Thursday, June 20

I love to look back at pictures of Justin when he was a tiny babe.  It is hard to remember those days when he didn't run around chattering, but instead nestled in with the closest warm body.

Yesterday I was reading my friend Chrissie's blog, and on it she had written a beautiful letter to her son Levi, who is a bit younger than Justin.  Her letter described the things she loved about him, as well as what he was learning to do currently.  These letters will no doubt be a treasure to him when he is older, and it will be fun for her to remember his early days as well.  I thought of doing the same for Justin, just not online so I won't steal her idea.

I wish I had kept a journal, or written letters to Justin from the time he was born.  I am only now gaining momentum to start doing things I wish I would have done all along.  Sadly, the first year or so I struggled off and on with major depression.  I knew I loved him, and there was no doubt he belonged with us, but there were some long, dark days in the beginning.  I told very few people about my struggle, mainly because I felt guilty for feeling so sad when I should have been elated.  I felt I didn't deserve him, and wondered if we had been chosen by mistake.

Mixed with depression was a need to be the perfect parent.  I have always had high expectations of myself, and my perfectionism amplified the need.  Comparison with other moms fueled the fire.  Whether I observed other moms I didn't even know, or compared myself to friends with kids, I always fell behind in my mind. The result was wanting to isolate.  That wasn't such a great option, but it felt safe.

The Bible says it is foolish to compare ourselves with others.  Not only is it foolish, but it is so damaging to who we are, and who we are supposed to be. I have grown a lot in the area of comparing, to where I only get stroller envy when I see moms sporting those beautiful designer strollers! :)

I'm looking forward to starting some letters to Justin, perhaps in a special journal just for him.  Thank you for the idea, Chrissie.  Levi is a lucky boy!



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Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!