We spend our days watching the lil' peanut grow.
Visiting the zoo.
Kissing a baby's head.
Celebrating Independence Day at the Lake.
Holding a sleeping babe.
Learning to play piano.
Relishing summer evenings with white clouds and blue skies.
Cooing and talking to the little brother.
Baking with Momma.
And otherwise relaxing.
All is well. We're happy, content and thrilled to have a little boy in our family.
His birth went smoothly and uncomplicated here at home, and the days following have only been getting better and better.
He sleeps well, nurses well, and is such a relaxed baby. (Maybe the lecithin capsules I took before his birth helped with that.)
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.
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."
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.