At 10:28 on October 24th...
I can't believe it's September already. While I never wish time away, I've been allowing time to tick by quickly, because there is a lot of hard work happening around here. From buying a new home, to figuring out life on a couple of acres, getting our previous home rental ready, starting a new school year, preparing for maternity/paternity leave, and of course, for our little baby girl. I'm not sure I can say that "We're ready" yet, because I'm not sure anyone ever is. But we're getting there, we could get by. I've very slowly accumulated sweet little things for our little girl, saved a few favorite baby shower pieces from my dear friend and sister-in-law, because I simply couldn't part with them, and they are just darling in her room. I even found pieces from when Kate was a baby that have landed in here too, the knit booties, those were the first thing we bought when we found out Kate was a girl. Then there are her blankets, books, and a few pieces she has happily handed down for her little sister. And in case you were wondering about the two chairs, well, the smaller one was what I used for Kate (very small room before, but it worked) and she wants a chair next to mine to rock with me. I couldn't possibly say no and neither could her dad, so there it stays.
I need to pack a hospital bag, get a few more clothes, stock up on diapers, hang photos and shelves in the bedroom, get our little bedroom corner ready for the first few weeks with her, and I have no idea what else! I figure that we'll learn as we go... again. 6.5 years between babies sure makes you feel like you're starting for the first time, but maybe with a little subconscious experience to somewhat guide you along.
We've been preparing our kiddos for the last few weeks as well, hoping that we'll all settle in together nicely. Mostly, I just can't wait to meet our daughter, to see her with her siblings, to hol her in my arms, and to watch my husband become a daddy all over again.
If you can't tell, we are settling in quite happily around here. It's been a rocky adjustment for each of us, but you know that's bound to happen with a big change for an entire family. Being constantly busy is a factor as well, but we've finally had moments to actually enjoy together, and that has made all the difference! From having friends over for play dates, dinner with friends, discovering new things around the property, getting a riding lawn mower, little things to make it feel more like home, and one weekend evening around the fire (after chopping our own wood), has given us moments to enjoy while summer is here.
We've taken progress on the renovations for the old house pretty slow with our first month here. And it's been much needed. We are no longer having late dinners every single night, going to bed too late and waking up exhausted, and we are learning the details of a place that only you can be familiar with. After this first month, we are starting to tackle the things we really need to do and preparing for all that's to come next: new schools, new baby, new season.
I'm really quite grateful for life right now, even if there are days when I genuinely feel like I can't handle this country life. I'll blame that mostly on pregnancy, because that really adds to the effect of change and difficulty. It's okay though, because I'm looking forward to what this little one will bring to our family.
As I sit here in our new house during our first week of staying here, I'm slowly learning and reflecting on so many things, that it's hard to keep from getting a bit overwhelmed. We are now the homeowners of two homes; renting out the first with a lot of work to do to get it ready. Meanwhile, we have so much vision for the new place, it's challenging to be patient when you're so excited. But we are and so far we're getting moved and settled in, figuring out what feels like a completely new life together.
Growing up I moved a ton, it was always so exciting, and I developed a dislike for being in any place too long. That is until I moved in with my husband nine years ago and never left until this move. It's the longest I've ever lived anywhere, even though it wasn't easy to stay put at first. Now with two kiddos and number three on the way, moving is not nearly as exciting as it once was. Mostly, I see how terrible of a housekeeper I am now that all of our furniture is moved out! Dust and dirt for daysssss.
While I can see my husband is incredibly exhausted from his long work days and moving on top of it, it makes me so happy to see him happy. To see him take it all in and pull me close. This is what we've waited so long for, and our little surprise love baby was just the motivation we needed. Together we're learning all the noises, quirks, likes and dislikes about our new house. I'm still feeling a little shell-shocked most days, wondering how this can possibly be real, only to look around and see that it still very much is.
What I'm looking forward to the most, though, is knowing what is to come. To watch each season come and go, to make a lifetime of memories here, to cultivate the land, to grow older together in this very place. There's no other time like this that makes you reflect on the growing you've done up until this point too, and I'm honestly wondering how on earth we're already in our thirties?! I started reading Fried Green Tomatoes today and the 87-year-old narrator says the same thing, "somehow I just got here..." I totally agree, it's a trip.
I'm a big fan of surprises, so when the alarm went off before 6am on Mother's Day, I was wondering what the heck my husband was thinking?! Especially since my surprise birthday party was the night before and we didn't crawl into bed until midnight, I need my sleep! My good friend, mom, and husband collaborated and planned a party for my birthday, including everyone I love dearly in attendance. It was so wonderful! I have to admit, having everyone know you so well feels pretty darn good sometimes (books and gardening gifts anyone? I got them all!). Getting so spoiled filled my heart and I couldn't believe so many people we know were willing to go out of their way for me. It's always surprising, ya know.
Up and away we went the next morning for Mother's Day, breakfast and coffee to go, ocean bound baby! It's been so long since we just enjoyed a day away like this, but even longer since it was at the ocean. I start holding grudges when the sand doesn't meet my toes. No joke. On the way I fell asleep and we detoured to a bulb farm for yet another little surprise. Then, "pick out whatever you want," was straight music to my ears. All I could imagine was all the things I'll soon be able to fit at our new property, so I held back, but the kiddos and husband picked out things for me too, and I was set! We met a new puppy friend, got a great deal on plants, and admired their colorful landscaping. Spring is so beautiful in the Pacific Northwest, I'm telling you!
The weather was a perfect combination of rainy storminess and breaks with sun and a bit of warmth. No one minded and it felt good to all feel so happy and free together. We had BBQ for lunch and I was given a real Hawaiian lei for being a mama, it was the prettiest thing! We walked the long pier, admired the beautiful ocean, and found our way to the sandy beach before the drive home. Wild sweet peas, sand dollars, and the sweetest pictures made the day so perfect. On the way out, Kate stopped at the ledge of the sand dune saying she had to "get one more view." We all stopped and just soaked in the moment.
Whatever Mother's Day may mean to all the mom's out there, it's a day to celebrate the ones we love, the ones we've lost, and all that is to come. I'm so thankful for a day like today. Everyone needs a little appreciation and spoiling now and then. Dad's you're up next!