Life is full of them. They’re a lot like New England weather, to be honest. If you don’t like your current situation, wait five minutes and then it will change. In a matter of hours, you’ll go from a 90 degree heat wave to shivering and pulling out your favorite sweater. You’ll brush snow off your car in the morning and then paw through your closet for flip flops by afternoon.
You’ll blink and your little one will be grown.
Too quick. Please, please slow down!
As a parent, there are precious phases and then oh-my-goodness-someone-help-me-phases. But I think the important thing is to always realize it for what it is: a phase. Somehow, knowing that the struggles will end always helps me to focus on the beautiful. Because there are is always beauty. And one day, the sleeplessness, exhaustion, and overwhelming sense of what-am-I-doing, will all fade into a nostalgic memory that leaves you happy, while aching because it’s over.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Laugh because it happened.” Maybe that’s one of the many reasons why I adore photography so much. I love looking back and remembering all those beautiful, and crazy, and adorable, and exhausting, and overwhelming, and victorious stages of the past.
This current phase we’re in? It’s really nice. Really, really nice, actually! Brady is finally over the dreaded 18 month sleep regression and I-hate-the-world phase, settling back into his happy, sleep-through-the-night routine. (Gosh, it’s wonderful)! In fact, he’s probably in the easiest phase yet, as he’s fun to play with and is learning to entertain himself a bit too.
I love that his light-up-a-room smile is back and that he’s once again saying “hellooooo” to everyone he meets. 🙂
Since I took the summer off from teaching piano (and this is probably Nate’s last summer off from working), we’ve been doing a lot together. We’ve been doing a lot as a family, and Nate and I have been trying to go on more dates as well. It’s just helped us to feel refreshed… like that clean air after a spring rain.
Oh, so this is what it’s like to feel human!
Earlier in the week, I even had the opportunity to bring Brady to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for a mini-getaway. (I know what you’re thinking… Nicole, you’re crazy to brave another toddler vacation. Remember how badly your last one went?!?).
But my parents had rented a cabin, and they invited me and Brady to come visit for a couple of nights. (Nate very gladly stayed home to watch the cats, because he was sick and looking forward to the opportunity to relax without a toddler running around). 😉 And much to my relief, the trip was absolutely incredible!
Brady did SO well on the drive to and from the mountains, sleeping a good chunk of the way and playing or singing for the remainder of the drive. He loved exploring the cabin (which was so much more enjoyable than trying to keep him in a hotel room), and he even slept through the night!
The area we visited was perfect for a toddler (and his mommy who needed some time to unplug). We had access to outdoor and indoor pools and hot tubs, a lake, paddle boats, kayaks, a small playground; and we were about five minutes away from a stream for wading.
As a kid, I practically grew up in the White Mountains, and it feels like a second home to me. My parents brought us hiking 4,000 mountains almost every week, and people from our church called us the Wilderness Family. (Ha, ha). The trip is always a healthy dose of hiking, swimming, and eating.
It’s casual, and rugged, and very relaxed. A chance to live free of social media, cell phones, and television. A chance to unplug!
I guess you could say that while walking along the ocean pulls away my stress, trips to the mountains remind me of my roots. And I love that I was able to share that with Brady and hope to continue to do that as he grows.
Life is full of them. Some are hard. Some are incredible. But always do your best to focus on the good. Because no matter the phase, there is always some good.