Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear Josie - On the Cusp of Eighteen Months

Dear Josie,

A year and a half. I can't really believe it - my little baby is nearly a year and a half old and it feels like just a couple days ago that we found out you were growing, surely and expectantly inside of me. I loved you from the moment I knew you were in there, but I fell in love with you the moment you were placed in my arms, it was different, this thriving little life that seemed so small was mine and you needed me to take care of you. As your mom, I have blossomed and have loved every single second - even the ones where you make me want to tear my hair out. Yes, we have those now. You're an indignant little thing sometimes, and stubborn as a bull - wonder where you get that from? 

But as I think about these past eighteen months and what they have meant to me, how they have changed me, and where we are now I can't help but revel in the vibrancy that you have brought to everything, the purpose and drive you have given me that wasn't there before. I had dreams and aspirations before you, sure, but the determination to bring those to fruition and the decidedness was not there before you. You are the sweetest, most loving little girl and your hugs and smile melt my heart on a daily basis. Not only are you sweeter than pure honey, but you are absolutely hilarious. Your silliness has me in stitches all the time! You love putting stuff on your head and walking around, wait for us to laugh at you. Whether it's a mesh clothes hamper or my sweatshirt, or a little wicker basket, you put it on your head and get this adorable look on your face as you await our inevitable delighted laughter.

Most of all, you bring joy into our every day. You light up even the darkest of moments and your presence gives me such joyful thankfulness - especially that I get to be home with you daily and enjoy your sweetness and hilarity throughout my week. 

Some things that you really love are: BOOKS! Your Nana is so proud, I'm sure. You love books; sometimes I'll catch you just sitting quietly on the floor in your room, an open book in your lap, just looking and studying the pages. You also love animals! Stuffed and real. You, of course, love your pup Cael, and admittedly love terrorizing him too. Along with Leo the pug when you're around him. You've also got a variety of stuffed animals; Lorne the wolf, Merlin the bear, Biscuit the dog, among so many others. You love seeing animals out and about as well and make noises to try to talk to them. You love Cheezits (thanks, Dad) and apples too, and pretty much eat anything at this point but meat. You also oddly enough love spicy stuff too. You also love playing peek-a-boo.

You say a number of words, Dada and Mama being among them (my heart leaps in my chest every time I hear you say Mama), bubble, ball, Nana or Night Night, sit and stay (for Cael) and a few others I'm sure that I'm not remembering. 

You are also tough as nails - you rarely cry for being hurt. You climb all over everything, and are extremely dexterous (again, thanks, Dad!) though you still manage to give me mini heart attacks all the time.

In short, you're my daughter and I love everything about you and am so overjoyed at watching who you are unravel daily. So thankful God chose me to be your mom! I love you!



Saturday, September 27, 2014

*hangs head in shame*

This space has been sorely neglected. Again. To be fair, I have had a lot on my plate lately and many exciting things afoot. But still. I apologize to all of you (are there any left?) who usually read my blog and have been missing its presence in your live (hah).

I will not promise to be here more often. Every time I do, I end up breaking that promise and I hate going back on my word. No, instead, I will promise to make every effort to fill this place with my musings and happenings, and of course, ridiculously cute photos of my daughter. In fact, here's one to sate your appetite till next time:

Till next time! Hopefully that won't be too distant from now. I imagine it won't be though, it's officially autumn, and this season always seems to pull the words and creative musings from my soul. I breathe it in and love it.


Monday, April 28, 2014

front porch perpending.

I'm currently sitting outside on my porch, warm breeze on my arms, and my second cup of coffee sitting beside me - I can smell it mingling with all the other spring fragrances on the air, the freshness of new growth and the promise of an imminent spring rain. I can't help but revel in the beauty of it all. My little daughter plays and sits with her favorite book beside me, and the dulcet tones of the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin sing out from my music to join with the joyful birds in their springtime song. It's all so idyllic and I have to pinch myself to remember that this is a Monday morning, not a lazy Saturday. But there's really not a huge difference in those two things for me anymore - instead of an alarm clock waking me up at 6:30 or earlier this morning, I got to sleep till Josie and I decided to wake up and cuddle for another 30 minutes before even getting out of bed. It's incredible the things you get to enjoy when you decide you want them and work hard to make them happen.

I love springtime - it's so full of life and newness and brings so much hope for renewal and rebirth. It's funny how we can get into such a funk in the winter, the sun never stays long enough and even when it does the frigidity of the season drives us to stay inside and sulk sometimes. But then spring comes, finally, and we have a Julie Andrews Sound of Music moment where we twirl in our front yard, exulting in the warmth and sunshine and shoots of new green leaves (Oh, that's just me? Well, you get it). It's just so refreshing after such a long, hard winter like we had this year and I rejoice in it!
My view this morning.

Now my sweet babe slumbers in my lap - she's getting so big that her legs just hang off my lap in sleep-rendered limpness. She's growing just as fast as those shoots of newness on the tree in my front yard and I am so glad that I don't have to miss a single second.
My other (better) view.

Enjoying this moment,


Monday, April 21, 2014

one year.

This past Wednesday was a big day. My little baby, my beautiful and sweet girl turned one! I cannot believe how quickly that year flew by, and here I am, a mother to a one-year-old. She has such a precious heart and a sweet disposition, and she's funny too! She's silly and loves to play around and have books read to her. She's almost walking - she easily could be by now, but she's a careful one and won't do it till she's sure she won't fall-- any day now though! She babbles up a storm all the time, and says 'Da-da' and 'Da-dee' regularly - only sometimes though is she actually calling for her Daddy. She's eating food now -- I'm making it all for her-- and her favorites include strawberries and sweet potatoes. She loves going for walks in Montreat, and I can't wait to show her how to play in the creeks this summer. Her Nana and Major were in town for her big day and she loved playing with them and being held by them, and having books read to her - not sure who enjoyed it more actually.

I am blessed daily in the knowledge that she is my daughter, and that I was picked specifically to be her mum. She is learning and growing every single day and I am so glad that I am able to be home with her and not miss a single minute of it. I have loved so much being a mother to Josie, and I am so excited to see with what else (and who else) God is going to bless our family.

Her birthday was full of love and family - she shares her day with her daddy, which is so special! She opened some presents smashed some whipped cream and fruit, and generally just made everyone happy-- she's great at that. She was tired, but so sweet the whole day. I just can't get over what an amazing disposition she has. I know God has big plans for this little girl, and I'm so honored to part of her life.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

changing my fate.

This happens every year, I resolve to be more present in this space at the beginning of January, and for that month I'm totally on it, writing and posting fairly often. Then it tapers a bit in February and then all of a sudden boom I'm gone, and there are one or two stray posts here for the remainder of the year. It seems like things are going that way this year too, but I'm here to change my fate in this space!

It's a little odd to think how much my life has changed since I began writing in this blog, and I mean at the very beginning when it was still Black Currant Thoughts and my blog titles were the kind of tea I was drinking while I sat writing that particular post. I was still finishing up my undergrad degree at Montreat; in fact, beginning this blog was an assignment in the computer class I had my last semester - a class I'd been putting off and should have taken my freshman year. From there I went on to a sundry of different jobs, Movie Gallery being the worst, being a nanny to four-month-old twins having the steepest learning curve, and working at Biltmore being the most fun and enjoyable - not to mention a sprinkling of photo shoots and weddings in and among those - all before Jeremy and I packed up and moved our lives to Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. Still before Scotland though I encountered my first real tragedy, a close friend from high school was taken from this world in an early morning car accident that shocked and saddened so many. Ryan's death, and that of my grandfather shortly thereafter, taught me to live each day in the knowledge that it could be my last, or the last of any of those around me - not in a depressing way, but in a way that allows me to love freely and care deeply in each moment. I hope she'd be proud of the way I'm riding my wave in life.
Then Scotland captured us with her beauty, heritage, and culture. We are so fortunate to have been able to follow our dreams and live for that year in a place like Edinburgh. It was good for our souls, our marriage, and our individual collection of experiences too. Scotland has always been part of our heritage, but now I daresay it will always be part of our own stories and our family's future as well. Our children will grow up knowing and loving that place as we do now.
We've travelled, we've moved, we've had numerous different occupations, we've had a few different family things going on, but the biggest most life-changing occurrence, of course, has to be the arrival of our own sweet Josephine MacLaren - almost a year ago now! I can't believe that next month she'll turn a year old! I cannot believe how much I've changed because of her, and how much pure joy she brings to me on a daily basis. Even when she crawls behind the couch and thinks it's a game to run away from me so I have to move the side-tables to get to her and pull her out. Even when she poops or pukes or drools on me. Even when she screams when I have a headache. I love her, with every fiber of my being and love who her presence has made me into. I love being her mum, and love watching her grow and learn and change.

So all in all, this space has seen a lot of changes and a lot of being events in our lives, and I intend to keep recording them here, even if I don't get to write as often as I'd like, I'll continue to make it a point to come back here and update. Thanks to all who have been with us since the beginning, and all our new friends and readers too. Love to you all.


Friday, February 14, 2014


I haven't written in the past couple days because I was waiting for inspiration to strike me. But then yesterday I remembered that that's not really how I write, and it'd been so long since I had written regularly that I had forgotten my method. Typically I sit down, no real semblance of an idea in my mind, and just start writing. Thoughts, ideas, and dreams flow out of me that I didn't really realize were there, and therein lies the beauty of writing for me. Sometimes I don't really know what I truly think about something until *boom* there it is, freshly penned from my own mind. Sometimes my best ideas stem from sitting down and free-writing without real thought and then surprise myself as I reread what has just flown from my fingers. So here we go.

The last few days we've had snow - a lot of snow - and while I generally agree that winter and its frigid temperatures are so much more bearable when there is snow, I'm pretty ready for this snow to go away. It's beautiful, but everything stops and shuts down when there's snow and life gets suspended in this snow globe of fear and anticipation of 'snowmageddon'. I've been known to enjoy a snow day or two - especially when I was working in the corporate world and a snow day meant pay without work. It's a very different story when you own your own business though - the snow and fear of icy roads paralyzes people and puts a temporary halt in my month's momentum, and I've got a goal I'm pushing for so it's frustrating! But at the same time I'm thankful for some downtime and I know that if I keep working and keep doing the next right thing I'll still meet my goals. The key is not to let obstacles -especially those out of our control - stop us, but let them make us stronger and better.
I feel like that's true in any aspect of our lives though. Why let the things we cannot control stop us or discourage us? Instead, recognize what can be learned from any given situation and learn it! Let us stop looking at why a situation affects us negatively, and instead look at any obstacle or speed bump and find what good can be found in it. If things were always easy how would we learn? If things were handed to us how could we be truly grateful for our blessings? There cannot be mountains without valleys, and each make the other that much more marvelous.

Today I'm thankful for the valleys in my life and in my business because I know that mountains are sure to follow, and it's those mountains that give us the vantage point of the dazzling bigger picture and allow us to look back at the valleys and truly appreciate them for their beautiful role in our journey.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


It's funny, we all long for the spring when we're in the frigid dead of winter, and for the crisp coolness of autumn when we're in the dog days of summer, and some of us even say "I'd be happy if it were always spring." I've heard myself say it before, but the more I think on it the more I realize and understand the beauty of seasons. Would we appreciate that crisp autumnal beauty without the lush heat and sun of summer, or the blooming life and new green buds of springtime without the harshness of winter? Probably not nearly as much, it's winter's bite that makes spring's thaw that much more beautiful and welcome, to say nothing of the anticipation of summer as we eye our neglected sandals and sundresses in March, wondering how many more weeks we'll have to wait till they will be worn again. The anticipation makes the arrival of the seasons of warmth and beauty so exciting, and engenders our utmost appreciation.

It's the same in the seasons of life we go through. The trials are paramount to being thankful for the blessings, and indeed, are part of the blessings themselves sometimes. I sit here on a Saturday morning, coffee mug nearly empty beside me and I am thankful for the season in which we find ourselves. It is a season of transition now - that time when the days are whispering and hinting of the coming springtime, but the nights are still firmly rooted in winter's chilly grip. Yesterday was my last day at Montreat; my full-time job is officially over and I am no longer tethered to a computer during the weekdays. Praise God for the springtime that is imminent! But I sit here, just Josie, me and the dog lying at my feet, because Jeremy is still plying away, working hard to continue to provide for us at McDonald's. And praise God for the winter that reminds us of His provision. It is this season, this time and that before it, that will always let us remember and appreciate from where we have come. To remember that the blessings we enjoy are not to be taken for granted -- we must remember the winter, for only in our remembrance can we truly enjoy and bask in the sunshine and verdancy of the springtime that comes after.

And so I sit here, thankful for the winter through which we are navigating and even more so for the warmth of spring and summer for which our course has been set. I revel in His blessings, even in the winter - I will not doubt in the dark, or in the boreal climes, what He has shown us in the light and warmth.
summer on the mountain.