by gillian claire: May 2013



happy friday!

( little hands always on my lens cap )
it's friday! and aaron is actually off work today!
so, it has been a pretty good/slightly hectic/slightly lazy day.
a doctor's appointment that didn't happen ... don't ask.
a trip to target to stock up on diapers and wipes.
mcdonalds coffee, then starbucks coffee ... don't judge.
working out for mom + dad.
an ever messy house not getting cleaned and an ever lengthening to-do list never getting done.
and now, roman is running full speed through the house chasing dragons and asher is sitting on the table eating strawberries and cheese with toothpicks. 
so, i'd say it's a pretty successful day overall :)
what does your friday look like?
p.s. i'm trying this out, so would you click below to vote for me? thanks!

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IMG_1724-2man, it's been a while since i've had a good "brothers" post. and i feel that one is in order. 
this is a ridiculous picture - asher's goofy goofy smile cracks me up, and he is loving on his brother hard core, while roman looks slightly miserable and simply tolerates it so that i can take a picture.
in the day to day, dealing with these brothers feels a little hectic right now. asher has grown up watching roman play with his toy swords and fight imaginary bad guys, so now asher LOVES to "fight" with roman and with us. what he doesn't understand is that not everyone wants to fight all the time. so basically asher just ends up tackling roman half the day. or hitting him with pretty much anything and everything. asher also puts a damper on any and all plans that roman makes; roman can't color or play a game or really do anything without asher getting his little destructive paws into it.
so yeah, asher makes things interesting. and lately i've been getting so frustrated by the constant fighting.
but i love little moments like in this photo, when the boys are enjoying the simple things in life together; playing with plastic storage bins, spraying each other with the hose in the yard, or cuddling on the couch watching a show.
i love when roman says things like, "asher would LOVE beavers" or "asher is the KING of all babies". i love when asher's whole tiny being lights up and he yells, "momo!" 
i loved when we were at the hospital without ash, and roman was so worried that asher would be sad without us. that's when i really realized how much these boys feel like they belong together. they spend everyday, all day, together. it isn't always nice and fun and perfect and lovely. 
but it is pretty dang wonderful :)
other brother post that i love:
here, here, here, + here.

one year ago.

i know that i always say this, and it is still true - i have SO many unedited photos sitting on my computer. who knows what i'll actually end up doing with all of them.
but today, i happened to look through these photos, that were taken last year.
time flies...
( also, asher just had a bath before these photos, so his hair is wet - not super greasy hah! )
IMG_9377dipIMG_9384IMG_9356-2IMG_9362IMG_9346IMG_9423-2things i love from these photos:
asher's striped romper, painted walls, the changing table i painted, wooden blocks, cloth diapers, roman's baby towel that aaron surprised me with when i was pregnant ;)

broken arm #3.

brokenarmblogjust a couple quick darling photos of roman with his new cast, and proof of how BIG he is getting!
oh roman, you are too sweet for words!

happy friday!

IMG_1823happy friday everyone!
i just got my little asher to sleep and am pretty tired myself and avoiding going back downstairs. he is so sweet, laying next to me with his little hands wrapped around my arm.
today we had our first moving sale! we are hoping to have 3 more days total of moving sales before we leave. we were only open for about 4 hours today and made only 90 dollars, but i'm happy with it. i love having garage sales. seriously, it is so fun to sit out in the sunshine and wait for people to buy your old stuff. and man, do we have a lot of stuff that needs buying...
roman also got his cast put on today. he decided on black + glow in the dark but changed his mind and ended up with orange + glow in the dark ;) 
goodness he's looking big to me right now.
whenever i buy the boys new clothes and they start wearing the size up - they look HUGE to me. and i don't like it! stay little little ones, will you?
have a good weekend everyone!
p.s.  i don't think i ever shared my last spearmint baby post about some of my favorite boy shoes for summer.

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lessons in motherhood.

i always hear that saying about new moms "coming out of the newborn fog." i never felt too bad adjusting to my newborns. i mean yeah sure birth is exhausting but breastfeeding and being up all night and changing diapers feels natural to me and everything newborn is just intoxicating and wonderful and gives me a sort of newborn high. but there is this other fog that i always feel myself trying to pull out of and it is related to my littlest: asher. 
asher who is full, full, full of energy and passion and love. who was the happiest little birdy of a newborn who just smiled away in his little rocking bed while i homeschooled roman or sucked cheerfully on my arm in the sling. and then as he became more baby and less newborn, he became more and more work. fussy fussy fussy for many hours. and yet also a happy, jolly, chubby elf of a boy with the roundest face and goofiest little smile i ever saw. and now, he is that same happy happy baby - tearing off after birds in the yard, reciting his family's names all in a row ( mama, dada, mono - yaaaay!) and hopping in the stroller full of excitement for a chance to sit back while we walk and point out all the things he knows and loves in the world. This boy is so, so full of passion. he loves with this passion as well and gives us the deepest most sincere hugs complete with gentle pats on the back and cooing. he sings and kisses and loves with reckless abandon.
and he is also wild as can be. i cannot even describe the amount of energy he pulls from me in the day to day. he is a tiny destroyer, a fighter and a wild animal all wrapped into one. it has been such a learning process and a huge life lesson to me. roman was so calm. i'm not saying that I've never had struggles or issues with roman,  but it was on a much calmer scale. roman painted this picture of my expectation of motherhood for me - taking my boys to target while they sat happily in the cart looking at a toy together while i shopped, going to panera and sipping my caramel coffee across from two polite brothers calmly eating their macaroni and cheese. relaxing outside on a blanket while the boys meandered the yard while staying within view.  this was the way i mothered roman and i expected it to repeat with asher. 
one thing that i'm learning is that motherhood isn't about me. it isn't something that is always easy or always what we expect. it is about sacrifice and self giving and it is about growth and lessons and love. i am so blessed to have ash. he is so totally unique and sometimes i wonder if there is anyone on earth quite like him. of course there isn't. every baby is new and wonderful and uniquely themselves. it is so fun to see these two beautiful souls that God gave me. i still have so much to learn. i still have so much of myself that needs to be shaken and rocked and adjusted. i still need so much more God and so much less me in my heart and mind. one challenge for me right now is mustering up the constant energy to handle asher's wild wild and crazy side. 
but sometimes, moments happens like tonight - when we went to kroger, and the boys pushed the little kids cart together and helped pick out and load up tea and fruit and snacks, and roman stacked things up on the self checkout for me while i scanned, balancing ash on my hip, and we all pushed the cart to the car together, and it's moments like that that i feel the fog lifting, if only for a moment. :)


roman's words.


roman broke his arm again on sunday, falling from a tree in our back yard. ( i know, i know we can NOT believe that he has broken it for the third time.) i rode in the backseat with him on the 30 minute drive to the hospital while we took pictures of ourselves with my ipod, and then i was the one to go into the er at the first hospital (we were later transferred to a specialist) and during those 3 hours we read a book together and playing the "don't you smile game" and joked around. roman kept saying "this is the best worst day, it's the worst because i broke my arm but its the best because we get to spend SO much time together!" of course, roman and i spend everyday, almost all day together, but we really don't get that one on one time that we had on sunday. it was special and good, and i just love that during the pain and fear that roman was experiencing, he was still his usual positive and perceptive self, finding the good things to hold on to.
aaron and i are always saving texts between each other of things roman says or conversations he has with asher. i keep meaning to write them down in my journal but i keep forgetting. i wanted to jot a few things down just to remember the sweet  soul our roman is at five years old.
he is constantly reminding us of the good things, of the important things. his viewpoints and his feelings are so wonderfully pure and real.
roman's words:
"you're different than just any old girl; you're my mommy"
"there has to be God. or else the world wouldn't feel like joy!"
"the more love, the more happy."
"i was MADE for hug and kisses"
"i was made for everything love."

be sure to visit out my store! i added a few new things today :)

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big move/new store!

well, things are falling into place around here and it looks like we will be moving across the country in six weeks! we have been planning and dreaming and talking about this step in our lives since last summer and it's funny to think back to when i wrote this post, and was thinking about THIS move that we are preparing for now.
my husband is transferring colleges to finally work on finishing his forestry degree which has been his dream for a long time. there are still so many details to be worked out and i'm not really sure what all is happening right now except that we are moving. soon.
another facet to this move is that we are planning to basically clear out most of what we own, and start new! which brings me to my next point - my new store!
one dream of mine is to run a second hand children's store online from my home, and since i'm sorting through things for the move, i thought it was a good time to get it going for now and see what happens!
i don't really expect anything to happen but it was fun anyway :)
so take a look! i've posted a lot of gently used/new kid's clothes and shoes as well as toys. since i homeschool i have a lot of great preschool learning activities. i'll probably try to add more items as the week goes on, so check back! also, i'd love any feedback from you all!


portraits of ash.

two portraits of my twenty one month old asher.
"i am your quiet place; you are my wild"
-Maryann Cusimano

happy friday!

i didn't used to like the idea of sharing my professional work on my personal blog. i like to be able to scroll down and just see uninterrupted photos of my boys, my family.
my blog is like a sweet little scrapbook. however, i have realized that my professional photos DO feel personal to me. after i put so much effort and care into them, i feel like i want to share them as many places as i can!
so there's a little preview of some photos i did for my sister's roommate for her graduation. you can see the rest of the photos on my sparse photography blog here.
in other words, today is aaron's last late night shift at his job!
for the year, and maybe, probably, hopefully forEVER!
because in the next eight weeks we are planning to MOVE across the country!
but, more about that later ;)
for today, i need to start cleaning my house since my family is coming to stay the weekend and we are going to celebrate my sister's college graduation!
and right now, my little one is climbing up onto the sink to wash dishes
(his new favorite thing)
so, have a great weekend everyone!
happy mother's day mamas!
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thoughts on childbirth.


i took these photos and wrote these words near asher’s first birthday. they have sat on my computer since then, but i love them and want to share, almost a year later ;)
of course we mothers all say it and it is true now for me as well: i can’t believe a year has passed. it’s so funny and amazing for me to look back upon my life at all the separate seasons that i’ve gone through. roman’s birth changed me in a million ways. going through childbirth for the first time was fascinating and life altering. i remember for the longest time i would just think back to his birth in wonder.
having roman introduced me to a million ideas and interests that i never knew i’d have. i literally fell in love with breastfeeding. i fell in love with the family bed. i became enamored with baby wearing. and then my interest in natural childbirth was born. there are really several reasons that I became interested in natural childbirth. 1. i found out during roman’s birth that i have scoliosis which apparently made it difficult for me to correctly receive the epidural. related to that, i had a tough recovery from his birth and i hoped to just avoid both of those problems right off the bat. 2. roman’s birth was a textbook picture perfect birth. my ob even thanked me for such a great birth. i remember feeling like God would bless me with a lovely birth because my pregnancy was absolutely horrifying. 3. the challenge. and 4. i purely just totally head over heels fell in love with the idea of natural childbirth.
natural childbirth in the end doesn’t change a thing. birth is birth and motherhood is what truly matters. but for me, i just wanted it so much. i don’t know how else to explain it. it was just a natural extension of all the things that make my heartbeat. i read anything i could get my hands on about birth. i planned and hoped and dreamed. i struggle intensely with fear, so of course I was terrified of natural childbirth. but i was also obsessed. thinking about pulling my baby out of the water and into my arms and feeling that euphoria of doing it my own way just made me feel real.
and after laboring all through the evening, night and morning at home, laboring in the car on the hour long country drive, laboring at wendy’s and laboring at the hospital for about four hours, i really did it. it was different than what i had read. it was perfect in a lot of ways. except the pain of course. does that even make sense? no, no of course it doesn’t. but birth really doesn’t make any sense at all. in whatever context you give birth, it is magical and wonderful and horrible and painful and blissful and perfect all wrapped into one. it doesn’t make sense and yet it makes more sense than anything in the world. i think that is why i love it so much. i guess i felt like by doing it natural, maybe i could get closer to it. and maybe, just maybe, by touching birth, i could hold onto its magic a little longer, and carry it with me a little stronger in my soul. oh there are literally a hundred things I could say about natural childbirth. i am so totally passionate about it.
alas, here i am over a year later. my thoughts about my birth with asher are a tangled web of different things. I have so many words and raw tender feelings. in the end, my birth was completely and utterly intervention free and it was amazing and went beautifully. it was a fleeting moment in my life. it doesn’t make me a better mother or a better person. at all. but it is part of my story. it is a dream and a hope fulfilled. which is also the way I would describe asher’s presence in my life. 


IMG_1490IMG_1530IMG_1493IMG_1547spring things:
new growth, babe in the bushes, boys picking flowers, soft evening light + hair in a bun.
i always get this high when spring comes and it seems like life will take this drastic turn for the better in every way. and it always does at first. i turn into crazy productive mode and spend hours outside as the sunshine warms me inside and out. the flowers are intoxicating and i'm wearing flip flops again and feel like a million bucks. 
of course, the crazy always dies down a little, and i realize that spring is just another season. 
with it, there will be good days and bad.
we'll still have days where mama has been up all night with her little screetch owl baby boy, and we'll watch countless movies all day until daddy gets home.
and that's okay.
no season in life is perfect, but with the bad there is always good and man, these days of  spring.
 these days of family hikes in the woods,
holding hands with my husband and looking at our two little boys wearing baseball caps and running ahead - they are good ;)
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my birthday.

IMG_1744-2IMG_1753IMG_1755(may 5, 2013)
roman and i in our dandelion field on my birthday. 
dandelions are my favorite flower. i love them and will never understand america and our perfectly manicured lawns + chemicals and such. roman and i saw a yard near our house filled with dandelions and he decided that it was our dream.
so we spend time out in our own little "dandelion field" and we blow all the "wishing flowers" while sending up prayers to heaven and hoping every morning that new weeds will be born. 
i'd say that our wish is coming along nicely. 
and when i asked roman what he prayed for, he told me that he prayed he would go to heaven and see jesus.
so i reckon that boy is coming along right nicely as well ;)
i can't say that i've grown much wiser in this past year, but these are the wonderful moments that i am thankful for;
a refuge full of dandelions for me to lay in, and four tiny hands to pick them for me :)
i adore this photo that aaron got of ash ;)
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21 months.

i'd imagined that these monthly photos would get easier when the weather got warmer, and i thought i would plan out the perfect photo shoot for these photos, but the truth is i never really got around to it. 
he happened to have this darling sweater on after our walk the other night, so i grabbed my camera 
to capture a few moments of my little boy exploring the yard.
21 months is just lovely - perfect round kisses + smooth  chubby baby arms soaking up sunshine.
 asher has a true love for birds, and walks in the neighborhood where he can practice his new found vocabulary.
 and he is learning, like us all,
that the sun and the moon and the stars certainly must  revolve around this little family of 4.

my dream boy.

some previous monthly photos:

also, visit my spearmint baby post this week where i talk about the NICU

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