Tuesday, December 18, 2012

senses: oranges and baby silhouettes


Hearing: Christmas tunes in the morning, Sufjan Stevens, A Charlie Brown Christmas, She & Him  
Touching: little baby fingers tightly grasping mine // warm PJs fresh from the dryer
Seeing: baby shaped silhouettes against the soft, early morning light streaming through the curtains
Tasting: fresh fruit from the fruit bowl, bananas, green apples, and juicy little oranges
Smelling: little orange peels in the sink // that sweet, milky, baby skin smell

Inspired by Katie's Pencil Box.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On Motherhood: All the Pieces on the Floor

What is it about motherhood that breaks your heart into millions of tiny little pieces and scatters them all over the floor?

A few nights ago, I found myself with a couple of uninterrupted hours and it was glorious. I went to a coffeehouse, wrote, researched, then I went home, fed my baby, put him to sleep, ordered the next size of his diapers, and went to bed. And that's when an arrow suddenly penetrated the center of my heart.



Why is he growing up? Why can't he stay a little boy, a little baby forever? In the course of one week, he has outgrown most of his 3 month clothes, moved out of his bassinet, and now he needs the bigger diapers. How am I supposed to handle this? Motherhood is an entirely new kind of heartbreak. Every day, he will need me less and less, until he grows up and walks out the door, moving on with his life. Why must it happen this way? Every time I look at him sleeping, or watch his mouth grow into a gummy grin, I get this inexplicable feeling of my insides vaporizing and floating onto the ground. It tears me apart.  I think it's because, even as I cherish these moments, I see him growing before my very eyes, growing up and away. I want to bottle up each smile, each sound, and store it right beside my heart, no, inside my heart, forever. But there just isn't enough room! And so the pieces of this joy are just left scattered on the floor, trailing behind me everywhere I go. Do you see what I mean?

This advent season, as I celebrate the birth of Jesus, I also mourn with Mary, who too "treasured up all these things in her heart" as she watched her sweet baby boy grow up and away. Poor Mary, with all the pieces of her mother heart scattered on the floor.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

morning, noon, night: a december tuesday





Inspired by Beauty That Moves. I don't have a fancy camera, or a smartphone, or any photography skills, so I tend to neglect capturing simple everyday moments like these, but this beautiful series just keeps nudging at me to pull out my ol' point and shoot anyway. Hopefully these will become more common (and of better quality) over time. Let me know if you have any tips!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude

I tend to prefer the word gratitude to thankfulness. Thankfulness reminds me more of a once-a-year obligation, or proper etiquette, or a brief note following a gift. Those things are good, but gratitude is a mindset, a daily lifestyle. When you're truly grateful for something, it lingers. It doesn't wax and wane based on your life circumstances that day or month or year. You feel it despite life's normal ups and downs, despite the everyday annoyances. It's a deep contentment in your soul that you can't help but dwell on when life slows down. That's how I feel about this guy:

I'm talking about the grown man here, not the baby. Though he's pretty swell, too. Check out that snarl!
I'm thankful for all the little things he does each day: The way he looks at me and tells me I'm beautiful no matter how many times I roll my eyes; How hard he works each day so that I can do my dream job, and how intentional he is about making time for family each day in spite of his busyness; How tender he is with our little son, and how sensitive he is to my needs at the end of the day. But, even on the days when our relationship isn't as picturesque and I feel a little frustrated, I am still so truly grateful, for his constant presence in my life. I am grateful to have a partner to go through life with. I am grateful to have a mirror reflecting my true nature back at me. I am grateful to have a picture of God's love and dedication towards me, when I can't see or feel God on my own, especially when He seems absent for months, years at a time. I am grateful for a husband who God uses to hold my faith together.


What are you grateful for in your life? And don't forget to read how some other folks are blessed! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Super Simple DIY: Homemade Cloth Wipes

For some reason, when I decided to do cloth diapers with baby O, I was like, "But I won't do cloth wipes because that's just crazy." Then every time I used a wipe I wanted to just drop it on the dirty diaper and throw it in the pail like you would with disposable diapers, but I had to put it in a separate trash can instead. If I used cloth wipes, I cold just include them in the diaper laundry that I'M ALREADY DOING. Duh. So I did a little research and found that I could use some stuff I already had around the house to make this happen. Decision made. I'm going for it.

Step 1. Gather up a couple of those precious receiving blankets that are clearly made for itty bitty tiny little infants, of which we have none (Hello 9lb. newborn!). If you were smart enough to not even get any of these, you can probably find some at a thrift store because nobody uses them. Or you can use whatever the heck fabric you want.



Step 2. Cut 'em up into wipe-size pieces (I got 12 roughly 7.5x9.5 in. wipes out of each blanket) and sew the edges so they won't fray apart in the washing machine. I did a zig zag stitch around all four sides of each wipe. Full disclosure: I didn't even know how to use our sewing machine until now, but this is a GREAT sewing project for beginners because it's simple and it doesn't matter whatsoever if it looks terrible. Of course, you could still make them look really cute if you wanted to.


Step 3. There are many ways to go about dampening cloth wipes, but I chose the spray method with a homemade Olive and Tea Tree Solution, since we already had all the ingredients on hand. You can find a ton more options here. For the Olive and Tea Tree Solution, combine the following and pour into the spray bottle:

1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp baby soap
a drop of tea tree oil

It sparkles like liquid gold when you're done!
Step 4. Throw the wipes into an old wipes dispenser for convenience sake and put it and the spray bottle near your changing station. Then you can just grab a wipe and shake and spray before each use.



Bam. Homemade cloth wipes. And I didn't even have to leave the house.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Well, so much has happened in the past year that I thought a new post was warranted.

Well, so much has happened in the past year that I thought a new post was warranted. Most recently, Andy accepted a job teaching High School math at Howard, which is where he REALLY wanted to be, so that is wonderful news. I am really excited for him to start in August. Howard is where our neighborhood and a lot of the surrounding neighborhoods are zoned for, so it will be really neat to be more involved in the community in that way. I can't wait to help him prepare his classroom and tag along to after-school events and hear about all his experiences! He's going to be an amazing teacher. I have no doubt about that.

In February, I started a new job with CSM. I am doing basically what I did before, but on a part-time basis because [new thing #3] we have a baby on the way! He or she should be arriving at the end of the summer, within weeks of Andy starting his new job. Needless to say, things are going to be a little crazy at our place this fall, but we are SO excited. For all of it. I've been tracking my pregnancy, etc. at thebcfamily.tumblr.com which will basically be our family scrapbook from here on out, but I'll probably continue posting random thoughts and nonsense on here every few months/whenever the heck I feel like it.

As for the next 2-3 months, before the whirlwind begins, well lately I have gotten into the habit of repeating the phrase "These are the last days of our youth!" over and over again to Andy/myself. Because, let's be honest, times are a little scary and money is a little tight and the future is a whole lot unpredictable. Neither one of us really knows what life will be like in the fall, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride there, eh?