Friday, September 26, 2008

Levi's first tooth

It's a little scary for me to realize that it's time for this already. Scary for two reasons: Number one, I'm still breastfeeding exclusively, and I'm not ready to be bitten. Number two, if Levi is my last baby (and we're pretty sure there's no "ifs" about it), then I will never have a toothless baby again! There's something about a little grin full of gums and druel and nothing else!
For my own records, Avery's first two teeth came in on April 22 and 26, 2007 (I can't believe I have yet to write it down somewhere!), when she was 5 1/2 months old,
And Levi's first tooth came in on September 23, 2008, just shy of his five month birthday. (today!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My dear friend Tina is spending her last night pregnant tonight. My heart races for her! It is so special to spend those last moments with your baby INSIDE, excited and nervous about having him or her on the OUTSIDE...what an amazing time!
I will be posting my last birth story soon. For those of you who can stomach it, it's an interesting read. For those of you who are obsessed with childbirth as I am, you'll love the beauty that was experienced that day!
I'm thinking about the moment when Tina sees her baby for the first time...just a few hours from now! Birth is an EXTRAORDINARY, SUPERNATURAL thing.
I'm glad to be a woman...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

the j crew

I've had a couple of people comment on the name for my blogspot...j crew? While there's something special about looking through the J. Crew Outlet store around Christmastime when we visit Buffalo (brrr...maybe it's the sweaters there that time of year), I have not named my page after the comfy classic store. So what else could it mean?

Ten years ago, I was pretty newly engaged to Greg. My dad had just passed away, I was in the middle of my sophomore year in college, and, to be honest, had no idea who I was. All I did know, from the moment I met Greg, was that I would forever be his. Discovering who I was, aside from his girl, was an intimidating challenge. It's pretty scary to be twenty years old, married, and unidentified as an individual. (Maybe it's even harder to be the guy that's married to the girl trying to figure it all out!) I was simply Greg's wife. VERY soon after, I was Emily's mom. And Kaleb's mom. I wasn't Heather anymore. I was second-in-command for the J (jastrzemski) Crew.

It's hard for me to let my guard down and get people in to know the REAL Heather (maybe it has something to do with ME not knowing who that is?). I'm 30 and I'm just figuring out that I CAN do that. Without getting too deep into it, holy cow, God sure is enriching my life with people that are letting me just be ME. I'm learning to be comfortable with the thought that God created me with certain desires and inclinations. And, I think, maybe I'm learning that it's okay to be identified by my little family (I'm not sure why I still feel like I can call it little when there are six of us!). Nothing makes my heart pound like that certain look that Greg gives me when I know he's impressed. And I've never felt my stomach leap the way I do when my babies squeeze my neck and whisper, "I love you Mommy..." (or, in Avery's case, "hold you Mommy")

I know that God's purposes for me go beyond the people in my house. I am learning that my true identity is in Him. (I am nothing otherwise) But I also know for certain, that for such a time as this, I was created to love and teach my children. To be the best wife I can be. To lose myself, or should I say, find myself, as the j crew mama. And I'm more than okay with that.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Greener grass...

Sieze the day...carpe diem...embrace the present...
Wow, that's something that has been hard for me to grasp since becoming a mom! While I've always tried to survive every twist and turn that my husband and I have experienced along the way, I can't say that I've actually embraced them. I've tried to do a good job at my role as a wife and mother, but have I loved every minute of it? Heavens, no! How many times have I sat with my husband over coffee and complained about my life, starting every other sentence with, "I just wish...", or "If only..." It's true that the grass is always greener on the other side of...whatever side it is we're on. Life would definitely be better if we only had...more energy? more money? more time? more date nights? more organization? more patience? The list could go on and on...
There's a song that came out this year by Trace Adkins (yes, the country dude from the Celebrity Apprentice) called, "You're going to miss this," and, as cheesy as it sounds, I have that song in my head at least once every couple of days. Have I have spent so much mental energy wishing time away, even the challenging times, that I've missed the joy to be found and the lessons to be learned because I'm so anxious to get out of the moment? Yikes!
To cut to the chase, by the grace of God, I'm learning to embrace the moment. Yes, it's hard having two babies under two, but it's also pretty amazing how fast this special time goes by. And sure, it kind of stinks to be in a house that is smaller than I'd like, with several projects to be done. But I'm embracing the simplicity. It's not fun to be in the "get out of debt", budgeting phase, but I'm embracing the challenge and the peace that I'm doing the right thing. And homeschooling is just downright frustrating sometimes. But all of my babies are here in the same house with me for another year...what a gift! It may sound like a simple concept, but when considering my attitudes toward life's challenges in the past, it's a pretty revolutionary idea! God, help me to look down at my own lush green grass beneath my half-polished toes!