Saturday, April 6, 2013

living with purpose

Wow, never in my blogging life have I had a lull like the last... oh, 5 months or so. I just kept saying that I had writers block or didn't know what to write about, or even just checking in saying "we are still alive, here is a picture." 

Hard truth is, there were things I couldn't really talk about, and I knew if I sat down at the keyboard that it would be a huge fight with myself to not just write my brains out. I wanted to scream from the roof tops what I was going through because somehow that helps. Maybe its that the weight of it isn't on my shoulders anymore and out there in the open, or its the validation I receive. No Lauren, you aren't crazy and yes your feelings matter... I don't know. So instead of writing about light hearted, happy things I just stopped all together. 

And because I know you are wondering... it's marriage and its impossibly difficult.

But I messed up. I shouldn't have stopped. I should have kept writing. I was missing moments in my kids lives, I wasn't capturing their growth and their deepening bond for one another. While I was sitting over here in my corner licking my proverbial wounds they were out there living life and blossoming. I know that sounds weird- that I was missing moments. But let me tell you something about myself. When I blog regularly and keep my camera close I am a better person. It makes me live intentionally. Moments aren't staged so I can photograph and write about them, everything happens naturally... but I am forced to notice them. To stop and take in the scene and appreciate the little moments and the beauty that is this life. 

"One of my favorite things about photography: that moment of "church" at my desk when I'm editing photos-- given the chance to stare at a moment for much longer than it actually lasted. Noticing things that might have been ignored. seeing the people and things I love with a different perspective. The art of picture-taking has truly made me a more observant, grateful, life-loving human. Amen."  

- Kelle Hampton

So I was just living hour by hour, waiting for the next nap or bed time. I wasn't taking it in, I wasn't letting my kids mold me and change me. I was just stuck, frozen in my frustration and pain. I couldn't see past it. Before you get worried, I still took care of them. They were fed, bathed, cuddled, driven to activities, and played with. But I was an empty shell. My body went through the motions, my face smiled and my eyes lit up for them all while I was crying inside. It was exhausting keeping up with both sides. The inside and the out.I guess I am sitting here and nothing has noticeably changed but in my heart I am striving too.

In February and March I took maybe 5 photos combined with my big camera. I did use IG a lot but its not the same. I don't get fired up by the weight in my hands and the rolling of the shutter speed. This last week I photographed our day and while I am pretty rusty at photographing my own kids at home it was a healing experience. Like Kelle said, I had my church moment editing those photos.

My kids area beautiful, smart, full of love and life. They are incredible. I can easily tell when I am photographing them because I am in the moment, with purpose. I plan have more of these unbridled moments with them so be prepared for the photo overload that is coming your way.

And now for the things I have missed. Weston will be 16 months old in April. He is running, climbing, starting to sign back to us, and is obsessed with his brother/best friend. While he is still mild mannered most times he is showing us what youngest siblings are all about. He wants to be heard and have his feelings validated and if you don't.. if he thinks he is being pushed aside for any reason, boy will let you know. I find his overly dramatic tantrums laying face down on the floor sweet and welcome the excuse to validate his feelings and have a quick cuddle on the couch.

Ryan is a welcomed breath of fresh air. He is thriving in so many ways. He is back in school, he is learning to read, he is finally getting the fun of  "imaginative play" and wants to be he-man/power ranger/spider man at all times. He has even changed his name to Antonio (the gold power ranger) He makes me laugh and is sensitive to my needs and suggests we cuddle and take a nap every now and then. He keeps me on my toes, reminding me that stupid and hate are not nice words and lets me know what I should use instead. He prays with intent. He realizes his role as a big brother- a teacher, a friend, an ally, a companion, and an example. He will soon be celebrating his fourth birthday and is requesting a night at the Olive Garden with his grandparents instead of a big party. We are fine by that.

They are best friends. I knew they would be. While they have stubborn spats they love each other deeply and flow together well. Their personalities balance wonderfully and they are better off together than apart. While Ryan looks forward to sleep overs at Grandma's house they are both very pleased when its over and they are together again. I can't imagine one with out the other. Even 2.5 years apart, they are a packaged pair.

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