Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Warm Winter

“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' 
Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.”

I've grown to appreciate and love the simple days of lounging around the house in my PJ's and lying on the squishy carpet of my house eye-level with Laef as we play for hours. He greets me with a smile in his crib when I finally crack the door open at 8 am and peek in singing, "Good Morning, Good Morning... I love my little Laef... Good Morning, Good Morning to yoooou....." (Yes, my rendition of Singing in the Rain.) I sweep him up and he gives me smiles and small cracks of laughter as we open the blinds and peek out to the new fresh day where learning, adventure and wonder awaits us. He beats on the window and is thrilled with himself.

A bib, a bottle, a bumbo, a bowl of berries, a bath and a beautiful baby--this is my joy. This is how my day begins.

He's growing so quickly, and I feel like I need to jot down small pieces of these passing months. He won't always fit in his bumbo, his butt is super close to hitting the floor when he rocks himself fervently in his bouncy chair. He hates being on his stomach, and quite honestly I'm glad he isn't crawling yet. I like not having to chase him yet. haha...

He is now sleeping 8 hours through the night. I wake him up before I go to bed and give him a bottle. These moments hold the sand of passing time. Sweetest of sweet. A sleepy boy, ravenously swallowing his bottle and then falling asleep on your chest as the bottle comes to the end. The small toy turtle makes stars on the walls and ceilings, the rain and thunder sound machine fills the air and I rub my face up against Laef's soft head full of so much hair. He is so incredibly beautiful. What will he become? Will he love me forever? Will he be creative and artsy? Will he be super smart and full of wisdom? What will his wife be like some day? I often come out of the dark room wiping the tears out of my eyes.

I remember the last month and half of being pregnant. I would sit in my rocker in Laef's room. The room was so full of mystery. I would stare at the four walls for hours, thinking about him being on the changing table, in the car seat, in the Moses basket, in the crib and in my awesome new onesie I bought him. So much unknown. So much joy would fill this room. So many sleepless nights, so many beautiful smiles. So many funny moments. I knew it would happen, not having a clue if it really would be worth all the work. Rocking and feeling Laef kick me, I'd talk to the Lord about all my mass fears. 

I remember curling up on the steps of my house Easter weekend 27 weeks(ish) pregnant and being held by my mom as I cried, terrified of the future, not sure if anyone was really excited about my baby coming, so afraid of being fat and stretched out from this baby...so worried about being a good mom. The truth is, it's all very real and it's all scary. That was a bit of an emotional weekend for me.

But after I let it all out, I was miraculously okay. I mean every now and then I would break down crying when yet another stretch mark appeared on my once slim, beautiful tummy...looking in the mirror and thinking, "What good is going to come out of this... this is awful!" haha...
And there were things that I consider "awful." Like breast feeding. So glad it's all almost over. 

But as I've written in the past, faithfulness is one thing that I believe makes me keep loving Jesus. He's always been faithful to my heart. 

So yes, Laef is 6.5 months old. He's just pure fun. Getting a little more demanding for attention. Cries a bit when I leave the room. Loves food. Loves going out and seeing the world. 

Brandon and I have been so busy working on redoing my website, branding, pricing and packages for my business. I'm excited to be able to offer new albums and new product to my customers this year. 

I'm happy with life.

And I might add that it's going to be 72 degrees here today and tomorrow. 

That's whats up.... ;)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Half Birthday Baby Laef!

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
-C.S. Lewis

Happy Half Birthday Baby Laef! You made it to six months and you are the happiest, sweetest, easiest child. You are a complete gift to my heart. God couldn't have been more faithful with giving your precious being to me. I love you so much! 

 Baby Laef you have made life so sweet. How could I feel more love... ?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New Year Monologue

"This moment contains all the moments." - C.S. Lewis

So here it all goes again. For me, I always hit a new year with a new age. Having a birthday on January 2nd isn't the most convenient day of the year. Most people dread January 2nd, since they have to go back to work, school, etc... Oh, well!

I turned twenty-seven this year. (I am thankful to still be in my twenties.) I still feel like I have so much to learn and understand while still in my twenties. 2012 left me feeling like 2013 couldn't possibly be better than 2012. I mean, having sweet Laef and watching life unfold with him is hands down the sweetest thing the soul can go through. Watching my husband become a father, watching my heart become a mother, seeing value in the things that I used to roll my eyes at. Sigh. What lessons we learn--sometimes in sweetness, and sometimes in pain. I'm glad to find that my identity is not wrapped up in my business or talents. I was happy to say "no" to photography jobs so that I could spend time with Laef and allow him to really get to know me in his first months of life. That is one of the best decisions I could have ever made.

I've stated before in previous blogs that last year was a time of massive healing for me. Laef brought me a lot of healing. It also brought me a lot of self-respect. Having a baby and seeing how your body can push limits and grow a child, produce milk, thrive on sleeplessness, and be excited in the moment--it pretty much takes you to a new place of respect. I will say, seeing my body the way it is now after having it look the same for 25 years has been rough. I have more of a respect for people who try to lose weight. I know I'm not fat, but wider is better word to describe my sweet midsection. haha.

Things take time. And I need to be patient with the process.

So, already five days into 2013.... what do I want to do differently? What do I want my heart to feel or grasp this year? How can I make that happen? What can I learn that I have pushed aside for sometime?

  1. Limiting my social media intake.

    So I have hopes of trying to only check my Facebook once a week. (I'm calling it Facebook Friday.) I realize how much time this website waving the blue banner distracts my soul. Also I need to find inspiration inwardly and that is something that is hard for me to do when I have a problem with comparison. Yes, it's true. I'm sure I'm not the only one that can get on Facebook and come off comparing my sweet beautiful life to everyone else and either come up feeling like my life is awful, or better than others. I hate it. I have been blessed with the most incredible, perfect life and I can so easily take that slippery slope down a hill of comparison, and insecurity. I also am limiting my time on Instagram. Maybe checking it every other day. I have created a personal Instagram for my eyes only, where I am not consumed with what other people have to say about my creativity or my life. I want to start doing things for me. Not for anyone else.

  2. A photo a day (Many a Moon)

    I have started a new little tumblr page here where I am making myself take a photo a day--making my soul and eyes search for beauty and look for the hidden things within the four gray walls of my house. I want to find beauty and look for hidden light, shadows, grace, and beauty in the things I see every day.

  3. Making music.

    Brandon and I are wanting to start making music again, probably not at all like we did before...maybe trying to do a cover a month...start a YouTube channel. Just for fun.

  4. Not bad-mouthing myself.

    This is a really hard one. I'm super hard on myself. Mostly with my looks. Oh, vanity!

  5. My business.

    I want to spend time learning software, taking online courses for photography/software, growing in understanding, and expanding my capabilities as an artist and as a business owner.

  6. More face-to-face time with Laef and my husband. Putting my cell phone away.

    I really want to forget I own a phone a lot, and see and experience things face-to-face. I want to spend time with Laef for real...eat dinner with my husband for real. I want it to be Brandon, Laef, and me, not Brandon, Laef, me and the phones.
So that's pretty much the top things I want to work on.

My business is picking up and Brandon and I are in the process of redoing my pricing, revamping my website, I'm getting my logo redesigned, I'm undergoing a rebranding, and getting things organized.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be super busy, super successful, and super wonderful. We are taking about a week in March to go out west for work and for our seventh anniversary. We will be leaving our sweet Laef for about six days. (Oh, what will I become without him?) And I have quite a bit of work lining up already for this year.

We are hoping to take a cruise in October again with friends and celebrate an early 30th birthday for Brandon. haha!

There are a few other things that I will blog about here in a few months that I'm super excited about! I'm waiting to see how all of it unfolds. <3

On top of all this is watching my sweet Laef grow and discover so much. It's scary and amazing.

So hats off to a new year. Hoping to fall more in love with the Lord and family through the process of life.

Happy New Year again... and Happy Birthday to me!

"Time is the fire in which we burn." - Delmore Schwartz

Laef's First Christmas

"I like smiling, smiling is my favorite!" - Buddy the Elf

Christmas is probably my favorite holiday. Yet, I have to say, I really do love them all. I love spending time with my husband (and now, baby Laef too), eating bad food, shopping in cold weather and taking time to decorate my small little home.

This year was especially sweet due to it being Laef's first Christmas. A few years back Brandon and I spent a Christmas alone, because we knew that we would never have one alone ever again. And I'm super, super glad we did that.

On Christmas in 2011, I was pregnant with Laef. This past Christmas, everyone came to our place. Brandon and I spent most of the morning, cleaning, cooking, cutting up food, setting the table. Brandon's mom and step dad flew in for nine days from Joplin, Missouri. My parents drove in and my brother, his wife and kids came. We ate a fabulous chicken Alfredo pasta lunch and opened gifts for a few hours.

On Christmas morning, Brandon and I took a few minutes to be with Laef alone and let him open his first gift on his first Christmas. It was so lovely. sigh. My heart was so happy. This was the first Christmas I can genuinely say I didn't care about any gifts. I just was so happy to have my beautiful boy and handsome husband.

Laef really did scratch at the wrapping paper, eat it, and act excited about what he got, which was incredible. Brandon and I were a puddle of mush watching him. We got him a "Sophie the giraffe," which he totally loves. That was perfect for the surprise we found on New Year's Day--two new teeth popping through! And he hasn't been fussy AT ALL. Crazy! I'm so thankful. So he is chewing the mess out of Sophie.

My whole family got Laef some amazing gifts. And Brandon and I bought him a Baby Einstein crib soother.  

*Below is my nephew, Káel.

*Below are my parents

* Below are my sister-in-law and nephew

Christmas evening we sat around a bon fire outside, and just took in the beauty of family and the night. It was wonderful. I was a bit selfish with Laef on Christmas Day, keeping him mostly to myself. I just really can't believe that life is this sweet.

On the day after Christmas, Laef fell asleep in my moby while we shopped. <3

*Below is Brandon's family 

One of my most favoritest things this Christmas was seeing my best friend, Sharon. She spent the day before Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve Eve), and Christmas Eve with us. She gave me the best Christmas present ever. <3 I love her so much.

*Below are our closest friends/neighbors, Josiah and Nicole. We all went and saw "Les Miserables" together, which was absolutely incredible. Wow. Yes, I cried. 

Laef will be six months old in about nine days. I feel a lump in my throat when I talk about it. It's the sweetest, bitterest, saddest, most incredible oxymoron that a soul can go through--that is, seeing the greatest joy in your life grow from the smallest, most vulnerable, innocent baby, to the non-stop growing beauty of a boy. I look at him with awe every day. Literally, he will wake up from a nap and act and look different than two hours before. I really can't believe it. I say it every day, but his hair is becoming so thick. And I'm so excited about that. (Brandon laughs at me for saying it every single day.) I do just stare at him sometimes and think, "He is so beautiful..." (And yes, it's probably because I half made him. ;) ) 

I say to Brandon often as I turn Laef's light off at bedtime and make my way down the steps of our small house, "That boy is incredible...wow!" 

So almost a half of a year has flown by with Laef, and it has been like a slight breeze blowing--refreshing, quick, full of satisfaction and perfect. 

So I'm going to do another post about some New Year's thoughts, resolutions, and even upcoming events. I am excited about this year. And normally, I hate going into a new year, but this year is going to be a blast and full of beauty. I can't wait. 

Happy New Year!