It’s Good to Be Home

Life has been a little cray around here lately—and by lately, I mean for months. I spent most of last fall and this winter either not feeling good or trying to catch naps whenever possible thanks to pregnancy. I’m excited¬†to be expecting again so it’s fine and definitely worth it but it also feels like a chunk of my life is missing from those hazy months.

IMG_20170509_103347_440Spring rolled around and we got busy with travel, lots of company coming to visit, and all kinds of miscellaneous crazy. It’s been a fun couple of months packed full of people and places I love—but oh my word, I’m ready for some down time with my boys.

Sunday, my parents packed up and headed home after a two-week visit. We had a great time with them (and everyone else who’s come to visit over the last couple of months). But when Monday rolled around and I sat alone in my quiet house (as quiet and alone as things ever are with a two-year old running around ūüėČ ), I have to admit, it felt nice to watch the dust settle on my life for a bit. IMG_20170508_204442_403I sat down with my day planner to figure out what’s next and it was really nice to see that nothing major is on the agenda for the next few weeks. I even cancelled a couple things I had planned on doing just to free¬†up the weekends and spend a little extra time enjoying my boys before the next wave of activity hits. IMG_20170509_094322_351These next three (hopefully) quiet¬†weeks feel sacred and I’m doing my best not to add anything unnecessary to our days.

This week its felt nice just to catch up on¬†laundry, go grocery shopping,¬†cook a meal in my kitchen, and sit¬†around the table with my little family. Sometimes I get tired of the¬†routine that comes with being a wife and stay-at-home momma—the endless cycle of laundry, dishes, meals, errands, and diapers. IMG_20170508_204110_747He’s a cute little imp but trust me when I tell you, he’s a holy terror to grocery shop with ūüėÄ

But the exhaustion and busyness of the last few months have shown me how valuable and peaceful these little routines can be. When we’re frantically moving from¬†one¬†thing to the next, just trying to keep our heads above water, it’s easier to recognize and crave the value of quiet days at home with the people who matter most.

IMG_20170508_204252_318So for the next few weeks, I’m savoring the quiet and the routine. I’m enjoying the time with my boys and preparing for my baby girl. Life will change tremendously in a couple months when our daughter is born. So until then, I’m holding onto and enjoying life as it is—and not allowing guilt or¬†the American¬†obsession with busyness to distract and pull at me.

Our days are numbered and short. Our people are precious. These are the things I’m keeping in mind and wrapping my heart around today ‚̧

Life is Funny

I walk along the coast, son at my side gathering rocks, shells, and feathers into a bucket. We weave in and out of the shallow waves, toes sinking in the sand. He stays close by my side, enjoying the water but not quite trusting it either.

img_20150818_093735.jpg

20150817_173054.jpegThis is how he will remember childhood–summer days at the lake or beside the ocean.¬†The salty, tangy smell of water will remind and take him back to the¬†sand and waves where he adventured from the time he could first walk.

untitled2

img_20160821_221843.jpgHow strange it seems that what will someday call my son to¬†remember and reminisce remains a novelty to me.¬†My¬†childhood¬†was¬†red barns and cornfields, gravel roads¬†and¬†barn kittens. Though I love New England, My heart belongs to the Midwest prairie–and yet that is a place my son will barely know.

11888606_10153051917861517_2367611223289476440_o

img_20150830_100621.jpgThe Midwest will be a place he goes every¬†once and a while¬†to visit grandparents and family. He will hear me talk about it and¬†perhaps he will¬†always say “ya” like his Midwest momma–but it will¬†probably never be a place he really knows or loves.

Life is a funny thing–the way it twists and turns and you never quite know for sure where you’ll end up. Every time I ride the train into Boston or watch the sun set over the water, I wonder how I got here. When we ride our bikes into the heart of our quaint New England town–past maple trees and shimmering lake,¬†colonial homes and old, old, old cemeteries–I am struck by the foreign strangeness of it all.

DSC_0251And yet this place is becoming familiar too. After nearly nine years, Massachusetts is as much home to me as Missouri ever was.¬†I’ve come to love the cities and beaches, the summers spent camping in Vermont or eating at all our favorite burger stands. I¬†anticipate¬†the gorgeous falls wading through colorful leaves, sipping¬†apple cider, and chasing the sun through the last days of warmth before we descend into these unforgivable winters.

DSC_0530DSC_0527This is where my son was born, where I brought him home brand new and where I’ve learned to be his mother. This is where I’ve grown in love for my husband over the years–where we’ve gotten to know each other and learned to live life side by side through all the good and bad. This is where I’ve grown as a woman–from the girl I was when I moved here at 22, fresh out of college and newlywed.

This place has changed me, grown me, become a part of me. New England lives in my heart now. And though I’m still surprised every single summer to find myself standing beside the ocean, how thankful I am for all the unpredictable places life takes us and for the beautiful adventure this life in New England is.

 

November.

Autumn¬†dazzles and keeps us ever looking up, up, up at orange and red and golden leaves set aflame against New England’s cobalt skies. We rode our bikes into town the other day and soaked up the magic of crunching leaves and the whole world smelling like a big cup of hot tea.

img_20161018_152230.jpg

My son, two years old, stood in wonder beneath maple trees and watched as still and quiet as I’ve ever seen him as the leaves came raining down in a sharp breeze.

img_20161018_150320983.jpg

img_20161010_185711.jpg

This is the time of year when my wandering heart find its way home after hot summer days spent away camping and traveling and chasing the sun while she’s ours.

img_20141102_123741

Today I sit with my second cup of hot coffee and enjoy the smell of the house filled with dinner¬†simmering on the stovetop. Tonight we’ll light a fire and gather around for a few quiet moments as a family before we slip to bed and start again tomorrow.

img_20161025_185336.jpg

I used to dread this time of year because it means a long, cold winter is soon upon us. But¬†this time around I’m actually grateful for¬†the cold giving me a reason to spend some slower, quieter days at home with my people.

Summer will come again and we will go outside and travel and play and chase all those glorious golden rays. But for now, for today, I’m happy right here with my hot cup of coffee and the smell of dinner on the stovetop.

Happy November ūüôā

Frosty Enchantment

God says we are made in his image—we humans somehow carry with us the¬†likeness of the God who made us, in part, like himself. But it is in nature I best see the breaths and fingerprints of my God. That’s not to say I don’t see¬†God’s handiwork in people—it’s just that people are always in motion, and for me at least, more difficult to study and learn from. But nature moves at a steady pace and watching the stars drip evening light out of the night sky or listening to the magnificent roar of thunder rumbling down around us somehow speaks far more deeply to me about the things of God.

DSC_0970

We are just two steps into November and already frost kisses the brown and gray things with glittering light—robing all that now seems dead in one last moment of beauty and enchantment.

DSC_0972

It’s a rare moment these days when I find time to pull my camera out. But sometimes the light or the shadow out my window pulls too strongly to stay busy inside and I find myself instead kneeling close to the ground, enjoying the weight of the camera in my hands, and trying click after click to capture what it is that brought me outside searching in the first place.

DSC_0971

Today, it was the frost sprinkled like star dust through the grass and leaves and the way the morning light danced in rainbows through the¬†frozen drops of¬†dew. And it’s here, knee-deep in grass, camera chasing the sun through frost, that I see God in my midst. I see him making dead things beautiful and breathing glittering light into things we might think are¬†done and gone and no more needed.

DSC_0982

I see God making me new and somehow beautiful in his sight when I would be dead and useless apart from his light. I see the enchantment of frost sparkling on leaves and in that light, I see his light, shining too in you and me.

He can make you new. He can give you life. He can make all things beautiful in his time. I know, because he’s doing so in me.