love the ordinary

My blog has been rolling since the new year, but we haven't left the house as a collective unit since New Year's Day (except to play in the snow that one day) as we've been bombarded by an evil puke bug. Aaron, Heidi, and I got it last Thursday. When I thought Anna and Lydia had escaped it, Anna got it on Sunday. And last night, it finally took down Lydia . . . and Heidi went down again. I'll spare you the nitty gritty, but this was what Aaron and I were doing at ten thirty last night. Somehow both girls managed to accomplish their task along the wall and into wooden slats . . . blech.

I've been hanging out with my giant vat of vinegar and rags all morning.

And I'm just now starting to get the clean linens back on the bed (just in time for naps!).

So. Much. Laundry. Waterproof mattress cover (so thankful for these!), mattress pad, sheets, fleece blanket, comforter, duvet cover, pillow, pillow case . . . my washer and dryer have been hauling since late last night.

Nonetheless, in all this, I am thankful.

My sweet friend, Deidre (yes - the one to whom I wrote this back when she was pregnant with her first baby and who I mentioned here in some reflections), had her second baby on Saturday. The delivery went horribly wrong, and her newborn (Emma) has been in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) since her traumatic birth. Deidre is a strong, southern woman, and I love (and miss!) her dearly. I visit her vicariously via Nez and routinely find myself sobbing when I pray for her and Emma and her husband, Gavin, and oldest daughter, Mary-Anne (who is Heidi's age).

I recall my days with Heidi in the intensive care nursery (ICN, NICU, just depends what the hospital names it), and the things I wrote here. I cry now as I did then for "the mamas I knew in my years of of pediatric ICU nursing and the helplessness of seeing your baby wired and unable to hold her." Except this time, it's Deidre (who is both a pediatric ICU nurse (one of the best ever, if I do say so myself) and a mama). Nevermind all the potential diagnoses and everything gone/going wrong. As a mama with your newborn, you just want to hold her, to learn her, to nurse her, to love her. Those empty arms ache, and my heart hurts for Deidre in ways I cannot articulate. And I find myself groaning for her in prayer and repeating some of my favorite words from Frederick Buechner. "God himself does not give answers. He gives himself."

Yet, in true Deidre style, she reminds and encourages me (and others) with her occasional updates. "Love the ordinary today. Love the mundane drive to work, love that the hardest thing today will be taking your toddler to the grocery store, love the boring conversations, love snuggles and booger kisses, love and appreciate blessings you didn't see before."

So today I am loving that my three girls are here, at home, napping. That I can hold their hair back and rub their tiny backs as they shrimp-back over puke buckets. That I can hold them close as they sob salty tears of not feeling good. That I can take away their dirty linens and set them up in sleeping bags on the floor of our bedroom for a sleepover party. That I can nestle them on the couch with blankets and puke buckets while turning on Cinderella.

Deidre, I love you, and I'm praying for you.


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