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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Laurna is a senior.

I get the priviledge of photographing two of my cousins' senior pictures this year.  Laurna in July, and Emily in October.  Here are a few that I wanted to share until I can finish editing them all.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

We went to Edisto Island.

Edisto is just north of Hilton Head and just south of Charleston in South Carolina.  It's sleepy, no chain restaurants and no high rises.  Just beach and houses and bike trails.  Stephen has been there seven or eight times since he was twelve.  This is my fourth trip with his family.
A day of vacation in Edisto is breakfast, beach, bikes, lunch, puzzle, good books, island exploration, family dinner, sunset, bedtime (for the kids), and then some wine and conversation.  Repeat.  Repeat. Repeat.  Sometimes there is a trip to the local serpentarium or a sunset boat ride of the bay, but there is always a trip to George and Pinks for peaches and tomatoes and The Sea Cow Eatery for pancakes and eggs.
I only pack four outfits for each kid which means I do a load or two of laundry mid week, but I can pack all five of my kids in one suitcase.  I'm super proud of this fact...a skill I've been perfecting over the last ten years.  However, the trunk still gets full fast with scooters and helmets and floaties and beach buckets.  Oh, and I always seem to still forget something important.
This year, I forgot Schroeder's swim suit.  We were getting ready for the beach on our first morning of vacation and discovered it was missing.  I asked him if he would wear his boxer briefs to the beach until I could find him a new suit at one of the trinket shops.  He was a good sport, but confessed to me that "he was a little nervous" before we got in the car.  He looked like a little French boy running around in his tight little shorts and I was tempted to not buy him any replacements.
I shared with a friend before the trip that I was anxious about taking five kids swimming in the ocean.  I was having nightmares about someone drowning.  I'm a permissive parent by nature wanting my kids to have a long leash to explore their world.  But the ocean is unforgiving.  We decided to leave Penelope at the condo with her Grammy and just take the four big kids.  D'arcy is a strong, independent swimmer, and the other kiddos had wrap around floaties.  The waves were super gentle this trip.  It was a gift.  With each wave, Schroeder would say, "Thank you vacation," and Maggie would say, "This is the best day ever."  In the past, a half hour at the beach with four kids was all the "fun" we could handle.  But this year, we reluctantly left after a couple hours.
I actually, whole heartedly really enjoyed spending these days with my kids.  Sometimes they are my work and sometimes they are my entertainment.  Sometimes it surprises me how quickly they move from one to the other.
Let me mention that I have successfully potty trained four children.  However, a couple years after potty training is over, I've discovered that there are other skills I feel obligated as a parent to pass down, swimming and bike riding.  D'arcy was an eager learner.  Julian is a reluctant learner.  D'arcy had these skills down at five.  Julian is almost seven.  I'm no good at parenting a reluctant learner, but I'm learning when to push the point, how to encourage, and when to give him space.  Oh, and plus, I have a great co-parent who put a lot of time in with Julian over this vacation week to help develop these skills.
Stephen's grandma isn't in the best of health.  She is almost ninety-two.  She didn't get to come to South Carolina so we went to her in Southern Georgia.  She had asked D'arcy and Julian to play piano for her.  Maggie Lu wanted to contribute to the entertainment, and sang several verses of Let It Go with great poise.  It wasn't the choice of song, but the confidence of execution that really impressed me and Stephen and I were both a little teary eyed.
I was also proud of Schroeder for whispering, "Somethings wrong with GG's eye instead of declaring it to everybody."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

They're having an anniversary.

This is Adam and Charise.  They are celebrating their first anniversary.  They are fixing up a house two doors down from our church, the church they pastor.  I feel like I'm just getting to know Charise.  I know that she is quiet and artistic and downright elegant.  I know that she loves Jesus...and Adam.  I know Adam a little better.  He's always smiling and loves to tell people how awesome they are.  Adam and Charise and I and some other people have decided to meet weekly and worship and pursue God together.  Our church is a hot mess sometimes, and sometimes it's perfect and beautiful.  And sometimes the beauty comes from staying in community with these people even when we are a hot mess.  I'm thankful for these two, and I'm praying and hoping for good things for them in this new house.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Home births are awesome.

Gosh, it's such a super cool priveledge to watch a baby be born at home.  Mama goes into labor.  Daddy and big sister sleep until things get intense.   Then big sis heads to the neighbors house for a little play date and dad starts his work putting pressure wherever mom needs it and letting her know she's doing great work.  Then, slowly, a few people start to quietly trickle in.  Not many words are said, but the the midwives are there to watch and wait.  They trust that mom's body knows what to do, they know so much just from mom's vocalization.  
And then all of a sudden, baby arrives, and the room changes from focused and intense to joyous.  This little person, known but hidden from view for so long, is finally here to be seen.  Mom and Dad lay beside each other eating breakfast and taking in babies eyes and fingers and feet and cheeks and hair.