Monday, May 6, 2013

Reflections on the year that was

On May 6, 2012, at about 2 in the morning, my wife made what I've grown fond of calling her "ninja move" out of the bed as her water broke. The next 24 hours were spent in the hospital eagerly awaiting the birth of Xavier.

That day was the culmination of a lot of expectation and the beginning of an entirely new chapter in our lives.

In order to properly place my emotions of that day, a little bit of historical perspective is necessary. Things at my job weren't going well. I knew that there was a chance a staff member was going to be let go before the pastoral search was finished up. We had been explicitly told that it wasn't a problem if we were sending out our resume.

To be honest, the writing was written in big, bold letters on the wall that the staff member who would be let go was me. I was the least tenured of the staff in pastoral ministry, and I had been at High Street the least amount of time. I started sending out my resume, feeling helpless against the onslaught of "things" that were happening to me. I told one of my good friends that I couldn't wait to hold my baby boy. I knew that holding him would make things better.

So, on May 7, when Xavier finally arrived, I felt like my life was complete. Holding him for that first time was literally the greatest feeling I ever felt. I really did feel like nothing could go wrong in my life.

The last year has been a whirlwind. Losing my job was incredibly difficult for me, the idea that I couldn't provide for my wife and my son was difficult. I've spent a lot of time on that here in this blog. I don't suppose I need to go further into detail.

Losing my job isn't the only thing that happened this year! It's been a complete whirlwind!

When we brought Xavier home, we thought we were so ready.

Xavier crashed out on me the day we brought him home.

We. Were. So. Wrong.

We put him to bed, and went to bed ourselves, ready for a night of blissful sleep (something that had eluded me for a few nights and something that had eluded Holly for much longer). He started crying after about an hour and he would not stop! We did everything we could, and couldn't get him to stop crying and go back to sleep. Feeling like complete failures as parents, we both were crying and finally broke down and called Holly's mom, asking her to come stay with us for the night (and maybe more).

Xavier didn't have trouble sleeping, just when we wanted him to sleep, apparently.
 Man, we had no idea what we were getting into!

We moved in with Holly's parents after I lost my job, it's been interesting having three generations in one house. It's not what we had planned, but it's definitely been a blessing, especially as the search for a new job has taken much longer than we thought it would.

Watching Xavier grow has been incredible, he's learning so much, starting to understand things and respond to more and more with "trained" responses. For example, he gives "fives" now if you hold your hand out to him.

The year has been intense. There have been tears.

There have been smiles.

We've traveled to Michigan:

to London (OH) to meet our friends Nate, Kristen and Cole:

Learned to crawl:

Found ourselves trapped in rotten situations that we didn't like:

Felt on top of the world:

And we even stood strong during difficulties:

All in all, it's been a crazy year! Happy birthday to my little monster man! He turns one year old tomorrow. It's an absolute joy to be a daddy!


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