The Pain in the Joy

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Motherhood is is full of paradox. From the moment we learn of our child’s existence, we begin a process of constantly holding and letting go. This little person is part of our very being (spiritually, if not physically) and yet a totally separate human being. They arrive, and we let go while simultaneously embracing. They grow, and we watch in unspeakable joy, yet with each milestone reached we must let go just a bit more. Let go, and trust. The cord is cut, and we no longer share one body. They need us at every second, even to support their tiny floppy heads, and then less, and less. They wean. They crawl, then walk, and then run away from us (and yet return for comfort, again and again). We continue, being there, loving, holding, and still constantly letting go. May I just point something out here, that perhaps sometimes we’re afraid to say out loud? Amidst all of the amazing joy of all of this, it is also gut-wrenchingly painful for us as mamas. Remember, this child was literally a part of you and always will be. It is wonderful to see our little ones learning, changing, becoming the people they are destined to be. But it also feels a bit like a punch in the stomach, as we let go and practice trusting that they will be okay, and as we watch each stage pass, gone forever in favor of the new.
It is okay—even totally essential—to acknowledge this. In one of my favorite podcast episodes ever, Rob Bell spoke of The Good Grief. It deeply affected me, and has been on my mind ever since. With every new thing in our lives, something else must be coming to an end. Each time we gain something, we also lose something. This applies to parenthood, and also every other aspect of life. It is healthy for us to grieve these small things. If we refuse to acknowledge what is passing away, in fear that it will make us seem ungrateful for the wonderful new things happening, we are ignoring a part of our own hearts that needs the pain to be acknowledged. In allowing ourselves to observe and fully feel the pain even in the smallest things, we honor what was, and we allow ourselves to let it go and then fully be present and grateful in the now.
And you know what’s so incredibly beautiful about all of this? When you let yourself do this, you give yourself permission to feel everything more completely, including the present moment. In acknowledging the bittersweet heartache of my kids growing, each new stage bringing about the end of the previous one, I find myself so much more grateful for the present stages they’re in—wanting to soak in every detail and truly pay attention while it lasts.
So I’ll allow myself to feel a little sad that Eaden looks different (albeit every bit as cute) now that she has teeth, and that Isaac is looking less and less “little” lately as the last of his toddler chub disappears, and even that Seth no longer needs my help with most of his day-to-day tasks (yes, with that one I may be simultaneously grieving and cheering!)… but mostly I will hug them as often as I can, and notice the color of their eyes when I look at them, and pay as much attention as I can, as often as I can, to every detail. And I’ll take pictures (so many pictures), because every bit of it is worth remembering.

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Slow down and breathe

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With age 29 coming up for me in a few months, I have a some thoughts. For several years, I made lists on each birthday of the things I wanted to do and experience in the coming year. Often most of them didn’t happen—many times I carried them over to the next year, and the next. It’s not because I didn’t care enough to go after these things, it’s just that priorities tended to shift as life went on, with all of its unexpected twists and turns.

I’ve spent my 20’s primarily having and raising babies, as well as building a business from scratch, and often simply hoping to get all of the bills paid and put food on the table. All of these factors made things like international travel feel like a pipe dream. It is okay though. This doesn’t depress me because I know there will be time and resource for all of that in coming years.

My current everyday existence may appear less glamorous and exciting, but it is its own awesome adventure. This whole life-with-littles thing, it’s a get to. I get to be the one watching my beautiful children grow, day by day. I get to teach and love them, comfort and guide them; I’m witnessing their “firsts” and helping set the foundation their entire lives will be built on. And then I will get to see them spread their own wings and make their own amazing lives, and I’ll look back on these precious, fleeting days and I know I won’t wish that I’d gotten to travel more, or that I’d spent more hours hustling to build my career. I’ll just be glad for all the time I spent fully present with them—holding, listening, teaching, loving. This is something I aim to keep in mind constantly—may I always put this above all else, above “busy” and above work and above the to-do list. May I not allow “getting things done” to ever keep me from taking the time to pour into my kids with patience and grace. 

Europe will still be there in 10 years. So I’m not making a birthday list of things to check off during this final year of my 20’s. There will be no “30 Before 30”.
Instead, there’s this: whatever is happening in the current moment, whatever I am doing at any given time, may I be fully IN that. If I’m drinking a cup of coffee, may I notice and savor the flavor, the aroma, and the smooth feel of the mug in my hands. If I’m feeding Eaden, may I hold her tiny hand and look into her eyes rather than my phone. If I’m reading aloud to my boys, may I cuddle closer and put all other things out of my mind, enjoying the story along with them. If I’m in a conversation with someone (child, or adult) may I look them in the eye and focus solely on what they’re saying. May I notice things, pay attention to the details, and live in gratitude for all of it.

How often are we so busy that we even resort to attempting multiple tasks at once? We’re so pulled in multiple directions that we’re becoming incapable of focusing on just one thing, and in turn we aren’t giving our best to anything at all. In Teaching From Rest, Sarah Mackenzie writes,

“There just isn’t a way to steep yourself in this moment if you multitask your way through it. With the exception of automatic behaviors such as walking and talking, our brains can only attend to one thing at a time. What we usually think of as multitasking is actually task switching, and it is both an inefficient and ineffective way to work.”
and further—
“By definition, to be efficient is to achieve maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. But relationships don’t flourish or grow that way. Relationships need time, spent lavishly.”

We all too often prioritize efficiency over relationships, even though we know that people are always more important. Doing things differently requires intentionally going against the grain of our overly fast-paced culture, and unlearning the deep-seeded mindset we have learned from it. I recently came across a blog post on A Cup of Jo on “single-tasking” or “mono-tasking”. It was a great post, and yet I find it a little bit crazy that an entire new buzzword has been created for the concept of focusing on one thing at a time. Our cultural tendency to glorify “busy” has reached such an extreme that we now see simply doing one task at once as a novel idea. How often, when you ask (or are asked) how someone is doing, is the answer almost automatically some version of “Oh I’ve been crazy busy!”? I feel like this is almost always the case. It’s basically expected. Most of us live in a constant state of stress and rushing. We have paid steeply for our frenzied pace of life, in the form of chronic stress, anxiety, severe health problems, disconnected relationships, and a shocking inability to focus well or work well on anything.

For me, this is all the more evidence for the need to step off the crazy train and intentionally create slowness in my life and that of my family. Not only despite it being countercultural, but because it is. I want my children to know the art of just doing nothing, and the magical creativity that comes from boredom. I want our home to be a place to breathe—one of peace and unhurried life. I want to be able to honestly say that the pace of my life is not too much, because I’m living it at human speed and am leaving enough margin to actually breathe.

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my constant reminder.

Some further reading on this that I’ve enjoyed:

Discovering the Joy of Single Tasking
Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?)
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace
Faster Than the Speed of Life

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What We’re Reading

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May 2016 will go down in our family history as the month that Seth fell in love with reading. Before, he saw it more as work and rarely chose to try it outside of our school time. But all of a sudden something clicked and he has been enjoying it, and therefore getting substantially more adept at it very quickly. As a lifelong lover of books, this brings me so much joy. He turned 7 in February. I have no idea what the expected timeline is for reading in public schools. I’ve made a point of not really paying attention to it, because I know that there is so much evidence that early reading in no way leads to any advantage later, and in fact is likely to lead to more academic problems and less interest in reading for pleasure in later years. I knew that he would start when he was truly ready, since I provided plenty of material and opportunity. Seeing that actually happen, and seeing him choose to sit down with a book in his own free time, makes me so proud of us both. He is my first homeschooler after all- sort of my guinea pig- so it’s so nice to see that what we’re doing is working in a tangible, academic sort of way.

I too have been reading much more than I used to. I’ve made a habit of reaching for a book instead of turning on Netflix during my evening “chill time”, and this not only feeding my mind and filling my thoughts with such great things that are affecting my life in wonderful ways, but it’s also been so good for my sleep patterns. I’d heard for years that screen use in the last hour or two before bed negatively affects your sleep, but actually experiencing it has been so interesting. Last night Manny and I watched Game of Thrones together, and I had trouble falling asleep for the first time all week.

Anyway, I thought I’d share the books we’ve been enjoying lately, because I know I always love hearing what others are reading.

me:

One thing that has always been true about me is that I can’t just read one book at a time. Maybe it’s some sort of reader ADD? There are just so many interesting books, that any trip to the library (or to Amazon.com) leads to multiple books at once. But each eventually gets its time in the spotlight.
My main squeeze over the past week has been The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover // This book has been so timely and so, so good for me. It’s about health, and connected living, and doing the things that are good for you and make you happiest and most balanced. Which is so necessary because it means more to give to those who need us. I’ll probably write a whole post about this book eventually.
And now I’m about halfway through Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert // Creativity beyond fear—need I say more. I love Elizabeth Gilbert.
And these, I’m gradually making my way through, picking them up here and there for short bouts of inspiration:
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
How to Be a Wildflower by Katie Daisy // lovely visual inspiration
The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin // I read a page or two at a time for some quick conscious parenting inspiration. It’s so full of widsom.
and
Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle // One of my favorite authors of all time, writing about faith and art. I’ve been reading this little by little as a devotional of sorts.

 

homeschool and family read alouds (for Seth, age 7 and Isaac, age 4):

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman // a beautifully illustrated guide to nature
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White // our language arts and literature book at the moment, guided by Brave Writer
The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook by Clare Walker Leslie // a great month-by-month guide to observing nature
The Action of Subtraction by Brian P. Cleary // I love this “Math is Categorical” series for bringing math concepts and funny poetry together. Seth enjoys them and they make a great supplement to our math. We found them at the library.
Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck // Another way to add some fun to math, and encourage critical and mathematical thinking. We do one of the word problems together every week or so.
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey // this was a childhood favorite of mine—I love McCloskey!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
(countless other picture books get pulled from our shelves daily, but these are some recent favorites)

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seth (age 7):

Frog and Toad Together
by Arnold Lobel
The Solar System by Emily Bone
A Kiss for Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
The Magic Tree House (book 4) by Mary Pope Osbourne

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What are you and your kids reading right now?

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Adventure, etc.

I want to be honest for a moment, and I’m hoping I can express all this in a way that doesn’t sound horrible or whiney or ungrateful, etc.
Sometimes I get antsy. I feel too domestic for my own personality. If you’d asked me when I was 18 what I imagined my life would be like at 24, the words travel, spontaneity, and well, adventure would likely have been involved. I think at that point I pictured myself globe-hopping for my fabulous work as a successful documentary photographer, not really tied down, just being young and free. I thought I’d wait a while to have kids, even to get married.
Now, I want to be completely clear that I have zero regret over the path my life has taken. I met my husband when I was 18, graduated from college at 19, got married right before my 20th birthday, started my business at 20, and at 21 I became a mother. Now, at 24, I’ll be a mom of two boys and building my own business doing something I love. It has been a whirlwind and truly an adventure in its own amazing way. And I love it all. I’ll bet that my 18 year old self couldn’t have dreamed all that up for anything.
Still there is part of me that sometimes feels like I’ve become boring. I haven’t been outside the country in six years, and haven’t even been on plane in almost two. I don’t get out as much as the average 20-something, and really would usually rather get a bit of extra sleep. I keep a budget and get excited over saving $31.86 at the grocery store, and feel pretty accomplished if the house is clean by the time I go to bed at night. I love my work, but right now it is very local and does not grace the pages of major magazines. It is humble and small. Sometimes I look at other photographers, and other people, who are constantly jetting off to this awesome city and that beautiful country, who wear really awesome clothes and hang out with really awesome people all the time and generally seem so glamourous, and I feel a bit lame and domestic in my normal everyday existence and ache for more adventure.
But then I have to remind myself to stop comparing and embrace my own story. Raising young kids is for sure far less glamourous, but it is not less. It is the adventure I’m meant to be living at this point in time. It is an awesome gift, and a weighty, important responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I am also so thankful that I can have a career simultaneously, even if it has to be limited for a while. And thankful that I’m actually still young, and my kids will only be little for a while. They will grow, and my work and life will change yet again. I’ll be able to travel and take bigger jobs eventually, and do more of the things I used to dream of doing. Maybe I’ll get to share some of those adventures with my family. And I know for sure that I’ll miss this time when they’re tiny and need me all the time.
But now, if I can see my current everyday life for the beautiful adventure that it is, maybe I can be a model for my kids of living fully exactly where you are, and of looking inwardly rather than comparing oneself to everyone else. That is one of the greatest gifts I can give them, because one thing I have learned (and continue to re-learn) is that happiness is in the state of your mind and heart, not your outward situation.

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24.

So first I must tell you, yesterday we finally found out that baby #2 is a…

BOY!

I’ll have to share  some pictures from our reveal party, which proved to be such a fun way to find out with our family and friends. It’s still sinking in- I’m mom to two boys! Seth is going to have a little brother. I know it’s going to be amazing. Now we’re starting to discuss names, which is always interesting. At this point we seem far from any decisions.

In the midst of party preparations over the last few days, I never got around to finishing and posting my annual list on my birthday. Last year, I made a list and posted it here – things I wanted to do in the year to come.

Friday I turned 24, and as I looked back on that list I realized that one thing I’ve learned thus far in life is that flexibility is key. Plans changes, situations change, and rolling with it- allowing myself to be molded by change rather than resisting it- is a good idea.

So, here’s what happened with my list last year– 24 before 24:

1. Have a balanced and successful business — Well, I’m getting there. I feel like I’m definitely doing better than I was one year ago.
2. Go on a weekend getaway alone with my husband — Check! Some pictures here.
3. Take a family vacation somewhere cool — We had an amazing time in Key West in June. I shot it all on film. See here and here.
4. Make cardio exercise and yoga regular parts of my schedule again — I have been working on this, and getting back into now that a lot of the early-pregnancy sickness is over.
5. Take more pictures of the people I love — I have been, though I do want to be better about bringing my camera along when we go out.
6. Be a better friend — I hope so. So thankful for my friends.
7. Be more selfless and generous — A lifelong goal and learning process.
8. Grow technically and artistically as a photographer — I can definitely say I have this year. I feel good looking at work from a year ago and knowing I can do better now and that my vision is more refined.
9. Make Seth’s birthday cake from scratch — Well, it wasn’t totally from scratch, but I did make it. The cake part was from a box. Sometimes compromise is necessary :)
10. Get published — Yes indeed, in Palm Beach Woman Magazine. See here.
11. Travel to shoot a wedding — I didn’t. I’ve shifted focus to mostly portraiture. When I do shoot weddings they will be local for now, for the sake of my family.
12. Learn to make good bread from scratch — Going to have to move this one to my new list… :) I bought the book Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day– now I just have to try it out.
13. Bring Seth to the beach more often — Sure did! We’ve been loving it too.
14. Paint a mural on the wall of Seth’s room — Decided not to, but I do want to do some art for the kids’ room. See below.
15. Finally get Seth’s room all set up — We did, and now we’re doing an overhaul soon to make room for his brother or sister. I can’t wait to get it finished, with a crib and things on the walls.
16. Create a nice outdoor living area in our back yard — That is always a work in progress. We have twinkle lights on the fence now, and they make me smile.
17. Have friends over for dinner more often — We have a standing bi-weekly dinner date with a couple friends, and it’s been great.
18. Have more date nights with Manny — We try. Date days too.
19. Journal more consistently, on paper, just for me — Yes, and I’ve come to really need that again.
20. Take a dance class again — Hmm, someday I will.
21. Learn more Spanish and work on it with Seth too — I still want to, but it is so hard to find time devote to learning a language.
22. Read some of the books I’ve been meaning to get to — I did read more this year. It is such great stress relief/escape.
23. Start over with my garden and maintain it this time — Started over, yes. Maintained… well, can I blame it on 4 months of headaches and morning sickness? My basil is still doing great though! I think right now in my life, fairly low maintenance herbs are the way to go.
24. Use up some of my yarn stash with some fun crochet projects — I did a few projects, and I have plans for more as Christmas gifts.

So overall I feel like I accomplished quite a bit. I’ve been jotting things down for a few weeks now for my new list…

………………………….

25 before 25

1. Have another beautiful, peaceful homebirth.
2. Continue to work our way though the Total Money Makeover plan to financial peace.
3. Learn to make great bread from scratch.
4. Continue to see growth in my business and perfect my practices as a business owner. {Including but not limited to: mastering in-person order sessions, refining my client experience, being more organized, and marketing better}
5. Continue to grow in my craft and become a more skilled photographer; continue to refine my unique vision and voice, and shoot with authenticity.
6. Find a balance and rhythm as a mom of two and family of four.
7. Go on a family trip, hopefully to Maine. {This is somewhere I have literally always dreamed of bringing my family– it is such a special place to me.}
8. Have our family captured by a photographer I truly admire. {I have someone specific in mind, but I don’t want to name names until I know it’s going to happen.}
9. Seriously declutter and organize our home.
10. Express gratitude for the specific gifts I am given each day.
11. Acquire and master some new photo gear. New lens(es), and a medium format film outfit I hope.
12. Spend more time outside, especially during the cooler months.
13. Make the majority of the Christmas gifts we give this year, and actually get them finished before Christmas.
14. Be more present for my family on a daily basis- learn to be less distracted when it’s time to focus on them.
15. Do art projects with Seth more often. So worth the mess :)
16. Make habits of the things that make me feel healthy, like being active and avoiding the foods that make me feel crappy.
17. Write more often.
18. Shoot for myself regularly. Document my family. Remind myself that photography was first my passion, then my job.
19. Overcome my intense shyness and fear of people, and make deeper connections.
20. Become more involved in our church and get to know some people there.
21. Relax more. Combat my tendency to worry and stress with the peace that’s already within me.
22. Go for more walks on the beach. Also downtown, at the park, etc. Just lots of nice walks :)
23. Go see a band/musician I like live. I seriously didn’t do that at all in the last year, which was the first concert-less year in my recent memory. Not acceptable.
24. Put together a sweet room for my kiddos to share. I never got to do any type of “nursery” for Seth since we lived in a little one-bedroom apartment for his first seven months. SO this time I’m looking forward to reveling in the creative nesting instinct :)
25. Waste less time online. Life is too short, too precious- I want to live it actively.

………………………….

My husband made sure my birthday was really special, with a surprise prenatal massage in the morning, a great lunch out, and then dinner at a fabulous Indian restaurant! It was so nice to spend a relaxing day with my boys (all three, it turns out!). I’ve also recieved some really special things from family, including a Nook reader from my parents and my dad’s vintage Nikonos underwater film camera. I’m definitely feel super blessed in so many ways.

Last, but not least, Happy Halloween! : ) Have a wonderful day, friends!

xoxo

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us.

Last week, we sat by the ocean with our coffee and chai. People watching, wave watching. Talking about the memories we love and the future we look forward to. Together. We talked about how amazed we both are by our son. We felt kicks from the little one still inside. We grabbed my camera and, as we’ve done so many times before at concerts and on trips and just because, turned it on ourselves and I snapped away. He made goofy faces. We laughed. We wondered to each other why we sometimes forget how much we need this- this time alone, just us. It reminds us how in love we are, which we can lose sight of sometimes in the midst of everyday chaos. Yet that is really what holds us together, in that chaos. That we are still the two kids who fell for each other five years ago, that no matter what else happens we have that, only now it is deeper and realer and has solidified to the point where we are no longer complete without one another. One thing I have learned from four years of marriage is that making time for dates, even the cheap and free ones (in fact often especially those), is essential to the health of the entire household. We need that time to just be us.

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Community

Last Friday I spent the evening with an amazing bunch of artists and art lovers at a little coffeeshop in West Palm Beach (by the way if you are local and haven’t been to Harold’s, you’re missing out!) This gathering is called Lyrical, Ink. and it happens every month. I’ve known about it for a little while now, but last week was my first time going because getting away on a Friday night when you have a two year old is not quite easy. But now I’m determined to make it happen, every month if possible.

This night fed my soul in a way I needed so much more than I realized. The creative energy was palpable and alive- poets, musicians, actors, and visual artists- all in this safe environment trying out new material and sharing works in progress, and just sharing our love for the art and the process. I sat there surrounded by these people and just felt content, like I’d gotten back in touch with a part of myself that can be easy to forget in the midst of the million other things that life swirls around us every day. Oh yeah, while I adore my roles as mommy and wife and organizer of this home, etc., there is another part of me. And it is still there. It is the artist, the girl who is a creative being and has a need to connect with similar souls. We as humans have an intrinsic need for community, and I think we need it in different forms, too. For me, those forms are close family and friends, spiritual community (something I’m still kind of searching for), community with other moms (found in our great playgroup), and then last Friday night I found a piece that had been missing: creative community. I am so thankful.

I’ve posted more photos I took that night over on my photography blog, so do go check those out when you have a minute. Also, go like Lyrical, Ink.’s Facebook page, and if you’re in the area make plans to come to the next one, on October 21st!

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Faith

Back in June, I posted a bit about my spiritual journey. You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned it since. It is not for lack of things happening in that area, I assure you. It’s more that I’ve been unsure about how much to share, and how to put it into words.

In short, God is doing something in me. He is pulling me back to Himself in a way that is so undeniable, even to my sometimes slightly cynical self. In my search for what was actually true in the universe, I ended up back where I began: God. {Specifically, the Judeo-Christian God who has made Himself known to humanity since the beginning of time, and who became human and sacrificed Himself to mend the relationship that we broke in our attempt to be independent from Him.}

How I came back to this belief can only be explained as divine intervention, because I can tell you that at first my logic fought it kicking and screaming. God was patient with me. I began to be confronted over and over with that message that He wanted me back, that He is who has said He is, and that no I didn’t “blow it”. At first I told myself that it was all in my head, and that it sounds nice so of course I want it all to just be true. But the pull became incredibly strong, and the messages so “in-your-face” despite that fact that I was trying for a while to ignore them. Once I allowed myself to entertain the possibility of it being true after all, I prayed (talking to God directly for the first time in a few years) that He would help me to see the truth and to believe it, whatever it was. Then a floodgate of understanding opened up- understanding of what faith actually is, and understanding of how crazy His love for me is that he would pursue me and reveal Himself to me despite my stubbornness. But really, that is basically the common theme throughout the entire Bible- stubborn people being pursued by a relentless God, humbled and changed by His love and overwhelmed by His truth.

It can be difficult to accept, but I think there are some things that can simply never be grasped by the human mind- that will simply never make total sense to us. That is why faith has to be the foundation of a relationship with God. Faith… believing in things for which there is no proof. It’s the reason some of the more intellectual, scientific types think that “religious” people are crazy, brainwashed, misguided, uneducated, or simply buying into fairy tales. It’s the reason that in the midst of studying the Bible at a Christian university, I stopped believing it. I wanted everything to make sense to me- I wanted to understand it myself before believing. I wanted proof and logic. But I’ve come to understand that if my human brain could wrap around God and all his intricacies and vastness, He would not be a God worth following. Essential to His very nature is the fact that He is so beyond our comprehension.

The Bible says that now it’s like we’re looking “through a glass, darkly”. Our vision is obscured, and we lack the ability to see clearly. Studying and learning is definitely of great value, but we have to always keep in mind what faith means and how utterly important it is. Trusting that God is Truth and Love and that we can fully trust Him with confidence despite the fact that He’s beyond our mental ability to explain- that is Faith. That is how a relationship with Him works. If we choose to accept that, He with show us more of Himself. He will confirm our faith in so many profound ways- large and small- that trust becomes easier and deeper. His love for us becomes so much more than simply a concept- it can be felt and known. It becomes part of you and overflows into that way you live and think. That is a Christianity based on faith and relationship- not rules or doctrine or rituals, but faith and love and the hope they bring.
That is the only Christianity I want in my life.
And the fervor with which I desire it (desire God in my life) grows every day. It takes me by surprise, and I find myself aching for Him in a magnetic kind of way- craving that relationship, more closeness, more knowledge of Him, more Faith.

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Real life

I have been at a loss for words when it comes to this blog lately. What to share? I’ve tended to be so introspective, even withdrawn. This pregnancy has been hard on me physically and emotionally. I envisioned this vibrant, active time, and instead I have been sick and in pain (with migraines) practically every day for the last few months. It is discouraging. And my mind fills with worries, about being good enough for these two souls I’ve been entrusted with. About being enough, and having enough. I’ve been in such a delicate place that I tend to fold in on myself a bit… self-preservation.

And so I have written little, and my camera has sat almost completely unused when it comes to personal work. There has been the same roll of film in my F5 for weeks and weeks. I wonder if I’ve lost my creativity. My mind feels dry. And I miss the creative flow so much.

I know it is temporary. I’m starting my second trimester and should start feeling better soon. And I would hate to sound entirely negative- it definitely hasn’t been all bad. There is joy, and excitement about this new member of our family. Seth and his antics keep me laughing. I’m happy to be in love and planning to celebrate four years of marriage in a few weeks.

I have such a drive to focus on this little family- more and more I’m realizing again how precious and utterly important they are. I crave real life, and real relationships. I am tired right now of the internet and the separateness it allows in our lives- communicating without connecting, wasting hours with nothing to show for it at all. I want to disconnect more from this screen so I can connect with myself, and my family and friends, and the world in a tangible way. But writing is soothing, so I’m not saying goodbye here. I hope that as my heart gets stronger again I’ll have more to say.

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