Falling in Love

I love this life. I love this season with every ounce of my being. But sometimes I forget to enjoy the other things I love. Nature being one. Photography being another. Blogging being yet another. I feel so fortunate to live in a time where I can combine all the things I love so seamlessly. So here I am…just rambling and taking photos…

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Yes there is a 3rd one. She was on my back. Don’t worry…she will be photobombing this site very soon! Next time I’ll be sure to blog on yet another love…leggings and coffee. Oh and fuzzy slippers and cool weather and red and orange and yellow.

Namaste.

The End of Summer…the beginning of YouTube!

I’m so excited about both of these things! Summers are not my favorite, and this year has been no exception. It’s been hot and sometimes miserable, and the ever-present excitement of the new school year has been looming over my head…in a very good way. Kindergarten starts this year for my 5-year-old, and so our first year of “real” homeschooling begins!

And because that’s not challenging enough, I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel…mostly because I’ve been inside all summer thanks to the heat watching DIY videos, and I’m pretty super-inspired. And fall is on the way and so is school and fun and fun and fun…and yes, I’m pretty excited!!!!

So school is starting for us tomorrow! After testing the water for 2 years of preschool, I’ve determined that in order to homeschool we’re going to have to be year-round people. AKA…mama needs a break every 4-6 weeks, so we’re just going to shoot for small goals and go from there. I’m notorious for trying to pack WAY too much into our school time, something that I’ve had to learn the hard way this past year while trying to do school with a new baby. 4-6 time slots give me just enough time to cram in a whole lot, while giving myself a breather to rest and recharge. I’m pumped!

So a good ending to summer was a trip to a Sunflower Festival…pick as many free sunflowers as you’d like! It was wonderful! And while I know that we still have a solid 6 weeks left of summer, my planting guide is telling me to go ahead and plant some kale and broccoli, and the craft stores already have out their fall spread. So I’m calling it…goodbye summer, HELLO PUMPKIN SPICE!

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Those standstill moments

10 minutes after the birth of my 3rd daughter, the assistant said something along the lines of, “Wow, she’s 10 minutes old already! Time flies!” She has 6 kids and gets it. As soon as motherhood hits, the clock speeds up. And now here we are already…1 week young today. 1 week of absolute heaven on earth! Things are good. Things are really good!

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Many blessings to you and yours,

Jesse

Welcome to Earth Baby Girl!

Our 3rd little angel made her way earthside this past Wednesday morning after what seemed like an eternity of waiting. She arrived 4 days past her due date, something I was not expecting at all. I have never been big on due dates for that very reason, but since my other 2 had come on time or before, I felt pretty confident that she would’ve been here last week. As the days ticked on, I could feel my anxiety rising. It’s often difficult enough to keep worried thoughts at bay as a mom, but when things don’t go as expected, it goes up a notch or 10.

But thankfully and gratefully, all is well, and ironically enough she is my smallest baby! I was sure she was going to top my toddler (who weighed in at 8 lbs at birth), but she came in at just 7 lbs 11 oz! Crazy how that works!

I don’t think it comes at much of a surprise anymore when people find out I opted for a home birth again. Even the stranger at the park didn’t blink when I told her I was planning a home birth….she said she actually guessed I would say that based on my kids’ names and my overall vibe. It’s a stereotype I’m pretty happy to sport. But for those who haven’t heard me ramble on and on about midwives, I’m pretty passionate about them. I’ve had the pleasure of working with 3 amazing ones, and with the end of each birth I become more and more in awe of the work they do. The sacrifices they make for their line of work are truly endless. They are on call 24/7/365, through graduations, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, dance recitals, and baseball games. And their knowledge is so extensive. This time around I was fortunate to be under my midwife‘s care for the entire pregnancy, something I didn’t get to experience with my other 2. I had gotten her name about a week before finding out I was pregnant, which was great since she only takes 3 clients a month! For those who have never been under a midwife’s care, it’s fabulous! Luxurious, even. Midwife literally means “with woman”. When I have been under a physician’s care, I was granted no more than 15 minutes per appointment, and usually each appointment was with a different practitioner. The difference with a midwife is that each appointment was at least an hour…AN HOUR! And of course it’s with the same midwife, giving me plenty of opportunity to get to know her and express any questions or concerns I have. So much of her wisdom and knowledge extends far beyond pregnancy and birth. I think Jim Gaffigan explains the reasoning behind home birth best…

My labor was the shortest and easiest of all 3 (not to say that it was easy, but it was far easier!). Some of it was done in the quietness of the night while the rest of the family slept, surrounded with my Halloween decorum and candlelight…and laundry, of course. I’d like to think of myself as one of those peaceful birth mothers, but in fact by the end there was quite a bit of cursing and yelling…probably enough to make a sailor blush. But at least my birth room was set up to be a peaceful place, complete with some zen music, encouraging words, and candlelight. It was my most ideal birth yet, with the other 2 girls in the living room eating breakfast and watching TV while their sister made her debut to the world. She made her appearance at 4:35am, only 5 1/2 hours after the start of labor! And while the world sipped their coffee to begin the day, our day started off with mimosas and baby cuddles…also known as heaven on earth!

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A HUGE thank you to Kim with Selah Midwifery Services, who is just phenomenal! She’s my new hero! And to my awesome mother-in-law for stepping in to care for my other girls while we adjusted to this new little life.

And now for the hardest part…the next 18 years!

 

 

Rainy Days, Birthday Interviews, and Chickens

Being that I am chronically behind on things, I’m just now getting around to my 4-year-old’s birthday interview. Her birthday was in February. Don’t judge. It’s rude.
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The Toddler’s 2-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: Almond
How old are you? 3! (for the record, she’s 2)
Favorite Color: Mommy
Favorite Toy: Phone
Favorite Fruit: Raaawwwberries (Strawberries)
Favorite TV Show: Mim-Mim (Actually it’s either Daniel Tiger or Dora)
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Snack
Favorite Outfit: Sophia
Favorite Game: Sophia
Favorite Snack: Juit! (fruit)
Favorite Animal: Horsies
Favorite Song: Twinkle Tinkle
Favorite Book: Dance McDuffin Book(Doc McStuffins)
Best Friend: Daniel Tiger
Favorite Cereal: Mommy!
Favorite thing to do outside: Mommy Mommy Mommy
Favorite Drink: Hmmm…Water
Favorite Holiday: Hi
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: I wanna sleep with Mommy
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Cereal
What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanna watch Jake (and the Neverland Pirates)
Favorite season of the year: Nothin
Favorite movie: Nothin
(I think by this point the 2 year old was done with questions)
The Preschooler’s 4-Year Birthday Interview
Nicknames: LaVera
How old are you? 4
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: The Kitchen
Favorite Fruit: Apple
Favorite TV Show: Octonauts
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: Macaroni and Cheese
Favorite Outfit: Dresses
Favorite Game: Hide and Seek
Favorite Snack: Goldfish
Favorite Animal: Horses
Favorite Song: Twinkle
Favorite Book: Sophia
Best Friend: Brooklyn
Favorite Cereal: the circle one
Favorite thing to do outside: ball
Favorite Drink: juice
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: a book
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up? Be a Princess
Favorite season of the year: Winter
Favorite movie: Brave
Here in Virginia it’s been raining lately. Like…a lot! My poor garden is currently drowning, and I’m harvesting just as fast as I can eat my romaine and spinach before the slugs set it. I think at this point even they are drowning.
A few weeks ago, before the rain set in, I had a few days of crazy nesting energy. Our back yard has a creek in it, that looks much more like a ditch. It always has a flow of water in it, but by and large the water looked like a a black abyss that I certainly didn’t want my children playing in or around. At some point in the history of this almost 80-year-old home, someone decided to dump a large amount of trash around said creek. I have spent months slowly picking up piles and piles, and there’s still much to be cleaned up. But in those few days, I decided to do some digging. So I dug and dug and dug and dug out the ditch in order to help it flow a little better. I tried clearing some of the trash that was obstructing it (some of the trash includes rather large concrete slabs, which apparently pregnant women shouldn’t be trying to lift). A remarkable thing happened almost instantly after digging up part of the stream…the upstream cleaned itself the very next rainfall! I didn’t even have to dig! Just by clearing up some of the obstructions downstream, the rest of the stream flowed faster and easier. Sediment from upstream piled into the deep dark holes that I was previously very cautious about, and suddenly, apart from the remaining trash that still needs to be removed downstream, my ugly ditch turned overnight into a rather beautiful creek! I love mother nature! Giver her a little nurture and she’ll always do her part!
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Speaking of other things mother nature, we recently took a cast iron tub (one of the pieces of trash on our property) and created a pond out of it. I’ve been fiddling with the pH of the water for weeks now, trying to get it right before adding fish. I finally got it right enough to get some goldfish! Here’s the irony…I got them on Thursday, and on Friday I go to check on them and discover this:
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Overnight…the day after I got the fish, hundreds and hundred of tadpoles hatched. It’s ironic since I’m pretty sure the goldfish are currently snacking on them. If not, they’re starving, because they haven’t been to the surface for food since I got them. Regardless of the bad timing, I’m so excited to watch this tiny environment unfold. It’s so cool! And it’s a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn all about nature.DSC_0700
And in chicken news, we still have 11! I’m rethinking letting them free-range, though. I don’t mind the poop nearly as much as I do them eating my blueberry bushes. I told them that. They weren’t too happy about it. And we all know who rules to the roost in this family.
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Have a great Sunday!