Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'm 100% positive that the Ergo was a creation handed to us directly from God.  I can hear the singing angels!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My home, My rhythm


I've been reading and learning about the Waldorf Philosophy a lot lately, in fact I'm on my way to the library right now to pick up some books I've got on hold and to go to our weekly story group.  There is so much that I love about Waldorf and yet there are also parts that don't really fit with our family as well... so I'm going to cherry pick parts of it and try to apply it to my life style.

Rhythm is such a huge part of Waldorf and life in general... yet, I'm not a very rhythmic person by nature.  I'm a fly by the seat of my pants... where ever the wind takes me... jump first think later kind of gal.  At times this free spirited nature of mine has gotten me in sticky messes and yet other times it's been my saving grace.  It's the part of me that compliments Berdaddy in our relationship the most.  He's more of the responsible one who has to remind me of reality when I'm ready to book tickets to tim-buck-two.  I love this part of me, it brings me light...  I don't really want to change this very essence of my being and yet, I also adore the idea of creating a comforting rhythm for my beautiful Button.  I'm also so very drawn to the rhythm of the Catholic Church.  One thing is for sure I need more spirituality in my day to day life... I need more prayer and reflection.  As a work at home momma, my patience is always being tested.  I never get the quite of an office to get my work done.  And let me tell  you how incredibly frustrating it is to be interrupted time after time when I'm having a very creative moment and want nothing more than to finish a photo project.  And in my moments of frustration nothing brings me more peace than prayer.  I want Button to grow up knowing just what it means to practice her faith on a daily basis and in order for that to happen I need to start modeling for her right now.

She is nearly a year and we don't really have a set rhythm set in place for anything.  I just read her signals and go with the flow.  We don't sleep train and I nurse her on demand. So far things have gone well.  We have both enjoyed learning from each other, I'd like to think.  But now, as we are crawling up on her first year of life, I can't help but crave a bit of freedom for myself and just maybe a little structure wouldn't hurt to help get me some.

Now I just need to figure out how to get myself to find my own rhythm and try to somewhat have a spiritual flow to our life together, it's got to be organic in origin if this is going to have any chance at success.   Only 3 short years ago, I found myself getting confirmed to the faith that I had left to the wayside for a number of years.  And yet, it is so hard to stay devoted for me... such an ebb and flow...  I'm so very drawn to the rhythm of the Catholic Church and I'm hoping to push the too ideas together and create my very own system!  Strengthening my faith along with my family life.

My Plan of Action

*Take notes on my normal days for one week and see if I have a natural rhythm I can work off of.
*Make a list of important spiritual events I want to incorporate in our life, pray daily
*Work off of my calendar
*don't flake out
*be gentle with myself 

If anyone has suggestions on establishing this rhythm of mine, I'm all ears!  Wish me luck... I'll keep ya posted.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The 12 Project: Month 1

This was our very first family photo, set up on the camera's self timer, at our new home.  Berdaddy and I were all dressed up for our second date night together since Button was born.  The first date night was spent at Hooter's... yeah, you read that right... A story for a different day. 

  Annnnyway, We walked to the local cinema cafe, saw the newest Twilight movie, and had a yummy veggie pizza.  The movie was cheesy as most date night movies tend to be. I loved that we ate a pizza and watched a movie all at the same time, I can see many date nights spent there in the future.  The best part of the whole night was holding hands the entire walk home... just the two of us.  Oh and I love listening to Berdaddy do his best Jacob impressions in an attempt to make fun of the movie. 

Ahem, "Bella, I love you and I know you love me too, I can feel it in my werewolf bones!" Not that funny? Well,  ya gotta know my hubby... truly, it's the date that keeps on giving!

This month has been spent settling into our new home, making it ours and exploring our new town. I've been neck deep in photography gigs and enjoying the summer heat.  Our new home is nice and airy and I can't tell you how wonderful the cross breeze has been for Button and I during the day.   Button spends her time trying to get my phone and into the dog's water bowl.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The 12 Project

I first saw this project featured on Sara's blog, Walk Slowly, Live Wildly earlier in the year. She was inspired by Tara Whitney. I just love how blogging has produced a beautiful spider web of connections between artists, momma's and poet's alike.

I always loved this idea and told myself that I would participate once I got my tail up in the land of blogs. Both Tara and Sara are photographers as am I... us photog Momma's find ourselves with many photo's of our children, friends, families, partners that we adore but often only a few where we are joined in. I love this intentional movement at capturing our moving and changing family for one year... so the mission as I understand it:

Take a photo of your family once a month.
Write a bit about that month.
Make it into a book at the end of the year.

Thank you both for your inspiration, I'm so excited to have a 12 project of my own! I'll post my June photo soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bedtime with Button

One of the wonderful benefits in moving to a small town in the country is the quite and nature right outside our front door. We have many bunnies that hop around the neighborhood, a pair of beautiful cardinals that live across the street... the fire flies are abundant this time of year as well. It is so crazy to just hear the kind of quite where the gentle sounds of nature can seep back in. I never realized how noisy it was living in the city, I guess after so long my ears just didn't register the noise any more. I used to always have a radio playing in town to drown out the banging stereo's that sped past and the hustle and bustle of the highway a block away. But here I just love keeping everything off, hearing the wind whiz past, birds chirp and bugs buzz. It's been 10 years since I lived on a farm, back then I never thought I'd miss those country noises and I didn't until I came back. And praise God that I'm back!

For the past month, every night before we take Button up for bedtime we go outside and soak up the last of the wonderful day. We say good night to everything we see but her favorite is our wonderful Maple Tree. She kicks and points and uses her baby babble to urge me closer to it on our nightly ritual. As a child my Dad taught me all the different types of trees in our area and when we would take car trips he would point at trees and quiz me to pass time. I can't wait to teach Button all about trees and the great outdoors... I'm so looking forward to our many field trips with tote bags in hand ready for an adventure out in the wild and campfires and camping!

But until then, I'm happy bringing her five steps out the front door each night to say good night to our wonderful tree. It brings her so much joy. She pats it lovingly, reaches for it's leaves and tries to catch the ants crawling around it. I'm so proud of my little tree hugger!

Goodnight Tree and Goodnight Button!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

30 before thirty

30 is only 5 months away and I've made the list... number 22 on my list was to start a blog so I've got at least one gone. I'm excited to share this list with the world. I'm really hoping to get most of these finished by the time I'm 30 but I'm willing to be reasonable with myself on a couple of them.

1. Make a quilt
2. Mend my soul from past hurts
3. Sew a dress for Button(done)
4. Get Berdaddy to agree to me getting Dreads... if I really want them(done)
5. Run a half marathon
6. Volunteer on a regular basis
7. Complete 30 random acts of kindness
8. Make a photo book & slideshow of Button's first year
9. Try Herring
10. Shoot a portfolio of photo's for my Dad's business
11. Learn the Rosary
12. Book tickets to Europe
13. Book a family photo session in the fall
14. Buy Cowboy boots
15. Go to a horse show with my Dad
16. Deal with our sock issue
17. Bake 5 new desserts
18. Surprise Berdaddy with a romantic meal
19. See a dermatologist and have a mole check
20. Organize my photo's on and off the computer
21. Shoot a gun
22. Start a blog(done)
23. Paint my living and dinning room
24. Finish Button's room
25. Take a CPR class
26. Establish a proper system of organization for my photography business
27. Read 30 books
28. take yoga
29. complain less... even in my head
30. Plant tulips

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keeping Gentle

I had a great childhood and was lucky in many, many ways but there is much that I want to change for my child and for my (God willing) future children. My parents came from families of 11 and 8 and a generation that struggled to make ends meet. A time when putting food on the table for such families was a real struggle. My Mother grew up with a father who was loving but was also an alcoholic. Sadly many of his children, including my Mother struggled with addiction in their adult lives. My Father's mother came to this country when she was 6 months old. She and my Grandfather worked incredibly hard and built a family farm. Parenting back then had a completely different set of rules, as did society, so I refuse to place judgement on their choices but instead I hope to learn from them.

My parents made a huge effort to stop the cycle of violence and for that I am beyond thankful. I have amazing memories of growing up on a beautiful farm playing dress up on the prairie, ice skating on our pond, riding horses... living a dream childhood in many ways. I am so grateful for the many gifts I was given by my parents and now get to share with Button. I also remember my parents being angry and yelling. I remember being fearful of them at times... and I remember how much addiction ruled them. My Mom has been gone for a nearly 4 years. I miss her so much it hurts, she was my best friend. She never got to meet her granddaughter and now I'm left to forge this path of Motherhood on my own. I'm left wondering about her choices as a parent and I have so many questions for her that are left open ended. I wonder if I would ask her these questions if she were here or if it would be something I'd avoid so not to cause conflict.

I have promised myself that things would be different for my children and now as my daughter is nearing toddlerhood when emotions run high and my patience is tested at every step and every new skill, I wonder how exactly I will do this. How am I going to practice something that I have very little knowledge of? I've done so much reading on gentle parenting... and gosh does it speak to the very fibers of soul. This is the path I want to take in my journey as a mother and as a wife, friend, person. I want to be the gentle mother many you are. I've followed many of your blogs and am in complete awe of the gentle spirit that seems to come so naturally to you.

On my own I've found ways that help me keep centered. Prayer has helped me so much in moments of frustration the most. A few Hail Mary's really seem to bring things into perspective. But still, I can do better. I can be better! If anyone out in blog world is listening I'm all ears... How do you keep gentle?

Button's Birthday Celebration

I have been dreaming for years about my child's first birthday celebration but in every dream I never could have imagined how in wonderful it was really going to be. It was a hot summer day, I believe it go in the 90's but we were blessed with a wonderful shade tree and a nice breeze. The day zoomed passed and I stuck to my goal of not sweating the small stuff nicely. I have to set goals like that for myself or I tend to focus on silly things like a timeline and a messy floor... It was important to me to have the party be homemade and simple. Budget is a huge consideration in our family and so is waste. Everything besides the balloons, Berdaddy couldn't help himself at the grocery store the morning of the party, can be used again. Berdaddy melted into a big old puddle of love when Button pointed and gushed over her balloons the whole morning... I'm hoping the earth will forgive us.

Although we were sick last week, I was able to finish the dresses and also sew together a pendant banner with all of the left over fabric. I'm so glad I will be able to bring this out year after year for Button's birthday celebration.

The girls looked adorable in their birthday finest. The hats are also re-useable, made of cardboard and decorated with felt.

A closer look of the banner and the wall hanging.

Berdaddy, helped with the girls before the party started while us momma's set up for the guests.... Little Button is so cute peaking out from her daddy's back.

We wanted to have a menu of pure summer food that was all homemade. I'm so lucky to have a crafty husband who enjoys spending time in the kitchen!
Berdaddy's homemade blackbean burgers on the grill
chilled pesto pasta salad, with homemade pesto
smoked potato salad
guac and salsa ~ Berdaddy's specialty
sweet corn
fresh fruit
and a cheese tray from our local cheese shop

Oh and my biggest splurge was our cake tin from William Sonoma.

We set up a sprinkler and a small pool for the children and adults to run through to cool down. It was a hit.

We were so blessed with friends and family. They brought Button and Star beautiful gifts of clothing and toys. And to their credit many of them who have never heard of Waldorf or TV free did their very best to get us wholesome, open ended toys. Only one aunt got us a talking pot set... and well, I think that's pretty darn good. Plus it is rather funny.
Of course I missed my Mom being there, it's hard not to notice her absence on big milestones like a first birthday. My Dad came and did his best to represent her laughter and spirit. He had some Amish friends make an a play outfit for each of the girls because when us Momma's were little we played in them everyday. And he was able to resist getting Button a pony for her first birthday so that is reason alone to count this milestone as a victory! Not holding my breath for birthday number 2...
It was an amazing day, filled with love and laughter, honestly it ranks up there with one of the best parties of my life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Button's Birthday Preparation

Button will be turning 1 year in a month but being a photographer my free weekends are very limited so her birthday party will be this weekend. It's a joint first birthday party with her cousin. Of course I had big plans and ideas and of course we all got hit with a terrible cold the beginning of this week... and of course I find myself way, way behind schedule on said grand birthday plans.

We moved from our tiny home in the city to a much bigger space in a much smaller town in the country just one month ago. Maybe I was a little crazy to plan a party so soon after the move and right in the middle of my busiest time of year. But, I couldn't help myself, having space for family was most of the reason for our move to the county. This is the very first time since we've been married that we have been able to have my very large family over all at the same time. After all these years of mentally preparing for my turn to play hostess my chance is here.

Naturally, I am feeling the need for everything to be just so... and naturally, things are not as I've hoped them to be. The walls need painting, the rooms need decorating, the closets need organizing, my sewing projects are only half complete... yadda, yadda, yadda. I wonder if every women suffers in the plague that is the half completed list before hosting an event? I can't be alone, I just can't. Having all of these projects unfinished are going to make me and me alone a little frustrated. It's hard to not want everything to be perfect, I'm proud of our home and I want my family to feel welcome and love our new space as much as I do. Of course no matter what the state of things are my family will be happy for us in our new space, and happy for Button and won't glance at the empty walls and chipped paint. They won't look in my sewing cabinet to see the cut patterns and big unfinished ideas. Well at least, I hope they won't and for that I am grateful.

A year ago, I would have let these small things drive me up the wall but becoming a Mother has made me realize that this unfinished part of life is going to be my new reality and I could fight it tooth and nail and be miserable and make everyone else miserable in my wake or I could accept my new fate. Find joy in the process even if that means a half crossed off list. So for now I will leave you with a photo of my dress for Button finished and the dress I made for Star... half finished... my needle broke and wouldn't you know I can't find my last sewing box and need to go to town to get another...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jumping in with both feet.

I've been an avid follower of blogs for the past 5 years now. I love the blogging world and have often contemplated joining in but always being intimidated by the work involved and time to get things up and running but today, is different. Today I'm going to jump in and just do it without thinking. I've been wanting a place to get out my thoughts, my struggles, and my dreams... I need a place to get my journey as a wife and mother finding my way with so so many choices and so many forces pulling me in different directions.

This is my place to write about my experiences trying to be the best mother I can be... so my intentions are here and I've taken the first step... now where this will lead is up to me and the universe.