I’m Still Here

workout

Hello everyone out there! Just wanted to pop in and let you know I haven’t neglected this space entirely. While I am able to get up earlier now before the kids, my mornings have been spent exercising along with Briana Christine in her latest 90 day challenge. It ends in one week! After that, my plan is to add exercising  our school routine  – the kids have shown a lot of interest in “exercising with mommy.” That will free up my mornings for writing – in theory! 😉

4 months

And of course, there’s the baby, who deserves her own post since she’s holding no restraint in catching up with her siblings. More on that later, hopefully.

IMG_4871

The older two had birthdays (so now 6 and 4) and they are both changing to suit their ages (both in good and bad ways).

August has come in with a bang for me. I spent every day this week either picking in my father’s garden or our garden, with Will gone even. I spent the past couple days preserving – 12 quarts of fermenting pickles, 10 quarts pasta sauce, and 4 quarts whole tomatoes. It was my first time canning on my own! I used up all the tomatoes and cucumbers just before we went and picked a whole bunch again last night. It’s both tiring and invigorating. I know I’ll appreciate all the work come fall and winter.

flowers

August also means school planning. Lots of ideas have been peculating and I can’t wait to start arranging all the ideas on paper. I plan to start September 1st, in conjunction with the beginning of the Church year.

And August also means getting my ASD repaired. The date is set for August 25th. Will and Ella will be with me. The procedure should just take a couple hours and I’ll stay overnight to get my heart looked at again the next day. Is it weird that I’m excited? I’m so ready to have it fixed and behind me – and grateful that it’s possible.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer! I’ve missed sharing on here, but my life has been full of so many wonderful things.

saint sophia’s example

Source

I’ve been familiar with the story of St. Sophia and her three daughters for a number of years now. I knew that the three daughters were martyred for being Christians. At some point later I learned how St. Sophia herself wasn’t martyred but died at the graves of her daughters. Still, the Church remembers her as a martyr for her sufferings through watching her daughters be tortured and killed. (To read their story go here.)

I’ve always admired St. Sophia (and her daughters), but something I learned recently made me admire her even more. My in-laws were visiting last month and my mother-in-law shared more of their story with us that she had read in a book. The thing that struck me, and has inspired me, is that St. Sophia purposely prepared her daughters for martyrdom. They lived during a time of persecution and it was likely that they would be persecuted. She made sure that if the time came, she and her daughters could be strong – ready and willing to suffer for Christ.

This really struck me because I often worry for my children and their future. I see the direction our society is going and I’m frightened. We truly live in a post-Christian era and we will receive persecution, even if it’s just being ridiculed or labeled. My children will have unique struggles to face that I did not have to face. How do I prepare them?

I have some ideas, but most of them are things I need to learn myself. I read an article recently that shed a lot of light onto this. It gave a lot of answers to my questions. But before I share my thoughts on that, I’ll just let you chew on this question…

How can we as mothers prepare our children for the unique struggles they will face in today’s world?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. And for you more experienced mothers, I’d like to hear your wisdom!

my forty days

Note: In the Orthodox Christian Church, the mother and baby stay home (for the most part) for forty days. The tradition comes from the Jewish faith – and Mary and Jesus did the same. The mother has just participated in something extremely holy: childbirth. And practically, it gives the mother time to recover and the baby time to adjust before being exposed to the elements of the world. 

tired look

 

I’ve concluded that pregnancy takes one’s zest and energy for life and puts it all into making a baby.

It was after the first week, and the spring weather was warm and beautiful, that I felt an urge to do anything and everything! I’d had my baby and all that zest and energy – mental energy at least – came rushing back. I felt pretty ambitious, but forced myself to continue to take it easy. It felt so good to want to do things such as sew a project or cook an elaborate meal. I’ve lost most of that zest while getting back into the swing of “normal” life and doing the basics, but I still yearn for it.

pink dress 1

For the most part, this time around of adjusting to having a newborn has been the easiest. Ella is very mild and sweet. She sleeps a lot and goes to sleep easily. She’s pretty content when she’s awake. Plus, I have a better idea of how to care for a baby. But, I can tell that getting back into the full swing of things will take the longest this time around.

pink dress 2

With my other babies, I didn’t have so much on my plate. I’m not just talking children, but just life. When I had Mia we didn’t even live in our own house. I had no house to clean or manage. I didn’t have many friends to try and keep up with. With Michael, we had a smaller house and he was even easier than Ella. I didn’t have “projects” or a blog or do much sewing before him. It was after him that I restarted my blog, decided to run, and planned out projects. (I had recently discovered Pinterest – I think that had something to do with the projects!)

me and Ella

For almost four years I’ve had more time than I do now. For a lot of that time, I had time to myself every morning, afternoon and evening. Now I’m lucky if I get 15 minutes in the morning (you know, to get dressed in silence) and a little time in the afternoon. With a bigger house, homeschooling to think about, chickens, and a garden, there’s not much room for other things. (Prime example, I worked on this post on and off for a week before finally scheduling it to post!)

daddy's girl

It’s been difficult to realize this, but I’m okay with it. It is how it should be. There will be time for projects and “me” time. Ella will not be little forever.  All my children are growing and it’s such a special time. It’s hard to remember in the moment, but I just keep bringing myself back to that. For now, I have the time and strength to get the essentials done – and that includes spending time cuddling with each of my children. I have time for what’s important. The rest can wait.

Ella on me

 

Special thanks to my friend Carrie for these pictures of Ella at one month old!