on two kids + living outdoors + life lately in pictures

It’s perhaps no big secret that barring some dramatic unforeseen and very unlikely circumstances, Dan and I are done having kids.

When I was a young girl, I think that I always imagined I would have anywhere from four to six children, if not more. I also imagined that I would be a school teacher and that I would marry David Bowie from Labyrinth. And then I grew up and in my adult-ness I just wanted to party. I played hard in college and didn’t really care for the idea of settling down to marry someone all that much. Then I met Dan and I fell into this chaotic and charming love where I knew that marriage would be hard, but I wanted it so badly, and I wanted it with him. I vaguely remember that we did discuss kids, I mean that’s a fundamental discussion in dating isn’t it? I believe we both said that three was a nice number. Three sounded good.

But once Jace came along, it happened very quickly that Dan and I became set on having two. You see, Jace coming into our lives was magical and life changing. He really woke us up and somehow helped us to think clearer. Our brains worked more logically and realistically but also, much more selflessly. Suddenly the amount of children we thought we might want to have wasn’t our own decision to make, because it didn’t affect just us. We now had the understanding of bringing a beautiful human being into this world, and the decision on how many of these human beings that we wanted in our family abruptly became a decision that affected them, our children. It wasn’t only what was best for us, but also what was best for them. It didn’t matter what we wanted, but rather what would make us the most patient and loving and happy parents for them, and what would give them as good a life as we could provide for them.

And in the end, two was the magic number, the perfect number. We have had hundreds of discussions over the past few years about children, about the options we have, if we should have more, why we should or why we shouldn’t. I’m not kidding you when I say hundreds of discussions. And of those hundreds of talks, each and every single one of them ended in the exact same place, with the exact same meaningful reassurance that two kids truly is the perfect number for our family.

One of the most fantastic effects that has come along with the awareness that I’m currently raising my last baby is that I’m able to really savor and enjoy every single stage. Beck is just shy of a year old and it has truly been the most beautiful year. Every moment that has come has reminded me of how vital it is to enjoy those moments. There is beauty in watching yourself progress into different stages of life, and that’s what Beck is doing to us. As he grows and moves into the different stages of babyhood, we grow and move into different stages of our lives as parents. It’s so lovely, being able to really live in and relish these moments. I have loved this year with my last baby so much, with all of my heart and soul and everything inside of me. I am slightly sentimental and it is often hard to watch them grow and move on, while it’s also insanely remarkable don’t you think? I love this journey of watching them reaching milestones, of watching them unfolding into themselves. Some stages are amazingly tough, but then in retrospect they tend to make the subsequent stages that much more wonderful, and me that much more strong. There is so much meaning in every juncture. I just soak it all up like the mama sponge that I am and I can’t get enough of them and who they are, these boys of ours.
I keep telling myself that this summer is going to be a lot of work. I remember taking Jace camping throughout the summer at this age and good grief was it ever exhausting! All of the chasing around! It’s when they are at their most active while also their least compliant, while you are trying to keep them out of harm’s way and surrounded by dangers such as rivers and speeding four-wheelers and perfectly sized rocks that can be swallowed. I’m trying to prepare myself for the work that I have cut out for me again this summer. But when he gets especially active, when I’m tied down to nap times or trying to keep him from swallowing everything in sight that he can get his little hands on, I am quick to remind myself: WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT THAT BABY CHUB?! LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS AND THAT LITTLE BUTTON NOSE! LOOK AT THOSE PLUMP FEET AND THOSE BACK ROLLS! FOR THE LOVE, WILL YOU JUST LOOK AT THOSE THIGHS?! He will grow out of it all so quickly, and it’s one of the highest things on the list of things that I will miss. BABY FAT. It’s right up there next to perfectly resting on my hipbone when I hold them and sleeping in a crib.

In other news, this month has been exciting so far as a few things go: I’ve become hopelessly in love with and addicted to trail running, we got a fifth wheel camper which we are still trying to figure out how to fit in our driveway, and I started cycling outdoors to train for a duathlon. All winter long I have been attending classes at our local rec center, this genuine place that has the best classes with the most authentic people and strong, inspiring instructors. I have never in my life been so impressed with fitness classes, and I’ve been through many gyms in my lifetime! But this month, since the weather has really hit an all time high, I have reveled in that time of year when I am able to turn the world into my gym. Rock climbing up the canyon, running in the mountains, slicing through the crisp morning wind on a bike while the sun rises in front of me. This month has been pieces of heaven and my list of outdoor addictions is quickly growing. Once I find yoga on paddleboard classes, I’ll be SET.

And that camper! Could there be a more perfect time in our life for a camper? Ages four and one are the ages of the fifth wheel camper. We will be loving the crap out of the camper this year, thankyouverymuch.

But I mean, really.



Happiest of Thursdays friends. The weekend is practically here!

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