The Love of a Toddler

About two weeks ago, we went for a walk out our back gate. It was almost golden hour, baby C. had her new baby doll in tow, and we were looking forward to a homemade dinner back at the house. It'd been a while since I'd enjoyed eating, seeing as baby-girl-on-the-way had me feeling nauseas for the better part of 17 weeks! 

Baby C. had energy left for the day, so running it out along the trail seemed like a solid idea. 

Baby C. isn't so much a baby anymore. We are definitely at the dawn of her toddlerhood, with the terrible twos set to arrive in December.  Honestly, it's been some of the best months! She's learning to communicate, sits at the kitchen table with us (looks forward to every meal!), and manipulates us into innumerable evening snuggles. 

Her newest trick is the nightime routine. It goes like this: momma puts her down for the night with snuggles and a bottle in her twin bed. Dadda and Momma enjoy Frasier on Netflix for an hour, then go to bed. Both are woken with random wailing two to three times a night. "Momma", the little voice cries. So I roll over onto my 21-week-pregnant belly to rub her back (sorry baby girl no. 2) until she drifts off again. Sometimes she wakes up enough that nothing will do but for me to crawl down with her. Her twin bed sits very low between the corner wall and our queen bed. It's made a safe place for her to sleep- and easy access for me. She's such a momma's girl, but I'm just as much a daughter's momma (is that even a thing?) I don't understand how she can be sound asleep and STILL notice when I leave the bed. Goodness gracious- you should hear the commotion caused by my using the restroom in the middle of the night. My poor, pregnant bladder. 

The end of the year is closing in on us as the months tick by. There will be four of us walking this same backyard path this coming spring. Baby C. seems to be excited about baby girl, but can't really grasp the concept yet. Practicing, we've all enjoyed having her baby doll around. We remind her to be "gentle" and to give kisses. We were pretty convinced that she had the concept down, but then she took poor baby doll through the dirt. Oops.

John and I laugh to see her emotions vascilate so widely at this age. We are so thankful that joy remains her central emotion because her flail-around-because-I-can't-have-what-I-want is really something to witness. Her capacity to love is constantly what surprises me the most. She surprises me with random kisses throughout the day, and said "I love you momma" for the first time last week #instantpuddleofmommatears. Yes sweetheart, momma loves you too. 

Styling Collaborations:

Custom Nancy Doll by Fox and Owl Designs // Rose Linen Hair Bow by The Red Rover Kids // Lace Lovey Blanket by Rise & Kind // Photography by Deck & Oar

Neutral Home, Vibrant Hearts

As a family preparing to move to another state, it's hard not to get emotional about it. We prep by saving boxes and newspaper, and watch the headlines tick the time away.

It's the first place we have lived as a married couple, the place we brought our first child home to. The things that make it a home will come with us. We will place frames on new walls and when we look at the photographs within, we will have the same memories. But the floors and walls will not be the same. The floors that endured many nights of pacing with our newborn daughter. I knelt on these floors while in labor, waiting for her to come into the world. My husband and I have sat on these floors and prayed, talked, had Italian-style dinners and listened to Pandora stream on the computer. This kitchen has witnessed our faults in our cooking styles, as well as in eachother, and how we have matured to address them both.

One day soon we will pack our cars and drive cross country to the start of something unknown. But isn't that true all our life? From the moment my daughter- and each of us- arrived into the world,  we have entered the unknown. Some of us have done it fearlessly, others with wonder, and some with hesitation. 

“At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” 
―C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

If we must move and continue doing so until our days are done, may we do so with open arms and vibrant hearts. Hearts full of wonder and of memories. I hope our homes tell our stories and that they create a sanctuary from the chaos that the world is. Dear homes, homes that are just walls until we embrace them- adorn them- may you nurture souls and be places of love. 

#store (who loves organic nautical baby onesies?!)