This beautiful mess.

IMG_8597.JPGI have to write. Even before the internet, blogs, or Instagram…it’s just the way I’m wired. And for years now, I’ve even written publicly, yes. I know that our journey and my personal walk with grief, posted publicly, has touched other momma’s/families who’ve lost a baby.

I filter out what I feel is too much. But share the rest for you, for them…And call me selfish, but sometimes, just for me. To know I’m not alone, to be heard and mostly I write to share her.

My daughter, our precious Eisley-girl.

My mom recently said something that touched me so deeply. She said since I carried Eisley and knew her more than anyone, that when she read what I’ve written and what I’ve shared about Eisley. She feels like she knew her too. She feels like she knows what she was like and who she was and would have been.

That my sharing had given Eisley a personality for her.

I love that.

I want people to know our Eisley-girl. I still struggle with her being forgotten, and to hear my Madre speak this, felt comforting to my heart.

She’s known. She’s remembered. She’s longed for. She’s missed.

4 years since her death and in 3 days, 4 years since her birth… Where am I at now?

Today I was reflecting on … Well, a lot. For one, I realized how thankful I am that God gave us Chaseyboy first. Before Eisley.

What felt utterly impossible after losing Eisley, became possible when I saw this smile and the life in his eyes in the days, and now years, that have followed Eisley’s death.

Chaseyboy has walked alongside us in our ups and downs in our grief. Learning how to live life after loss has been the most difficult journey Ted and I have had to walk.

I struggle with feeling like loss has changed me as a mother, a wife, and a person, for the worst… I feel more emotional, more sensitive… I already felt like a “sensitive soul” but since we lost Eisley I feel like I feel TOO much. I sometimes wish I could just shut it all off, bury my grief and just move along as if I’m the same as who I was before. But again, even today, I look at this face…

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And I’m moved to want to choose life amidst grief. It seems like such a gnarly contradiction… And in some ways it is, but I’ve realized today, 4 years later, that it’s a mess but a beautiful mess.

It’s our life, our loss, our reality.
Our journey. We face it every day.
And I want to embrace this beautiful mess.

There were seasons where I felt like it was all just messy. And finding the ‘beautiful’ parts were difficult.

I don’t think I have to choose between the two, but instead I need to embrace both the beautiful and the messy.

And that’s exactly what I aim to do from here on out. I don’t wanna beat myself up anymore for it not being more ‘beautiful’ or thinking it’s too ‘messy’ like it often feels.

4 years later and I’m finally saying, beautiful mess, I accept you.

Sharing Eisley (on sharing child loss)

This week Chase asked me about Eisley… again. His curious mind, wondering and trying to process things he either vaguely remembers, or things he’s heard and seen. Pictures, memorabilia, even the breakdowns I’ve had (that I can’t say I’m overly proud of).

I remember before I had her as the fear of losing her became greater and greater, I struggled with wondering, do I tell my almost 14-month-old anything? I mean he wouldn’t even remember, right? I knew he wouldn’t understand but would he feel things?

While I was in labor with Eisley, I was given a nurse who had two stillborn babies,her first baby and her third. She had children between and after her losses and she shared with me that she and her husband had decided to tell her other children. They were a part of their family, and they would celebrate them each year.

But what would we do? And if I don’t share now while he was little, then when? Do I ever?

Then I had Eisley, and to be honest, I didn’t really have time to think things through… clearly, anyways. It was all kind of a blur, a fog…a nightmare.

I think I knew deep down, not sharing about her wasn’t really an option. I felt so close with her, and now I felt like a part of me was missing. How could I not share her?

And even the moments, like this week and and the weeks to come – where the haunting anniversaries arrive, memories resurface, pain feels raw all over again,… I don’t ever regret sharing her…

and I especially don’t regret sharing Eisley with Chase, and now Shailo and some day, Everly.

There is truly an Eisley-shaped hole in our family that not only are Ted and I learning to live with. But also our children. They don’t feel the magnitude of what we felt and feel, but they feel something. Chase remembers some things from that time, though he was little.

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And more than that, they too, are processing the questions that arise in them that their minds can’t wrap around. It’s funny, in a childlike way, he has had some of the same thoughts/questions I’ve had for my Heavenly Father.

Like this last week when he said to me, “I know Eisley is with Jesus… But I wish she could come here and stay in our new home with us.”

Oh my heart.

I found myself wanting to say something comforting like, “but she is in heaven with Jesus and I bet she has a super cool room!”

But I just couldn’t. Validation, Jami, it’s what helped you when you needed it most, “yeah, me too, buddy.”

“Well, we can pretend she’s here!” He said and pulled Everly’s little rocker into the hallway.

I didn’t really know what to do or to say. So I didn’t. I didn’t move the chair for hours. But when the house was quiet as all 3 kiddos napped and I spotted the sun shining perfectly on the little rocker. It just broke me. I fell to my knees, put my head down and wept on to the empty rocker.

Even in these painful moments and memories, I still don’t… And can’t… Regret sharing her with her siblings.

Or sharing her with you along the way.

I had this fear she’d be forgotten, like she’d never existed, when we first lost her.

I wanted people to know of the beautiful little girl we held for 45 minutes. I wanted people to know of who we felt she was and to remember how she impacted us and also those who prayed for her.

To not share who she was, who she is and how she impacted our lives, felt like an injustice. For her, and honestly, for myself too. I always desire authenticity, even here on my
Blog. It has helped my grieving immensely, to write about her life and my struggles since she passed, and how we are moving forward as life is speeding by.

I realized, almost four years later, the ache is still ever-present and though it seems different, it isn’t any easier to process. We are still learning how to live with this ache, with the questions that arise in ourselves and in our kids/

This week I have felt so thankful that we decided to share her life with our other kiddos. And that we don’t hide behind close doors with our grief (though at time, we do). That even though the sudden questions may take us aback, we address them.

I haven’t been proud of many moments in my grief these past four years, but this is an area I am very thankful we allowed.

That we accept this as a part of our lives and say it’s okay to grieve and to talk about her. To ask the questions that linger.

We are learning what it means to share her life, to grieve and rejoice, together. Though each grieves so very differently, it is together as a family. And for that, I am beyond thankful.

I wanted to close the doors on my emotions this year, for some reason that I can’t quite pinpoint. But Chaseyboy’s questions and that moment in the hallway broke me.

I’m thankful. So thankful, as we are less than two weeks away from anniversaries.

Thank you for reading my emo blog post. I guess I just want to be sure I keep sharing. That I don’t close the door to the blog world, too. I know this blog has touched so many grieving mommas. I want to say to you that it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to share and to be heard and feel validated. Your child’s life happened, your loss happened. Speak it, cry it out, scream it out if needed. Be heard by at least one. I’m not saying you must write a blog in order to validate their life and your loss, but I just want to speak it out for you mommas, especially those who feel weak… don’t shut the doors to your grief, don’t fret that you will mess up your other kiddos if you cry in front of them.  It is okay to share, it might even help those around you too.

Sharing has helped in my healing. Sharing has helped in our family’s healing. It’s still painful, but it does helps.

Love,
J

 

Super 5! (A Super Hero Birthday Party)

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Chase’s ‘Calling All Superheroes’ birthday party was a blast! We asked his friends to dress up as some kind of hero and we had everything from Mr. Incredible to Ninja Turtles, Bat Girls, Super Men, Etc..

Each year I plan the party based upon what the birthday kiddo is interested in (with the exception of their first birthday). Two years ago when I asked Chase what kind of birthday party he would like, he chose Disney-Pixar’s Cars. I remember being momentarily tempted to sway him towards Superheroes so I could throw him a Super Hero birthday party. I’m so thankful I didn’t because this happened naturally this year and it made it that much more fun (because in case you haven’t noticed, he’s REALLY into superheroes and heroes in general.) Normally we are on a limited budget for parties, this time was actually even more tight than ever before so I had to be especially thrifty. I’ll put little notes with pictures for those interested in doing a superhero party in the future :) Here are some pictures from the day.

SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_2 Confession of a party-planning-lovin’ momma: When it comes to parties – I LOVE THEM. I love planning them, picking out games, colour schemes, etc. I just have a lot of fun putting parties together, However, a little secret, when it comes to the food part – I really don’t like any part of it. I get SUPER lazy. I get overwhelmed thinking about baking the day before or of the party. So I don’t. I usually either ask my friend Chey to bake and decorate a cake for me, OR I go to the grocery and pick up pre-made cupcakes (remember the Jake party last year) or pre-made cake and add my own decorations. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_3SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_1

You can find TONS of super hero style printables online! I just went on pinterest and picked out those that matched our Comic style Super Hero party. I saved boxes over the past couple months and covered them with $4 black wrapping paper. I cut out little “windows” from yellow construction paper and taped them on.
SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_20(iphone pics – thank you Teri for capturing the one of Everly … and for holding her!)

I found this awesome polkadot tissue paper at walmart for almost $2 and used that to decorate as well. I also found superheroes, like Thor here, online here. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_4

(Chase requested I dress like Wonder Woman. So I did. Even though the juniors shirt arrived and was WAY too tight. LOVE YA KIDDO! hehe)

One of the funnest parts of parties are the games. We made a superhero obstacle course that if the kiddos completed, they earned a certificate and a medal (free printable I found online and I got the medals in a pack from the Dollar Tree!)

SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_6“Hulk Smash” station – I went to purchase Hulk hands online and I just couldn’t handle the $20 price rag. I was SO thankful when I found inflatable Hulk hands at The Dollar Tree!! I spend $2 instead of $20+. Hooray! (They also have A LOT of superhero themed things at The Dollar Tree. I really could have gone out of control. Check it out if you have little Superheroes running around)
SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_8The “bricks” are also boxes we had that i wrapped in $4 red wrapping paper and drew on with a sharpie marker. You could use tissue paper but I think the wrapping paper is more sturdy for the little Hulks that plow through the boxes. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_16 SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_9SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_19

The kiddos then had to run to The Superman Speed Practice and put on a cap and mask as fast as they could (I think this ended up being difficult for most of the kids so they just had them spin around 3 times with the mask on :))
SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_5The kids would then enter a tunnel on the Gotham side …SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_11and come out the other on the “Spiderman” side. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_22They would then grab this “Spider Web” spray (also from the Dollar Tree and with a free printable from pinterest) and spray toy villains we had lined up for them. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_18

Finally, the kids had to complete a “Flash Dash” where they ran as fast as they could through cones we had set up.
SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_7Once they finished they received their Official Superhero certificate and medal :)SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_10We also played a game where the kids had to free the superheroes from ice. I froze 4 figures just the night before (in tupperware) and pulled them out just before the game. (I ran them under hot water to free the ice cube from the tupperware)SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_12SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_21(above: iphone pics)

 I filled spray bottles with hot/warm water and let the kids “save them”. It was a hit!SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_14Batman Chaseyboy opening gifts. SuperHeroBirthdayCollage_15Cannot believe my boy is 5! SuperHeroBirthday-0001-3

A letter to 5-year-old Chaseyboy.

10389079_10152282702636989_4637574268146977703_nChaseyboy, our firstborn, it is hard to believe but you are FIVE! I could write and write about the cutest things you’ve said in the past 5 years, one of my most favourite ones was when you were asked what your first and last name and you said “Chasey Boy.” Or the most recent adorable quote where you thought your tball coach was telling you to literally run home and you packed up your hat and glove and headed my way. :) :) :) I could go on and on.

You are a true gift to our family. I am so thankful for who you are. Here is a bit about you currently. 10458081_10152314854131989_5099868355570851270_nYou have a love for learning. And though you can be hesitant to try new things, when you do try them, you give it your all and excel! You also enjoy teaching your brother things, even deep things about life, about God, about the way things work, etc. 10347472_10152293026266989_4506189929693023940_n

You adore your sister, your heart to protect her is already so moving (though at this stage in life you mostly try to protect her from your less-than-gentle little brother Shai) I pray your heart to protect others – not with physical force but with words, will carry far into your adult years.

1507750_10152094207216989_3037894511505048651_nIt’s adorable, but for the past couple of years you’ve said “When I grow up to be a daddy I’ll…” and share the things YOU will do when YOU are a daddy, Like being a daddy is the greatest thing in the world (which you have the best dad, so of course you think that!) I adore it and hope you always feel that way :)10525844_10152262681506989_6889496046084937090_nYou love the outdoors (unless it’s thundering because unfortunately momma has put an unhealthy fear of lightening in you), most moments of your day you’d prefer to spend swinging or playing around the yard, (Above: Here they are “cooking”)

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You are amazing at using your imagination to the fullest and exploring the world with creativity. If momma is doing a project, you want to participate in any way possible! You just LOVE to create.

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5 years in and you still need solitude at some point throughout the day. You enjoy “quiet times” where you usually play or create in your room or Everly’s while brother naps. (You also REALLY love puzzles and legos right now)

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You so desire things to be done “the right way” and when they aren’t, it upset your greatly. While that’s sometimes quite difficult, it’s also amazing to see how much you desire right from wrong and are so willing to pursue the right path (most of the time :))

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Oh how I wanna keep you little, My Chaseyboy. All of you – from your blonde little faux hawk and cute little squinty-eye smile, to the innocent look I see in your eyes, Or the way your giggle when you’re so excited, The way you call “Mom, what super hero am I?” from down the hallway each night.

I know I can’t keep you little, and that you are growing far faster than I had imagined…

My prayer for you is that as you grow you’ll know that you are loved always, that grace abounds and you are forgiven when needed, that you know how to truly loves others and let go of all the rest (hatred, bitterness, anger, etc), that you learn what you are passionate about and pursue that with all of your heart. I pray that you’ll come to understand who you are in Christ, what He’s placed within you and how you can live the fullest, love selflessly, and impact the word greatly.

 

My Chaseyboy. I already see incredible things within you, shining through more and more as you grow. I can’t wait to see the Man you’re becoming! (Well, actually, I’m okay with you slowly down JUST A TAD PLEASE!)

My-heart-all-over-the-place…(an update of sorts)

(This post was written and edited a month ago, just now found the time … or maybe the courage… and decided to publish it.)

To write or to sleep.

We’ve all heard the saying “Sleep while they’re sleeping.” While most nights I wrestle between journaling or sleeping (it’s not even a fair wrestling match anymore; sleep is like BAM and it’s over)… tonight I’m not even torn between the two. I know my heart and mind are full and I’ve got to pour it out.

I know I also want to post this one publicly.

So here I am… a bit of an update but more than anything my raw heart. Our hearts. Where we are at… the really REAL stuff – like I like it. :) You know me… TMI and “OMG did she really just post that for the whole world to read!” Yep, this is me. Here I go again.

Tonight, on the drive home from dropping Ted’s mom off at the airport… we had it out with our almost 5-year-old which led to hurtful words spat and tears to fall from Ted and I. PARENTING IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, let me tell ya.1540466_10154127599490727_1274122521_o

As we ended the argument conversation with Chase, I watched his red and teary face in the rear view mirror, I felt this all-too-familiar feeling and literally grasped “at my heart”. I remembered the tragic loss a fellow blogging momma had, just a few weeks back. Her bright and bubbly 3-year-old son’s life was suddenly, and tragically taken when we was struck by a passing vehicle. Tonight, as we finished arguing, I remembered their story. And I felt oh so challenged,,, even though these moments of arguing, quite frankly, suck… I want them.

I want all of the moments, not just the fun and easy ones, but the ones that make me struggle as a parent. The ones where my sensitive soul takes over and I cry over the hurtful words that my kid speaks (yes, sometimes I do). I want all of these moments, I was struck tonight at how horrible our drive home felt, we felt defeated and yet as I looked from my seat to his and saw his eyes, I couldn’t help but to be thankful. Reminded that even these moments that feel so ugly and heart wrenching: they are life.

PRECIOUS LIFE.

Remembering the couple’s story causes me to revisit my own grief. Time is so fleeting and oh so precious. LIFE is. It takes me back to the hospital room, 7 months pregnant, where I was told our Eisley-girl had passed away within me. I feel this ache in my chest and hot tears in my eyes even now as I type this. It’s grief and it takes me back, again and again and again – to the reminder of how PRECIOUS our time and our life is. And that we need to cherish it and live NOW. Live for the now, not for the “laters” in life.

We have lists – written or imagined – of the “somedays” and the “laters” in our lives…

On our drive home (and after said Family Feud) The Sweetest Name by the United Pursuit Band burst loudly through our speakers.

I will sing of

how you draw me

out of darkness

into Glory

Quite emotional after a) dropping my Mother-In-Law off at the airport and b) the seriously difficult “brawl” with Chaseyboy on the way home… I just felt like sobbing when this part of the song rang through our van.

And I just felt totally rocked with YES, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR LIVES.

After the draining conversation with Chase, we just hit a rock bottom of sorts. Sudden moments like tonight where we’re caused to push aside the “busyness” of our lives and address difficult and painful things. Where suddenly we were forced to FEEL.

When we remember what we value and what we long for. When we remember what we know we are to be doing.

Which leads me to our NOW and what we are doing in the next years to follow…

We’ve been doubting our move and next season in life pretty much since it became real and since we’ve stepped our feet into our home. OUR HOME (still so surreal!). It’s set in stone, it’s happened. We are here and here to stay for a while. Roots, people. The Davis Family has actually landed. I can just hear the gasps :)

But after a night like tonight, where we’ve been forced to set aside our busy life and face emotions (which obviously led to multiple emotions felt, ha!) we feel as though our Maker took this time to remind us of what He’s called us to and to breath a sort of peace into our lives again. We can embark on this new season, new journey, with confidence.

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So where?,…you might ask…

Ready for this… after an almost 5 year hiatus, we are jumping back into YWAM (Youth With A Mission)! After A LOT of thought, time, energy and multiple visits to the base (oh, and even a little bit of prayer ;))… we’ve decided to step back into YWAM at the Colorado Springs base in Colorado.

What happened to “We are moving to Thailand fall 2014!!!!!!!!!”

     Simply put (and oh my, this is humbling) we are not prepared. It is currently not practical for us to fly overseas and settle in Thailand- even though it is our ultimate goal. We do not have anything nailed down for our vision yet. We have also decided it is the absolute best thing for our family to stay in one place for at least 3-5 years (maybe more) We would like to spend the next years focusing on getting our family prepared for Thailand. YWAM Colorado Springs is equipped for this very thing.

We actually feel like God’s saying, “Hey, I put this dream and passion into you guys… but let’s spend some more time developing and growing the vision… and honestly, first, take the time to focus on your family. Your ministry and dreams will follow.” 

After a lot of thought and prayer, we feel YWAM Colorado Springs is where we will take the steps necessary to prepare us for our future. (Another cool thing about the base: Thailand is one of their focus nations!)

While in Amsterdam, we felt our eyes were opened to some vision in us in regards to family and a big eye opener was Chaseyboy, who really struggled and has struggled with every move. I know a part of that is age, but we also feel that a large factor is the constant change and inconsistencies. It’s time to plant some roots for the kiddos and to figure out some things in our personal lives (hi, vague!) and to beginning nailing down plans IN Thailand from afar.

Ted will be working mainly in the YWAM Colorado Springs communication department and also still work as a wedding photography with American Wedding Group and his own personal work.

I will still be at home with the kiddos, but will now have my hand in the homeschool co-op they run at YWAM Colorado Springs. I’m taking this summer and fall to decide if there is anything more I feel I should be a part of at the base – there is SO much opportunity there! Right now, I feel like my main “ministry” is my kids and learning how to navigate the parenting waters. So that’s what I’m focusing on currently.

We will be living on 50% our own income and 50% support. .

We feel so very hopeful for this season we’ve now entered. We haven’t shared “HEEEEY, WE’RE GOING BACK TO YWAM” probably due to fear of man. But we are now sharing… because it’s really happening … and you’ll find out soon anyways if you haven’t already … ;)

No really, tonight we are sharing because we are confident. We want to walk forward in confidence on the spirit He’s placed in us to decide THIS IS BEST for our family right now.

There has been an incredible doubt and fear in this step we’ve taken, leaving behind Ted’s very good paying job at the bank to join YWAM again. In some ways, the enemy has tempted us to view this as a step backwards – which it is NOT. I’m declaring it and sharing it :)

Anyways… a wordy blog to share an update and that life is PRECIOUS and time is fleeting.

Let’s push aside the unnecessary busy of our lives and focus on LIVING this precious life to the fullest – whatever that means to you or yours personally.!

Thank you for taking the time to read this novel.

Much love,

-J

 

 

 

 

The birth story of Everly Selah Davis.

The birth story of Everly Selah Davis.

Though this was my 4th birth, 3rd C-section and 2nd planned C-section… my nerves were still undone just a few hours before the scheduled birth of our precious little girl!

Saying goodbye to my kids, though obviously temporary, is still difficult and very bittersweet. I kissed my little guys and Ted and I headed out. “Next time you see momma, your baby sister will be here!”
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I have to mentally prepare myself as best I can before heading into the hospital: the sites, the smells, even some of the same nurses, etc. It is the hospital that I’ve had my best and my worst moments of my life in. The birth of our firstborn son July 18, 2009 and then the death and 3 day labor then birth of our first daughter September 17, 2010. Some have asked why we don’t switch hospitals and find different doctors. But the truth is… I trust our doctor and he’s been through the most difficult pregnancy and birth with us, I couldn’t ask for anyone else to help me deliver my babies.

This time around, I had a lot more peace than I did when I arrived to have Shailo, just 14 months after the loss of Eisley. I felt ready to have Everly. I felt ready to meet our little girl.

I checked in 2 hours prior to my surgery (as required) and soon began the poking and prodding. I was priding myself in the difference between 22-year-old me getting an IV put in when in labor with Chase and how well I was taking it a few years and a few babies later …”taking it like a champ”. However, before I could pat myself on the back too much, the nurse dug and dug around and I almost passed out. My world went gray and cloudy, noises sounded funny and I felt like I could literally hear each beat of my heart. They waved a strong scent in front of my nose and my eye popped open. I could hear my nurses LAUGHING… “That was the LOWEST I’ve ever seen anyone’s blood pressure fall without them passing out!”

Oh, gee, glad I could make you LAUGH. Haha! I came back around, somewhat glad for a temporary distraction to keep me from watching the hand tick on the clock in my hospital room. Has it been 2 hours yet? Ugh, 45 minutes (or so) to go. I haven’t been able to eat OR drink anything since 10pm the night before and I’m thirsty… so they feed me ice chips. Mmm. And then just when I think my throat couldn’t possibly get any more dry… they offer me a shot of the nastiest gunk… ironically to help ease the feelings of nausea that could come with meds and anitheisia they would soon give me.

Everly-0002Dr. Hill and the anesthesiologist gave Ted permission to photograph the birth! And this time they gave him even more free reign!
Everly-0003Everly-0004(when Ted showed me pics of the birth I saw this pic and it made me cry!)Everly-0005Preparing to stick a big ol’ needle in my spine. Everly-0006Everly-0007(THIS is Dr. Hill. He looks intense and has a super dry sense of humor, but let me tell ya, this man rocks. It kind of took me until we walked through pregnancy and bed rest with Eisley to see his heart, but I couldn’t ask for a better guy to deliver our babies!) Everly-0008The room is freezing, though at this point that is the last thing on my mind. Fear GRIPS me as I lay on the table waiting with baited breath, to hear her cry.
Everly-0009I look calm, but inside I’m anything but. Though it’s not painful, I can still feel them pushing and pulling. I literally feel like someone is sitting on my chest, I can’t breath which by now (remember, 3rd c-section!) I know this means Everly is on her way out!Everly-0011And then it happens. I hear her scream.

(I love these moments Ted captured.)

And then I breath and I cry with relief.

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Dr. Hill pops her head and body over the blue curtain that separates us, and I get my first peek at the beautiful life I’ve waited to see for months.

Welcome to the world, Sweet Ever!

Everly-0013Ignore the needle (Or perhaps I just pointed it out to you)… take in my face. OH MY HEART. Everly-0014Everly-0015Everly-0017Smaller than her brothers.
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They allow skin to skin in the operating room now (awesome, right?!) Although, and I’m still not sure why, I wasn’t able to do that. They sewed me up and I wasn’t able to hold her until I was in the recovery room. I was shaking and falling asleep (due to the meds) so it was probably for the best. When I did get to hold her, she nursed right away and did amazing! I didn’t want her to leave my arms. Everly-0020Proud daddy. Everly-0021We were so thankful they allowed my Mother-in-law Anisa to be in the room. She wasn’t allowed with Shailo and that was a bit devastating for her.
Everly-0022Everly-0023First official bath. The nurses kept commenting on how perfect her colouring was! Pink little lady!Everly-0024Meeting my dad, Grandpa Matt, who is head over heels for her.Everly-0026Meeting her brothers.Everly-0025

Proud brothers! Chase’s told Shailo, “I wish you could have a sister, Brother!” as he held her. Umm, buddy, you’ll be sharing her :)

Everly Selah’s birth day was one filled with excitement, joy and peace.

Words can’t express how thankful I am that our Father allowed another beautiful girl to be apart of the Davis clan. While she doesn’t replace Eisley in any way – they both hold such a special, unique place in this momma-heart of mine – He has already used Ever to help heal areas in my life that I didn’t think possible. We are so grateful for this precious little bundle!

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Now we’ve blinked and our sweet girl is 4 months old!

Beautiful Mommahood.

Tonight my heart is overwhelmed.

I constantly feel as though I fall short as a momma (and a wife and just me … But let’s not go there tonight.)

Today was, yet another “one of those days” where I feel like the biggest hypocrite EVER as I yell at my children:

BE GENTLE. BE KIND. BE LOVING.

Oh mah Lord, and I’m molding these little ones? Jesus, be with me, please.

Then arrives the pre-bedtime struggles and I feel like I’m about to flip out. Just. Get. In. Bed.

I crawl into my 2.5-year-olds “super cool” jeep bed (while this sounds really sweet like “awwww what a good momma” originally it was more to keep the little Wild One IN. HIS. BED. but now the night time routine has become a time of truly precious moments for my momma-heart.)

I snuggle up with Shailo who quickly asks me for the blessing or “the sunshine song”. Chase reaches down from his (little kid) loft bed and I reach up to hold his hand. I first give them their “blessing” – often their little voices echoing mine “The Lord bless you, and keep you. Make his face shine upon you and give you peace, aaaaaamen.” We then sing You Are My Sunshine until either their little voices fade as they fall asleep or until we begin talking about superheroes and their powers, or (like tonight) Optimus Prime and that “Bumblebee lives in our up home but when we are awake he turns into our vacuum” (because it’s yellow and black :))

They fall asleep. The chaos and busy day ends for them and peace settles over them. And over me. As I lay in Shailo’s bed, I well up with tears. How thankful I am to be their momma! Oh my heart, so overjoyed and overwhelmed. The moment at night and pause and reflect nd and words can’t even express how full my heart is.

I sneak carefully out of Shailo’s bed and head towards the door.

Yes, I stepped on Legos on my way out of their room. And it freakin’ hurt.

But oh what a picture of parenting even that is, right?

It’s going to be a little painful, crazy, chaotic, and messy (I mean today, I literally had Everly’s poop on my phone case – maybe for hours before I noticed) Every day, almost 24/7. There isn’t a paycheck at the end of the week, or even sometimes a pat on the back. But it is the most rewarding and beautiful gift to be their momma.

THIS BEAUTIFUL MOMMAHOOD.

Tongiht, I am super encouraged. I am by no means Super Mom in my eyes but to my kiddos I am.

An honest post to share a bit of my struggles as a mother.
I’d love to hear your honest stories of motherhood. I started a mini series called Beautiful Mommahood. If you’d like to join in with me in sharing yours as well, I would love this. I have realized in my 5-years as a momma – I want to hear the real stuff. I NEED to hear it. No facade, just the really authentic beautiful junk that needs to be shared and let out.

There is such beauty and freedom in being real.
So here I am – venturing out in an area I haven’t totally been 100% real in.
Join me? :)

#beautifulmommahood

Everly Selah: The meaning behind her name.

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(one day old)

Long, long ago in the year of 2011… I thought that I made up a beautiful girl’s name. I was wrong, though unique, it definitely wasn’t my original creation according to Google.

Googling Everly I found a few things… 1. the Everly Brothers and 2. Everly – as a baby girl’s name’. While I was disappointed to see their meaning of Everly, I was also a bit relieved that we had our own special meaning – a little more meaningful’ than “a boars meadow”. Today if you were to google Everly you’d likely find the news that celebrity Channing Tatum named his daughter Everly just this summer. When we shared our baby name with my grandparents, my grandma showed me an US magazine that about made me scream haha… how dare you “steal” our name, Channing! ;) Thanks to him, the name might just skyrocket this year and thanks to him, we’ve already been asked if we knew of Channing naming his baby Everly… yes, yes we know and no, we did not name her after a celebrity’s baby. ;)

I think we all probably hear those kind of comments when sharing our baby’s or kiddo’s names with others. ;) With Chase Journey it was “Like after the band Journey?”. um, no. And with Shailo I heard both, “That makes me think of that movie with the dog named Shiloh.” or better yet, “Didn’t Angelina Jolie name her daughter Shiloh?” Oh golly…

I believe names are super powerful and meaningful and I spend a lot of time pondering over them. Never once this pregnancy did I question the name we had for our 2nd daughter. I knew it would be Everly Selah from the moment we became pregnant (if she was a girl, which YAY! she was indeed.)

Right before I became pregnant with Shailo, I came up with this name for a future daughter. It’s hard for me to put into words exactly why, just months after the loss of Eisley, I came up with a name for a future girl. The gist: I remember crying out to Him one evening and journaling my heart out. There was a part of me that felt we would have another daughter, and I decided on that evening her name would be a reflection (of who He is to us, to her and who she is to Him) and a declaration that would mean Forever Amen.

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Psalms 145:21

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and EVER.

I knew that I wanted her name to declare that He is forever sovereign, good, loving, caring, worthy, etc, etc, etc… amen. We wanted to declare that even though we’ve walked through the darkest valley (for us)  He is still all of the beautiful things we believed He was. Despite our suffering and loss, He was still good and caring. We were still His and He was still our Father who loved us. I decided I wanted our next girl’s name to mean forever… so I Decided on Ever and added ‘ly’ to fit with our Eisley-girl’s name. Though she ins’t here with us on Earth, I still, very much so, wanted her to be apart of our family. Even when it comes to names. I want all of our kiddos names to “fit” with one another.

And so, Ever with an ‘ly’ was especially perfect! And how awesome that both our girls’ names start with E :) Truly a fitting name all around…

As for her middle name…

 

photo-3Selah… as you probably know, it’s biblical. It means a few things: to pause and reflect or simply, Amen. I love both meanings. We chose Selah to fit with the meaning of her first name. For us Selah is a part of declaring who He is and how He is forever all the the beautiful things we know of Him… the added ‘amen’ to Forever is so perfect for us and for Evelry.

While I was in Amsterdam I felt like I got even more behind the meaning for her name, I don’t know if it was a prompting from God or just me. I really felt to search throughout the bible and to find specific verses for our little Ever. Verses that would show her what He feels of her as well as what her name means to us.

My favourite verse for her and I can’t wait to share this with her someday, is John 14:16-20;

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 
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We will share with her what we’ve walked through in our lifetime thus far and that He is still forever good and loving. (Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever…)
We will share that she too will likely walk through difficult times in her life and that even still she can forever trust Him. (Isaiah 26:4 – Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock…)
We will share with her that He will forever and ever love her! I hope when she reads the word forever or selah in the bible, she can be reminded even more so …
Everly Selah Davis, I pray that you will forever know He is beautiful and oh so good, even in the valleys. I pray that you will forever believe that He loves and adores you and that He is forever trustworthy. He is with you forever, He dwells in you. He will not leave you as an orphan in spirit, He will come to you. He will live in you, sweet girl. 

Ever’s First Bath

It was a celebration of sorts the day Little Miss Ever’s umbilical cord stump fell off (eww, right? Yes.) The boys were OH SO EXCITED so we made it kind of a family ordeal.

Though her facial expressions share otherwise, we believed she liked it… ;)

EverlysFirstBath-1EverlysFirstBath_Collage .jpgEverlysFirstBath-8EverlysFirstBath-12She reminds me so much of Chaseyboy here. EverlysFirstBath_Collage4 .jpgEverlysFirstBath-14EverlysFirstBath-9CHEEKS.
EverlysFirstBath-16EverlysFirstBath-15Like I said… family ordeal :)

EverlysFirstBath-2I held her hand for comfort because HELLO …bathing with brothers…EverlysFirstBath-18Tradition post bath photo with momma.

EverlysFirstBath_Collage5 .jpgChaseyboy, Shai and Ever.
EverlysFirstBath-19So relaxed. EverlysFirstBath-20EverlysFirstBath-21EverlysFirstBath_Collage2 .jpgGotta have some shots of the boys, but of course. EverlysFirstBath-25

First bath, Everly approved.

Everly’s first week.

I did first week posts for my boys, and now here is one for our little Ever. Here are some photos from the last week.

1897825_10152017599386989_1263327183_nI know I shared this photo in the last post, but I just had to share it again. I absolutely adore this one of her!1779953_10152015058006989_2095522843_n Ever in the hospital, meeting a special lady Lindsey – she was a nurse of mine when I first entered the hospital for Eisley, she also came into work on her day off to meet Eisley and she did her footprints, etc. It was so special to us. When we had Shailo, she was our nurse in the OR room. This time she wasn’t able to be in the OR room because she’s transferred  hospitals, but she still popped by! (And she is currently 18 weeks pregnant!)1613782_10152015064006989_703563091_n

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Little ruffle bum. 1900150_10152020638081989_1212514275_n At her first baby checkup. Loving being on her tummy. 1236526_10154048434235727_2105755160_n (Ted took this with his phone) 1146608_10152028019331989_66203753_nAuntie Abba1959845_10152025049606989_1717830747_n1947872_10152019293586989_148072743_n1922512_10152021221051989_2064404429_n

Out and about… I snapped this photo because I couldn’t believe how much she looked like her daddy!1901742_10152021345811989_583403708_n 1926718_10152021805206989_1409722004_n

Ever loves the wee hours of the morning, particularly 1-3am. We’re working on changing that ;) Something that has helped is leaving a lamp on, as she seems to have her nights and days mixed up right now.
1924445_10152021969531989_1205388278_n Big brother Shai introduces her as “MY EVERLY”… oh my heart.
1948126_10152022155481989_763512388_n This is me having waaaaay too much fun having a little girl in the house.
1780728_10152022345066989_1123075007_nShailo was playing with her feet and I couldn’t help but snap this photo. photo 5-11 She snoozes like this often and I’m guessing she did this in the womb a lot. ADORE. photo 4-8 Presh’y girls face up close. Her eye colour is almost exactly what Chase’s was which means maybe just maybe she’ll have her momma’s eye colour: brown-hazel.
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Daddy and Ever: words can’t express what this does to my heart.
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Another one of my fav photos of Sweet Girl. She definitely has her momma’s wide set eyes!photo 2-17 Chicken legs :)
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Stretching.

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During the day I have to wake her to feed her (most times) and at night, she it feels like she doesn’t stop nursing ;) I can’t complain, I seriously ADORE her and am trying to cherish every newborn moment.

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They love her so much!! Shailo and Chase did get into a little physical fight (shocking!) around her and Everly ended up getting her first punch in the face by Shai. I cried with her (Can I blame hormones or….?) He felt bad and Chase even teared up! We are learning to be careful around baby sissy over her ;)1623586_10152026247746989_1270802804_n1970847_10152024376651989_1926246125_nI know it’s ridiculous … but yes, yes I did take her on her first thrift store shopping trip! Gotta start her young ;) No, really I just needed to get out of the house so my MIL droves us all to the thrift store. :)1780713_10152024450941989_1525086550_n3 kiddos in the car! SO SURREAL. I love it so much.1898045_10152025062166989_339467061_nHolding her Grandpa Matt’s finger (my dad ADORES her)1964975_10152027692376989_1945651687_n

Bright eyed beauty. Taken just yesterday.

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I’m recovering very well this time around. I’m so thankful! I was having a meltdown recently where I stood in the bathroom crying my eyes out (thanks hormones) for all of the wrong reasons: I felt fat, my “mask of pregnancy” still covers my face, and I felt way too emotional. I’ve decided to reflect on all 4 pregnancies and the beautiful gifts that came from them. Today, my body aches, my stomach is hanging to my knees (or at least is feels like it ;)), I weigh way more than on my wedding day, I have wrinkles and bags under my eyes, and I have scars and stretch marks galore, etc… They are worth it all. Every ache, every scar and stretch mark, every sleepless night, every moment where I look like a maniac screaming at my 2-year-old who’s running in the parking lot, every messy room and ruined material item I once treasured, every moment that is no longer just my own… They are truly worth it all and more. My heart is so full, content and thankful. Even for the parts that make me feel less then pretty and young. Chase Journey, Eisley Antalya, Shailo Valour and Everly Selah… You are worth it all and more!!

I am so very thankful, more than words can say.

Happy first week Everly Selah!

The meaning of the name post NEXT.