Posts tagged ‘Family Life’

October 20, 2011

My Kind of Motherhood

In an effort to find this great article on motherhood the other day, I came across a couple of other articles that were, to say the least, not so inspiring.

 

Apparently being a mom can be boring and many mothers admit being lonelier than they’d ever been in their children’s first years.

 

And?

 

Motherhood is not supposed to be entertaining all the time. Sure, shame on the media for perpetuating that image, but greater shame on those who believed it. As grown women, this generation should be able to tell the difference between real life and drama.

 

To avoid any risk of sounding hypocritical, I realize that I write a blog about motherhood and what it means to me. But the truth that I hope is at the heart of every post I write is that this is not about me.  It’s about these boys:

 

I didn’t leave my dream job so I could take walks in the park every day. I don’t change diapers for the fun of it. I perform these large and small acts of service because they benefit someone else. I do these things because I am called to love, and sacrifice is what it means to love.

 

What office job doesn’t have boring tasks? What career doesn’t have some unhappier moments? Really, what reward is truly worth it if there isn’t some struggle along the way?

 

It shouldn’t be news that motherhood can be boring and it can get lonely. What’s newsworthy are the mothers who accept these tasks and these changes to their identities with full hearts, with faith in a plan greater than their own, and with hope that they are participating in something genuinely worthwhile.

 

That’s the kind of mother I’m striving to be.

 

Okay, rant over.

 

September 14, 2011

Apartment Photos!

You asked for it, friends.  A month and half into our new place, I’m finally ready to share some photos.  Welcome, and please come in.

Here’s what you’d see if you could walk in the door (little man included):

 

Then if you could turn about forty-five degrees, this is what you’d see:

And then a bit farther:

If you were really standing in my living room, I’d invite you into the dining room, where I keep my little desk, and Jacob keeps some toys.  And a sippy cup.  Always a sippy cup.

The art on the walls is courtesy of John’s brothers.  We love that we have a family museum.

I’d turn to show you our little (but workable) nook of a kitchen:

There’s more, but it’s tough to photograph.

And then there’s Jacob’s room, with all the fun stuff on the walls.  There’s an icon of his patron saint, Saint James the Greater, which Jacob’s godfather brought back for him from Spain.  There’s a pillow a friend gave him at his Baptism that says “God bless this little one.” (I love that!)

Then there’s some random fun-but-no-personal-connection stuff on the “learning wall”–number flashcards to come.

 

Above his bed is the rug my aunt made for him.  We have also one from our wedding in the living room.  Aren’t they pretty?  She makes them; she’s a rug hooker.  Check it out.  Cool stuff.  And finally, near his bed are a cross John’s family gave us at Jacob’s Baptism and a photo from the day, on which I had printed a quote from the Bible about Jacob.  See below for a close-up.  I love that, too.  Heck, I love all this stuff!

 

 

Kind of reminds you of the opening scene of The Lion King, right?  But kind of beautiful, too.

 

Out the window in Jacob’s room you can see the backyard and his baby swing.  All that’s missing is our room, but that’s pretty much just a big brown bed, big brown furniture, and a couple of hangings on the walls.

 

Thanks for coming to visit, friends.  Please stop by again next time you’re in Brooklyn!

July 29, 2011

What I’ll Miss About This Apartment

On Monday, we will move to our third apartment in just under two years of marriage.  Needless to say, moving this often was not in our plan.  But who said our plan was the one that counts, right?

 

Last year’s move was a stressful one:  I was (very) pregnant, we were moving to a new borough, and we were searching for somewhere to make home for a lifestyle we hadn’t yet experienced.  Thankfully, we ended up in a great apartment, in a wonderful neighborhood, and made some very special friends to boot.

 

Our new apartment is only a short walk from where we are now, so there isn’t a whole new neighborhood to learn this time around.  It will be more of a recalibration of points we already know and love.  The layout of the new place is different than what we have now, but it’s a very open plan, and one I think will cater well to the way we live our lives day to day.

 

That said, there are some things I’m going to miss about this apartment.  The first of these is the mirrors.

 

See how it looks like our dining area goes on forever? Thanks, mirrors!

There are floor-to-ceiling mirrors in every room of our current apartment.  In each of the bedrooms, two four-foot-wide mirrors function as the sliding doors to the (ginormous) closets—which, come to think of it, I will also miss!  Even in the living/dining room, one wall is entirely composed of mirrors.  Before we moved in, John joked that with all the mirrors and the hardwood floors, it looked like a dance studio.  I joked about the wonders it would do for my downward-facing dog.  And while there was some yoga done here—and there was certainly dancing done, too—I think Jacob loved the mirrors the most.

 

Everywhere you turn in this place, you see your own image looking back at you.  This was helpful in Jacob’s newborn days, when we would check to see if his eyes were closed without shifting him on our shoulders.  It was also a good distraction in the evenings of those first months, when I would count the minutes until John came home, all the time bouncing Jacob in front of a mirror and watching him smile with delight when “the little boy in the mirror,” as I creepily refer to Jacob’s reflection, did just the same things he did.  “That little boy comes everywhere with us!” I’ve told Jacob countless times.

 

One of the selling points for me when we first looked at this apartment was the built-in bookshelves.  I loved that all the books I was hoarding under my desk at work could finally come home and have somewhere to breathe.  I love having books on display—I think it says something important about our family, our values, and who we are.  What I love about these bookshelves is that they were low enough to use as storage for some of Jacob’s toys—and books!  Once he could crawl around, I really enjoyed giving him a few shelves of his own, where he could grab the books he wanted (to chew on) when he liked.  We still haven’t gotten to the point of putting books back on shelves, but all in good time.

And finally, what I’ll miss most about this apartment is that it’s where we brought Jacob home.

As we’ve been packing up our things, especially when the artwork (and more mirrors, if you can believe it) came off the walls, I realized that the items that identify our home are coming with us, and we can just as well settle into the new place and make it home.  But still, there will be a time when John and I think back to our first year with Jacob—our first year with a child—and I know we’ll remember the floor plan differently.  I’ll think one room was bigger than it really was, or that we had the couch in some physically impossible orientation.  I know some parts of the memory will fade, but I also know that those aren’t the important parts.

 

The important part is that my home is with John and Jacob.  It is in Brooklyn now, and will still be in Brooklyn next week.  But in a few years, it will probably be in New Jersey somewhere.  The things we hang on the walls will come and go, pictures in frames will be updated over time, and we ourselves will change as well.  But those are all good things.  They mean we are growing, that we are getting closer to where God needs us to be.

Then again, perhaps we’re already there.

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