Tuesday, September 30, 2014

To the love o' my life

Happy Birthday!!

Not to rub it in or anything-but can you believe you are 33. It's truly wild to think we've been married for near a decade. On the one hand, I still feel like were just kids- invincible, a little lost, us against the world- and all that jazz. Yet on the flip side- I feel so settled, so secure. I guess that's what being in love is really all about. Regardless of circumstance, where a bouts, time and dare I say it. . .age- we have each other. As long as I'm on this crazy journey with you, well then, life is right.

This is going to be a good year for you, for us, I just know it. I mean come on- you've got a beard! And it's only taken you a few months to grow it:) you have officially arrived, sailing into manhood and not a moment to late.

I am hopelessly and forever yours. I love you so much and I'm so proud of the man you are. I'm honored to be your wife, and fine, I'll just say it- let's grow old together, you and I.

Monday, September 29, 2014

looking forward

It is with a mixture of excitement and woe that we finally arrived home. The trip was so good. It was good for our spirits for our souls and our family. 

As we took that sharp right and headed up our driveway and got that first glimpse of home, our home, there was delight there. It's a good home, filled with so much love and happiness. Only the tiniest nagging in the back of the mind, pulling it back to far away places and the ease and freedom only vacation can bring.

On our last day there, Aussie and I strolled hand in hand along the beach. Together we made list of all the things we were excited for when we got home. For me, it was fall. I'm finally ready. Bring on the chill! Let's get a roaring fire going and snuggle up under thick blankets while we chatter about and drink mulled wine. I'm ready to break out the hay bales and pumpkins and adorn the porch in it's red and orange autumn get-up. Fill my planters to the brim with substantial cabbages, cheerful oxalis, and of course mums.

I'm also feverishly looking forward to hunting season. Part of even attempting homesteading is eating from the land. So in keeping, Kaleb and I have both become hunters of sorts. For me it's the most lovely time. I get to be alone, which is a rare and beautiful occurrence, I get to read (oh how completely blissful) and I get to be out in nature. Wholly surrounded by God's creative and artistically painted picture.

Finally, and this is not so much fall related, just a by product of vacation, I'm all a flutter to love myself a little bit more. Take a hot minute and place some extra attention on taking care of myself. Drink some water, hit up the gym, paint my nails- little things that make a whole world of difference in how I feel.

I think the lot of us came home renewed. A fresh start of sorts to find our way, or forge new paths. New energy and ideas swirling about, mixing effortlessly with broken in routines and goals. I know the kids at least are happy to be home. They have run all over this farm and look exactly the way farm kids should-covered in dirt head to toe, with big ole grins covering their tan little cheeks.

It's going to be good. I can feel a shift in the air, a clearing coming- and we are ready!

p.s.- We love us some mulled wine, it is so so good! I always use the Barefoot Contessa recipe here, and cut it in half. It's the perfect drink for fall!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

my mister beggetio

My baby boy or maybe more appropriately, my little man, is turning six years old today. As a mother each birthday breaks my heart just the tiniest bit. I become frantic, scrambling. Seeking for some way to slow down time, or stop it altogether- just for a spell. To stay in this season, where I can hold them and touch their sweet faces. This span that he and I snuggle and explore and I am his world. 

I do realize though the beauty that comes with the evolution. The changing of babe to boy to man. To watch them grow and change, to get to be a spectator, to play a role in his story- it is an honor beyond comprehension.

This kid is good. He is kind and incredibly sensitive. To guard his heart you must tread lightly and handle him with ease and grace. He is rough and tumble, full of never ceasing energy and excitement. He is brave and adventurous, shy and reserved. 

Zain means 'light of God' and he is just that- a light to all who meet him. Happy Birthday my sweet boy, I will love you always.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

the half-way point

We have officially been at the beach a full week today. It has swiftly passed by and I could not be more thankful that we still have another week left. We are just not ready to go home.

The sand and the salt combined with the sting of the sea water have been a balm. Cleansing and refreshing. Washing away the disappointment and worry of the past few months. 

Also, let me just say how much I love my sweet husband. I am so thankful for the strong and attentive father that he is. Poor man has been so sick yet still spent over an hour today pulling our wilds on a boogie board.

It was so entertaining. I snapped away and cheered and laughed, all the while Eleanor is fussing and screaming "mine, mine." I'm not sure where she got this mine business, but seriously it's a bit much. She has been quite a handful on this trip, but then you pick her up and she starts patting you on the back and whispers "mine" and well, somehow the world is right again.

As I watched Kaleb throughout the day, continue to give and do and help and hold. A sense of calm came over me. Yeah things have not been working out the way we planned, that happens, but I know it's going to be ok. I would follow this man anywhere, and I know with him at the helm we will be just fine.

Friday, September 19, 2014

sand and sun

Thus far our holiday has been pretty amazing. Everything I hoped it could and would be. The wilds are loving every moment of it, and I'm not sure if they will ever be ready to leave. I have been soaking up every minute and have completely failed to document any of it. So today, I made myself grab the camera. I feverishly clicked away, not wanting to let another day slip away unphotographed. 

We started the day at our favorite coffee spot, Grayt Grounds. It has these beautiful eclectic gardens, with small pebbled pathways winding between flowering arches and quaint hideaways. They serve a gouda grit breakfast bowl, that is hands down one of the best things I've ever eaten. We crave them and wait all year to go back for more.

Kaleb and I have both been fighting off colds, which is annoying. So yesterday I went to a health food store to get some cold medicine, instead they gave me a shot called the heat wave. It's a mixture of ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper and garlic. It looks like melted butter and tastes horrible.  It burns all the way down, but it opens you up and I felt better the next day. Naturally, I forced Kaleb to go and get one today!

We decided to forgo the beach this morning, and let little Eleanor have a nap. She has been such a trooper but she is truly exhausted. We tucked her in, and headed outside to surprise Zain with an early birthday present.

We had been wanting to give slack lining a go for some time, and thought Zain would love it. Pretty much anything that doubles as American Ninja Warrior training, is going to be a hit with our bugs. It is awesome! If they enjoy it even half as much as Kaleb and I do, then it's a success.

After lunch, we finally made it to the beach. It's been interesting to watch our boys this week. Our kiddos have always been close and usually play great together, but the boys have become inseparable little buddies, and it's so sweet to watch. I hope that it flows into a constant and they will always remain so.

A couple days ago, the bugs befriended the sweetest couple. Their own grandkids hadn't been able to make it this year, so they took to ours as replacements. The man had promised he would meet us today to build a sand castle, and he came prepared. He had bought them tools and toys and even made flags that they could each decorate.

We planned, engineered and constructed all afternoon and into the evening, but it was a masterpiece. Complete with a covered entrance and decorated with every shell we could unearth.

We left the beach as the sun was setting, grabbed some boiled shrimp and headed to our pool to finish out the day. Needless to say, we are completely and totally spent. And all I can think of is doing it again tomorrow!

p.s. I realize I'm not in any of these photos. I so hoped, this blog would force me to be in more photos, so there might be some record that I was around, that I existed. Thus far, it's not really panned out. I have really got to teach that man of mine how to use a camera!

p.s.s. Anybody have any tips for hair at the beach? Seriously, I may as well have a bale of hay for hair right now!

Monday, September 15, 2014

ebb and flow

We finally made it to the beach! We have had our little vacation booked since this winter, and have quietly been counting down the days. This getaway could not have come at a better time. Our little clan has been in desperate need of a change of scenery. Kaleb and I are praying that this will be a time of clarity, renewed hope, and relaxation.

Today was the loveliest day! We spent the lions share of it playing in the surf, building sand tunnels, boogie boarding and strolling leisurely, stopping to sift thru broken sand dollars and  scour for shells.

We finished the day completely sun weary. Truly exhausted in all the best possible ways. It prevailed as a winsome beginning to  what will surely be another great beach vacation.

Friday, September 12, 2014

fall fail

I feel everyone is writing of fall. Crisp golden leaves swirling to the ground. Mugs filled to the brim with something hot, warming you all the way thru. Your favorite pair of socks possibly stolen from a beloved. Scarves, chunky knits and riding boots. Pumpkin spices weaving thru chilly breezes.

And I'm just not there.

It's near a hundred degrees outside and we're gearing up for a jaunt to the beach. I'm in cut off jean shorts grasping for  those last dregs of summer.

Maybe in October. . . 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

a fair evening

I have so many great memories of going to the fair, starting as a wee little girl myself. I used to love to ride the motorcycles, the pink one with the sparkly paint was always my favorite. I remember scrambling up the steps, and side stepping my way around to have first pick.

As a mother, the fair has become a milestone of sorts. I still can recall the first time we took Aussie, a mental picture I hope to not forget. She was about three years old and we had been prepping her all day for the adventures that lay ahead. Of course, she had no idea what it was but knew she wanted to be dressed perfectly for the occasion. She strutted out in a black leotard, a purple tutu and leg warmers! I can still picture her so plainly, sitting astride a miniature pony in her fancy get up.

The bugs and I sat down yesterday before we left and scrolled thru photos from our previous fair days. It's so fun to see how much they change each year. To watch them become braver, to look back on their different hair styles and fashions. Aussie wore a leg warmer last night across one knee, just in case she fell, this year it wouldn't scrape her knee like it did last year. I had to giggle just a bit to myself, these wee ones come up with the best stuff. :)

To be perfectly honest, as a mother the fair is a bit of a nightmare. The crowds are thick and hot and wild. My head was spinning trying to keep everyone safe and accounted for. I was gripping the hands of multiple wee ones and continually counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, an ongoing mental headcount.

As the sky darkened and the lights began to glow purple and blue, we braved the lines and took up into the night on the ferris wheel. A family favorite. We snapped pictures and scanned the land contemplating what would be their final ride of the evening.

They settled on the giant slide. One final hurrah! Not sure my mamma nerves could handle too much more, we bid farewell until next year.