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Posts Tagged ‘grateful’

During the last few weeks my husband and I have been trying to unpack a spacious two bedroom duplex into a cozy (yet totally fantastic) one bedroom apartment. It’s a big job but after almost a whole month we’re really starting to make some headway.

When we first got married my husband was a Sailor in the U.S. Navy stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii. We lived in spacious, climate controlled base housing and had an incredibly disposable income. We’d go out to eat a few times a week and saw almost every movie that ran through the theater.

Then my dreams came true and we found out we were going to have a baby. Suddenly the military didn’t seem like the best choice for us. My Sailors first enlistment was almost up and I knew that with his second enlistment we wouldn’t be so lucky as to get to spend every day together like we had. He’d have to be on a ship and away for months and months at a time and most importantly he would be away during the birth of our daughter and that just wasn’t an option for us.

So we moved back to California and put all our things in storage and lived in my childhood bedroom at my parent’s house. It was wonderful to have so much help with SweetPea when she made her arrival, and the knowledge my mother shared with me during those first few months of my own motherhood were indispensable, but as months went by it became time to make our way back out into the world and stand together as self sufficient, independent adults.

So here we are. In a one bedroom place just big enough for the three of us. No more eating out and we rarely take in a movie. After leaving the Navy the job market was rough. We’d hoped and dreamed of making more money, or at least the same money, but those dreams fell short and made way for new dreams of making “enough” money to pay the bills and eat. But even with the budget cuts and the relocation there’s nothing sweeter that having your husband come home every day and be a part of raising your child.

So today as I shuffle through the boxes and try to find a bowl for my breakfast I consider it all and instead of sighing in frustration at the state of chaos, I smile to myself and think how lucky I am to have “enough” and how being with the ones I love is worth more than any job could pay.

And I tip my hat to those women who do it alone, because I don’t know if I could and I am so Grateful I don’t have to.

What have you had to sacrifice to be with your family?

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I started a baby journal when I first learned I was pregnant. It was short lived and only has a few entries, but I found it today and wanted to share some of the words I wrote to her with all of you.

August 11th, 2010 – 12weeks 5days

Dear Baby,

The things I find myself wanting from life are so very different than they used to be. I no longer feel the need for a large house and a new car, but I instead long for experiences with you and your Father; a small cabin in the woods with a dog and a goat, watching bugs crawl across the floor in the living room with you and I giggling together as our puppy tries to eat them up, playing outside and teaching you about nature, mud pies and flower cakes, fresh veggies and the smell of ripe blackberries in the sun, cold rainy days spend by the fire reading books and playing games with you and your Daddy, being happy just to be alive and near the ones I love. What sweet happiness one could have with so very little.

Sometimes it’s nice to look back and be reminded of the things that were most important. I’d forgotten how deeply I felt about just having the simple things in life, and enjoying the moments made with my family over the things I can(or can’t) buy at the store. Today I am grateful for the things I have, and that’s a wonderful way to start the day!

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I spend a lot of time thinking about parenting, thinking about the best possible way to be the best possible mother I can be. I’ve chosen a much more natural version of parenting than is commonly seen in America, but I feel confident in it all the same. Parenting is something that should be done from the heart, and the decisions you make for your child should be the kind of decisions you can stand behind.

I am a strong believer in parenting from the heart. As a human female I already posses all the tools I need to take care of my new baby strictly based on instincts alone, but we live in a modern society where we’ve out thought our basic human instincts, and for the sake of living in a modern world some adjustments must be made, but those adjustments don’t have to compromise my values, and whether it’s to my benefit or detriment  as a mother the abundance of commerce in today’s world has made so many choices available when it comes to the quality of products I can choose to put on and near my child.

We’ve chosen to cloth diapers our baby for comfort and to minimize our contribution to the already overflowing landfills on this planet, but my main motivation for them is because it’s what I’d rather wear, and if put into my little Sweet Pea’s shoes (well… booties?) it’s no questions that I’d rather have some nice soft fabric against my new to the world heiny than some chemically conspicuous plastic disposable against my fresh young skin, and that’s just what seems most “natural” to us, so it’s what we do.

Together my Husband and I have made the choice to raise our daughter as naturally as possible, and by naturally I don’t mean keeping EVERYTHING 100% organic and chemical free (Though a lot of things we use are) I mean naturally in terms of our Nature.  Following our instincts as human beings, and doing what comes most simply to us as her parents.

I apply the same general theory to all of my parenting concepts; I simply ask myself “If I were a brand new baby-person in this world, what would make me the most comfortable and secure?” and then I do it. Now it may not always work, or it may not be the correct answer for the situation, but in order to find good solutions and create good practices as a parent you have to start somewhere, and where better to start than to look inside yourself and do for your baby what you would want done for you.

I will make so many mistakes because parents… no… people make mistakes, lots and lots of mistakes, but mistakes made out of love and an attempt to do the best things possible are the kind of mistakes you should (and can) be proud of. So as I embark on my journey into the unknown world of parenting I am grateful to know that I do not stand alone, but that the knowledge of those who came before me rests somewhere in my DNA, and the knowledge of those who come with me rests right here… on the internet.

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I grew up “back woods” Country. Kerosene lamp, outhouse, no neighbors for miles Country, and every time I ever complained about any of it I was met with the same response… well two of the same responses… The first being some form of “you have to do it because you’re the child” and the second being because “it builds character”. Now if opening four gates to get to school and four gates to get back home builds character, I should now have enough character to put on a one woman production of A Midsummer Nights Dream where I play all the parts, the backdrop, and each and every minuscule prop.

The locked gate – a common sight on country roads

In all my years of “country living” nothing has said character building like being eight years old and handed a shove and a roll of toilet paper as I was pushed out the door and pointed in the general direction of some nearby foliage, but the real kicker, the part that just makes me cringe every time I look back is the image of our black border collie mix with two feet of clearly soiled toilet paper streaming from her dirt caked muzzle as she happily ran out into the surrounding grasses to devour her prize…

As I sit in front of my computer during the last few days of my latest visit to Humboldt I can’t help but reminisce, and when I do think back to my childhood and the way I grew up, it’s the moments I didn’t choose, and the things I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do or see that stand out the most, and I’m Grateful for everyone of them no matter how inconvenient or unpleasant they were because those are the moments that built my character, and made me everything I am today.

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