Grace

What I know now….

It was a little over 5 years ago I entered into the classroom for the first time. It’s crazy to think it was that long ago, yet, it seems like yesterday. Nick and I had just moved to Sugar Land, I was coaching a 10U select team with a seasoned and wise softball coach, and I had decided I would also help with the high school softball team when it came time.

At this point, Nick and I had barely been married a year; he transferred to a new city he had never lived in before and honestly he didn’t like it. I had already dealt with 3 deaths of people close in my life in the first 6 months of our marriage. We had bought our first house so we were also navigating new home ownership for the first time in the midst of all these changes. It was fun and hard. I was working over 70 hours a week trying to be the best teacher I could be and gone for the weekends with a traveling select softball team. Needless to say, I was busy. Nick decided to look for a new job 6 weeks after his transfer down with Chase Bank. Nothing really seemed ideal at this point. Our marriage was strained but at least we had each other.

Then, in the midst of it all, the following January,  Nick and I made the decision to take in his mother who needed our help. She was in really poor health, at the time, and we knew it was the right thing to do – no matter the timing. She has Parkinson’s and, at the time, she had this diagnosis for 10+ years but the condition of her health 5 years ago made it apparent that we needed to help, get her to see the best doctors we could in Houston and try to keep her alive. It was a really scary situation for everyone and not a very easy transition. Overall, we made it work and now she is in much better overall health. For the last year or so, she has lived on her own outside of Dallas. We couldn’t be more happy about her progress.

But this isn’t what my blog is about, really.

During all of this, at my job at a Christian school, I kept hearing this word: GRACE. I heard it a lot. I heard it a lot in terms of my teaching. You see, I am a tough teacher (or I was). But what I had a hard time understanding back then was how to get the kids to be motivated. What I really mean…. is I didn’t know how any student couldn’t love school as much as I did. BIG WAKE UP CALL.

My first year was R-O-U-G-H. I learned I’m the 10% of students that actually did what the teacher said as far as homework, studying, reading, etc. Now, I wasn’t the brightest student but I worked my ass off in school. I had a hard time motivating those students who weren’t like me as a student. I was young and so that presented another issue of authority – I was rigid and unwavering. The principal at the time was hard on me – really hard on me. I think he knew I was good but also knew I had a LOT to learn. So GRACE kept popping up in our conversations. I think by the end of that year I would have vomited if I had heard that word one. more. time. GRACE.

A few days ago I was driving the boys home from “Donut Friday” and I thought about all this. I laughed because ironically our daughter’s middle name is GRACE and I laughed at how fitting it feels to us to name her that. Because guys, 3 kids under 3! We will need the GRACE we can get. I realized in the car how I really didn’t understand the word, GRACE, at all until I had the boys. I was virtually screamed at until blue in the face my first couple of years of teaching about giving GRACE and it fell on deaf ears, again and again and again. To me, it was an excuse. A scapegoat. Instead of holding students accountable for their actions…. we needed to give them GRACE. I’m not going to lie, there were times where actions and consequences didn’t match up in certain situations and I vehemently disagreed with some decisions regarding GRACE being given but nonetheless I still didn’t fully “get it”.

I don’t know why it took until having my own children but somehow something clicked. I realized in that moment in the car that the reason I couldn’t understand GRACE back then is because I was trying to protect myself from feeling vulnerable. Seriously. I mean if you look at the snip-it of our lives the first year and a half of our marriage, it was insane. Nick and I went through a TON and honestly, we felt alone as a couple. Not many people our age were dealing with as many elements of life at once and so it was hard to relate to anyone. So, I really don’t blame myself for guarding myself like that but it was a HUGE factor in how my life has shaken out in the last few years.

Then, we had the boys and we are 8 days away from having this little girl and it clicks. I haven’t taught a full year of school in 2 school years (though I have started the last 2) and I finally get it. I get WHY I had a hard time giving GRACE when I walked through those doors over 5 years ago. LIGHT BULB MOMENT. 

I couldn’t give GRACE to them because I couldn’t give it to myself. 

Wow. What a heart stopping moment at 38 weeks pregnant with your 3rd child and your beautiful boys behind you. If you know me, you probably aren’t surprised. I am my biggest critic – TO A FAULT.

But how could I have given something to someone else that I didn’t experience to myself for myself? I couldn’t. There was no way.

How did having kids do change this for me? They show me it every day. Every day they give me GRACE. Every. Single. Day. Every day I feel it. I see it. I live it. I’m not perfect and pregnant me is FAR from perfect. But my boys (including my husband) love me through it anyway. They show me every day through their actions, their kisses and hugs at bedtime, when they help clean up their toys and even when they just want to snuggle.

They forgive me daily from my faults. They show me GRACE. And I will forever be grateful for that gift. Because when I step back into that classroom one day, I won’t be the same. I will still be tough but I can give something else (and probably more) to them that I have finally experienced from being a mother.

 

It’s the toughest job I’ll always love.

 

Rachel

Madison Grace

An update and her name

So since the whole Tulsa fiasco so much has gone on in our house so I will do my best to try to recap quickly! However, pregnant brain is REAL these days so I will do my best to remember! HA!

I will say there have been many highs and lows for sure. The boys are going through the “terrible twos” – I would rather call it “twin nuclear warfare” but it’s really whatever floats your boat. It’s probably the combination of my ever growing belly and the sense of change coming around the house and just GROWING UP, but OH MY GOODNESS I’m in no condition for warfare right now.

Since I last wrote, Nick and I had our first garage sale. That was fun and a long day. We didn’t make a ton but enough and best of all, we got RID of stuff! We donated quite a bit of what we didn’t sell to Goodwill. We will be trying to sell the rest of the stuff that we have at the Fort Bend Parents of Multiples Buy/Sell in August. I know, I know. So close to my due date but you can still dream. 🙂 If you haven’t ever come to the sale, you should! If you are a parent of ANY CHILD looking to not pay for clothes with your arm and leg – this is the place to be! There is so much there for new parents or even seasoned parents. It’s not just for parents of multiples and it’s open to the PUBLIC! Nick and I have gotten so many clothes for the boys there that would cost us HUNDREDS of dollars at any store. So if you want any information about where and when this takes place, LET ME KNOW!

 

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I also had another important doctor’s appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists and my OB. It’s usually an exhausting week when I have those appointments – lots of emotions and uncertainty! If you missed my Facebook LIVE after my specialist appointment feel free to check it out! I was a bawling baby but I was so happy to know the sub-chronic hematoma was no longer visible. My last two appointments, I definitely had happy news. The only real thing lingering that won’t go away and could potentially get worse is my marginal cord insertion. However, at this point, the baby girl is growing great despite that!

The boys are also getting really fun. I wish it was not coupled with the nuclear warfare but it is what it is. It’s part of them figuring out what they can do and NOT do. But they are also so funny. I can’t wait to actually understand what they are saying. We are having a lot of conversation about many things, I’m sure.  Many times they say a TON and are super serious about it too. It’s so cute but also so comical. Ha ha!

Along with some major highs, I’ve definitely experienced some major lows. For me, it’s stress related (sometimes tears). I know having a girl growing inside of me has really rocked my world the last few weeks. The emotional roller coaster has been INSANE! I’m sure everyone around me has felt it. So I tried to relax in a bath and that was a disaster. Did you miss that post? Honestly, baths are stupid. I really don’t understand them. I KNOW I am not “doing them right” but how can one mess up bubbles and water? Plus, I’m so huge at this point, that my regular shower tub doesn’t allow for a full submersion that I probably needed. And apparently, I need a bath pillow. What is that anyway? I mean, these days, I sleep with at least 5 king sized pillows and my pregnancy pillow so you would think I would be all in for this bath tub pillow but that just seems weird to me. I tried to have fun (hence the boat picture) and “figure it out” but it didn’t work. I’ll probably try again in 5 years – that’s about how often I attempt these things.

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Next up is vacation! Ladies and gentlemen, that is for an entire blog post on it’s own! So stay tuned for a vacation post soon! I will say I have never been so exhausted from a vacation in my entire life.

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So, let’s get to the point of the point: Madison Grace Webking

Is it a family name? Nope. Unless there is something I don’t know.

How did you come up with the name? Frankly, Madison was named by her daddy. Nick and I had been thinking of names for awhile. Well, let me back up!

We were initially going to WAIT to find out the gender until delivery BUT when we had all the scary stuff happen at 16 weeks, my heart couldn’t take it. I needed to know in case, well, to be honest, in case we had to bury this baby. 

Fast forward. We liked Madison almost instantly. It was like love at first sight. It was awesome. But I was hesitant about liking her name so fast. I don’t know why. There is just one baby (unlike the last time) and so naming HER is so final to me. Nick and I had the names of the boys by mid-pregnancy BUT we didn’t actually name the boys until we saw them. I had an idea of who would take each name but I didn’t have to make that decision until we saw them! So this time it’s so different for me mentally. Anyway, it’s probably silly but it is what it is. Her middle name, Grace, honestly came from Google. Haha! We knew we wanted a shorter middle name because it just sounded better with Madison. We did have an initial list of names from when we were pregnant with the boys and had revisited it several times this pregnancy but nothing really stood out. Madison wasn’t even on the list. We came across Ryan, Kate and Grace and liked them all. We love Ryan for a girl or boy name but just didn’t work well with Madison – we thought. We were left with Kate and Grace. We were loving both. However, Grace was also a practical choice. Almost verbatim Nick says “I think we should pick Grace because we are going to need it when she comes.” So there you have it! Her beautiful name. I can’t wait to meet her.

Here’s to Madison Grace,

Rachel

P.S. Another blog post coming up are my thoughts on the NICU – lately my mind has been fearing the NICU experience again. So stay tuned. It’s coming soon.