Hello Fri-YAY: Week 4
Morning! How are you, truly? We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief or happiness, whichever you prefer, that we've made it to Friday. Or as I like to call it, "Fri-YAY!". Some weeks the "yay" has a little more punch and pizazz than others. Today I am thankful for the simplicity of the sunshine.
Our state (AR) has had floods, devastation, and even death in the past week.
We arrived home from the beach, very much on a vacation high and ready to be settled in, trampling down to the creek and spending our afternoons in the garden, or among the daisies. Instead, we had day after day of devastating rain. For some, money was the biggest cost as they watched their driveways completely wash way, for others, life slipped away in the flood waters.
I believe our state had a total of five people who passed away last week, due to the floods. Some were even children. So much sadness, so many prayers from our home to theirs. So many pleas for the rain to stop, so many minutes of singing to myself "The sun'll come out tomorrow!".
And it did. The sun came out and shone, washing away some of the heaviness of the week. The girls and I were driving home one afternoon and I happened to have my Nikon camera with me. We looked up and there on one of our country roads, in a country sky, was a rainbow cloud. We quickly pulled over and I began to take some photos, seeing as this road hardly sees any traffic.
We couldn't believe our eyes, never having seen anything like it before!
(I ask that you keep the families who lost a loved one in your sincere prayers.)
This is the view of our creek, which Brett safely drove us to. Usually at this time of year the girls and I are spending our afternoons here, sitting on a rock with a nature guide in hand, imagining the day away. Not this year, or at least not yet. We had a giant log that was laid across the creek for quite some time. Brett and I even sat on it last year when we had our pictures done. The floods were so strong they even washed that away and moved some of the big, heavy rocks in the creek. Water is more powerful than we think.
This messy, real-life view caught my eye on one of the rainy days and then immediately made me want to nap. I've been disciplined lately instead and have been exercising.
A nap sounds much dreamier though, yes?
If you follow me on Instagram (therosylifeblog) you might have noticed I'm participating in a new photo challenge, inspired by Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography.
The idea is simple: Share the pictures that are poems to you. I'd had the constant, nagging thought lately how I don't like sharing every single bit of my day on IG, just a montage of photo after photo. I also don't like scrolling through all that for fun. Photography is my art form and my IG and blog and life should reflect that. Posting my millionth trip to the grocery store...I'm not sure that is my best expression of my art. Joy did a FB live video where she talks about some of these same thoughts and then challenged all who wanted to participate to put the phone down and instead, use your "big camera" to capture a few photos a day that were like poems to you.
I've been participating daily, which you can see on my IG page! (therosylifeblog)
We went driving around after the floods to check on our newest farm member, this mama goose! It is the funniest thing. This hay bale accidentally rolled too far down the hill and landed in the pond months and months ago. It's always been a humorous sight for us. But then a few weeks ago we spotted something new on top of it! A mother goose was there, hunkered down on her eggs.
Even after all the beating rains, there she was, eggs and all!
Another great delight of ours is Sunday lunch at Nana's after church.
Betsy's little tongue here makes me giggle, because she is really ready to enjoy this cake!
Although I have no plans to homeschool (Anna is already enrolled in public school), we have been doing a daily learning time. We are doing different activities each day, reviewing letters and numbers.
Do you have any learning blogs I should be reading?
The girls and I have been keeping the creativity alive and well in our home. I've even been painting some! I'm letting the finished products sit for a bit and then I'll decide which ones to add to the shop.
The girls are really into drawing detailed pictures lately-a house, a page full of penguins.
On the pretty afternoons we are loving spending time in the garden! The girls help willingly and especially like pulling radishes. We have a resident toad that lives in the garden who always seems to be right underneath the lettuce I'm cutting. Scares me every single time!
That patch of light! I could sit and stare at pretty light for hours. It calms my soul.
The girls are always up to big, imaginative things. This particular day they were camping and wanted to pretend they were orphans and I adopted them. I have a feeling they pulled this from an American Girl audio book we listened to.
After I adopted them, they cooked me dinner. :)
Next up was putting a board on top of a giant rock and making their own teeter-totter. Isn't that the funniest? They sure do keep me laughing.
Anna will be six so soon! And then starting kindergarten! Her thoughts, conversations, and mannerisms all seem so grown up lately. She's asking questions about everyday facts of the world, foster care, and more. She really loves to tease and chase and play wild games with her Daddy!
A favorite game both the girls play is a version of hide and seek. Brett will hide somewhere in the house and then yell out which room he's supposedly in. Although he's never actually in that room. Sometimes the girls walk right past him when he's hiding! It is quite the hilarious game to watch.
Some of my recent paintings!
Jumping on the bed on laundry day!
I adore this.
I've really been telling myself two things when I pick up the camera lately: light and story. Look for the light, tell a story. I am booking sessions for either the farm or in-home photo shoots, which you can read about under the "Photography" tab above.
I'm also considering doing a Facebook Live video on photography and whatever else you all want to know about, but am nervous even putting that idea out there. What do you think?
We'll end with a foster care update:
I need to email our caseworker to see if we're officially open, but our last communication was that we would start taking placements in June. Yes, next month! This has been almost a two year road to get here, first starting with an adoption agency and now landing here, with state foster care.
I started shopping for pacifiers, bottles, and baby clothes this week. I bought a few things for a baby boy and some for a girl too. I get asked all the time if we'll have a boy or girl and how long they'll stay. We simply don't know and need to be prepared for anything. We are only opening for children and babies ages 3 years and under. Trying to explain the excitement of becoming an open home feels almost impossible. It is incredibly bittersweet. For example, I was shopping last week for onesies and came across a little boy one that simply said "loved" on the front. The tears filled my eyes quicker than I could duck my head. The babies that enter our home will certainly be loved, completely.
I'm a bit stuck in responding when I hear "That's so exciting!!". I know that my excitement comes at the cost of another mama's sorrow. We can point fingers all day long at the reasons why a child has ended up in foster care and many of the accusations may even be true. But what is also true is the fact that a mama has to say goodbye to her child and a child will feel unspeakable loss. Bittersweet is the best word I can think to use. Are we excited? Oh, yes. So very excited. I even dream of little ones.
I'm also stuck when I hear "I could never do that because you have to say goodbye". You guys, there are babies and children and teens stuck in a mess of a world, darkness pervading. They are literally looking for someone to come let the light in. Maybe our "yes" will mean a placement that lasted 3 weeks and a tiny crack of light was let in. Maybe a placement will last a year, an even bigger patch of light let into a child's life. Maybe our "yes" will mean a forever adoption (this beats LOUD in my heart) and the child forever has a family that will let the light in for them, day after day. Here's what helps calm my nerves and anxious heart about it all. I picture sitting in a BIG movie theater, a scene playing out on the screen of some of the horrors happening in these kids' lives. I then imagine myself watching through the window, a kind of Christmas carol/Scrooge effect. Next, picture me saying aloud "I can't help, it's too hard emotionally" and then walking on. That hurts my heart to even type and I want to scream at the person on the scream, "You didn't do anything?"
There are so many ways to help, big or little.
Deliver a meal.
Deliver some clothes. (a sweet mom at school is doing this for us)
It takes a village! My sister's family gave us a car seat and baby bathtub. They just let the light in for a foster kiddo. My family babysat for us so we could attend the training in January. They are light-bearers.
How can you be a light-bearer this week?
I hope I'm not ending on too heavy of a note, but this is where my heart is. It's deep issues mixed with dancing in the kitchen. Mess and beauty and silly and serious all in my mind, all in one day.
How are you and what are you passionate about these days?
Should I do a Facebook Live session on photography and life?
Have you booked a spring or summer photo session?