Saturday, May 28, 2016

In the late Spring...







I find myself thinking a fair amount about when this little one will arrive. It's so close, but seems so far away at the very same time.

There are lots of things to occupy my time while waiting though. Such as, going to a nearby greenhouse for some pictures to remember these fleeting days by. And, to select some plants for our new raised beds. I keep wondering if planting flowers will bring on labor as it did for my Mom and my younger sister's birth. It's been a well repeated story in our family all growing up from Mom: "I planted flowers the night before and then..." :)

Paulette's Potting Shed was a lovely location to spend some time in the other morning, and I'm very grateful for Paulette being gracious in letting us have a photo session there. She hosts the most lovely and inspiring open house every year right before the greenhouse opens for the season and it's a highlight of my year. Of course, now that it's warm enough, getting my hands in the soil with plants makes my heart happy as well. Speaking of, I need to go out and water my drooping kale. The forecast has been tempting me with rain for days now and not near as much as predicted has come, so I must attend to my little seedlings.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thoughts on Mothers Day Morning




In the crook of a couple limbs in the tree by our little white fence, there is a nest. I discovered it empty a few days ago, and yesterday upon checking again found two little blue eggs. This always reminds me of Ann Voskamp's book with the nest of eggs on the cover. In particular this year it reminded me of a recent post I read by her that has some of the simplest writings about being a mum that I've ever read. It truly shares my yearnings and desires as a mum, 6 years into it and about to start fresh with a newborn.

When I was a little girl, being a mommy was all I wanted. I had baby dolls galore and playing house was what filled my days. No one told me though, like no one told me about breastfeeding, it doesn't always come easily or naturally. It is hard and you feel like you're making a huge mess and something isn't clicking. 
Like Ann's article said, 
"What you really wanted is to be extraordinarily, obviously, good at this. At this mothering thing."

But no one told me that the very thing I yearned for would be the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. I didn't know to expect to feel so inadequate, like a complete flop and so very impatient. Yeah...patience. Wow. Why can't I stay calm in all circumstances and reply with a quiet answer? Why does my voice sound so tired and worn out instead of cheerful and interested when conversing with a little girl who is pretending to be an otter?

Motherhood is sanctifying, so I had heard. Those words meant nothing to me till this past fall when it finally sunk in: God is perfecting me through this thing called mothering. Just as in every stage of life. Whether you're single, married, childless, parenting teenagers, applying for AARP, caring for aging parents, or alone and widowed, it can be sanctifying. 

And God will meet you there, in that stage of life, with his grace. Because he knows we can't do it on our own. We are complete failures without him. So it's encouraging to read the conclusion of Ann's article because it reminds me that: 
"You don’t have to know how to do it all.
You just have to choose to be all here, right where you are.

His grace meets you in the moment — and you will miss it if you are worrying about future moments."
So in my miserable little moments that are sliding downhill, Christ will be there. I can only be sanctified and redeemed through those mistakes and cling to my Savior who gives grace so abundantly.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

Monday, April 25, 2016

Unicorn 6th Birthday

Our girlie turned 6 last week. Kind of hard to believe, if you ask me.


She's such a delight.





Her imagination is still alive and well; pretending to be a tiger, a mer-girl (versus a mermaid...apparently mermaids are the moms), a fairy, or a unicorn at any given moment of any day.


And unicorns have been on her mind big time. So it seemed fitting to have a unicorn themed birthday party. I wasn't going overboard though, and kept things really simple. 



I think this has been the first year it's been comfortably warm enough outside for an outdoor party, and let me tell you, it was so nice. Outdoor parties are the way to go. Preferably at a park with a playground.


Naked cakes have a slightly funny name, but they are very simple and I love that. Especially since I'm not much of a cake decorator. I mean, how in the world do you get rid of all those little crumbs when trying to ice a cake? 



Cake and fruit were the only things on our menu, and I loved how easy that was. Just the basics.


 Little cousins are such fun to have at birthday parties.




These two. Make my heart so happy. 


Monday, April 18, 2016

4.18.2016

Look who learned to ride her pedal bike:


She has had this bike since her 3rd birthday, but we really should have gotten a balance bike way back then instead of a pedal one. We delayed however, and only within the last year or so got a balance bike. It was the best purchase ever and Natasha quickly got the hang of coasting and balancing. Now though, she is balancing and pedaling with her "big girl" bike.

Just in time for her 6th birthday this week.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

3.26.2016

My goodness, it's been a while since I've posted. I have been a little busy with a couple things in our life...

For one thing, there's a bit of news I've not mentioned here yet and that is...we are expecting!


We just entered the 7th month and it's been such fun to feel our little guy thumping and bumping around. I will really miss that part of pregnancy (it's my favorite part!), but will gladly exchange it for a newborn in my arms. Natasha is beyond excited and can't believe she's really going to be a big sister.


The other big event that has been taking up much more of my time than being pregnant (I mean with that, all I do is live life carrying around a very small person everywhere I go) is, that we bought a house and have moved!


We have lived in many locations in our 8 years of marriage. Even a total of 9 months in other countries. Renting the whole time. But now, we have a place to call our own. It has almost 2 acres of land with a lovely yard for exploration and a garage, which we have missed in these northern snowy winters. Daniel has a nook in the finished basement for his office, which takes the laptop off our dining room table, and gives him a little more space. My sewing room is at one end of the basement as well and doesn't share rooms with the guest bedroom anymore.

We didn't move to gain more space because of our little babe coming though...we had been talking about moving for a while now, and the time simply was right. We told ourselves our previous home wasn't a location we wanted to be for 4 years, and that self-imposed deadline would be up in May. So we kind of had to do something about it. 

I think the thing I love the most is that it's really ours. I can paint and change anything I want and not check in with a landlord first. So, paint I did. First the master bedroom, then the dining room, shown below. The purple in both rooms was simply not me and I'm very pleased with the new "Snowbound" colored walls, thanks to Sherwin Williams and friends and family who helped paint. Fortunately we finished before moving in and I can't say how wonderful that is.


The backyard is beautiful in the foggy mornings and Natasha loves running up and down the hills out front, or learning to skip rope out back. The yard is fantastic. Our previous yard was basically a sandbox with weeds, but this one has real grass and it's so thick it's almost like carpet.




 We have been here almost 3 weeks and are slowly but surely making it ours and creating memories. I will be sharing more of my fun with decorating as we go along.




This is a fun weekend for us since today is my favorite guy's birthday...
(Flashback to this past summer when I shot with film. I really should do this more often. Even a picture a week would be more than what I do now. Hmmm...I'll think about that more.)


And tomorrow, is Easter. I grew up having an Easter basket and going on egg hunts, but all the while knowing the Easter bunny was not the bearer of such gifts nor the real reason for this holiday. I want to instill the same mindset with Natasha, yet I like to have little spring/Easter traditions for her to remember too. We've never done an Easter basket with her, but when I saw demibrooke's idea of Spring Baskets, I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate spring and keep Easter for celebrating Christ. So last Sunday, which happened to be Palm Sunday as well as the first day of spring, Natasha found a little goodie bag at her spot for breakfast. 

She spotted some bathtub crayons in Target the other day, so I knew she'd like those. The paint palette is something I picked up at Hobby Lobby so we won't have to use paper plates for paint projects anymore, and of course, what's a spring goodie bag without a bit of chocolate? Dark, of course. The bag itself was something I refashioned out of a thrifted linen skirt, a couple years ago or so. 


We colored eggs last week for fun as well. For the first time I tried natural dyes with foods. MUCH more time consuming, but fun for a change. Natasha painted a few eggs too. I always buy the cheapest, lousiest quality, white shelled eggs to hard boil and dye since we won't be eating them. 
Yay for 98 cents per dozen at Easter time.


Come this time of year I'm always struck with my inadequacy of God's love and I stand in awe that he did come to earth for me. 
Even while we were yet sinners. In our mess, our unworthiness and even while we were enemies of God, he came for us. Romans 5:6-11 was my focus the other day, and I still can't get it out of my mind. For a good reason too.

William Temple puts it in a simple phrase: 

"My worth is what I am worth to God, 
and that is a marvelous great deal, 
for Christ died for me." 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Portrait a Week With Momma

2-020

3-029

4-032

Basically my only "resolution" this year was to have a picture of me with Natasha each week. I thought this was completely achievable, and nothing crazy overwhelming like, "hike the Appalachian trail". (Nothing wrong with doing so, it just isn't happening for me in 2016.) I think it's important to be in the pictures we take rather than just being the invisible photographer all the time. I want Natasha to be able to look back at her childhood and not only remember me being there, but have pictures to prove it. So we either set up the tripod with the remote, or have Daniel take a picture, and it seems to be going pretty well. I may not always share the picture each week, but at least we have the memory captured.

I call it: 
A Portrait a Week With Momma.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In slow mode



1-IMG_8357

2-IMG_8368


Peaceful, slow, winter days. 
I attempt to be a quilter by day, a knitter by night and a reader when I should be sleeping.

So far I have pieced one very true scrap quilt top out of my slightly old work shirts and am now stuck on the backing. 
  
The knitting has consisted of one slightly slouchy hat for winter, even though it now looks like spring outside with melting snow and rain right now. I hope I get a few more chances to try it out. 

As for reading, I finished "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", by Marie Kondo, "Humilty: True Greatness" by C. J. Mahoney and am currently on an old book from a library book sale years ago titled, "Keep the Wagons Moving" by West Lathrop. I loved pioneers and any stories set in the 1800's when I was growing up, and this one certainly fits the "pioneer" category. Why I didn't read it when I was still living at home, I don't know. 

The Polaroid picture above of Natasha, was taken by my brother-in-law, with my sister-in-law's "new" old Polaroid camera. This was the first shot with it, and we weren't even sure it worked, but it does, and how truly fun it is. 

Lace is not normally a textile I decorate with much, but I discovered my Grandma's lace tablecloth in the last un-opened box from when we moved. Hung as a curtain, I love seeing the design with the light coming in from the window. 

What keeps you busy these winter days? Are you dreaming of spring?