:: and things will change forever ::

 

A smile fled over her face when she noticed he had fallen asleep against her arm and she was careful not to move. It didn’t happen all that often anymore that she could feel the soft rising of his chest against her side, despite too many honest attempts at the wee hours of the day, when she tried to get him to sleep again, by curling up around him.

She had enjoyed to read another chapter, just like that, not in the least disturbed by anything that yet had to be done. Unfortunately, a sharp pain in the back and a few rather well-pointed kicks on her bladder helped her remember she couldn’t doze away unpunished in any position she’d like.

It was exactly for that reason she had chosen to stay home today, vaguely bothered by a feeling of guilt, partly because she was actually longing for the moment she really didn’t have to think about school again. This pregnancy had proven to be so different from the other one. The seemingly everlasting morning sickness (that lasted all day) and now that excruciating pain in the back that made her nights a lot less refreshing than they should be. Her daughter already manifested herself as a very lively little lady and she was curious and nervous at the same time to meet her in September.

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#tiny #fmsphotoaday

A few days ago she had been crying at the view of a series of images showing mothers saying goodbye to their eldest, just before they gave birth. She thought it was heartbreaking – her son didn’t ask for all of this and even if she felt confident about things turning out just well, she cringed when she thought about how his world would be upside down in only a few months and how things would change forever.

An exercice in letting go. Already.

 

Learning curve

While I first half-heartedly realized working in the evening hours wouldn’t be very doable anymore, I now try to embrace the calm of not working for school at night. It puts my mind at rest, I feel less hunted and the moment it turned into an active decision, rather than a desperate impossibility, it became doable. I now try to use every spare moment available while I am at school, alternating classes in which I teach actively with classes that are more oriented on self-discovery and reflection and don’t need my constant supervision. You might call it cheating, but it is showing to be rather efficient and I felt rather on top of my stuff last week.

It does a lot of good for me. I can give my full attention to cooking, to cuddling with my little boy, to have a chat with my husband before I go to bed really early, just to doze off with a good book and waking at dawn the next morning. If necessary, I can pinch in half an hour of correction work then. I am a morning person, even if I sometimes would prefer to sleep in. My best hours are in the quiet around sunrise, with birds singing their lungs out, and the freshness of dawn on the garden that seems to envelop the house.

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Our house, where there is still so much to be done. With all its inconveniences and errors. The house we fell in love with, naive as we were as first-time-buyers. Yet I still love it here. I just wish we both would be a bit more handy, feeling the drive and the confidence to attack certain matters ourselves, shifting between what we could do and what we had to outsource. But then again. There is so much to learn in this life and it’s one of my favorite things: to read, to dive into a subject, to let it soak in, to dream about what that knowledge can do for me.

A whole new world in every page, in every article, in every news item, in every story. One would want to live a thousand lives to discover them all…

Spring has sprung

School life has begun again and fatigue and different priorities kick in, as always. Luckily, it’s the last part of the year, leaving me then two whole months to enjoy the last weeks of pregnancy, quietly preparing birth and an addition to our family of three in September.

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Spring is also making its way into our home, garden and heart. Cold and rainy days are still there, but every now and then, sun shows her shiny face and warms my chilly mood. I let Little Boy potter in the garden as much as he wants and it forces me to go outside too. He know how to play on his own, but likes to show me his finds and his activities, so I’m not allowed to hide inside constantly. So we prepare little picnics when weather is warm enough, and I do my kitchen work while looking through my window and seeing my love play and enjoy himself. On those days, life is good.

It gets harder when I have to go to school. While I like teaching, a lot, those few months of having my own rhythm and pace, focusing on home, family and myself, have given me a taste of what life could be like too, and I find it hard to integrate that into the day to day schedule of school days and teaching. Big part of it is because I have started in January, when school is already settled and routines have formed. For me, it was hard to get myself involved and care about the students the way I did before – starting to build a bond halfway the years is not the easiest of things and it’s mostly because I did/do not put enough effort into it. Pregnancy has to do a lot with it of course – those three months of everyday sickness and feeling horrible didn’t help and after that… well it just doesn’t seem worth it for the few weeks that are still ahead of us.

Oh well, we’ll tackle it day by day and in the end it will work out, as it always does. In the mean time, I try to get my thoughs refreshed by things that inspire me – getting in the kitchen, building routines and reading everything that catches my attention. Which is a lot.

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And feeling contentment with the soup bubbling away on the stove, made with bits and pieces I have found in the pantry and the fridge, sprinkled with some curry powder, knowing that it will warm us up in no time, nourishing our bodies and minds. It’s what I hope to find in the whole foods kitchen course I signed up for.

Hike – Moulin du Bayehon (Longfaye)

Sometimes, my husband has great ideas. Not very well thought through, sticking to a concept and waiting for me to work it out (or waiting until the very last minute because I refuse to), but great ideas anyway. Yesterday he took a day off, because he wanted to go for a hike. Weather forecast was rather ugly, he had no idea of where to go, our Little Boy has no hiking shoes, only boots (which are nice in the mud, but not very good for climbing rockes), and he decided the minute before we left, we should take a picnic. So I was rather grumpy, making sandwiches while a bouncing little kid couldn’t wait for us to pack everything.

Finally we left. We had decided on a hiking spot (I found someone who described the exact hike we did and took even better pictures), and said to each other we would walk for an hour to see how far we were and to turn if necessary. It was a 90-minute drive there, and I had estimated we would only be able to walk for two hours without Little Boy getting completely annoyed and crying and wanting us to carry him. It meant we would be in the car for longer then we were outside. Oh well. Sometimes my husband and his ideas…

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The closer we got though, the more I was looking forward to it. Little Boy was extremely sweet in the car, entertaining himself with a few toys we had packed for him. Landscapes were gorgeous. Sun was shining. Traffic was smooth. It felt like we were on holiday.

Once there, the hikes were very well indicated, there were only a few people on the road and after only five minutes we got to cross al little stream, using a wooden bridge alongside the rocks. Little Boy was sold on the spot and hiked his guts out, splattering through the little streams of rain water on the path, impatiently going for the next bridge and super excited to see that after a while the road would climb and the path became rocky. Problem is, the kid always wants to go first and sometimes that was just not safe. He often tripped too, mostly because he was running or preferring to stand on the most impossible stones he could fid. We had a blast and walked for three hours.

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His father was, in the meantime, getting completely warmed up to the idea of having a hot chocolate and a crepe after the hike. To his huge disappointment, all Little Boy wanted to do was  get in the car. Even the promise of chocolate wouldn’t help. Poor husband… devastated! I promised him we would all think of it as a funny story in a few years.

Actually, in my opinion, it already is.

Threads of wool and love

My grandmother will soon be 85 years old and is still as creative as I have always known her. When I was a kid, I once stayed with her for a week, and I have very fond memories of those days in the appartment. She instilled in me the love of making cards, cutting and gluing things, seeing the possibilities for every scrap of paper. And she learned me to appreciate onions.

The last few years, with a growing herd of great-grandchildren, she took up knitting again. Every now and then, she calls me to ask how much our Little Boy has grown, and what colors he likes lately. And then she knits her heart out.

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The very idea of it warms my heart. It feels like she puts herself in a long tradition of knitting grandmothers. It’s not how I knew her as a child. She was a bit of a special type in my eyes. She couldn’t cook (she always tried, but it didn’t taste good actually), she was not into wool, she smoked like a chimney (still does) and she has the most contagious laugh ever. I don’t even especially like what she knits.

But the love and attention that go into her work, feeling how my Little Boy is part of the family (we didn’t see that side of the family very often, due to the distance – which is nothing in comparison with distances most families in bigger countries have to face, but still – in our country it counts as far away), feeling how we are all connected through threads of wool and love.

Just around the corner

I’ve always had a problem shooting landscapes. I really stink at it! However, I can be so touched by beautiful scenery, that I silently (our loudly, depending on the occasion) curse my lack of skills. It’s something I absolutely want to learn, but I never take the time to do it properly. Because, to practice shooting landscapes, one should go somewhere where at least there is something worth that name. My garden is not big enough to be able to shoot landscapes…

But every once in a while, there is that shot, that precious shot, that nails it. Just around the corner, the first day of a new year, completely frozen and so breathtakingly gorgeous that I fall in love with this place over and over again.

 

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Reflections on Sunday #13

  • Easter holiday! Weather was not bright, so a lot of playing inside. But with a little creativity and a few cardboard boxes – we built a structure that still provides a lot of fun! Add to this a new set of stamps and some play doh and we’re good.

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  • We did venture outside too. A surprise visit of a pheasant in the garden made our day and I’m asked all the time to show some more pictures of it. On our stroll through the nearby natural park, we saw a whole lot of miner bees crawling out and making nests. Little Boy was very brave, once I showed him how they work and what they did. He doesn’t like flying insects.

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  • In the kitchen I experimented with nettles and made a delicious red lentil dahl. I also made some lovely meatballs that were the absolute favorite of my husband. It’s a recipe I found in Balls ‘n Glory cookbook, and I tweaked a little to make it more moist and filling. The recipe just called for mince and apple, and then crumbs to surround it. I added an egg and crumbs to the meat too and served it with buttered apples and puree. Success!

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  • Easter holiday means a lot of reading around, mostly online. One of the topics that had my interests, is homesteading. While our garden is little and mostly a playground for Little Boy and husband, I have put some seeds in the ground, but I loved reading about other aspects of homesteading too.
    This post was a great starting point. Her blog is absolutely worth checking out too  by the way.

 

  • And I decided to register for an online course about whole foods. I really love Heather’s blog and there are a few things I hope to learn along the way. Properly working with dried beans for example. And using everything until the last scrap. But mostly, I’m sure to enjoy her writing, her knowledge, her authenticity. She has a way of letting someone feel at home.

 

How was your week?