Monday, December 28, 2009

reflection of thirty-one years.

i turned thirty-one yesterday.



...and it just so happens the mark of the end of my first year into a new decade comes at the beginning of another one and this very climactic stretch of life for us.

brett leaves at the beginning of the year to work up in the chicago area for awhile, returning hopefully in time for the baby and then back up again for a sort-of indefinite period of time.

and it's taken me awhile to grasp it all, but i have finally arrived at the grown-up place of life is what you make it and there are lots of things in life we go through that aren't comfortable or ideal, but they could be so incredibly worse, and a simple life of comfort does nothing to change us, mold us, make us into better, stronger more beautiful versions of ourselves.

i am sad, yes. and we will both be incredibly challenged to make things work...but i know we can.





i have been reminded so much these past couple weeks of just how wonderfully blessed we are and the older i get, the more i embrace change as opportunity to learn just what i am capable of.



i am capable of so much. and i am excited at the opportunity of new challenges, more love and remembering to take the garbage out on tuesday and friday nights from now on.

"humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn't all that comfortable. and even if they secretly want for something better."
~donald miller

perhaps i had been planted for too long and this little bit of discomfort will challenge me, in my thirty-first year, to push myself more toward new chapters in the story of our life.

they will be good chapters.





the last few days have been such a snowballing of emotions and contemplations and yes, hormones, to settle me into a contended of place of so-be-it. life flows on, and i want to experience every tide, every wave, every calm with purpose.

this week, we have submerged ourselves into our family cacoon, brett taking a little time off, the boys on a ski trip with their mom, and myself nesting and resting.




lainey and her duck...the one that just showed up and hung out in our driveway this morning, welcomed, of course, with a few stale hot dog buns.


and the duck was nice enough to try and share some bun with the baby belly.











lainey shares her puppy with the baby all the time now, just gently rubbing its ear on my belly whenever i sit down...just as i snapped this picture, some body part amazingly shoved up on the left side for a freakishly cool moment.

the last few days, i've been beginning to feel a little bit uncomfortable physically. it's surreal to know in just a matter of a few weeks, we will know her and our lives as we know it will be changed for good. we are counting down the days. we're all so ready...and i can't say enough how much i am just looking forward to snuggling her tiny little self into my neck and inhaling her goodness. and middle of the night feedings when our souls will intertwine and i will drink in the feeling of her breath against me. and watching lainey love and nurture her and embracing the challenge of loving two and teaching two how to love. and seeing brett with a newborn again. he does the newborn thing so naturally and beautifully and it makes me love him all the more.
so much to look forward to. so much.

and while we look forward, just a little peek back at this year...
went through a few folders to pull out some of my favorite images of us taken this year.























...and i think my most favoritest ever...



yes, thirty-one and blessed.

it's amazing all that you can do.



and that, my friends, is a thirty-one year reflection.

Friday, December 25, 2009

christmas

it was perfect.



...the house has fallen quiet with christmas naps as the second fire of the day snaps and cracks behind me and a hefty spread of food sits welcomingly on our counter, and i am just now taking it all in.

we began festivities this week with our bi-annual trip to the mall where we not only watched as a man coughed and spit phlegm in the parking lot but also got raked over coals for a picture with the only santa in town.



i paid $17 for the (not even good) photo on the left...two small little photos they gave me...and almost got in a fight with the elf who told me i was strictly forbidden from taking any photos of my own.



thankfully, i simmered down later for our own celebrations of home which, this year, seemed so much more purposeful. she is completely aware and comprehensive of every bit of magic and tradition and meaningfulness which makes everyone in our home take extra measures to expose her to as much happiness as possible...the little things making the most impact.

she was thrilled to add glitter to some old red river cereal we found lurking in the pantry to make an alluring and tasty concoction for rudolph and his friends...





...intently sprinkling it in heaps along the driveway late last night...





...and pleasantly amused this morning to find it eaten and gone, replaced with snowy reindeer hoof tracks. reindeer eat mine num-num, she announced, wide-eyed and slightly perplexed.





latte even conveniently cooperated with her morning poo placed pefectly between two hooves to which we incorporated into our girl's christmas imagination, and now, her most memorable event of the day (over family and presents and everything we worked to create) is... reindeer poop on mine driveway. spared you a picture of that...merry christmas.

we visited a church up the road for the third year in a row for their christmas eve candlelight service. silent night, sung in a circle with my family, a bit of darkness and a hundred or so candles always, always makes me cry.




we don't know anyone at this church and we come, sit, smile, sing and go, but that's what adds to the whole greatness of this tradition; it's more about our family and this small special moment we share every year. even if i did write ball of fire on a bulletin and pass it down to my dad after the monotone pastor stood up and robotically presented a boring little message that, sadly, had the potential of igniting some christmas fire.

then it was home where we enjoyed the company of my dad & gary, a crackling fire, a late spaghetti dinner and cozy spots on the couches where we watched movies and finished getting ready for our special day.



and my ho-ho jammies still, barely and tightly, fit. hurrah.



and today...well, today was just real and good and homey and simple. we smiled through every bit of it beginning with her tiny voice announcing between our warm bodies in a dark room this morning: good morning, mama. and then, slowly, her realization that today was the day...the day we climb out of bed to run and look for half-eaten cookies and sparce glittery grain piles.



i can't figure what's better...to actually be two and see this all through magic, childhood eyes and be blessed to be loved like she is...or to be thirty and her mama and the lover of this girl. i'll take the latter.



and so our morning continued with giving and receiving and baking and breakfast...and family.













...and papa made the most beautiful crib mobile for our baby's bed...



feeling happy and blessed.