28 December 2010

thoughts on mary...

i've been thinking a lot about mary lately.
mary: the mother of God.

i'm not sure the reason.
it might have something to do with the fact that i, myself, just had a baby and am in the throes of life a newborn.
or, perhaps, it has something to do with my increasing time as a mother...chalk it up to experience...
or maybe i'm just becoming more pensive as i grow older...thinking more deeply about things and taking less at face value.
whatever the reason, i find myself, sitting in front of the christmas tree, asking questions that i have no way of answering...

did she ever forget?
forget the wonder of that night?
it would be so easy to lose sight of God's wonderful plan and the majesty that had taken place that miraculous night in the daily routine of life, as she and joseph married and started adding to their family. life has a way of blinding our eyes...giving us tunnel vision...
did she ever get exasperated with Him and then immediately remember His divinity with a flush of guilt?
because, though He was God, He was also just a little boy. He may have been perfect but that didn't mean He didn't spill His milk...or get into the cupboards and spread flour all over the floor. i'm sure He messed His clothes right as mary was heading out the door. just because He was God didn't mean He didn't make His share of messes. because, as humans, we are prone to mess making.
i wonder if mary sighed as she stooped to sympathize with a skinned knee...
if she thought "i just want to sleep!!" as a baby's cries for milk shattered her slumber...
the pressure to be a perfect parent must have been so much greater as the mother of God...

11 December 2010

the many faces of elijah man.

the other day, i took the kids to the park to play. we were almost done, getting ready to head back home when elijah and i started having a pretty silly conversation. i had my camera out anyways so without even looking through the viewfinder, i just started shooting. i don't remember what we were talking about, i just remember we were giggling. a lot. when i finally had a minute to upload the pictures from that day (several days later), i fell in love with the images that popped up on my screen. these are the faces of my little boy...almost four years old...

little bits of lucy kate...

oh my girl...

here's some bits of life with lucy:

 she is  a cheese ball!...
 ...loves to play in the pantry...
 ...always asks to be held at the most inopportune times (like during dinner prep or when i'm nursing naomi...)
 oh...her giggle can melt your heart...
 ...LOVES to dance...especially on her tip toes...
...adores her little sister. whenever she sees her, she automatically starts chanting, "hi, nay-nay!"
 ...is soSO sweet...(most of the time! she's been known to take a whack at her brother a time or ten...)

...hates going to bed...

...and is just so stinkin' pretty!

we love our lucy girl...

sometimes you forget...

sometimes in the midst of everyday, in the doings of life with littles, you forget how small they really are. and then...something like this pops up in your viewfinder and you're reminded of their vulnerability...

...and how tiny they really are.

30 November 2010

one month old...

...and her eyes are still blue. hoping beyond hope that they stay that way!!

john and i always used to joke that we'd just keep having kids until we got one with colored eyes. though i have blue (ish) eyes, john's are very, very brown and so are the rest of his immediate family's. our hopes were not high on having a child with colored eyes. however, naomi's are still clear and blue...both elijah's and lucy's clouded and turned brown within the first few weeks after birth. we're keeping our fingers crossed that naomi's stay the exact shade that they are now!

07 November 2010

naomi grace: an introduction.

(eta: this was supposed to post on the seventh...not sure why it didn't. maybe i forgot to press "post". wouldn't be the first time...)

it's the evening of november seventh.
two days after my "official" due date...
and my arms are filled with the sweet mingling scent of newborn.
she is already ten days old.
it's unbelievable to my brain that she has been here for ten days...
never once while carrying this tiny being did i imagine that she would be an october baby.
i had my sights set on this day.
this november day.
this was the day i was working towards these past nine months.
it's only natural that i would expect her to be late considering the tardiness of her brother and sister. elijah was ten days late...lucy, five. so when my labor started late tuesday afternoon (only light contractions, i honestly couldn't tell if they were braxton hicks or gas bubbles), i was in complete denial. it was only after they didn't go away and gradually increased in intensity that i started to think that maybe...just maybe this little one was going to be early.
i was in no way prepared for her arrival.
i hadn't packed my bag for the hospital...
i hadn't bought diapers.
i hadn't even picked out a coming home outfit...
i was positive i still had two weeks to go.
but...she had different plans.
around dinner time on wednesday evening, my contractions were starting to get to the point where i had to stop what i was doing and really concentrate on something else. but they weren't very frequent and i was still able to handle them without much trouble. john and i made it through bath time, put the kids to bed and then i looked at him and said, "well...guess i better get my bag packed".
we started timing the contractions at that point (it was around nine o'clock) and i text messaged my brothers and sisters-in-law to let them know they were probably going to be uncles and aunts again sometime in the next 24 hours. i labored at home with john at my side (he was AMAZING, by the way) until about one in the morning when john called his mom to have her come stay with the kids.
we left for the hospital around one thirty.
i was strangely enough able to relax on the drive over there so once we got to the parking lot at the hospital, we just stayed in the truck for a while.
about two thirty though, i sat straight up and told john, "we've got to get in there, now".
we got into a labor and delivery room where i paced until the nurse was able to check me.
i was petrified i would only be dilated to a three (which was where i was at at my appointment on tuesday)...but i had already progressed to an eight.
thankful tears spilled down my cheeks as i told john, "we can do this".
a completely different tone and attitude from my previous two labors; they were filled with discouragement and doubts.
my ob/gyn showed up minutes after he was called (he must live right next to the hospital) and he broke my water.
at that point, i was dilated to a nine and was able to start pushing just a few contractions later.
three reallyREALLY hard pushes and our beautiful baby girl was born at 3.21am.
since we were completely unprepared for her early entrance to the world, we still hadn't picked out a girl's name...so she went without one until the next afternoon.
after debating back and forth for a bit, we decided on naomi grace.
naomi has several meanings: beautiful, pleasant and my joy and my delight.
the meaning of grace is pretty obvious but here it is anyway: favor or good will, the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. (there are other meanings but these are our favorites) 
already, this little girl i'm holding in my arms personifies all those definitions and more. she is so sweet and tiny (as cliched as that sounds, it's completely true)...
and compared to her brother and sister, she is soso quiet!
she rarely voices her discontent unless her diaper is being changed when she'd rather be eating.
a good little sleeper, she prefers to cuddle in someone's arms but sleeps just fine by herself in her little bassinet at the foot of our bed.
i am so thankful that she figured out nursing quickly and hasn't had many problems with it, except for her tendency to fall asleep before she's really and truly finished (unlike her sister who had trouble throughout her first two months of life).
she is the perfect compliment to our family...and i can't wait to watch her personality develop.
and because a blog post isn't a blog post (especially one about a baby) without pictures, here's a "few" that i've taken so far...

25 October 2010

a weekend at 50mm...

(a word about the blog title: i forgot my camera bag at home but thankfully, grabbed my camera as i was walking out the door. it had my new 50mm lens on it...hence the name of this post)

the first weekend of october was...well...what was it?
it was fantastic.
it was completely refreshing.
it was the first time john and i had gone away by ourselves since before elijah was born (over four years ago).
it was about time.
we debated long and hard the various locales we could visit for our weekend away...(seeing as there's so many fun destinations within a two hour drive from here).
we talked about half moon bay, sausalito, yosemite, monteray, san francisco, fort bragg (which is further than two hours...but not by much), sebastopol, etc. etc. etc.
we finally decided on south lake tahoe. we'd been there before but it had been years ago and during the winter. we found a fantastic deal on a room (more like a small condo) right at the base of heavenly ski resort.
without sounding cliche, it was heavenly. 
our window looked out onto the gondola that shoots you up the mountain.
the mountain air was crisp, clean and so refreshing. (especially for this alaskan girl)
and, seeing as it was october, there was hardly anyone else there. 
we didn't do much of anything...which was just fine by me.
friday night, we had dinner at a little pub we frequented during our previous visit before heading to bed...
saturday, we had a leisurely breakfast and then rode the gondola up the mountain. once there, we walked around, admired the views, imagined what it would be like when there was snow up there and then headed back down (in other words, we didn't stay long. it would have been fun to spend some time hiking around on the trails but seeing as i was eight months pregnant at the time, wearing crocs and a skirt, it wouldn't have been the wisest of activities). so, instead of fighting the lunch crowds, we drove around the lake a few miles. we wandered through an octoberfest in camp richardson, meandered down to the lake and soaked up some sun and history while exploring pope beach and its historical sites. while lingering over our late lunch, we watched black clouds roll in while thunder and lighting competed for spectacularity (is that even a word?). the rain poured down in torrents the likes of which i haven't seen in years. it was a beautiful, beautiful thing. seeing as this wasn't the best time of sight-seeing, we sloshed back to our room, turned on the fireplace (ha!) and the football game and had a most relaxing afternoon. the hotel restaurant tempted us downstairs around eight, where we enjoyed appetizers and the final minutes of the games.
sunday morning, we slept in and took our time getting breakfast and checking out of the hotel. we, again, didn't have any agenda but knew we didn't want to head straight home. so instead, we took the long way back, around the lake, stopping here and there and just generally enjoying each other's company. we finally pulled into truckee (pretty much the opposite side of the lake where we had been) around two in the afternoon where we indulged in the best lunch we'd had in a long, long time. if you're ever headed to truckee, be sure to stop in at moody's bistro and lounge. excellent, EXCELLENT food. i can't recommend it enough.
we turned tail and made our way down the mountain pass towards sacramento and eventually home. i can't say enough how relaxing it was to spend those uninterrupted hours with my love.
and i can't wait to do it again.
hopefully we won't wait another four years next time...

here's the pictures:
 view during breakfast on saturday morning...that's the gondola that takes you up the mountain.
 view of the lake from the gondola...
 up at the top of the mountain, standing on the state line between california and nevada
 just the two of us (well...i guess technically there was three of us!)
 while fall was no where to be found back home, it was definitely visible up there! so pretty...
 checking out some of the historical monuments at camp richardson...

 sitting at the lake shore...right before the clouds rolled in...
 the view from the bedroom doorway...
 john sampled MANY different kinds of beer that weekend...i so wished i could've joined him!
 us. (with firefly reflections from the bar countertop)
 this was taken from a viewpoint off highway 88 (or was it 89? i can't remember) where you can see vikingsholm castle and the head of emerald bay. we didn't venture down to it...mainly because it was raining and because it required a bit of hiking...
 such yummy food!!

22 October 2010

skateboarding at sunset...

oh...how i love these pictures. my boy is growing up so fast!! (all taken 26 july 2010)