Three Years of Light

On our back porch in the morning, there’s this magical light that streams through the trees on a sunny day. It highlights everything out there in a way that makes me feel like I’m watching a highlight reel of my life from the future. It brings me so close to happy crying and actually warms my heart and leaves an ache in my chest that’s probably just me choking back tears and light sobs that are trying to escape, and I want to say that it’s literally heart-warming but I’ve given Jordan shit for saying literally so often that our kid is saying it now too. So I won’t say that. But, it definitely is figuratively heart-warming. So much so that I can’t even get my camera to capture it like I see it in real life. Cue Jim & Pam’s mental picture-taking from their wedding day, if you’re a fan of the Office. But it makes me feel like this:

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Wherever you are in life, I hope something gives you this feeling. Whatever troubles you’re feeling, whatever struggles you have, I truly hope there’s something that gives you that light-but-heavy choked-up feeling of happiness. Even if it’s just for a few seconds of your day. Find that light. It’s there somewhere, I promise. And if it isn’t showing itself right now, please know that it will come.

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So much has changed in our lives since Riley was born three years ago. I sometimes feel like I could be a blogger, but in truth I can’t organize all of the thoughts I have here adequately, so I’m sure I’ll just keep posting these random updates and talking about how I want to dive into them further one day. Just for today though, here are a few recent photos of our newly-turned three-year-old. I hope they bring you at least a flicker of the light that I felt while taking them.

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We’ve spent so much time this summer in and around the water. Our house in Wilmington is almost finished, about a year after building started. Perfection takes time, y’all. Just look at this perfect smiling child that took me almost as many months to grow.

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Tickling and chasing and hiding - these are the things that bring out the biggest giggles from this kid. Cheers to many more movies in the new house with Little Bunny. This movie-watching night was pretty memorable even without a comfy sofa to cuddle on.

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We started a countdown to his birthday on the first of August this year, and let him cut off a link every day until his birthday on the 12th. He took this job very seriously, obviously.

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We found a new friend in the Target clearance section this summer. He’s a velociraptor, and Riley decided his name is Vivey and he only eats plants. We nicknamed him Veggie Rap. Oh, and these two built a cardboard house in the driveway. It required power tools, of course. It took less time to build than our beach house, so I think Riley might be teaching our builders a thing or two. ;) 

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He’s always loved reading, but he’s really investigating stories and reading them aloud to himself more these days.

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Bunny & Daddy Bear fam. It’s the best way to sleep.

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This is what happens when you cook bacon without turning on the fan, and your husband is out of the house and doesn’t answer the call from your alarm company. Let’s just pretend this was a planned visit so that Riley could compare his fire truck to a real one, okay?

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This is what my memories look like most of the time.

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One of the best iPhone shots I’ve ever taken:

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He loves so hard, you guys. It’s the best.

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This grin kills me, and is 100% him at three. Sly, sweet, and silly. His first day back to school this week was so awesome that he didn’t want to come home with us after it was over. I know how healthy that is, so I’m not mad about it one bit.

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That’s all for today, loves. I wish you so much happy.

~m.

love is what matters

I’ve been to the land of hypocracy lately, voicing my opinion on hot topics on social media. It’s something that usually drives me crazy and I’ve passingly complained about myself, but these days of being more comfortable in my skin and wanting to make my world and yours a better place have changed my mind. I’ve always noticed and mentioned that the older people get, the more comfortable they are voicing their opinions. Older and wiser, right? I just had to correct myself as I accidentally typed “wider” first, but sometimes that’s true as well…but that’s a whole separate post about comfortability y’all.

I’ve been sharing #blacklivesmatter posts. I’ve seen them in previous times of turmoil and didn’t really understand them myself. Maybe I wasn’t listening to the right people yet, but this time I am. Before I thought it was enough to say that #alllivesmatter, because unity and peace and love and we’re all human and let’s make this world a better place for everyone. But I didn’t really understand the meaning behind the movement. 

Before I start too much hashtagging and talking about the differences between the #alllivesmatter and #blacklivesmatter movements, know that I understand this is not our only problem in this country or in this world. But right now, the conversation is about this. And the older I get, the more I realize that remaining silent on important issues is just as bad as taking the wrong side publicly. So hear me and try to understand what I mean, and what most everyone else means, when we say #blacklivesmatter. 

All of this to say, I’ve been listening. I don’t watch television and I have trouble relating to friends who are obsessed with dramatic reality shows or stream entire seasons of a television series in a matter of days. I’ll tell you where my addiction lies: reading comments and articles galore. It’s unhealthy and can get obsessive, but I can’t stop. I’m fascinated by what people think and what they are willing to say while hiding behind a keyboard. I read things from people who agree with me on topics, and people who are on the opposing side, and everyone in between. There’s a reason I almost was a psych major. It pulls me in, and I’ve wanted to scream all the things to all the people for years. STOP IT. STOP SAYING THINGS TO PEOPLE (real people) THAT YOU WOULDN’T SAY TO THEIR FACES. STOP. But the reality is, some people would say horrible things in person. These people just aren’t nice, period. It isn’t because they’re liberal hippies or uptight conservatives or because of their skin color or gender or sexual orientation or WHATEVER ELSE. It’s because they’re not good people. And nothing you type is going to change that.

What I’m hearing from my friends and acquaintances who are open-minded and loving - people of all backgrounds, y’all - is that enough is enough. Racism is still a problem in this country. That’s it. Let’s change this because it has to be changed. Talk about it with each other, but I mean actually talk. Don’t just blurt out your opinion and insist that you’re right. Be able to look someone in the eye and say, “I hear you. I understand what you’re saying. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and for listening to mine.” Everyone deserves that kind of respect. Everyone. 

Black lives matter TOO. That is what this movement is about. I in no way think police officers are all corrupt entitled people who have god complexes. I realize that some people who are treated less than fairly may have done something to make people of authority feel threatened. Yes, all lives do matter. I’m here to ask you to open your mind. Listen to the people who can tell you their real fears. Black people who have experienced them, white people who try to understand those fears but will never know what it feels like to actually experience them, or any person of any race who can tell you what it’s like to be anything but white. Whether you believe there’s a problem in this country with race, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand their real fears and feelings without judging. That’s all I’m asking. 

If you’re afraid to talk about it because you’re worried you might say the wrong thing, or offend someone, or maybe because you don’t even have a black friend or acquaintance to talk to about this and you’d like to…just start the discussion somewhere, in some way. Just be real and honest and open and understanding, as much as you can. And know that staying silent about anything that’s wrong in this world really does allow it to keep happening. If we just laugh it off and pretend it isn’t as bad as others are making it out to be, I promise you that it’s worse in places you aren’t seeing it. And it’s much easier now for those stories to be made public. Listen to them, and remember that you’re listening to things that are happening to other humans. No matter what they look like. Humans, you guys. Be human.

And because I can’t post anything without a photo, also please remember this. Racism is taught and learned. If you insist on teaching it to your children, consciously or not, don’t you dare teach it to mine. That’s where I can’t keep a calm and level head, guys. This kid will like you and play with you no matter what color your tongue is. As long as you’re kind. And fun. :) 
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Also, this facebook page is all about uniting us and sharing stories of love and acceptance. Please go here and have your heart warmed.

May-jay

Mason James is one year old. We joined him and his pups and parents for a few snaps earlier this month. He and Ri are becoming good buddies these days, just like their parents. :)

He looked so good in this hat, he didn’t even want us to photograph it. Joke’s on you kiddo, we have fast clickers on our cameras. ;) 

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So big!

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Hmm…now where did those knobs go?

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Walking has become his preferred method of mobilization these days. We had to capture those toddler steps, and the dog-nose/toddler-fingered window at the front door and diapers hanging to dry. Real life bestness right there.

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He’s a master stair-climber.

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And much-practiced in the art of closing doors and attempting to open them again.

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So happy in the shade on this afternoon!

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Snapped these as Tim was telling Monica how beautiful she looked. Look at those lovey eyes. :)

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This guy is going to be swimming before we know it, diving straight in when he’s able!

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Sleepy hugs when we got back home. The sweetest thing! And is there anything better than smoosh face? Not much. :)

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Goodness we love you guys so many tons! Thanks for letting us snap these up!

Hugs & love,
JAM