The kids and I put up together a family tree wall this week and I really love it. I’ve had the idea floating around my head for the past two or three years and am really happy with how it turned out!
To make it I used:
- this tree decal from amazon
- 4×6 clip frames from Michaels
- photos, hammer, & nails
We arranged the frames how we wanted them on the floor, and then started hanging them on the tree.
I asked K who the man on the left is and he thought it was his uncle “D” (it’s actually our great-great grandfather – but there is a resemblance!)He thought the photo of Landon as a little boy was a picture of himself too :)
Something about seeing my ancestors makes me feel really present, and gives me a good perspective on life. That it’s a gift. That it’s temporary. That the good stuff should be enjoyed, and let the bad stuff go. And then I feel different while I’m rocking the baby, putting away the laundry, or doing the dishes. Looking at everything from that point of view it really does all feel like a gift.
And it simultaneously makes me feel really big and really small. Like who am I out of the thousands of people who came before me, I’m just really no big deal. But then at the same time, the love of all these people whose lives are gone now went into making me and I’m alive now and what am I’m going to do with it? Because it’s temporary and precious and such a gift. Anyway, I like it.
I like to think about all the mothers before me too. As I was getting the babies to sleep last night, with Kaden laying on one arm & Alia cuddling her “Good Good” teddy bear & nursing on the other, I wondered how many women in my family tree have cuddled their babies holding a teddy bear as they fell asleep. It’s such a precious thing. And it all just really makes me want to love. Because one day all that will be left of me is the love I shared. And I want to be sure I did it with all I could.
So there it is, our family tree!
Hello blog friends! This has been a crazy month. Mostly good, a little bad. The bad is the cold I’ve had for nearly 4 weeks straight now. It’s terrible. And it’s not a debilitating sort of flu, just enough of a cough/sore throat/sinus ick to make you feel really tired and blah all the time. I think I’m nearly over it now, although I’ve thought that before (it has been four weeks, after all!)
So for the good! We moved! (and if you’re thinking didn’t you just move last year? Yes, yes we did. And the one before that too.) It was very up in the air, in the way leases and rentals can be, but we moved to our first house (not a condo or apartment) at the beginning of this month. And this time we have a two year lease! We are really, really loving it. Almost every day I feel like, is this a dream? But so far it’s not, and I’ll take it.The living room windows face the backyard(!) and these beautiful woods. I call them the Enchanted Forest (of course!)There are a lot of favorite things about our new home, but one is definitely, definitely my piano. When we looked at the house there’s this little nook right by the staircase, literally the perfect size for a piano. I saw it and told Landon I had to have one. So I found this beautiful instrument on Craigslist, got a phenomenal deal on it, and am really happy beyond words about it. Alia & I play it every day and now I just don’t know what I would do without it.A couple more house pictures…Hope all is well wherever you are!
Four is looking like a fun age. Kaden has always been a delightful mix of stinker & sweet, but over the past month or two the balance has been tipping in favor of sweet, and no one complains about that :)
When I close my eyes, this is how I picture Kaden at four…
Sitting and playing by himself. His imagination with his toys is so fun to watch. He will sit and play forever with his Disney figurines or Lego people. They have conversations, and sometimes I catch them singing songs he hears on the radio.
Asking for delicious snack. Which is actually a precise thing, not just a something good to eat. O’s, raisins, walnuts, & banana chips. Unless it’s mealtime, which means he wants a tuna sandwich (every meal, breakfast, etc.) We try to limit him to once a day, and we call it tuna but it’s actually salmon.
Reading. This boy loves books. And can I tell you when I see him loving books I just feel like at least I know I’ve done something right as a parent. He sits and reads aloud to himself, or to Alia. And he knows the words to nearly every one we have.
Yelling out the window to anyone walking by. He is so friendly and loves to talk to people. His favorite are the neighbors with dogs, especially Jango & Rocky. I think it’s one of the highlights of his day when they walk by, he drops whatever he’s doing and runs over to knock on the window and wave.
So curious. He was born curious, but it’s really growing into wanting to know details about everything. Birds, clouds, trees, planets, weather, lightning. He watched the rocket launch last week and was completely fascinated. He asks me so many questions and often the answer is “I don’t know”, which makes him pause, and then say “we should get a book about that.”
We spend the first half of this week at a beach house with my family, and had a really wonderful time.
Once upon a time in the not too distant past, I thought I hated the beach. But as it turns out I just don’t like dirty beaches, or driving home covered in sand. And Anna Maria Island is not a dirty beach. And beach houses with outdoor showers keep all the sand outside.
Kaden likes to dig. Alia likes to sit in holes. They make a good team. Sunset at the beach is pretty spectacular. We’ve always gone in the morning and left in the afternoon, so it was wonderful to experience for the first time.The beach house was really fantastic too.It had a piano, telescope, swimming pool… Not much more I could ask for :)And we had ice cream every night. That alone makes for a pretty good vacation :)
I read an awesome home birth story several months ago that made the remark how everything we do is motivated by either fear or love. The truth of that statement really inspired me to look at the way I approach my life in a more intentional way.
As I raise my children, I can parent out of fear, or out of love.
As I take care of my health, I can do so out of fear, or out of love.
As I create music, art, beauty, I can do so out of fear or love.
Fear of criticism, fear of others opinions, fear of failure, fear of regret. Or of love.
Love for my children. Love for my body. Love for my future, my world, my God.
And when I have the courage to push past fear and live a life of love, I am free.