Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Boats and Mountains

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

With every passing day I find myself loving the simple, nothing days spent with Laef. I am realizing that they are numbered and I can never get back the sweetness of just him and I.

We eat together, play together, dance together, watch Daniel Tiger's neighborhood, read together, talk about life, play music together. It is just him and I. When his big brown eyes look at me with adoration I am once again caught in the web of his love. I was so afraid of this love two years ago and now I am lost in an ocean of emotion for this beautiful boy, who is growing into such a handsome man. (And currently pulling all the wipes out of the box....)

In just four months my little person will be two years old and a full time big brother. I will have become yet again, a different person, ruined with a whole new level of love. 

Right now, life is just busy with the preparation of the late spring's flower that will arrive (Baby #2). We have been redoing so much in our house, fixing things, painting, building walls, buying the stuff we need to make every room useful. I often look outside my front window at the blooming pink bushes adorning my blue cottage and I can't believe that I live here. I have a white picket fence in my yard. sigh... it still warms me. I'm still overcome with the beauty that Jesus has lavished on us. The trees on our street are blooming their white stinky flowers and I couldn't be happier to see the birds fighting over my bird feeder that is attached to my dining room window. 

I sit, sip my coffee, journal, listen to Laef cling his measuring cups and watch the birds eat. Spring always reminds me of how quickly a season can change. Either good or bad, the season can flip in a moment.  I'm so happy that winter is saying it's last goodbyes and heading north for a bit longer. 

Spring is also going to be probably the busiest time for us this year. Although I feel like this year may just fly by, with having a new soul to attach to and take care of. I have weddings in the late summer and in a few weeks. And I plan on having the best summer days with my boys. 

(Side story) One of my dearest friends, Ashley came from NY recently to visit her family and to get away from the cold. Her little girl, Lillette stole my soul. I have a very, very hard time attaching to little girls. (mostly cause I'm terrified of having one) but Lillette came in with all her sweet kisses and hugs and warmed me. It actually brought healing to my soul in some area's.  Laef and her played together for hours and hugged each other. I think Laef adored her.

Laef is a two middle finger sucker. And he always puts his hands over his fingers as he sucks. I guess its the "I love you" fingers. haha!

I'm sure most moms can feel me when I say "Saturday mornings are the best!" Brandon lets me sleep in, and he spends the morning with Laef. When I get up and waddle down the hall my little bright eyed, messy haired boy, yells "MA-MA!"  and gives me snuggles as he tucks his hands to his side and lets me hold him tightly. Nothing, nothing, nothing can compare to a Laef snuggle. We then sip coffee, watch cartoons, eat breakfast, and plan the day of "to do's"... all in prep to get ready for baby.

Laef is to obsessed with my belly. He tries to lift up my shirt and kiss the baby over and over, all day. He waves and says "Hi baby" and gives baby a kiss. I'm a mess when he does that. (Minus poking at my outtie belly button)

I put Laef in a "Mother's Morning Out" program every Monday for about 3 hours. It's super cheap and he comes home so happy. I get to go have me time, (Which normally is cleaning a toilet, grocery shopping, a Chick Fil A breakfast stop, a short vanilla latte' and catching up on business phone calls.)
In the summer he will go two days a week for three hours, which will give me a chance to maybe take a shower, clean my home and connect with the new baby alone. I'm a little nervous for Laef and the transition of attention he will be taking. I'm so blessed to know that I have parents and in laws who will come around and help to make the transition easier by spending time with Laef. I almost cry though when I think about not being able to spend as much time by myself with Laef. He is the world to me, and the shared attention is a scary, unknown feeling. I think the selfish side of me can't fathom sharing that love with another. Every mom has told me that it's a very easy transition in sharing love. You're heart explodes again and again with love for your two kids. I guess like all the unknowns last time around, I have a whole new set of "What if's" and "How's". What if this happens? or this happens? and How do I do this? How do I do that? How will it look? How will I look? oh goodness....

Again and again, I have to lean into grace. Heavily relying on the one thing that has made my life beautiful, His faithfulness to me, even on the bad days and on the good days. There is no greater sweetness, I believe than being a mom to these two boys.  This season of them in my home and in my arms is so short and so rare. It will be the sweetest days of my life I believe, and I cannot wish away the hard days, no matter how hard they get.

"Oh Jesus, don't let me wish a way these moments..." I pray that constantly, when I feel I have no grip on the situation or moment. I really need the holy spirit to teach me all things... He is the best parent and therefore he can teach me how to be the best parent to my boys.

I pray that with my business as well, on my way to every shoot, "Holy spirit, teach me how to shoot this session/wedding. Teach me light, teach me posing, teach me technique.  You are the best photographer there is, and you teach me all things." I think it's a secret weapon to rest fully in his spirit guiding and teaching. We can't fail. I'm reading so many parenting books, and loving it, but in the end I still need the Holy spirit to lead me, Laef, and Brandon on this journey.

So I want to talk about baby #2. His name is Atlas Noble Fancher. When we first found out we were pregnant and as we discussed names, boy names were crazy hard. One day, in the car, out of the blue, Brandon said "I love the name Atlas." and I was taken back.... "Wow! that is amazing!" I had never heard it before and it felt like it fitted so well with the theme that the Lord has given me for this blog and for my kids. 

As I started my pinterest dreaming journey (haha) I felt drawn to snow capped mountains as a theme if I were going to have a girl. I figured "Oh Atlas.... that's a map, explorer theme like Laef's name. But if I have a girl.... maybe mountains would be a perfect thing for her." I sat in church a few weeks back after knowing that we were having a boy, naming him Atlas, kinda pushing the idea of mountains a way in my mind (almost saving it for later) and I prayed in church and said... "Jesus, what do you have for Atlas?" And the next day I found online that there is a mountain range in Morocco, Africa called the "Atlas Mountains" I was floored. At this point all I know was the greek god, Atlas who held the world on his shoulders, but here was a totally different perspective of his name. A majestic mountain range, snow capped in area's.... crazy beautiful. So amazing that this was what I had been feeling from the beginning and it was always part of his name. 

Noble is his middle name. Ever since I've known Brandon, he has always had a "royal" spirit on his life. People listen to him, he is kind, full of sincerity, he has so much wisdom and is so careful in how he deals with people and circumstances. It feels like every time he gets a word spoken over him from Jesus, the people praying always say something about the "Royalty" over his life. The fun fact is, Brandon's dad's real name is Royal. Brandon is the son of Royal. I can't get over how sweet Jesus is to pin point that in Brandon's life over and over. So Noble, or Nobility is another part of royalty. 

So with Laef being named after Leif Ericson, the viking explorer who sailed on boats as a missionary, (he also explored and discovered America for the first time,) and Atlas being named after the Atlas snow capped mountains, we have boats and mountains as a small reminder to our hearts of our boys unique callings that they each individually have on their lives.

Here is our little Atlas....

So I did a few comparisons: Laef is on the Right and Atlas on the Left. Both of them are 29 weeks here.

And I think my Atlas looks so much like my Grandma...

I also wanted to share my fun little board of idea's for Atlas' room. He will have his own room for a while (till sleep training has worked it's wonders) and after that we will move both boys into Laef's ginormous room. 

And here I am with Laef at 29 weeks (at the top) and Atlas at 29 weeks on the bottom. I think chasing Laef around has helped me stay somewhat in shape. ;)

Well.... until next time.... Laef and I will continue to grow larger... haha.

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

White Days

"This year is a sealed envelope; with apprehensive hope, we brace for anything. I swear, I understand that nothing changes that, the past will be the past, but the future is brighter than any flashback." - Sleeping at Last - January White

Well...this is my first post of the year, and I feel like I need to blog even just a few photos from December to call this complete in my mind. January was sort of a dull month for me, I lingered in the dark winter lonely days. I sat on my couch and wished for creativity, wished for sun, wished for spring, wished that life would go just a tad bit faster so that I could move on with where I am. (Pregnant, winter, and feeling a bit pointless.)I felt like I was existing only for my babies and husband. January into February also came with two weeks of sick days. I laid on my couch, in my bed, on the floor...wherever there was a flat surface and felt so horrible. My Grandma always says "Being sick isn't so bad you want to die, but not so good you want to live." Isn't that true? I had a rough chest cold for a week where I lost my voice and then Laef received a 48 hour tummy bug which he delightfully passed over to me for 24 hours. The respect for mom's sky rocketed as I washed the puke off my sons sheets, face, and clothes. Here I was sick and pregnant and being a mom to this sweet boy. Oh man.... talk about reality check.

Sweeter days have fallen on my soul in the last week. Yesterday through tomorrow we are getting tons of snow and ice and it makes the soul feel a little magic when you only get it once or twice a year. I sat sipping my cup of coffee for hours and journaling as I watched the snow sweetly blanketing my yard. Laef played, and I almost cried at the magic I felt this morning. Finally healthy, happy, sweet days... winter really does do me in.

Laef turns 19 months tomorrow... so over a year and a half now. In five months he will be two. omg. He has the sweetest face in my opinion and a sensitive little heart.

Laef talks about Da-Da all the day long... It's his every second conversation with me.

So I'm 25.5 weeks pregnant now. You can't really tell here... so that's good. I don't like being pregnant, I don't like how I look, or feel...I just want to get it over and feel normal again. The process is so not fun to me. I don't really like belly compliments or pats on my tummy and I don't really enjoy the attention. It's just another season in my life and I'm blessed that I can have babies and that I can grow them, but It doesn't make me feel beautiful by any means. I sorta want to hide in a closet till 9 months is up....but what do you do? I think winter makes it feel harder too.

Every year I watch this amazing video that always opens up my soul. It's my favorite winter video. Fast forward to 1.36 or so.

So flipping the pages and going back to December...Christmas time... ah yes! We went to Ohio to visit my sweet Grandma. I wanted to post my snow photos of Brandon and Laef.

 Laef got a teepee for Christmas... he thinks it's pretty great.

So really there isn't a lot for me to say. Business is honestly slow right now, life is going super slow and crazy fast all at the same time. My belly tells me so. Laef is the highlight of my soul right now.

Brandon works a lot from home, so I'm very blessed to spend breakfast, lunch and dinner with him about 3-4 days a week. Things will start picking up very soon. Brandon and I hit our eight year anniversary in April. It's pretty insane how fast eight years flew by. 

There are moments that happen in my life that all I can say is "I'm so happy I have this boy..." Laef loves his rain boots and wants to wear them with anything and everything. Last night he walked around the house in his striped orange footed PJ's with his boots on. I just love him. Those moments of oddness are some of my favorites. He also fills his boots up with treasures and walks around the house. He can say "shoe" but it's more like "shhhhhhhhh"

So a random story to tell...

In December I was having an awful day. I was overwhelmed with the thought of having two kids and what the future would look for me that at one point I doubled over my counter and sobbed in disbelief at how fast my life was changing and the dread and pressure of being a mom to two boys. (Sorry...if this makes you feel bad for me.. I'm only sharing the reality of what I felt) I was hormonal, I'm sure and still battling the great morning/afternoon sickness along with a teething 16 month old boy. I laid on the couch and Sleeping at Last began to play. I had never heard the song before... the lyrics/song goes like this. 


"So let’s press undo. rearrange the old and call it new- January white.

 Every calendar is playing the same old trick: a year will disappear, replaced with counterfeit but we’ll never really mind. 

‘Cause if nothing else, we’re given a little time to change the game, a chance to redefine everything we are, in our January white. 

This year is a sealed envelope, a culmination of hopes, the lottery result that we’ve been crossing fingers for. 

We could paint our walls a lighter shade of blue, or we could pack our bags and change the entire view to January white. 

If nothing else, we’re given a little time to change the heart in which we change our minds; our hourglasses turn. 

This year is a sealed envelope; with apprehensive hope we brace for anything. I swear, I understand that nothing changes that, the past will be the past, but the future is brighter than any flashback. 

Well, we could let our guards down a little easier this time, we could trust that when there’s joy, there’s nothing dark behind. in spite of history, hope is January white. 

This year, we’re starting over again letter openers in hand, a chance to take a chance. I swear, I understand that the past will be the past, and nothing changes that, but the future is brighter than any flashback."

I needed to hear this song so bad. I needed to know that the future is bright. It's full of hope... The Lord has been so faithful to my heart for so many years. Only beauty can come out of his dreams for me. It is who he is. So why did I share this? I'm not sure...  I guess I could call it "February White" since I'm so late in sharing this. 
Cheers toward a bright 2014. ;D Thanks for reading...