My husband took this photo of me and our little one during that Mother's Day photoshoot that I guilt everyone to doing :) Edited differently and I'm loving the canvas/painted feel. And speaking of canvas, I ordered the first photo in a huge 20x30 canvas! (Go here for the Instagram pic).
I see so many side-by-side photos of children taken on their first and last day of school. They are all happy and smiling in their cool outfits. Well, here's my version. Here's my kid crying on the first day and last day of school. But for completely different reasons.
First day: crying because he didn't want us to leave him there
Last day: crying because we have to leave school and say goodbye to his friends
Same face. Different reason.
What a difference a year makes. Revisit his day of school here.
In the five years of our marriage, we have laughed together, cried together and fought against each other. There has been hundreds of fights and hundreds plus one of make-ups. We have said goodbyes to family, friends, pets, jobs and to each other. We have traveled thousands of miles, visited four countries, lived in four different states and purchased our first home. We have labored and celebrated the birth of a son. And we have wept and mourned the loss of two. We have played together, prayed together and for each other. We have dreamed together, hoped together and trusted each other. We have been each other's source of headaches but most importantly, the source of happiness. It has only been half a decade but I know of nothing else. For it truly is very difficult for me to find me where one of us ends and the other one begins.
For my fifth Mother's Day (counting Nathaniel in utero), I was treated nothing less than a royalty by the men in my life. I was showered with love, appreciation, gifts and all day was Mommy's-choice.
But I really only asked for one thing: a family photo. To be honest, it was really a gift I can only give to myself. It was a challenge for me to step in front of the camera instead of behind. I don't want Nathaniel to grow up and not have any pictures of his mother because I always have an excuse to hid: I need to lose weight, my hair is a mess, my clothes are old and raggy. Blah blah blah. So this is for you, my beloved son.
We grabbed the tripod, the wireless remote and a blanket. We hopped in the car and pulled over at the first beautiful field we found. No coordinated clothes, no fancy props.
I am not a good mother. It's true. I lose my patience too easily and I raise my voice more often than necessary. I complain about my motherly duties and say "I give up" more than I care to admit. Nathaniel is deeply loved and dearly cared for. But he does not have the best mother he deserves.
And so I hope that when Nathaniel grows up and thinks of me, I hope he thinks of the time I took him to the farm to pick strawberries. I hope he remembers driving to the "forest" (SC state road). I hope he remembers laughing as I pretend to slip in the mud. I hope he remembers how I "saved" him when the bug started crawling off the leaf and onto his hand. I hope he remembers me letting him play in the mud. And I hope he remembers me holding his hand.
I pray that when my son thinks of me, he chooses to remember moments like this day.
Nathaniel is fascinated with swords so naturally, he likes to pretend he is a pirate. He pretty much carries this Jake and the Neverland Pirate sword from his Lola everywhere he goes. Thankfully, Nathaniel has been better at controlling his swings because he used to accidentally hit us or the dog when he is playing. So if you ever come over to our house, expect to engage in some sort of sword fight. (See what I mean, here.)
Here's a video taken last March when Hubby's best friend visited us for a couple days. I took it with my iPhone 5 in a dark room so the quality is not the greatest. But make sure you listen carefully especially at the closer end of the video. I promise it will make you laugh ;)
It's feeling of the warm sun on your skin.
The thrill of having the car windows down and the wind blowing your hair.
The joy of letting yourself go and scream a shout of joy.
The contentment of holding your recent favorite car toy, which you had named Dolly-dolly.
And the security of looking at your family and knowing, without having to say it, that you are loved.
Today, I chose to view the world through my three year old son's eyes.
And I saw simplicity. And beauty.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that we spent the first part of last week in Indiana. Hubby's Dad had to have another risky operation, which sent us packing like maniacs and driving up to Indiana throughout the night last Saturday to see him right before he goes to surgery the next day. Thankfully, Dad-in-law got the best case scenario and only stayed a couple more days at the hospital for continued care and close monitoring after the surgery. He still has a long way to go to full recovery but he is now at least healing at the comfort of his own home. And just as quickly as we arrived to Indiana, we left just the same. We wanted to save as much of Hubby's leave so we can come back in July for our scheduled vacation. Hopefully, Dad-in-law will be in a much healthier state by then.
April 26th was National Pretzel Day so naturally, I had to make homemade pretzels. I recruited Nathaniel to help me, which made for lovely mess. To be honest, I'm not even sure I used the exact amount of cups of flour since I lost count halfway through! Thankfully, I have used this recipe quite a bit so I knew what to expect. Besides, just watching the delight and pride in my son's eyes as he helped me prepare the dough was priceless. He absolutely loved helping!
We made a lot of different varieties using this recipe I posted a few years ago: parmesan, asiago, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, chocolate chunk and plain. See the finish product here and Nathaniel's silly face here. I'm bummed that I had to roll the dough by myself since Nathaniel was napping when the dough finished rising. But he sure was happy to see the finish product when he woke up :)