I have an entire blog post in the works on a wonderful visit from my cousin Becky and her family last week, but until my next day off, let me offer you a series of photos from the past week or so as consolation for the delay. Enjoy! Have a great week!
You can consider this the post where I try to apologize for not sharing any thoughts or baby stories or more of this and that in a few weeks and try to make it up by posting an absurd amount of photos. If a photo is worth a thousand words, this blog post must be worth at least a million.
So let’s make up and be friends, OK? I’ve got lots of stories I want to share — just need a couple of quiet days to catch up from a hectic September.
And now, without further ado, a crazy amount of photos from our awesome, beautiful, blessed lives.
Be back soon with some words, pinkie promise!
You love me, you really love me! I go a week and a half without posting and in the past few days I’ve gotten phone calls, e-mails, texts and messages wondering if everything’s alright and that you miss my posts. Thanks, loved ones! I am sorry to have put you in Zack Photo Withdrawal, but I’m back.
There… feeling better already?
We’ve been working very, very hard at clasping hands and fingers and feeling everything we can get, well, our hands on.
Is everything alright? Yes and No.
Nothing serious has happened. No one is sick, and, just to get this out of the way, no one is pregnant. Zee Momma, Zee Daddy and Baby Z are all doing well. I’ve just had a lot on my plate and a lot on my mind and I hope to share more details soon.
In the meantime, I have been surrounded by two guys who can, in less than a minute, take that frown and turn it upside down.
(even if they both now shoot me looks when I take the camera out)
The bigger of the two handsome dudes has been so supportive and understanding in my recent “funk” and has reminded me for about the 1,000th time that he’s not just my significant other, but he’s my absolute best friend.
And the littlest dude is amazing. I see, first thing every morning, this huge happy smile looking up at me from behind the bars of his crib, followed by a gurgle of cute little oooohs and ahhhs and bleeeees. It’s heaven.
To start my day like that every day and to end it listening to the sleepy sighs or a conversation between him and his daddy over the monitor, well, it makes life’s problems seem pretty insignificant.
I have about five half-done posts that will see completion in the coming days, Girl Scout’s honor.
For now, I’ll catch you up with some photos of Zee Family and our beautiful little world.
It’s so cliché, but really folks, life is pretty darned short.
I’ve obviously adapted to a new way of looking at life since the birth of my son. But that doesn’t just reach a new level and stay there. It creeps up and up when I’m not looking, when I’m not expecting it, when I’m not looking for it — little wake-up calls, if you will.
I spent the better part of a 12-hour day today interviewing the families of four people killed in a car crash this past weekend. Ordinary and extraordinary, all of them between 37 and 51 years old. Four people going about their lives, taken in an instant. I’ve heard all about them today.
“We stuck together through thick and thin,” said one son of his mother.
“She liked helping people out when they needed it,” a daughter said of her mother.”Their biggest joy was being grandparents.”
People would have a better life because of her daughter, a tearful mother told me.
No matter how many feature obits (as we call stories that honor a recently-deceased area resident) I do, they still hurt. They’re still the intimate tip-toeing into some of the most difficult hours a family has to endure. But I can’t tell you how special these stories mean to most of these families. Instead of an obituary, they have this opportunity for a beautiful last thing for their loved ones.
What would your feature obit say about you? Have you made the most out of THIS day?
In less whoa-deep thoughts, I’m loving my new camera, but I realize every day how very much I still have to learn. It’s a Nikon D-3000, so if anyone has any pointers on how to not be point-and-click dependent, I’d love it.
I’m getting there. I just love all of the memories I’m able to capture. I love viewing this beautiful life of mine through the viewfinder on my favorite new “toy.” The things I capture — not due to my talent as a photographer, but due to my luck and blessings as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend… — they’re just perfect.
It was a fantastic day here yesterday — definitely the best Thanksgiving I can remember having.
Scott and I hosted his parents and grandparents as well as my sister, brother and sister-in-law who are staying here for a couple of days. It was a great group!
We enjoyed turkey and about 500 trimmings made by Scott, a table full of desserts, non-stop conversation and a lot of laughs. Then, the younger crowd enjoyed a night of games.
We’ve been relaxing and being a bit lazy all day today, but I’m sure we’ll get our energy back soon enough and will continue to make a lot of great memories tonight and tomorrow.
For now, enjoy a glimpse or two (or 10) into our special day and Zack’s first Thanksgiving.
… my baby brought to me…
…A new friend pinching cheeks (Hi, David!)…
…Cuddling with a cat…
…An old friend causing tickles…
…Two grown guys going ga-ga over goo’s…
…Games and giggles, too…
…Smushed cheeks in a nap…
…Team pride with Dad…
… Too young for the Moose…
… Pastors say “hello”…
…and all in two days’ time.
Thank you to all who made it a great weekend. Have a fantastic chubby-cheek kind of week!
One of Zack’s physical therapy exercises right now is practicing his head and chin lifts. By putting him on his belly, whether on the floor or a pillow, he’s forced to use his shoulders, his chin and other muscles to lift up his head. Once he masters this, which takes a lot of daily practice, he’ll be able to roll over easier and will be able to move forward eventually and crawl his way away from his parents.
The Little Man is beginning to really master the exercise that would formally cause him to scream after only a minute or two. He makes funny faces, kicks his legs behind him and grabs at everything he can with his hands — if he’s not too busy sucking on his arm, that is.
Zack’s looking up and, as cheesy as it sounds, so am I. I don’t know what it is, but I woke up today feeling really positive, upbeat and invigorated. I got two stories done today, cleaned the house, had great fun with Zack in between and now we’re ready for a fun weekend of visitors.
My new friend (thanks work, Facebook and blog!) B is bringing her two kids over tomorrow morning for a little visit and I’m so excited to meet up with her outside of a courtroom, especially since we’ve both entered a difficult variety of mommyhood this year.
Then, our friends A, P and J are coming out from Baltimore for a weekend stay. It’s honestly been since Scott and I got married that we last saw them, so it will be fun to catch up. It’s always a good time, especially if there are Moose or Jersey songs involved (inside jokes!).
And on Sunday afternoon, our pastors are coming out to the house for a long-awaited visit to see Zack (and us too I suppose). Pastor Wayne offers us great comfort and the spiritual awakening we’ve felt this past year or so makes us appreciate what a fantastic church family we have even more.
The baby is sleeping. Here Comes the Sun is playing on repeat on my laptop (seriously, does anything beat “doo-do-do-dooooo?). The Thanksgiving linens are washed and on the table. Scott started a brilliant fire and I’m leisurely sipping a glass of red wine.
I’m sitting in my favorite red chair in a comfy pair of sweatpants, my camera manual on my lap and suggestions on improving my photos from my Uncle Joe.
I look around and yes, yes life is very good indeed.
Scott is an amazing father.
He’s a million amazing things. He’s a great husband and he’s my best friend, but the absolute best thing about him now is how wonderful he is as a father. He’s laidback, he’s calm and patient and he is just going to be such a fun dad to Zack.
He lays Zack on his legs at night and makes really cute noises to get the baby excited and happy.
They make funny faces at each other.
And just about every night, Scott handles bedtime.
He rubs lotion on Zack’s skin and talks quietly and soothingly.
Scott makes me so happy, and I told him this tonight as I was leaving the baby’s room. He didn’t say much, but then a little while later he came up to me, and in perfect Scott Speak, told me it’s not that I make him happy… and I almost smacked him.
Instead, he said, when I leave him, even if it’s just to another room, he feels empty. Scott put his hand on his heart and said I complete him.
My guys, my guys, my guys. They complete me.
And make our trio a true family.
I had a lot more than split ends on my shoulders. I had a lot of heavy baggage that I didn’t realize I’ve been carrying all these months.
The last time I had my hair cut was this summer, in preparation for baby showers and to combat the fast-growing (thanks, hormones!) hair and ever-growing roots. I was 5 or 6 months pregnant, elated, excited and Miss Positivity. I sat in the swiveling chair chatting up about name choices, ultrasounds and dreams of a left-handed pitcher for a Major League baseball team. My world hadn’t been rocked, for better or for worse yet.
So when my hair reached the middle of my back, with little life to it, I used braids, ponytails and headbands to make it disappear.
My hair, you see, has been the container for depression; a holder of my Bad Mommy Thoughts about Down Syndrome. I only last week, phone in my hand to make an appointment at the hair salon, realized that I was afraid of going back to a place that reminded me of LBDS — Life Before Down Syndrome. There are a lot of places like this.
The grocery store? I remember waddling down the aisles looking at baby food containers, not realizing how late it would be before our child could eat cereal, mushed carrots, solid foods.
My work office? The first day I found out I was pregnant, I had to work in the city 40 miles away instead of at home. And I was so happy at my desk, imagining everything… everything that didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would.
Gosh, I sound whiny. I’m not really this negative all the time. It just comes out in spurts when I least expect it.
Tonight’s appointment wasn’t bad. I laughed with my hair stylist and talked about baby’s sleep schedule, mohawks and a helpful Daddy. A part of me was sad. It’s a small town and there’s a lot of big mouths in the area, so I couldn’t help but wonder, “Does she know?”
She didn’t say anything and she didn’t let on, but I did feel like we were dancing around certain things. Why didn’t she ask me if he’s smiling or if he’s rolling over? Is it because she knows he’s behind in his development already?
But I left the place with one fewer black hole in my spirit and much less weighing me down.
I have a new ‘do and in a way, it’s a re-do that will let me move forward with yet another chapter. We’re in LADS mode for sure and there’s no escaping, but it doesn’t have to weigh me down like a forgotten bit of hair.
And a wee bit sassy.
Or, given the funny French theme that stumbled onto my new blog, should I say “BONJOUR!”?
I’ve been blogging here and there for some time now, but since the recent purchase of a really tubular, makes-me-grin-like-a-kid-on-Christmas-morning camera and the birth of an amazing mohawk-wearing son of mine earlier this year (along with the urging of my Internet-savvy friend with a great story of her own), I felt the strong urge to really blog. Fo’ real. To put myself out there, not behind a wimpy free browser or lots of privacy and hiding, but to really and truly share things from our corner of the world.
I promise adoring stories of being a Mom, stories of love and fun with my husband and all of the ups and downs in between. I love photography, powerful quotes and a wide variety of music, so be prepared for a little bit of all of that whenever you come back to visit.
Feel free to subscribe to my blog on the right hand side of your screen so that you get updates in your e-mail.
Tomorrow equals the official start of this blog, but for now, enjoy a picture of our handsome boy, napping away on Mommy’s lap this afternoon. The way he pulls his fingers into a fist, sighs and quivers in a dream and lays silently in peace brings me such comfort and such strength. It’s times like these that I truly feel I was put on this earth only to be a mother.