Fall is in the air…

The calendar may say otherwise, but fall is here. Pumpkin everything. Hoodies. Cool weather. In our area the leaves are already starting to change color (and, gasp, some have already fallen).

This is my absolute FAVORITE time of year. I sure wish it lasted longer, though. Winter will be here before we know it. But until then, we will enjoy it.

I feel very nostalgic during these months. It must be that whole season of change idea. It’s hard to say goodbye to summer and all of the memories they always bring (especially with two summer babies… that’s a lot of pregnancy, babies, birthday parties, and adaptation over the last four summers). My husband and I also got married on Halloween, and our son is a wedding baby. It’s just a special time of year for us.

I feel many mixes of feelings as we bid summer farewell and look forward. I feel sad that summer is behind us. I feel optimistic about life and the things ahead. I feel excited about the fun things that fall brings us (Halloween, costume making, a trip to the corn maze). I feel anxious about the holiday season (a good anxious, of course). And, if I’m being honest, it’s hard not to feel a bit of dread about winter’s promise of a nasty visit.

I also feel a renewed energy in my writing. An energy I haven’t felt in years. I just need to find a way to make it a priority, look for the time in each day to work on my goals. I actually have IDEAS. I am working on a short story. I am working on a children’s book. I am going to restart my novel (again!) for NaNoWriMo, and this year I want to do a lot of planning ahead of time so I can finally be successful. I also have a NEW idea for a novel, although it still needs a lot more brainstorming before I’m ready to commit anything in writing… but it feels good to have new ideas and feel excited about something that has been leaving quite a void in my life. Writing has always been a way of life for me, and it fell by the wayside after having kids. No longer will that be “okay.”

Speaking of kids… mine continue to amaze me day in and day out. All challenges aside, they are just so lovely. We had a wedding this past weekend and had to spend about 4 hours in the car. They handled it wonderfully. They were charming and well behaved at the wedding. Our son danced and danced and danced.

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I wore our one year old in a ring sling, and she was happy to hang out and dance with us and kicked her feet wildly while out on the dance floor. The extra snuggle time was much needed, for both of us.

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I had one of those perfect moments while I was standing in the back of the room, against a wall, swaying along with her to a slow song. And I looked around at all of my family, and felt my daughter’s little body tight against me, and just felt this wave of peace and happiness. A moment where everything was perfect. Completely content and where all is right in the world.

Time is flying by. It is impossible to enjoy every second… let’s be honest, not all of those seconds or minutes or hours are worth enjoying. But I am doing my best to remember that we have such a brief time in each phase. These moments are fleeting. This, too, shall pass… both the bad and the good.

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Happy First Birthday

Oh, sweet Greta. Happy Birthday to you.

I’ve done pretty well with it, so far. I had a few tears last night, saying goodnight to her. That sentimental, emotional part of me really comes out around birthdays. Just like with her brother a couple of weeks ago, tearfully wishing my two year old goodnight for the last time, preparing to wake up to a three year old in the house.

But first birthdays are just so different. We say farewell to infancy. We think about how much has changed in one year. At this very time one year ago, I was still pregnant. I was in labor. I had yet to meet my daughter.

I remember the intense fear I had during my pregnancy, that I could never love another person the way I loved my son. I just couldn’t fathom it. I was scared about all the changes sure to come, and was convinced I was going to tear apart my son’s perfect little world.

And then Greta was born. And it really was, as cliched as it sounds, love at first sight. And I was so relieved that all I felt was LOVE, and that meeting her felt so right. And it continued to feel right, as she just fit right into our family. Truly, I cannot imagine life without her.

gretabday1Ready to go home.

She is such a light in our lives. She is so funny, so sweet. She is opinionated. She makes us laugh. She adores her brother. She is feisty. She loves to squeal, clap, wave, and giggle. She doesn’t crawl, but instead does this funny hopping butt scoot to get around. She dislikes diaper changes and always tries her hardest to get out of them. She loves to snuggle, especially in the chair with her daddy.

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Daddy snuggles.

This year has been amazing. How could it not be with a smile like this?

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It has also been challenging, of course, as we adjusted to having two kids (and only two years apart). But overall she’s been a pretty easy baby.

I think one of the most challenging aspects of it all has been not knowing whether or not we would be having a third child. With our son, I knew we’d most likely have a second child. And I was caught up in new motherhood. This time around, the questions come more heavily. As she outgrows clothing, baby items, toys, I wonder if they are really worth holding onto. I have donated more. I have questioned more.

So, as we leave infancy today, I have a heaviness in my heart as I question if babyhood will be behind us forever. I don’t feel ready for that.

But, as it goes with our children, we don’t have a choice but to look forward. They don’t wait for us, they don’t understand our sentimental hearts and how we ache with longing for the past even though we are so so so excited about what is yet to come.

I love you Greta. Thank you for joining us a year ago. I know you will continue to astound us all with what you will bring to this world. Happy Birthday!

gretabirthdayListening to her brother’s rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Last day as a two year old.

Sad face.

I know, I know. Birthdays, they’re exciting. I’m sure my son is going to be an amazing three year old and the best is yet to come.

But, because I’m me, I need to mourn a little, just as I have with his other birthdays.

Today is our last day with our two year old son. Tomorrow we will wake up to a three year old. We will celebrate the day of his birth. We will go out for ice cream and he will open his presents from us.

Today, I want to soak it all in. I know these changes come slowly and he won’t be all that different tomorrow. Really, just another DAY older than today, even though those numbers signify an entire year.

Here’s my little boy a year ago, at his birthday party. Turning two. Still practically a baby.

twoyearsold

He has grown so much since then. Physically. Emotionally. Intellectually. Two weeks after that photo was taken he became a big brother. He’s AMAZING to his sister. I am blown away by it. He has to kiss her before he goes somewhere, before he goes to bed. Today he hugged her and told her that she was his favorite sister. They adore each other and I am so blessed that he has shown very little jealousy and welcomed her into our family with open arms. I know that sounds so cheesy, but it’s true. Literally with open arms, always hugging her, always reaching for her, always loving her.

He is so smart. The things he says are so funny, so intelligent, so quick. He has the best sense of humor. We laugh so much.

He tests me in many ways, but he is teaching me how to be a better mother, a more patient human being, and a more loving woman.

This year has been incredible. Not always easy, but somehow always good. Age two was certainly not “terrible” like so many like to say. Challenging, yes. We are no stranger to fits and tantrums and the word “no.” But two was also sweet and fun and innocent and full of laughs and love and snuggles.

We are spending this day quietly. Reading books. Watching television. Making smoothies (real and pretend). Playing musical instruments. Having an existential crisis over the fact that “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “The ABCs” have the same tune. Okay, so perhaps quiet wasn’t the right word. Ordinary. Beautifully ordinary.

smoothies

The kids are napping together now, and then we’ll play outside.

Then, tonight. Tonight I will say goodnight and kiss my two year old one last time. I will cry. That I know. But tomorrow we will be excited and we will celebrate and we will embrace what is yet to come. I know he will continue to amaze me and make my heart swell in so many new and lovely ways.

I love you, sweet boy.