I took these photographs around our house in the early morning light, shortly after the sun rose and everything looked soft. Early light has that beautiful wrapping quality. Especially when the sky is overcast, which it has been lately. We moved here to this American Foursquare bungalow at the beginning of October, our third move in as many years, and my fifth house since summer 2012. I absolutely adore this home. Obviously it's older, with large windows and tall ceilings. We had to paint the walls after we moved in; actually John painted the walls after we moved in. Most of the house is still kind of empty, but I am not a person who decorates in one motion. It's more of a process for me, shaped by thrift store finds, textiles, our growing family of plant children, and little things I find along over time. I'm content to let the house evolve. One of the best things about moving here, which was not easy because we loved our previous home, has been the extra space. We have enough rooms for a nursery, and the girls occupy the finished attic upstairs, little a-frame bedrooms on either end of the house with a playroom between and a perfect bathroom with a claw foot tub. We miss our closeness to friends but love living outside of town. Our house faces a pasture with goats and sheep; I love how quiet it is out here.
I am close to 31 weeks pregnant, and every step, every use of energy feels measured and counted. I don't seem to have the energy I had with past pregnancies. I'm making conscious efforts to not be overwhelmed, to remember how brief this time is in the span of a life, how little time we actually have with these girls before they're grown, and how the gift of knowing them and being their mom is completely worth the cost. This pregnancy, even though it has been a difficult journey in many ways, has given me a renewed sense of purpose, and has brought us together. I love my husband more deeply and appreciate him more, and the memories that being pregnant again have brought to my mind have been sweet memories of the girls, while I carried them and when they were born. I love them more than I ever have before, and I hold dear their presence more than ever before. I see the value of what we have together. I'm deeply thankful for these souls.
I recently revisited my old blog... I used to have what could probably be called a mommy blog, which I started in 2010 and carried throughout 2013. It began with a focus on Piper, who was around six months old in the beginning, and my sewing, which is what I did before I became a photographer. I wrote a lot about some fairly personal things -- my first marriage, becoming a mom, my theology and spirituality. To be fair, I wrote on a shallow level about some important topics. I always kept it positive, even when things were really hard, especially relating to that marriage. In retrospect, I am so glad that I made that choice. But something happened to me in my inward life, a kind of cynicism and disillusionment... I saw a lot of dreams die, completely out of my control, and I did not know at the time, while they were dying, that they weren't meant for me. I pulled away from a lot of things that felt too emotionally demanding, especially if I felt like I was being asked to be fake, or couldn't completely engage or fall apart openly, the way I really felt. I stopped writing about the girls. I definitely stopped writing about my spiritual life. Honestly there were quite a few things I needed to think through, grow through. It was right for that time.
As I anticipate welcoming this third little girl and her birth, making space for her, gathering the warm and soft newborn things to comfort her, I am overcome with a sense of how much healing has happened in me. I did not know, when all those things were dying, that I would one day be able to look fondly at them with joy, because of how loved I am. I did not know what I would have today.
So from this place of freedom, I feel like I want to become again someone who shares our family's stories and the many, many reasons we have joy, because we share love. Reading through my writing from years past, I was struck by how much that simple blog brought goodness into my life -- dear friendships, a chronicle of days, however shallow, and photographs to help me remember these beautiful little people who have grown so much. I see the value in photographing and writing about our life, not because I have a dog in the fight -- no points to prove, no theological systems to hold over heads, no desire to incite a faithful following of admirers. I feel like the real beauty lies in telling the truth about who we are and where we have been, where we are going. I think part of seeing that narrative take shape can happen when I take time to reflect. Thanks for reading, and for what it's worth, I'm glad to have people to share this with. xo