Every morning morning Claire has her morning nursing session. Then we make Nathan his lunch, give him kisses, and send him on his way to work. My baby and I enjoy slow breakfasts of sourdough toast and yogurt with peaches or sometimes we have oatmeal or eggs. One thing never changes though. Every morning after our sweet breakfast, Claire brings me my shoes and begs me to put them on. This is her signal that she wants to go outside. So we get dressed as fast as we can to beat the burning sun, slip on some shoes, and head out the door. Claire will not have it any other way. We MUST go outside. I am glad she is such a persistent little dear, because I would just like to sit on the couch with my ever growing belly. Sometimes I do not want to go walking, but she always seems to win with her darling eyes.
This morning I am glad we made it out of the house.
I pushed the stroller down our quiet neighborhood street. I was watching her little feet wiggle and kick, and I began to think about all the jobs I've had. I thought about the one I had to get up at the crack of dawn and clean toilets and mow parks. Some I had to stay up late into the night and put away free weights and vacuum floors. Others I had to get up before sunrise and make breakfast/lunch/dinner for 60+ people. All of these jobs had been hard. An overwhelming rush of thankfulness pushed through my being. Being a mother has been my dream. For me, it truly has been a dream come true. I am so thankful to be able to be with my baby during the day. I am thankful we can go on adventures together. I am thankful that her daddy and I get to teach her about life. Being a mother is so much more than an occupation. Some say I must work so hard, but in reality, the burden is light because there is so much love in the equation. I cannot but help love my daughter more and more.
If you feel stuck in life, and unhappy, know that this too shall pass. Life moves at the most brisk pace. It may feel slow to you, but things are moving on all sides of you. We just may not see quite how things are coming together. Have patience and move forward.
Hello there! It's been a while since I gave an update on our little family. Thought you might want to hear how we all are!
This summer has been a joy for us. We are completely busy, but that is alright. Busyness helps me appreciate the still & calm moments. Most of you probably already know this, but we are expecting baby #2. Due in January and kickin' like crazy. Am I nervous? Yes. Excited? YES! Nathan is very excited for this new little life. Claire? I don't think she has a clue about what's coming. I know she is going to make the most darling big sister though! So this summer has been FULL of midwife visits and pediatrician visits and all the other things that come to you when you start having children.
Claire is such a dear. She has been walking for a couple of weeks now, and it is an adventure! We can barely believe that she just wanders around our house all day on her own two feet! My baby is no longer a babe. She is growing up. I shed quite a few tears because of this, but then I was finished and no more tears thus far. I am very excited for her. I know that she is so proud of herself. You can see it on her face when we walk around the garden looking for strawberries and tomatoes. She is a wonder. I am so thankful that she is mine.
All this new progress for Claire has brought me to grow as a mother as well. You get so comfortable with your child being one way, and then all of the sudden they are on their way to new and better things. I still remember watching her as a newborn just laying on our bed in the afternoon light playing with her little hands. Then there are more moments..and more..and they just don't stop. Being a mother is easy and challenging. It is easy because you look at your child one time and then you want to give them the world. It is challenging because you are continually growing in your mothering. You make new feats every single day.
Today was one of those days. I have been suffering from pregnancy insomnia over the past few weeks. Never in my life have I had trouble sleeping at night, so this is quite a new thing for me. I am tired during the days because of it. Bless my husband for buying me a mattress topper for our anniversary! It has helped me much. Last night I was up a bit though. This morning when I woke I had the horrible, 'today is going to be bad because you are so tired!' mantra going through my head. I had to go grocery shopping. Now, grocery shopping with just Claire and I, is the most intimidating thing in world for me. She is in a stage of being an explosive wild cannon when we are in the middle of a store. Sometimes she stays in the cart, sometimes she wants out, sometimes she cries because you won't let her play with the desks in office max. You get the picture. I said a quiet prayer, and I decided before I stepped out of bed that we would go shopping together. I threw all caution to the wind and made us some oatmeal with plums, then we threw on some clothes and buckled our shoes and we were out the door. Sometimes if I think about it too much, I will stop myself from doing something just because I don't want to deal with a crying toddler. Today was about growth though, and how will we learn to deal if we never face our fears?
The peach was on her best behavior the entire time. I was stunned as we made our way through costco. She sat up front as my co-pilot most of the time, sucking on her fingers and cuddling her silky, pointing when she saw the ginormous teddy bears. Then she graduated to the main part of the cart when she saw we were getting bananas. She spent the rest of the time snacking on bananas and pieces of bread. We completed our entire route without a tear shed from either mama or baby.
The heart. We think we understand it. We have quite a handle on it scientifically. We can fix a heart, or try to. We can pump blood into it and keep it alive if we need to. We cannot fathom the depths of it though. This week has been really challenging for my heart. There have been prickly little blackberry thorns stinging me in certain places that I have not traveled. Overgrown and wild these blackberries have slowed my steps, and I've had to step back and think, 'how shall I prune these crazy things?'.
Nathan has been working so hard lately. He has a project at work that is due this week, and we can all feel the tension and anticipation. I admit, I have been a needy wife. Why is it whenever someone needs you to be patient and kind, it seems to be during a very hard week? My patience has quit several times, and I regret each one. After having a particularly hard day yesterday, Claire took her first steps before bed. It was special and surreal and fast. My baby can walk on her own now. Her daddy then took her and brushed her teeth, changed her diaper and then got her to fall asleep like a dream. No tears. Just a gentle rock from her dad and she was out like a light. I went to bed feeling rather sad and depressed because my baby is growing up. She didn't even need her mommy cuddles to fall asleep. I am so proud of my little darling, but it is hard for me to move through these special moments so quickly. A year goes by ridiculously fast. I fell into tears feeling badly for the way I had conducted myself, and then to receive such a gift as my daughter's first steps? It was overwhelming. My husband accepted my tea and sympathy, and we drifted off. Not before I could sneak into baby's room to steal one last look at her though.
I am grateful to be a wife.a mother.a daughter.a sister.
We arrived home from a weekend long camping trip this afternoon. It was nice to be in the midst of nature for a change. We went with a group of dear friends to a small campground on the Oregon coast. It was terribly cold, and I had under packed because I was expecting some 80 degree weather. With a trip to fred meyer our problem was solved. I spent the weekend walking around in long underwear and my husband's jacket. Nathan was such a mountain man the whole time. Playing with knives and chopping wood, I enjoyed watching him flow with nature so gracefully. Claire was a darling on her first camping trip. She slept through the night and played in the dirt. She loved the little creek that was next to our campsite. My little baby loves nature so much. Watching her observe how the trees sway in the wind or how the ocean rolls in is such a gift. She helps me to slow down and appreciate the quiet moments. Our little trip has refreshed my soul. I am so tired, but it was all worth it. I cherish these times that I get to spend with my little family. Each new adventure is just as special as the one previous.
Above is a picture of my husband whittling as we were getting ready to leave for home. This is one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken.
dearest love and sweetest peace
the support the bricks and foundation of
a friendship a father a lover of love
the brain the bronze the silver and gold
your life is a pretty story being told
to those who watch who wait who listen
this new year of life will be a math equation
my best friend
you have the answer inside of you
you discovered it a long time ago while you were
but twenty-three has dawned its lovely face
and the sidewalk is left with only a trace
of last years days and deviled eggs
and you were only a boy some time ago
but all young men grow up to be old
embrace the ebb embrace the flow
i will be holding your hand as we go.
This hiatus has gone on long enough.
The long pause has concurred with our moving into a new house. It is divine. The kitchen is three times the size of my old one, baby has her own room, and we have a studio space in the back of the house so we can work on music, art, sewing, and computer science. It was hard and tiring moving everything, but I have since forgotten the pain of it all. Also, we have a yard with a fire pit. We can't wait to throw some magical parties. Our landlords are some of the most lovely people I have ever met. They are part of the family of God, and Nathan and I have already learned so much about love and friendship from them.
I am cooking:
Inspired by: This : love her minimalistic style and how she effortlessly displays the beauty of nature & this : such a tangible explanation of homesteading.
Good afternoon lovelies. This morning my wish came true! The sun was out. So much joy! Nathan and I quickly got dressed and ready for a walk. With Claire still in her snuggle bunny jammies we headed out the door. O my goodness! I love our Ergo baby carrier. It is the most fantastic thing ever. Our Bob stroller is also amazing, but I use it for walks along the bike path. The Ergo is good for zipping around town. It was quite a brisk walk! We went downtown to the Kiva. It is my favorite grocery store in Eugene. It smells like hippies and they have cool things like miso and fair trade chocolate and local vegetables. The fresh carrots they sell are like candy. We picked up some coffee and yogurt and granola and a few other things. Then we walked home. It was so nice to have a thirty minute walk to start my day. I love leaving our warm house early and breathing in the cold morning air.
After arriving home I made the best latte I have ever tasted.
Coffee just tastes better when you make it yourself.
The past few weeks have been quite hectic. Nathan and I traveled over to Monmouth to do a house show with our friend Jen. The show was a dream. House shows usually are though. It went much better than I could have ever anticipated, minus the sound system cutting in and out. The house was warm and full. Just like our hearts. The day before Nathan and I were able to take Claire the peach on her first trip to IKEA. She loved it of course. We picked up a nice Brimnes bed frame. Probably one of the reasons I haven't been writing lately, is because our house was completely torn up because of said bed frame. It is just now being reassembled. We were able to visit a long time friend of mine and her husband. I've only ever met Kaisha once in my life and I had never met her husband, so it was an adventure to stay the night at their house and then have a little tour of freezing cold Portland together. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at Fuel on Alberta Street. Banana chocolate chip pancakes? Um...forever yes. Then we drove up to Washington Park. Gorgeous. I had never been to a park in Portland before. I really do love parks, so it was a treat for me. We walked around snapping photos and chatting. It was a wonderful time together. I think Nathan and I may have started another bosom friendship.
Home now. I have been having a rather hard time being home during the day. Claire and I feel so cooped up because of the rain..there is only so much you can do in a one bedroom house. We are both starting to feel the tension. We are so used to walking around town poking in different antique stores. Not in the rain though. Hopefully it will let up tomorrow and we can go for a short walk. If not, we will be inside reading Winnie the Pooh. Tut tut..looks like rain.
The Lord has been showing me how I have been selfish. After having Claire it was hard to think about myself at all...newborns really do take a lot of time, and I was enjoying giving all that time to her. Lately, the Lord has been calling me out on some selfish things. Maybe it is because she is getting older, and it is getting somewhat easier to care for her, but I find that in all my free time my thinking always goes to myself. I am glad that Lord has brought this up, because frankly I really hate the feeling that creeps inside when everything is mememememe. It isn't peaceful, or lovely, or enjoyable. Today when I was staring at myself in the mirror I looked over at my daughter who was eyeing me, and I thought, 'o my gosh. What am I doing?'. I don't want my daughter to know me as a woman who scrutinizes herself in the mirror. The one who is worried about the jeans that don't fit right, the hair that is too thin, and the shoulders that aren't the nicest. That is not the woman I want my daughter to be. Our children are going to grow up and imitate us. I want my baby to see me doing lovely things like making our house beautiful. Creating things for her to play with. Writing verses of encouragement on our walls. Going on walks. Exploring. Making. Breathing. Living. but not wishing she could be someone else. Mothers, your daughters will become you. Fathers, your sons will become you.
Don't waste your time starring into the glass.
'Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. ' -proverbs 31:30,31
Sometimes being a mother is luxurious. Like right now, I am drinking a glass of wine in a silky robe. I feel like an adult. My whole life I've felt 15. Even when I was 7. Even when I was 20. Tonight I feel my age though. 23. It is a nice age. I will take it.
I said a while back that I would share some of my beauty routine. The best thing you could ever have in your bathroom is sweet almond oil. The stuff is amazing. Smells fantastic and does WONDERS for your skin. When I was pregnant I rubbed it all over my growing belly. It might be genetics, but I say it was the oil..no stretch marks. I wash my face, condition my hair, and hydrate dry skin with it. Sweet almond is a carrier oil that is extracted from the sweet almond nut. It has a pale yellow color and has a high percentage of Vitamin A, B1, B2, and B6. It has mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are also essential for the body to function. It also contains Vitamin E, which nourishes the skin. By far my favorite thing to use it for is an oil cleanse. Here is how you do it:
The Oil Cleansing Method. 1. Pour a quarter size amount of almond oil into the palm of your hand(enough to cover your face). 2. Begin to massage into you skin, starting with the forehead and moving downward(no need to wash your face before!). Massage for 5 minutes. 3. After you massage all the oil into your face, take a washcloth soaked in warm water and cover your face with it and let the steam work its magic for 1 minute. Warmth will open up your pores and remove excess oil and cleansing residue. 4. GENTLY wipe away excess oil from your face. Rinse out your washcloth and repeat until all the residue is gone. This will take a minute. 5. If your face is dry afterwards(mine usually is not), you can moisturize with a tad bit of oil.
I do this 2-3 times a week. It does wonders for your skin! This works for all skin types.
Over the years I have had trouble with acne, and this method has been the best remedy for my over dried skin. After years of testing out different products that might heal my face, I have found that a clean diet and pure natural ingredients are the things that heal our skin. Be careful what you put on your face. We all want results fast, but our skin needs time to heal. Don't buy into products that promise fast or overnight results. Maybe all you need is a small bottle of oil.
The most special nights with Claire are the ones that I sing her to sleep. We lay lazily on the bed and I strum the ukulele and put together odd words. She can't understand me quite yet, so I figure I have a few more months before I have to start singing songs that make sense. She lays there with one hand in her mouth and the other fingering the pegs on the uke. As she drifts off, I quietly slip out of the room to contemplate my day. My daughter is the sweetest bird of them all.
I am a moments girl. I love special moments. I cherish moments. I do not want to portray a fake life on this blog of mine. Everything you read actually happens. I strive to be as honest as I can when I share things about my little family. Over the past few years of reading blogs of all different genres, I have found one commonality. We all want to make our lives out to be perfection, and even if we don't think we do that, we do. We all fall into the prideful make believe of an unrealistic life. Our pictures are well thought out and executed. There is nothing wrong with that..but if the heart behind it it to make others want to drool over what we did today, then there is something amiss. I want to share pictures of my life, because they are true. And if you for some reason start to covet the way I am living, stop coveting and just start living. I will share every secret to how I run my house if you would like, and really, sometimes it is not so great, other times it is. Remember, you are you and I am me. We should desire to live beautiful functional lives. Don't covet though. Share life with me.
Every week I will be sharing a 'moments' post. I would love to hear of your special moments in life. Please share in the comments box and we can enjoy life together.
9 You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. 10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.