October 24, 2012

new life in our home

Annika Mae Rose
born September 28th, at 1:32 am
weighed in at 7 lbs, 8 oz
Born at home into the loving arms of her parents 
and beautiful midwives, born in the water, in our kitchen.

We are overflowing with gratitude for her little life.

We ask your prayers as well, for not but a week after our fifth child, Annika was born, 
we were saddened by the news of my mother's passing from this life. 
She found peace on October 3rd. 
We are mourning one life and celebrating a new life all at once. 
Hence my absence from this space. 
We have been surrounded with love, prayers, and practical support
 in the form of meals, help with the children and housework. 
For that we are grateful. 
I hope, in the days ahead to blog a bit about this journey we are on. 
Grieving a parent is a new and uncharted path for me; 
doing so while being newly postpartum is an even more unique journey. 
I am trying to be gentle with myself...one day at a time.

September 5, 2012

the new normal

The new normal for us has begun, in September, with all its freshness and mystery of what is yet to be.

We are taking the plunge into another year of homeschooling, and the children seem ready and excited for all that is to come. Though we attempted to keep at the learning through the summer, with swimming and ballet lessons, visits from family and friends, a garden to tend to and lots of impromptu trips to the beach, mostly what it all amounted to was lots of reading and library trips and quick little math drills with a CD-Rom we've come to enjoy. Still, I'm amazed at the delight the children have shown in the last few days about diving into learning again. How this year will pan out is yet to be determined, but I'm feeling good about setting up our routine again of mornings for more formal book learning, with afternoons for naps (for me!), library trips, nature walks and outside play and all the other little things that our homeschooling lifestyle allows. 

We are waiting on this little one growing with me, not due for another few weeks. We are preparing to meet her sweet self, eagerly washing baby clothes, painting the cradle, washing old towels and sheets in preparation for our fifth home birth. I haven't blogged at all since the spring, as you may have noticed (welcome back, readers!), because I honestly felt this time of pregnancy has been a period of real turning inward, saying no to outside obligations and expectations that didn't serve my serenity. It isn't that I didn't have much to say; I just didn't have the desire to put it out there on the blog. 

Pregnancy is always a very contemplative time for me: a time of being and not of doing. When you are growing a little person inside of you so much of your energy becomes focused on that reality and on self-care. This time around I think I've finally found a much better balance and I sense that I am arriving at this little one's birth in a much better place. My youngest is now 3, and is turning four in December, so it has been a while since our home has been graced with a newborn babe and the joy is so full. We all await her arrival with great delight!

I am hoping to get on the blog a bit more in the days ahead, to document our family's simple adventures and to keep my focus on gratitude as these last weeks of pregnancy can be draining and testing of my patience. You mamas understand.

Come by for a visit every now and then! Maybe I'll even get around to sharing some of our summer photos. The garden is growing, despite my meager efforts beyond planting. Scott has been the gardener extraordinaire and we'll have lots of potatoes to show for it soon enough! For now, we've been eating lots of cucumbers, zucchini (everything!), melt-in-your mouth tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, lettuce and spinach and so much yummy basil. Soon I'll be making pesto and perhaps learning how to can tomatoes.

We'll see, we'll see what comes...