Thursday, December 30

A New Year's Name

I've been basking in some beautiful words lately at the blog of Ann Voskamp.
You should absolutely go and be there for awhile.
And take your favourite hot drink, and bask in her carefully chosen prayer-filled words.

Yesterday I read about how she names her years.
A beautiful idea.
And, considering I've been doing some new year's reflecting anyway, I thought I'd think about a name for the year.  A way of shaping it with meaning and intent.  A way to remind me where to focus.

As we busied ourselves about from place to place over Christmas, I became increasingly aware of one of my not-so-nice attributes.

I am a control freak.
I want things done my way, in my time, to achieve my ends.

The dear (poor?) Saint James had to do his holidaying with a frantic and frazzled woman, as I stressed about arriving on time, having the stuff organized to take to each gathering, leaving the house clean, fitting a nap in.

And then after all that was over (it didn't all happen according to my blueprint, but it all happened nonetheless), we sat down to prepare for a week of rest.

Yes.  I prepare for rest.  With a pad and paper and calendar.

Have I mentioned my husband is patient?

As we did some thinking and planning about the year to come, and talking about what's important to us, and important for us as a family, I kept realizing how much I struggle to be in control.

I also came to the realization that as the one who is working outside of the home full-time, there are a lot of things that will be beyond my control.

That's been a bit hard to swallow.  Especially as this dear boy is reaching a stage where he's so teachable, and growing and learning so fast.  I want to be a part of that.  I want to be directing that.

And, for the majority of the time, I can't.

And I can't determine how James will spend his days, and what things he'll prioritize, and what things might not get done.

And I need to make myself okay with that.

I need to release control.

And so, I've decided that this coming year will be the Year of Open Hands.  An open hand can only hold so much.  I need to be diligent and disciplined in taking care of the things that are mine to manage, and graciously release the things that are beyond my control.

I need to trust that as they fall from my open hands, they will fall into the hands of One who is capable of managing them far better than I, and whose outcomes are probably beyond my meager imaginings.

And so, I wave goodbye to the year that has been, and reach out for the good things the new year has to offer.

And, if I'm able to release my grip, and open my hands, I just might find them filled with good things.

Wednesday, December 29

Heavenly Holidays

My sweet St. James got me a new boxing-day sale laptop for my birthday (coming up in a couple weeks).

So, here I am, with a basket full of unfolded laundry and a cluttered dining table personalizing and getting to know the ins and outs of this new machine.

Nice to have my own.  Nice for James not to have to share his anymore.  Win-win, as they say.

And, as I have been blessed with this lovely machine, I feel as though I have a responsibility to use it well.  So, I hereby declare I will write at least once a week.  And by write, I mean write, write.  Like, intentionally and creatively and in a way that challenges me to flex some of my muscles, not just random blather like this.

But, since I'm blathering anyway, I might as well continue.


For 10 DAYS!


And it's darn lovely, that's what.

We even sleep in, both of us at once, 'cause our crazy babe has decided that on days that he rises early, he'll go back to sleep around 7.  I could hardly believe it when we woke up a few days ago at 10:00.  It was like pre-baby bliss.  With the added joy of having a cute kid to cuddle with.

We're not doing much on this stay-cation, but it's been good just to have downtime in our home, and spend some time organizing our home, and some time thinking about what's important, and what the next year will look like, and how we'll make sure it looks like what's important.

I hope you have been able to have some good holiday time too.  If you're thinking about New Year's, and resolutions, here's a link to a great tool from Simple Mom to help you evaluate what's important and shape your goals.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26

Merry Christmas!

We have been having a blessed (albeit busy!) Christmas with our loved ones.

Hope you are too!

Friday, December 17

Happy Birthday, Haydon!

Well.  Life got the best of me in terms of the 12 Days of Haydon.  

I assure you, he did live past July.  And we did take pictures.  And it was wonderful.

It's been interesting to re-live in my mind the events of a year ago.  We were told our baby had some signs of distress in-utero.  Despite being deeply committed to a home birth, under the direction of a midwife and obgyn we decided to induce labour, fearful that there may have been something wrong with our baby.  14 hours later, we were blessed with one of the healthiest, happiest children I've ever met.
(More about that here)  

Last night, after he fell asleep, I snuggled him extra long, tears in my eyes as I considered the outcome of the labour I was in a year ago at that time.  The juxtaposition of those fears - some ultrasound indicators that could have meant Downs Syndrome, lack of movement, poor muscle tone - with the glorious and problem-free year we've had overwhelmed me, reminding me of just how blessed we are.

Here's a month-by-month of our boy, from birth to today.

moments after birth











December - taken 2 weeks shy of his first birthday.

At one, Haydon is a pure delight. 
 He's one of the happiest kids I've ever met.  He babbles, and laughs and "sings" at times. 
 He is walking (almost running at times),and  has 4 teeth.  
He loves to eat bananas, grapes, avocado, cheerios, and rice cakes.  He points and says "MMM! MMM!" when he sees his favourite foods.
Haydon loves to hug.  When I come home at the end of the day he buries his face in my shoulder and pats my back.  He also does this with stuffed animals and dolls (he LOVES!) dolls.
Haydon loves music - he knows which of his toys make music, and will repeatedly press the buttons so that he has something to dance to. Last week, he went crazy for an animated video of  "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas", laughing, squealing and bopping up and down.
Haydon loves books (his mother's son!).  He will often go to his shelf and pull some down, then sit in a pile of books and flip through them.
Haydon loves electronics (his father's son!).  He loves the phone, or a remote control.  He will pick either up, hold it to his ear, and say "Da!" into it, then giggle and pass it to you.  He points remotes at TVs and presses the button.  He would spend all day playing with my iPhone if I let him.

Haydon-baby, we love you so much.  
I can't even imagine how much fun we'll have in the next year as you continue to learn and grow and develop your personality!
It's a privilege to be your Mom! 

Monday, December 13

No Sleep = Angry Mama

For the love of all that's good in the world.

We need some sleep.

Or something.very.bad.might.happen.

I don't mind getting up in the morning (the very early morning).  Usually it means I plug in the Christmas lights, get a few toys out, grab my bible and sit on the couch while the wee man plays happily.  Usually this doesn't happen until after 5.

But no.  Not today. 

Today?  Today we started this glorious getting up ritual at 3:30.

Yep.  You saw that right.  3:30.

I nursed for an hour, then practically jumped up and down with the boy in my arms, desperately trying to rock/bounce him back to sleep.

But to no avail, so, at 4:30, we came downstairs, me thinking, at least I can just veg on the couch while he plays.

But, no.  Not today.  Today, he's a crank.  He doesn't want to play, he doesn't want to be held, he doesn't want breakfast, I don't think he knows what he wants, but it doesn't seem to be anything I can offer him.

Me?  I know what I want.

I want to go back to bed.

Sunday, December 12

12 Days of Haydon - July

Photo blogging every day about your kid is a serious time commitment, just so you know.

Also, my kid is seriously cute.  Just so you know.

I'm enjoying this year in review.  Just so you know.

Enjoying a Canada Day picnic with friends.

Waiting for Canada Day fireworks.  I think he looks like a Cabbage Patch Ewok here...

First time sitting in a shopping cart.

Swimming at Nana and Papa's

Our newest and favourite-ist carrier.

playtime in the backyard with friend Cadance

Saturday, December 11

12 Days of Haydon - month 7!


Lots of happy pictures.

Hi.  So glad you keep coming back to see my beautiful face.

So this is technically May and I overlooked it, and how could I not add it...?

hip hip HOORAY!

Hanging out while we do some yard work (fave summer jumper)

first swim!

He had just started sitting up - it was tricky to get him to stay long enough to get this picture

Yep.  We're gorgeous.  Click the video below to see what happened shortly after this precious moment...


Did I mention I did a LOT of laundry when he was wee?

I am SO glad we are done with the puking stage, 'cause man did he ever puke a lot...

Friday, December 10

Use Your Words

I've heard myself saying that to Haydon a few times this week.  
We're on the cusp of language.
Before we get there, there is this frustrating time, as his little personality, his STRONG will develops, and he wants..
.but he can't tell me what, or how, or when.  
Frustrating for him, frustrating for me.
And I hear myself say
"Use your words!"

I fee like I, too, am in a place of needing to use words, but not yet having them.

I have come across some incredibly beautiful writing lately. 
Writing that stirs me.  
Word-craft that reminds me just how beautiful carefully placed letters can be.

And I am reminded that I, too, can craft words.
And that this craft makes me feel alive.
And that, maybe, I should be spending more time making my words live.

The problem is - the process of bringing forth life - well, they call that labour.
And - writing - well, it's labourious.

And I'm not so sure this full-time workin', not-much sleepin' mama is ready to use my words.
Maybe not even yet able to use my words.

But, like my son,
 his screwed- up reddened face, wailing in frustration
I think I have things to say.

(for some more thoughts on words, and some stunningly beautiful writing, I'd encourage you to visit
-  a place I have been truly blessed to discover this week!) 

Thursday, December 9

12 Days of Haydon - May


Mother's Day is in May!

And Haydon's first food was in May.

And I'm sure other good things happened in May but I haven't had the time to mine through my past blog posts and face book stati.

This sling was my mother's day gift.  We like it.
He puked ALL over me seconds after this...

Have I mentioned we like our slings?  This was at church one Sunday.  Mmm.  So cozy.

Victoria Day weekend camping trip with the youth group.  My favourite summer hat.
And, I leave you with a video of Haydon's first solid food...

Posted by Picasa

To quote St. James as we looked over these things...
"I like him.  He's pretty great."

'Tis true.

12 Days of Haydon - month the 5th


I didn't take many pictures.

Luckly, our talented friend Jeremy Curry did.
(look for more great work from Jeremy later this month...)

These were from Haydon's dedication, April 11, 2010.
our fam at the church

Haydon, with his Uncle Andrew, Nana Smith, and Great-Papa Smith

Ugh, have I mentioned how talented Jeremy Curry is?  Seriously...

I <3 my family.

Wednesday, December 8

12 Days of Haydon - March

Ugh, March already?  This whole first year thing goes quick!

March was good.  I started to get into a groove I think.

Also - less pictures for some reason.  Maybe I was busy trying to do things rather than just snap pictures of the boy?  Not sure.

 Toys started to become interesting

My favourite hat and sweater.

Grabbed food off my plate for the first time!!

Tuesday, December 7

12 Days of Haydon, month 3


This was my FAVOURITE! outfit. 

Hel-LO, gorgeous!

You'd think these people liked him or something...

Is there anything better than snuggling with a sleeping baby?

Monday, December 6

12 Days of Haydon - January


One of the January highlights was a party held by a group of dear friends that I grew up among.

Ahh, January.  

A review of my facebook statuses (stati?) from January reveals a lot of trying to figure out how to be a mom, and being exhausted, and being overwhelmed with wanting my house to be clean and my baby to sleep.

Oh, and I wanted to be able to walk and stand comfortably and I wanted nursing not to hurt.

But, that's me.  

My son...

...he was busy being adorable.

Sunday, December 5

12 Days of Haydon

My boy will be a year old in twelve days, can you believe it?
I've gotten pretty sappy sentimental as I think about the fact that my son is growing up and becoming independent and all that jazz.  Picking up his sippy cup on his own.  Taking steps.  Freaking out when I take away things he shouldn't play with.  A real live little personality developing in there.

So, I decided I'll do a little reminiscing.  In the twelve days counting down to his birthday, I'll do a photo walk down memory lane of each month of his life.

So.  Here's December 2009.

 You can read more about his horrible delivery blessed arrival here if you like

The first photo ever taken of my boy.  Under 10 minutes old. Nice nose, eh?

First hour in the hospital.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

In December...

We came home.

We did a lot of Christmas visitting (which was absolutely exhausting.  Next time I give birth, it had better be at least a month before a major holiday.  I was so tired and sore).

We participated in a Christmas Eve service in which my beautiful boy got to play the part of Jesus - and there were lots of misty eyes, I tell you (I really wish I had a digital copy of the picture!).

We went for our first family shopping trip.

We were surrounded by lots of helpful family and friends.

Sleep was as to be expected with a new baby.

Nursing sucked.

Come back tomorrow to see about January!
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