7

Nov

One Year Later

2014

Just over a year apart, this boy has become more like me with every passing moment.

He makes me better, tests my limits and holds my heart in his little hands every single day.

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I’m so grateful to have such talented friends to help capture our family as we grow.
On the left, Callum at 7 months, taken by Michel of Ampersand Photography
On the right, Callum is 1 1/2, taken by Nicole of NC Photography

20

Aug

A Week at the Lake

2014

The week at the lake was full of sunshine, beautiful weather, lots of time at the water, endless runs back and forth on the dock, long naps, warm campfire evenings, and about 30 wagon rides a day. Not to mention racing Grandma on the road, fixing and building with Grandpa, and staying up way past bedtime.

So grateful for this place.

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And we can’t forget all the car washes that were held :)

17

Jul

Today

2014

Today I’m grateful for a messy house and a healthy boy (who makes the house that way).
Today I’m choosing patience and to be happy for his “help”

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Today I’m thankful for my village.
For love and support and smiles and laughs.
For the massive influence they have over Callum and how he’s learning more than he ever could with just Gareth and I.

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Today I’m choosing to embrace the crazy.
The whirlwinds, the bustle, the running and screeching.

Today I’ll remember we’re teaching him to be fun, to be playful, to smile.
And that when it backfires it’s my fault!

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Today I’m relishing in this small moment of calm.

Today, and every day, I’m grateful for this man who is the best father Callum could ever ask for.

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Today I’m feeling so lucky to have this busy, wonderful boy right here beside me. And to enjoy it while it lasts.

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 Some of these photos I’ve already shared on my instagram feed. So my apologies if you follow me there too. If you don’t why don’t you join me?

15

Jul

Campfire Light

2014

Sometimes he can hear us all and he just won’t fall asleep because he’s afraid he’ll miss something. Sometimes he fights sleep and wants to be with us.

So we cuddle and we laugh and we tell him he’s a monkey by the light of the campfire.

And then I realize, he would be missing something. And so would we. These little moments aren’t part of the plan or the design. It isn’t in my schedule or exactly how I thought things should go.

And sometimes that’s okay.

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24

Apr

Life After Mat Leave

2014

My year of mat leave was full of adjusting – giving myself breaks and naps and room to adjust to this new mom business. It was also full of this amazing community of other new moms, which meant lots of play dates and outings and socializing. It meant I was busy.

The time leading up to the end of my mat leave I felt huge relief that I wasn’t stressing about “going back to work”. True, I had worked my entire mat leave, but I still got to stay home with my child. Lucky me! My friends were stressing and worrying and dreading it. Me, I was sweet.

Fast forward a couple of months. Life after mat leave has been a hard adjustment.  All of my friends are back to work, which means my amazing community of my mom friends has substantially shrunk.

Those same friends who were stressing and worried seem to be happy to be out and about in the land of adult conversations again. Me, I’m struggling to establish my new “normal”.

When we got back from the UK I really felt like I needed to establish a routine. No more “just get through the day” or “do what you gotta do”. This was my day to day now. Callum is also at the age where he needs some routine, and some structure, so I make sure I’m home (almost) everyday for nap time for him. This has meant spending a lot of time at home. In my house. Alone. For some people this may sound like bliss. For me, it’s hard. Really, really hard. I like to talk. I like to chat and laugh and be around other people. I love making connections with people and spending time with them.

We’re definitely keeping busy. But even when we go out now, a lot of the time it’s just the two of us. And if you’ve every spent your days chattering with a one year old, you know it can make you feel a little like your brain is turning to mush at times.

I’m forever grateful I can spend this time with my son. Too soon he’s not going to want me around all that much and I’m going to miss this like crazy. But I’m finally realizing it’s okay to say that even though I love spending time with him, this new life can be a little lonely.

Every mom has their own battle. Traditional working moms have so much to juggle and so much to fit into their day. Stay at home moms and work from home moms have a different kind of battle – the battle of keep ahold of ourselves.

Slowly but surely I’m going to find my new rhythm. We’ve joined some new groups and met some new people. Spring is bringing warm days and time to be outside. Just like in my old life, this new life is full of constant adjusting and wiggling and figuring things out.

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I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. I think it’s time to share.

Callum is ONE! I’m starting to write this before he actually turns one, as I feel like there is so much to say. As I try and process the massive change my heart, my mind and my life have gone through this past year, there is so much to think about. Here is what I’ve learned from my first year as a momma.

1. Build your village. You’re going to need it.
I couldn’t have got through year one without the support of the people around me. My family, old friends, and new friends. I wrote a whole post about it HERE, check it out.

2. My husband is 100 times the man I thought he was when I married him.
And I knew he was pretty amazing when I said yes.

3. Your body can survive, and you can still smile, on very little sleep.

4. I’m not nearly as selfish as I thought I was.

5. As hard as it is, and as much as my heart objected, I’m forever grateful I was forced to leave Callum so young. Worked called us away from him when he was 18 days old. From then he’s been watched by family and friends. It’s turned him into a well adjusted little man who is happy to be watched by nearly anyone as long as they’re paying him attention.

6. No one cares if my house is messy. No one is judging if I have spit up on me and my hair is crazy. And if they are judging, they can show themselves the door thank you very much.

7. Priorities will change, and some people won’t get that. Some will respect my new lifestyle, others won’t fit anymore. And that’s okay. Not everyone is meant to stay in my life forever.

8. My tear supply is endless.

9. I will always worry. I will always second guess my decisions. Gareth is my balance, and I am forever grateful for that.

10. Callum isn’t breakable. If I screw up, he’s not going to remember. And even if he could remember, I’m pretty sure he would forgive me.

11. Life goes on. Our life goes on. The trick is to figure out where Callum fits into it, not just create a new life that revolves around him.

12. Laugh and Callum will laugh. Be sad and he’ll be sad. Kids are total mirrors and mimic whatever we do.

13. I can’t do this alone.
Some days I keep trying…but I just can’t.

14. It’s okay to admit I can’t do this alone.

15. At the end of the day, this crazy, chaotic life we’re building is never going to be perfect. But it’s mine, and I love it.

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8

Mar

Every Time

2014

Every time he hugs me
my heart grows a little more.
Every time he cuddles in
I don’t think I could love him more.

I hope and I pray
and I wish all the time
that he stays this sweet, this loving
this kind.

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The three of us had a rare day alone, with no rain. We spent it visiting two castles, an old country church yard filled with snow drops, and a classic red telephone box.

We brought a ball and Callum laughed and squealed with delight as we ran with him and kicked the ball against the castle wall. And then he kicked it on his own, which thrilled his dad to no end.

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Dad, are our feet the same size yet?

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