From the moment Jack arrived on Monday evening, Sept. 10, 2018—he stole our hearts. With my first child, Ryan, I learned how to be a mother; with my second child, Connor, I learned that there is always more love to give; and with my third child, Jack, I learned that I would do anything for my children. Jack pulls us in with his contagious laugh, sweet temperament and interest in others. I think it's fair to say that everyone in our family feels a very personal connection to Jack, a sense of responsibility and longing to be close. He is our charming baby; our 'buba,' and our Jackie, as he is affectionately called :) Happy birthday sweet Jack, you are a gift to all of us and we love you so much!
We moved, and we love our new home. We have room to grow, like we literally have some empty spaces. Some spaces need updates. Some need paint, others new fixtures and repairs. Some just need decisions—decisions about what we want. Decisions that I don’t feel ready to make. Had I moved into this home without a baby on my hip and two wild children, we might have already painted walls and hung artwork. But alas, that is not our situation. So we wait. We settle. We rest in the unfinished spaces. We live now and invite people over. We embrace the in between, the spaces of today and the dreams of what it will be in the future.
Today is Connor’s fourth birthday. A few weeks ago we celebrated with his friends at a local splash pad and today we will celebrate with family.
I think that Connor has been who he is since day one—and four year old Connor is not much different from one year old Connor. Connor is full of life; he plays, communicates, and experiences life with determination and fearlessness. He is a great little brother and a great big brother; he loves to build things, play music, cook and make messes ;) He brings so much excitement and passion into our family, he challenges my parenting capabilities, and he also makes me feel overwhelmed with love. Connor is quick to say I love you, plant a huge kiss on my face and jump into my arms. I like to think about our family members as puzzle pieces and I’m so thankful to have unique Connor as part of our puzzle. Happy birthday Connor!
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind. For some time now, we’ve been on a passive home search, watching real estate apps to see what gets listed and touring homes on the weekends. In May, Michael saw a home and immediately knew it was the one. We quickly met with our real estate agent, prepared to list our current home, and made an offer on the new home. We’ve been in our new home for two weeks now, and it’s been a crazy mix of overwhelming, exciting, exhausting, and joyful to be going through this huge change. We are only ten miles from where we were before, but we’ve gone from a townhome to a single family home, and as Connor said the other day, we used to live in the city and now we live in the forest :) We have a yard with big ancient trees, and enough bedrooms for each of the boys. When we first walked through the home, we felt that it had been loved by it’s previous owners—and we are so excited to raise our family here and care for our new home for decades to come.
Adventure: When Michael and I were dating we bought two world maps and each circled places we wanted to visit together. On my map were places I had never been and wanted to explore for the first time with Michael; there were also places I had been, and loved, and wanted to share with him. One of the places I visited that I wanted to return to with Michael was the bottom of the Grand Canyon :) and we’re going to make it happen for Michael’s birthday this year. In September, Michael and I will fly (with no children) to Arizona, where we will hike down and up, this magical, immense, natural wonder. I’m so excited for this adventure, and I can’t stop daydreaming about the Grand Canyon, it’s stunning beauty, the physical challenge of hiking the canyon, and the time with Michael.
Parenting: my ongoing parenting dilemma—how much discipline, how much freedom? Parenting Ryan and Connor often feels like a balancing act, attempting to parent with the most appropriate reactions, guidance and freedom.
New home: We’re planning a move in the near future. It will be a local move, likely only 10 miles from where we live now. We’ve been passively looking for a while, but I’m having trouble making up my mind about what I really want. Do I want an old house from the 1930s or a newer one from the 1980s? Do want a big house with extra rooms or a smaller house that keeps us close together? Do I want something that needs updates or something more current? Do I want to be farther from town or closer to town? Even as I type this, I’m still not sure what I really want, so each week I check the houses that are listed, and I hope I will come across one that feels just right.
Marriage: In discussing marriage in Becoming, Michelle Obama says, “It’s a contract best renewed and renewed again.” I love this, and I try to remember that marriage requires daily work and a commitment that deserves to be revisited.
Women’s rights: When I think about the timeline of humanity, I’m always stunned when I remember it’s as recently as the last 150 years that women have started to make advancements towards equality in the US. Which brings me to the current debate on abortion. The fact that this personal choice, has become such a public topic, being ruled on by a government of representatives dominated by men, is mindblowing to me and totally unacceptable.