Saturday, July 29, 2017

Maybe I've grown up

I had the rare pleasure of coffee with a friend sans children this morning. We have ten between us, and you know mamas can't talk when managing littles. Anyway, during our conversation we were talking about unexpected friendships and being intentional about pursuing friendships outside of our stage of life. And it hit us both how we're not the YOUNG people anymore...because there's nearly a decade between Us and the young married couples. Ha. How strange.

Yet, this week -for the very first time- I have bought produce with the express intention of freezing it. 10lbs of peaches: in my freezer! And the corn off a dozen ears of corn!
I grew up around large families with whom it was the norm to put up tons of fruits and veg, and my little batches seem infinitesimally small in comparison. But everyone has to start someplace, and I'll not despise small beginnings. 

The other hand of this matter is that while baking bread is my typical signal of "normalcy returned"* (Who wants to bake bread when it's 100 degrees out?), perhaps this freezing of produce is a similar action - perhaps we've adjusted to life in Mississippi. Perhaps we're trying to thrive.
I know we are.

*In some blog post probably 4+ years ago, I wrote about baking bread for the first time roughly six weeks after Adele was born - and then I KNEW that I was managing life rather than just surviving. I feel so much better when I'm productively managing, but survival mode sometimes comes with the mothering territory.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Inaugural thoughts

With a new home come many inaugural moments. Moments that make you feel like celebrating, from the "Yay we have the Keys!" to the "our first guests."

I love these micro-milestones. The chaos that is moving is fraught with challenges, partly because some of the moments around a move are "This will probably the last time we'll have these people over for dinner" and "Packing up beloved items" and "Where on earth do I begin today"....but there are also the "We hung our pictures on the walls today" and "Our first meal actually cooked in our new home."
{Of course those are in no particular order -- yes, I did cook before hanging pictures on the walls}

In the last week we've been delighted to host our first lunch guests and overnight guests. Company is an excellent motivator for getting your house settled and presentable! :) I so enjoy getting to host friends and family in our home, and it's refreshing to have that shift from "Where do I want to put this item or hang this picture?" to "How can I make my guests more comfortable?" Less of ME is always a good thing, I'm thankful for opportunities that remind me to refocus on being others-centered.
Life is made more of than of big events. Sure, it's easier to date things in your memory by whether it was after {a move, a wedding, a holiday etc), but our regular everydays --that's where it's most beautiful.
It's where we live out our love for our families and friends, not just on special occasions when everything is picture perfect. Lord knows, life isn't picture perfect. It's being present when things are messy and frazzled and just plain struggling.
Back last winter, I had a cookie decorating party planned. Life happened that week - I learned about the loss of my baby and was waiting to miscarry. I thought about cancelling. Everyone would have understood. I knew I couldn't pull off organizing an 'event' - but I could manage a pajama play-date. I texted the downgraded status around. Someone brought doughnuts. I just made coffee and room to be with people instead of letting my grief take center stage that day. It was beautiful. Full of laughter and kids playing, and what I needed.
Messy and beautiful.
So I'll raise my glass of chocolate milk (I'm pregnant, yo!) to embracing the beauty of the moments rather than the events. The acts of kindness and love, no matter how small, are too precious to get swept away in the blur of life. Jot them down. Take a picture. File it in your memory. These are the memories that make a childhood golden, let's bedazzle adulthood too with beauty to the brim. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Where we are

It's raining. It's rained three or four times today, vanquishing my hopes of going to a laundry mat having the joy of clean clothes.

Nothing contributes chaos into my life so much as scrounging around for clothes, and more especially clothes that are here and there in no order whatsoever. Some stashed in a box in my bath tub, some in suitcases, a very few in drawers, some on hangers tied up in trash bags. It's as if they're everywhere and no where at all.

Why on earth is life so chaotic? Moving.
Moving will do it every. single. time.

And for better or worse, this has not been one of those charming "move down the street" moves. This has been a "cross a few states" move. We enjoyed nearly peachy three years in the land of my nativity, but work has carried us away from thence. {as an aside, I had to look up that last phrase to check my grammar, and lo and behold it was "King James" speak. Raise your hand if you're surprised!} 
So, we Sayres find ourselves back in Mississippi. You know, to think about MS and all it's stereotypes, it seems a backwards thing to be moving here. Let me speak some truth into your life though, while Mississippi may not someplace you think of as up and coming - the fact is: its people are as sweet as the tea; many quaint small towns are enjoying a fun renaissance of local businesses. It's lovely. 

But leaving family and friends is challenging. The children and I are all coping with this transition. Of course, children will have a hard time with changes, I'm expecting another two weeks maybe of rough sailing with them. However, as the mother hen -- I haven't the time nor energy to cry a bucketful of tears, and am scurrying to put back together the familiar trappings of what is OUR home (not to mention to be able to cook some meals), and it's just a juggling act, like all of motherhood, I suppose.
Couple all the juggling with pregnancy exhaustion, and it's an even more complex equation. I did manage to get our old house packed, with many naps along the way. I'm 15 weeks today. I'm nervous about sharing this news because of the fear of having to "un-share" it again, should the unthinkable happen. Vulnerability isn't a weakness though, and I desire to be authentic in this space. 
'm due near Christmas. Hattie has been praying for this baby at every meal. She's been very faithful.