Author Archives: becca

Gifts

I’ve been holding on to $50 in my wallet since June. Daddy died in September of 1999. This year, my mom discovered he had some unclaimed property, and his cousin Nick helped her obtain it. It was eighty something dollars and after going through a whole ordeal to claim it, Nick rounded up, giving my sister and I each $50.

For my birthday on July 30, I thought about using the cash to pay for a pedicure, tearing up, thinking it would be like my dad was giving me a birthday present. No, I thought, I wanted it to be something I could keep.

So I kept the cash in my wallet, waiting for the perfect gift from my dad, 18 years after his death.

A beer, maybe. My dad never got to buy me a beer. I could put it toward an ISBN for the book I want to publish, or toward paying a friend to do some editing. Maybe a mala or singing bowl. A meal. A comic book.

There are so many things he never got to give me.

Maybe I should buy something for my children, I thought.

There are so many things I never got to give him.

Daddy wanted a son. He loved me and my sister but I know now he ached for a son the way I ached for my own daughter. Jonas would have been worth the wait.

He would have loved my children so much. I can almost picture them walking through the woods together. Jonas would have loved a bebe gun and I would have sounded like the mom from A Christmas Story. I bet Jonas would have cried over a squirrel the same way Daddy did. We would have marveled over how much Jonas looks like Daddy as a kid, glasses and all. We would have said it happily, instead of in hushed tones, shaking our heads.

He would be proud of me too. That I write. That I meditate. That I play music. He gave me those.

And he gave me West Virginia, going back there, building our house. He gave me a childhood in the woods, climbing trees, freedom. Adventures by myself and with my friends. A sense of belonging and place that I feel wherever I am. That I feel in my blood, in my bones when I listen to old bluegrass songs. A place I will never stop writing about, that even when I’m not writing about, is the part of me that I write from.

So I spent the $50. I’ll learn to play mountain music. I’ll keep writing about the magic in those hills that you can only find as a child, alone, but that stays with you forever if someone gave you the gift of freedom there to find it.

I can’t give West Virginia to my own children. And there are so many things Daddy never got to give me. But he gave me music. He gave me meditation. He gave me writing. He gave me West Virginia. He gave me parts of my children– blonde hair, astigmatism, occasionally broody moods, sentimental tendencies. So I’ll make sure to give them, the great joys of my life, what I can. We’ll meditate. When we go outside I’ll do my best to remember the importance of giving them freedom to explore. Maybe one day they’ll read my stories. And maybe they’ll feel mountain music in their bones.

And then there rose in me,
like the earth’s empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.
-Wendell Berry, from The Country of Marriage

 

 

Jonas is 4!

Yesterday was Jonas’s fourth birthday and we celebrated with a Darth Vader party at Grandma and Papa’s house!

What a year it has been, sweetheart! You’ve absolutely flourished in school and become even smarter and sweeter than I could have imagined! We’ve challenged each other this year. I’ve been learning to be a mommy to two and you’ve been more been patient with me than I probably deserve. When I got impatient with you for being too loud or too wild or making me ask you ten times to put on your socks, you’ve pouted and then hugged me seconds later. You’ve watched too much TV this year so I could take some naps but we may be back to a good amount. We went a week and half without it last week!

I’m so proud of how kind you are. Last week a friend at school was sad because his mommy was leaving. You crouched down next to him and asked him to play, then pointed out that he could probably feel his mommy’s love through his heart necklace.

You genuinely delight in being a big brother and having a baby sister. You think everything Josie does is hilarious and you love to help her.

You are cuddly! You love hugs and kisses and being held and sitting on my lap!

You love to learn, especially about sea creatures and science. You love to share what you learn with the people around you. You love books and are almost always up for reading together.

You are very literal and you like the truth. You like to play the way YOU decide. You get frustrated when something is hard for you. You are a perfectionist and you hold yourself to high standards already.

You like time alone to play in your room and look at books and you also like to be silly with our family. You can be super goofy and giggly!

Since the day you were born you’ve been such a BIG presence! You fill a room and make everyone smile!

I love you so much, Jonas, and I’m so thankful every day that I’m your Mommy!

Josie is One!

On August 13 Josie turned one!

I love this little girl so much! She will always be my baby! She has been the easiest baby in the world. When she was a few weeks old and she woke up in her Rock n Play, she literally smiled herself back to sleep. She laughs and nods and gets excited about things. She wants to do whatever her big brother is doing. She loves giving kisses and cuddles. She’s so brave and silly and curious and I’m still amazed, a year later, every day that she’s really here and she’s really my daughter! I have imagined her since I was a little girl and every day, as she becomes more and more herself, I feel like I’m meeting her and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

Happy birthday Josie Bear! I love you SO MUCH!

We had such a fun unicorn themed birthday party for her! There were lots of friends with kids so it was loud and wild! Thankfully Josie took a nap right before everyone arrived  so she was happy and  had fun playing with all the kids. She enjoyed her cake and she and Jonas have been loving her new toys and books. It was a great day to celebrate our wonderful Josie!

 

Two Weeks in West Virginia

We just got back from an awesome two weeks in West Virginia! It was so nice to spend so much time there and not feel like our visit was rushed at all. We did so many fun things! Sadie got to come, too, which was so nice. I love spending time with her and traveling with a nanny is great!

The first week, we stayed at my cousins’ place and Jonas and Josie had so much fun with their cousins Jackson and Alice, who are just a little older than each of them.

We went to the river, the park that I loved when I was a kid, and the wildlife center.

The second week we were at my mom’s. We explored caverns, walked on a river trail, played in the kiddie pool and at the splash pad, ate outside at the beautiful land where my stepdad lives, caught fireflies, and more! I even got to go to a meditation meetup with my mom and Jared and I went on a date! We also got to see my mom perform a ukelele show!

Jonas got to sleep on a cot in my mom’s walk in closet with a star lamp projecting on the ceiling and he loved it.

I love seeing Jonas and my mom together.

On the 29th, a BUNCH of family from New York drove down– cousins, their kid, two sets of aunts and uncles, and my Grandpa. We all went to the Greenbrier to look at the grounds and Josie and her cousin Malcolm had a baby date at a pretend diner in the toy store.

Jonas had a little bit of a hard time with the routine change and having to share toys so much so he had some moments of acting out, but overall, he was still a great traveler. Josie was a dream traveler– she barely complained about anything except a few times in the car when we’d been traveling all day and she was really tired. Even in the Denver airport when we’d been traveling for over 12 hours, it was midnight, and our flight was delayed by two hours, they were both great!

It was so nice spending so much time with so much family and going on a long trip together!

End of the School Year

There are all these moments as a parent that no one tells you will be emotional. Everyone talks about the first day of school, but I was surprised that I was way more emotional about the end of the school year. I love Jonas’s school and his teachers are so wonderful. I know they love him and are so good with him and I have loved having him spend time with them.

Last Thursday his class did a spring sing and sang some of their favorite songs from the year and then we had a potluck.


Jonas seemed a little nervous and didn’t sing much but he waved and put his hands in his lap. It was very funny and cute.

Today was his last day and I kept tearing up thinking about what a great school year he’s had! He has learned and grown so much!

 

We will miss his amazing teachers! I told Jonas I was a little sad that he was done with the turquoise room and his teachers for the year and he said “It’s ok Mommy. I think the next room will be good too. And I can always visit them!”

Glasses!

Jonas got glasses a couple weeks ago and he looks so great in them!

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He really couldn’t be any cuter! He’s doing such a great job with them too. He was so excited when he first tried them on and said they make everything look “gooder” and “bigger.”

I also had my parent teacher conference with his preschool teacher last week. She told me how special Jonas is (obviously!) and how much he has learned this year. He’s gotten so much better at working out conflicts with friends and he is so good at expressing himself. He’s also doing great with counting and art and everything else! I’m so proud of him!

Happy Spring!

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Aunts, Uncles, and CousinsIMG_20170416_133659

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Passover

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Playing outside

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Yay!IMG_20170417_163813 IMG_20170418_085334

Smelling flowers

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Playing togetherIMG_20170419_190512

Reallllly cuteIMG_20170416_083636

I got chocolateIMG_20170416_083058

New clothes

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Getting biggerIMG_20170416_140959

Happy Spring!

Bubby’s Visit 2017!

Josie is getting bigger every day.IMG_20170216_180335

She liked trying avocado the first time but since then hasn’t been too interested in food. She’s starting to explore a little though!

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Josie and Kiley are best buddies.

Right before Bubby visited, Josie surprised me by doing this!

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Slow down, little one! Of course, she fell completely sideways immediately after I grabbed my camera and took the picture.

Bubby has been here and it’s been so much fun!

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Jonas has been talking to her all about sea creatures, his current obsession.

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Of course there’s been lots of ukulele playing. Jonas’s classmates loved it and so did the kids at Tinkergarten!

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The annual Bubby/Jo Jo slide picture.

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We went to Babychella– along with 5000 other people! There was so much to do and it was really fun.

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Yesterday Josie turned seven months old!

Bubby goes back to WV tomorrow, and we’ll all be sad. Josie has been smiling and laughing every time he sees her and Jonas loves talking to her, making peanut butter balls, and doing fun activities like setting up a bird house. I’ve liked having someone to talk to during the days and someone to help me with the every growing laundry loads! We’re looking forward to visiting her this summer!

The Holidays

Things are definitely busier with two! Plus I’ve been working hard on my childbirth educator training, so I haven’t been updating here. We’ve been having fun, though, especially the last few days with the holidays.

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Jonas had a holiday show at preschool. This picture is misleading. While his friends sat and sang, he danced and jumped around!

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Christmas Eve was also the first night of Hannukah so we lit the candles, ate latkes, played dreidel, and opened a few small gifts. Jonas loved his pretend shaving kit and couldn’t wait to shave just like Daddy does.

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Jer did the annual reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.

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We had a great Christmas too  with some Christmas morning sleepy snuggles.

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Santa brought Jonas a scooter just like he asked for! I was surprised– I thought he would tear through his gifts but he wanted to play with each one and we had to keep telling him to keep opening them. He would have been happy with just the scooter and his stocking. We even took a break for breakfast in between opening presents! Aunt Sadie brought vegan bagels and cream cheese and lox. So yummy!

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Josie put every single one of her presents in her mouth.

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We had fun with Aunt Sadie as always!

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Mommy and Daddy got Jonas an air pump crane and he loved it so much he wanted to bring it to his cousins’ house!

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We spent the evening at my sister-in-law’s house and had a yummy dinner and opened more gifts. Jonas loved playing with his cousins and Josie enjoyed drooling and playing with everyone’s hands and grandma’s sparkly shirt!

messMy kiddos are so lucky to be spoiled on Christmas by so many people who love them! It helps to remember that when I look at my living room right now, haha!

Happy Holidays!!

Jonas is 3!

On September 16th, Jonas turned 3 years old!
Jonas, I am so proud of how smart, silly, and caring you are. You have done so well with the big changes this year and I love how you love school and your little sister. I am so lucky to be your Mommy and I love you so much!

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Jonas picked his own birthday outfit!

On the 17th, we celebrated with a Thomas the Tank Engine Party. It was really fun!

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Happy third birhday to my baby boy!!