Friday, October 12, 2012

Pure Felicity

"I belong with you, you belong with me
You're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You're my sweet" - The Lumineers "Ho Hey"

Last night, Brandon took care of Laef as I ran the hot water in the bath tub, grabbed a glass of wine, turned my brother's instrumental album on and lit my wooden wick fall candle. I was super excited to throw my red hair up in a messy bun and relax in in a hot bath. 

As I soaked there, in the dark, with the flickering reflection of the candle hitting the mirrors and the shiny tub, so many deep thoughts rushed into my mind. It had been three months since I had lain in my tub and the last time I did it, I had begged Laef to make an appearance. (And my water broke about two hours later.)

Remembering back to that time was so great and almost humorous for me. So many massive hurdles in my mind to get through. Labor, delivery, nursing, sleeplessness, learning the ropes of being a mom, all the unknown, etc. I cried that day (three months ago) begging the Lord for grace to go through change. I've always thought change to be one of the stupidest things. I've never enjoyed it. I've struggled with it my entire life. I was raised in the midst of constant change. 

At the beginning of last year, as I was going through one of the biggest heartaches I've ever felt. I felt the Lord strongly ask me to embrace change. And for me, that was the dumbest thing the Lord could ask me. He was either going to allow me to embrace change or I was going to have to go through hell kicking and screaming as he changed me. So I sat down at my neighborhood picnic table one cold winter afternoon and let tears soak my notebook pages as I wrote this poem/song. I have never finished it, but at that time in my life, this was exactly how I felt: 

I feel a few steps off
From synchronizing with existence
The wind is blowing wrong
I’m pinpointing its resistance
to the resonating sound.

Oh, Change, you know my name
I’ve seen your face a thousand ways
You prey along like I’m your game
But truly it’s best if I just stay the same

My will is always likely to decline
Your presence in my home
Thank you for your visit but
I’m happier when I’m alone

So why is it that every time you’re around
You always move me, and sometimes bruise me
You make me walk through fire, walk through rain
And tell me, “It’s for the best, dear friend.”

I’m not your friend, and I’m not sure I want to be.

If but for a moment I could peer through time
Stop the ticking clock that rules this earth’s mime
Watch where I was, see where I am
Look who I’ll be
If I loosen my grip on stagnancy
I hold onto the minutes like liquid leaving my hands

What have I lost all through my past
In fighting the shift to coexist?
I’ll stop this painful feed that makes me bleed.

Seasons kill and season heal
But both have their hands in painting novelty

Am I ready now to be healed? Can’t I answer my own questions?......

Last year was also a massive time of healing for me. Without the pain I went through, I wouldn't have been able to find the healing needed to soften my heart toward being a mom. 

When my husband and I talked last April on our drive into Saint Augustine to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, he talked about wanting to start a family in October. The lump in my throat and the shaking of my hands was intense. Deep, emotional tears began streaming down my face. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want change. I didn't want our marriage to change. I was afraid. But I said, "Okay, then... October it is." And it gave me six months to pray: "Lord you have six months to heal this issue in my heart and get me ready for being a mom." 

By the summer, I remember spending hours in our neighborhood pool chatting to our close neighbor friends. I remember saying, "I'm now ready to be a mom. The Lord has healed so much in me." 

I realized last year how I had placed so much identity in family. So much faith in how life was rolling along. And I lacked so much character in the area of kindness. Looking back and seeing the dismay and darkness of my weak heart, I'm so thrilled at the faithfulness of the Lord to heal me, find me, and kiss my life with the most beautiful change that I would never have embraced if it wasn't for the pain I walked through. 

So back to my bath last night...yeah...I was overcome by all the questions and fears that I had. Now three months later, most of them are solved. I've faced my fears--and I've not only walked through them; I've been so happy walking through them. I mean, I think I've had really maybe one sad day in months and months. And I know there will be rough times ahead. But I think that if I can learn from this whole situation of change, in the end, it comes down to this: He's good to my heart...always, relentlessly kind and obsessed with my well being--and He's committed to changing me. 

That said...Laef hits three months tomorrow (thirteen weeks today.) Watching this boy change is seriously one of the most glorious things I've ever seen. I wake up, pick him up and find him looking different (and he's heavier). I'm confronted with deep sighs, glistening eyes, and sometimes hard smiles, and I'm excited and sad all at once. His bright eyes are full of the deepest innocence. He has made Brandon and my heart so very happy. It's beyond words, the love and happiness I feel for this beautiful bright-eyed boy. His smile is contagious, his dimples are a delight and his sounds are like sweet syrup. He looks just like his daddy, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Time is seriously like water pouring out. The other day I went walking with Brandon and Laef and this elderly woman said, "Enjoy that goes so fast." I think I hear that almost once a day from someone, somewhere. "Enjoy this time, it goes so fast." It's not just going fast; it's like faster than light. Three months? In nine months, he will be one! Holy smokes! Why...? I found myself saying to Brandon, "If only we could find a way to slow time down. But then we may not treasure the moment as much if it's dragged out for forever." 

I just have to enjoy today, breathe that in, take a picture (or ten), listen and remember the feelings of this day. My grandparents probably had moments like this. Maybe my grandmas sat in their bathtubs and thought that time would always be on their side. They probably had fears about life and about the unknown. Maybe they stood in the shower and cried their eyes out like I have numerous times. They probably had things that they were afraid of. Or maybe they didn't ever think about it. Maybe they just enjoyed the moments. Who knows? It's comforting to know that the cycle of life keeps going. Whether I'm alive or dead, life is going to give us moments. Forever ago in our minds wasn't that long ago.

Laef is extremely interactive now, and saying lots of sweet nothings to us. He has giggled a couple times and is such a happy, happy baby. Brandon and I are hopelessly in love. 

It's crazy that he looked like this when we brought him home...

And He's still growing into his cheeks...

He loves waking his daddy up on Saturday mornings! 

He's already hitting on piano keys. 

Fall is falling fast here. Probably the fastest I've seen in a long time. The air is much colder than it normally is this time of year in the Carolinas. I've been baking my favorite pumpkin bread recipe and enjoying wearing long sleeved shirts. I am super excited about putting Laef in his fall clothes! ahhh!!! He looks so stinkin' cute! 

The other day it was super cold (okay.. like in the 50's) and I did a dumb thing (went to Hobby Lobby.) I think I want Christmas now. The air felt just like a cold December day. I wanted a latté and money to go Christmas shopping. I'm so excited about Laef's first Christmas. 

Besides waking up a few times during the night, Laef is great sleeper. I'm so glad I've put him on a schedule. Because it's amazing how he just does what I want him to do now. lol! (He is currently crying it out in his crib for a nap... which isn't too often! ;)

I mean seriously? <3

 I didn't mean for us to match. It's just that I dress myself and him and I have really good taste. ;D

This boy loooves his daddy.

October is holding lots of new adventures for us. I'm excited to kick bright colored leaves around and feel the crispy cold air hit my eyelashes. Let's be thankful for the little things. k?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Explorations North and South

I'm really late in blogging this, and I may not write a ton, but I at least wanted to post this for my own memory.

Almost a month ago, an adventure was offered to our family to visit the Hamptons for the wedding of my dear friend, Ashley Webb. I was their photographer and I leaped at the chance to go and see her get married AND photograph her gorgeous day. It was so incredibly beautiful. Brandon was my second shooter and my parents were there to watch Laef. The Webb family is very dear to our family, and we've known them twelve years.

Laef did amazing. He slept through the whole plane ride and pretty much a two-hour drive from JFK airport to the end of Long Island. He was fabulous.

New York!

When we arrived at JFK, I put Laef in a little sling and let him people watch. He loved it. But I think it made him a bit tired...

My parents are so smitten over my sweet boy. I Facetime them daily so they get to see his gloriousness unfold. 

well yes... of course... a New York pie. 

Everything in the Hamptons is like eye candy. It's so extremely beautiful. The light was so yummy when we arrived.

And the beaches...omg... (That's my mom!)

It was a long day of shooting. I started about 8:30 and finished at around 6:00. I loved every second. 

Here are a couple photos from the day. Visit my photography blog to see their photos. 

Below are some of my friends, whom I've known for 10-12 years. I <3 these girls!

Isn't Laef's outfit the best!? Gap Baby is my favorite. 

Taking some time to dance with dad. 

This little girl loooooved Laef. haha!

This is about a hundred year old house where Ashley's reception was. Ammmazing!

This boy slept so much this trip!

Brandon, Laef and I went out to Montauk after the wedding. We ate outside and froze our bums off by the ocean. It was either spend $75 less outside in the cold, or go inside a restaurant, be warm and pay $75 more! Crazy rich people!

Last weekend, Laef and I drove to Florida for a couple days to go visit my best friend, Sharon. It was such a fast trip. We had a great time, yet it was definitely a challenge for me being by myself--traveling with just him, doing most of the work alone. When I finally arrived home, I felt as if my body would collapse. I realized even how mentally tired I was. I seriously needed a break to recoup and rest. Thank God my husband works two days a week from home and then he has the weekend. I get four nights a week where my husband takes a shift in the middle of the night and helps out. Laef is not sleeping through the night yet. I mean, he has some good nights. But for the most part, it's still tiring. It really hasn't been nearly as hard as I had imagined.

While I was in Florida for my 30+ hours, I went to H&M and found some fabulous mustard yellow pants (I guess to match Laef's pair. ;) I went to one of America's largest Forever 21's. (nearly passed out!) I saw my dear friend, Katie, whom I worked with for two years in the bridal business in Kansas City, KS. She was visiting from Nebraska. Sharon, Laef and I spent a few hours at the beach, I got my hair done, Sharon and I swam in a hot tub, we went roadside junk shopping, and drank coffee and shakes. Spending time with Sharon is seriously some of the happiest moments in my life. She is such a faithful, loyal friend.

Here are some photos of my time...

Sharon's dog, Latifah, loved licking Laef's face! lol!

This little guy wanted to go home with me and jumped in my car...

Roadside junk!

Road trips make you CrAzY!

Oh! and in honor of fall... I got my hair! ;D



I still have much to say, so I may blog again. My son is turning three months tomorrow and I feel the need to recap the last month and shed some tears. Hopefully, I'll post tomorrow!