Thursday, October 2, 2014

Falling Forward.

“My baby is five. She falls asleep in my arms . . . . Her breath is warm on my face, all that is alive and warm and breathing inside of her now, falling upon me, and I can't capture it, hold it, this, her life now, me in this moment. She is leaving me, she's growing up and moving away from me, and she stirs and I sweep back the crop of the golden ringlets. Stay, Little One, stay. Love's a deep wound and what is a mother without a child and why can't I hold on to now forever and her here and me here and why does time snatch away a heart I don't think mine can beat without? Why do we all have to grow old? Why do we have to keep saying good-bye?” ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I think Laef scares Atlas about twice a day, with his loud screams, slamming doors, throwing toys, and fits of frustration. Atlas' bottom lip puckers out and he sobs. Sometimes I can't help but just laugh so hard. Other times, it's just straight out annoying.  I can say my children are happy children, and yes they truly are. But being two comes with quite the tornado of emotion. Laef kisses me, and throws shoes at me. Laef goes to his room screaming, and within minutes comes out with wet glassy eyes and then asks "Can I have a hug? I'm sorry..." *melt* He kisses me on the head and then screams in my ear as loud as he can. Two is a tornado. It is awesome and terrifying. It is crazy, and wonderful. It is fascinating and freaky. The things a two year old cries about can either make you feel like your heart has been ripped out from the sweetness or it can make you want to pull your hair out of your head from the cray-cray of it. Goodness. My energy level goes from 10 to about a 3 in an hour. Sometimes its easy. Sometimes, Laef plays with his cars in his room and he lets go of the worries of why the little play mobile people won't seem to stay seated upright in his large ambulance. I keep telling him they are tired from saving lives all night. Laef doesn't get it. 

Atlas, is just the easiest thing in the world. I almost forget he's around. He sleeps about 6-7 hours during the day. My schedule is amazing. Between the time that Laef has room time alone for over an hour and their nap time, I can sometimes squeeze in 4 or more hours of time by myself. You can ask me how... I feel pretty fabulous about this. They nap at the same time, go to bed at the same time, they play at the same time. Its either really quiet around here or really crazy.

Atlas turned 4 months last week. I love watching him get excited. My favorite thing about him right now is putting him to bed at night and singing sweetly to him. He smiles at me, and loves his clothes being changed. He's super ticklish and is just so easy with life.

My 200 bags of breast milk that I spent 3 months pumping are gone. They lasted a month. I am now making formula for Atlas at home, and its a healthy choice. He really loves it.
I spend twenty minutes making two days worth of formula. Twenty minutes is what I used to spend pumping one meal. I'm so happy with my choice to do this.

Brandon is such busy person, and I'm so proud of him. He is working hard toward some really big goals, and He stays at it, no matter how much I beg him to be a couch potato with me at the end of day. He loves our boys so much. I love waking up on a Saturday mornings (thats my sleep in day) and peaking into Laef's room. Brandon will have everyone of Laef's toys out and him and the boys are laughing and giggling while playing cars. Oh man... its so sweet. The sigh of satisfaction fills Saturday mornings.

Today is eight and a half years of being married to Brandon Fancher. He is wonderful.

So here is the face of an upset two year old. yep.

Laef is pretty obsessed with cars right now, it's the new thing that keeps him busy. It's pretty incredible when he comes up to me and says "Do you wanna play cars?" and his big brown eyes make you want to melt. He is so beautiful.

So I've had to take a lot of time off this year, but I'm gearing up for very busy weekends till December. Weddings, weddings, traveling, weddings, traveling, weddings... holidays. I'll be missing my boys a lot the next 8 weeks as I become super busy trying to get things done.

I like being busy, and I like the thrill that comes with travel. Yet, I've never had two boys to leave at home. And that makes me a little sad.

So how am I? I'm great, pretty much rested, slowly losing weight, working out, eating cleaner then I've ever done before. I walk a lot, run a lot, chase boys all day, and I have a feeling that It's all going to be even a little more crazy once Atlas starts crawling and walking.

My heart is happy, and I love that fall is here. I do dread winter (but not Christmas.) Winter is where I feel like we all live in our house for 4 months with nothing to do.

There is something that has been changing on the inside of me since I'm done with breast feeding and pregnancy. I feel ready to hit the ground running with my business and a lot of stuff I want to change about how I shoot, how I feel, and what I like. I feel like when your pregnant/having kids and taking care of them you tend to get into mom selfless mode and really have no opinion about who you are. But, my brain is coming back and I'm ready to not be told what I like, but to tell people what I like. And that's a big deal, It's a brave place to be and a brave move to make. Our culture tells us what we like, and then makes fun of us if its not what is "in" and that comparison just has to go. I'm almost in my final year of being in my 20's and I'm ready to leave the comparison and insecurity and venture into who I am as a person. I want to discover myself again.

That's all for now. Happy fall y'all. ;D 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Goodbye Summer.

"Love; it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, It will set you free. Be more like the man you were made to be. - Mumford & Sons

I think I've been a little more emotional lately. All the pregnancy/breastfeeding hormones are coming to a close and my body is so ready to be done with all of it. It's been a year of constant change in my body and the roller coaster has to end.

So fall is coming. My fireplace beckons me with its smells and patches of yellow leaves are spotted on my neighborhood trees. Minus the fact that its bloody hot out this week and the humidity is insane, I'm wishing upon a pumpkin spice latte for a cool day to put my hair up in a bun, throw my moccs on and grab my new leather bomber jacket while I take the kids out on a walk. I'm ready to be skinny and in my cute fall clothes.

So how are things? well... great! I've had like one super rough day in two months. So I would say that life isn't bad at all. Atlas is growing so fast, and Laef is using full sentences to talk to me and Brandon. His interests have turned from measuring cups and fake food to cars, trains, airplanes, school buses, tractors... anything with wheels. He is loud, he is everywhere, he is constant, he is sweet, he is a ball of boy energy with one level: non-stop. From the moment I get him out of his bed, till he lies down at night.... he runs, and laughs, and talks, and has the sweetest personality. I'm in love with his love.

Atlas is just so interesting to watch. Here is this three month old who is crazy strong. He's trying to crawl, he's wanting to be doing what Laef is doing, he beams when Laef hugs him, touches him, looks at him. oh man! Laef is really sweet with him, although the "Mine!" thing has started, where if Atlas even looks at his toys, it's "MINE!" ... oh joy.

This sums up their relationship a little..

I think about them as brothers when they are teenagers or adults and I'm just so excited to see what they become.

Atlas turned 3 months last Saturday. I'm crazy about his smile. 

He sleeps only on his tummy and his floor time is always tummy time, cause he doesn't really love being on his back. This kid is ready to go! He just wants to be in the thick of things. I'm so in for it. He also loves TV, so I'm having to watch him. I don't think I want him watching stuff yet.

A few weeks ago we took Laef to the splash park in Charlotte. I took my camera to take some beautiful images of him. He gets either super quiet around kids or becomes the biggest show off there is. It's really fun to watch him interact.

Laef got to meet some pigs and goats recently. He wasn't too thrilled about it.

And then, we took a trip to the beach with my folks and Brandon's folks. We were able to get a small condo on the beach for a couple nights, and my mom agreed to take Laef out on the beach and watch him so I could take some photos of him. He loves the ocean and is fearless on the beach. My mom was a hero, chasing him before he got attacked by the waves.

My heart was swooning as I watched Laef run full force at the water and hit the salty waves. He is a little free spirit and I can't get enough of his growing beauty.

I mean... come on ....

As school has started back, I have become much more thankful for every moment with my boys. The other day, Brandon and I double-strollered it down the driveway to take a walk and I started crying... the same driveway that I'm pushing my kids up in a stroller may be the same driveway I say goodbye to them as they leave for college someday. Our neighbors up the street just packed their daughters bags and took her to Oklahoma for college; I'm not so far removed from that to think that I have all the time in the world with these two boys. My days are just fleeing so quickly. Heck, summer is over already. My second child is over three months old. I have TWO KIDS! I just want to love them, and love well. I want to squeeze every last bit of sweetness out of the fleeing seconds of this season.

I am so much more aware of the seasons coming and going since I've had kids. I am currently in a season with small babes and then I'll be in a season of raising children, and then teenagers, and then dancing with my sons at their weddings, and then Lord willing I'll be a grandma to sweet grandkids. I hope to still travel the world with my first love. The season of getting up with Atlas in the middle of the night is pretty much ending. He is sleeping through the night. wow... how fast. He is now in his crib and the Moses basket sits empty by my bed.

The day will come when my kids say goodbye to us in our driveway, and we will walk the empty halls of our house and remember: "It was just a few seasons ago that,our boys filled the halls with toys, and we stubbed our toes on the bouncy more times than we can count." The laundry isn't piled high any more, and there aren't patches of oatmeal dried on the wood floors from breakfast leftovers.

I just can't help but cry and cry when I think about how beautiful my life has been since having these boys. I want to love them well and raise them well.

I feel like I am a broken record in every blog, but I guess it's the one thing I really care about--being fully present, remembering and giving my whole heart to the season that I am in. In a moment, or in a nap time, it can change. (Atlas wakes up and he looks different, or any day Laef could climb out of his crib...oh Lord!)

So, I think that's all I have for now. I'm sure I have a million other things I want to say...

I'm just going to sit back and watch my boys love one another and I'm going to love watching them do that. Laef starts school twice a week this week. I'll have some time to clean my toilets.

Happy Fall!