“... but it's your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
I have spent the last hour oohing and ahhing over my once tiny grey-eyed baby, who is growing so incredibly fast. It seems like every few hours he has discovered something new. He responds to me handing him things, and smiles at me when I walk in the room. He looks for me. I'm in absolute awe of this beautiful creation.
I take a ton of videos of him learning different ways to communicate with sounds--gargling his milk, blowing milk bubbles, chatting quietly, talking loud and squealing. I'm beside myself with all the moments I get to spend helping him discover things. Today, he has been staring at his feet and grabbing them. This whole last week he has learned to point his finger, and likes to show us.
It's pretty amazing that the simplest things can bring me to almost speechlessness and the verge of tears. <3 I keep falling in love, over and over again.
Laef and I recently visited Brandon at work. The moment finally happen when Laef reached out and grabbed spaghetti off Brandon's plate. Thankfully, Brandon grabbed his hand quickly. We looked at each other and said..."And so it begins..."
Laef will be four months old next week. (These pictures were taken about 4 weeks ago....dang it! I'm so behind.)
He still hates tummy time.
This last month has been pretty good. Laef is sleeping more through the night. He only wakes up once. I did go through his fifteen week growth spurt and swore that the week would never end. He ate every hour and a half. Thank God I had some milk to thaw, cause otherwise....
Last month I had a few shoots, hung out with friends, we bought a fire pit for our back porch and I had a small fall party.
I find myself being overwhelmed very quickly if my house is a mess. It's like I can't see past the mess to be able to focus on getting my list done. And add the 15 week growth spurt fussiness in there, I felt like a big stress ball. I've been asking the Lord for help to chill out. In the end, a messy house doesn't matter that much.
Laef loves Abe the skunk.
We recently took a trip down to Georgia to see my grandparents and see my cousin Kristi get married. My grandparents are so in love with Laef. They showed up at our hotel early one morning wanting to see smiling Laef. My grandpa said "That little boy was the motivation to get grandma out of bed this morning!" And if you know anything, my grandma was doing awful last year. I felt like we were going to lose her. She is a beautiful woman, and is recovering slowly. My grandparents have been married 58 years.
Below is Laef and Brandon on her couches. I love these couches.
My grandpa officiated my cousin Kristi's wedding. It was super beautiful and Kristi looked glorious!
Below is my sweet Grandma! <3
Already a ladies' man--Laef meets my cousins, Kristi and Tami.
Two cowlicks. oh my!
I mean... come on... what an amazing sad face.
He gets wrapped up in reading. ;)
Bath time is definitely some of my favorite moments with him.
My two boys after church one Sunday.
This is my Fall Party.
Below is Laef with his cousin Cedar, and his girlfriend Selah. <3
I'm so extremely blessed that I've had so much time to bond with Laef. My business is nothing to me compared to a glorious unforgettable moment spent with Laef. Ultimately, I have to keep my business going. And I love what I do. But the sweet tender seconds that float so quickly away leave me with such surprise at the simplicity of what makes a heart love.
I love the way the light hits his face while we nap together. The shadows of his nose and the glistening of his eyelashes. He wraps his fingers around mine and finds a home in my arms. I wish for a million more moments like these. I love the way he beams when Brandon walks in the door. It sends my heart flying. (Now I'm crying...) My heart actually aches for those who would throw these moments away, or never desire them. The innocence of my sweet boy has unlocked waves of purity and healing to my soul. I now understand why people have so many kids. The heart of the Father is becoming more real to me. Also the issue of "life" is more real to me than any piece of "life" tape or fasting and prayer could do. Why a woman would so easily want to throw this gorgeous gift to the world away is absolutely mind blowing.
I started journaling when I was fifteen. I went through my first "breakup" and I was left with a shattered heart and a two-week missions trip ahead of me with my ex-boyfriend and my best friend (at the time) who he started dating. (They are married now and live happily ever after.) The first journal entries I wrote were full of teen drama heartbreak. It was very real, and very painful. I am so happy that I went through it all.
I wrote to the Lord, about everything. I've continued journaling through the last twelve years. Some seasons I write a lot. And some seasons I write maybe once. Yes, I can say, I wish I would journal more. But I'm so thankful for a written documentation of my emotional roller coasters. Through my mass amount of fears, guys I liked, leaving my family when I was seventeen and facing the biggest transition of my life, living away from them to go to California for school, the unforeseen cold, lonely days, the amazing happy moments of finding and falling in love with Brandon and then marrying him--I've lived a life full of sweet bliss. But at the end, I can always cut to the chase and say "Lord, apart from all the beauty and battles in my life... Tell me you whom my soul loves, where will you feed me?... I need to find you in THIS season of my life."
This is the prayer you'll find over and over in my journals.
So the other night, during the up and down emotions of election night, I skimmed through my journal reading about all my past days. And I came to the delightful conclusion that so much of what I feared, looking back, was so silly. I was afraid of the love I would have for Laef--a love that would do anything for a child. I was so afraid of it. I was so afraid of all the change that having Laef would cause me and Brandon. But, it's sort of silly now. Yes, it was a big change, but it wasn't the kind that hit me right in the face and knocked me down. It was a sweet, easy, simple, natural transition. There are things I do miss, like leaving the house with my keys and a wallet and running into a store in a moment's notice to grab milk. But... ah! Walking around with Laef at Walmart yesterday as he smiled at me and talked to all the people that passed by--I mean, would I really trade that for things being easier? He and Brandon are seriously my best friends.
I believe that this time with Laef is so important when it comes to establishing a foundation of security in his life. I can't be selfish with my time. I have to give it freely. I can't be stressed out, or frustrated. I can't even be a contentious wife to my husband. This is a team job. And both of us are working hard.
So this weekend my friend and mentor, Shelley Paulson, is doing family photos of us. I can't tell you how excited I am to spread her photos of us all over my walls. Photography is for sure is one of my biggest love languages. I'm also doing a workshop with her and a few other ladies I love. It will be a time of opening my soul up to understanding more of my gift for capturing moments and beauty.
Saturday morning, I stumbled sleepily down the steps to find my husband watching Pink Panther with Laef. Oh my heart...
Laef loves to watch me do laundry. He just lies there...
So Thanksgiving is coming soon. We have family coming, and I'm excited about going to the mountains and cutting down Laef's first Christmas tree! I've already started playing Christmas music and I can't wait to start celebrating and making memories with Laef. I can't wait to smell the pine in my house, spend some time baking and have lots of peppermint mochas! It's going to be the best Christmas we've ever had!