If I were a dude and black, this would be me right now! I'm trying to contain my excitement in front of my kids. They ask me about 12 times a day, with sad puppy dog eyes, "How long til you leave?" or "How long will you be gone?" And sure, I'll miss them while I'm away, but SERIOUSLY!!! I'M SO EXCITED! AND I JUST CAN'T HIDE IT! ( I don't know any more of that song, but that line is my mantra this week!)
As I'm packing up all my beautiful beaded Catholic goodies to share with the women of #Edel15 You know what I'm most excited to bring along?
She's pretty excited too!
And I'm gonna totally be channeling Mama Otter
Edel 14 was one of the most fun weekends I've ever had! I met so many beautiful, amazing, talented, INCREDIBLE women that weekend! So many times, over so many different topics, I felt like "Oh yeah!! Me too!!". I met fellow homeschoolers, wannabe homesteaders, WAHMs, Moms with kids the same ages as mine, wives of realtors, and a bajillion other things we all had in common... We bonded over harrowing tales of potty training horrors, and how the family rosary can be a near occasion to murder as much as it is an avenue for grace. We swapped birth stories and talked about how we met our husbands. Caught each other when we tripped over our crazy shoes and laughed at some jokes that we shouldn't have. But the women who really knew my heart, knew the pain, the tears that were bubbling just below the surface, were the sweet mamas who unfortunately shared the pain of loosing a baby. I guess the Lord knew what I needed and he put a few loving ladies in my path that weekend, and as we shared our hearts, and the topic got around to our saints, I fought back the tears (and at some point in the weekend, stopped fighting it. Thank the Lord for waterproof mascara!) listening to their stories and sharing my own.
I really like the new "On This Day" thing that facebook is doing, but I didn't need it to remind me that 3yrs ago at this time I was still reeling from the loss of our little one just weeks after sharing the good news, and I'd soon be pregnant again, with a little one who would also be destined for early sainthood, and who's mis-conception (that seriously what they call it when things don't go as planned at the moment of conception!?!) would cause a cancer scare and months of testing. And 2 years ago at this time, I was wallowing in postpartum depression, after losing the third baby in a row, my son Elihu, in the 2nd trimester and it would take me nearly a year to figure out that I wasn't just sad or tired.
At Edel last year, I was finally healing, but still unsure what God had in store for our family. I was talking about what surgeries and tests I'd still have to do to figure out why my body was suddenly not doing the one thing a woman's body was uniquely designed to do, nurture new life. I talked about babies that weekend and said things like "Lord willing, we'll have to upgrade to that 13 passenger Catholic bus someday!" But I really doubted if I'd ever have another baby in my arms again.
At Edel, seeing those mamas rockin the baby carriers on the dance floor, was such a joy! But I remember stealing away for a quiet moment to catch my breath and cry for just a second. My arms ached! My heart was broken! And I begged God to let me carry a little one and dance again!
But God in his infinite wisdom, let me get away with thinking that all this hormone support I was on to get my hormones back on track, was really the reason behind my period being 2wks late ;) He knew I needed to connect with some other ladies who knew this pain and gleen some wisdom from their stories, to connect and heal.
The day after I got back home, I was on the phone with a friend, telling her about Edel and I happened to mention how crazy my hormones were because this cycle has been almost 3wks longer than before! She joked, "Maybe you're pregnant!". I laughed, but when we hung up I ran to check my chart, and sure enough! Hmm... Double peak?? #NFPfail for the win!
I still had/have some healing to do. Being pregnant after losing so many little ones was heavy. But when Kyteria Quinn (I wanted Edel Evangeline, but then my husband googled "badass saints" and found St. Quiteria) was born, through joyful tears and chattering teeth (yay hormones!), all I could say to her again and again was "I've waited so long for you! I am so glad that you are here!"
In every quiet moment over the next few days, I would stare at her and tell her "I am so glad that you are here!"
And Hallie's words from Edel 14 came to mind. "It is good that you are here!" God certainly did know what he was doing when He asked her to share those simple words! It was so good that I was there to connect with beautiful, faithful women who shared my heart and helped me heal. Unknowingly, rockin my teeny tiny, itty bitty on that dance floor! And more than I knew at the time it was good to be there!