Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello 2011

2010 is over.
I am a little late with this entry. I've already had time to make progress on some New Year's Resolutions and to break some other ones...Happy New Year to all.

I like the year 2010. It is nice and round and even. I had been looking forward to its arrival throughout the first years of the millennium. I couldn't have foreseen what a big year it would be.

This year...

We moved 2,000 miles. On New Year's Day 2010 we piled in a packed car, stopped by the home of some friends for farewell croissants, and drove from Fairfield, Iowa to Napa, California.

Celebrating my 27th birthday in Napa

I received my MBA in Sustainable Business from Maharishi University of Management.

I got super pregnant and big. My body transformed. We spent hours watching the tiny feet and other body parts pushing out against my belly. Wesley was a very active baby during pregnancy.

Wesley's Due Date (July 9)

Casey ran a half marathon. We are inspired to be active and hope to model a healthy lifestyle for Wesley. We aim to run the same half marathon (or perhaps the 10K version) with Wesley in the stroller at the Avenue of the Giants in 2011.

Casey & his brother Jesse after a successful race

We found jobs and a home. I started working temp and Casey got the job he was hoping for--as a counselor at a Residential Treatment Center for adolescent girls. That brought us to Petaluma, which is where we were hoping to live. I love Petaluma. I don't know if I have ever felt so at home in a city. It fits just right,at least for now.

Going for a walk to town, New Year's Day 2011

We had a baby. A healthy, wonderful little boy. Parenthood has shifted so much in me. I am learning every day how to be a mother to Wesley. We are learning how to be a family. Watching him master skills and grow amazes me. He has transformed from a tiny newborn to a boy who can sit up on his own, laugh, and play.

What huge changes! 2010 has been an great year.
I often ache for the people and for the creative juice that flows so vibrantly with the friends we left at the start of the year, but I cherish the joys that 2010 brought us.

I wonder what this year has in store for us. I am excited for the new year and am sure I will be amazed at its happenings...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wesley's First Christmas

Last year on Christmas Day we told our parents that I was pregnant. We sat in the frozen car in Iowa calling long distance parents and we told my Mom in person. We fielded reactions from relatives as we experienced the disorientation of making our happy secret known to others. We tried to imagine what a five month old would be like this Christmas. We were very excited, and had little idea what to expect. We thought he'd probably be too young to enjoy Christmas. Boy were we wrong...

On Christmas Eve we woke up and opened gifts at our house. Wesley ripped open some presents, played with wrapping paper, and took some naps. It was fabulous.

I loved watching Wesley open his presents. I loved imagining him playing with all of his new toys. I loved our first Christmas as a little family. It was full of joy and cuteness. Wesley is so happy to be able to sit up and interact with the world. It gives him a lot more independence and is much more comfortable. It came in handy for the holiday fun.

Wesley got so many gifts. Was showered with love. Our house is still recovering from this...

Late afternoon we headed over to Grandma Damery & Grandpa Harms' house to spend the night. It was Wesley's first night away from home. It was a big success. We all slept well. Norma came over and we all spent Christmas Day opening presents and eating well. We had a great time, and then returned home late evening in time for Casey to go to work for a few hours.

I felt so much joy during the holiday season. I have spent innumerable hours singing songs to Wesley. He loves Christmas carols, I think because they have such great rhythm, rhymes, and repetition. I sang him to sleep to The Twelve Days of Christmas so many times I'll never forget the words.

This Christmas, our little boy was sitting up and wildly ripping open gifts and mouthing wrapping paper. Last year at three months pregnant, I had little idea of what to expect, but I was hoping it would feel like this. Like magic that makes me want to sing and hang up decorations.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Month 5 *Here and Gone*

I don't mean for this blog to just be a monthly update of Wesley. But this month has brought a couple weeks of lost internet and a couple weeks of a lost camera cord, so that's how it is a glimpse at the month, which has been a big one.

As I write this, it feels inappropriate to do a month in review because this month I had the biggest death I've ever experienced. My grandpa passed away. I have been thinking of him a lot this past month. This is what I wrote which was read at the funeral:

I just want to share these thoughts with you all, with Grandma, in celebration of Grandpa's life.

I wish that I could be with everyone there sharing stories. Wesley is still too little to make the trip, but we're thinking of you all. Casey and I are thinking and talking a lot about Grandpa, about the times we all shared together and about memories from my childhood.

Together for my High School Graduation

I've been thinking a lot the last two days about how thankful I am that Casey and I got to live nearby for a year and a half. Before, when I had visited Grandma and Grandpa, it was usually for the holidays when many people were around. My time with Grandpa was generally spent sitting across from one another at the card table (and we spend many wonderful hours there, more than most people wanted to, but Grandpa was always up for a game. I think he's the only one other than myself that never groans at the mention of Shoot the Moon). Afterwards, he'd retire to his chair--he was usually quiet in these large group settings. In the past couple of years when I lived in Fairfield, I saw a different side of Grandpa. The side of him that was a great storyteller. I learned more about his childhood, his days in the Navy, and his early years with Grandma. It was wonderful.

Many of my memories of Grandpa involve wood. As a child, he would show me the sawmill. I would venture into his private workshop which smelled so special--like sawdust and mystery. I would gaze in amazement at the things he would make. I'd run marbles down the marble mazes he'd carved, I'd stare impressed at the wooden chains hanging in his office, and when I was slightly older, I would delicately place my jewlery in the beautiful box he'd made for me.

Now I gaze at my first real Christmastree--the first Christmas tree for his only Great Grandson--and the beautiful wooden ornaments stand out--everyone who sees the tree marvels at their beauty. He has left many beautiful things behind. I wish I could be there with you all. To give you all big hugs and to mourn and to celebrate together. You are all in my heart.


And here is the little man I wish could have met his Great Grandpa...

We had Thanksgiving...

We went on some beautiful walks...

My sweet love turned 28 years old on November 28 (with 28 gifts on his Golden Birthday). We had a birthday breakfast in Napa with a gorgeous walk...

We spent the day with Godmother Norma and played with her toys...

We enjoyed the Holiday Open House and a Lighted Boat Parade...

We got a Christmas Tree, and presents began arriving in the mail (there are now more than are pictured)...

We moved to a larger diaper size...

Wesley learned to support himself while sitting and playing (with supervision as he falls over very frequently. He doesn't seem to mind capsizing. He's getting better at catching himself, too)...

Wesley is trying so hard to crawl. He can pivot to get his toys. He can push up with straight arms, he can reach and play with his toys when his arms are straight. Occasionally (like, a couple times) he has inchwormed forward. On his five month birthday was the first day I saw him trying out a new technique of bending a knee up, which may prove more successful than flapping his arms and legs which has led to some frustration this month...