Thursday, May 19, 2011

change of pace... place

Vacations, like everything else, changed for me once I became a mom.

Before Charlie came along, I brought my books, iPod, and a bottle of sun-in, and I'd get lost on the beach until dinnertime.

hello, sunshine state. goodbye, stress.

After, however, was a whole different story.

The first time we went on a trip, I sat there, three-month-old baby in tow, wondering, How the heck do people go on vacation with kids? How can they even call it VACATION? I was too busy changing diapers and slathering my infant with SPF 50 to even think about reading a stack of books. Charlie wasn't sleeping through the night, so on top of crazy days, I spent busy nights rocking my baby to sleep in an unfamiliar bedroom, without the arsenal of baby tactics stashed away at home. To be fair, we were on a trip with my parents, brothers, and sisters, so happy arms were everywhere, eager to gobble up Mr. Charles. But -- as every parent knows -- the buck still stops with M. O. M.

(Ok. Boohoo, right? I was still on vacation. at the beach. with pints of haagen-dazs sitting in the freezer. I reminded myself of those exact things when I was up at 4am with a fuss-ball, tapping my toes until the sun, and the rest of the sleeping condo, got around to rising...)

A year later, here we are again: beach vacation. baby boy. haagen-dazs. etc.

Charlie sleeps longer, and he's more predictable. Charlie = sleep means Mama = sleep. Which means Mama = rational + happy. This year, I brought a stack of books, and I'm plowing through them one by one, during naptimes. When Charlie's up, we splash in the water, stuff oreos into his mouth, and laugh when his feet touch the sand. (he hates the sand. more on that later.)

Not sure where I'm going with this. I suppose this is yet another reminder that, thank the Lord, everything changes, sooner or later. Stages come and go. So savor where you're at. Live it out all the way.

{am I sounding like a broken record yet? can you tell what I'm working on in my heart right now?}

No complaining here. I'm off to corral a 1-year-old, and then eat a couple pints of ice cream once he goes to sleep.

{and then, strategize an exercise plan for losing the 20-pounds I'm gaining on vacay, once we get back to real life.}

Friday, May 13, 2011

on gardening

I used to silently make fun of people who said that gardening was "exercise." I now stand corrected. Gardening is hard. Hard.

For example, we've got a giant magnolia in the backyard that just finished blooming. All the petals dropped a week or two ago, and I thought I could just leave them. Turns out, dead magnolia petals will kill brand-spanking-new grass seedlings. Which means that dead magnolia petals need to be raked up.
{and I thought raking was something you only had to do in the fall.}

But yardwork is also really fulfilling. I just planted a peegee hydrangea in the front yard. It's a little baby tree right now, and hopefully I didn't kill it when I tried to pry it out of the pot {amateur gardener here}, but I'm so stinkin' excited to watch it grow. We're growing some veggies, and flowers too. I'm up to my elbows in dirt these days, and loving it.

Note: our yard is not yet anything to be proud of. In fact, it's the antithesis of "awesome." Thus, I live vicariously through friends who do have pretty yards. For example, I've got a neighbor {hi Petra!} with such a talent for growing things. Her yard is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful -- gorgeous flowers, all summer long. There's a woman a few blocks over with an incredible bed of wildflowers. In the middle of the summer, she has scores of lilies all over the yard. The smell is incredible. A few years ago, I would have never noticed clumps of stonecrop, or barberry, or wildflowers, or whatever. Now, I'm starting to learn the names, and fall in love with plants. It's weird, and wonderful.

Here's a picture of us, right after we finished prepping the backyard for grass seed:

I've got a full post coming up on the state of our jungle, er, yard.

In the meantime: today, I pulled 292 weeds.

Only 60,404 to go...

Coincidentally, my friend Monica just blogged about yardwork, too. She's another one of my friends who happens to have a very pretty yard :) Check it out here...

Monday, May 9, 2011

mother's day

Last year:

This year:

Crazy, how time flies!
{Stop growing, Charlie...}

And now, a true life confession:
Some days, it's surreal, this whole Mom thing.
Someone will say something nice and polite, like,
"Wow, you have the cutest baby!"
And I'll be like...
"Baby? Me?
right! Baby!"

I'm starting to understand how people who are fifty, or sixty, or seventy,
still see themselves as teenagers on the inside,
because at heart,
on the inside,
they still are.

Here I am, feeling old,
and I'm only 25.

That's all a little weird to admit, Internet.
But it is my blog, after all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

i caved. {or, ode to a lost babysitter}

It was rainy, and he was sick.
I turned on the TV,
propped him up,
hit "play,"
and went to empty the dishwasher.

I found out the hard way
that the television makes him

goodbye T.V.
It was nice while it lasted.

{a whole three golden minutes}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

birthday boy

{the one on the left}

Happy birthday,
to my bestest friend,
and the best
in the whole wide world

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a friendly sunday a.m. reminder...

This past week, I read the following paraphrase of a passage in Ecclesiastes.
{I'm buying a canvas, painting these words on it, and hanging it in my kitchen.}

Seize life!
Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift.
It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!

Ecclesiastes 9:7-11
{the Message}