Third Trimester Gentleness

Did you ever forget that you were (or are) in the third trimester of your pregnancy?  Did anyone do anything special for you then?

Some days I forget that I’m pregnant.  I feel my body (pre-both-kids body).  I sense a glimpse of my “just me” self.  It’s beautiful.  As beautiful as the kicks and stretches, the wiggles, and jabs inside.  It’s life.

As the third trimester marches along, I’m doing my best to embrace gentleness.  Gentleness with myself and with my family.

How?

  • By focusing on my swim stroke versus times.
  • By snuggling with Susanna when she awakens early and cries out.
  • By being grateful for all that I have, the time to do what I/we do, and more.
  • By being outside as much as possible, for one day, the rains will come…
  • By sharing my thoughts with Scott.
  • By eating smaller meals that make me happy.
  • By being aware and making good food choices, too.
  • By resting, and remembering that rest is essential.
  • By pushing myself a bit physically when I want to… just because.
  • By listening when Scott speaks, and encouraging him when it’s best.
  • By letting go of a neat house and focusing on what is best in the moment.

It’s a tender journey.  It’s a time of stepping back and just nurturing myself.  It won’t last forever, so I’m doing what I can to enjoy it.  I hope, too, I will be gentle with myself and others after the third trimester.

How are you gentle with yourself?  What acts of gentleness do you enjoy receiving or sharing?

Weekend Mom Chat

Did you enjoy last week’s Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate/Other post?  Do you read blogs on the weekend or is that your down time?

As has been noted before, we live far, far away from the world…seemingly.  Yet, there’s a town not too far away (about 20 miles).  Our little piece of heaven has very few children in it, which is unique and a blessing.  It means that Susanna interacts with people much older than her and delights when she visits her cousins.

It also means that my interaction with other moms is longer than the distance between low and high tides.  Although, we’ve come across a store owner lately who home schools her daughter, and we love her shop so we’re spending more time there.  It’s a good fit for all of us, Susanna especially.

coffee1

So here’s what’s on my chatty weekend brain and heart, as I virtually sip a cool drink or just-warm hot chocolate and offer you a cup, time, and the opportunity to share.

  • Year One House-Yard Plans Are Done!  For year one, we decided that we wanted to “get back to neutral.”  We did this about a month ago!  It involved removing and donating the following (plus more): three greenhouses, over 500 pavers in good condition, about 200 concrete edging blocks, a ton of scrap metal (quite literally a ton), a shed, about 2000 plant pots, and a mass amount of pressure treated and non-pressure treated wood.  It also meant removing concrete ponds, bricks, and cleaning up a whole slew of trash.
  • Year Two House Plans Are Underway… For year two, we’d like to hire out and have a number of trees and shrubs removed. We’ve done quite a bit, but some areas are more effectively completed with a backhoe.  We’d also like to have one super large pine removed, which will also likely be a hired out job.  We’ll install a new fire pit, clear an area in the side lot, and plant blackberry plants in the cleared area.  We’re also considering adding color (e.g. flowers) to the area, but that’s to-be-determined.  … Compared to year one, year two looks to be far more simple.  It might also entail some patio and front step work as well.
  • Enjoying the Third Trimester!  One of my goals is to just enjoy the last weeks of this pregnancy.  That has meant spending more time at the beach, slowing down, researching some great topics, quality time with Scott, and climbing on a ladder to prune 60 foot pines.  Yes, I felt safe and kept within my comfort zone.  Scott was there, too.
  • More Time Researching and Creating!  A lot of it is spontaneous, and it’s often just done experientially.  I’m beyond grateful for a life and family that believe in what we do and the ability to do it with success, love, compassion, and joy.
  • Raising a Nature Family!  A friend and I chatted about this recently, and I’ll share more in the coming weeks.  I love raising our family with simplicity, resourcefulness, self sustainability, and without a ton of commercialism in/near a city.  It thrills me to the depths of my heart watching Susanna fish and crab alongside Scott, and play contentedly outside while we work in the yard.

What are you chatting about today or this weekend?  What thrills you?

Which Writer Has Influenced You and Your Relationships?

Which writers do you enjoy?  Do your blog posts ever inspire other posts?

Last week Katie and I shared our thoughts on meaningful relationships.  A large section of mine focused on my relationship with my beloved, my Scott.  While reflecting on the relationship I share with Scott, I thought about a key literary point.

Scott and I met online a few years ago.  In one of our first exchanges, I noted that I was a William Blake fan.   His response was, “great.  What else?”  ”What else?,” I thought…”who is this man?”

It turns out that this man is incredibly competitive and very brainy.  He’s quick with his words and deep with his thoughts.  He is slow with his processing as he takes everything in, yet he’s keenly observant.

He wanted to know more, to probe, to listen, to get a sense.  At the heart, this man is a storyteller, a poet, a visionary.  An artist with deep respect for his art and the art of others.

It also turned out that Blake played a much bigger role in his life than I knew.  It’s one for which I’m grateful.

You see, back in undergrad land, I had an incredible Brit Romantics course with Dr. Richard Simpson.  During that semester, I recall throwing out a prayer, an intent, a thought, a however-you-might-call it.  It sounded like this, “Dear God, if it’s meant to be, please let the man that I marry and love be a Blake fan.”

I beam in smiles now as I write it.  However things were meant to be, they were best.  How many men I dated who didn’t have a clue about Blake and I never shared with them my love his of his writings.

For me, Blake is simple.  He connects within.  His songs and his stories are pure magic.  They pierce the surface and warm the heart. They’re deep while appearing simple. They’re not as foo-foo-y as others.  His art and his drawings were taught to me by Scott.

For Scott, Blake’s “ability to create in multiple mediums” appeals greatly.

Scott has worked with Blake in different forms- music, poetry, prose, and a set of screenplays.  Some is public, some is in the wings, and other remains being refined within his heart, brain, and soul.  Gently guided by a vision and a depth of care for the works of a master.

The words of The Tyger are often heard in our home.  ”Tyger Tyger, burning bright, / In the forests of the night; / What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry? …”

Other poems and ideas from Songs of Innocence and Experience are also dominant in our daily lives.  It’s interesting to watch Susanna respond to Blake.  She calms down or she picks up a bit.  She seems to know the internal connection to a brilliant artist.  Perhaps, too, she understands the depth and the connection we share with this great man and his art and merely shows signs of respecting and honoring her parents.

The Blake connection for us is easy, natural, and helped to solidify who the other is, what the other views, and how to respond to each other.  It gave an insight into the depth of the other person and provided for an easy, on-the-surface connection that was far deeper than the surface.

What writers have influenced you?  Were you and your partner drawn to any of the same writers?  Do you quote writers often in your home?