I love May. Even in my mid-twenties seeing ‘May’ on the calendar still gives me that “school’s out,” sunshine and freedom feeling. This May, however, has been a particularly busy one, and the pressure was compounded by the sense of urgency that always comes when LTJG Husband is leaving soon: honey-do lists (for each of us) all over the place. And yet, I can’t help but be grateful for all the sweet things this May still managed to bring along with it. Here are a few of them…
1. Nectarines Are Finally In Season
After prowling the local farmer’s market for weeks and not finding any, my momma gifted me these from her CSA. They are honestly sweeter than candy! Time for a CSA? I think so.
2. My ‘Baby Brother’ Turned Twenty-Four!
He says he never wants to get married or have kids, but I think this picture of him being an adorable uncle says otherwise. Since he had to fly to Tennessee on his birthday for a convention, we had just a small celebration at my place with some really good Carolina Gold BBQ chicken, sweet corn on the cobb, broiled asparagus, and cheesecake with fresh local strawberries. Appropriate to the theme, we all went in on a nice grill for his new place.
3. THESE. PEONIES.
Peonies are my very favorite flower and this May brought bundles and bundles of them to my local Trader Joe’s. Even though I love them most in blush colors, I couldn’t resist buying these ones. Peonies always remind me of my wedding bouquet, so it was nice to have them on the table with Jake gone this week.
4. My Husband’s New Skills
A few weeks ago a particularly large package came in the mail. That night LTJG Husband opened it and showed me…a MASSIVE HIDE. An entire hide of leather. It was hilarious and confusing. But- as it turns out- he is pretty great at making hand-crafted leather items. The picture above is one of the watch straps he made this month. Now, whenever we are lounging around after the boys are asleep, his leather and mallet are never far away. It is just too adorable watching him pound and stitch these beautiful things together, and so good to see him investing in a hobby again. Keep an eye out for his online leather shop- coming soon ;)
5. BABIES! EVERYWHERE!
Two of my cousins had babies this month, some friends of ours were blessed with a gorgeous baby girl, and my newsfeed is bursting at the seams with striped-swaddled newborns in hospital bassinets pretty much daily. Plus: pregnant friends galore. I absolutely love it. Every single baby picture makes me want another one, and I literally just had one. This month officially gave me baby girl fever.
6. A Miracle
Lastly, May brought with it a much-prayed-for miracle. This is Rafe Ryan holding up his right arm, which may not seem especially amazing to you, except it really, really is. Here’s why: Rafe was a little over ten pounds when he was born, and one of his shoulders got stuck during delivery. As a result, he was diagnosed with brachial-plexus palsy (erb’s palsy), and we were told he may never move his right arm. While 90% of these cases do spontaneously recover movement within the first year, we were told Rafe’s case was particularly bad, and after ruling out a broken collarbone they recommended we see a surgical specialist. I have the utmost respect for doctors, and I did not take Rafe’s diagnosis lightly, but in my spirit I felt it was just too soon to be subjecting my tiny baby to MRIs and surgical exams. I read about his diagnosis like a person possessed: I read and read and read. I learned ‘early action’ for this diagnosis is sometime within the first year, and that if spontaneous recovery is going to happen, it is usually between 4-9 months. So, we decided that if he didn’t have movement in that arm by 5 months, we would agree to the MRI and exams. In the meantime, I found a series of gentle exercises online to do with him 4x daily, and we covered him in prayer at least as often. In the first week, he gripped my finger. In the first month, he twitched his arm, bringing it up to his belly once or twice. And then suddenly this month, he reached up and pulled on a dangling toy and we knew the miracle we had been praying for had been answered. Now he lifts his right arm almost as constantly as the unaffected one, sucking on his hand and swiping at toys we dangle above him. Watching him do this is overwhelming in the best possible way.
So even now at the end of May, as we prepare for the long underway before us, I can look at all this beauty and know I still have more than enough reasons to remain grateful.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called…And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15