Life Lately. 18.02.2018 (more accurately, mid-February through Mid-March :))

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

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Sporadic Creative Burst . . . & Some Family Photos.

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.

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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. 🙂

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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!

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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!

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My Wildflower.

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.

The Elevator Speech.

The elevator speech- everyone has one. We are prepared at any given moment to spout off the brief highlights and lowlights of our life lately, being sure to wind very little emotion into our words so people won’t feel like they need to become invested. It’s usually said with a smile, an upbeat attitude, and within 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you are lucky, you may get someone to listening for a few minutes, but that usually only happens if you have experienced a life changing event, or if they aren’t rushing to an appointment. I don’t mind this, and I am guilty of unconsciously expecting others to also abide by this. However, I need to create space for people to talk, to speak the truths that are really on their hearts.

I know I would love to know that there is that space, though, because sometimes I feel as though my heart will burst with all my feels.

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When people ask “How’s motherhood?” they expect a short synopsis on how I’m not getting very much sleep, I’m drowning in laundry, and I can’t believe how tired I am, capping it all with a quick “It’s all worth it though.” And though these bits may be true on occasion, they are no where near a reflection of motherhood. I don’t dive into the joy I feel when I wake in the middle of the night to feed her, because while I may be tired, I get giddy at the fact that she wants to eat and be so close to me. I don’t tell you about the times when randomly throughout the day, I come close to tears because I am frustrated without a logical reason, and the tears are welling because of a snap that won’t stay or because I forgot what I was doing (again). I won’t tell you about how I can be tired, but when I look at Mabel’s sweet face, she gives me energy to get through the next moments. I won’t tell you that sometimes I cry out to God for Him to reveal Himself to her early in life, that He would capture her from early on, because I cannot bear to think of her having to go through something without the love and hope she will find in only Him.

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Sometimes these moments, along with many more, hit me so sudden and strong, that I am almost embarrassed to share that level of intense depth and vulnerability with someone. But I need to. As a mom and a friend, I need to spill my guts and model vulnerability even though it may not have been what they were looking for. Because in those moments, maybe I can inspire someone else to become vulnerable and raw as well. Maybe then we won’t feel like all we have to share with one another is an upbeat synopsis, but we can share our truest heart, struggles, and truth.