OK, so here’s a thought: I have been diving into an Enneagram hole, because I love almost all things personality types and figuring out a bit about your own motivations (As well as those close… More
UPDATE: This post is obviously old and just never published . . . Whoops. //face palm// But enjoy anyway! 🙂
I’m currently sitting in the stillness and dark at 9:45pm, and my family has been asleep for almost two hours. We are camping in the Walmart parking lot in Barstow, CA after a two hour drive from Las Vegas. Vegas baby! We had so much fun! But first a bit about Zion.
You guys, I think this is my favourite park so far! We stayed about 15 minutes outside of the park at an awesome campground called Zion River Resort. The park itself is set up so well, with shuttles taking you to each trailhead. I was a little skeptical at first because I thought that would limit what we wanted to do, but it worked out so well, and it made the drives so much more peaceful than having to fight traffic constantly. Especially with the volume of people that were coming through, it would have been a nightmare on the small roads. We spent two nights there, and almost two days hiking. The first day we hiked through the Emerald Pools and Kenyata Trail in the morning, which was fun, but just ok. The falls weren’t gushing so they weren’t that impressive, and the trail was more like a light walk rather than a hike. In the afternoon we hiked The Narrows, which we loved! Most of the hike took you up the middle of the river with a cliff rising up form either side. It was gorgeous! We hiked farther than we thought we would, both saying “Maybe just 10 minutes more before we head back?” It was beautiful around every turn! The next day we hiked up to Scout’s Overlook, which is the first 2 miles of the Angel’s Landing trail. It was basically several sets of switchbacks up the mountain to an overlook which was breathtaking! We decided not to hike out onto Angel’s Landing,because it was a half-mile of climbing on a narrow path with a cliff on either side while you hold onto chains and climb. It sounds awesome to me, but not so much when you have squirmy kids strapped to your back. Besides, it was at a crowded point of the day, and because the up and down hikers have to share use of the chains, someone said it would be an hour wait to get to the end. I don’t think me or the kids would’ve had patience for that! And we were satisfied with out amazing view from where we were. I would love to come back someday with the whole extended family and go on a massive caping hiking trip! Family, start planning now. 🙂
Then, LAS VEGAS! Matt found an incredible place to dry camp in a parking lot right off the strip for $12 a night. Yes $12 A NIGHT. How insane is that?! We were right behind Harrah’s and The Linq casinos, a great central spot to go either way on the strip. We also used Harrah’s pool (& showers!) a few times which was such a nice treat in the heat! All of us had a bit of a shock though, coming from middle of nowhere to intense flashing lights and music at all hours of every day! We ate some amazing food (chicken and waffle sandwich at Bruxie’s is incredible you guys!), stood outside the arena while the Golden Knights played Game 1 in the NHL playoffs, and Mabel (&Matt) won a giant stuffed tiger at Circus Circus. The strip is just amazing to walk up and down and see everything that is going on, because there is always something going on! After going there a few years ago for an anniversary trip, I wan’t sure if I would ever bring kids with me if we went again. This time around, I felt like there were so many more kids out, and it was so much cleaner and less trashy/sketchy than it was last time! Maybe the passed some new laws or maybe it was the Lord protecting us (or both?) but I definitely felt ok with both the girls out. After a few nights though, we were very ready to leave the hustle and bustle and get back to real life. Neither of us are really city people, so while it’s nice to see the craziness of it all sometimes, we much rather escaping to some peace and openness.
So that’s where we are headed. Maybe not peace, but not overstimulated 24/7 either. We are halfway to Menifee, CA to see family before heading to San Diego for a while. We are looking forward to slowing our pace a bit. We have been changing places so often while in the desert, eager to hike, see friends, hike, and hike more! But once on the coast we are hoping to just enjoy and have some leisure days, digging toes in the sand and not having every day planned out.
Tomorrow is May 1st, meaning we will have our one month anniversary of being on the road tomorrow! It’s been so weird. It’s felt like we just started, but also that we have been traveling so much longer than that! It’s been good, hard, frustrating, joyful, abundant, tiring, draining, adventuresome, and worth it. There have been moments of “Oh sweet Lord, what are we doing here and can we please go home now?” and moments of “This is my favourite and I never want to stop traveling or seeing new places!” It’s funny how as humans we swing back and forth so vastly in our emotions, ya? I am homesick for stability, a place that doesn’t exist for us right now. And not even stability in the way that we think of it; not like security with jobs and money (silly adult things-haha) but stable in the going forward with our plans, calling, vision, and lives. Who are we as a family and what are we called to? Sweet; let’s figure that out and do that 100%. We are figuring that out right now and what that looks like for us in this upcoming season of life. I tend to get super eager super quick and want to dive at the first feeling, without looking completely into what I am diving into. So this time is an amazing adventure and privilege to see new things, as well as time to purposefully be figuring out what do next.
For me, next is bed. The wind is whipping outside our door and shaking the trailer something fierce, so hopefully sleep won’t be too hard to find. Night. xo
So, how has it been three weeks since we left home?!?! Seriously, this is the start of week four, and it feels like we’ve been on the road ages instead of weeks.We’ve become so accustomed to our new routine of drive, park, see amazing things, dry camp, wake up, pack up, drive, see more breathtaking things, find a campground, sleep, wake, repeat. Let me see if I can look back and do a proper recap . . .
April 1: Drive from Squamish to Lynden, WA to stay the night with Evan & Lindsey.
2: Lynden, WA -> Eugene, OR.
3: Eugene, OR -> Anderson, CA
4: Anderson, CA -> Fresno, CA
5: Fresno, CA -> PALM SPRINGS!!!
Each of these longer driving days, we tried our best to break it up for the girls as best we could, trying to give them breaks, but not too many that it took up the whole day for no reason. We would start our day with a quick breakfast, get ready, pack up, and get driving just in time for Juni’s first nap. Mabel would play, “read” books, watch the scenery, etc. She did so well most of the time! Her imagination really exploded during this time, being forced to be in one place and sit with her thoughts. We would stop somewhere (usually a park or green space of some sort if we could find one) for a picnic lunch (I’ll try to write a food post later to address budget, cooking while dry camping, etc. I’m still trying to figure it out! Haha). During the second leg of driving in the afternoon the girls would take a nap, then when they woke up, we would take a short break, then back in to the car for the last bit. This is usually where they would lose their minds sometimes! So I would climb into the backseat between car seats (yes, it was very cramped) and keep them company, reading books, playing, or watching some “Llama Llama.” Side note, “Llama Llama” is on Netflix and it’s awesome! One of the few shows I let Mabel watch because it’s not annoying.
6-8: We stayed in Palm Springs for a few days, just resting and recouping from the long driving days!
Each of these nights, we stayed at casinos in their truck stop parking lots. It was amazing, actually, because there were so many RVs parked with us! Definitely not as shady as I had originally thought.
In Palm Springs, we spent time resting, reorganizing, doing macrame (me, not Matt and the girls, lol), riding bikes, and going for walks in town. We had parked our car and trailer along the back road next to a casino where there was free overnight parking. It was perfect! However after a couple days rest, we were ready to get out of town and actually go camping.
8-11: Joshua Tree! So so so lovely! But in a weird way. I kept asking myself how a place like this could be real. Miles and miles of dry mountains, cacti, and hard knobby trees with spikes for leaves. We spent one of the days there sitting in the car at the auto mechanic shop, trying to figure out what was wrong with our lemon of a vehicle (all the things, is the answer). But the other days there we spent hiking, driving to see the vastly different areas of the park, riding bikes, having campfires, and relaxing.
11: Left Joshua Tree and headed to Phoenix, AZ. This day was SO hot! It reached 100F, which made our car with no A/C fee a bit like a small oven. We camped the night in the Walmart parking lot, camp chairs outside of the trailer to escape the heat and left the trailer door open to give the sleeping girls some relief.
12: A relaxed day of picnics, parks, and planning the next few days. That afternoon we headed to Chandler, AZ to see a dear friend of mine Heather and her hubs. We parked our trailer in their parking lot and had dinner, showers, laundry, and some heart-filling chat. It was so, so great! It’s amazing to be with folks who are really your people, people who you can share your heart with, who are on the same wave length as you, and you can encourage each other in Christ. Heather, I love ya lady.
13-15: We stayed with my great uncle Harry and Aunt Barb in Peoria , which was so fun! We hadn’t seen each other in over 10 years, so it was great to catch up and be with family. And the girls loved it! Especially Mabel, who took to her uncle Harry so well and keeps asking for him.
15-16: We reconnected with a YWAM friend who we hadn’t seen in five years and went to her church that morning. We met her family, and they invited us to stay at their house that evening. One of the perks of having a loose plan is being able to stay with friends if you want. 🙂 We parked our trailer in their yard, let our kids play together, and had a really great chat. Thanks Stacy, Nick, and family for your hospitality!
16: We headed to Prescott, AZ to try to meet up with friends (which didn’t end up working out), then had car trouble again! We spent an hour and a bit resolving why our check engine light was coming on, then headed to a campground 45 minutes outside of Sedona.
Yes he’s even cute while working on the car, and yes I am an old lady who accidentally puts her finger over the lens while taking a picture.
17: Sedona is so lovely! We spend the morning and afternoon hiking Devil’s Bridge and exploring. Both kids were strapped onto our backs in Ergos, and they were such troopers! Even though Juni had had enough of the carrier in the last bit and needed to be carried the last 3/4 of a mile.
Picnic lunch at the trailer, then we decided to head to the Grand Canyon. Originally we were going to find some BLM land and dry camp, but we weren’t sure where we were going, and it got so cold! We decided a KOA with a pool, a hot tub, and a shower may be better.
18: Grand Canyon. Amazing doesn’t even start to explain or say how vast and beautiful this is. It was surreal just being there! We thought about finding a big hike but neither Matt or I were feeling great, so we decided to pop the girls in the stroller and walk along the rim towards the visitors center. We ended up walking almost 4 miles, because we couldn’t stop walking just to see a bit more! So intense and pretty.
18-20: After the Grand Canyon, we drove to Page, AZ thinking it was only a little over an hour; however, it ended up being almost three hours because we must’ve read our GPS wrong! Oh goodness, tired minds. The girls did so well but were past their point when we were rolling into the Walmart paring lot there, which to our surprise was filled with other RVs! At least the back third of the parking lot was one RV after another, and inside there were backpackers and campers clearing out the prepared food section and brushing their teeth in the bathroom. We stayed a couple nights here to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, both which were breathtaking! Seriously some of my favourite parts of the trip so far.
Horseshoe Bend. Just for the record NO there are no guard rails, and YES you feel like you are going to fall off the edge any second, and YES it is a little bit terrifying.
20: Drove the four and a half hours from Page to Moab. Y’all,there was practically nothing the entire drive, just miles of desert stretched out before us. It was a perfect time for me to say, “Hey, at least the check engine light hasn’t come on yet today!” And then it did, just like out of a movie. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m not allowed to talk about car troubles in the car again so I don’t jinx things, especially in the middle of the desert. We stayed at a truck stop right outside of Moab this evening.
21-23: Moab! We stayed at a campground right outside Arches National Park, and we had so much fun! The first day was filled with the pool, meeting new friends with kids and joining up for a BBQ, and resting. The second day was full of hiking! We hiked a bit over 4 miles in to see the Landscape Arch and the Double O Arch, which required a bit of rock scrambling and climbing, which was fun with kids strapped to our backs! I have more pictures from that on Matt’s phone that I’ll upload later, but here are a couple of the girls and I resting and having a picnic snack halfway through.
If you’ve made it this far, well done. I’ll try to post weekly instead of every three so I don’t turn out such long novels! Until then, my bed calls. Night friends. xo
DOING: I’m currently trapped under a sleeping babe who is taking the second half of her nap in my arms, nursing on and off lazily. She took the first part in the car on the way home from what was supposed to be a hike, but ended up getting rained out by some flash flooding! So she slept a bit in the car on the way back, and after an unsuccessful transfer, fell back asleep in my arms. Usually I would be able to put her down on the bed to finish her nap, but because we all share a sleeping space, that doesn’t work unless Mabel is already asleep. And today, it seems, is not one of those days, but instead a day where nap is protested with constant chattering. Ah well, what can you do besides roll your eyes, smile, and vow for an early night? 🙂
HEARING: I am hearing the wind whipping through the palm trees and rain scattered about, as well as the sound machine from the other room where Mabel is trying to sleep. ::fingers crossed, girlfriend!::
DRINKING: Currently nothing, but I am loving treating myself to an occasional kombucha from my favourite grocery store down the road! Mana Foods, you have my heart. My favourite flavour so far is dragonfruit lemongrass, but lavender melon is a close second.
EATING + COOKING: Right this very moment, I’m savouring a piece of Dove dark chocolate sent to us by my parents for Valentine’s Day (thanks Mum & Dad!). Bu this evening for dinner, we had rice with broccoli, cauliflower, & carrots sautéed with garlic and turmeric, chickpeas on the side for me, chicken for Matt and Mabel. We topped it with a peanut coconut sauce from Heidi at Apples Under My Bed; it was so yummy! Lately we have been eating a few different meals on repeat. We are trying to save our pennies and I don’t want to spend loads of time in the kitchen. After all, we are in Maui and I want to be outside as much as possible soaking in every bit of sunshine and moments of play with the girls and Matt! We have been eating lots of black bean/corn/salsa/guacamole scenarios with either chips, rice, or tortillas, as well as rice/veggies/chicken or chickpeas with varying sauces, or roasted potatoes/steamed veggies. Also, there is the Paia Fish Market a few minutes walk downtown the road, and it’s so tempting to eat a Mahi burger ever single night! But we are trying to be sane people and space out our visits. 🙂
WANTING: I am eyeing these white Bluetooth headphones from Sudio! They are just so pretty, have a long change and play time, are noise cancelling as well, and, well, did I already say they were pretty? 😉
PLAYING: Seeing as we are in Maui, there has been an awful lot of beach play these days. 🙂 Mabel is just loving it! She is always talking about the ocean, beach, and sand. We bring a little bucket with a shovel and a small castle mold, and he is keen on filling her bucket with sand and water, but more so she likes to find other kids (or anyone!) on the beach and play with them. This is all if we can get her to take a break from swimming, because she loves being in the water! She is our little fish, playing in the waves, getting rocked by them and being brave enough to keep chasing them and standing her ground. If we are at Baby Beach (with little waves suitable for kids to play in without assistance) she will swim out until she is chest deep and start singing her “Moana song.” 🙂 When it’s too cloudy or windy for the beach, we take a walk to the park to run around and still feel the warmth on our skin. There has been an awful lot of great play lately. 🙂
DECIDING: We are trying to decide what the next leg of our trip is going to look like! We have one more month in Maui (I can’t believe we’ve already been here a month!), so we will head home March 19th, spend ten days in Squamish unpacking and repacking, then head out April 1st to beeline back down the coast, searching once again for warmth and sun. In moments of downtime while the girls are napping or we are in for the evening, we have been doing research on campsites on the California coast, figuring out how much we should book and how much we should wing it and dry camp. We are leaning more towards the show up and dry camp sort of scenarios, because that seems to suit our pace much more. But worse case if we decide we hate it, we can spend a day randomly and book out the rest of our trip so we know exactly what is going to happen. But I think we should be fine. Our jam is figuring out routines and just how we can work our life into our new space. 🙂
ENJOYING: The slowness of life. We were going much harder and felt as though we were constantly busy before, always something that needed to get done, that constant feeling of being behind. And even if somehow we weren’t behind on something, the norm was business, so we FELT like we were behind on something but couldn’t remember what! Since being here, we have slowed more, taking time for syrupy slow days of nothing, leisure walks to the park, lunch, nap with kids, go swim at the beach, dinner, walks after the sun goes down to search for geckos and grasshoppers. Some days have been longer yes, with leaving right after breakfast to be in Haiku by 7:45am to lead worship, then head to Kihei for the day, skipped naps for Mabel and ergo/ car naps for Juni, out to dinner, then home to crash into bed. But we are finding our balance of stretch and rest, knowing it can’t be just one or the other.
LOOKING: Immediately I am looking into our bedroom, through the dark at the wall. 🙂 But I have been looking out the door and out to the mountains, the West Mauis, a lot. The weather has been more overcast and rainy, bringing us indoors or seeking another part of the island where we can find sun. When I look out the the West Mauis there is usually rain and cloud over there, but right to the left of them would be where Kihei is, so we can usually watch and see what that side of the island is doing weather-wise, and if we need to go find sun.
LOVING: Right now I am loving how into singing Mabel is, and how her words and sentence structure have grown in the past couple weeks! She will sing along to the Moana song (singing a lot of the words!) while dancing around the living room. And she also loves going up to worship at the YWAM base to sing songs to Jesus, as she says. She asks “Songs to Jesus with aunties and uncles?” Referring to the other people on base (who have adopted her as their little buddy). It warms my heart that she has this love for music planted so deeply so early, and I hope it only grows.
BUYING: We aren’t buying much on island right now except food and gas, but we have had to buy a new swimsuit for Juniper, as well as a pack of sleepers, because she has grown out of everything we brought! She has also grown out of a large pile of clothing, but she has enough to get through to the end of the trip. Girlfriend won’t stop growing! Which is amazing. 🙂 When she turned five months, we bought her 9m sleepers and an 18m swimsuit. Sigh. And of course, I figured if she is getting a new swimsuit, might as well get Mabel one to match? Lol! It has a long sleeve rash guard which is nice for the amount of time she’s in the sun and rolling in the sand. 🙂
PLANNING: Mabel’s Second Birthday Party! We were planning on doing a hangout with friends/catch up before we leave on our next leg of our journey combined with a party for her, so it’s not going to be a huge deal. I feel like the first birthday is usually the biggest to celebrate the parents surviving, and birthdays after that can be smaller and special without a huge over the top, Pinterest-style fuss (also, with all the unpacking, repacking, trailer cleaning and renovation, we won’t have time to do a whole lot!). But my mother-in-law said that she has already made some gecko decorations for her party, so I guess there will be that as well. 🙂 I am doing a bit of research for her cake, because we don’t give her sugar yet (only a couple bites a few times on very special occasions) and last year, she wasn’t too into the cake bit, mainly the whipped cream and fruit bit. But she does like cookies. So I’m not too sure what I’ll do yet; maybe some sort of date/nut bar sort of thing? Or a cake and jus see how she likes it? One thing I did think of which I’m excited about is natural sprinkles (yes, that is something to get excited over! Lol) I figured I could pulse unsweetened shredded coconut in the blender with some beet juice-bam! Pink sprinkles. Do the same thing with a slight sprinkle of turmeric- yellow sprinkles! And I’ve had an amazing chocolate frosting using coconut cream, cocoa, and maple syrup that is so yummy, so I’ll probably use that. We’ll see how the rest of the party turns out. 🙂
WATCHING: We have been rewatching “Parks and Rec,” which I will always love. My favourite seasons of the series are 3-5, when Ben & Chris are first introduced. Watching Ben & Leslie fall in love makes my heart warm, and Chris is LITERALLY my spirit animal in every way. 🙂
SAVOURING: These last Maui days. Those are hard words to type out, because I cannot believe we have been here over a month and a half, and I cannot believe we are headed home in 11 days! It seems surreal to me that we even had the chance to live here for a bit. I am getting very excited about the next leg of our trip, going home, getting our trailer packed and heading down the coast to camp for several months, but the excitement for that isn’t diminishing what we still have left here. God is doing lots on our heads and hearts, and I will forever be thankful for this time of replenishment and rest.
WEARING: Comfies. 🙂 We went for an early morning walk and got caught in the rain, so when we got home we peeled off our clothes and traded them in for warm comfies. I am currently wearing a charcoal tank top and my blue and white striped Thai pants (if you don’t know what Thai pants are, they are amazing and will change your life! So light and cozy. Get some; do it.) , while snugged under a light blanket on our bed.
READING: I have started to read “Parenting” by Paul David Tripp, and it is SO good and SO challenging! It is all about grace-filled parenting, realizing the grave that has been given to us by Christ, and extending that to our kids. It’s also a wake-up call to realize that we don’t control our kids, and shines light on behaviour tactics we may use to get them do obey rather than giving them grace and finding out the reason behind the behaviour. Yes, I am underlining a lot.
CRAVING: Mmm . . . More wood-fired oven pizza from Flatbread Pizza down the road. We went there for Valentine’s Day while two of our friends generously offered to babysit for a bit, and it was incredible. Pizza is one of my all-time favourite foods, and I am a crust snob to the core. Must be thin, chewy, have a pull, have a sour and slightly charred flavour, but be delicate and light, a balance between the flavours of the crust and toppings. Anyway, I could go on, but the pesto pizza there is IT. Can’t wait to go back at least one more time before we leave island!
FEELING: More at peace. I am recognizing more everyday that this season is just that, a season of adventure, fun, and slow, and that life won’t always be this whimsical and simple. I had been feeling the weight of future decisions that needed to be made, anxious about wanting to make the decisions immediately, even though we don’t have all the information or ducks lined up that we need to make those decisions. So we have to wait. So instead of having this anxiousness follow me around like a prickly cloud, I am continuing to tell myself that nothing can be done right now and distancing myself from it. Because the last thing I would want to do is taint the time we have here in Maui with anxiety about things that we can’t do anything about right now! Just sitting in the tension of the unknown. Once I settled enough to articulate that, I had so much more peace and rest. I also feel like since distancing myself I have been able to see more objectively and have more of an open hand, giving it to Christ to make sure that this is the dream he has for us. Honestly, I had been fighting doing that before, because in my heart of hearts, I was afraid he would say no, and I didn’t want to have to think about that or deal with that! Man am I stubborn. But giving it up to Christ has given me more peace, knowing that His plan and His timing is best in everything. And yes, I do have to keep telling myself that and praying that, because giving up yourself is a daily thing!
Life lately posts inspired by Apples Under My Bed
Actually, if I’m going to be honest with you, this isn’t even a creative burst. It’s a moment when the house is quiet except for the gentle up-down of my baby’s breath as she nurses in her sleep. Mabel is napping in her crib and Matt is resting on the couch, because after a morning family ride up the gondola to play in some snow and watch Santa from afar, we all need some rest. I, however, have a rough time sleeping in the middle of the day, especially when all I can see around me are unfinished projects and deadlines. I wish I could just stick Juniper (the baby-oh ya, forgot to mention, we had a baby 🙂 ) in the ergo and go for it, but I know little Miss takes better naps lying on her side, so I’m here. The projects around me include packing boxes, packing bags for our Christmas vacation as well as our Maui trip AND our camping trip, deep cleaning the corners to get ready for movers, finish using all our groceries and pack away non-perishables, etc. There are so many things, and here I am googling “what do to when stuck under a nursing babe.” So I figured if I was able to wiggle one hand free while she continues to nurse I could write, which I haven’t done much of the past few months.
We have been busy in the weirdest, craziest ways! After our summer camping trip to the interior and Salt Spring in the June/July, we came home where Matt upped his hours at work and continued doing house renovations. Parents came to visit for a couple months, and we had a baby girl! Matt continued to work 6-7 days a week while coming to reno, resting in small moments when there was little left of him. But we knew if we wanted o travel next year, this is what would have to be done. So now we are in the final home stretch of crazy before our travel, which is just over a week away! Where are we going? Here’s a rough timeline . . .
Dec 11-Jan14: Springfield for Christmas (FAMILYTIME LIKE WHOA!!!)
Jan14-Jan17: Squamish to drop our winter clothes & grab our beach clothes . . .
Jan17-March19: Maui!!! Staying at the YWAM base where Matt and I met. Bringing the girls there is going to be so surreal and wonderful.
March19-first week of April: Squamish to celebrate Mabel’s second birthday, see family, and pack up our trailer . . .
April: Head south with our little camper! We bought a 14′ fibreglass 1979 beachcomber trailer (which we’ve affectionately named Ethel Beavers), and we are heading south to properly skip the rest of winter and the silly rainy spring. From here on out things get a bit fuzzy, but we know we want to be in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, etc and only head back north through the National Parks when he weather cooperates and warms up. 🙂
So needless to say (Even though I’ve already said it?!) we’ve been busy! I hope to write more after our first flight is taken off and I can breathe a little bit more, as well as have some time to reflect. Since Juniper was born, I feel like our main goals have been to get the house ready for renters, pack, purge, as well as heal from having a baby, and I haven’t don’t much reflecting on this new season our family is coming into. A season where Mabel isn’t our baby, but a full-blown toddler who has stolen our hearts with her sense of humour, adventure, and wide vocabulary. A season where I can again savour the small moments of having a small baby, and the wonder and innocence she is. A season where I can again look at my amazing husband, a man who works tirelessly for our family, and spend some time together as friends, lovers, adventure-buddies, partners, playmates, and most importantly, as a brother in Christ. Focusing on what God has in store for us will be amazing!
Anyway, enough words. Here are a few family photos that my brother took when he visited us a while ago. Thanks Evan! I’m in love with them!
I've come to the conclusion that my daughter, sweet thing that she is, isn't the most delicate of flowers, even though we may call her that from time to time. Sure, she is delicate in the fact that she is a baby and a lady, but in all reality, she is more of a wildflower. And if I'm completely honest, I really love that about her.
There is so much spunk and fire in her, spit and vinegar, that translates into a constancy of movement, talking, and exploring. She would rather be outside, picking flowers, digging in the dirt (and probably eating some), finding water and jumping right in, collecting rocks, running, falling, climbing, and finding her way around the world.
Sitting, watching, and not being involved aren't things that she jives with, and would rather get up and be with you or involved in the story somehow. Which at home can be great, but at library story time probably isn't the best for the other kids, who may I add, are all sitting listening quietly while my child tries to sit on the leader's lap, or grab another book to read, or trying to pet all the kids' hair, or playing with another kid's fun looking socks, etc. We sang some songs, then barely made it through the half-hour, only with the promise of going to the park for swings and slides afterward. But while this can be exhausting (and yes, it is especially exhausting at 37 weeks pregnant!), I still love it. She is bursting with personality that I do not want to hinder in any way. No that doesn't mean I don't direction and discipline, but that's a whole other topic. This is just me celebrating my child's crazy spunkiness.
She is teaching me about letting go. I encourage her to explore new things, to act silly and express herself, and as I do this, I wondering if I allow myself the same. I came to this reality when we were having a dance party in the kitchen, me putting on some weirdo dance music and telling her to dance, but not really dancing myself. She started, then stopped, as if wondering why I wasn't dancing either. When I realized this, I actually started dancing, jumping around and spinning in circles with my hands above my head, singing along to the music. When she saw this, she got a huge smile on her beautiful face and followed suit, dancing and laughing and spinning. What did I expect from her if I wasn't going to play and dance with her? I do not want to be so caught up in my adulthood and my "important things" that I forget to play and dance with her. And it was wonderful to see her expression change when I joined in. It was as if through my joining and playing, I was giving her permission to do what she wanted to do, and she adored it. Permission to dance and be free and express the joy that was erupting from her tiny self. Permission to be the wildflower that she is.
First let me start by saying I’m sorry if this grey post isn’t what you wear searching for. There are many sparkling blogs out there, full of DIYs & glitter & new favourite things. And don’t get me wrong! I love me some sunshine happy blogs. It’s just that in this season, I’d rather be honest than veneered.
I spoke with my midwife a few weeks ago about how I was feeling, the not myself, anxious, overwhelmed at everything irritable, etc person that ISN’T WHO I REALLY AM! But I couldn’t seem to find a way out. After our chat, and her giving me a brief test, she told me I had postpartum depression. Ummm . . . Ok. I honestly thought postpartum depression was just something you had if you had zero connection with your baby and wanted to hurt someone. Apparently not, and it can come delayed, like in my case. Combined with the seasonal depression I have been dealing with and pregnancy hormones, it’s been an internal tornado of sorts. But I feel like there is some sort of reason now that I have been grappling with this, and it’s not just a pity party that has lasted for months and months. I feel like I have been able to say, “Ok, what now?” And actually have somewhere to turn. I have been getting acupuncture, chatting with someone, letting go of responsibility and trying to not allow myself to feel guilty about not overdoing everything. It’s hard to let go of responsibility when you have a little person whom you are responsible for 24/7, but I’ve been trying.
I am also trying to be more grateful about everything. I know, this is an attitude thing that some people see as a fix all, and i know its not, but I know it will help (hopefully?). I am trying to notice the little things that used to make my heart flutter, the ones that spark joy and send a secret smile to my lips. I am noticing that some of my favourite walking trails AREN’T covered in ice anymore, and we can go for walks sometimes. I am noticing the small wiggles and kicks from the baby in my belly, kicks that are especially excited when Mabel is snuggled up on my belly (I think they are excited to meet their big sister!). I am noticing more how selfless my husband is as he works hard at his job, then comes home and helps me out, whether that means reading a story to Mabel or doing the dishes while I sit after putting Mabel to bed, trying to alleviate pregnant back pain; he’s the best.
And I debated sharing this here, because I don’t want to feel like I have to constantly apologize for not being a happy person all the time. But I would rather go on this journey knowing that the few souls that read this are with me in a way, and I’m not alone in this. I also hope that someone else who is struggling with postpartum depression will find comfort in a companion on the journey. I still want to share snippets of life, as well as snippets of the fight. Because I feel like that is what I am in right now: a fight for joy.
I hear the babes stirring and starting to fuss in the other room; she’s up from her 30 minute nap (because she is a fan of the short nap and I don’t know how to fix it). So I’m off. Thanks for being here.
I took these photos the day Mabel turned 11 months old and had full intentions of posting them later that evening. Then life happened, and here we are 9 days before my sweet girl’s first birthday, and I’m still playing catch-up. Isn’t that the story of our lives though? She’s changed even from these pictures! But I love them. She has so much spunk and personality these days! Growing so much more into the little girl and woman she’s going to be. Man oh man, I can’t believe I get to be her mama.