Since Penelope was born, four years ago, I have had requests from grandparents asking if they could keep the girls for a weekend. I died a little bit each time at the thought of not seeing and experiencing each day right alongside my girls. There was a time when I had to be in the hospital and someone kept Penelope for the weekend, but since Amelia was only a week old, Zack kept her home. The idea that my sweet baby was away from me for several days and I couldn’t do anything about it or go physically get her (despite her being in a safe place feeling loved and her every need being taken care of by someone we love) still gets to me each day. Each day for more than two years now. I need to get over it, but something in me can’t.

This past month, I needed one day without someone throwing dishes away, eating all of the toothpaste, unraveling every roll of toilet paper, screaming and whining at every little moment of every day.  I desperately wanted the happy girl in these photos to come spend a moment with me. After a month of nonstop “trouble” I gave in and called my mom to see if she would come down and help with the girls. She was busy and couldn’t, so I told myself that it would pass and I was over reacting.

This little darling in the photos above brought me to my knees, and I fought every instinct in me to call out for help. Help I knew would entail being apart from this sweet girl who made me exhausted and frustrated, and yet made my heart ache with such joy and love at the sight of her. When I got to the point when I began crying at the drop of a hat, and those hats began to fall like rain, I caved.

Well, last Friday morning at 7:00 a.m., it began raining hats and I once again called my mom. Juggling my tears as she talked, Amelia screamed, drinks spilled, and I see Penelope caught in the middle, frustrated with the chaos. I am someone who does not cry if I am sad, but I ball my eyes out if I become frustrated enough. So, naturally, my mom gets an earful of tearful words from her distraught 27 year old daughter. She couldn’t watch them even though I could tell nothing would make her happier. I died.

I was going to get a break one way or the other! I made a list.

My mother-in-law.

Zack’s grandparents.

My Aunt Bonnie.

Zack’s aunt, Cheryl.

Zack’s old boss, Greg. (He’s like a dad to him, not just a random boss.)

* all of them live 2 hours away from us

Surely one of these people had a free weekend.

I knew if I thought about it too long I would talk myself out of giving their days to someone else. Zack’s mom said she would take them (that’s kind of a duh  thing to say, of course she took them, sometimes she has plans, so it wasn’t a definite expectation). I packed a bag for them, some snacks, and drove up to drop off both halves of my heart.

I came home and cleaned. Zack and I slept in until 7:45 and made breakfast. I ate both of my eggs and all 3 slices of bacon. I drank an entire glass of milk. No one chimed in. No one begged me for my last slice of bacon. No one was there to drink their milk too fast, and ask me for my last sip. It was awful. I had a full belly, but a homesick heart. I sat across from Zack in silence as I ate, and I could tell he was feeling the same way. I glanced up at him, and he said, “This is the worst!”

I had the house (deep ) cleaned by the time Zack went to work at one o’clock. I sat in our big house alone for 8 hours. Worst day of my life. Every time I’d go to the kitchen, I’d throw a spoon in the trash on my way back to the living room. The stuff I need a break from was also what I craved when it was no longer there.

Zack asked me what I would do if we somehow won 10 million dollars. My first response was “Puke and pretend we didn’t win 10 million dollars.” (Poor for life!!!!)  My second answer was pay off our house, then adopt a bunch  of kids!

When I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be a carpenter, and later a sailor, and then in 8th grade, I decided on a photographer and it has stayed there. Now I know I was meant to be a mama. I wouldn’t be nearly as happy doing anything but loving, teaching, holding, and playing with my sweet girls.

Zack and I have ‘baby fever’ baaaad.  I guess it is more of an ‘adoption fever.’  We are so grateful each day that God trusted us with the opportunity to raise our ladies and experience such a love.

We have wondered what we are going to do to celebrate our 10 year anniversary in two years. It has to be something just the two of us, but every time it comes up we agree we can’t go without our kids. Ha! I hope they know how loved they are.

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