Getting used to the unexpected. A life update.

February 5, 2021

first trimester - pregnancy

I have been blogging for a decade now. That feels crazy to write. Instagram in many ways has replaced how and what I used to share here since it was where the majority of our readers like to hang out.

However, I was reading some old posts the other day, all of which I had forgotten about. Stories and experiences that still stirred up memories as if they had just happened, and it reminded me of why it still matters to me to write sometimes. I no longer have it in me to share deeply personal things online anymore, but I do think there is a need for truth and reality in a seemingly endless sea of online perfectionism. What we all need now more than anything is camaraderie and connection. Our goal with IHOD has always been to share in a way that invites you in and allows you to be encouraged, to feel welcome, and hopefully uplifted along the way. So how about a brief life update?

Since I know many dear friends and readers alike have decided to step away from social media, I want to return to the occasional real life updates here. We are now expecting a new baby, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. It was unexpected and I feel like I haven’t even adjusted to life with 6, but coming out of the haze of the first trimester I feel very humbled that I even get to carry life. A life that is a light in the midst of a world full of turmoil and pain. This baby has already taught me the gifts of trust and surrender into a plan much bigger than our own. My eyes are blurry as I type through tears because the truth is, I still very much feel like an unworthy student in the school of motherhood.

We told the kids Christmas morning, and seeing their excitement was something I will never forget. They all adore Chiara, and I have no doubt it will be the same for this one. Children have so much love to give.

It is not lost on me how many people are fighting through infertility and struggles to adopt, and it’s hard for me not to question the fairness of it all. So I am just doing the best I can to be a good steward of these treasures entrusted to me. To pay notice and appreciate the good and the hard that is shaping our family. I am so grateful for each of their lives. We are looking forward to meeting this little one in July!

I find it ironically humorous that we decided to do a huge kitchen renovation BEFORE finding out about this pregnancy, and so yet again I find myself debating green paints for hours to long. I am convinced we will wrap it up by May, and also simultaneously choosing to ignore the logical side of my brain that is telling me that it will very much not be done by the time I go into labor.

Going through renovations while living in your home is a far cry from what we often see online. Cropped squares with no children in sight. Well here our children are having to very much live through it as much as we are. Thankfully they are much more resilient and optimistic humans than I can claim to be. Chiara’s favorite spot is the newly discovered linoleum patches that were under the built-ins we removed. Rocco’s preferred place to eat is on the storage bin near the trash can. Veronica will prop her homework out wherever anyone is gathered so she can be in the middle of all the action. Max continues to compulsively build forts in whatever new corner he finds amusing.

We certainly can’t control the state of the world or even have some semblance of expectation of what the future is going to hold around us. I can however, choose to continue fighting for the family within the walls of my own home. To learn from each other, grow together, cultivate love, put faith into practice, and hope that one day these children will be change makers in their own way.

Thank you to you all who feel like friends far and wide who have uplifted and supported our family and IHOD through thick and thin. I will always be so grateful to you!

Family photo by Brigette Billups Photography

Leave a Comment

  • Congratulations to your entire family – what a blessing! As our parish priest said during his homily on new years day, for anyone who cannot recognize any good that came out of the year 2020, look around at our congregation at all the expectant mothers! This is God’s way of telling us to have hope and that He has a plan! This gave me so much peace. Thrilled for all these 2021 babies! 😀
    Also, forts are a daily occupation at our house these days too!
    Hope you are feeling well!

    • Hope is the word! I wouldn’t doubt that there is a whole generation of unplanned quarantine babies! 😉

    • “Cropped squares with no children in sight” THANK YOU for sharing your family with us! And showing us how our dreams can be realized not is spite of- but because of- those precious, rambunctious souls 😊. I just love that Gid is blessing you all with another little one. Congratulations!

  • So excited for you! What a joy for your older children. You’re blessed!

  • I am so very happy for your family! I have seven children, and I often felt surprised and unworthy of each pregnancy. You have a lot of little ones right now, and you need to give yourself some grace that life is hard because of that. I promise that it does get easier. Congrats again!

  • Congratulations. It must be nice to have seven children and one in heaven. It truly is not fair. Some of us cannot even have a sibling for our one little miracle. Yes that is the excruciating pain of years of infertility speaking. It should be heard, along side the overabundant gifts your family had received. What a cross. Seven children. Enjoy all your lavish blessings.

    • I’m truly sorry for your pain Addy. I don’t understand why some people must carry such a burden. It is a mystery I have such a hard time with. I do not take these children for granted, and I wish only good things ahead for you.

  • Emily Lambelet

    I am
    I have been off of Instagram for the past couple of months, in order to slow down and quiet my heart–but I’ve missed following you on IG and i’m so glad you have a blog! Congratulations and praise the Lord for this gift of life! What a beautiful post and such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing some of the big the truths and views in your life–it really has helped point me to a better perspective this past year. Thank you!

  • Congratulations to your family! And thanks so much for posting and sharing! I decided to delete Instagram and haven’t been on for a while now, but love stopping in IHOD to catch up with you guys and get some home inspiration. Please keep blogging and writing!

    God bless you all!

  • That family photo is a treasure <3
    I enjoyed the update as always.

  • Cindy mayeske

    Congratulations! So happy for you! I understand exactly those feelings you talked about.. the tremendous unworthiness of these precious blessings, along with the almost guilty feeling when thinking of those who are struggling to conceive. We have been blessed with 8 precious children, and have also had 3 miscarriages… While my sister has never been able to have children. She is a very gracious person and loving Auntie, and I thank God for her! But at times I felt such guilt over being pregnant yet AGAIN…just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your article, and your gracious acceptance and excitement over this new little one! Wishing you God’s blessings!

  • I love these types of “real life” posts. We’ve been doing lots of fort building in our house this week, too. Congratulations on the baby!

  • Tie breaker! So exciting! Congratulations! I say girl!

  • Anna I am so glad I checked your blog- congratulations!!! I’m due in July too😊I’ve missed keeping up with you since I’ve gotten off of social media, but I’m so glad to see you’ll be occasionally updating here- long live the blog!!

  • Just keep up the good work and one day you will succeed

  • Awesome article and well written . I appreciate your article. will share it on my social pages.

  • Thanks for sharing this information.

  • You are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing some of your inner most thoughts in such a warm and unique style. I typically just drink in blog photography. Your posts: I actually read. I spent the last few weeks reading from 2015. I am inspired on many levels!!!

  • Hi there!

    I am not on social media, but I love love love your blog! Just wanted you to know that whenever I stop by to read, I leave feeling uplifted, wanting to be a better mom, a better disciple, and to leave the world a little more beautiful. Thanks for being a bright spot on the internet! Xoxo

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