Love & Leaving

I find a lot of inspiration on Instagram these days and wanted to share a few of my recent favorites.  

I love this one because it's so true for me.  Living & raising our kids without Josh is hard. Very hard.  But being open about the challenges makes it so much easier to bear.

This sweet man's story had me crying like a baby.  

"I miss her most at night.  
We got in bed together at the same time every night."

That's the same as me & Josh, and going to bed without him feels so wrong.  It doesn't get easier.  I miss him every night.  I can't imagine missing him & knowing he was gone forever.  At least I know that sometime in the near future we will share a bed again.

What a beautiful love story this guy got to live out...


On Friday night I was in our room (which is off of the boys' bedroom) nursing Carly on the couch while Josh put the boys to bed for the last time.  He started with Wyatt, and as I heard him kneel on the floor next to Wyatt's bed, Wyatt said to him, "I'm sorry you have to go back to Alaska tomorrow." 

 ...And the tears started for this mama.  Josh said he was sorry, too.  Then Wyatt asked why Josh can't take Carly with him, and then said he wished I was the one going to Alaska instead of Josh.  He thought on this for a minute, then followed it with, "Actually, I wish  you'd both stay."

Josh's leaving (saying goodbye & preparing the kids for five more weeks without Daddy) this time was especially brutal, leaving us both in tears multiple times.  Let me tell you, I can handle myself being sad... but when Josh is sad? It slays me.  It's almost worse than when the kids are sad because nothing I can say lessens the pain.

When he finally got all three boys tucked in and down for the night, he retired to our room, where I was rocking Carly and said, "It's just not natural.  We're not this kind of family."  He's right.  We aren't built for living apart.  We do it, and to be honest, I think we do it well... but it's sure hard on the heart.  

 "I didn't want to kiss you goodbye, that was the trouble;  
I wanted to kiss you goodnight.  And there's a lot of difference."
-Ernest Hemingway

Hard as this is, little Carly is what makes it all worth it.  She is why we've had to spend this year apart.  Her safe arrival in our arms is the payoff for our hard work.  And as long as it might seem to get from now until May, it's just 13 weeks, and Josh will be home for one more quick visit in March.  So it feels quite doable.  

In the meantime, for February I have one focus: the kids.  Take care of them, homeschool them & get them to swim lessons.  That's it.  Come March, things will get crazier with baseball & t-ball, but for the next two weeks, I just have to take care of our four littles.  Everything else can wait.

{Photo Credit: Wyatt Cunningham}

{Photo Credit: Wyatt Cunningham}

They're pretty awesome, my kids, and they make my days full.   As I approach my stay-at-home-mom-anniversary, I find myself feeling so grateful that this is what I get to do. Yesterday, for example, Wyatt was going around taking pictures of things (his Legos, his sister...) with my Canon and I told him he was a very good photographer.  He stopped and asked, "What's a photographer? Someone who takes pictures that are very goodly?" 

Yes, yes indeed, Wyatt.  
Someone who takes pictures that are very goodly.

And for Josh:

"... You never cross my mind,
Yeah, you stay there all the time."
-Dierks Bentley 

We love you and we miss you.  Happy Valentines Day, 
2,500 miles apart.  

Shelly, Logan, Jack, Wyatt & Carly


Cassie said...

so, so sweet, shelly. sorry that your family is apart right now. you do handle it well, and i'm so glad that the writing (which you also do so well) is carrying you through. These will make for meaningful stories for your babes in the future. They are lucky to have you. <3 Happy Valentines.

M McCarthy said...

I love reading your story, Shelly. The days are long but the years are short. One day, one hour, one moment at a time. This was key when I was a young mom. Take care. We out here in blog land care about you and your littles.

Holly Parlier said...

This was so sweet, Shelly! The way you describe being apart (not just in this post, but in all of them) always brings tears to my ears. I can't imagine. Funny aside, but seeing your names all written out at the end is so strange because they are so similar to ours! Shelly and Holly share an ending, the two boys are the same, then we have Logan and Luke. Now if only Katherine was a Catherine to match Carly, we would be super close! ;)

Tabitha Studer said...

Happy Valentine's Day Shelly! Always thinking of you and sending love. The pic that Wyatt too ok Carly and the stuffed animals was perfection (or very goodly). Someday, somehow you and Josh are going to look back on this time and won't believe how you did it, but know that it made you're whole family stronger and more grateful for all the little moments that are so take. For granted by the rest of us. Reading about you guys makes ME remember to be grateful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us even though it's hard. Love you xxoxox