Iyla Edith Rose

Welcome to the world my beautiful Iyla Edith Rose.  Born at 9:45pm September 5th.  6lbs 15oz.  19 inches.

This picture seems to best capture what I most want you to know- your family couldn't be more overjoyed to finally meet you.


One Lasty




Tonight after much discussion we decided we needed to go for a family dinner.  We decided on the Current in Afton which was to be followed up by a stop at Secret Beach.  We had told the kids we weren't going to swim but just a quick stop to wade in the water and skip a few rocks.  But I couldn't resist throwing their suits in my purse before we left.  And I was so glad I did.  As soon as we got to the beach Ryan and I realized we needed to stay longer then 10 minutes and we needed to let them swim.  The river is just too magnetic.  They were thrilled when we surprised them with the swimsuits and immediately put them on and hoped in (cool water and all).  As Ryan and I watched them frolic around we agreed this was exactly what they, and our weekend needed, one more swim at our favorite beach.



{Homemade baby oil}

{Birth armor}


{Henna from my Blessingway}

Several weeks ago I found myself at the end of a prenatal yoga class sobbing into my mat, suddenly overcome by my fear of birth.  The next night, Ryan and I had a tour at our birth center and I came home feeling more anxious then ever secretly hoping maybe I would somehow need to have a c-section.  That night baby flipped into the breach position.  That was my wake up call to start facing my fear.

I started journaling about my fears trying to get to the bottom of them.  In the simplest terms what I found was, birth now equaled "bad".  What was I afraid of?  Everything.  Because after our miscarriage last year, I knew that anything could happen.  I started to make art around my fears, meditate regularly, write letters to baby, make jewelry (which I now refer to as my "birth armor"), and my dear friends held a Blessingway for me.  Once I started doing this work, I loved it so much I kept doing more.  And as I mentioned a few posts ago, I am now loving this pregnancy.  So. Much. And I am finally feeling totally ready for birth.


Secret Beach











August is suppose to be beach month for us.  But with all of the rain lately and cooler temperatures we haven't had any beaching at all.  Today after realizing we weren't up for doing our original plan, Grace had the idea of going to the beach, just the four of us...we never do that anymore.  We don't ever do that anymore so I was thrilled with the plan.  And Secret Beach never disappoints.  Beautiful stretches of sandy beach all to ourselves, a slight breeze and a few background sailboats for some real beach ambiance.  My cup is full.


Calendula and Hide and Seek

I've decided to just jump back into blogging as though I never stopped.  This means I have to skip over so many things but if I keep waiting to catch up I'll never return.

Three summers ago I planted this calendula in our garden.  It keeps reseeding itself but since two years had gone by since it's planting I couldn't remember if it was st. john's wort or calendula.  Today when Heidi was over she was able to confirm for me that it was calendula.  I was pretty pumped about this since I've been reading some recipes for various baby/mama balms, baths, salves, and ALL of them include calendula.  Heidi helped me harvest some (and gather some seeds to save) and now I'm in the process of drying them for a soon to be something, not sure which thing yet.

I'm finally at a point where I am absolutely loving my pregnancy.  I've worked so hard over the last few months to overcome my anxiety and fear based on my experience last year.  Yoga, mediation, art making, and writing furiously over the last several weeks has helped immensely and I'm finally feeling in a pretty good place.  Knowing this will be my last time being pregnant is especially making me appreciate these last few months.

Every night baby and I play this little game of hide and seek with her foot.  It's my favorite.  She kicks the side of my belly and then pulls her foot away and I see if I can figure out where she put it.  I already love her so much.








Last spring after we lost our baby (in public I follow the rules and refer to it as a miscarriage, but alone with my own thoughts calling it such feels like a lie), the garden followed suit.  Flowers got buried in thistles.  Weeds covered every garden path.  Many of the seeds I planted never even sprouted.  Somehow a few tomato plants managed to produce tomatoes which we picked and put in the freezer and there they still sit a year later.  Everyday someone had to go through the garden to let the chickens out and I did my best to try and make sure that person wasn't me.  While in the past the garden had been a source of happiness for me, last year it proved to be the opposite, a constant reminder of where I was at the moment- in a pretty low place.

This spring, pregnant again but this time in my second trimester by the time gardening season rolled around, I wanted to get back in there, but I was more than overwhelmed.  It was a mess, last year's weeds dried up and covering everything, new weeds already sprouting.  I mentioned my feelings to a friend who said "all you have to do is get in there and start shoveling, you won't want to leave."  She couldn't have been more right.  Once I started I didn't want to stop... ever.  I weeded and planted, weeded and planted.  I paid the kids 5 cents a thistle for pulling them.  I bet between all of us we pulled over a thousand thistles out of the garden.  And that was just thistles.  By the time we left for our trip I was feeling pretty good about it all.  Three weeks later when we returned half of the garden was once again over run with weeds... save for the huge section my dad had perfectly manicured.  And I mean perfectly.  Had he not been out working on this little surprise I'm not sure I would have had the motivation to get back out there.

Gardening is such a metaphor for everything else isn't it?

I did get back in there.  Despite gophers and groundhogs and rabbits.  Despite planting peas three times and having whole plants disappear overnight.  Despite several times of me stomping back in the house and declaring that's it, I'm through with you garden.  A few days ago Nora brought in two beautiful cucumbers that she planted from her heirloom seeds the Easter Bunny left in her basket.  They were so good I almost cried.  Truly.  There are green beans ready to harvest.  Yesterday I brought in the first load of beautiful tomatoes and today we will make soup.  And the flowers... they might just be my favorite part.  Sometimes the long road to happiness is more satisfying than the short one.  I'm glad I stuck with you garden.










Yesterday on my short walk through our woods I saw fresh deer tracks and two deer beds that were probably still being used only a few hours earlier.  The ice from storm the day before still clung to every branch and twig making the whole forest look like someone had glazed it.  It was breathtaking and as usual, my pictures do it no justice.

Once I'm outside I always wonder why I have such resistance to it.  But I always do.  It's too cold, too cloudy, too slippery, and on and on...  But I'm such a happier person after I've gotten some fresh air.  Tended to our chickens.  Made my own tracks through the snow.

Life is strange these days.  The trees help remind me what's important.  Where I should focus my energy.  Even how to get energy.  I need to remember this.


Up North








Such a fun weekend!!  Thank you Katie and Kris!!





When Nora finally woke up this morning Jackson and Grace (already awake) came bursting in the room unable to contain their excitement.  I think I have butterflies! Jackson (not Nora) said, encouraging Nora to hurry! and get up so she could do the treasure hunt he made her.  Grace was equally pumped having spent the morning arranging the "critters" she got Nora into a little scene.  The way the tend to her on her birthday is so precious.

This is the first birthday she opted out of having a family party in exchange for a friend one (I only have it in me to do one party per child) which we will do in a few weeks.  So that meant the day was fairly quiet.  Bad winter weather kept us all close to home with a few scattered visitors- my mom for lunch and Grandma Sam, Grandpa Scott, and Great-Grandma for dinner.

She told me it feels very different being five.  And she even put on some of her size 4 clothes and declared they no longer fits.  Clearly she is much bigger now that she's 5.



A New Year


This seemed the best way to bring in this particular new year.  Though I am feeling a little apprehensive entering into 2017, I was relieved to say goodbye to 2016.  It was a hard year for me in many ways. On the morning of New Year's Eve, with Ryan and the kids running a few errands I found myself all alone with an hour and a half at my disposal.  After finishing the dishes I practically ran upstairs to light my candles.


That evening we continued our usual tradition (not sure how many more years we'll be able to keep this one up) of spending the night, just the 5 of us.  We played several rounds of our new game, went on a night hike and made our wishes for the new year.


{Grace in a Christmas patch}

{Through the forest, looking up at the trees}



It was really one of my favorite New Year's Eve's.  After the kids went to bed Ryan and I started a movie (Brooklyn-good so far) as we always do, but still need to finish it (as we always do).  It was a quiet and peaceful and hopeful night.  Just what I needed to let go of the last year and start fresh with a new one.