my everything : on being a mom

Sunday, May 11, 2014 | | 0 comments
i have been a mother, officially, for 1581 days.  i don't pretend to have all the answers and certainly didn't read the official "how to" manual (hint: there isn't one!) prior to starting this journey.

but this much i know. i have never known a love like the love i feel for you, sweet emma and benjamin.  

the beautiful chaos that is our life right now....

...your music making, truck slamming, outfit creating, dirt LOVING, brownie baking, song singing, living room dancing, bathtub splashing, constant conversation having, peanut butter eating, bedtime story reading, make believing, belly laughing, playroom destroying, imperfectly perfect little selves. man oh man do i love you.

it wasn't that long ago that i brought you each home from the hospital...squishy and wiggly and completely and totally dependent on your daddy and me.  and look at you now.  you are becoming little people and i can only pray that i am doing you right in preparing you for what your beautiful little lives will bring.

i pray that someday you both understand fully, the immense joy that your lives have brought to us.  being a mom, a parent, is hard cliche as it is, it's true and if you are a parent you know exactly what i'm talking about.  it's messy and complex.  maybe they mention that in the "how to" manual i didn't read.  but really, it is.  in ways you can't possibly prepare for and wouldn't know how to even if you realized it was coming.  

but for all its challenge and exhaustion, i want deepy to get up every day and do it over.  and over and over again.  time does weird things when you are a mom.  each day flies by and i find myself looking at the clock after getting the babes to bed wondering "how did that happen?".  i look at you both and wonder when exactly it was that you both turned in to teenagers.  ok not really but you get where i'm going with this.  "mommy, you're having a meltdown" actually came out of someone's mouth this weekend (and it wasn't ryan) who may have had their head cocked and a hand on their hip as these words were spoken. can we please just make the clock reverse already?

i just can't get enough of you both and i savor every last minute i have with you.  someday you won't want to be seen with me in public and you'll roll your eyes at me like true professionals.  benjamin, for the often stop right in the middle of a tantrum and say, with eyes batting, "mommy i love you" in the sweetest voice i have ever heard.  someday you won't believe it but it's true.  emma, you do the same, oftentimes mid-bedtime story for no reason at all.  and it is in those moments...and so many others....that my heart just feels like it will burst.

for now, you are all mine....and i have the pictures to prove that you snuggle with me in the early morning hours, let me give you neck kisses until you have no more belly laughs to muster, and dance recklessly in the living room with me like there is no tomorrow.

truth be told, no matter how intense the eye rolling gets...i will never, ever, stop loving you. to the moon and back. and even more than that.

happy mothers day to all the moms in my life because i have some pretty shining star examples of what a mothers love is all about.  hugs and high fives to you for all that you do to make our world go round. 

professional photos via Jenn Hopkins Photography

a mountain getaway : final photo installment

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 | | 0 comments final installment of photos...

river rocks, mountain moonshine, whiskey + wildflowers. a summary of the trip.

the view from the kitchens/grinenko compound. heaven, really.

playing with ms. dawn's chickies

smokey mountain sunset

this print hangs on the wall and is a summary of the trip, and of life really, in general.

until next time...

a mountain getaway continued.

pictures worth a thousand words. oh sweet memories made.

lake chatuge

i live for these sweet moments.

...still more to come.

a mountain getaway

we traveled to north carolina for a long weekend and now, after returning home last night, i am sure that we left a piece of our collective family heart in the mountains.

we were graced by the sweet hospitality of one of my dearest mentors, dr. kitchens (or "boss" as i've grown to call him) and his beautiful (inside and out!) wife dawn.  the views from their cliffside residence are too stunning for words and the meal we shared there together, overlooking the sunset on the smoky mountains, was perfect.  kitchens says that it's the only place in the world where he can sit and do absolutely nothing without getting bored "after about 7 minutes".  and i completely understand why.  teetering on gravity up in the clouds, it feels what i imagine heaven must feel like.  the boys shot guns (ben got a nerf gun to get in on the fun) and "ms. dawn" wowed emma with her fairy room and art studio.  we sampled real mountain moonshine and shared stories filled with wide eyes and laughter.

we stayed at the base of the mountain in a gorgeous home they will soon start renting but, perhaps more importantly, hope to soon use to host families with sick allow for a little respite, a getaway from the troubles of the real world.  beyond their reputations as phenomenal physicians....these are amazing and truly wonderful people with hearts so full of love it makes you want to be a better person.  i know god has big plans for this venture of theirs.

 a babbling creek runs right in front and benjamin could have thrown river rocks in it all day.  the kids built a bridge, collected stones, picked the wildflowers that carpeted the ground, and were completely in awe of the sheer wonder of it all.  sunlight streams through the trees there in bright ribbons and bathes the property in a yellowy green glow.

we took a drive through the mountains to nantahala about 30 miles away.  the kids are too young for rafting just yet but i look forward to the day when we can go back.  we shared a delicious riverside picnic and lounged in hammocks while we watched the rafters float swiftly by.  the kids skipped rocks and fed the mallard ducks that have clearly taken up residence on the shoreline.  

it was one of those getaways that restores your soul, even if it's not broken.  it filled the cup right up.  the kids spent the entire weekend running around shouting "this place is amazing!!!!!".  i couldn't say it better myself.

i, foolishly, left my dslr at home and resorted to taking all my photos via iPhone.  regardless, the memories are forever etched in my brain.  there are so many photos to share that they constitute 3 separate posts so keep on scrolling! 

riding in the "crazy car"....aka dr. kitchens old jeep wrangler

....more to come.

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