Every year from December 27 to January 1 we travel to Greensboro for our Encounter winter conference with 1200+ students and staff from the Midsouth Region (NC, SC, Marshall, KY, TN). You can read more of an update about how the Lord moved at this conference and the exciting turnout we had here. Here is a photo of our amazing group of students who came from Eastern NC.
We love this conference and so do our kids. Kinsley has been asking for weeks when we were going to the hotel with the students (you know you are a missionary and travel A LOT when your kid asks that). But I will get honest a little with something I didn’t share in our newsletter. Our kids slept HORRIBLY. Like haven’t had it that been since Emerson was a newborn. Like wanted to pull my hair out. Like wanted to throw my baby out the window (would never do that for the record but most moms can sympathize with being in that place).
To spare all the “this is why I think they did so bad” lines and long stories, lets just say that out of 5 nights at a conference, 3 of those nights I slept for 3.5 or less hours (not exaggerating in the least).
So what did I do? 1. Get coffee. 2. Get more coffee. 3. Drank coffee for Ed since he doesn’t like it. 4. Acted very sinfully (I had to spend major time confessing and repenting how I responded and acted toward both of my children, my husband, and the Lord!) 5. Came home and slept. 6. Moved the girls rooms together knowing it may lead to more sleep deprivation.
Crazy huh? On the way home or maybe it was the next day (it all runs together when you are sleep deprived and your system runs out of caffeine), we were talking about why we think they did so bad, what we can do to make it different next time, why we responded as we did (hence the confessing and repenting above), etc. Then, I told Ed what one of my sweet dear-to-my-heart friends said to me at the conference as I was whining to her about how bad it had been. She said “The best thing I ever did was to put my kids together at home..it definitely helped in situations like this.” Granted, the girls being together and in the same room with us wasn’t the main issue at Encounter. Nor was it a big issue when we were in Colorado this summer and they shared a room. But, we are very aware that this summer they will be together in a room for 4 weeks in NYC and that it would make life easier. Plus, it is something we always said we would probably do when Emerson turned 1.
So, we come back from Encounter, catch up on sleep (is there really such a thing?), and start rearranging furniture and putting their rooms together. We knew schools were beginning the next week so it was now or never. And, with Ed leaving on a business/training/planning trip very soon, I had a little while with him there to get them adjusted. They still nap separately, but sleep together at night. Maybe, just maybe, with them sleeping together, it will make this summer MUCH easier.
Overall, they have done well. A few hiccups with figuring out how to make the older one be quiet when she is settling down at night and the younger one is sleeping. And how to sneak out in the morning without waking the younger one up (suggestions are welcome on this one). Though, I will have to credit the “OK to Wake” clock we got from Amazon for Kinsley for Christmas with being a lifesaver. You set it for a certain time and it turns green when it reaches that time telling them it is okay to get up and out of bed. We used to tell Kinsley she could get up when the sun is up but when Daylight Savings hit, we were screwed. I was skeptical, but every day since Christmas, she doesn’t come out before it goes off (sometimes it is on the dot but never before). Actually, the first few days, she brought the clock with her to show us it was green. We finally assured her that we didn’t need to see the clock and she could leave it.
Without further ado, here is a picture of their work-in-progress combined bedroom (and no judgement on my decorating…it is a work-in-progress)!