some thoughts on a wednesday |52|
this break from blogging has been an interesting experience. the way my photos and thoughts have been piling up, disorganized and unshared, makes me feel anxious. arranging memories and reflections into blog posts helps my mind to un-jumble and my perspective to settle - i miss that exercise.
the past six weeks or so have just been so wild and i haven't been able to devote time to work on a new system for blogging. days and weeks have been full and whipping past. some travel adventures ended up stacked right together - first a long weekend in holland, then a week in dominican republic, then a trip to disneyland and paris right after having ian's parents in town for a visit. it has been amazing ... and also a bit exhausting all in a row! i have been sorting through some kind of concerning health issues and have been trying to not let my spirit break too much with some significant knee issues in my marathon training. work has been wild in new ways for ian, there's been some worries about tiny gabriel's development, and moses is having (an expected but nonetheless stressful!) surgery next week. phew! it's just a crazy time for our family.
i am hoping that, come june, life will even out a little. and i'll dig myself out from under the piled up photos and thoughts and start blogging again (on a new wordpress site, yay). this wednesday, i had some extra nap-time-free-time so i wanted to share some random thoughts to help me to not get toooo far behind!
seeing the tulip (and, bonus!, hyacinth) fields in holland is something i've had on my bucket list for a long time and it totally exceeded my high expectations. we visited keukenhof, the most jaw-droppingly, literally breathtaking gardens and both biked and drove around the rural flower fields, finding immense treasures. i wish i could bottle up the smell of the hyacinths and the so-vivid-it-kind-of-hurts-your-eyes colours of the tulips. god is such an incredible artist, and admiring the varied wonders of the earth teaches me that god loves diversity.
i have been extremely healthy continuously, with very few exceptions, for almost thirty three years. before i started training for a marathon, i assumed that the months leading up to the race would be some of my very healthiest. but actually, i've felt kind of generally crappy physically pretty much since the end of last year. i'm still trying to figure out exactly what is going on, but this experience has made me feel so grateful for the vibrant health i've been lucky to live with all my life.
our boys are just growing and growing. gabriel turned one and is more little boy than baby these days. moses is coming up with all kinds of original ideas, always asking alexa (as in our amazon dot!) questions, and working on writing his name. they are both so much fun and i cannot even handle how crazy much i love them. they adore each other and make each other giggle every day. life as their full-time carer is chaotic and awesome.
london in bloom is just the best. after the magnolias came the cherry blossoms and the wisteria and there's a treasure of flowers around every corner it seems. when we moved into our flat last october, we liked the vine climbing along the railing and up the side of the building ... but we didn't know it was wisteria until spring came! i was ecstatic. this spring that wisteria vine again brought me so, so much joy. imagine my horror when i left our flat yesterday with the boys in the double buggy to see the vine completely chopped off the railing! they are doing some construction right next door and the workers just hacked it right off. i was talking to moses about my sadness about this and he said, "but mom! there's still some wisteria!" he's right - the vine is still on the side of the building ... and i loved his reminder that even when some is lost it definitely doesn't mean all is lost! :)
i have been learning a lot from the experience of having significant knee issues as i've reached the climax of my marathon training. a 12 mile run became 7 in holland when i had a lot of (what was by then recurring) i.t. band tightness. and then i had to stop at mile 11 of an 18 mile run a couple of weeks ago when my right knee was screaming with pain. this was so defeating for me, and it broke my spirit quite a bit. i laid in the bath after getting home, letting tears slide down my cheeks and into the bath water. i have had this marathon goal for so long, have planned my training around babies and jobs, have worked really hard and have been so pumped about it. as the weeks have continued to pass and the pain has continued to persist, i have explored lots of different advice, have visited several physical therapists, and have petitioned god earnestly for guidance and strength. now, two and a half weeks from the race, i have acknowledged that my run will very likely not look the way i hoped and envisioned. and i have acknowledged, after some mental work, that that's okay. there's a lot of paradoxical power in letting go.
i can't say enough how much i love love love my childhood friend caitlin connolly's artwork. every time i visit her website i find new pieces that touch me so deeply. the sketch at the top of this post is a perfect depiction of what our family life feels like often these days. in the past few weeks have felt a lot like "leaning against something unknown":
and attempting to "stand with my burdens placed under my feet," looking with hope and light toward the future:
the week we spent in the dominican republic with my parents and siblings, to celebrate my parents' fiftieth anniversary, was pretty dreamy. truly - it honestly feels like a surreal dream looking back on. it was so wonderful to be with people we love so much and to enjoy golden sun and the warm teal sea and a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.
my angel mother-in-law watched our kids while we were on that trip. we could never, ever thank her enough for that incredible gift. moses and gabriel had a blast with grandma and we didn't worry about them for a second. grandpa joined the party after we returned to london and it was so great to have ian's parents here with us for a week. they are leaving in july for a three year church mission. so glad we got that precious time in with them before they go!
i've been listening to michelle obama's book on my runs and when doing housework. i've found it so fascinating and engaging. ian and i rewatched the movie about time a couple weeks ago, and by the end i was sobbing. such a great, inspiring film. we went to the musical come from away last month and by the end of that we were both crying. we absolutely loved it.
i've been writing the last bit of this post over a long period of time because both boys are now awake and i'm interrupted about every twenty seconds ;) so that's it for now ... i hope to be back soon!