I’ll Be Outside

It was 70 here Tuesday and Wednesday—70 degrees and a warm breeze in February is pure magic if there is any such thing in the world. The kids and I spent almost all of both days outdoors—Roman in the mud, Aletheia on a blanket with the wind curling her soft baby hair, and I chasing the sunshine around the porch and yard and breathing so, so deeply for the first time in months; I felt almost like myself for a minute.

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After we got the kids in bed Wednesday, I stood in front of the mirror and stared at my reflection for a moment; “I know that girl,” I thought. My hair, normally pulled up tight (to keep my daughter’s hands out of it) was a tad windswept with a couple shorter locks in the front framing my face. There was dirt on my flowy white shirt from playing with my son—a bit wild and untame—like the landscape, like the weather.

IMG_20180221_162934_494.jpgI spent a good bit of time Wednesday surveying our yard and dreaming up plans to clean things up and landscape it into something really beautiful this spring. Five years ago when we bought this place, both the house and yard were in complete disarray. While we’ve made huge gains on both, the yard and wooded tree line have certainly lagged behind.

Darren spent the fall building a rock wall out of fieldstone that will wrap around a patio area by the backporch. Right now that whole area is a mud pit (Roman’s favorite place….he will be so sad when we clean it up). We plan to finish the wall and patio this spring, add a fence around the backyard to keep the kids in sight and away from the road and dream of nights with friends around a campfire under the stars, grilling out, letting the kids play in a green grassy yard, and swinging on the porch swing in the sunshine.IMG_20180222_142957_295.jpgLast summer, while my family was here waiting for our daughter’s birth, my dad worked tirelessly on our tree line—removing brush, trimming trees, and opening the area up into a beautiful park-like look instead of an overrun jungle. Roman still talks about helping papa with the trees and I still love looking out my kitchen window at the area he cleared. But there’s still so much to do and I’m chomping at the bit waiting for warm weather so I can get outside and start working.IMG_20180222_143314_684.jpgI have plans for a small vegetable garden, a clothesline to let our laundry dry in the sun, and a sandbox for Roman to replace the mud he loves. We will be finishing and screening in our backporch so I’m watching for just the right pieces to turn it into a cozy little boho, plant-loving, Persian-rugs-everywhere corner where we can sit and soak up the breeze and sunshine (and hide from the bugs—I forgot about the bugs until they woke back up with the warm weather).

IMG_20180222_143114_009.jpg{Baby feet and chubby thighs forever please}

It snowed yesterday and today and we are back to the white winter landscape we know to expect this time of year in New England. Darren is home today and I came downstairs this morning to a fire in the fireplace and a baby asleep in his arms. As I write these words and sip my hot coffee, I’m reminded that everything will be okay, will keep moving forward, changing and growing—me, the weather, my kids, even the yard. None of us are done yet and that’s okay.

20180221_170753.jpg {On our walk to the lake Wednesday}

I know this isn’t my normal kind of post. But the truth is, I wasn’t planning on sharing anything today. I’ve felt so weary and dreaded the thought of writing yet again about struggles and learning. I know the challenges of this particular season of motherhood will pass. I know winter too will pass, and sooner than it feels right now. But while I’m in the thick of it, it’s hard especially in my writing which tends to be so honest, to pretend all is right and well. So rather than complain and turn this space into something dark and dreary, I’m tempted not to write at all until this period of baby blues and winter weather is a memory.

But for today, I’ll meditate on the goodness—the warm breeze in February, the dreams enlivening my sometimes weary heart, and the hope for tomorrow. Things will get better; I know they will. And until they do, I’ll be over here pulling weeds both in my heart and in my backyard, dreaming of sunshine, and looking for a reflection I recognize in the mirror.

 

7 thoughts on “I’ll Be Outside

  1. I have been wanting to get over here to read this post. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. It has been cold here also, and although we have started to get some things done outside, our tree line is really in need. I look at the dead limbs and want to go crazy with my loppers, but know once the leaves finally appear, so will the desolate look of our tree line. Thank you for being you and for this post, you have encouraged me.

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    • Last year when we were in Greenville in late March, I was so excited about a few days of warmer weather. It was in the 70s the week before and after we were there but not so much during our visit of course! Oh well.
      Everything is covered over in snow here again so I’m feeling less ambitious about tackling the yard but I know as soon as it starts to green up and warm up I’ll be begging Darren to teach me how to the chainsaw again πŸ™‚ Have a nice weekend :]

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  2. Loved the pictures, loved your post. Winter is always a difficult time..cold and dreary, but we really wouldn’t appreciate Spring nearly so much without going thru winter. The same thing in our spiritual walk..hard times of leaning on God for dear life, just hoping to get thru the day, give us a much greater appreciation for the good, smooth flowing days He grants us in His great mercy.

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    • I was thinking today, a very cold rainy day, that if it were up to me I would never go through winter—the season, spiritually, in the lack of opportunities, whatever. I don’t like the “dead” times when life feels cold and hard. But without winter and the opportunity it gives to let all things rest and renew, I would burn out and not have the energy and strength I need for the green seasons that are busy and full of life and opportunity.
      I feel God moving me to take this season and use it as it as an opportunity to spend more time with him and get to know his word and heart better. I know in my heart that winter will melt into spring, both in nature and in life ❀

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