If there’s one thing I love, it’s doing stuff. To be more specific, I love events. I love running in them, paddling in them, biking in them, and singing in them (it’s been a long time for that, though). Since I’m not of the über-mench pregnant woman variety (have you SEEN those women who run marathons while 7-months pregnant?), I haven’t been an active participant in any of the sweet events that happen in the summertime around here lately.
But, I can volunteer and cheer. A few weeks ago, I volunteered at our town’s Whitewater Festival. Our local go-get-em adventure group – FAR – sponsors an obstacle race and I, being the cheerleader that I am, volunteered to give directions at one particularly difficult part of the race. It was fun to see all the racers and be part of the event. Hey, I got a t-shirt. It even fits over my belly.
And yesterday, Blaine and I came down to the river to cheer for a group of mommies in our playgroup who were participating in the second annual ‘Battle of the Bighorn’ – a combination raft trip / obstacle race that culminates at my husband’s place of work. So, we got to play in the river while we waited, see daddy, lie in a hammock, and cheer for our friends.
(This photo aught to tell you why I never do ‘outfit’ posts. Nobody is pinning baseball caps on Polyore.) Then everyone got all loud and excited and Blaine was scared. He’s a delicate little monkey.
So life lately (linking up with Blair from Wild and Precious) is about enjoying some time off from participating…and just enjoying being a cheerleader.
Do you ever sit down at the end of a hard day and think to yourself, “I deserve a little something for all that hard work I did today. I mean, I essentially did a P90X workout (over the course of a day) by picking up my 25-pound son 766 times, carrying 8 bags of groceries in on two trips, doing 112 squats (with said toddler) to pick up a cup /snack / book / Mr. Monkeybritches; I did the grocery shopping all by myself and only got tinkled on as a thank-you; made dinner and a potluck dessert; kept the kidlett from eating / stepping in / throwing doggie doo; and managed to feed everyone healthy food despite my cravings for all things fried and sugary.”
Well, I’m sure the actual tasks vary, but the idea is there: we do a LOT as mommies, and the reward is essentially intrinsic.
My job pays in smiles and giggles, which is an amazing bounty, to be sure. But sometimes, just sometimes, I want this instead:
I saw it over at The Kubly Girl, and I am green with envy. Stylish and functional? Yes, please! My husband is so forgiving about my need for “things” every once in a while, and I try to be self-governing for the most part. I’m actually a little bit embarrassed to ask him if I can buy this for myself. (He never buys anything material that doesn’t go in his stomach or under the hood of his truck. He’s just minimalist like that.) Aaaand, I may or may not have just bought a super-cute Sherpani purse that was on mega-sale at a little shop in Breckenridge for only $20. Soooo…that may have been my allowance. Sigh. Maybe I’ll sleep on it…
I am linking up with ‘While Wearing Heels’ today for an assignment that I’ve been debating for a few days. I’m none too keen on having my picture taken, but I do feel compelled to share the difficulties of retaining your sense of “self” during pregnancy / motherhood. I have not been in the mood to star in any self-portraits lately, seeing as how it’s been 90+ degrees outside, I’m pregnant (read: 20 pounds heavier), and proper blow-drying and styling of my hair is woefully infrequent.
But then I remembered back to my angsty, faux-artsy high-school days, when self-portraits could be abstract, mysterious, and symbolic. So, I decided to compromise:
I call this – ‘The Balancing Act’. Right now, I’m balancing all of my old and new loves in life with my pregnancy. I LOVE being pregnant with my second little boy. Every kick in the groin is a gift – truly. But no matter how appreciative you are of being pregnant, I’ve learned that it’s hard to give up little bits of who you are. I am an avid biker and runner (hence the bike pump perched on top of the books and journals), but don’t get to enjoy that much these days. But I do get to drink my favorite tea, collect rocks by the river with my little man, enjoy being a toddler mom, and read when I get the chance. The quote came from a pithy little charm that I picked up at a craft store. It’s not deep, it’s just true. Balance.
For another great self-portrait, check out Bonnie’s at ‘A Compass Rose’. She’s good, real good.
What do you do when it’s 8:00 in the evening, your husband is two hours late, and you’ve already done all the chores (baby and non-baby-related) by your poor, sad, little lonesome? This:
Happiness in a bowl.
My friends, meet Cinnamon Chocolate* Ice cream. We met a week ago at a little café in Salida, fell in love, and have been inseparable ever since.
Ben is marooned at work tonight until further notice, so I took the liberty of rewarding myself for a hard day’s work with my one true frozen cream love and my BFF, Sunset Magazine. I tear pages out and add them to a binder of bucket list trips. Don’t worry, I recycle the rest. (It wouldn’t be fair to donate them to the library with all the good stuff torn out.)
What’s that, you say? You need proof that a hard day’s work was actually done? Here you go: This is a photo of me watching Blaine play in his favorite room in the house – aka the Laundry Room. You know, the room where we keep the bleach and the dog food and the perilously stacked makeshift shelves for overflow kitchen appliances. That room. Good mommy.
Good, clean fun.
*If you live near a City Market or King Soopers (yes, that’s how it’s spelled out here), you can get this in the small Private Selection pint sizes. Or, Boulder Ice Cream makes Mexican Chocolate, which is just as good. If you’re in California, just go get Thrifty’s Chocolate Malted Crunch and don’t tell me, because I’ll still be jealous.
The highly professional tools of my trade.
I don’t know about you, but one of the things that I struggle with as a new (after a year, am I still new?) stay-at-home-mom is the feeling of not being productive. I used to work 10-hour days and produce a vast number of projects before B: student essays, school-wide events, wedding photographs, even firsts drafts of books! But with baby in tow, it becomes a lot harder to create, craft, produce, or participate. (How’s that for some alliterative poetics?)
So I am particularly pleased when I actually make something that isn’t just consumed at the dinner table. I love the work of an artist in Salida who runs a shop called Art and Salvage, and bought one lovely painting from her. She inspired me to try my own because, well, I can’t really afford to buy another one of her paintings just yet…and I thought it would be fun to try anyway.
So I did.
And here it is in all its glory.
It took four partial naptimes and two evening sessions. It was actually a really great project for doing step-by-step because you have to let one layer of paint dry before you can go on to the next one. I’m very happy with my first try as a painter and may just try another one soon. I’m not sure how some mamas manage to have complete Etsy businesses, create quilted masterpieces, or make their own almond milk from scratch. Maybe I’m just not motivated / organized / serious enough. But for now, I am happy with my one little painting that says a little bit about who I am as a person, not just a mom.
I like bikes.