I heard it snowed in Glacier National Park this morning.
Oh these days are hot. These days are humid. These days are also filled with adventure and stories about the deep blue sea.
We had out toes in the sand, again. Somehow, despite my longing for crisp mountain air, I desire the smell of salt lingering in the wind, almost to call us back to the water. After five years, the emerald waves that brush over the white sandy beaches have finally made it’s way to my resistant heart, and I begin to yearn for the warm gulf water to embrace my north loving soul.
My daughter, on the other hand, has been a child of the sea since the day she was born. When we park our little blue car in the parking lot parallel to the beach, I hear Aspen scream, “beach, mama! Beach! Oh, thank you mama!”. As I wrestle her out of her carseat she leaps to the ground and takes off running to the expanse of turquoise waters, at which I call for her to slow down and wait for her mama.
She was born of salt water and sunshine, with little fear of the subtle swells ahead. She is the modern day Moana. Her love for digging her toes into the sand and bathing out in the sun while I read a book about ships that have crossed the restless seas have sparked my own euphoria. Her curiosity as a cownose ray swims against the waves, entertaining themselves as they surf in the shallows is overwhelming, and her excitement as she picks up another shell while digging through the sugar white dunes reminds me to find equivalent excitement in my own life.
We are so different, yet the same. And I think that is why we have each other. What I lack, my daughter has an abundance of, and vise versa. My little sapling is more like a little starfish, but that’s okay, as long as she is my (and Scott’s, of course!) little starfish.
Oh goodness, I could go on and on about this one. I could also rewrite this regularly, as often as my mind changes about our structure (or lack there of).
Let me start off with…
HI. I’m Sadie. Yeah, that tiny brown lady embracing the resistant hug of that toddler holding the stick. I LOVE the idea of waking up to the sun rising, drinking a cup of coffee while listening to the neighborhood birds sing their morning songs, while my dear child sleeps silently in her room inside. I dream about awaking while it is still dark, getting a good run in, and then coming home to make an early breakfast, and worship Jesus through song at the moment Aspen wakes. Sometimes I like to envision myself starting our day with reading aloud an old Beatrix Potter book, or scripture out of Psalms, and then subtly making our way into our peaceful schooling. Or sometimes, I dream about forgetting about all of that and going straight to the beach to worship God’s natural design, and then planning our education for after nap time. I have lots of dreams, as you can tell. But currently, none of those match our existing schedule (or again, lack there of).
For the millionth time, I like to excuse my poor timing due to our summer adventures. But honestly, even without the constant travels and visitors, I really must admit to sucking at this aspect of life.
My dear photographer friend regularly lectures me on “Conquering the morning”, yet I find this the most difficult thing in my life to do.
I love the idea of waking at dawn, but accomplishing it is a different story. Who knows, maybe one day I will surprise myself? But until then, Aspen and my schedule looks more like this:
*note: this is our average day, not every day. There are several days where we wake up at dawn for a sunrise session, early doctors appointments, and play dates*
9AM – Wake up and cuddle/talk about our dreams and drift in and out of sleep (yes, I leave my room and jump right into Aspens bed)
9:30AM– Get out of bed and eat breakfast, which typically consist of “healthy” cereal or a quick fluffy omelet
10:00AM– Finally make my way to the shower while Aspen eats her breakfast and watches an episode of Wild Krats
11:00AM– We make our way out of the house to take care of any errands and/or play and eat lunch
1PM– nap time!! AKA mom does some picking up and computer work
2:40PM– Aspen wakes up and we cuddle on the couch for a few minutes
3:00PM– I give Aspen a healthy and filling snack and one episode of a show of her choice
3:15-4:30 – school time! Yes, we only do forty five minutes. Why? Because research shows that toddlers only need 15-30 minutes worth of attentive school work a day. We push it to forty five minutes because we also love to do art work during this time.
4:30-5:30 – This is when we do independent play while mom preps dinner and gets shit done around the house. We also listen to either hipster, classical, or gospel music during this time.
5:30PM– dinner time! This is technology free, 100% just bonding time. Here we eat delicious food while discussing our day.
6PM– Clean up kitchen/ independent play time (occasionally, during the summer, this is beach time!
6:30– music, movie, or game time! We switch between dancing like lunatics while singing at the top of our lungs to some good ol’ Justin Timberlake, play a board game (apples to apples and Candy Land), or sitting down to watch a movie together. Twice a week we opt out of cleaning and free time to hit the beach, parks, or trails for the evening.
9PM– Aspens bed time. Our bed time routine consists of reading two books, saying our prayers, and then singing our three favorite songs: You Are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Sunshine On My Shoulders.
9:30PM– Mama sneaks out of Aspen’s room, pours herself a glass of cabernet, and either binge watches Netflix while crocheting, catch up on computer work, or prepare for the next days projects. Most days, it’s all three.
This week has been a bit sporadic. We spent last Wednesday flying from Spokane, Washington to New Orleans, Louisiana. Then Thursday we went to the aquarium in NOLA and in the afternoon made our journey home, back to Navarre, Florida. Friday I unpacked and did laundry. Saturday we went grocery shopping, caught up on sleep, and made our way to Crestview to see some friends. Sunday was our day to volunteer at church and clean the house, and then Monday was Aspen’s day at the sitter’s. Monday is always the day where I’m able to get the most work done. Not just in the house, but also with my Photography business, Ubsorne business, house work, and scheduling any and all appointments that need to be made. This Tuesday I had an exceptionally rough day, and decided to use it as an emotional rest day, and then by Wednesday I was ready to conquer the world. So, with all of that being said, this is the little amount of homeschool preschool that we managed to do this week:
WEDNESDAY:Numbers + beach day
THURSDAY:Shapes + library day
FRIDAY:Letter “A” + Beach stories
I am passionate about giving my daughter a fun and playful approach to learning. I want so bad for her to have a natural love of education, and in order to do that it’s my job to make each experience a pleasant one, especially with her being so young and impressionable.
I plan to start the Peaceful Press at the beginning of 2019, but until then I am using what I have to teach Aspen the basics so she will be ready to learn a bit more in depth at the start of the new year.
A lot of our schooling revolves around painting, reading, crafting, and exploring. I bring basic preschool curriculum to the beach, nature trails, at while out exploring our neighborhood. No matter where we venture to, there is always a book in our hands to teach us and guide us as we explore God’s and man’s work. The rest of the time, we are painting, crafting, discussing, and watching while learning about the alphabet, numbers, counting, hand-eye coordination, weather, colors, and shapes. We have so much to learn, and it’s only the beginning!
Side note: you have no idea how excited I am for her to be ready to read Little House on the Prairie and learn about history and environmental sciences.
*subjected to be edited at the end of the week (Sunday) to give a review of the books*
My favorite day of the week is the day we get to go to the library. Normally, that day is Tuesday. But since we just got back from practically a two month long vacation, this week has been more about catching up on house hold chores, which includes but is not limited to: cleaning, dishes, yard work, laundry, scheduling doctors appointments, emailing, marketing, and trying not to lose my sanity. Unfortunately, this rather crazy schedule has postponed our weekly trip to our beloved local library until Thursday. The blessing is that Aspen and I both love to read beautifully written and illustrated stories, which means that we will be done with our books by Monday, and we can presume our weekly routine next week.
At the library, Aspen firsts goes to the puzzles in the kid section. There, she begs me to sit down and work on animal matching and numbers with her. Once she becomes bored of the puzzles, she makes her way to the computer to “play” (haha-she’s two. Moms and teachers know why I’m laughing) an educational computer game. This is when I make my break and am finally able to look through the books and select five that I believe are either exceptionally well written, or has something to do with the curriculum we are studying that week- meaning books about Apples as we learn about the characteristics of the letter “A”., etc. When she becomes bored of her computer game, she joins me, and I let her pick out a few books that she specifically would enjoy reading throughout the week. Typically these books are at random, and have pretty illustrations on the cover.
One of my greatest joys in life is being able to get lost in a book with my daughter. As we read these tales, she holds my hand and listens attentively. She asks questions, as any toddler would do, and stares at the pictures as I read the words below them. She has such a passion for learning and reading, which ignites my own passion for learning and reading. My daughter is a true inspiration to me. Her constant ability to feel and wonder makes me aspire to be like a younger, care free version of myself. One who, too, wants to explore the world through all the senses, and come back to the mother whom allowed them to do so.
This weeks library finds list:
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen *edit: this is such a freaking cute book! Perfect for the little in your life that has a hard time settling down to sleep*
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus PFister *edit: This book is a classic. I don’t know why I don’t own it?? Anyway, every child should be read this beautifully illustrated book at least once in their childhood, if not more*
When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant *edit: I would classify this as a living book. It is such a wonderful little story about spending the summers in the Appalachian Mountains with their grandparents. It was so lovely and reminded me of our summers in the Colorado Rockys with my own family- I honestly may put this on my amazon order list*
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin *edit: such a sweet little book for younger babes, but honestly Aspen might have outgrown it! She had a hard time staying captivated, although I had not*
Curious George visits the Library by Margret ReyH. A. Rey *edit: The Curious George Series is another series that I fell most children love at Aspen’s age. I mean, George does live a pretty exciting life!*
Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist by Jane O’Connor *edit: There are two things Aspen loves right now: Fancy Nancy and painting. This sweet little book made her so happy, and she regularly asked for it throughout the week*
I also want to mention that, although I write beautiful and kind words about how much Aspen appreciates books and going to the library, that does not mean she is always perfectly behaved. She is still a toddler, and acts as such. If you ever visit the Mary Esther Library on a Tuesday around 11am, you will most definitely hear a few screeches and belly laughs, as well as the occasional sassy fake cry. It’s all just part of the game and the learning experiences.
Growing up, my sisters and I seldom got spoiled with candy or toys. Instead, we were spoiled in quality time and experiences. Now that I am a mother myself, I could not imagine any other form of showing affection towards my little sapling.
One of my favorite traditions was being in the kitchen with my loved ones. Cooking, baking, waiting for the bread to rise, sitting on the counters while gossiping, and later on, sharing a bottle of wine at the dining room table. I hope, and aim for Aspen to have similar memories.
Today, after consuming naan with hummus and arugula for dinner, I decided to bring out some green apples I had purchased from the market last week. I washed them, and then diced them into small little pieces so that when they were done baking, they would melt in our mouths.
I got out the ingredients for the crumble topping, and watched peacefully while Aspen mixed them together. Watching her concentrate on something that I personally love to do brings my mama’s heart so much satisfaction. While putting together the mixture, we listened to classical music radio on Pandora, and chatted about our trip to the library earlier that day. And once everything was put together, we watched with anticipation while it baked in the oven.
I want her to remember the smell of our home as the sweet warm aroma of apple crisp covered every inch of our house. I want her to remember that mom let her make a mess, and that cleaning it up together was fun. I want her to remember how excited she was when I pulled the little ramekins out of the oven, and the smile she made when she got to taste her first bite. I want her to remember the love I felt for her as we made another memory together. I know she won’t remember every specific detail of these early days, but I do hope that they impact her life tremendously.
Yes, we are slowly preparing to transition to the north within the next year or so, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop loving our days along these beautiful emerald waters. I am currently reading the book “How to Raise a Wild Child” by Scott Sampson from Dinosaur Train. I have always had a passion for raising my child outside, but since diving into this very well written and informative book, my passion for raising a wild child has only grown. My goal isn’t just to spend time outside, but to spend time in the wild. In places that men (and women..) do not control. I mean, parks and splash pads, and amusement parks and walks around the neighborhood are nice (really they are, I’m not being sarcastic, I promise), but there is something so thrilling and satisfying about exploring out of mans realm- to experience God’s beauty as it was meant to be experienced.
Florida does have some beautiful nature trails, but during these hot and humid summer days, we tend to choose the beach for our wandering. During our beach days we typically play in the waves, collect shells, drink coconut water, walk to the point where we can no longer see the houses and condos, build castles out of fine sand, and I always manage to bring several books with us on our journey to read over the sound of small waves crashing into our snowlike sands.
Yes, my mountain loving soul longs for the days where we pick wild huckleberries and spend our evenings baking them into a mouth watering pie. I long for the times I can take Aspen to the creek and watch tadpoles swim upstream, and to admire a full grown moose tromping through our yard on a crisp autumn morning. But honestly, I know we are where we are meant to be right in this moment. I do not plan to rush God’s plans for us. This is something that has been so hard for my heart to come to terms with- to be patient and enjoy the slow and steady moments of the present- but knowing and having faith that my little family and I are in God’s caring hands always steadies my constant dreaming and planning.
I am a firm believer in mornings. Even the mornings I’d rather be sleeping, I still manage to get my booty up to embrace the day and get shit done.
My Recipe for a good morning:
Wake up when the sun wakes up- there is something so magical about rising with the sun. Feeling the first rays of the mornings and listening to the birds chirp is the first thing you have to do in order to feel like a fairy tale princess throughout the day.
Drink your coffee in peace- can I get an AMEN?!
Eat a healthy and filling breakfast- A post on my go-to breakfast recipes will be here soon, but until then, I feel like you can never go wrong with an omelette (or as I like to call them, egg tacos), veggie packed hash browns, or a fruity smoothie.
Listen to a motivational podcast or some fun music to get you in the mood for a productive day while brushing your teeth and doing your hair. A list of my favorite podcasts can be found here (a revised list is coming soon, too!)
Wake up sleeping toddler and give her a big cuddle and go on with yo bad self the rest of the day
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO TO ENSURE YOU HAVE A GREAT START TO YOUR DAY? I’d love to hear them! Also, if you’re wanting a night time routine post, let me know in the comments!
Aspen woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She was fussy and clingy, and very irritable (not sick). I would look at her the wrong way and she would start screaming and crying. I would try to brush my teeth, and she would be pulling on my shirt telling me, “NO” while hitting me. If I wasn’t holding her in my arms, she was mad.
Aspen’s love language during her early years is clearly Physical Touch. I have acknowledged this for a while now (If you haven’t read The Five Love Languages, I highly suggest you do! It helps all relationships, not just marriages). She needs to be touching, skin to skin, in order to do nearly anything. When she wakes up in the morning, she requests to cuddle for the first ten minutes of her day. Throughout the day her hands are always close to mine, and in the evenings she will not close her eyes without me keeping near. As for me, physical touch is not my forte. I actually can’t stand it. I have never been a hugger (unless hugs from my mom?), and I like to keep my distance from people. I don’t like it, and I never have. BUT, motherhood is calling me to learn how to like it.
Long story short, I raised my voice several times throughout the day. Actually, no, I YELLED several times throughout the day. Finally, towards the end, I had to sit back and think about how I was handling this situation. She is a toddler, I am an adult. I have known for a while that physical touch helps her relax. I also see that yelling has done nothing except make her more upset. Eventually, after a quick little mommy timeout, I changed my attitude and went to love and cuddle my emotionally vulnerable toddler. We are all entitled to a few bad days. And it definitely helps to have a mom who can *eventually* be self aware and help you get through your emotions.
Moms, fathers, grandparents, siblings, wife, and husbands, I encourage you all to pick up The Five Love Languages and find out how you can love your dear ones better today.
As for self portraits- I think it is something so wonderful to be able to document your daily life. It’s something no one in the past has been able to do to this extent before. As technology evolves, history does too. Each physical photograph is a documentation of our lives that someone will someday find. In a selfie, and narcissistic perceived world, take time to document your emotions and your actions, not just your looks.
This is one of my favorite button down blouses that I’ve owned. It is soft, light weight, and fits so well! Shop it here
Warning: if you’re sensitive to moms nursing past age 1, redirect now to Mandie’s website here
Mommy and Me sessions hold such a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I used to be the one behind the lens, maybe it’s because it captures such a beautiful essence of motherhood, or maybe because it’s just a lovely time to get updates photos of mommy and baby while they look put together. No matter the reason though, mommy and me pictures are incredibly valuable and the perfect gifts for moms on Mothers Day.
Aspen and I had such a great experience with Mandie Medeiros Photography. She was easy to talk to, great at communicating, funny, knows her shit, and is a hybrid photographer (which is freaking awesome and rare around here). If you’re looking for a local photographer, I highly recommend her. Her website is here
*Also, I never intended to breast feed this long. Three years ago, I said 6 months was my goal. Then it went to a year. THEN it went to 18 months. Now, we just hit two years and honestly, I loved each and every second of it, but I feel like we are both ready to let go of this time together. Breast feeding is such a cool, nutritional, empowering, and incredibly humbling experience, and I have zero regrets of holding out this long. I know some find it odd that she’s two and just now weaning, but honestly, it worked really well for our family. It was convenient, and Aspen and I loved that special time together where I was able to provide for her from my own body. Anyway, long story short, we are now beginning the weaning process, and although it makes me so sad (that’s the last thing that links her to infancy and giving it up hurts my heart), but part of me also wants to rejoice and say, “HELL YES, FINALLLYYYY!”.*
Friends in the north, I’m apologizing in advance for the warm pictures. If it’s any consolation, the humidity has hit and there is no hiding the sweat.
WHAT A WEEK! Am I right, or am I right? I hope you all had a lovely Easter spent with loved ones, good food, and long lasting memories.
We spent the holiday hunting for eggs, going to a memorable church service (those in the area- if you haven’t gone to a service at Momentum, contact me so we can go together!), feasting with great friends, going to the beach while the littles had their first real swim on the season, and later on had an impromptu moms night out (nope, definitely not sharing pictures from that (; )
Overall, we had such a fun Easter. It is a complete game changer when you spend the holidays with an awesome and absolutely adorable toddler, good friends, delicious food, and nice weather. We are so fortunate to have met the people we have met, and to be where we are now. In other news, Aspen and I are finally settling into a routine since Scott’s departure. This is helping so much with mine and Aspen’s sanity.
We spend our days literally working or playing. When we’re not at mamas work, we are at the beach, at a friends house, or at home playing with blocks and coloring. We wake up around 6am, eat a healthy breakfast, spend a few hours at work, go home to cuddle and/or take a nap, clean up the house, run errands, spend time outside, then come home to dinner and a movie before getting ready for bed. These are the good days, and i’m trying to soak them in. We won’t be here forever. We will move (eventually, hopefully), Aspen will grow, our friends will continue on, and our current will become past, and our adventures will become memories. This is a reminder to myself, as well as all who may read this- love your moments. Even the unbearable ones. Someday they will only be pictures in our heads of what life used to be like. So cherish them, hold them for another moment longer, and release them with a smile of content on your face.
THANK YOU again to Pink Blush Maternity for collaborating on this post. Guys, If you have not checked out their motherhood line, you are missing out. This dress can be found here .
As a side note, that hat was gifted by my grandma after she decided it wasn’t to her linking anymore. It’s now one of my favorite accessories. Somehow handed down “vintage” items are always my favorites.