Saturday, March 31, 2012

Finding the Balance

The weather we have been having is truly bizarre... and kind of like our own strange reality I find myself wondering what affect this will have on the future. The temperatures have been soaring to unseasonable highs and all of the trees have burst forth new blossoms and leaves. Although I am certainly not complaining about the fact we have already pulled out our lawn furniture and enjoyed a few dinners on the deck, I do find myself concerned about the welfare of all the fruit farmers in this area! The pictures of this Box elder branch were taken over a span of just ten days.
This blast of warmth caused all of the season's vegetation to pop really early. Now it has been followed by a frost, and the fate of fruit trees is still unknown. I guess the lesson here is that there are always going to be circumstances beyond our control in this life. There will inevitably be outlying unseasonably warm or cold days that have the potential to deliver detrimental effects on our well being. Some of these challenging factors will have short term effects, like a poor growing season. Hopefully we only experience one every now and then peppered among good years of bountiful harvest. Other effects may be long term, with more lasting lifelong impact. Lately I have found myself thinking about the differences between the two. I am constantly amazed as I ponder the strength of character humans have to endure and overcome so many of the unbelievable challenges that can occur in this life - some beyond even my wildest imagination!

The important thing really seems to be how you handle the challenges as they arise. For us it started with having the ability to recognize the roots of friendships and family we have grown in our surrounding community. Then finding the strength of character to ask for the help we needed to pull us up when we were down. (That said, this is usually easier said than done.) And then there is faith... having faith in yourself, and others, and someone greater than all of us. Having a firm belief in the fact that there is a plan, and you are never given more than you can handle in this life. This foundation is one that I am thankful for as I hold tight to my family and friends, learn how to embrace this beautiful life we have been given, and of course learn from it's challenges.

So - here are some recent photos of all we have been up to when we are not busy meeting life head on around here :-)

Here is a picture of Ruben in his chair the week he was born... to one taken about a week ago! Just four months later he weighs sixteen pounds ten ounces, and has grown from twenty-one to almost twenty-seven inches long.

He has been spending more and more time sitting in his Bumbo chair, and I have become accustomed to seeing him upright. He loves to look around and watch me as I cook in the kitchen.
Here he is next to the beautiful cross stitch piece that my aunt made for him! She made one for Miles too. They are the most amazing pieces of artwork that I know we will forever cherish to commemorate the births of our boys. Thank you again Aunt Sally for taking the time to make such special gifts for my sons!

Miles has spent many of these warm days outside! Immediately upon waking each morning he exclaims, "I want to go outside! I want to ride my bicycle!" He loves this push cycle that Nonna and Paw Paw got him, and he is always sure to put on his helmet. He even told me to put mine on when I took my bike for its first little test drive the other day. Safety first at our house!

Here are some more of the beautiful signs of spring in my father's garden. The crocus are in full bloom and the bees could be seen buzzing about busily. As I took pictures of flowers I looked up and managed to glimpse this cloud with a beautiful silver lining and glowing rays.
It was a beautiful visual reminder of the proverb that begs you to hold on to hope in trying times. "Every dark cloud has a silver lining." A good mantra for our house this month!

Miles is twenty-seven months old!

He finally fits into the cool "football" jersey that "Aunt" Vanessa & "Uncle" Sean sent him from South Africa!
Papa got him a new skill ball and he has been practicing with keeper and dribbling drills. We are training him early I know, but we see potential there! :-)

Here is Ruben's four month picture! This toothless grin delights me to no end and truly makes all my worries disappear. He loves to giggle and smile, and is happiest when he is being held - which is fine with me. I have decided that I simply love this size baby. He can hold his head up but is still just a soft little doll to snuggle with. He is finding his own voice these days and he loves to let out squeals to interact with his big brother. Michael has described it as his "pterodactyl scream", a fitting description I'd say!

We finally managed to get out and walk to "our tree." It was Ruben's first hike there since he's been born and it felt really special! (Here is a link to the post that documents our last walk there as the Triant Trio.) Here you can compare the strange variation in weather for March! The pictures were both taken around the same time just two years apart!

The Triant Quartet - March 2012

The Triant Trio - March 2010

Miles actually hiked most of the trail beside us this time, when he was not preoccupied with finding sticks and rocks to carry. (He is just like his mother.)

The May Apples have already emerged and it is not even April. Though it will be weeks until they blossom, they seemed a strange sight this close to the equinox.

My fearless toddler wanted to climb to the top of the steps at the barn exclaiming, "I do it myself Mama!" Although my heart did skip a beat momentarily as he neared the top and turned around to come back down, I did get a great series of photos... and he had the time of his life!

It was a beautiful day and it was such a blessing just to get outside and celebrate the little things we love in life - like a great walk with family. The icing on the cake (or rather ice-cream :-) was that we got to end the day with a quick visit to see Aunt Sarah and Uncle David.

David was ecstatic to be the person to give Miles his first ever ice cream cone!! What else are uncles for if not to spoil you a little right?
At first Miles seemed a little mesmerized, but he quickly figured out what to do with all that melting sugary goodness!

So that is the news for now. We are still learning our way as a family of four, and trying to find the balance with the new cards that life has dealt us. I suppose it is the Libra in me, but I am constantly looking to attain balance in my life. Right now I am learning that sometimes you just have to let go. Put the lists away. Stop planning and prepping and live right now in the moment. "Everything in moderation, including moderation." (Oscar Wilde) Right? We're going to give it a try for awhile and just spend some time going where the day takes us and allow fate and faith to be our guide.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Before & After

There are moments on the time line of your life that you will forever remember. These are moments that you gauge time by. They will always divide life into instances of before and after the event. Well. Last weekend our family, specifically I - witnessed such an event. And while I do not care to dig into the details, I will just say that things look just a little different on this side. As I look through the lens of my life I am more aware of the details that matter, and all the others are just hazy around the edges. The funny thing is, before - Michael and I always made a point to say "I love you," and we truly do talk about how blessed we feel in this life. I did not think I needed a reminder. I guess I did though.

So now as I look through the lens I am even more grateful for the gifts of family and friends I have been showered with! Along with the epic full sap moon rising this week I have adored the the arrival of spring's heralding birds on our back porch. I am, every moment of my life, thankful for my beautiful boys!!! Here are the first pictures I have taken.

Thanks also to all the loving friends and family who have been here for support ~ you are very much appreciated :-)