rambling about motherhood at it’s (not so) finest.

When I decided to become a mother I also decided I wasn’t going to lose myself to motherhood. This was really important because I was planning on being a stay-at-home-mom, so I made a vow: keep active, find like-minded moms (I had just moved to where I didn’t know anybody so this was a huge priority,) and approach life with loving kindness.

Loving kindness was the hardest and easiest part in the first 6 months. My son was little and sweet and smelled SO GOOD. He was also colicky- straight up couldn’t put him down colicky. I thought, “Between the post-partum hormones, my needy baby and sleep deprivation, HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?!” One hour at a time. That became my mantra, one hour at a time. If I could make it to night time (Dax has always been a great night time sleeper) then I would be fine. My husband was a huge help, taking him as soon as he got home from work. Family bath time in the living room helped so much. My son, much like myself, is a water baby and bath time was a sure way to keep him calm. I looked forward to those 30 minutes where we would bathe him and get him dressed for bed, all together as a family, chatting with each other and cooing our little one. Once I got the okay from my OB’s to start being active (I had to have a C-Section) things got a bit easier because that meant I could put my baby in the baby carrier, whistle for my dog and go for hikes. Being in the woods made everyone calmer and we could all breathe easier. I began to think, “I really can do this.”

There is hardly a day that goes by where the 3 of us aren’t outside walking at some point, whether it’s an actual hike or to walk our dog at the local “dog park.” We’ve been to a national park, we’ve been swimming in lakes and pools, dipped our toes in the ocean, flown twice, taken a road trip, visited multiple museums, snowshoed, hiked mountains. We’ve hiked through smiles, tears and laughter. We’ve hiked through his meltdowns, other childrens’ meltdowns and my meltdowns. He used to scream and cry during car rides and I’d cry along with him. I’ve learned the ways to extract a belly laugh out of him and make him laugh so hard he snorts. We’ve developed a language together. I’ve even learned the art of taking a decent photo with a wiggly, giggling baby on my back.

One of my favorite parts about motherhood is that it is just as much of an adventure as being outdoors is! There are times when I have found myself in as much awe and reverence at something my little boy did as I am at the top of a mountain.

(To the left is Dax at Sand Beach at Acadia National Park and to the right is Sprocket at the top of the land bridge to get to Bar Island in Acadia National Park.)

I love that motherhood makes me think outside the box and forces me to problem solve in unique ways, to be a quick thinker, to always have arms open and at the ready, to be patient. Still working on that last one! The truth is, I will always take the good with the bad because adventuring with kids is an unbelievable experience. They offer up such a great perspective and help you to slow down and really experience what’s going on in that moment. The only other time I’ve ever walked that slow was when I was pregnant! (It was a really bad pregnancy filled with unending nausea and more sickness than I want to remember!)

And when adventuring with a baby seems a bit more work than I’d like, I think about the way he burrows his face into my back, the way we completely relax, the silence we find ourselves walking in, the way he never complains when I take photo after photo in spot after spot.  I’ve found a hiking group and ganged up with Adventure Mamas Initiative (www.theadventuremamas.com) to bring together a crew of lovely and bad ass mamas over here in the north-east with whom I know will always cheer myself and my son on and be there when we need them. Motherhood is helped along by supportive friends and family as well as by our own inner strength. It is helped by our children who give us endless love and amazing memories.

I haven’t lost myself. I’m still here and more amazing than ever. I even found more of myself through motherhood, that’s the coolest part. By committing to a great motherhood and to being a great mother to my son, I have managed to put together a life for us that is enriching, entertaining and at times, exhausting. I trust in my intuition, in my husband, in myself and in my son.

xo, Ev. (More commentary and photos below.)dsc_0084-3

Sprocket and Dax.

Nature is not my husband’s thing. I try to tell him it’s not very athletic the way I stop and take 100’s of photos but to him, that’s besides the point. That’s okay. He’s a great husband and a wonderful father and he lets me put Monkey on him when he’s driving. I’ll forgive him for thinking a great walk is playing 18 holes. He’s not totally wrong.

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Caught My Eye, Traveling.

This is the road trip edition!

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You really and truly can’t go wrong with a beach trip. There’s nothing like the sun, swimming in the salty water, playing in the waves… (Other favorite places include woods and the jungle!) This was taken at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA. (Sensing a favorite spot in the world from all of my posts?)

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Niagra Falls… Next time we go we’ll have our kid in tow and we’re going to the Canadian side.

biltmoreProvidence, RI is such a cute city and it goes without saying that it has some cool coffee shops and great places to eat. We stayed at the Biltmore Hotel where it is rumored to have hosted satanic parties, decades ago. It’s dog friendly so of course we brought our dog, Sprocket, with us and needless to say, she was pretty spooked. We had to drop her off at a friend’s house 40 minutes away for the rest of the weekend! I highly recommend staying there just for the freaky factor. Nothing overly strange happened; there wasn’t a ghost sighting but we definitely felt the presence of something, and this was before we found out that the Biltmore is supposedly haunted (whoops.)

sprocket7This is Sprocket, in all of her glory. She was not in this good of a mood at the hotel.

p28 p29 p32These 3 were taken in Maine at a friend’s farm. They bought it knowing it was in need of some TLC but we all agreed that the outbuildings had some real charm. I tend towards textures, both in my artwork and in my photographs so this farm was heaven for me.

xo, Ev.