it's somewhat of a tradition that in june, we head to indiana for some time with family & a bit of a respite. the past two summers, it's been just ellie & me, in the midst of a deployment -- weary, needing some home cooking and time with family.
this year, ryan was home & able to join us for the first few days. i expected this trip to be less emotional, but as life often does -- being there hit me in ways i didn't quite expect. first of all, simply see ryan & ellie, together, after longing for that two summers in a row was so moving. the first night, the three of us ended up at this park that was a saving grace for e & me during our deployment trips there. as i sat in the grass, under the shade of a big tree, eating chili cheese fries (thank goodness for unexpected food trucks!) - i found tears rolling down my cheeks as i watched ellie take ryan to all her favorite things. i just got to sit there, and watch them, feeling a little one kick in my belly and soaking up how far we had come in a year. sure, it could totally be pregnancy hormones, but to me, it was even more this profound reminder of the abundant grace that we made it through. we were there, hands held, hearts full, as a (growing) family.
the next few days were spent with my extended family at a lake where i grew up spending summer weekends. the photo of ryan & ellie on the pier is so incredible to me -- to get to share this place that's been so significant in my life, with those two, still sort of knocks me over. it's about a two hour drive from my parent's house, so when we arrived, ellie was eager to run (so was I!) -- she headed straight for the pier. as we walked out, she looked up at me and exclaimed, "i love this mommy! this is so fun! this is so fun!" to see the pure joy on her face at a place that makes me feel JUST like that, well, i just scooped her up in a big hug and told her i knew EXACTLY what she meant. the adult to toddler ratio that weekend was 8:1, which i've realized is pretty much perfect. ellie definitely has as much energy of the 8 of us combined, and could go from one place to the next, choosing to be with different people who love her so much. again, so often, i just got to be the observer, which felt like such a neat place to be -- to sit back and watch her loved well.
back in indianapolis, a place i haven't lived for any real stretch of time in over 12 years, we had this low key week doing some of my favorite things. it was the perfect time to go to the children's museum; help papa plant tomatoes; go visit my grandmothers, ellie's great grand mothers; get to have goat cheese for lunch with just my mom; go on a father/daughter date with my dad; flip through old photo albums; rest.
so, 21 weeks into this 40(+) week nonstop adventure called pregnancy, i thought i might share some of the things that have helped me survive. much like with ellie (though this one has been better!), my body doesn't handle pregnancy very well, and especially the first half is ROUGH. while this one was easier on my body, having ellie underfoot was TOTALLY a game changer. i'm not a doctor or nurse or any sort of expert, this is just what has worked for me through these two pregnancies. also, if you haven't been pregnant yet, please don't let this post scare you! the overwhelming majority of women are NEVER this sick -- i'm one of the extreme cases.
my "morning sickness" (also known as 24 hour sickness around our house) begins about week 7 and this time went strong and steady through week 17 (I'm still throwing up, just not every day, and I have times of the day where I feel a little bit normal! hooray!). having been through childbirth once, it actually helped me understand the nausea was really coming in waves, much like contractions -- sometimes slow and steady, and other times, right on top of each other (usually in the evening). i'm pretty sure part of the reason i actually threw up less times this go around was i learned how to "ride" those waves -- and i was super stubborn. i know what a downward spiral of dehydration getting sick can lead me down and refused to go down without a fight. i also learned the things that would help me get through a wave or provide fast comfort after i was sick.
i mentioned in this post how much blogs have been an encouragement to me during these months of morning sickness -- i thought i'd share some of my favorite recent links in case you're looking for some inspiration:
this great post triggered my most intense pregnancy craving to date -- and since then, i've had an uncountable number of these sandwiches (i can't even imagine when my own tomatoes are finally ready!) the other thing i can't get enough of? plums -- which are unbelievable and in season right now!
cup of jo comes through for me again -- awesome ideas for nurturing strong relationships among siblings! also dates with your child -- YES!
such a neat summer craft: cardboard dream catchers.
need a fourth of july t-shirt?
a piece on marriage that rightfully has been getting a lot of attention.
will be making these soon, they're perfect for a summer gathering!
happy fourth of july! xo
so, i miss this space — and i’m a big believer that our lives are a reflection of our priorities — and that fundamentally we all get 24 hours and lots of choices about how we spend that time. i’m also totally over being “so busy” or worshiping it or stressing about it or talking about it — i’ve found it’s not a fun way to be yourself or fun to be around. i also feel like with little ones, that’s not what i want them to be taking away about the pace of our family’s life (ellie’s favorite time increment to use with me is “one second!” “one second mommy!” — they can give you such a gut check on how you talk about your own life!). so, this post is going to be a meandering look at where i am in life and how i’m trying to get to a place where i have more space for the people and things that matter the most to me — writing here being among them.
i feel like i keep coming back to the quote “it’s ok to be happy with a calm life.” i read that quote and i immediately want to give it a double high five, an emphatic yes, a strong head nod — and then i pause for a moment and think — “how on earth do you get there and stay there for any length of time?!!!” sure, there are moments when i’m reading with ellie in her teepee and am totally at peace, present in the moment, temporarily not thinking about dinner or laundry or emails or bills or where we need to be next. there are moments when ryan and i are sitting on the porch, lost in conversation, and i’m not, in the back of my mind thinking about how we need to do the dishes, or put away the laundry or get to bed because that little one is going to be up and at ‘em SO soon! there are days when i’m better about giving myself permission to take a nap and more grace that even if it doesn’t feel like my body is doing anything — it’s growing a little one and that act is often unseen, very hard work. there are times when i’m more present with my friends — not multitasking while we’re on the phone or delaying writing an email i know i need to send or putting off coffee because i “don’t have time."