Natural Parenting: Natural Intuition

As you know, one of my favorite small businesses is Jack Be Natural. Well, they've partnered with a couple other natural living companies to start a blog, and they've asked me to be a guest writer! I've been so blessed by Stacy and John at JBN and am SO excited to be a part of their blog launch. They've asked me to share some thoughts on natural parenting. So, check out their blog called Natural Intuition and my article about how Randy and I came into this wacky, crunchy, granola world. ;-)
Natural Intuition


Suddenly Domesticated

First, let me explain why I called this blog "Unchained Melody." My name is Melody, in case you haven't noticed. :-) And back when I started this blog I was looking for an outlet in which I could just "let it all go." Speak my mind. Share my dreams, fears, hopes, life. I must warn you that the beginning of this post might be a tad upsetting, but please keep reading. This comes from a place of love and inexperience and hope.

I will be the first to tell you I used to have the worst opinion of "stay-at-home moms." I thought they were lazy, dominated by their husbands, meek, and unconfident door mats. I know. This is horribly biased and unfounded as I have had absolutely no experience as a "stay-at-home mom" whatsoever. So, first, I want to apologize to everyone I know (and those I don't) who have had or currently are in this role. Just like I had unfounded opinions of parenting before I became one, I too had unfounded opinions of this vocation.

Since having my son about 2.5 years ago, I've been able to work 34hrs a week (3 days in the office, the rest from home), so I've gotten a glimpse of what it takes to "stay home" with a kiddo. And, honestly, I'm not very good at it. I don't cook. I rarely clean, and when I do, whatever gets cleaned is commonly known in our house as "Melody clean" vs "Randy clean." I wash all laundry in cold, all colors together, in one load if it'll all fit. I dry everything. I barely rinse dishes before loading the dishwasher, after they've piled for days of course. You get the picture. Turns out, I'm NOT domestic. Who knew?! ;-) I could barely keep up with day-to-day tasks, like dishes and laundry, for even myself much less myself, my husband, and a child. I'm just not geared this way. It takes ALL my effort to even REMEMBER to do laundry, much less dig myself off the couch to actually DO it. Praise the Lord for sending me a husband who loves to cook. At least I don't have to worry about that! (oh, and he does his own laundry...see how easy I've had it? and I had NO idea! gah!)

Well, God having the sense of humor that he does, blessed us with twins coming in October. And on the way home from discovering the news, Randy and I just knew I would have to stay home because it made no financial sense whatsoever for me to keep working. (Three kids in daycare costing >$500 a WEEK, are you SERIOUS?!) And let me tell ya, this was a very scary thought for me. I have no doubt that God geared me for being a mom; I knew that from the time Noah was 2 months old. (I'll share my experience of months 0-2 at some point.) Being a mom is something I feel I'm really good at, and after having him I felt like it was what I was made for. So, the thought of being a mom to TWO more is really exciting to me! I've been planning our second child experience for over a year now. Granted, God altered my plan a bit (he tends to do that). But I have no doubt this mommy experience will be a great one. It's the domestication that has me a bit worried. Although, I'm getting more and more comfortable with it. And I WILL own it one day. :-) In my own way. And part of "my own way" is going to include two things:

(1) getting rid of that negatively connotated title "stay-at-home mom"

(2) not comparing myself to others. 

The former can be pretty easily accomplished as I'm really not the stay-at-home type; I'm pretty mobile. Hence my stroller focus here. I attended a life-changing retreat at our church this year that really impacted my viewpoint on the matter, and I'm proud to say I'll be our "family manager." :-) Thank you, Kathy Peel! The latter, however, will be a toughy. I so admire this mom (and sweet friend) and this mom for all that they're able to do and am constantly finding myself comparing my life to theirs. This kind of jealousy has plagued me all my life, but I'm learning to deal with it in a healthy way. The rest of my insecurities (e.g. how to clean, how to make baby food, how to keep up with everything, etc...) I'll hopefully remedy by seeking wise counsel from seasoned mamas.

So, I asked some of my friends for their one best piece of advice and compiled this list. Thanks to all the mamas who contributed!


Use "Mistakes" as Learning Opportunities

•    (M)y biggest struggle is feeling like a failure as a mother. So, I'd tell the new mommies that no matter what their hormones tell them, they are a great mother. Nobody is perfect, we just have to learn from our “mistakes" and move forward.


Manage Time Wisely

•    Just because you are a stay-at-home mom does not mean you have huge amounts of time. Guard your time with your family as you get one shot to raise those little babies. The other stuff will always be there to do. Do not feel guilty about being a stay-at-home mom. Lots of people will see that you are that and start trying to recruit you to volunteer for this or that. You do not have to do it all. "No," is a valid answer. If you do choose to volunteer for something, what 2 things do you do now that you are willing to give up to volunteer for that 1 new thing?

•    (D)on't over book yourself with play dates, etc. also, I have a house schedule so I feel like if I get my 1-2 things done each day. I feel like my house is somewhat getting cleaned through the week, but don't have to do all @ once….Also, I do one load of laundry every day.


Be Social

•    Find a support system. Play dates are not just about the kids, but about the moms as well. Going from working full time, to being a stay at home mom is a hard transition. Give yourself time to adjust. Also, memberships to the zoo, aquarium, museums, etc. often end up paying for themselves three-fold.

•    In church the other day the question was asked if we were task or people oriented. (Do you get your energy from being alone or from being around people?). Before kids I would have instantly said people, but I find myself to be a little of both now. Make time for yourself, be around your friends and you will be more energized

•    If you can find one (or start one when they are a smidge older), begin a mommy’s Bible study. You will have time with other moms who can relate and even mentor you. In time, you can be a mentor to someone else. That encouragement and Biblical care is something that will mean so much to you….Study women of the Bible or whatever topic in the Bible interests all of you. Take turns and you will be blessed. Each person is going to bring out something you may not have considered before or even challenge your thoughts on a topic, which is important for spiritual growth.

•    My book club is a lifesaver for several reasons. It's actually a more serious book club in that we actually discuss the books we read (and beyond just whether we liked it or not). As a fellow English major, you'll understand why I value those discussions. Beyond the intellectual stimulation, we do support each other as mothers and I also value my "girl" nights once a month at our meetings! So, join or start a book club!


Develop Close Connections

•    If you can find or already have a mentor, that is a huge blessing. Cannot recommend that enough. Peers are great commiserators, but mentors have already summated that mountain you’re a climbing and came out the other side. They can be your best cheerleaders and advocates, and are great at helping you gain perspective when you are overwhelmed.

•    Find at least one mom friend that you can be completely honest with. Not once did I feel judged by (mine) when I would tell her something I was feeling or had done….It won't be easy to find…, but she's worth the hunt, promise! The phrase "kindred spirit" comes to mind, just like they used the term in the Anne of Green Gables books. Every mommy needs her (best friend)!


Get Out and Play

•    Outside!!! Make sure you get them outside as much as possible! Even if it's for 10 minutes! And when everything falls apart and kids are screaming and you can't do anything right lay on the floor and let them climb all over you!! It works every single time! It changes everyone's mood and allows you time to find joy in that moment as hard as being a stay at home mom is (or being a mom in general) you forget how fun it is when things are always so crazy and you haven't had a break or a full night's sleep in a year (or more)... So take time to just be joyful and look at things through the kids eyes!! It's a fun and completely different perspective!!


Discipline with Purpose

•    If you become cross with the children - whether simply from exhaustion and frustration or they were putting themselves in danger or you've already told them 1,983,427 times not to ... or they will get hurt or break something, apologize, explain what happened from your side (give them a chance to explain, also) or why it is important that they do or not do whatever, be honest with them at all times, and remind them that you love them from the bottom of your heart and that God loves them WAY more than you can, and you love them bunches and bunches, we are just not perfect like God is. You can start when they are very young to remind them of this and they will grow up knowing it. Even when they get older and don't like the answer you give them, they will know that you are truthful with them and that you love them very much, too much to allow them to do something that would hurt them. They will respect you for it, even if they roll their eyes and grouse to their friends. The earlier you start the foundation for trust and respect, the better your results will be when they are teenagers, or at least when they look back as young adults.


Do Things Just for Me

•    (M)ake "me" time a priority every day. I would go nuts otherwise, but that is also due to my personality. I have to be alone at least a little bit during the day. So, naptime is not negotiable. Quiet time or naps happen every day for us. And I try to use that time to do things I want to do, although sometimes I want to get household stuff done so I go ahead and do that! Going along with that...I think having a creative outlet for me was crucial. Something I could work on that was outside the kids. Actually, for me, my main creative outlets also tie into my boys, which is perfect...photography and writing on my blog…

•    Make sure to schedule in some "Mommy" time so you don't totally lose yourself! It's important to enjoy time with friends.... Sneak away for a nice bubble bath.... Whatever you need to recharge your Mommy battery!!!

Be Flexible

•    I remember feeling so worried about that big transition and had all these goals of schedules, cleaning/laundry charts, play dates...just having it all "figured out". Now, I'm not opposed to any of those things, and still love the routine of all those things, but I'm starting to realize that it's also ok to just go with the flow every once in a while. We can't be superwoman every day. 

~ ~ ~

I look forward to the day I can write the follow-up post and see where my journey has taken me! What advice would you add to this list?



Randy and I were discussing Noah's vernacular last night and decided it was high time we started keeping a log. A kid's language is too funny not to share, so I thought the best way to keep this list forever and spread a little joy at the same time was to post about it here. :-) I'll add to the list as we remember more and discover new words and phrases. Ready, Set, Doh!

"Choo choo" -- Thank you
"Melcome" -- You're welcome
"Pyoomees" -- Excuse me 
"Boose" -- Boof (his fave stuffed animal, ladybug pillow pet)
"Sheshaboh" -- Despereaux (The Tale of Despereaux)
"Pablo, Peekah, Sasha, Tyrone, Ahshin" -- Pablo, Uniqua, Tasha, Tyrone, Austin (Backyardigans)
"Bah-da-boot" -- Barbaloot (Lorax) "Wahwack" -- Lorax
"Beeta beeta" -- Tweetle beetle (Fox in socks) 
"Dah Keen" -- Lion King
"Bamina" -- Banana
"Veeshay" -- This way 
"Show me" -- When he wants you to come with him 
"Weh weh" -- Noah 
"Ah mo piss" -- I want another sip 
"Dat down" -- Sit down
"Hee dat?" -- Hear that? 
"Cahdet" -- Target 
"Wahwahmock" -- Walmart
"Ah mo kah" -- I want more fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox
"I too much" -- I'm too much
"Hahvook" -- Fireworks
"Cahcoh" -- Color
"Peeyah" -- Playdough
"Dink" -- Drink 
"Tinkle Sar" -- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
"Ahbeesees" -- A B Cs
"Butt" -- Button
"Pahkah" -- Parker (the neighbor dog in Abilene)
"oo ah yoo?" -- Where are you?
"I need bacon" -- lol!!!!! :-) 
"Bite hee/dare" -- Right here/there 
"Ahoh why kit" -- I don't like it
"Cheeee" -- Cheese
"Iss boken now" -- It's broken now


Forward Thinking: The Double Stroller

When I discovered we were having twins, I began my search for "the perfect double stroller." I'm a very mobile mom, and the thought of being home-bound makes me crazy. My goal after having my first son was to incorporate him into our lives, not let him rule over them. This meant we had to learn to adapt, and so did he. And one of the best ways to become adaptable is to have the right tools to help you along. So, after doing some quick reconnaissance to see what features were out there, I developed a list of "desirables." The goal: to find a double stroller that could tick most, if not all, of my boxes. (NOTE: I immediately dismissed side-by-side strollers as they were entirely too bulky. The only one I considered was the Bugaboo Donkey, and even then I only considered it for about a day...cuz $1000?!! For just one seat?!! Crazy. Just. Crazy.)

"The Desirables"
  • Quick Fold
  • Smooth ride
  • See both kiddos at the same time
  • Kids can both see out equally, in either forward or rear-facing direction
  • Foam-filled tires/good suspension, all-terrain/low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Ample storage
  • Cup holder (for adult and kiddos)
  • Large canopies
  • Equal seat size on both seats
  • Double infant car seat compatible
  • Telescope handlebar
  • Convertible to one-kid stroller
The winner: Baby Jogger City Select
Pros: It ticks ALL my boxes.
Cons: It's heavy, expensive, and requires multiple (small) purchases to acquire all the pieces I want. But, the fact that it ticked all my boxes made it entirely worth these cons for me.

I have used it quite a few times with Noah (with just one seat attached), but my assessment of it with the second seat or with two infant car seats is entirely theoretical at this point, based on testing it out at the store a few times with both seats and infant car seats (sans babies).

Britax B-Ready
I don't like the idea of putting one child basically IN the storage basket underneath. The B-Ready ticks almost all my boxes. But, the rumble seat in the basket, smaller second seat (rumble), and limited seat placement were deal-breakers.

Honorable Mentions:
UPPAbaby Vista
Even pricier than the City Select! Doesn't accommodate two infant car seats and rumble seat again. No deal.

iCandy Pear
This one was very promising. The only reason I didn't consider it completely was two-fold: (1) it's not really available in the U.S. yet. I'm not buying a product like this if I can't get my hands on it first (2) it comes with SO many pieces in order to make all the adapters and seats work! And then you have to take it all apart down to the base structure just to fold it up. No deal.

If anyone's interested in more details, let me know! I'll do a follow-up post after I've used it for a while with the twins.


Project 52:7--bath buddies

More iPhone Instagram app pics. :-) Noah took a bath in our tub for the first time since he was an infant. At first, he freaked. But as soon as we brought in the reinforcements, all was well. Hooray for bath buddies! They make hair washing better, not completely tear-free...but better.


Project 52:6--a valentine

I love this picture. It's not the best photography-wise (taken with Instagram via iPhone), but it's one of those that just gets me. Randy and I have been together for 10 years, married about 7 and 1/2. "I love our life" has been a frequently spoken phrase between us since the beginning. He is the love of my life I never expected to have. Oh, I expected to fall in love. Lord (and anyone who knew me from junior high in my sappy poetry days) knows I sought after that like a blind mouse seeks her last bite of cheese. Never in my imagination could I have picked this winner. That's why I always suggest When God Writes Your Love Story to any fellow love-seekers. HE is truly the best match-maker. Randy has helped me grow in my weaknesses and celebrate in my strengths. And all from love. No, everything's not always perfect. In fact, nothing is. Ever. And I hope it stays that way. So this Valentine's Day I'm counting all my quirky, off-beat blessings and thanking God for our little life.


Project 52:5--baby pink

A few weeks ago (yes, I'm pulling photos from weeks ago since I'm sans camera right now...getting a dslr!), Noah and I visited my friend, Chelsea, and her new baby, Miranda. When we first arrived, Miranda was asleep in her swing, and Noah was cool with it. But I'm telling you, the MINUTE I got her in my arms, Noah wasn't having it. Not. At. All. "Baby go night night." Noah's repeated phrase. Followed by, "Mama, hold you" and crawling in my lap. A foretaste of things to come? Hopefully not. Hopefully, by the time he's a big brother he'll react differently to a babe in my arms. We shall see. The sweetest moment of the visit for me was when Noah finally warmed up to Miranda and volunteered to help Chelsea change her. Boy, when there's a task that involves wipes, Noah's your man.

I love this picture. I'm new to newborn photography, but man, I can tell I'm gonna like it. You almost can't take a bad picture when there's a baby in it. Well, ok, you can. Check out my discard pile for proof. And, did I mention..it's got pink in it. PINK! If you know me, you know that I someday hope to have a girl of my own. And she will wear pink. At least a little bit. :-) It's not my favorite color. In fact, aqua is. But, I guess the fact that I've been surrounded by boy stuff for so long has me vying for the hue. And it reminds me of spring. And I'm so ready for spring. Flowers, warmth, blue skies, sunshine, playing outside, gardening, growth.

Sweet, Miranda, I can't wait to see you grow. :-)


Project 52:4--conquering your fears

We made a trip to our local park this past week. This is a trip we're frequenting more and more as the weather gets nicer. Can't. Wait. For. Spring! Noah now takes to playground equipment like ants to a picnic basket. And while he was going nuts Randy and I discussed our first trip to this playground, when Noah could not yet climb the stairs by himself much less slide down this GINORMOUS slide. We meticulously taught him how to crawl up each step, grasping the rails for safety along the way. Then, a couple months after that, we moved on to walking up the steps. And before we knew it, he was running up them! Many of these kinds of playgrounds have various "holes" where kiddos can climb up and down, in and out. We still avoid these "holes" as Noah maintains his fearlessness. I'm sure someday we'll reveal them. But...someday. And now to the slide. One of us has typically bobsledded down with Noah, backing him up the whole way down. But now, he doesn't need us. Foreshadowing? Yup. What a bittersweet moment. So exciting seeing him burst out of his shell and show the world his Noahness! And so scary letting him go! I know this moment is scary for every parent. It's particularly nerve-wracking because Noah greets the world head first, runs a muck with his eyes closed, and dances, plays, sings, talks, and fights maybe while hanging upside down. Who knows?! It's his way. Full speed ahead...and a lot of times...backwards. But he owns it. And I wouldn't change a thing. :-)


Be All That You Can Be

Yall know that I'm a big proponent of natural parenting. I believe in doing things the way God intended...to a point. :-) I'm in a place where I'm trying to find organic and natural alternatives to products and decisions we make as a family. (Soon be blogging about this on Jack Be Natural's blog, Natural Intuition, when it's up and running.) However, I'm also an ever bigger proponent of taking care of yourself. And sometimes, wait for it...hold it...don't get scared now...that means compromising!

Let me explain...

A fellow cloth diaperer friend from Jack Be Natural's Facebook page posted after months of using cloth diapers that she just couldn't do it anymore. She was exhausted. Staying up til the wee hours of the morning doing laundry for her twins. The sad part of this story to me wasn't that she decided to go back to disposables, it was that she felt guilty and feared being shunned from "the group." Now, I ask you. Which is better for the child? Cloth on their bum or a restful, energized mom? If cloth doesn't work for you, don't do it!

Another friend of mine who's very into natural living, once commented on baby wearing and cosleeping by saying that forced separation doesn't foster independence, love and knowing she'll always be there with them does. Again, I ask you. Which is better for the child? Being beside, on, near a zombie parent or a restful, energized parent? In her case, she wasn't a terrible zombie mom, but I certainly was! So, no cosleeping for me. And, my child turned out to have benefited from my "forced separation."

So, here's the jist of this post. What's best for me IS what's best for my child.

I am a person who lives and dies by the rules. But, once I became a mom, I figured out there are SO many different rules. Everyone says something different from the next person, and I learned that no one ELSE could make my rules for me. So, I put my big girl panties on, grabbed some chalk, and went to the drawing board. (Notice I said chalk and drawing board, not chisel and stone.) Long story short, I've come to the conclusion after having raised a son for two years now that my RULE is "what's best for me IS what's best for my children." I have to be all the I can be.

Putting yourself before others is not the typical Christian parenting topic now, is it? In fact, it's the polar opposite of the way I was raised. However, I believe, and this is my opinion, that in order for me to be the best mother I can be, I have to take care of myself FIRST before I can properly take care of my son. If I am ill, I can't take good care of him. If I am stressed, I can't take good care of him. If I don't get sleep, I can't take care of him. This may seem like a totally backwards concept to some, but hear me out. I suffered from extreme depression after having my son, and I COULD NOT TAKE CARE OF HIM. Epic. Parenting. Fail. So, I decided to take action and take care of myself first from then on. And my parenting methods underwent a permanent shift. Took an anti-depressant to get myself right again so I could take care of him. Ate right so his milk would be good. And when nursing added to my depression and stress, I chose to switch to formula to alleviate my depression and stress so I could take care of him. Taught him to fall asleep on his own in his own room (not co-sleeping) so I could fully rest in order to have energy to care for him. Showered even though he was screaming for 30 minutes so I would be clean and energized to take care of him. Used disposable diapers (WHAT?!!!) cuz I couldn't handle the laundry, so I could take care of him. Etc...you get the picture. There's a saying that "if mama's not happy, no one's happy." Well, I hate to say it, but it's kinda true. If mama's the primary caregiver, she MUST take care of herself in order to take care of her child. And, if you're a mama reading this and you are the best you can be when you cosleep, nurse, cloth diaper, make organic baby food, babywear, stay at home, etc...then DO IT! Please don't read this post as my rant against these methods. Remember, I started this post saying "I'm a big proponent of natural parenting." And when I say "natural," I mean whatever comes naturally to you, whatever works naturally for your family. Parenthood (and more specifically, motherhood) is not an all-or-nothing venture. Take a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Make your own concoction. You. Make. Your. Rules. And keep in mind, those rules WILL shift...different seasons with one child and different effects with another.

Now, there's a fine line between taking care of yourself first IN ORDER TO better care for your loved ones and simply just putting yourself first. It's a delicate balance, but once you figure out what works for you and your family, it's important to stick to it. And does all this mean I don't make sacrifices for my son? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Don't even get me started there! lol! And will I do exactly the same things with our future children? Probably not. I'm different, my husband's different, the situations will be different. Parenting is all about flexibility.

So, whether you subscribe to hypnobabies' birth plan or epidurals, cloth diapers or disposables, organic home made baby food or ready-made, baby wearing or strollers, natural medicine or Rx, choose what works best for YOU. Try everything. And try it twice. Even if your recipe for success involves a combination of things. There's no law that says if you like baby wearing you can ONLY do baby wearing. Pull out that stroller every once and a while and give yourself a break!

I'm a very different person now than I was when I had Noah, and I can guarantee that I will try more things and try them harder next time around. I have a list of these things if you're interested. If I get enough interest in said list, I'll do another post.

Life's too short and our influence too great to waste time comparing ourselves to each other, blaming each other, pointing fingers at each other, and fighting with each other. Instead, how bout we encourage each other? (For more on this issue, read this.)

Be all that you can be so your little ones can be too.


Project 52:3--repurposing

Ok, so this P52 post is more on the silly side, but I just couldn't help myself. On Friday, Noah and I were busy bees playing in his room and putting toys away. He also recently starting "using" his very own little potty, housed in the bathroom by his room. While he currently loves said potty and frequently plays with it, including "drinking" from the cup, he mostly likes sitting on it and standing up and sitting on it and standing up...over and over and over again...and doing a little dance in between. I'm sure this will become known as his "pee pee" dance when he actually does pee in it one day. So, on this particular afternoon, he was going about his usual potty fun time, but this time that involved taking the cup out and hiding toys inside. This was all fine and fun til he finally dug them out, and in the blink of an eye, plopped them in the REAL potty. So, what did I do? Well, first. I laughed. Second, I ran for my camera. And finally, I schooled him on the proper contents of the porcelain throne.

I really do love repurposing things around my house. I truly believe in repurposing and renovating before buying new. (Like, come on people, do you REALLY need NEW cabinets? Can't ya just paint your current ones? Did they expire? Do they not HOLD stuff? And, yes, our diaper shelf used to be that cabinet you have above your fridge.) But THIS kind of repurposing is the kind I briefly cherished, am psyched to have captured, and will discourage from this day forth......til the next piece of our house is deemed worthy of a Noah-reno. :-)


A Stroll in the Park with Friends

Noah and I made a long-awaited trip to the park the other day. (I'm desperately wanting winter to end and spring to arrive so we can play outside.) And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We met up with The Wiethoff crew (sans Brent) for a walk/stroll/bike ride excursion and ended up transporting ourselves through the park to the playground. I'm sure it was hard for Noah to stay in the stroller while Cooper and Sadie road their bikes, but he had a blast as soon as he got out. And the kids were so cute on their bikes. Sadie's quickly learning and terribly cute on her little pink bike, so Cooper would speed ahead and stop and play for a bit waiting for us all to catch up.  I've been around these kiddos for a long time, but this trip to the park was particularly fun because of the multiple stops while waiting for Sadie to pedal her way along. The journey to the playground was actually more fun than the actual playground itself. We talked about everything we saw: birds, trees, joggers, volleyball players, and "Mommy, why is that man laying on the ground?" (he was exercising). I know I've said it before, but seeing the world through the eyes of a child is very enlightening and entertaining. I just love these kiddos!

And, now to the pictures...I brought my camera along, of course. And boy am I glad I did! What fun it was shooting my best friend and her kiddos! It was totally candid and unscripted, the best kind of shoot. And it turned out pretty awesome, I think.

Cooper was cracking me up with his sense of daring and exploration.

Sadie just touched my heart, so precious and sweet and eager to learn.

And I couldn't help but get a few of Sally with her babies. I loved watching her coach Sadie, teaching her why her bike would tip, and give Coop freedom to roam while maintaining a watchful eye, something I'm hope I'll come to do with Noah the older he gets.

Funny thing about this adventure, I didn't get that many good pics of Noah.

Here's my one really good photo of him.

Still trying to figure out how to capture that moving target. But, it kinda doesn't even matter. I loved the time we had with our friends and feel blessed to have captured the memory.


Project 52:2--cake

This weekend Noah and I both had our first-ever Starbucks cake pops. And what an experience it was! I had chocolate raspberry, and he had (what I'm assuming to be) strawberry vanilla. He had no idea what a cake ball or cake pop even was, but he didn't care. Anything on a stick HAS to be good, right? I thought he'd down the sucker in one bite, maybe two. But nope. He took his sweet, sweet (pun intended) time. Savoring every little tiny bite. And I sorta did too. ;-) 
On a photog note, I had been taking pics all week. And with each somewhat acceptable shot, I thought, "Well, this would be good for my P52, I guess." OR going out and intentionally taking shots FOR the project thinking, "I've GOT to get a shot this week, I've GOT to get THE shot!" freaking out and all anxious about it. This series (there are actually four pics) was completely spontaneous and happened on Saturday! Right down to the wire. And as SOON as I saw the bottom pic after I took it, I just knew. I LOVE that! There's something so beautiful (and joyful, which is fitting) about not planning this project out and just letting it happen. Which, for those of you who know me, is very tough for me. 

So, there it is! Project 52:2! This is turning out to be a very fun, challenging, thrilling, and growing project indeed. And might I add, the boy's rockin the pink, isn't he?! :-)


Project 52:1--scenic

Here it is! The first post in my 2012 Project 52. I will post a new pic every week (hopefully the better I get at this the fresher the pics will be) centered around my theme: a simple joy. It took me forever to pick a theme because everything I chose was either too narrow or too broad. But, everything I kept thinking of reminded me of the simple joys I get from them (living organically, natural parenting, beauty in simple things, motherhood, etc...). So, I will be choosing pics that encompass all of these areas and explaining their simple joys in my life.

The P52:1 photo was taken while on Christmas vacation in Montana. i love the snowy mountains in the background, the Christmas lights wrapped around the railing, the rocks below the bridge, and the angle of the shot. Not mention, Noah in focus while RUNNING. He thrives in wide open spaces and more than just enjoyed all the running and sledding, so it wasn't difficult to get a pic of him joyful in this scenery. :-) I must admit I'm very proud of this photo. It was one in a string of burst shots I took while he was running very rapidly back and forth, up and down the bridge pictured here. Dangerous, yes. But worth it, ABSOLUTELY!