Eclipse babies, peace, and hurricanes.
I'd been planning to really pour into this blog again, and now I haven't posted since the beginning of August!? I'm discovering that I have a perfectionist tendency that's preventing me from being able to consistently write here—a feeling that every post needs to be polished and helpful and just right before I publish it. But that isn't really what blog are for, right? I don't want to let perfectionism kill this thing.
So here's a life update.
I photographed a birth on the day of the solar eclipse. I'd been on call for weeks and it was such a sweet day. Witnessing the hearthside arrival of a brand new human is pure magic, every single time.
I love birth photography so much, but it takes such a toll on my mental state, my physical health, and my family. I'm feeling that I have to pull back more and more. This makes me sad, but I know that saying no to things is one of the only ways to live in peace. I simply cannot do it all. When I try, I crash and burn without fail. Every single time. Not that I'll never shoot another birth, but I'm seeing clearly that they can't be a regular thing for me.
There's another reason for this, too. I finally announced it on social media earlier today. One more precious little one will be joining our family at the end of March 2018! I'll be 12 weeks pregnant on Friday. Even though I've known for nearly two months now, it's only just beginning to sink in and feel normal to think that I'm going to be a mom of four. I really thought I was done having babies after Eaden, and wrapping my mind around the idea of starting that baby life all over again took some time. but I'm really excited about it now. Not that I was ever unhappy about it, to be clear— just very overwhelmed. I'm thinking the overwhelm may never fully leave (I mean hello, four kiddos!), but I'm embracing this and am so happy about the idea of one more round of the sweetness of feeling kicks, newborn cuddles, and all the firsts. Not to mention that incredible privilege of getting to raise and know another person who is a wonderful mix of me and Manny. Each of our kids is so beautiful and unique, has brought such joy to our lives, and taught us so much. I can't imagine life without any of my three, and I know I'll feel the same about this babe as well. What an adventure!
Manny and I celebrated our ten year anniversary on September 1st. An entire decade of marriage. Crazy. It's been such a wonder and such a challenge, learning to do life side by side with another human. We've learned and grown so much. I honestly feel closer to him and more in love with him than ever.
We got away for a few days, to Orlando, and it was lovely to sleep in and watch movies in bed, and go exploring with no schedule at all. Having fun together is one of the biggest things that feeds our relationship, and little trips like that are like medicine. My in-laws are absolute saints for helping make that happen.
If you follow current events at all, even if you live nowhere near me you probably know that the entire state of Florida was engulfed by Hurricane Irma this past weekend. We originally prepared for a direct category 4 or 5 hit (as much as anyone can prepare for such a thing). It was pretty scary you guys. Outwardly I may have been calm, but I had this underlying anxiety for days, feeling like we could put up shutters and secure things and stock up and do all the prep, but ultimately it might not be enough. At those wind speeds, I genuinely wondered if we and everything we own would be okay.
The storm ended up shifting west and weakening, and we got basically the equivalent of a cat 1 hurricane here on the East Coast. It was still so intense. All day Sunday, the winds howled and the rain beat down. Monday we woke to stillness, and only found damage to trees and a fence on our property. I'm incredibly thankful, and also so sad for places that got it so much worse—for the people who lost everything to this massive monster of a hurricane. The footage and images I've seen from the Virgin Islands and Keys is just devastating.
We have a ton of cleanup work to do here. Our mango tree lost nearly all of it's enormous branches, all of them falling away from the house because of the wind direction (again, so thankful for that!). Our electricity was out for two days, but returned Tuesday, so now it feels like life can settle into normalcy again. When your house is 89 degrees inside and you can't use your stove, it's pretty tough to feel productive at all.
We've missed two weeks of homeschooling now, as we took the week of Labor Day off before this. Getting back into a regular rhythm after a big interruption like this can feel a bit like herding cats, but it brings such a sense of peace to life once we're back in it.
Finally, though certainly not least in importance: Eaden turned TWO yesterday! My sweet baby girl is really not a baby anymore. Goodness, she has lit up our world in the very best way these past two years. She is funny and affectionate, and speaking more every day. Having a daughter is every bit as cool as I thought it would be, truly.
Eaden, September 2015 / September 2017:
I'll be back soon with (finally!) a post about what our homeschool life looks like this year!