Sometimes your life heads in a different direction than you previously had in mind and when it does there are growing pains that require a lot of stretching and changing and reframing on your part but at the end of the day they get you closer to where you are truly meant to be, a place that feels more right in your bones than those visualized ideals ever did as they were just that, ideas and not your reality.
Oh, but those ideas, they still fuel you as they keep visions of seed packets, squash circles and bubbly pots of elderberry syrup running through your mind. They fuel your knitting needles as they click together into the night and your sewing machine as it whirs along through the layers of cotton you are quilting together for your daughter. They have you dreaming of change but staying put and making the best of until the time is right and the next move is most clear. They are friends rather than enemies these ideas and are there for you to lean on when the going gets tough and you are not so sure you will ever move forward.
I lean on my own ideas with frequency while working toward my dreams of a continually more simplified and sustainable life for my family and looking back I can see how far they have brought me. On a day to day basis it seems not much has changed as my every day is just my reality, but looking back over even just the last five years I am able to see such incredible growth. Just a few years ago I hunted down a way to make my wish of knowing how to knit a reality, took a class, practiced, fumbled quite a bit and can now knit up items I am proud of while continuing to learn with each project. Sewing machines and I had not been all that acquainted since a home economics class during my freshman year of high school, yet in the past few years I have begun to make simple projects for our home and can look at them with pride while knowing I have so much room to grow and explore in this skill which is exciting and something I challenge myself to do. I had never had a garden of my own, but now we have started a couple in our own backyard and though it has only been a few years we have learned so much and are planning for another growing season come Spring.
We can some things here and there, we try to make things ourselves when we are able, we are each day working our way toward that life we have visions of in our minds but also living that life in its present state each day. There are still visions of rain barrels, chickens and bees dancing around in my head. I still dream of being more engaged and involved with like-minders in our community and my heart always longs for a slightly different place to see this all to fruition, but seeing how far I and We have come I can see how far we will continue to go and grow and I find that both comforting and inspiring as we prepare to head into this next year, 2014.
Monday, December 23, 2013
The morning sun caught in my mug.
Loving who you are is not something that comes easy for all and the more I experience in life the more I tend to lean toward the thought that it is something that in fact may not come easy for most, although I do think there are some who do so naturally or are able to come to that place very early in their journey. For me it has been a very long process with the very lowest of lows and a few peaks along the way, but only since becoming a mother am I really growing to that place of true love for myself for exactly who I am. Constantly changing and growing and finding how I want to live this life has brought me to many experiences but tonight I just felt at peace with the here and now of who I am. With my sweet daughter having been nursed and snuggled to sleep I sat in on her play rug wrapping gifts, seven different items knit with love for those that I care for most and a few other items handmade by myself or by others to gift as well, wrapping them up in brown paper bags with tiny notes on their washing instructions while I could hear the buzz of my husbands saw as he tinkered away at making a wooden barn for that very daughter asleep in our bed - in that moment I found the aforementioned peace, felt as is if we were living the life we have imagined or at least a version of it we can appreciate and enjoy.
Many mornings I pull myself out of bed with an already perky baby girl on my hip and have to choose how I will greet the day. Will I let the day get the best of me with its unexpected events to come or will I get the best of it by greeting it with the intention of making it my own and filling it with the best that I am able? Some days are less than stellar but on many I choose to start it off with our galloping into the living room singing "live the life you've imagined, live the life you've imagined, live the life you've imagined, bump bump bump bum bum" and while it may sound silly it can make all the difference in the world. That phrase can carry me through the day and impact each thing that I do in a wonderful way and make a better day for all seven of us living beneath this roof. And today? Today I would say we were living the life we've imagined, not perfectly, not in all its glory, but I think that is the way it probably goes, for if there were no room left for growth there would be a world full of some rather dull and monotonous moments. There is no telling what tomorrow will bring but I know I will be aiming to live the life I've imagined in whichever ways I am able, I hope you will too.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
I love being her mama.
I love mooing and baaing back and forth with her as we make our way home in the car.
I love having her ride around on my hip while I figure out supper.
I love the way she comes looking for me when I am in another room and lights up when she finds me.
I love the way she crawls over to the clock radio, turns it on and starts dancing the moment she hears the music.
I love the way she snuggles into her cat, pats her on the back and belly and leans in to give her a kiss.
I love the way she can be so focused on the simplest things and also how she can jump from one to another when she is overly tired and in her super silly state.
I love thinking up things that will delight her, putting them into action and watching her fill with joy when they do.
I love taking her out into the world and watching it all through her eyes.
I love when I ask her for a kiss and she leans in with a "mwah" and I also love when I ask and she says "nooo" and sticks her hand out, making her wishes clearly known.
I love that I know her so well.
I love watching her bring joy to others.
I love her I love her I love her.
I just love her. Each and every moment of each and every day I love her. Fully and completely and in a way I could never comprehend until it happened.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
All of the knitting is complete, all four sweaters had buttons sewn on this evening and now there is just a bit of blocking and packaging before we call it a wrap. This weekend brought us to one of our favorite spots for brunch followed by a very snowy fun time in the great outdoors at an art event and to let Iz get a taste for the snow. Not thinking she's a huge fan yet, but I think she will grow to enjoy it more in the years to come.
This time of year is always a bit odd for me but feeling a bit more strange right now. Nothing huge, just feeling a bit disconnected from our mama-baby friend pairs. With a mix of not living very close, sickness floating around the kiddos and other activities it has been over a month since we have seen anyone outside of family and I am missing them all. Looks like we will have to make a big effort to get out there and reconnect at the next opportunity.
And wouldn't you know Christmas is less than a week away? Not sure how it snuck up on us, but we are enjoying the extra family get togethers and more time for the three of us together with extra time off for the holidays. We have kept our gift giving even simpler than ever before and I am at peace with that. I used to worry so much about trying to make everyone happy, about keeping up appearances, about quantity but year after year we keep finding our way to an even simpler place and I'm enjoying that process and looking forward to seeing how things morph in this area over time. Gift giving is interesting in general but has become especially interesting since having a child. We could easily pile her up with toys and things, but we don't want that for her and by observing her and knowing her well we know that isn't what she wants either. Always more happy to play with her little tin cup, her scrap of fabric, her stack of old c.d.'s...burying her in toys just overwhelms her, so we have kept it very simple. Even then I feel like it could be too much for all at once, but figure she can explore each little thing a little at a time. I'm sure to most it would seem like not much at all, but I know she will be thrilled with the few little items we have tucked away for her and will love the extra time with her family. Hopefully the nieces and nephews will enjoy their knit items as well. If nothing else at least they will be warm!
That's about all for now. Right now I'm just hoping to slow down a bit now that my holiday crafting is mostly complete, enjoy this time with my loved ones and figuring out how I will spend my evenings now that these hands have a bit more free time. There might just be a little Mama or Buggy knitting that is calling my name...
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I won't fill this post with too many comments on how fast time is flying because you already know, right? Today during an extremely long nap I began reading through old posts - Iz still new in my belly old - and it made me miss this space. As those with a toddler or baby or any aged child knows there is not much free time in ones days and while that is true I do find a bit of free time at night, but have been filling it with knitting as fast as my not-super-experienced knitter hands can manage because while I do not recommend waiting to start your holiday knitting until November, that is what I did and now my stubborn as a mule ways are making me see it through. Four In-Threes have been bound off and are waiting for blocking and buttons, a hat has been cast on, as has a scarf and there is one more hat to go. Finishing each one is satisfying but next year remind me to stick to all hats and to start a lot sooner, okay? I don't think I'll forget.
Otherwise we have been lucky to spend a lot of time with my sister and the girls since they have moved back. She is staying at home with them for now and it's been quite the treat to be able to see them so often. We have been on a bit of a hiatus since Thanksgiving as everyone has been having sickness running its course, but it seems all is on the upswing now and we will be able to return to playing and visiting here soon. Speaking of Thanksgiving, it was wonderful. For the first time in so many years my entire immediate family was able to be in the same place at the same time on an actual holiday to enjoy it together. Iz has really opened up to allowing others to interact with, hold, and play with her lately so it is even more enjoyable than in the past. Seeing her happy in someone else's arms is something I thought would never happen, but it does now and then these days and it's great to see other people be able to shower her with the love they've been saving back for her all those months she was glued to me alone. She is still quite glued to me 92% of the time but these small changes are fun. The best change for mama? Sometimes she and E will take a nap together and I am left to my own devices in my own home during the daylight hours. It's like a mini vacation. One filled with lots of knitting these days, but I can see myself having some long stretches of time to write, craft, clean, exercise or any other number of things after the holidays. E has also taken over bath duty (what is happening as I type) so Iz can have some time with him alone to connect and play during the week. I'm in no hurry for her to outgrow needing me so much, but it does help me to feel a bit more balanced and capable to have a few moments to myself from time to time.
Well, anyway...now that I have checked back in maybe I will try to do so a few more times throughout the holiday season to share some of the projects and activities we have been up to. I hope to have more time for reflective writing come the new year but just peaking in now and then until then sounds like something I might be able to manage.
I hope everyone is well and enjoying this season. Have you been doing much crafting or celebrating? Whatever you have been up to I hope you have been enjoying it!