saying goodbye...

I'm not good at goodbyes, or truly expressing how I feel in a single moment of time.  It takes time and thought to really understand my feelings, or else they come out in a blurting, jumbled mess.  I thought it would be simpler to write them down.

Yesterday my grandpa passed away.  It wasn't unexpected, but it was still sad.  After my grandma passed away when I was a teenager, I didn't see as much of grandpa as I had previously.  But as a child, I saw a lot of him and my grandma.  Reflecting on his life and my siblings and I growing up knowing him has brought up a lot of memories.  A lot of emotions come up, especially when I think of my grandma.  She was very dear to me and my sister and brothers, and we have a lot of good memories of her and grandpa and their farm in northern Indiana.  So the most logical thing I can think of to do, to properly pay my respects, is to list some of these memories here.

*The humming from grandpa's dentist office, and the smell of wood floors there.
*A styrofoam cup, half-full of coffee, with lipstick marks on it.
*A warm sweater hanging on an an office chair that spun around and around.
*Playing on the typewriter in grandma's office, and flipping through her rolodex.
*Leaning back in the dentist chair as grandpa checked for cavities.
*Grandma leaning against the door to the examination room, talking with my mom and dad while us kids got our exams.
*The slippery, wooden, curving staircase in the farmhouse.
*A bookshelf where many an afternoon was spent reading as adults talked downstairs.
*The smell of crackling bacon as grandpa stood making breakfast for us grandkids.
*Playing skip-bo on the farm table.
*Dressing up in grandma's jewelry and putting on her lipstick at her vanity.
*Hannah and I sitting with grandma watching Jaws and hearing her shudder at the scary parts.
*A bee sting, screaming, running to the farmhouse, and grandma running beside us.
*A deep smell of perfume as we were squeezed into a hug
*Sitting nervously on stage with my violin, and finding my grandparents in the crowd smiling at me
*Tweed jackets, and khaki pants
*A mole on a cheek, and a comment of "That's my beauty mark, like Marilyn Monroe."
*The scratchy, sweaty days making hay with grandpa at the wheel of his tractor.
*Riding in a green pickup truck on a wide bench.
*Painting a wooden fence with Hannah and grandma walking out to take our picture
*Watching bats fly in and out of the barn.
*Black angus cows.
*Hunting for mushrooms on chilly days.
*Hikes, forts, games, all in the woods for hours on end.
*Warmth from a wood burning stove.
*Whitewater rafting in Montana and watching grandpa smile as we paddled along the river.
*Wearing socks in an big pool with a rough bottom.
*A basement, so scary to little eyes, we barely dared going down there.
*Tubing down the toboggan run.
*Watching a truck take an evening drive, grandpa driving and grandma sitting beside.
*An old, out of tune piano in a sitting room.
*Monday night family dinners around a farm table.
*Postcards from Hawaii, Montana, Mexico, and other travels.
*A Bible verse made out in small letters on the back of an envelope.
*Pictures of grandpa holding his catch from fly fishing.
*Grandma's dancing eyes, and the crinkles at the corners.

Sometimes memories don't come as easily, and I shut my eyes and try hard to remember.  I am afraid I will forget one, or it will somehow slip away.  I am thankful for the ones I have though, and I am thankful to have known my grandparents, as some people aren't as fortunate.  As we all say final farewells this weekend, I will mentally take it all in, as we take final walks around the farm, as we stand at grandma's gravestone once again, as grandpa is laid to rest beside her, as family meets together in places where memories were made and years passed.


johann's home birth story...

I wanted to share Johann's home birth story since I shared Finn's on here almost 3 (can it be that long?) years ago.
Disclaimer: This happened 3 months go, so the specific details may be a bit fuzzy for me to remember. :)

This pregnancy and birth experience was totally different than Finn's.  We chose to plan a home birth with our second baby, and loved our experience.  Our midwife was amazing, and the level of care we received was unlike anything we had ever had before.  Choosing a home birth was a really great choice for our family, and I will never forget it.

Johann came on a rainy Wednesday morning on June 4th, 2014.  I had told Landon that if I could choose, I would pick a cloudy, rainy day to give birth since it seemed relaxing and calm.  We had decided to do a water birth, so we had our tub and all the equipment set up in our bedroom right beside the window.

After some off and on contractions on the 3rd, my water broke around 3am on the 4th. I texted my midwife since I wasn't exactly sure at the time if my water had broken and felt bad waking her up.  She called me back and we talked about things.  I tried to go back to sleep, but was so excited I couldn't manage to doze off.  Contractions were semi-regular, but nothing strong yet.  Landon had been going into work around 4:30am those days, so we decided he should go and I would call when things got more serious. (In hindsight, we should have started setting the equipment up and he should have stayed home.)  I called him at 5am and wanted him home. :)

My contractions were getting closer together and more intense, but still not strong enough I thought.  I was in touch with my midwife, and around 7am, she asked if I wanted her to come. She listened to me breathe through a contraction, and I told her I thought she could wait a while.  (Little did I know, she was already contacting her assistants and planning on driving down to hang out at a coffee shop right around the corner.  She could tell I was maybe a little further along than I thought.)

Meanwhile, Landon was rushing around filling the tub, getting Finn ready to go to a friend's house, and rushing to my side when I went through a contraction.  I would just like to stop here and say how amazing my husband is.  Not only did he fully support me through a challenging pregnancy, and encouraged me to eat well, and took care of me for 9 months, but he was a total champ during the birth day.  One thing we didn't realize was all the prep work that would need to be done on our end, and he was rather busy the whole morning.

My dear, lovely friend, Ballard came to pick up Finn around 7am, and I still remember her shouting up the stairs "Love you Leeum!" as she whisked Finn out for the whole day. (Another perfect thing was that Wednesday was Ballard's only day off of work and grad school, and we had been praying somehow I would give birth on a Wednesday.)

Around 7:15am, I texted all our close friends and family I was in labor and it may be happening later in the day.  Due to some miscommunication, the tub was still not ready for me to get in, and we had run out of hot water.  Poor Landon was boiling water on the stove, and running up to help me through contractions in between.  Around 8am, I got into the tub which felt amazing.  The rain was pouring outside, there were soft rolls of thunder, and my birth music was on.  I snacked on cheese and veggies, and tried to breathe through each contraction as they came on stronger and closer.

Landon called the midwife, who we had been in touch with off and on, and told her I was ready for her to come.  She and her assistants were only a few minutes away at a coffee shop, and they arrived around 8:30 or 8:45am.  I remember her walking in and looking at me, and saying "Yep, you're at a 10 for sure!" And I was thinking "Whaaat?"She asked if I wanted her to check me, and I said yes.  As she was checking me, she told me I could be pushing if I felt like it.  This took me by surprise as I never felt the overwhelming urge to push like I did with Finn.

The next half hour was a blur, but the contractions were strong, the assistants were so kind fanning me and giving me water, and my midwife was encouraging, direct, and so, so good at her job.  I pushed for awhile, changed positions, pushed his head out, then had to get out of the tub so my midwife could assist him out.  It all happened so fast it seems, and before I knew it, I was able to hold my baby boy as I knelt on the floor of our bedroom.  Johann Sailor was born at 9:48am, and Landon and I were so amazed at how fast he decided to come.  He was very healthy, and strong, and chubby, and the birth team did such a good job getting him checked out, and helping me get settled and tucked into my bed.  It was a fast and intense labor, but the whole experience was amazing for us.  We couldn't have had a more wonderful midwife and team, and it was such a treasure to be able to deliver our son in our home.

Some days, I tell Landon "I can't believe we have two kids!"  It seems so surreal.  The last three months have been a big adjustment, but every time I look down at my sweet Johann and see him smile, my heart melts.  It is such an honor to be mama to two amazing little boys.


hello, again...

Well, I'm back!  Here's a little peek at what my days are like now.  I have two boys!  Finn will be 3 soon, and Johann just turned 3 months!  Life has been all sorts of crazy/busy/fun/hard these days.  But it's been so amazing watching our family grow and change.

After burning out a bit with being pregnant and having a new baby, I took the spring and summer off from updating on here. While it was unintentional to leave this little corner of the internet all alone for awhile, it turned out to be a much-needed break.  It also allowed me to sort of refocus on what my goals are for this blog and using my time in general.

For the last few years, Landon and I have been aiming towards simplifying our life. 
We have realized our goal of a simple life is a journey, and one that's constantly evolving and adapting. I want to use this space and my time writing on here as an outlet for all the ideas and actions we take to get closer to our goal.  Because of that, I am going to aim to write with more intention and focus on how we are trying to practically live that out, alongside the usual family updates, of course.

Life is too short to waste, and I hope we can savor every minute of it! I can't wait to get back into writing here and there about how we are trying to do just that.


Related Posts with Thumbnails