I told you that since our move at the beginning of the year things have felt very peaceful. I feel like I am no longer busy in the stressful sense of that word. Sure, I have things to do like everybody else, but I can be a tad bit more flexible and I can squeeze in some down time.
Waking up so early, constantly changing diapers and chasing kiddos -- teaching school to the children for the first half of the day and then teaching myself in law school for the second half of the day - plus commitments, running the household, appointments, meeting with friends, etc., makes me feel like I'm never quite on top of things and never fully succeeding at anything. But I'm learning to embrace the imperfections of my life and just admit to myself and to others that I struggle juggling it all. So I'm grateful for slower days or little indulgences I get that give me the recharge I need to get back to the grind or appreciate routine.
For my Birthday this year Chris bought me a flight to go see my sister Missi in Florida. It seemed like the perfect way to take advantage of some down time and get away for a recharge. I got to meet some new family members, catch up with old friends, enjoy my sisters and brother, and not have to worry about bundling up to go anywhere.
Cecily met the ocean for the first time. I went for a solo walk with just Cecily in my arms on the beach. We breathed the salt air. We hummed with the crashing waves. We found a few seashells to bring back to Ohio for the other kids. We stood still for moments here and there taking in the beauty and reverently worshipping God for His creation. And my soul was at rest. Cecily cooed the entire time. I'm certain she loved that walk as much as I.
The Florida trip was a quick weekend rendezvous, but I've continued to find ways to unwind since being home. Our local coffee shop is a block from my house, so after a long run in my old town with a friend, I can squeeze in a little indulgence while I study before the kids wake up. I can't tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to get a 6-7 mile run in and an hour of studying in before daybreak!
It used to be that styling outfits, taking photos, and shopping was what inspired me - but now a little time alone is what recharges me. It has been so good to be back to being a morning person and taking advantage of those hours I used to snooze through. Nevertheless, sometimes I miss the old days of taking the time to do my hair and make-up every day, shop for thrift finds, and wear something a new way each day. A few weeks ago I put this together for a couples' date recently and loved the way it turned out. For the most part, though, these styled moments are rare.
In other news, Cecily turned 7 months today and I was able to get a little photo shoot in this morning with her. She has been hitting some milestones lately, and I'm finding myself feeling sad that her toddler days are right around the corner.
These babies of mine teach me so much about life. How I respond to life inevitably becomes the way they respond to life - I see my mistakes in them, but I also see so much forgiveness from them. Oh how quickly telling them I love them or am sorry will absolve any ounce of sadness or anger in them.
Now I have to get back to studying. Just needed a quick moment to reflect a little on the past few weeks. Winter seems to drag on forever, but looking back on these photos, it feels like it is going by too fast. Funny how that happens.