Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Things I Love

A couple of weeks ago I added a new profile picture to my Facebook page. It was important in the fact that it was just me, eyes right at the camera. My old smile and plenty of new freckles. All in black and white. Just me. Even though I had breastmilk stains on my large shirt, and my hair was pulled back and I was in between bath and diaper changes... it felt like me, even for just those few short moments that it took to take the picture. One of my good friends Joy commented under the picture,"Hi, there! I know that lady! She loves beautiful things, old friends, and coffee." I read it and thought, "Yes. Yes I do love those things. That is me." I almost felt as if putting up the picture had been the question itself and my good friend Joy answered it in one simple comment.

It is easy to forget the things I love. Sure, I love being a mom, and I love my children. But I think that is a known. Of course I do. But in my first born perfectionist tendency... I have tried to make myself the perfect mother. The one that tries to never be annoyed or to hear her children cry. And maybe it took three of them four and under... but it is no new news now. My children annoy me. And they cry. And I need breaks. Because sometimes changing diapers and making chicken nuggets is not my favorite thing. And this is not to say I am not thankful for what I have. Because I can be thankful and also know myself and that sometimes, I need a break. So on this journey of motherhood I have started telling myself it is okay to admit that it is hard work, and that it is nice to have breaks. And also, children cry. I can be the most loving parent around, but they are going to cry. Really the words that actually come to mind some days are "bitch and moan." They are children. Babies really. I am the one in charge. I cannot be defeated by my own fragile spirit. My children are at tough stages, an infant, a toddler, and a barely out of the three "threenager" stage. I am realizing that to be a good mom I need to take time for myself. And not just allow it. Push for it. Make it happen. This will help everyone.

So back to the things I love. I really do love coffee. Coffee is the old lover that never left when I had children. He still greats me several times a day. But for those other beautiful things... I have to search for them. And find them.

We went out of town this last weekend to meet up with all of Andrew's family. We stayed in an old 1930's home on a beautiful plot of land with old sheds and barns and a pond. I could have spent a month there. I could have laid on a blanket and wrote in my journal and read books for several days. But instead of focusing on what nursing a three month old did not allow me to do, I'll instead focus on what I did do. With the help of Andrew and also his mom and sisters, who either wore Foster or talked sweetly and smiled enough to him that he didn't notice I was gone... I found and remembered some of the things I love.

I love taking pictures
I love going to new places
I love to discover

I love waking up first thing in the morning and looking out the window to a brand new place, the sun hitting the dew and frost, to me as if for the first time.

I love not stopping for coffee or even breakfast but running out the door with my old flannel shirt and camera to hurry not to miss the sun saying hello.

I love old things
I love wondering what life use to be
I love water and how when it is cold enough the air dances on top of it in the morning

I love quiet
I love beauty

I love things to look perfect, even if just for a short time
I love the sound of dirt and rocks sliding under my shoes as I walk on new paths

I love character but also charm
I love my cheeks feeling cold but rosy from the morning air, and coming into an old and beautiful house for coffee

I love family
I love my babies

I also love realizing that I was made to be so aware of my own environment, that I will notice things like drops of water on an old fence.

Being there and having that morning to run out and take pictures reminded me more of who I was. And it also showed me why my life can really be hard sometimes. I notice so many little details. When I'm not shooting sunrise photography alone those little details are more like crumbs of food on the floor. And toys out of place. And my ideals are so far gone. But I am growing. I am learning how to remember who I am and what I love. And to try to let go of the things that bother me... or learn how to cope as best as I can. Either way, I plan to write more and share more pictures. But these were some of my favorites.

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