Corey emailed this to me with the subject reading: You to a t.
I cannot stop looking at it because it is so funny. It’s comforting to know that I’m really not that weird after all.
Anyone else a night owl?
Posted in Misc on April 26, 2012
Posted in Ramblings on April 25, 2012
It starts from day one, it seems. Questions every day you are faced with in regards to sleep and eating and independent play. And, my oldest is only 21 months! I cannot even imagine what all is in my future in regards to chores and school, navigating friends and boyfriends, work and money.
I was a latchkey kid starting at the age of 8. Both of my parents worked and I was granted an extremely high level of independence at a young age. When I was 8 my sister was 16 so I almost always came home to an empty house. I had a set list of chores I was to complete every day and my homework had to be done before my parents got home at 5:30. Occasionally, I would call my mom at work (I still have the number memorized!) and ask to complete my homework after the sun went down. Here, too, I was given a lot of independence so she would almost always say yes simply because she trusted me. I’d romp around our huge neighborhood hanging out with all of my friends at different houses until 5:30 rolled around and I knew I needed to be home.
The thing I will always remember most about my childhood is the way my parents treated me. Always I was treated as if I was capable of anything and when I was asked starting at the age of 10 to start babysitting (meaning I would be left home ALONE with children younger than me to care for!) my mom always acted as if I was the best babysitter to ever exist and HIGHLY qualified for the job.
I do think a lot was required of me and I do think that at times I was given more independence and freedom then I probably should have been given. But, I am grateful for being raised by parents who always believed in me and treated me as if I was capable of anything. I have not always lived life believing that (although we all should!), but overall I can say without hesitation that I am the way I am because my parents showed me a life where nothing was out of my reach, working hard always pays off and making good decisions is the straightest path to leading a happy and fulfilled life.
I want my kids to be caring, independent, hard-working and ambitious. I want to have high expectations for them laced with truckloads of grace. I want them to NEVER fear doing things on their own* and I want them to grow up KNOWING they are capable of ANYTHING.
(*Writing out that phrase instantly reminded me of when I decided to go to Venezuela in college to work with Young Life for a month. My parents bought me my plane ticket, dropped me off at the airport and at the ago of 20 I flew to Caracas, Venezuela (a city of nearly 29 million people!). I retrieved my bags, flagged down a taxi, handed the man a piece of paper with an address on it (I will never forget how scared I was sitting in the back thinking about how he could be taking me ANYWHERE and no one would EVER be able to find me) and then fumbling through my money trying to pay him the correct amount. That trip, as you can imagine, changed my life. It was a defining point in solidifying my relationship with the Lord and the reason why I do not fear traveling anywhere in the world.)
Yet, I also want my kids to be where they are at and I don’t want to ever force them to grow up faster than necessary. I want them to enjoy their childhood to the absolute max, while also helping them learn what all it takes to lead a rich and fulfilling adult-life.
It’s tough to know when all of those things are needed and at what time and which stage.
This is why I feel more of an urgency than ever to cling to the Lord. HELP ME, JESUS! No, better yet… HELP THEM, JESUS!
As all of you moms know, pediatricians (my husband included) suggest being done with the bottle at the age of 12 months. I know it’s very easy to want and need your oldest to grow up quickly so that you have more time to focus on the next baby, but I have done just the opposite with Charley in a lot of ways. I didn’t agree with the “no-more-bottle-at-12-months” so we continued to giver her one. Corey and I decided we would be done with it at 18 months. Then, Lola was born and I knew weaning Charley off a bottle (she was only getting 1 in the mornings) would not be of high priority. Plus, I wanted her to know that she still had full permission to be a baby, along with Lola.
One of my first days home with Lola it was time for her to eat. After making her bottle Charley started to ask for a “baba,” too. It wasn’t a time of day Charley ever got a bottle, but I made her one. I handed Lola to my mom and held Charley while she drank hers. Then, just a few sips in she refused to hold her own “baba,” wanting me to hold it for her. I happily held her and her bottle and tried to send as clear as a message as possible that she still had full permission to be a baby. Because she was.
Just last week though she randomly started asking for a “baba” several times during the day. She was eating well and seemingly happy so it kept taking me off guard. I think she maybe was doing it out of habit or boredom or maybe to treat it like a paci?? I’m really not sure, but Corey and I talked and decided it was time to say bye to the “baba.”
The first morning she cried and a week later she still asks for a “baba” almost daily. She is easily distracted, but it hasn’t been easy. For either of us.
This is so small I know, but it was hard that first morning to not hand her her “baba.” It’s not easy not making her life easy. It’s my nature to want to coddle her. It’s my nature to want to do everything for her and pick her up every time she asks me to. It’s my nature to want to put her in timeout and then sit next to her and remind her that she is loved and everything is going to be okay. It is my nature to want to protect her from the world in a lot of ways. I know she would probably love school, but the thought of it most days freaks me out, imaging her in an environment I can’t control.
Yet, not creating a seemingly perfect and easy world for her is what will be the best gift I can give her. Guiding her out of her comfort zone and setting boundaries that aren’t always easy to stay in, giving her small jobs she doesn’t always like to do (like cleaning up the food she threw on the ground) and disciplining her when she needs it. These are the things as a mother that are the hardest for me to do, but the most important.
I know this to be true, but it’s hard. The hardest part about being a mother, in my opinion.
I am such a rambler…. sheesh! Thanks for reading. : )
Posted in Misc on April 20, 2012
For both of the girls I laid them on one of our white bath mats next to a window. For Lola’s picture the window faced south-west so the light was a bit more harsh. I set our cream colored laundry basket near the right side of her face to reflect some of the light back.
Did you know that you can reflect all kinds of light just wearing white yourself?
Edited in Lightroom and then in Photoshop using Jesh de Rox’s Colorshift actions on low opacity.
One day when I’m ready I’ll write why I put that verse on the back of Lola’s birth announcement.
Have a great weekend! Corey has the weekend off and we’re going out to celebrate his birthday with some friends. I am so excited about showering, dressing pretty and going out adults only!
p.s. I’m on Instagram ya’ll (503Jess) – join me!
Posted in Ramblings on April 18, 2012
“…most Americans suffer from “possession overload’, the problem of dealing with too much stuff”. The average supermarket contains 30,000 items, two and a half times as many as it did 20 years ago [note added by me: that was 1990, people!]. To keep these largely useless items, homes have become twice the size they were in the 1950s, though the family size has shrunk. Typically, American homes now have 2,300 sq. ft. and three garages. But even this is not sufficient. There are now more than 30,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S. providing over a billion square feet of storage space. The authors point out that this industry has grown 40-fold since the 1960s, when it was insignificant, to one with an annual turnover of $12 billion now, making it bigger than the music industry in America.”
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I’ve had a life-changing shift occur in me recently. It’s something I’ve been thinking about constantly for the past almost 6-months. I’ve wanted to write about it here for nearly as long as that, but I have never been able to organize my thoughts. I still don’t think I have, but I also feel a burning inside to just write so here I am.
I’m not sure what exactly started the shift in me. It came about slowly and just built with time. I do know that a large proponent to the shift was following the journey of some of our friends who moved from this …
Blake and Sarah moved their family from one of the wealthiest places in the world (California) to the poorest (Lima, Peru) to work with Krochet Kids. Sarah writes openly, vulnerably and bravely on their blog about all they have learned and how hard the move has been.
The initial reading of how they sold nearly everything they owned to move to one of the poorest areas in the world was mind-blowing to me (and, holy crap, with their four young kids, too!).
While following their journey I found myself becoming more and more aware of all kinds of things big and small. The abundance of coats we had in our closet, the storage units sprawling across our country, the perfectly good clothes I was putting on Charley to realize she had outgrown (only having worn them a few times), the piles outside of the Goodwill I pass on a daily basis where people have ditched stuff when they weren’t open, the utensil drawer in my kitchen that often gets stuck because it’s too full, etc, etc, etc.
I have always been incredibly organized and tidy, but still I was looking around and realizing that we had
And, yes we still had room to grow as far as space, but we had somehow accumulated an insane amount of stuff over the less than five years we have lived in this house. Fancy cheese knives and miscellaneous utensils, umbrellas and gloves, blankets, quilts and pillows, books and DVDs, toys and baby gear, furniture and decorative items, shoes and sweaters, jewelry and an array of shampoos, conditioners and smelly lotions. Stuff. Just a bunch of stuff.
And, then I’d think back on the simplicity of our days in Memphis when we lived in an 1,100 square foot apartment and had 1 extra room to use as the guest room, office, craft room and storage area. And, I’d look at Charley and reminisce about my first 7-years of life when there were 5 of us living in a 1,200 square foot house.
And, a desire to lead a simpler life for and with my family began.
Corey is only two years away from making a lot of money. I know that’s a bit taboo to write, but it’s no secret that he’s a physician specializing. Life is easy because his pay is minimal (*minimal* compared to the hours he works) right now. We don’t live all too extravagantly (to America’s standards) because we don’t have the money to. But, one day we will and I want to start fighting now creating and keeping a norm for our family that is simple and laced with generosity. I don’t want our kids to grow up thinking nothing is hard to obtain. I don’t want our kids thinking they are entitled. I don’t want our kids to ever think that everyone lives in as nice of a set-up as they do. I don’t want my kids to lose the excitement of receiving a gift, even the smallest of kinds. I don’t want our kids to scoff at hand-me-downs. I want our kids (starting young) to learn the empowerment in working for something they want. I don’t want my kids to look at their birthday and Christmas time as a time in the year when they get an abundance of stuff and everything they have asked for. I want my kids to see that it’s more fulfilling to spend our money helping people or on experiences than it is on buying stuff.
At the beginning of December Sarah wrote on their blog that they would of course not be celebrating Santa (you can’t have “Santa” if you don’t have the money to buy gifts “Santa” left behind) and that they would not be buying gifts for one another for Christmas. Instead, they simply celebrated Christmas. Without gifts. What a novel idea, right?
I knew we would not be going that route, but it shifted my heart big-time. I felt more relaxed this past Christmas than I have in the 8 Christmases we have had married. I didn’t let the burdensome of gift buying get in the way. It was refreshing.
With our big family (Corey is 1 of 5 boys) we returned home with a car brimming with gifts. It took me a few hours a day for a week to make room for everything we had been given and I felt sad about it. I realized that I was trying to make room for stuff we didn’t have room for (or simply didn’t need). All the while I was reading posts from Sarah about the women they had hired that were living with barely anything.
And, this is when I became totally resolved with it all.
In the past I thought through every thing I chose to give away in an emotional sort of way. But, this time I started to sort through things with ease, creating giant piles of stuff we either 1. didn’t need or 2. had too much of or 3. simply didn’t love or 4. didn’t use regularly.
One day while the kids played, I talked extensively about my heart’s shifting with my friend, Beth, and we made the decision together to not spend a penny on anything (minus the necessities of course) in the month of January.
Then, Lola was born. January 8th.
And, I found myself, 10:00 at night, at Target and Baby’s R Us buying all the things we needed for our trip. We wrote the biggest check we’ve ever written for her adoption, lived in a hotel and ate 3 meals out a day (until I got to my sister’s house, of course).
Not spending money in January flew out the window faster than I could get started.
When I returned home with Lola I spent the week my mom was here continuing to sort through things in our house. When my mom left her SUV was stuffed to the max with things I was donating to their church’s yard sale.
I continued to tackle rooms and closets and spaces in the weeks ahead. Our bedroom, bathroom, the kitchen, buffet table, the hall closet, the girls’ room…
In March, my dad led a trip of college students to Mexico so my mom came to visit for a few days before we went on vacation. When she pulled out of our driveway her SUV was again stuffed to the brim with things I was donating to their church’s yard sale.
Since vacation, I’ve tackled a few more areas and there are piles piling up yet again. Just this past weekend I started on the closet in our guest room (where I keep our photos and albums, gift bags and wrapping paper, some extra blankets and sheets)…
I was watching Guiliana and Bill the other night on TV (love them) and she was making him help her organize their office/guest room. She was putting aside stuff to donate and he said, “No, no, no… isn’t it better to have and not need then to need and not have?”
And, it hit me. That’s what I’ve been fooled into believing.
Have we forgotten what it feels like to need (or want) and not have? Have we forgotten what it feels like to share resources with our friends? Have we forgotten what it feels like to have an empty drawer, shelf or closet not because our house is so big, but simply because we don’t have so much stuff?
We keep things in case we need it, right? So, we have stuff. An abundance of it. Just in case. Filling every corner of our house.
I don’t want to live in the “just in case” category. I want to live in the “if we have it it’s because we use it regularly” category. And, if we don’t have it we’ll make do or get creative or borrow. And, if we can’t do any of those things then we’ll have the perfect gift to ask for for an anniversary or birthday or Christmas.
+++++ +++ +++++
I still have a list of areas in our house I plan to go through, but so far it’s starting to feel good (and freeing!) to know we are that much closer to having a house filled with only the things we need, use regularly, or love …
Our food pantry has pretty much looked like this since we stopped eating so much processed foods last year. Outside of a few things for Charley we basically just have nuts, dried fruit, Lara bars and protein powder.
Where I get my craft on: (I really should have fixed the white balance on this pic, but people, I am tired.)
So, this pic is a little unrelated, but as I was be-bopping around the house snapping pics for this post I snapped this one of my husband’s beer cellar nook in our laundry room. Last year for his birthday, I built those shelves for him, organized all his beer making stuff, framed a few pics I took of his favorite beers aaaaannnnd bought him a mini-fridge. As a reminder at how awesome my gift was I just high-fived myself (which my friend, Jackie, says is called clapping, but it is totally not)!
A few disclaimers and notes:
1. I like stuff. And, I enjoy shopping. I specifically love small shoes. Charley probably has a dozen pairs. And, she’s one. I also specifically love buying stuff for our house. Recently I bought a new rug for our living room and it is the third rug I’ve bought in the past 18 months. For our living room. I like to think I’m resourceful, but I am not frugal. And, although I am not a brand snob, I like nice things.
2. Often tackling areas of our house is trying, tiring and just plain frustrating. Having said that, I have a knack for purging and organizing. Both of my parents (sister, too) are incredibly clean and orderly. I grew up in a small house, but it was never cluttered and we rarely had things we didn’t need or use. So, for me I can do this fairly painlessly and quickly.
3. Since I like to shop and we like nice things much of what was given away was nice. Clothes and jackets, decorative pillows and frames, unlit candles and blankets, small appliances and… you get the point. If we decided to hang on to something because it was nice or still in great condition we would have gotten rid of very little. Instead, I only saved what we needed, used regularly or loved.
4. For those of you wondering how I did this with a newborn and a toddler here’s how:
5. have no intention of writing this as a message to the masses, spurring you all on to do the same with your houses. Truly. We have chosen to do this with our house because we felt the Lord’s urging to do so. Having stuff in excess just wasn’t feeling right with us so we did something about it. This does not mean that you should feel guilty to do the same. The Lord could very well be urging you to do something totally different (which could equal resting!). It’s all about your heart. My heart was simply telling me to simplify our possessions.
6. We still have a lot of stuff. Like for reals. I don’t want to live in a museum and I still like stuff. I just want it to be stuff we need, use regularly or love. That’s all.
Ahhhh… again, I feel so good to have written this out! This here blog truly does help me process and make sense of things. Thanks for reading! I hope you know that when you invite me over I will only peek into a few closets and if you have a lot of stuff I will only judge you in my heart.
Posted in Ramblings on April 17, 2012
Customary to Korean culture is to celebrate the baby and mother on the baby’s 100th day of being alive (because both SURVIVED). When I first found out about this celebration I had instant visions of a big dinner party with all of our friends and their kids. But, the more I read about it the less I had a desire to celebrate it. The main part of the Korean 100 day celebration is praying to the gods, thanking them for keeping the mother and baby alive. You are also supposed to do a list of things with food to determine how healthy, rich and lucky the baby will be. Well, none of that was sitting well with me so instead I just decided to focus on getting through the first ONE HUNDRED days.
Here’s the deal: The first 100 days of caring for a human being (whether from birth or if you adopt an older child) are uniquely challenging. They are exhausting and trying and confusing and just plain hard.
And, no one seems to talk about them. And, I no why. You can’t put words to it. How do you try and explain a fleeting time in your life where you feel OVERWHELMINGLY in-love and happy and OVERWHELMINGLY exhausted and beat down?
I know during our 100 days I often did not say all I was feeling because I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful or even, dare I say, unable to handle the challenge. And, I also know I often didn’t say all I was feeling because I was simply too exhausted to try and make sense of how I was feeling.
So, you just get through it.
Do any of you pick up your feet and hold your breath when you drive through a tunnel? And, have you ever thought you were gonna have to take an overly dramatic breath in before you got through only to finally see the first glimpse of light and find a way to hold your breath for an extra 10 seconds?
That’s what it’s like.
You make it through, but your body will struggle and will BEG you for a breath and it will get it before you die, but it will have to be pushed to its limit first.
So, here’s my BEST advice for any of you preparing to add a baby to your life (whether it’s your first or fourth):
1. Figure out your baby’s 100 day of being alive and mark it BIG on the calendar.
Know that even on your worst days and longest nights you are one day closer to that 100 days. And, maybe not for every single baby, but for most 100 days is when you’ll see that things get SO much easier and SO much better. And, you’ll still be exhausted, but the new rhythm will feel good and natural and your new norm will be just that: normal.
Then, CELEBRATE, just like they do in Korea, that both you, the mother, and baby SURVIVED. Go out to eat and drink a glass of champagne or schedule yourself a massage or just TAKE A NAP. You deserve it.
2. Schedule a trip AWAY right around the 100 day mark.
You and your husband will undoubtedly be a little disconnected so getting away will help you reconnect and just rest together. Celebrate your new life as a family of 3 (or 4 or and take a little time to just reflect. Having a newborn and making it through those first 100 days is like being in a serious car accident, but knowing that everyone survived and you get a dream car out of it. Taking a little time to reflect on your life when you drove a Toyota Corolla and celebrating the fact that you now drive a Mercedes-Benz G-class is good and healthy for all parties.
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Corey’s vacation, which was set in stone last year, just happened to fall quite close to our 100 day mark. And, boy was it good. I had NO idea just how worn down I had gotten and just how much I was NOT myself until we got away. We went to my family’s lodge in Banner Elk, NC and just rested. It was so refreshing and that particular visit to the lodge is one I will probably never forget.
I haven’t even downloaded all of the pictures I took on vacation, but I have sorted through most of the ones I took at the lodge. I’d love to present them here using my hand-dandy blog templates from MCP, but I’m too tired so I’m just going to upload and insert. There will undoubtedly be a lot because I’m still a little sleep deprived and the simplest of decisions can be too much so scroll and enjoy (if you wanna).
Holy cow, is your index finger about to fall off? Forgive me!
Love to you all!
I taught Charley at the age of like 6-weeks to smile when I said “cheeeeeeeese” in a high-pitched voice. It worked so well I never stopped. I mean why would I? Cheese is fun to say and it’s nearly impossible not to smile when someone says “cheeeeeeeeese” at you with a smile on their face. Try saying cheese with a frown on your face. It’s impossible.
She even thinks my camera is called “cheese” and will occasionally pick it up and carry all 8 pounds of it around and say “cheeeeese” (all the while grunting through her weight training). She makes me laugh (when she’s not driving me crazy).
p.s. Lola is now in “cheeeeeese” training and proving to be an excellent student.
Posted in Misc on April 16, 2012
A few months ago I gave my website a fresh look. Some of you have noticed and commented (thank you) and a few of you have suggested I say something on my blog so here it is. My website is new and not all that exciting, but if you’d like to take a look I’d love it.
Also, under the “I’m New” link on the blog (————->) I updated it with our story and some quick links to posts I’ve written regarding infertility and the journey to our girls. You can also find quick links to my most popular posts written on MCP’s blog including my 2-week series titled “Hobbyist to Professional,” posts I wrote during my tenure at The Creative Mama (pre-mama days), all of the photographer interviews I hosted here on this blog and the 11-weeks of photos of yours I critiqued.
I wanted her still and the lighting was perfection so I put her on the tire swing. She wasn’t happy about it…
…until she realized how delicious the chains tasted.
And, for a photo like that I’m perfectly okay with it.
Whatever it takes, people. Whatever it takes…
Posted in Misc on April 12, 2012
Thank you for all of your high-fives and kind words yesterday. You people are the best and your comments meant a lot to me.
Since I mentioned yesterday blogs I love reading I thought I would share a few posts I’ve read recently that I’ve really enjoyed.
Are you too busy? by Joanna Goddard (A great way to think about what’s filling our calendars.)
5 reason to take care of YOU by Natalie Norton (This post reminded me that taking care of myself is MORE important than taking care of ANYONE else. Loved this!)
Corner by Tara Whitney (This post inspired Corey and I to spend two nights a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) unplugged (no TV, computers or phones).)
Jen Hatmaker’s words about life at home after you bring your adopted child home were of great comfort to me.
On Feeling Ignored and Unimportant (re: emails) by Alex Beadon (Alex is a lovely person who writes a crazy-informative blog re: all things photography. This post had me jumping up and down on my couch Tom Cruise style.)
On Weaning and Depression by Joanna Goddard (A MUST-READ for any breast-feeding moms)
And, a few other blogs I frequent:
Under the Sycamore (I love her DIY projects, but I particularly love following their journey to adopting their daughter in China)
The Anderson Crew (This mom of 6 (7 and under!) is hilarious.)
Angela Hardison (her blog feels like a breath of fresh air to me.)
My Happy Little Life (Kelly is the queen at keeping it real.)
Happy Thursday! If you need to reach me tonight you’ll have to send me a letter in the mail.
Posted in Ramblings on April 11, 2012
Corey and I talked SO much on vacation. SO MUCH. I think it’s just because he works like … oh, I don’t know… ALL THE TIME. And, the babes take up EVERY OTHER MINUTE. And, the other sort-of-there minutes are spent staring off into space wondering how we got from “we’re sad and infertile” to “is that poop under my fingernail?” and “can you tell which baby is crying?”
So, on vacation we had all kinds of time to talk while in the car and during naps and in the middle of the night up feeding Lola (hello, partner!) and during our two-day escape to Asheville. It was like the best therapy ever for me. Corey is my sounding board and the most level-headed person I know. At one point I was all in a tizzy over worrying about something and feeling insecure and reading into nothing and everything and then I told him the story and he was all “that’s stupid and what you’re worried about seems sort of ridiculous” and I was all like, “O-em-g, you’re so right” and I instantly felt a release. I just needed to throw it all up and out and then suddenly I felt the freedom to see it for what it was and move forward. You know what I mean? It’s the best.
So, during one of our car trips we were talking about the crazy blog-o-sphere. He doesn’t get it. I mean, the kid doesn’t even read MY blog. He just can’t wrap his mind around why people would want to just write and other people would want to just read. And, I mean there’s a part of me that understands where he’s coming from. It is all a little weird. Some of us blog to stay in touch with friends and family who don’t live nearby and then there are those like me who write to say, “I’m like you. Let’s be friends, okay?” And, I know that’s a bit counter-productive because I feel like in my daily life I have all the friends I need and all the friends I can handle (when it comes to time), but yet there’s this part of me that loves to write online. To write about my life and share photos I’ve taken and pictures of my house and stories about my family and really all for one reason (okay, two reasons): For a bit of a time capsule (but let’s be real, I could write on a Word doc and be done with it) and to simply connect with others.
To connect with you.
So, we were talking about the few blogs I read and how much I love them (I mean, seriously, I quote at least one of them every other day) and how “peon’ish” I feel in comparison to the person writing. Like, I know we’d be the best of friends, but I’d be WAY too embarrassed to ever say hi (except I have once or twice and then nearly died of embarrassment). And, I tell myself that everyone else who reads said blog feels that way and if I wrote them they would just think to themselves, “Yea, you and everyone else. Get in line.”
So, Corey’s listening to my rambling about blogs and then he goes, “Well…
…don’t you think there are people that read your blog that just see “the photographer married to the doctor who have adopted two babies super fast and here’s their intriguing life” and feel the same way about you?”
I nearly spit my trail mix/sour worms/coffee with 2 stevia/whatever I undoubtedly had in my mouth all over the windshield.
“Well, I guess that could be true.”
And, really I know it is for some of you.
And, it makes me kind of hate the blog-o-sphere.
All the time I’ll link to a blog or I’ll be intrigued by a photography article and click along or (hello, the most obvious!) the Facebook app just pops up on my phone and I’ll see a picture or read a post or read a status update and instantly … I mean INSTANTLY .. I am the stupidest, ugliest, “I have no friends” person that ever existed ever in the world of Everdom.
WHAT THE WHAT!?
I love myself and I love my life and I KNOW that my joy and worth does not have to be proven in the pictures I post or words I write on my friends’ walls on Facebook (because HELLO! We all know Facebook has redefined who is considered a “friend” and so many “can’t you see, World Wide Web, we’re best friends” that are on Facebook are cursory and of little substance) for the world to see.
And, more importantly why would I want to work so hard to show a bunch of fluff here and on every other social networking site available that I am beautiful and healthy, with a really clean house and a cool car, a perfect family and look how flawless my photography is and you want to be just like me? C’mon, admit it! You wanna be like me, now go ahead and leave me a comment that I am beautiful and my family perfect and you wish you were me!
Errrrrrrrrrrr! (biggest scratch of the record EVER.)
The truth is, readers, I currently am a bit overweight and I have disgusting fingernails (I’m a biter and a picker), I go at least 1-2 days too long without a shower and my hair is in a pony tail 99.9% of the time (because it’s so frizzy because I’m too lazy to use conditioner) and I get really impatient with my kids and I yell at them (yes, I’ve yelled at Lola) and I am often a really bad and selfish friend and although I cannot function if my house isn’t tidy Charley’s socks are stained (like forever) brown because our hardwoods are so dirty. I am not just saying this: I am just like you (except your floors are probably never that disgusting and you shower more than twice a week). And, yes, I have a beautiful life that I love and I would be lying if I didn’t say that right now, at this point in my life, I feel OVERWHELMINGLY blessed. But, I also have really bad days and I cry and I often feel insecure and second-guess decisions I’ve made and really I just want to say this to any of you who frequent this blog regularly:
I like you and want to be friends. And, more importantly: My life is not nearly as cool as I may have fooled you to believe.
I hope you know this to be true. And, I hope you NEVER hesitate to reach out and say hi if you ever feel compelled to do so. I have NEVER not replied to an email from an individual. Truly, I see it as a cardinal sin. So, if ever you’ve written me and I haven’t replied it’s because I didn’t get it. That’s the bottom line. (Seriously, I’ve gotten emails where I haven’t been able to make out if they were spam and replied! Emails = people and people are important.).
Okay, I’m so glad to have gotten that off my chest. It’s 1 p.m. and I have GOT to brush my teeth and put a little baby powder in this greasy hair of mine. I may see the mailman later.
Why hello world! Happy New Year!
You know when you’re swimming in the middle of the warm and beautiful, crystal-clear blue ocean and it feels amazing, but you can’t reeeaaaally enjoy the warm and beautiful, crystal-clear blue ocean because of its proximity? Like you’re so enjoying the swim and although the waves are a little rough at times you’re loving the adventure. But, you’re so engulfed by the warm water it’s impossible to really appreciate the beauty of the water. You’re simply too close to see it.
The people on the beach, lounging in their beach chairs, sunnies on, enjoying the sound of the waves and the cool breeze – yes, those are the people who can really see and enjoy the beauty of the water. And, one place isn’t necessarily better than the other. Both simply have different perspectives and both simply have to be visited in order for there to be balance. Too much water or too much beach can both be… well, too much.
I have spent the past almost 3-months in the water. And, it’s been a beautiful and wild ride! But, these past two weeks we have been on family vacation resting and restoring and I can say that the view from the beach has shown me just how majestic the water looks. It truly is breathtaking.
Having a newborn is no joke. Like really hard, no joke. It is all-consuming, take over your life, punch you in the face with “what the heck is going on?!”, overwhelm you with love and appreciation and then swallow you in a giant robe of sleep-deprivation.
To survive we have had to dig deep, lower our heads and just enter fully into the oh-so-properly-named “newborn fog.”
At first I did exactly what I did with Charley: I ran on adrenaline. And, I fought hard (I mean HARD) to live life as normal. As if we hadn’t just added a HUMAN BEING to our house. As if everything was just as it was pre-Lola. My coping mechanism was to act as if “oh, this is SO no big deal. I just did this *18* months ago.” But, then… then the bucket started to run dry. And, the bottom started to crack. And, one day I walked out of Crossfit (I told you I was fighting hard to continue on as normal), called my friend Beth and burst into tears. Not, the cute kind. Oh no, the so-ugly-your-face-goes-all-distorted-and-your-mouth-spits-saliva kind. “I am soooo exhausted. How am I supposed to do this??!”
And, then – just like that – I think we’re slowly moving on. The fog is lifting and the sweet babe (whom gets threatened to have her cheeks biten off every single day because she’s so scrumptious) …
… is starting to sleep longer at night (only sleeping a few hours at a time =’ed not fun). Oh, and her colic is gone (that =’ed not fun) and her reflux is under control thanks to Zantac (that pre-medicine =’ed not fun).
SOOOOOOOO… I am on the up, people! And, feeling SO much more rested! And, yes … yes, vacation will come to an end this weekend and I’ll find myself super tired again next week, but.. BUT!.. we have made it through the first 3-months and that is something worth celebrating!
Or picking your nose over. Whichever tickles your fancy.
Lots more posts coming your way in the coming days and weeks…
p.s. I’ve missed you guys!