I thought maybe I would write a blog post on Havilah's nursery before she was even born. Here she is six months old and I'm just now doing it.
I feel like this post is a lot more than just a nursery tour. Over the past few months, as you might have noticed, I've barely written at all. Sometime in May it all just hit me. I was doing WAY too much. Besides being a mom of four babies six and under I was Drew's kindergarten class homeroom mom, and involved in church leadership, and going back into what I consider "full time" photography, and trying to be a good wife and friend and "do all the things" that we are supposed to do... have a clean house and cook good meals, and plant my own garden and be responsible with our money and Shaun and I are also in the process of building a house (we have not broken ground yet but there is a LOT that goes into just getting to that point... our land was not sub-divided, had no storm water plans etc) It was all just TOO MUCH. The inside of me was screaming for breathing room. Something had to give. I remember sitting down in the gray tufted chair in the corner of our bedroom and just thinking "who do I want to be? What is most important to me??" It felt like such a big and confusing question, but the answer came so easily. As a lover of Jesus I want to be a good wife and mother. And I want my children to know Jesus. And that is all that I care about. I had to figure out how to clear space to breathe again. So from that place I made every decision about our summer.
Instead of booking a photo shoot a week, I booked only one a month. Instead of blogging when something was stirring in my heart, I just let it stir and prayed over it and processed it for what it could mean for me without documenting any of it. Instead of saying yes to the opportunities that came my way I said no. It felt like loss. It felt like gain. It felt like setting boundaries. It felt like laying down burdens that were never mine to carry anyway. It felt like a retreat into myself, pulling all resources back to home base where I could regroup and think and just be. We got our kids into places of worship however we could, whether it meant taking them an hour away to a conference or just having worship music on in our house. Our bedtime routine became a peaceful one instead of a battle through incorporating worship into it. I began reading a chapter of Proverbs to them every morning. (That changed and challenged me the most.) We made a list of the things we wanted to do together this summer and hung it up where we could see it, and I wrote down the dates when we would do things and then we protected those dates from the other things that tried to crowd them out. I found behavior charts for character that I want to develope in my children and bad behavior I want to correct and we started implementing that. Instead of feeling five steps behind in this area I now feel confident and like a weight has been lifted. I considered stepping back from leadership in church but my heart is so in that, and that never felt like something I was supposed to lay down just yet.
As I re-evaluate at the end of the summer here I know there is still more to step back from, to say no to in order to give a big, loud, confident, committed YES to the things I am most called to. There is still not enough margin in my life, and still too much stress. I'm not quite sure how to unselfishly navigate this season. I desperately need to protect healthy boundaries and keep myself free to be a wife and a mom, and do that well. It is many lessons in grace, and it is a huge need to hear Holy Spirit speak clearly to me as I make decisions.
But as I re-evaluate, I realize that I can lay down most all the extra things that I've said yes to in my life, but I have a very hard time letting go of writing. It is more than just a "thing that I do..." It is how I process, and it always has been as far back as I can remember. I've missed writing more than anything else that I let go this summer. Because this is all still a work in progress, I don't know how I will channel writing back into my life, whether it will be a schedule, whether I will wait for inspiration to hit and then just try to wing it... I don't have a clue. I just know I can't go months at a time without writing, even if it is just in a notebook for myself.
So there. My explanation for why I've been absent, which has nothing to do with Havilah's nursery.
Here is her room now:
(and I don't know why really, but I just HAD to dust and vacuum and spray the room with lavender before I could take these photos... not that any of that is transferred through looking at the photos... but I just couldn't help myself. So her room is currently super fresh and clean which was an added bonus to this whole process. ) :)
Here is almost the same photo, taken back when she was still in my belly. (Was there ever really a time I didn't know her yet?!)
My sweet, sweet, thumb sucking daughter, sitting smack dab in the center of the room I fussed and nested and decorated and fluffed for her for all the months leading up to her arrival. If she only knew how much love I poured into her nursery while I waited to pour it out onto her.
Below is the hutch Shaun (with help from our boys) built for her a few weeks before she was born. He used an old shelf passed down to us from my grandmother as the base. We painted it white and he added the shelves with a bead board back.
A few up close shots of the scenes on the shelves:
A tea set from a dear friend, Little House books from my Mama. Hand-made quilts and blankets stacked on the bottom shelf. Some of her newborn photos. My mom's piggy bank from when she was a little girl.
Her crib! The same one all three of her brothers slept in as babies. Above it is a fabric banner I made for my sister's bridal shower.
This little antique bedside table was from the same place her dresser came from. I adore it. When the fan that was in the nursery before broke it was the perfect excuse to replace it with something pretty. I think functional items should be the most beautiful, since they are something you have to have anyway. This fan was from wayfair. The pretty print held by the binder clip was from... oh my gosh I am having the worst post-pregnancy brain moment and blanking entirely on the name of the shop I definitely know. PLEASE comment and tell me what it is cause it's going to drive me crazy til I remember.
Her dresser also functions as her changing table, and it is so special to me. My mom and I went in the rain to choose it at an antique store right after my ultrasound confirming she was a girl.
Side by side of the same view, one from while I was pregnant with Havilah still and thinking I was going to do this blog post soon (roses are still alive) and photo from now, roses dried. January light verses August light. :)
That is her little hospital bracelet in that tiny wooden bowl.
Again... photo from before to now... maybe I should buy some fresh roses??
One of my favorite details in her room is this baby dress on an antique hanger... the dress is one of the first things I bought her. And those little socks... My sister gave them to Isaiah when he was a baby :)
And because functional things should be pretty... I keep her baby powder in this little glass salt shaker :)
So there it is, my girl's nursery, finally documented, it makes me so happy.