ten thoughts on a wednesday |31|

we are back from our moroccan “babymoon"! i have huuuundreds of photos to go through and i’m excited to share - morocco is one of my absolute favourite places that i have visited on earth. for today, though, here’s a quick ten post-trip thoughts.
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one.
highlights from our trip to morocco:
-markets!!! i am obsessed with open-air, bustling, colourful markets … and morocco definitely has some of the best in the world. we explored down countless winding alleys bursting with beautiful things for sale and interesting smells and the buzz of life and the wonder of human creation. marrakech and fes are totally packed with gorgeous handmade items (and food and spices!) that are just so cool to see. ian and i decided that when we have a house one day we will travel back to morocco for the main purpose of gathering beautiful and useful things to fill our home with.
-lots of sunshine and seventy + degree days.
-amazing architecture - woodwork and tilework and symmetry and colours that just blow the mind.
-being together - just the two of us - having a big adventure. we commented to each other that this trip felt like a kind of time-warp back to our travel days before moses. we missed our little boy like craaaaazy - and being without him made us really appreciate the extremely positive ways his presence affects our travels. but we sure did appreciate sleeping in, staying out later, taking on different experiences without worrying about their toddler-friendliness, not pushing a stroller around tangled market streets, uninterrupted meals and conversations, etc etc etc. we remembered who we are as spouses, not just as moses’s parents … and we had a really great time together.
-fulfilling my dream to see “the blue pearl” - the mountain town of chefchaouen - and ian’s dream to see the rock of gibraltar.
-staying in really fun places that we had carefully selected while planning our trip - two traditional and totally magical riads, a charming (and very blue) guesthouse, a semi-fancy hotel that we had a free night at from credit card points — and having the time in our itinerary to really enjoy these places.

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two:
some lows from our trip to morocco:
{while our trip was really dreamy and we felt sooo lucky to take it … just bring to keep it real here because it’s never perfect!}
-moroccan food, while wildly delicious, gave me really awful (pregnancy-engendered) heartburn - which kept me awake and in pain in the wee hours several times on our trip.
-it rained non-stop for over twenty-four hours in chefchaouen - like legit rain, not sprinkles/mist.
-we had some really tough conversations that, while productive (and i’m glad we had them!), felt crushing.
-several of the madrasas (ancient schools full of amazing architecture) that i’d been so excited to see were closed for renovation!

three:
we decided that we don’t want to plan to take any more trips this long without our kids with us. our ten days were really glorious in a lot of ways, but it was just too long to be away from our baby! we now think that 4-5 days might be our max. we just missed moses so much. i actually didn’t start feeling the type of aching/longing i was expecting until the last few days, but then it hit hard! by day eight or nine i was sooo eager to go home. we returned to London late in the evening on sunday, after moses had gone to sleep. we went in his dark room and shined our phone screens on him to catch of peek of him snoozing … and he looked markedly older than when we left. i couldn’t believe i had missed ten whole days of his life! that night felt like christmas eve to me … i was so excited about the morning that i could hardly sleep. i was jolted out of bed in the morning, totally giddy, when i first heard a peep from mo’s room!
it was really good to get away together alone, and we will make sure that happens on a regular basis throughout our marriage … but maybe just for a bit shorter chunks of time in the future.

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four:
moses’s grandma is an absolute angel and we are so so so grateful to her for taking amazing care of our little boy while we were away. mo had a total blast with Grandma. my friend texted me on the last day we were gone saying she saw my mother-in-law and my son together at church and they were both beaming with happiness. we didn’t worry for one second about moses’s well-being and he was so comfortable and content with ian’s mom the entire time we were gone. grandma was so loving, willing, and enthusiastic about it all - even when a “polar vortex” of freezing temperatures and unprecedented snow came through london! now that we are home we keep discovering things she did while she was here - taught moses new tricks, mended a popped seam on his stroller, deep cleaned the tub, left him a love note in his bedroom. yep, she’s an angel.

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five:
now that we are home, it’s baby time!! we are just about six weeks away from becoming a family of four. what?! this pregnancy has flown by for me and i can’t believe we are already in the final weeks - now when people ask when i’m due, we say “next month”! ahhh! i feel like we have lots to do before baby brother arrives so i’m making lists and trying to plow through ... but i’m soooo incredibly tired. creating a human from scratch is no joke. sooooo grateful i get to experience pregnancy again and also soooo looking forward to childbirth.

six:
the nesting instinct has sure kicked in not just for me but also for ian! i’m anxious about gathering and organizing things and finishing decorating the flat; ian is anxious about getting repair jobs around the house and making sure his to-do list of random life logistics is mostly completed. our new couch was delivered a couple of days ago (yay!) and we finally hung shelves on our walls and baby’s arrival is kicking us in the butt to be really “moved in” and settled in our (now-not-so-) new flat. i'm looking up freezer meals i can prepare over the next few weeks and ian has become quite the conscientious handy-man around our (built hundreds of years ago) little home. we are both trying to really enjoy the one-on-one time we have with little moses and just the current timbre of our life as a family of three. a lot is going to change soon!

seven:
today i read an article in a church magazine about choosing faith (and hope and charity) over fear. and it just reminded me that i get to make that choice and that i want to do that more actively. i’ve always loved the scripture (in the new testament) that says, “god has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” i decided this is going to be my mantra as i consider my (sometimes really daunting) new normal with two kids, and also my mantra during childbirth!

eight:
we got tickets to see hamilton (the musical) here in london!!!!!! i am soooooooo pumped (more than all those exclamation points and o’s can evoke!). i’ve wanted to see the show for a long time (all the hype around it will do that to almost anyone, right?!) but especially since i started learning more about the genius of the production and how truly inspiring the story and performance is. [and also since we almost snagged some (nearly-impossible-to-get!) tickets last month and missed our chance…that upped the appeal for me!] i’ve been listening to interviews with lin-manuel miranda and watching performances of the songs and learning more about the amazing story of alexander hamilton and i’m just excited. my brother talmadge is actually coming to london from switzerland just to see the show with us, which makes it all even more exciting :)

nine:
i’ve been trying to run a mile each morning throughout my pregnancy. just before our trip my run was getting a bit more “waddly” given my expanding baby bump, and then this morning - after my nearly two week break from that type of exercise - i couldn’t make it the whole mile. i started cramping up and had to stop, which was so defeating to me! exercise during this pregnancy has definitely been trickier than during my last, but i am determined to keep it up as muuuuuch as possible. it makes me feel good in so many ways, and it is awesome preparation for giving birth - because it helps my body to be more fit and my brain to be more practiced in experiencing and embracing productive pain.

ten:
moses brings me so. much. joy. most everything he does is just incredibly endearing to me (while a few things he does are totally infuriating to me :) ). recently his working on recognizing colours - he has now mastered blue and green (and he is obsessed with finding and pointing at blue things). he’s started singing parts of songs, really building things with legos, giving hugs to his friends whenever play time with them is over, and cracking himself up with random things he does and considers hilarious. it is such a privilege and a pleasure to have a front row seat in watching this perfect little soul grow.
[check out this video of him blowing bubbles with grandma! his simple, unbridled joy is glorious.]

happy wednesday! life is beautiful!

19 comments:

  1. love #7. thank you. needed to hear this.

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  2. I forgot you were in Morocco and I was so worried that you weren’t going to blog anymore. Whew!! 😂 Love your posts so much.

    Re: the running—just take walk breaks when you need to and keep running when you can! I actually felt sooo much better running at 38, 39, and 40 weeks than I did at 34–the baby had shifted enough that it was much more comfortable!

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  3. #7 Reminds me of a thought I had years ago...”There are two choices here- faith versus fear. Neither is present when the other is near.” :)

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  4. Is your mom coming when you have the baby??

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    1. yes! she arrives about a week before my due date, so we are hoping the timing works out right!

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  5. What did Moses think of the snow?

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    1. as you can see in the pics, he loved it! i was pretty bummed me missed seeing him in it!

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  6. Hang in there! Glad you were able to get away and big thank you's to grandparents who step up to the plate and give us a break. Can't wait to see your photos!

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  7. I'd love to see a clothing post one day. (Or know where you found the dresses you wore on your trip -so cute!) As for exercise, if you have access to a pool, swimming is lovely the last few weeks of pregnancy - nice cardio but easy on your joints.

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    1. my dresses in these pictures are from asos and h&m.

      it’s so expensive to go to a pool here in london! but next week we have to stay a night in a hotel because they are doing some repair work on our flat. i made sure the hotel had a pool so i could go swimming!

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  8. This is probably a weird thing for a stranger to say but welcome back Charity, I missed you while you were away! As a Londoner, Mo's grandma has a lot of respect from me for facing the polar vortex...I know people from colder countries laugh at London's snowy histrionics, but the transport system etc. here just isn't set up to deal with it! PS I'd just like to say that I love the 'keeping it real' bits you write. Sometimes it's very comforting to know that everyone has struggles and setbacks in a world of Instagram 'perfection'.

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  9. I just had my 5th little baby last week. It was a home birth that was harder than my others and that scripture, that has been my mom mantra too, seriously got me thru his birth. So many times I had to repeat that truth before my little boy made it into my arms. It feels so connecting to know other mothers in the world get so much peace and strength from those words too! Good luck your last few weeks and with your baby's arrival!

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  10. Do you have least favorite place?

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    1. i have loved things about every place i have visited, but some travel destinations are definitely superior to others in my own experience. i could probably come up with a list of places i am kind of “meh” about ... but the favourite list is much more exciting! :)

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  11. we're planning a trip to Morocco in October. I'd so appreciate suggestions for things to see/not bother with, foods to try, hotels, dress etc. Very excited that you have just been there. We loved Turkey so much that we wanted to see Morocco.

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  12. That video! He's too cute! :)

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  13. I will be praying for a wonderful home birth Charity.

    The most important thing I learned for pain management was a loud vocalization with each contraction.

    I have known many freebirthers who also claim this is the key, to loudly ahhhhhh with a low deep roar. I once explained to my yoga teacher that this was how I birthed an eleven pound boy and she agreed that the vocalizing would help to move the energy up and out of the uterus and take away the pain.

    God Bless!

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