God’s World

God’s World

sunrise
The sunrise over the Nansemond River on my commute this morning.

God’s World
BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
     Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
     Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
     But never knew I this;
     Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Source: Renascence and Other Poems (Harper & Brothers, 1917)


Learn more about Edna St. Vincent Millay.

One Thing: Bamboobies

One Thing: Bamboobies

One Thing: Where I share one thing that is making my life better or bringing me joy.

bamboobiesIn honor of World Breastfeeding Week and Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I thought I’d share one thing that I am loving and is helping me with breastfeeding: Bamboobies!

These washable nursing pads are made of the softest and most absorbent materials, bamboo and hemp. They are so comfortable, I often forget I’m even wearing the the daytime ones. In a pinch I have had to use Lansinoh and Madela disposable nursing pads a few times, and they were FAR from comfortable and I was definitely NOT about to forget I was wearing them.

Overnight Bamboobies are effective even when Fiona sleeps through the night (which is 90% of the time these days), and that’s coming from a stomach sleeper! One time recently I forgot to put them on and, of course, I leaked right through my shirt…

So Bamboobies for the win this week!

You can try a pair of Bamboobies FREE August 3-10, you just pay S&H ($2.99)! Go to BuyBamboobies.com to get yours!

**This is not an ad or paid promotion, I just really love this product.**

The past five months

The past five months

Fiona

It’s hard to believe five months have already passed since Fiona joined our family, hard and yet easy. Because in some ways it feels like our family couldn’t be complete without her, like she must have always been a part of us.

She turned five months old today and I’m definitely feeling all the feels. Disaster struck the highways today (a bridge stuck open) and it took me twice as long as usual to get home. I only got to see my girl for about 45 minutes before she went down. But that time was so special. She ate and we snuggled. She played on a blanket on the floor while I ate. She showed off new tricks.

Fiona rolled over onto her tummy, something we’ve seen evidence of, but never got to watch her do, then she looked at us and grinned as if to say “Did you see me? Did you really see me?” Read more

Rhythms

Rhythms

Rhythms

I crave rhythms. Thrive on rhythms. And when Fiona was born, it completely changed our rhythms. In fact, for the first few months, there was only the remotest semblance of rhythm. I was just figuring it out when I had to start back to work and that threw us for a loop.

Fiona is almost 5 months old (already!) and I am determined to start developing some new rhythms for our life. And our life is full, very full. Husband and I both work full time, I have two hours of commuting every day, I drop off and pick up Fiona from her nanny’s every day, washing bottles and diapers, feeding Fiona and putting her to sleep; washing, drying, folding laundry; farmer’s market Saturdays; camping weekends; and it goes on and on.

It’s a lot.

But I know we can do it.

I want to do it.

I want to collect eggs from the chicken coop and carve out the time to ride my pony. I want to sit and read and drink a cup of tea. I want activity to be a regular part of my life — long walks, bike rides, canoeing, kayaking, hiking etc. I want to be fully present with Fiona. I want to attend church and dive into small group regularly.

Little things are helping me develop the rhythms I need to make it work. A few things that I think will work for me:

  • Throw a load in the wash at night, dryer in the morning, folding in the evening. (And asking Husband to put away his own clothes!)
  • Baby laundry once a week, might need a few more outfits.
  • Diaper laundry twice a week, might need a few more diapers. (Also, hanging a clothes line in the backyard so I’m not hanging covers all around my pantry/laundry room.)
  • Baking: Once a week maybe? Mondays?
  • Getting up early. I am so NOT a morning person, but if I can manage to get up at 5am, I’ll have time for a cup of tea and breakfast before I hit the road.
  • Robotic vacuum. I so, so want one. Having a Roomba would help keep up with the dog hair situation (not to mention dirt from the garden, flyaway flour from making pizzas, and the errant leaves that always come in on the produce we pick).
  • Keeping the sink clear of dirty dishes. Everything must go directly into the dishwasher (this especially helps when it’s time to bathe the babe, because we do sink baths!)

I’m sure I will come up with a few more, but these will hopefully make a good start to our new rhythm!

Getting nothing done

Getting nothing done

It’s amazing how quickly a whole day can pass by without me feeling like I’ve gotten anything done. Especially at the beginning, when just breastfeeding took forever and Fi and I were both just trying to get the hang of it. Especially on these days when Fi is extra snuggly, a little fussy and has a stuffy nose. She just wants Mama. Especially when the nights are long and I’m dragging a bit all day. Especially when we have doctor appointments or some other commitment that takes half our morning or afternoon.

Little Fiona Rose Marie

I loved this article that my doula shared about just this very thing. This part, in particular, spoke to me:

There is no greater task than the nothing you did yesterday, the nothing you are doing today, and the nothing you will do tomorrow. Caring for a baby is all about the immediate experience, yet the first two years are all about investment. It’s give, give, give, and give some more. These are hard-fought, rough-and-tumble years that can cut us down to our core and take us soaring high above the clouds, all in the space of 5 minutes. And yes, as you do the hardest work of your life, it will seem like you’re not getting anything done at all. Crazy, huh?

So the next time you find yourself wondering how another day is gone and nothing is done, stop. Hold your baby — feel the way that tiny body strains to contain this giant soul — complete, and full of potential all at the same time. Take a deep, slow breath. Close your eyes and measure your day not as tasks, but as feelings, as sounds, as colors.

Fiona and me

Every day, during my matetnity leave and after, I want to remember: There is no greater task than the nothing you did yesterday, the nothing you are doing today, and the nothing you will do tomorrow.

Fiona and Daddy

Winter Light

Winter Light

I know that as a Northern girl living in southern Virginia, I feel out of place at times. Winter doesn’t really feel like winter here.

It’s gray and brown and dull. It rains and mud proliferates everywhere. It’s rather depressing. I was reminded just how much I miss my northern winters this morning.

I awoke with the sun shining in my windows, and as I opened my eyes to it I knew without a doubt that there was snow on the ground. I didn’t need to look out the window. I didn’t need to slip on my glasses.

I could tell simply by the quality of light this morning that the sun’s rays were bouncing off the white crystals in the yard and producing an almost magical bright light for the world.

So when I tell my southern friends that I miss the snow, it isn’t just the skiing or the crunch under my feet. It isn’t just the beauty of a wood covered with a fresh blanket of white — unsoiled by human touch. It is the very sun itself and the way it shines through my windows on a chilly winter’s morn.

sunshine

Savor

Savor

My word for the year: savor

I’ve been reflecting a little on 2015 and considering what this year has to bring. It’s interesting how years don’t go exactly like you plan…

My word for 2015 was “settle.” Life had been crazy, hectic, with lots of growth and change and newness. So much of that was good, but hard, and it was wearing me down. I wanted to breathe. To be.

It didn’t go exactly as I planned. It was still kind of crazy (pregnancy), intense (new wood floors installed in the ENTIRE house), stressful (employee turnover), but I did settle. I worked on making Suffolk our home, on cultivating relationships here, on learning my new position with determination to perform well.

Now we start a brand new year, with a brand new baby due in just two short weeks. This year will be unlike any other (of course, I could say that every year). It will be the only year that we have our first little one. It will be the only year that we become parents.

So this year, in spite of the exhaustion and busyness that comes with have a new babe (folded laundry may be a thing of the past), I want to savor each and every minute. Because we will never be able to go backward and retrieve this time with our first little one.

So there it is, savor.

The good (baby snuggles), the bad (complete lack of sleep), the new (so many firsts in that first year!), the mundane (yet another diaper change?) — I want to soak it all in, each and every day.

More thoughts on just what that looks like to come. For now, I’m savoring the last few weeks of my only first pregnancy.

Half way there

Half way there

It’s hard to believe I’m already half way through this pregnancy. At first, the days seemed to drag on (24/7 nausea, excessive saliva production, and constant fatigue will do that). But for the last several weeks, time has just flown by. Before I know it, the holidays will be here and gone and the baby will be arriving.

I’m trying to savor the moment though, now that the majority of the nausea has subsided (thank you Diclegis!).

I’m starting to find it harder to do certain things, like bending over (squishes the baby) or squeezing through tight spaces (can’t suck this belly in). I’m also finding it a little harder to concentrate sometimes as Baby wiggles and kicks and flips around in my belly distracting me from whatever is at hand. For some reason, while I’m driving seems to be one of Baby’s favorite active times…

I’m savoring the feeling though, because it won’t always be like this. I want to be able to look back and say I enjoyed it while it lasted.

We’re working away at our pre-baby project list and planning our 5 year anniversary vacation to New England. Hard to believe it’s almost fall already. I’ve had the windows open the last few days and it’s been downright chilly when I go out to feed before dawn (48* this morning!). As a self-proclaimed lover of all things fall, I’m beyond excited for the change in weather. I even brought out the plaid and red boots.

Fall pregnancy

So here’s to enjoying a lovely fall, not being too busy, and prepping for the lovely little addition that will be joining us soon =).

Pre-Baby Projects

Pre-Baby Projects

I’m trying to enjoy this season of pregnancy (as much as I can with the incessant nausea still sticking around at 19 weeks…). But one way to view our wonderful January 22 due date is as a deadline of sorts.

There are the obvious pre-baby projects like setting up the nursery that need to happen, and there are those projects that I think will be helpful for our new rhythm and routine of life when it changes forever in 2016.

A few things on the list:

  • Pay off my truck
  • Purchase a second baby-friendly vehicle (this might not happen until after baby, but we can start looking once the truck is paid off)
  • Get a new roof (before hurricane season!)
  • Wood floors installed throughout the house
  • Remove sliding glass door in dining room, install french doors
  • Paint sun room, nursery closets, front porch, nursery closet doors
  • Paint shutters, front door, trim
  • Install shelves in the pantry, study and garage to enable us to organize
  • Organize study, books and sewing/craft stuff, purge anything unnecessary, cull 1/4 (roughly 300) books!
  • Organize clothes and purge (both Husband and me)
  • Organize pantry/laundry items, store breakables on high shelves
  • Organize, purge, put away breakables in dining room
  • Start some new habits: one full load of laundry from hamper to drawers each day, 15 minute cleanup at the end of each day
  • Set up and decorate the nursery, organize baby items
  • Turn the study into a study/guest room
  • Make some freezer meals!
  • Clean up/organize the barn before baby and winter
  • Install dog door and fenced area for Ginger
  • Prepare for winter: buy firewood, purchase/set up electric buckets/stock tank heaters, enclose barn entry, install sliding stall door, fix fireplace damper
  • Go on a REAL vacation!! (Our 5th anniversary is coming up and we’re combining that celebration with a final pre-baby trip, heading up to Vermont to view the fall foliage.)

The goal is to get all of these things done before November. Then November, December and January can be spent keeping up with work (the busiest time of year), enjoying the holidays with family, and resting at home before Baby arrives. I have visions of spending the fall/winter curled up on the couch with a good book, a roaring fire and a warm blanket. (Maybe not the reality of the last few months of pregnancy, but a girl can dream!)

Belly and a book

Coming January 2016…

Coming January 2016…

You may (or may not) have noticed I’ve been conspicuously absent from this space. Except for a few book reviews, I haven’t had much to say this summer.

The delay was for a good reason though, I’ve been dealing with things like morning sickness for the past few months =).

So happy to announce that coming in January 2016, we’ll be welcoming our first little one!

Announcing our pregnancy

I’m 18 weeks, still feeling sick most of the time, but extremely excited. We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, and we’ve decided to wait and be surprised come January. That makes some parts of pregnancy a little tricky (we don’t want to call our baby “it” after all), but also makes me so excited.

So this summer has been full of a lot of survival. Laundry didn’t get done, the house didn’t get cleaned, the dog didn’t get bathed. But I managed to survive (and eat a ton because I was ALWAYS hungry), we got through our first summer at the farmer’s market and even got a new roof put on the house. I’m hoping that as summer winds down and we move into fall, life will find some semblance of normal again (wishful thinking?) as we tackle a few more house projects and prepare for our new arrival.

Pregnancy

Surfer baby coming January 2016

pregnancy

Surfer baby coming January 2016