Monday, August 26, 2013


This baby girl turned six months old yesterday.  It didn't sink in until this morning though, really.  My mom left from visiting this weekend so I'm able to sit in my sadness for a bit while Ev naps.  She's  in her crib that was recently moved down to the lowest setting when we found her standing up late last week.  She's pulling herself up on everything, crawling, she wiggles her way out of your arms when you try to snuggle.  She is no longer my tiny little baby (okay, she was never really tiny, but to me she was).  I think before six months, the 25th of each month came and went but she still seemed like a baby to me.  Five months sounds so much younger than six months.  Her six month birthday also brings a  milestone for me and my body.  I have spent half of a year giving my body over to feed and nurture this tiny being.  I have had so many ups and downs with breastfeeding, healing, and mentally going through this process of motherhood.  I have never been so overwhelmed with the love that you can feel for someone else.  There is a part of my chest that feels like a light goes straight through it and it expands when I see Everly's face.  That's what this love feels like.  I have started to rest on the prayer that I can always see her with this love, even when times are hard in our relationship.  

Everly Ruth, here are a few things I want to remember about you at 6 months old:

-You are starting to crawl to me, up me, and then nuzzle around when you want some milk.  I absolutely love this.  

-You are crawling, pulling yourself up, and doing this all way too fast for me.  But I love to watch you try and figure things out.  I'm gonna have to keep my eye on you.  ;)  

-You had two full body laughs going on this weekend and it was the best thing to hear.  Your laugh makes the world brighten.  

-You are really into watermelon rind.  Not so much avocados.  (me too.)

-You love playing with your ukelele and watching the horses move.  This makes your mama and daddy very happy.   

- Your dark brown hair is falling out and growing back in blonde.  The first thing people notice about you is your amazing hair that is usually going all over the place.  It does make me a little sad that you are losing your brown locks but your hair is an ever evolving masterpiece so I can't wait to see how it grows back in.  

-You snuggle up at night in-between me and your daddy and it is my favorite time of the day.  I will never ever regret sharing our bed with you.  

I could go on and on but those are the things that stick out the most.  Half of a year.  It is unbelievable.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can we take a moment to talk about this?

I totally forgot about this photo shoot.  A dear friend bought this dress for Ev at Dollywood (greatest place on earth) so of course we had to dress her up in it and pretend that she was in a baby pageant.  Except, Ev isn't really a frilly baby.  I'm not sure that any baby is but Ev definitely was giving the "WTF, get this off me" vibe.  

And look at all that hair!   It is falling out and turning blonde now so I will have to savor these precious glamour shots gone wrong with her spiky black hair.  *sigh*

Happy Thursday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

eyes on the prize

I took this video last week and now I am looking up baby gates to replace my rigged up screen gates because this girl is everywhere.  She's figured out how to pull herself up on her own if I leave anything out that is her size so we are also dealing with some bumps on the head.  She's on the move and ready.

I'm not.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

you go girl

It's okay.


I might need to look at this from time to time and now so can you.

you're welcome.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Planting the Placenta Tree

I thawed out her placenta a few days ago (or is it mine?  who has ownership here?) and decided that today was the day to plant it!  That and it was really starting to gross me out in the fridge and this is something you do not procrastinate once thawed out.  My mom got me a wisteria tree for Mother's Day and we finally planted it and had our little family ceremony.  Andrew placed it in the hole muttering, "I hope you know how much I love you Valerie, you weird hippie."  Yes.  This is love.  Placenta love and we may have color coordinated our outfits just for fun.

 *a praying mantis was chillin' on her tree.  I think it's a sign. *

I really loved that we saved the placenta.  It felt special planting a tree to watch grow with her and to know that it will be here beside our little home where she is growing up means a lot to us.  We said a little prayer over the tree and spent the rest of the day outside enjoying this cool weather (in a Virginia August?).  Yes, it was a lovely day.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

date night

 Those are bacon, apple, and brie sandwiches (the best sandwich ever?)

 blinded by the white

North River Gorge at sunset

photo taken after wine & happiness was consumed.

Last week my mom watched Ev while Andrew and I went on our first solo date in 5 months.  I didn't want to go.  Is that bad to say out loud?  Well, I didn't.  I was tired.  I was cranky and stressed.  We planned a date on a budget to the mountains for a small hike, sandwiches, and a bottle of wine.  This all sounded fine and dandy until that evening when we were trying to get ready.  It wasn't about leaving Ev, it was just about getting our shiz together enough to walk out the door.  I dragged my feet and plopped down in our old volvo station wagon with the crankiest face I could muster.  We made our way through the valley backroads and bit by bit I felt my chest getting lighter.  We hiked to a little spot that has a hanging bridge and since it was so late at night and there weren't any other hikers on the trail, we set up our picnic right there over the river.  It was magical and one of the best dates we have ever been on.  We sat and talked about getting caught up in this wild life with a 5 month old and a farm but how incredibly lucky we are to be here living our dreams.  I forget that most days.

It's important to get away and take a breath.  And I highly recommend doing it over a bridge with your best friend.  

p.s.  and when that said best friend and baby daddy eats all but 3 pieces of the POUND of bacon that you fried earlier for your bacon, apple, and brie sandwiches that you are making for the said special date and you realize you are screaming at each other over bacon????  It is clear that you are in need of date night.  ;)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

tennis bear vs. me

I got back from a weekend family trip to New Jersey on Monday.  Andrew couldn't make the trip so I was on my own, along with the helping hands of family.  I think I bit off a little more than I could chew going solo, but I do feel like I came out feeling like more of a mother than I was telling myself.  The second night we were there I had finally nursed Ev to sleep and I was sitting on the floor with a tiny light to read by and she started to cry.  I used all my tricks in my bag to get her to sleep before scooping her up and starting to sway side to side. 

I need this right now.  I need this right now, baby girl.  I need this.   Please go back to sleep so I can read and just have silence.

I pleaded.  Hard.  

At the same time I realized I was staring at the tennis playing bear picture that has been hanging in my Grandmother's guest room for my entire 29 years.  Back and forth I rocked looking at that bear, silently pleading with my baby to go to sleep.  I knew I would give out soon physically from lunging with my little 17 lb baby but I suddenly started to feel like the tennis bear was taunting me.  Those balled up fist, beady eyes, and scowl face.  He wanted to take me on.  I kept on my side of the court, swiveling side to side.  

I will win bear.
I will win.

She started to feel like she was getting heavy again.  She was almost there.

The bear gave up and/or Ev fell back asleep and I placed in her the springy bed with a fortress of pillows surrounding her.   

This week has put me face to face with that bear more than once.  It has been mentally tough and one of those weeks where you just keep saying "what else do you got for me life?".  But the bear won't win.  We'll keep on keepin' on and I will win.

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