I love this photo, it speaks to me of this entire summer. The light is perfect, the day is pleasantly fading and we are blessed with family around us sharing our table and bouncing Cora.
Wow, I'm not sure how it is possibly August yet. Here we are, the days getting shorter and Cora getting bigger. The tomatoes are ripening in the garden and I've been busy doing more canning then ever. Last year I was very sick and emotionally paralyzed by the fear that something might go wrong with the pregnancy so I missed the rhythms of my usual domestic course. No gardening and no canning meant a very strange year for me. I still feel disbelief when I look at Cora, I am still waiting for the last of the fear to float away.
This summer has been a very full time. Filled with Cora, lots of travel, farmer's markets, and work, work, work. I was concerned when I took my maternity leave that my business would flounder. I had visions of returning back to work, hanging out my "shingle" only to sit in a quiet empty room wondering how I would make my overhead. Little did I know it would be very much the opposite. After a few months back I have all the business this new mama can handle. I have to check in with myself regularly to set boundaries so I do not burn out. I am very, very fortunate to be navigating this space.
A huge professional passion of mine is teaching. My entire life I've wanted to teach, I was never sure what subject this route would take. When I was in college I was on a PhD tract, thinking that was my route, to become a university professor. I quickly became disillusioned with the professional academic process and went the way of bodywork. There were many, many times during massage school that I felt strongly that I would love to teach bodywork. It's been two years since I graduated and every time I have a new ephiphany I find myself thinking "how would I share this knowledge with a class".
A few weeks ago I was finally given that opportunity. I was invited back to my school to give a simple speech about why I love what I do and then give a short demonstration of a type of bodywork I use often. The event was actually for people who were contemplating going to massage school and it was wild to stand before a group of people and remember what that felt like. To be standing at the edge of making a major life change, to be full of questions, excitement and uncertainty. I loved every second of it, and apparently the school liked what I did because I have been invited back to teach a full day introduction to massage class next saturday. This is also a one time deal but I am pleased and excited none the less.
These last weeks haven't been without their challenges. I've battled mastitis and thrush TWICE, Scott and I are both working too much, and I had my first run in with international scam artists on Craigslist. We have both been feeling a huge urge to change our living situation now that Cora is here. It is a primal, deep, biological urge that is difficult to control. I was never much for nesting when I was pregnant but I am making up for it now that she is here. The funny thing is that our current apartment is very, very nice, is suited well to us. However, now that we have Cora we want a home of our own. I think that urge makes sense, and I understand where it is coming from. Unfortunately the current lending market doesn't and after a few conversations with our mortgage broker we see that we are still far away from that goal. So now we have the challenge of reconciling ourselves with how it feels to hear that and our current situation.
First we felt that we would just stay here and as lovely as it is it isn't ideal. It's an old home and we have neighbors above us and below us in the other apartments. This was always fine but now I find my deep mama bear getting ruffled whenever one of my neighbors slams a door too loud when baby is sleeping or I can't get to sleep because their tv is turned up too loud. These were all simple realities of living amongst people before, I was never so sensitive to it. Also our second bedroom here isn't a legal second bedroom. It used to be a porch in fact and does not have the proper insulation to make it feel nice in the winter. So, we have some decisions to make.
After thinking it through I decided we would look for a home to rent until we are ready to by. After getting over the paralyzing thought of packing up and moving all of our things to yet another rental, I started to get excited at the notion. Three weeks later, a series of landlords who stop communication once they find out we have dogs, and one internet scam artist who wanted us to wire money to London later and I am done. Done. Done. Done. The amount of works it takes to rent an apartment in this city, in this market is staggering. I stopped short of the next necessary step which is to create a "portfolio" about our family, highlighting how much money we have in the bank and what a great family we would be to rent to. I just can't do it.
So here we are, in a strange way come full circle. I've mostly exhausted the urge for a change and am being positive about our current situation. We love our yard, room for my garden and the chickens. We love that this is the place that Cora came home to for the first time. We will most likely spend a bit of time/money sprucing up the place, freshening it, adding a few pieces of furniture to make it feel different and more functional. We are also going to talk with the landlords about properly insulating that room.
Cora is resting next to me in her pack and play. I love that it takes her 45 minutes to an hour to fully wake up in the morning. Just like mama. I sit and drink coffee and she coos at her toys and slowly opens her eyes fully. I can not believe she is six months old now. She is mostly sitting up on her own, very close to crawling and eating advocado, blueberries and sweet potato. She is still struggling with her first teeth, she has been teething for two months now. Poor thing, I wish they would just break through and give her some relief before the next ones start in. I also wish for me that we could sleep comfortably at night without her waking to teething pain.
Here are a few photos from the summer, I have many more. My older brother Casey came to visit and brought his youngest, our nephew Xavier. It was such an amazing to time to have them here from New York. I wish we could all live closer, sigh.....We also had an amazing time visiting family in Chicago. The time goes by so fast during a visit, and before I know it it will be too long until we see our nieces and nephews again. Thank god for Skype but there is no replacement for a kisses and hugs.
My brother and his youngest, Cora's cousin Xavier
Cora loves to sit in this highchair and hang out in the kitchen while we cook. Side note: this is exactly where I was standing when my water broke...minus the kitchen knife:)
Our Chicago trip was full of family and too little time!
Auntie Kate with Cora and cousin Mason
Cora with her great grandpa Floyd
Cora and cousin Jackson
Scott with Grandpa Floyd
I love this photo! Cora meets great-grandma Gloria
Cora's first trip to the ocean. Notice we aren't on the beach. Cora got sand in her eyes almost immediately and cried it out and herself into an exhausted sleep:(
Casey, Jeff, and Xzavier, Cannon Beach
My little peanut butter