Quiet Changes

Before I put the girls down for their quiet times today, Natalie looked out the window and said, “oh-flake!” “No,” I said, “those are leaves falling. Aren’t they pretty?” It’s been dark and gray today, and the leaves are falling at a steady, whispering pace.  It’s been a beautiful fall season in Denver this year.

If the trees have been getting ready to sleep for winter, now they are finally beginning to snore, gently blowing leaves out with every exhale. A time under heaven for everything… today, a gray, gloomy, and leafy yellow day.

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Gray days = a reason to drink tea and wear warm socks and savor it awhile.  And maybe teach my kids to savor it: to slow down, to pay attention to what’s going on around them, and to appreciate these pockets of quiet…Hmm, how do I do this with a 2 and 3 year old, exactly?  As soon as I sit down anywhere, it’s like their battery power skyrockets and they blast off.  But I’m sure there are ways, and I’m sure it has more to do with what I’m willing to do rather than what they are able to do!

This break for me today, to just sit outside awhile by my lonesome and take pictures, was awesome.  Cold, but awesome. Three hours earlier: my two dear little cardigans had a major meltdown inside AND outside of a shoe store… all because I wouldn’t buy pink shoes for one, and the other had to put her shoes back ON. Natalie pulled her signature move too, the Fish Flop, on me.  It’s like, where do your bones go?? How can you just invert them so I can’t hang onto you at ALL? An hour before that, Natalie colored all over her face with permanent green marker. Thankfully, hand sanitizer takes this right off… in case your littles ever watch and learn from mine….

So it’s been that sort of day. A typical day, right? :) No, some days are exceptionally drama free.  Anyway, back to quiet moments… My girls probably won’t realize how important these pockets of quiet are until they’re mommies themselves, I’m convinced… and I look forward to that day, Lordwilling, when I brew some coffee and pass the cup to one or the other, and nod in understanding.  Now I completely realize why both my mom, and Raul’s mom, laughed when we would tell them our baby woes as new parents.

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The thing is, I don’t want to just carve out times of peace, as important as that is and as much as I love it… I want to live a peaceful life despite and during whatever circumstances I’m in. And I know it’s possible; God’s Word invites us to this lifestyle through Him all over the place (Col. 3: 12-15, John 14:26-27).  My thoughts are fine-tuned toward this daily struggle yet again as R & I are in the middle of quiet changes. Church-related, actually–our own little family is doing well, but we are going through some changes with our church family.  And looking at it in the big picture, or trying to, the changes we’re experiencing are good and important, but you still know you’re going to miss how things were, even before you know how things will be.

We’ve been through slightly similar circumstances before, and God graciously helped us through it, and I know He will again because He wants to (Hebrews 4:6).  I’ll always prefer slow change to manic, instantaneous change, but quiet changes aren’t easy, either.  They’re just a little more kind to your heart as you adjust, even if you don’t realize that at the time.  So that’s what I’m thinking about these days. Asking the Lord for the grace and humility to adjust, again, and hopefully be an encouragement where we’re planted.  Seasons change, but the Lord endures forever, and I can’t express what freedom there is in knowing there is One Constant in life!

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Look at these leaves. Could there be a happier sight in October?

Change, change: how necessary before a new season can begin, and how necessary for us to be a little unsteady sometimes so that we depend on Him rather than ourselves.

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Knitting Needle Card

Inventory1Don’t know what knitting needles you have while you’re out and about, and see a good sale? Fear not–just make a little inventory card for your wallet. (This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a looong.time… so happy I finally sat down and printed one up!)

While the girls were watching Daniel Tiger this morning, and I was admiring his accurately-knit sweater, I decided to finally go through my knitting needles–a small, but easy organization project that will hopefully spur on more this week.  I now have one jar for double pointed needles, one jar for straight needles, and a small container for all circulars. Dunzo.

After jotting down all sizes on a notecard, I just typed it up, printed it out, and fit it onto a piece of cardstock the size of a business card. (I used Eras Light ITC, size 12 and 8.)

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The great thing is that I mostly finished before the show was over. I just had to build a fort to keep the kidlets entertained while I laminated it with packing tape (look at that lovely line!)   I’ve tried using Ravelry’s inventory sheet, and even though it’s online and easy to update, I’m a tactile person to the core… so this should work a bit better for me, even if I have to reprint it with updates now and then.

I made one for my wallet, and one for my notions bag–so the next time I’m standing in front of a clearance bin at a cute little knitting shop….

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Booyah.

Autumn Days

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One of my favorite things about having little ones is that they are full of nostalgia and they don’t even know it. They leave a sparkly trail of it everywhere they go, and they have no idea they can bring such magic back into an adult’s life, even for a moment.

When I took Liv & Natalie to the park today for some fall-ish photos and a picnic, little memories came back to me that i haven’t thought about in a long time.  Mostly, that specific feeling of just wanting to run and play, despite frozen fingertips and a cold, snotty pink nose.  I completely remember it, that freedom, and it feels good.

I kept asking them if they were cold, if they needed to put their gloves on, (because now I’m the Mama and it’s my Job) but they were quick to chirp “No!” and dart away.  So I just snapped a bunch of pictures on my phone, and we enjoyed the afternoon before coming home for naps (which is a habit I am really trying to get into myself now and then!).

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I know nothing about photography, zip zero, but I know what I like when I see it, and I love seeing the little faces I know so well in pictures. I think that was one of the best pieces of advice I gleaned from a photography-for-kids book awhile back: Think about the expressions that make your child unique, or that little curl of hair that never seems to fit in the back of a ponytail. The tiny things you notice everyday, but will be gone so soon. Those are the kinds of pictures I want to have of my girls so when I flip back through in 20 years, it takes me right back and my heart beats a little faster because I remember these little days.

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The two above are a perfect example of this… Natalie’s face can just go from super happy to super sour in one second. It makes me laugh because this is just soo her.  Just click click click and don’t even look at your pictures until you’ve gotten home–it’s like a wonderful surprise to see what you’ve caught. (Unless you actually have some knowledge of photography, haha. :)

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I love this one too. Honest pictures. I thought they would just lay in the leaves and be cute… which they are, but Liv is laughing, and Natalie didn’t want to put her arms down and looks like she’s fighting off some invisible beast. Of course. She didn’t even cry, she just kinda… wiggled around like a bug for awhile before they were up and at em’ again.

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Pink beanie caps: .25 cents from Walmart

Leggings in pink and denim: $5

An afternoon with these two: Priceless