Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Life Lately: Mother's Day, Friends, Back in the Saddle and Baby Goats

It's been said so many times to me, the days are long but the years are short, and I've already found this to be so true. We are truly "in the weeds" as Duncan's sweet PT Becky reminds me almost weekly. Her children are 15 months apart and so she gets my struggles on multiple levels. Duncan gets physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/feeding therapy through BabyNet which is basically South Carolina's public school for children under age three who need these types of services. The amazing thing is that they come to your home. But that also means I have therapists coming into my home multiple times a week. Meaning we have to be up from a nap (but well rested enough to get something out of the therapy), we have to be fed (including Caroline because sister can get hangry with the best of them), and the house has to look somewhat decent. As in, there needs to be a clear floor space for therapy to happen. I need to be dressed and at least appear to have it somewhat together. For all this to happen we have to stick to a pretty consistent schedule because all these things are scheduled well in advance.

But we are seeing amazing results from all this therapy so it's hard to complain! So what have we been up to??? Mother's Day was over a week ago now but it kicked off a week of night work for Ryan which basically means I'm solo-parenting. I took C & D to church and then spent the rest of the day running errands and shopping by myself. I was very generous and bought myself this print at Artisphere. And thoroughly enjoyed the wine tasting tent!

By Tampa artist John Lewis. His work was my favorite that I saw at Artisphere and I choose this bunting print since I've seen one of these in my backyard here. I mentioned this to the artist and he was surprised since they usually don't go this far from the coast. 

It was really my first year to celebrate Mother's Day since I was a little busy last year on the day giving birth and all. Mother's Day and adoption bring up a lot of feelings for me. While we were struggling with infertility I was so hard and I avoided church and social media for that whole weekend. Caroline's birth healed so much of that hurt for me, but it's still hard to think of what might have been and then add in the overwhelming gift (for me and loss for another) that is adoption. Joy Launders said it best with, "A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me."

Our official Mother's Day 2017 picture which so illustrates their little personalities. Caroline can't be still and the smirk on Duncan's face is like "aha..I finally caught you sister and I'm not letting go!"

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My journey to motherhood was not what I'd always pictured, but it's been a perfect picture of God's grace and goodness. I love each day with these two amazing, precious children. Words cannot express my gratitude and admiration for the young woman who made me a mother by the hardest sacrifice I can imagine! And no Mother's Day will ever top the one when Duncan made his appearance in this world! I'm so thankful for my own wonderful mother and hope to be half the mama she is to me!

Caroline's birth story is here. My sweet mama meeting Caroline and Duncan for the first time.

And Duncan's is here.

Ryan worked nights for a straight six days and it was brutal. There's this illusion of possible help, but then it never materializes. By a Thursday I was toast in the giving department. Fortunately our favorite babysitter had the day available and came to my rescue in the morning and afternoon! I finally got to go ride after 20+ months of not. My longest dry spell since I started riding at age 6!


And that night the self-care theme continued with outdoor yoga with my friend Caroline (and 140 other yogis) at Soul Yoga.


This girl is always up for a selfie! Friday was adventure day with friends and Shoe, Heather and I along with our littles headed up the mountains to the Carl Sandburg National Park in Flat Rock, North Carolina. 

My little rangers. We hit up the gift shop and got a National Parks Passport to collect stamps from national parks. Caroline was not into keeping her "Junior Ranger" hat on!

The big attraction this time of year there is the park's goat herd has baby goats that you can just walk in the pasture to pet. I thought Caroline would be the one to love it the most, but she was actually kind of timid of the goats and just wanted to roam the pasture. But Duncan LOVED him so baby goats. I mean couldn't get enough of them. Squeezed them, pulled on their ears and legs, and overall bugged the stew out of them until I was afraid Mama Goat was going to come intervene. But for the child who a few months ago couldn't reach for a toy, this was HUGE to see! 




Video of the love...


A storm came through as we were about to leave town so we took shelter and had a late lunch in the Village Bakery. Then played in The Wrinkled Egg where the kiddos were entertained by birds and a rabbit. Friday night I put C & D down before 7 and didn't hear from them until after 8 a.m. the next morning.

On the Saturdays when Ryan's working, I attempt to make it still feel like a weekend. Usually this means, frying bacon and going to the farmer's market. Which is what we did and then added on the Opa! Greek Fest and then our friend Polk's first birthday party. It was an exhausting, but fun, day!

Story time at M. Judson's bookstore. They love the stories, I love the free mini-cupcakes from the Chocolate Moose. To make up for the mess we leave behind, I always order an iced coffee.

Afterwards, we walked over to the 31st annual Opa! Greek Festival. This was Duncan's first festival and really first outing last year!

The nice thing about the festival is even though it's outside when you get too hot, there's some indoor options. We did the sanctuary tour and learned about the history and architecture of the Greek Orthodox church. We lit a candle and said a special prayer for Duncan's MRI that is this morning!

The music and dancing are my favorite parts of Greek Fest. Followed closely by the food! 


Our last activity of the day was Polk's birthday party! I knew Amanda would have good food and she did.


By the time we got home, Julia & Eric were there and we all watched the Preakness. We all made bets on who would win. My pick, Lookin at Lee, did the best.



We grilled out steaks and had too much wine - just how I like to end a Saturday!

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