Our Miss Beans turns eight on Saturday. There was no lesson in life that would have prepared me for the teacher that is this child. Her gentle spirit and knowledge beyond her years are a gift given to me every single day. She feels the world, has empathy for others and can carry a conversation with rational reasoning. She is sweet and her feet are grounded in the earth like a wise old tree. She is an adventurer, a nurturer, a leader when needed and a follower when it suits the situation. Miss Beans has forever changed who I am as a person and how I moved about this earth. Her smiling eyes are what fill my heart and her passion for experiencing life is what fills my soul.
So come tonight, her and her BFF will enjoying what has been months in planning via snail mail; the perfect meal, dessert, movie, sleepover and activities to do on her birthday. We are overjoyed to be celebrating yet another turn around the sun with her because she is truly a light. We love love love you Sweet Bean! xo
-reading (e v e r y t h i n g)
-grilled pb+j with marshmallow fluff
-listening to our personal stories
-knowing what our favorite and least favorite things are
-playing with her dad
-being in the woods
-things that are too sweet
-being too busy
Oh my, how this girl has changed all our lives! Her surge into this world was surely forthcoming of our first year together as a family of four. Anaïs is a force, her determination is fierce, her voice-strong and her sense of humor is something I didn’t know babies were made of. She has made a baby fan out of me and parts of me will truly miss this stage but the other parts of me are happy to welcome the more independent stages to come. Being a mother of two is no easy feat and the fact that we have all made it through happy, sane and more in love than we were as three is a giant accomplishment in my book.
Today we celebrate this sweet soul who was so wanted and waited patiently to make her way into our family. Anaïs has showed us the beauty in sisterhood and the power of that bond. She has brought us a side of Lucy that we never saw before. She has given us the spark that our family lacked before her, she is on fire and has the capacity to make things happen. She loves music and sings or (tries) whistle nearly every day, she is easy to smile and laugh. There is a joy and light inside of her that you can see in her eyes. She is a risk taker and isn’t afraid of adventure. Anaïs is slow to welcome people but when she does she picks the solid folks. She has a great palate for food, although bananas should only be eating when smashed or in smoothies. Her favorite word is “Hi” and “Dad” is a very close 2nd; every morning she wakes up and wants to call him first thing. She has pushed me in ways I didn’t see coming and for that I am better- more patient, calmer and more fluid, not to mention I now have deeper empathy for parents with screaming babies. She surprises us everyday and teases us with the promise of kisses only to turn her head away in laughter. Today celebrate our family- complete, whole and full of life. Because of this little bird we are all better people with a greater understanding for the desire to be heard, understood and that one’s needs are just as important as another’s even if they take you a while to figure out.
Happy First Birthday, Birdie! We love you past the stars and back. May our lives continue on the path of love, gratitude and light. xo
There are moments as a mother that bring me down to a place of reason, a grasp on what’s attainable and a call for living slowly. I am learning that the biggest teaching moments are in the spaces between the transitions. This cute sweet chubby foot belongs to a little human who prefers to remain unnamed, she also chooses to not sleep through the night anymore, making life a bit more unpredictable and a little less desirable. My focus shifts. My perspective changes. The ideas I have of what I wish she would do changes to what it is I need to do, to adjust, to make space and room. For the growth. For the change. Letting the end of one phase flow into the beginning of another. Its funny how I always seem to forget this every time there is a new “new”. I never recognize it at first and fight it until the light falls on its newness; we sit together (usually over a cup of tea), I welcome it in and figure out how to make friends with this adjustment. We then again find our rhythm until its time to befriend yet another change.
How do you deal with transitions? I’d love love love to hear how you’ve create healthy patterns for your family, especially those involving sleep and babyhood.
(photo by catherine abegg)
I am honored and grateful to be a part of such a powerful and honest project, Amy Grace has gathered quite a chorus of remarkable woman who are sharing with their hearts wide open. I hadn’t been introduced to this collaboration of artists before this week and because of it I will never be the same.
Motherhood with a Camera is the kind of thing that encompasses you and makes you feel like you are part of something larger than any blog can hold, a sisterhood of common understanding that is shared through the rite of labor (in all its forms). I am truly thankful to be a part of this hymn, to belt out loudly alongside others and softly sing the praises of motherhood- every bit of the joyous, incredible, miraculous, self exposing journey that it is.
For days I’ve been trying to write a post about the tenderness of my heart lately. Trying to find a minute here or there between meals, diaper changes and homeschooling to sit and write about moments like this when I feel a bit stuck or both over and underwhelmed with life. It seems like every year during this time when the skies are grey and love is in the air my heart seems to yearn for me to take over and create the life I have always dreamt of, not to say that parts of those dreams have not come true, they have, but the parts that are almost a fantasy, the goals that I have for myself that are almost so far fetched that I’m not even sure they can be reality.
I wanted to also share an image of what life is really like behind the scenes, as you can see my hair is pulled back, I am wearing a nursing tank, an oversized cardigan, have a bit of tinted moisturizer on and I have a babe strapped to my body as I type. This has become my uniform-sexless, functional and comfortable. Lucy is in the room behind me doing some research on the family computer for a paper she is writing. She comes in every 7-10 minutes to see what I am doing and ask a question. My mind then wanders around the internet to retrieve her answers, I lose train of all my own thoughts. All I need is time- to myself, with my marriage, with each of my daughters, time with girlfriends and time to focus on new work as I transition out of photography. My heart is being pulled in so many directions, its so easy to just lean out of it all and do nothing. Make dinner, straighten beds, clean up, go to swimming lessons and spend the night knitting and start things all over again in the morning.
I know most of this is winter talking, having a little baby and not having the desire to push myself a little bit harder. I know that these are normal feeling of motherhood. We’ve all been here, right?! A little lost, tired and waiting for the next phase in our own lives to begin. The images of what life should look like, feel like, dress like and be like. The things that are bought and sold to us to make us feel the ever building pressure to be better, richer, wiser, kinder, more mindful, mindless and do it all while fitting into the perfect pair of jeans with the right shade of red lipstick. I am too old for these things, for these games and hoops. These days my goals are simple: make the baby laugh without a tickle, sit and play with Lucy and engage in her conversations and to give the remainder of my time to Dave once we are alone. That’s about all I can do at this stage in life without totally overbooking myself and my family (I’m an all or nothing kinda gal), yet there is a yearning deep in my soul to push forward, to fight through the grey clouds and make it all happen. Then I all is see is late nights and way less sleep then I’m already getting.
These are the kind of sweaters that make childhood a bit more enchanting and wondrous. The kind of thing that collects pine needles as you wander through the woods and comes home smelling of the sea with sleeve cuffs so tattered from collecting treasures and digging in the earth. An object so loved that the moth holes are loving patched with scrap yarn and every snag or missing button has a story to go along with it. An article that brings back so many magical memories of childhood when you stumble upon a photograph of it as an adult.
For the past several years I have tried my best to make at least one sweater a year for each girl. This year it was the Cascade, Miss Beans really wanted matching sweaters with her sister and as I am sure this phase will be short lived, due to their age difference, I was happy to comply. Miss Beans and I discussed colorways and then I hand dyed the yarn for each sweater: Miss Beans’ is grey logwood and the baby’s is purple logwood with a touch of lac, I will say that adding a bit of cream of tarter to the mordant made the yarn super soft. The sweaters are beautiful, cozy and so sweet on each of their owners. The pattern is a raglan knit cardigan which was quick and fairly easy to adjust to a size 8.
They are proudly worn (almost) everyday and nothing could make this momma happier than knowing that they were knitted with love and the best of intentions.
Every year I make a simple little ornament for Lucy, the tradition now continues with Anaïs. While I was sewing these my heart was overcome with love and gratitude for the special beings in my life, two women who show me everyday that beauty is wholehearted, they love me with pure gentleness. I, in return, make them things with my hands- all while holding the intention of love and their well being in my heart. When I was sewing I started to question why it is so important for me to make things, to have these offerings for my children, I sat there for a moment and thought of the history of my own life.
The Christmas season has been a bittersweet holiday for me, my father passed away, in the early morning hours of Dec 26th when I was 9. He held a lot of the holiday traditions for our family: the baking, the Christmas music and of course the magic of Santa Claus, he was the cornerstone of my life. In the years after his passing I had a longing for those things but they never really seemed to come back in their true form, until I became a mother. I too, want to give these beloved gifts to my daughters, to revisit the things that I learned from my father that made this time of year so special for me. So with not only creating traditions around the season, I feel extra moved to create things that are tangible for them, a lasting memory that they get to take with them when the grow up, items that hold a story for them that they can pass down and treasure. I am an artist, my love is shown through my creativity whether it be through a photo, a knitted sweater, a recipe or a simple ornament. This love is shared with my family and and friends; now when I look at my Christmas tree I am not only reminded of this but of my father and everything is now a whole lot sweeter.
one /two /three /four /five / six /seven
what’s in my diaper bag along with an extra change of clothes and a sleeper just in case we are out late. i also carry a handbag for myself with my wallet, sunglasses and other essentials, the diaper bag gets toted along if needed or generally just left in the car.
/ The lovely list is a simple collection of things that I am thankful for from the past week. Its a lovely way to start the new week off with a sense of gratitude and appreciation of things big and small and random./
I am trying to find the beauty in not having a schedule and letting my little ones dictate the way our days go. There have been too many hours in front of the computer only to look down at my nursing baby to see a giant smile on her face. I surely don’t want to miss these moments or time with my eldest daughter who is constantly creating, imagining and engaging. I recently read this article where a mom writes about not telling her kids to ‘hurry up’ anymore, I am working on ‘I’m almost finished’. There are things in life that will never be finished, being a mom is never ending, it can be an all consuming giant chore if I let it (cleaning, meals, cleaning, planning, etc..) but I do need to make the space in life to get on the floor and play with my kids more, to get outside with no agenda, to just let the sink fill with dishes and forget about it. This is a gift that I need to receive from my daughters, the art of slowness. When I look back at my life I won’t pride myself in a spotless house or on how many beautiful photos I’ve taken, it will be in the joy of knowing that I gave my whole heart to those I love, my undivided attention, especially when there was no special reason other than it was just too fun not to. I hope that you are able to take a little slower pace this week, especially as summer is coming to an end and the new school year is approaching. And next time someone asks, “where did the time go?”, you’ll know exactly where it went.
a few blessing from the past week:
-enjoying a glass of white wine with a friend, in the middle of the day
-a play date for lucy with a kindred spirit
-preparing for an upcoming week filled with grandparents meeting their new grandbaby
-thankful for making progress in my new brand/site/work
-planning a trip to the Philippines in the near future
-lucky that my mom sends me things from her garden even though we are states away
-cutting our food budget in nearly half without sacrificing healthiness
-quite evenings working alongside the mister
striped ice recipe here, so worth the effort.
wise words said to me by lucy as tears streamed down my face unable to comfort her baby sister for almost the whole day. “the day is almost over,” she kindly said as she caressed my face, i looked into her wise eyes, thankful for her wisdom and for the reminder. this day was hard, not being able to console or put the baby down – was hard. but this day will pass and will be a day in history that i will soon forget, lost in chubby baby cheeks, gummy smiles and fits of laughter. but as i sit and type this with tears filling my eyes because i feel less, today i was unable to soothe this baby, i was unable to figure it out, my day was filled with crying, screaming and having to tell lucy over and over again to “just wait”. to wait to play, to wait for lunch, to wait to talk. this makes me feel less, for today i couldn’t manage both of my children, both of which needed me for completely different reasons. i know in my heart that what i am doing is the work of saints; raising children, loving them, being there for them and delusionally trying to live up to the expectations of the showered, sparkling clean house, ‘i can do all’ kinda of mom that is sold to us. i am not showered, in fact i am still in my pajama bottoms and i am trying to get dinner on the stove, i am not perfect and i never will be. i cry in front of my children and let them know that i cannot do it all. and in the end i am thankful that through all my imperfections, through all the uncertainties, through all the hard days, lucy has enough compassion to come comfort me and gently remind me that, “this day will pass, the day is almost over.” in those moments i come out of my self pity and realize that i must be doing something right.