Creating, Feeling

Love Note

August 17, 2017

love notes

For our first wedding anniversary, H spent a ton of time designing a gorgeous Shutterfly photobook of our wedding pictures. It’s one of my favorite gifts ever (and reminds me that I need to get more of our photos printed!).

In the back of the book, there’s a plastic pocket. In it, I put the little program we made for our ceremony, one of the custom guitar picks we gave out as favors, and the thank you postcard we sent to guests. I also started putting our anniversary cards in the back, and after 5 years, the pocket is quite full.

I don’t think I have every anniversary card (that would be 10 total), but I have a bunch of them we gave each other, and a few that were sent to us by parents and grandparents.

I really, really love the idea of memory keeping – journaling, photographs, telling our story and revisiting it, but the process can be time consuming. Even something as “simple” as a photobook on Shutterfly or Project Life album could take hours. It’s always worth it though.

Extra thankful that H indulges my love of paper and buys me anniversary cards – his little messages are always the best – and doesn’t pitch too much of a fit about my crazy collection of paper, crafts, photos and journals.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak

Creating, Photographing

Postcards

August 17, 2017

postagram

I love Postagram & I’ve written about it before.

I have a monthly reminder on my phone to send pictures to A’s grandparents & great-grandparents. My maternal grandma told me she carries them around in her purse. Whenever she isn’t having a great day, she takes them out and lines them up. When I visited her apartment, she had them tacked all over with other photos of family and friends.

I’ve used Postagram while on vacation, to send a hello while we’re traveling. Sent pictures of regular life to keep our families updated. Sent pictures of the dog to friends who love him. And now, of course, photos of A. And I send us a few copies now and again for our fridge and scrapbooks. Highly recommend.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak

Feeling, Living, Photographing

One Wish

August 16, 2017

glacier

…that as a human race we’re moving towards consciousness, towards equality, towards understanding that we’re all in this together and that as long as we’re opposing each other we will not survive.

The Earth was here long before us and will continue long after us. It is a privilege to be having this human experience and I do my best live it to its fullest.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak

Creating

Lavender

August 16, 2017

lavender

I thought I’d missed the blooms, but there were still some on my walk last week.

I’m behind in my postings. I know it’s more important to just write anything than to sit and wait for time, ideas, motivation. I keep a copy of Writing Down The Bones on my bedside table. I read Lindsay Crandall’s August Break post. I scroll Instagram waaaaaaay.toooooo.much.

It’s eclipse season. Mercury is retrograde.

Last night was the first time I slept more than 6hrs in over two weeks, so it makes sense that today is a day where I’m able to sit and write. My horoscope implores me to Stay on track and on task, Pisces…This is an impactful moment for doubling down on habits which shore up your physical well-being, promote a energizing dedication to your everyday work, and/or help you gradually chip away at a big project. I don’t feel like I’m chipping away at anything. Work feels overwhelming and siting at the computer all day makes sitting at the computer some more quite torturous. Being on call for jury duty next week feels like the worse timing of all.

The middle part of my back tingles constantly. My left foot has a serious case of metatarsalgia. Walking feels painful. Sitting is uncomfortable. I’m thinking some yoga would be a much better use of my time than even writing.

Events are happening in our country that bring me to tears, that paralyze me with anxiety. It feels stupid to use any energy I have to write about my small pains and frustrations.

But I miss writing. And writing is something that makes me feel whole and better able to serve others. So, here I am, getting a few posts out while H does bedtime routine and I feel hungry for dinner. Have to feed myself in this way first.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak

Feeling

My Eyes

August 9, 2017

eyes

Everyone says she looks like me. And considering our rough start, that’s a probably a good thing. I didn’t think she looked like me so much as she looked like my brother and my sister.

But then she also looks like her aunts, H’s sisters. And then, of course, she looks like H, especially when you put his baby pictures next to hers. She has his lips, which are his mother’s. She has his eye color, his eyes.

She looks like me if I was pieced together from parts of him.

Mostly, though, she looks like herself. A little being that’s never existed before. And that’s exactly how it should be.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak

Feeling, Mothering

Glass

August 7, 2017

window

The first few months of motherhood were hard.

I know people say this, but you don’t really understand until you’re going through it yourself. The whole experience is such a mixed bag of positives and challenges and hormones and lack of sleep that it’s a wonder to me how I survived. This had nothing to do with A and everything to do with my own wreckedness – a deep panic that I couldn’t be a mother, my body would never heal, and everything was terribly wrong.

Like any disaster, you just don’t see it coming, so your own unpreparedness is even harder to reconcile than just the piecing things back together. How could you let it happen? Why didn’t we know more? Why is this happening to me?

I spent a lot of time looking out this window with newborn A nursing on my lap. I remember watching one little squirrel running back and forth, burying food, the rain dripping off of those plants. I remember how much I just wanted to be outside, walking alone, but my body hurt too much and I couldn’t be away from her for long.

I remember taking her out on our first solo outing when she was almost a month old and feeling a spark of something. Bonding? Motherhood? A sense that maybe I could do this? I wanted so badly to show her the world, to fold her into the life I had as me, the person I was before she arrived.

I knew I wasn’t OK and called in all the help I could get – my doulas, sister, husband, friends, family, A’s pediatrician, a lactation consultant, and a therapist.

The therapist was helpful in giving me language for some things and she assured me I didn’t have postpartum depression, but in hindsight I can see I was much worse off than I seemed. The lactation consultant called me three times in one week to check up on me when A had colic and we both had thrush. She didn’t tell me until after the infection was gone that she was worried for us. She was concerned that the pain and frustration of it all would send me over the edge.

I remember telling my doula that I wanted to show A so much more, but we couldn’t even leave the house. She said, “You are showing her your world, it’s just the tiniest bits of it right now. Each room in your apartment is a new to her, every sound she hears is something she’s never heard before.”

That small window view was a metaphor for how trapped I felt, but for A, it was exploring a whole galaxy.

When I think about all of that, I am angry, sad, guilty. I want to travel back as the person I am now and hold that crying baby, show up for her in the way that I just couldn’t then. But all I can do is show up for now, and continue to do so the rest of her life.

These days, motherhood is (mostly) the joy that people tell you it will be. Things are still challenging, but in the way that learning something new is challenging. They’re not hard in the awful way those first few months were. And I’m grateful for this, because I am finally starting to be the mom I thought I could be.

Now, when I’m looking out this window, it’s sitting side-by-side with A. She loves nothing more than to perch right there, banging her little hands on the glass, waving to neighbors, looking at the trees.

And I love nothing more than sitting right next to her, watching her watch the world.


For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak