ten thoughts on a wednesday |35|

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one. 
we have two kids. what?! what was long anticipated is now just here. and even though everything is different, everything feels so right — it’s almost hard to remember life before gabriel, already! we have been tremendously blessed to have lots of help from grandparents in this transition - my dad joined my mom here in london a few days after gabe’s birth, and a couple of days after they left, ian’s mom came to town! this has been such a huge blessing as it has enabled us (amidst toddler fun and postpartum adjustments) to really enjoy our baby as a tiny newborn and relish the heaven he has brought to our home, as well as ease into our new life with two small children. the past seventeen days have been really, really sweet and full of lots of joy. 

two.
about a week before the baby was born, we noticed that moses had gotten markedly louder. it’s like his little system just knew he’d need to do something to demand attention soon, haha! we are working on being a bit quieter … but mostly little mo has been a total champ with this huge transition in his life. i was worried he would be jealous of me holding/feeding the baby and just all thrown out of whack with all the changes around him … but he is thriving as a big brother. he loves gabriel and is pretty gentle with him most of the time :) he is always wanting to share with the baby and hug and kiss the baby and he has become an expert at putting dirty diapers in the trash and cleaning things up with wipes. it’s pretty heart-melting wonderful to see my two sons together, loving each other. 

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moses sure loved getting a bit dirty in the garden one day ;) ^^
his language continues to explode - new words everyday! and one of my favourite things about him right now is how he chuckles when you guess right on what he is trying to say. after usually a few failed attempts i figure it out and he just lets out a peal of laughter to indicate that I now understand what he’s talking about.  
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^^ we took these selfies together on my first day alone with both boys (in between when my parents left and ian’s mom arrived). new normal = bed head and no makeup, a snoozing baby on the couch, a toddler still in his pajamas … and smiles all around. ^^
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^^ mo is obsessed with making this “surprised face.” it’s pretty cute. ^^
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^^ and he loves playing in baby’s bed while i breastfeed, ha! ^^
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three.
gabriel was born pretty much right at the peak of blooming london springtime. i love that there is so much new life around me as i nurture the new life of my tiny son. it really feels like my whole life is blossoming in the sweetest ways. this winter felt particularly grey and dreary, so every burst of colour and flowers and sunshine just feels doubly delicious. 

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^^ can you believe this house?! of all the many, many dreeeeamy houses i’ve encountered in london that i can’t believe people actually live in, i think this one may take the cake. ^^
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^^ the sunken garden at kensington palace is looking pretty fabulous these days! we waved hello to little baby prince louis while we were there! ;) ^^
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^^ new wonders pop up in bloom almost every single day in our garden. it’s awesome! 
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four.
i’m experiencing a sensation that i now remember feeling so acutely after moses was born … i’m incredibly anxious about documenting. i don’t know what it is about the cocktail of postpartum hormones that does this to me, but i cannot stop reeling about taking photos and videos and writing things down so as to have this precious time of life recorded. there have been several times over the past few weeks, though, when i have been able to successfully put this worry aside and just 100% enjoy the moment without any energy spent on documentation (except for imprinting feelings and memories on my heart). i think there is huge value in both capturing things with a camera and in totally ditching the camera, so i’m trying to do a bit of both. (is it ironic that i’m saying this in a post with soooo many pictures?! ha!) 

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^^ we can’t get over gabriel’s super cool hair - brown strands and blonde strands (ombre? frosted tips?), and a little mullet in back! :) ^^
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^^ some really cute baby faces… ^^
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^^ some really silly baby faces… ^^
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five.
ian is a rockstar. he has seriously blown me away with his ability to juggle everything in life right now. after a week of paternity leave, he has gone back to the intensity of his work and has still managed to be an incredible support to me, with the boys and around the flat. he is also studying for his final round of the cfa exam, and just accepted a new responsibility at church. amidst all of this he has just been the best version of himself in so many ways - being productive, kind, gentle, and patient. i feel so tremendously blessed to have him as my partner in life and i can’t believe how i love him so much more now than i did when we got married, or even just last month. 

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^^ ian has even found time to teach moses how to pick tiny daisies for his mama. now every time mo sees a little flower he says, “mama, mama!” and goes to get it for me :) ^^
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six.
it’s really true what they say about the miracle of your love multiplying rather than dividing any time you welcome a new baby to a family. i am absolutely blown away by the fact that i love gabriel as much as i love moses - which is a crazy, crazy lot. having a second baby has increased my capacity to love in the most amazing, beautiful ways. 

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seven.
my recovery from childbirth has been about one hundred times easier this time than when i gave birth to moses. i have felt so good, and i am so grateful! not having any stitches has been a total game changer … and i think my body has just known what to do to heal and recoup naturally and quickly because the birth happened so organically. i have to keep reminding myself to still take things slow and not rush into “regular” life - because this postpartum time is so sacred! it has been nice to get outside on walks and simple outings everyday since day one with gabriel. i am also so thankful that breastfeeding is going really smoothly - it was a huge struggle for me during moses’s first months. i’m definitely not getting a lot of uninterrupted sleep lately … but especially because we’ve had so much help from grandparents with moses (and meals, etc.), the exhaustion isn’t too bad. i’m so very glad that i’m able to really enjoy this special little chapter of life. 
{i’m going to post a little list of some of my favourite things that have been useful for me postpartum hopefully later this week!}

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^^ ian and i have been able to go out on a few dates since gabriel came, thanks to awesome grandparent babysitters. last week we took the baby on our date to check out the union jacks on regent street and to grab some grub at nando’s. gosh, we love london. ^^
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^^ how about this wisteria climbing up buildings … and trees…! ^^
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^^ so great having grandma around (another post coming soon from our time with grammie and grandfather. she’s an angel and her help has been so amazing. she and mo are bffs, i love it. ^^
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^^ our stellar midwives come by every few days to check on me and gabe. moses loves sarah, and sarah loves moses right back! 
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^^ a couple days ago our dear friends the schwartzes came over to meet the baby. we love these people so much! ^^
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eight.
ian and i have been talking about the value of simple, pure faith lately. sometimes it feels really difficult to maintain our convictions in this complex world, but we’ve found that if we just focus on the basics, our faith is strengthened in ways that really bless our life. the litmus test, we’ve decided, is asking ourselves when the last time we felt healed/redeemed/empowered by jesus christ was. if we can’t point to a recent experience with the savior, we need to turn to him more … and not worry about superfluous things beyond a faith in him and in the simple truths of his gospel. i have felt particularly close to christ during this family-growing time. gabriel no doubt came straight from heaven, and he has helped me to fortify my simple faith. 

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^^ cutie faces after his first bath! ^^
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nine.
so many memories of our time with newborn moses have flooded back as we’ve navigated life with newborn gabriel. i particularly love seeing the delight on strangers’ faces as i pass by them on the city streets with a tiny newborn curled up on my chest in a carrier - this happened so much with baby mo and now all the time with baby gabe. it’s funny - after moses was born i thought, gosh my life was so easy and flexible before i had a baby! and now i think, gosh my life was so easy and flexible when i had just one kid! every phase of life is unique! :)

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ten.
about two days after little gabriel was born, wisteria started blooming on our front porch!! i had wondered what would come out on the vine that wrapped up the wall by our big red door, and i was ecstatic that it was gorgeous wisteria. i can’t tell you how happy it makes me every time i look out our front window or especially every time step out our front door - the smell is intoxicatingly good! just a little thing that makes me smile on the daily … and reminds me to look for and appreciate other tiny joys in life.

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happy wednesday! life is so so beautiful!

 

7 comments:

  1. That wisteria is gorgeous! I bet others pass by your door and think of it as one of the houses THEY can’t believe people actually live in :)

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  2. The flowers are amazing! If I lived in London, I'm quite certain I would be bumping into people and things all the time whilst I was staring at all the gorgeous flowers. Thanks for taking photos and sharing them. I LOVE to see them!

    And that baby blue knitted outfit on Gabriel is DREAMY! I love the "old fashioned" baby clothes--knitted outfits, smocked john johns--and that photo is just lovely! Happy baby days!

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  3. Such lovely springtime photos! You write beautifully about the simple, yet truly amazing, pleasures of building a family. Your happiness and gratitude for your dreams come true reminds me to be grateful for mine. so, thank you!

    I appreciate your words about a simple faith and wonder how this jives with your LDS faith and the many rituals and obligations it includes. I cannot image why a congregation would ask a new father to take on additional duties. If it's family first shouldn't it be family first?

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    1. it all IS family first from my perspective (and i believe those god is sad when people mix that up). church responsibilities are all about families helping families. someone takes care of my toddler during church so i can be spiritually fed during lessons/discussions. ian befriends some of the young men in the ward and helps them build their faith. i work with the primary children and they dote on my baby. it really does take a village!! and serving other families (of all kinds of makeups) really blesses our family. ian and i are very much agreed that in the somewhat rare instances when we have to choose wether to prioritize family needs or needs in our church calling, family needs ALWAYS come first without question.

      there are rituals and obligations associate with my faith, but i see them all as existing solely to build my simple faith. means to an end.

      i hope this answers your question...!

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    2. True friendship cannot be assigned – let’s call it what it is: *indoctrinating* young men.

      “Means to an end”, yes – a continual reinforcement of the idea that you are broken and nothing without the church. “Where would I be without it?” The LDS church takes away from its members what they already have (capacity to serve others, raise families, etc.) and sells it back to them.

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  4. My son's hair came out exactly the same way!! So fun and so cool looking. And I also experienced documenting anxiety with my new babies. Totally normal to feel this way during something soooo special and so fleeting. It can feel like a burden to worry about it so much but just love yourself for it and be okay with it. It will make the intensity not as strong. It is what it is. The better you can accept and be okay with it, the better things will be regarding it. And Be sure to take a picture of you and your two boys together.

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  5. It's almost like you've had the same baby boy twice - they look so much alike! Gabriel certainly has hilarious expressions - no wonder you can't stop taking pictures.
    Is it considered a bad thing in England to bring kids (esp toddlers) when you go to a restaurant? In Germany, kids were not particularly welcome. You NEVER saw babies during the evening - only during the day in prams.
    I had at least 6 weeks of help (of course, no paternity leave back in the day) from family after I had my babies! I was so fortunate, because I had C-sections and some dramatic complications after birth. Actually, after #4 was born, my mom stayed for 10-12 days and then took the other 3 home with her (about 6 hours away). That was really nice for ALL of us.
    Laura

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