I'm here. And I'm never too busy for you.

On your first birthday, I'm allowing myself to feel all the sentimental feelings. I'm celebrating your life - and celebrating you.

You! Silas Jacob. Siley-J. Siley-Jaybird. Si-si. Siley Pep.

A unique little person, who will do well with nourishing and cherishing.

I'm so glad that I get to be your mom.

Sometimes we'll step back and say "That was hard" but there are good things around the bend.

I'm sure of it.

And together, Team Gibson will get there. Sometimes it will be slow (it's usually best that way). Sometimes it will be uncomfortable (most good things are). But big smiles and sunshine await.

So, to our sweet, friendly, patient, tender boy: we treasure you, buddy. We believe that big, amazing, excellent things await you. We are so glad to be part of your unique story. Helping you write it will be one of the greatest joys of our life.

Here's to a wild & precious life of loving others and being loved by others.

"Yaaaaay Siley!"

One Thing I Know For Sure: So much love.

Read Silas's Birth Story HERE.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Top 10 of 2017

It's time for the Top 10 of 2017.

Hahaha.  That's a funny joke.  Everyone here knows I didn't keep it to just ten. I just can't help it - I start looking through photos from the past 12 months, and all the feels just come at me, and soon they're dripping out of my eyes. 

So, let's call this post "My Biggest Feels of 2017". That's better. 

In chronological order, because I could never pick a favorite. Here we go.


Silas Jacob was welcomed into the world on March 7, and Macy marched right in and took her role as Big Sis very seriously. I'll never forget her squeaky little 23-month old voice saying "Hi, Tiny! Hi, Little Squeaker!" like she had been waiting nine months to call him those names. Her squinty eyes and squishy cheeks pointed up in the most sincere smile, this girl was sister-material from the beginning.


Just two days after welcoming Silas, we celebrated Macy's second birthday. Sweetest little sunshine girl, celebrating her comes easy.


When Macy was a baby, Carter tolerated her. He might have even liked her, a little bit. But his relationship with Silas is different. Maybe it's brotherhood. Maybe Carter has matured. Maybe he practiced with Macy and is perfecting it with Silas. Whatever it is, I like it. 


Blurry sister, but I don't care. These are the early days with three kids. The photos were blurry, and so was our life. Things are clearing up a bit now, but these blurry days still look so good to me. What she doesn't know is this boy she calls 'Tiny' will soon be as big as her, and into all her stuff. Either way, love still grows.


Those blurry days I talked about? Even the teeth brushing sessions were precious. Three kids, a tired mom, and so much goodness. These are the moments I'll cry for 10 years from now. 


Remember that one time, when Carter turned 9, and we asked him what he wanted for a cake, and he said "Lemon pie"? And we kept asking him over and over, because he couldn't possibly want that. And then his party came, and he was ecstatic to see Lemon Pie. Remember that? Carter knows what he wants. He can tell us what he wants. When he tells us something, we believe him. 


My Grampie, and my baby - at Carter's 9th Birthday.  Just a few weeks after taking this photo, I learned some hard news, and the reality was that there was a chance this would be one of the last birthday parties my Grampie would attend. In an instant, this photo became ultra-special. Turns out, he's going to be around for a while. But this photo serves as a reminder to me of the fragility of life, and the power of our Right & Just God.


Our first photo as a family of five. A little crooked, a little wonky, but totally perfect. This is us.


This is our summer, in a nutshell. 


This girl and her daddy have something all their own. His 'mini-me', in more ways that one.


I'm just a mom, trying to figure out life with three kids. By mid-summer, we're getting there. Carter is either a tremendous help, or the one who needs the most help. There's no in-between - but when it's good, it's soooo good.


When it's good - it's sooooo good. How can we help him get to 'good'? How about making a permanent kiddie pool for him to play boats in? What if we add a filter with a little fountain? Success.


Here we are, three-fifths of a family, being pushed and stretched in all directions. This baseball outing was one of the first outings with Carter after taking the gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free/peanut-free/rice-free plunge. It's been an amazing journey of growth for all of us - but here we are, trying something hard (restaurant food) with our kiddo who wants nothing more than a dang bun and ice cream. But we helped him through it, and he was a champ. Here's to growth.


"Mom, your my bester friend ever!". Yes, dear one. The feeling is mutual. Let's be bester friends forever and ever. We need each other.


Saint Germain, 2017 - a hard week for our nine year old who wants so badly to be independent like any other nine year old...but can't be trusted alone for more than a second. For a few minutes, he played in his room with his beloved 'pink baby' and as I watched to see what he would do, I saw a happy, tender, caring boy who rocked and kissed his baby so sweetly. Independence is growing, and we'll get there.


This is Macy, two years old and so confident. From head to toe, uniquely perfect.


This is what it looks like to be understood and loved. Run free, sweet boy. Run right into the good things ahead.

Read more here.


Tubbies in the sink after an evening of playing outside after dinner. Time, slow down. 


As his personality develops, we see a sweet little boy underneath the perfect amount of rough-and-tumble. Sensitive, gentle, and kindhearted. This is Siley-J. Siley-Jaybird. Si-si. Casa (Carter gave him this we embrace it). Sweet guy.


In those days when life seemed blurry and out of focus, this guy helped me to reign it back in. Here he is, doing something he used to hate. He's enjoying it, he's interacting with Macy and I while he's doing it, he's focused and determined. It's hard to believe there were days I never thought we'd get here.

But here we are.

2017 is in the books. I had big intentions for sending out New Year cards (instead of Christmas cards). I designed them excitedly...and then didn't follow through with actually having them printed and mailed out (which, as it turns out, are pretty important steps in the card-sending process). long as you're here...

Here's to 2018. May it be one amazing year.
Even if it's not.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas, from us to you.

Merry, merry, merry.

Merry, x3.

Our three little loves had a fantastic Christmas. They've got Grandparents and Great Grandparents coming out of their ears. So you can bet that we've got a mountain of toys in the middle of the living room that wasn't there a week ago.

A motorcycle ride-on thingy for Macyn. A big boy drill set for Carter. Paw Patrol stuff. Baby dolls. Race tracks (Be careful of little girls who have long hair and like to play with race cars. I've heard sometimes hair can get caught in the wheel, only to be worked on for 40 minutes before deciding to destroy the car in order to avoid cutting out a chunk of hair. I've heard.)  Throw in some twinkling lights and christmas cookies and 'Jingle Bells' (on repeat) and that about sums up our Christmas season.

All good stuff.

But there's so much more. This was the Christmas of our dreams, maybe. Partly because the grandparents didn't totally outdo themselves. Partly because we were able to stay home and have family come to our house (which is a huge win for Carter boy!). Partly because Jake and I worked together as a team to set our kids up for success.

Mostly that.

What do our kids need? What can we do as parents (who, ideally, should have our own selves together enough to put them first) to help our kids succeed? What do our kids need to be their best selves? Can we give them that?

Macyn and Silas don't need much to be successful. They're very easy-going, happy, calm kiddos. Toss a few gifts at them and they'll be happy for hours.

But Carter needs more. And up until recently, we failed to recognize that. We'd drag him to long family gatherings and expect him to hold it together. That's just not something he's capable of right now, and we're okay with that. So the family adjusts, with gladness.

This little book was a project I worked on over the fall. It's a book about our family for Macy (and eventually, Silas). The note on the inside reads: "To Macy, Our family is unique in many special ways. This book is only the beginning of helping you to see the great value that our uniqueness brings! Go 'Team Gibson'!"

We're unique. Fantastically, so. And we embrace it.

Carter has become harder and harder to buy meaningful gifts for. This year the toy grill (complete with burger & the fixin's) was a hit, along with his real drill set and a big red truck like Brad's. The t-shirt below was possibly made for Carter (although the joke is lost on him). 

But we really wanted to find one more thing that would speak to him - saying "Hey, bud. We get you. We understand you. We think you're awesome."  So Jake did some shopping. He's the thoughtful gift giver of the family, so it only made sense that he lead the way on this.

Eventually, he found what would seemingly be the perfect gift for our garbage-loving 9 year old. It was a small, residential size garbage can. Complete with clasping lid, handle for pulling, and of course - wheels. Unfortunately, it was out of stock in all the big-box stores around us and we were too close to Christmas to have anything shipped.

Bummer, dude. Maybe next year!

But then...Jake decided to contact the company that manufactures these little garbage cans. The brand is 'Toter' and they were a dream to talk to on the phone. Jake explained why we'd want one of these garbage cans - we've got a 9 year old with special needs who loves nothing more than taking out garbage, shaking the garbage bag, throwing garbage in the can, etc. After talking for a bit, Jake learned that they don't have an option to purchase an individual item (and we weren't interested in purchasing a bulk set of garbage cans...sorry Carter!). 

Bummer, dude. Maybe next year!

But then...Shelley from Toter called Jake back and asked if she could get our address. She was excited to share that her amazing management team agreed to do what they could to get us ONE garbage can, in time for Christmas. Perfect!

"How much do we owe you?"

"Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you, too. How can we get payment to you?"

"That won't be necessary. Merry Christmas."

Cheesy grin, proud stance, I imagine he's feeling so very known and understood. My people get me. They really get me!

Fantastically unique - we know not everyone has a green garbage can in their living room on Christmas morning. But here we are! Embracing it, this Christmas and beyond.

Thanks, Toter. You've reminded us that sometimes our life takes a little extra work, and sometimes it takes help from others, but it's so worth it on Christmas morning. You helped to make this boy's Christmas very special, indeed.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "GARBAAAAGE!!! Shake, shake bag!! Toys in garbage! Hahaha! Empty garbage!!! Pull garbage can!!",  on repeat.
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