Tuesday, June 30, 2015

farm life update no. 7

It's harvest again already. I can't believe how fast it comes around!
This year's been a very mild one so far, with less rain & warmer temps than normal. That put harvest a few weeks ahead of last year even, which was an early one. So we are super early this year!
Dar & the blackberry night crew have been putting in looong hours, trying to stay ahead of the heat & get as many blackberries harvested as they can before the heat ruins them. It's been a blur. 

 This year is the first year Dar's harvested his own field. I can tell it's so rewarding for him to finally get to see a crop after a couple years of pounding miles of posts, spraying in a hot, a/c-less cab, chasing the deer from his tender new plants... For a man providing for his family, he needs to see his toil paid off. I'm so glad he's a hard working man! Nothing like a little dirt, sweat, & aches to tell your wife you love her!
 I love that it's berries he farms. Corn & soybeans just aren't the same for fresh eating :). Livy figured out in a matter of minutes how to pick a ripe berry. That girl. She is a goer & a doer.

It isn't all work, though. Jesse & Laura were out for a week, so the cousins got lots of kiddie pool time in. All three of them loved it. It's so fun to see the three of them together! 

Fee gets so much love from her Oregon family. Livy hugged her unprompted in this photo, so sweet! I hope they will be best friends. 

It is so sweet to see all Fee's aunts & uncles loving up on her. She doesn't know how blessed she is, that it's normal to always be held & cuddled, to be adored.

This photo, I love. Daddy's hands, a little banged up, a little dirty, kinda hairy, but gentle all the same.
Such signs of summer: bare feet, sunny days, walks in the berries, the shsh-ssssh of the sprinklers...

It's a CRAZY time of year here. But it's a good time of year, too. The whole family is home, the kids are out of school, there's energy & togetherness amidst the chaos. And before we know it, it is over. Til the next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summertime in Illinois

{be warned: this post is heavy on the photos}

Going back to Illinois is always so bittersweet. It's never a long enough amount of time. My sweet nieces & nephews just won't quit growing. There's so much change every time I come back; it seems as though time should stop here when I'm gone. But it doesn't. Sigh. And it would be selfish of me to expect it.

This trip was extra sweet for a plethora of reasons: my family got to love on Fee (some of whom were meeting her in person for the first time!), I got to be here for a dear friend's wedding (more on that later), & I lived summer, a throwback summer, for a week.

My family is so near to my heart. To be with them, only miles apart, is pure bliss. To be able to just drop by my sister's home for a few hours, & you know, do what it is sisters do when they are together, is one of my favorite things about being "home". It's just so comfortable. I am grateful for the many friendships I've forged in Oregon, but there will never be a relationship quite like the ones I have with my sisters, & that's ok. It brought such warm fuzzies to my heart to see them all with my little Fiona. They adore her. My brothers do too. None of these photos were staged; they are the real moments of my family loving Fee. My camera was permanently around my neck!

And the glorious thunderstorms, balmy evenings, & stickiness! Oh, it was summer. The summer of my childhood. It's strange how fast one forgets what humidity is, & how air conditioning is a necessity. 
 It was romper, popsicle, pool days. Sitting on the front porch, babies shirtless days.

 It was mint tea, strawberries, ice cream, & fresh salads days.

They were the days of summer that I remember. Oregon summers are beautiful: not humid, berries galore, a certain mountain gracing the valley, loads of activity on the farm...but there's still a special place in my heart for a good ol' sticky Midwest summer. 

I already miss my little niblings. Fee misses her aunties. It's good to be back in Oregon, to see Dar again, (and as much as I just claimed to love the humidity, what I really meant was it's nostalgic) the breathibility of the outdoors, & the blueberries, but like always, part of my heart is in Illinois. Til next time!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fiona 3 months + health update

Hard to believe this little sweet thing is three months old already. How did this happen? She's such a good little girl! We are so thankful for her! 
Side note: Her appointment with the specialist went well. They said her blood issue is due to a dairy & soy intolerance, so I have to continue to cut those out of my diet. Her weight gain is slower than they would like too, (she weighed in at 10#3oz at her appointment; she was 9#8oz 5.5 weeks ago), so I'm supposed to be supplementing her with a dairy & soy-free formula. She hates it. Not sure if/when I'll be able to convince her that it isn't totally nasty! Any tips on getting her to take a bottle better? 
Formula aside though, she is a healthy little thing, & I'm just thankful her blood issue wasn't anything more serious or long-lasting. She will grow out of the dairy intolerance by age one, they told me! Praise the Lord! In the meantime, I'm learning some fun new recipes & loving coconut! It was kind of hard to really be worried about it though, because she is growing. Look at those chubby cheeks! And she's interactive & seems very intelligent, probably way ahead of her age #firsttimeparent. ;). 

She's discovered her feet & loves to rub them together & clap them like hands. She's trying to reach them, but hasn't quite got there. She did, however, roll over three times yesterday from her back to her stomach! So crazy that the fragile little newborn I held in my arms three months ago is so strong already. Her hands are still her favorite toy & soother. Her nails grow like wild; I can't keep them trimmed!
 Her eyelashes continue to grow by the day it seems. And I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to be making Dar dinner. Her eyes look blue! Such a lovely deep sapphire blue right now. I'm smitten with them.

 She's beginning to really hold her head up well. She doesn't mind tummy time. Also, don't you love how she lost all the hair on one side? Dar told me if she loses it on the other side, he's just going to cut all her hair off so she doesn't have a mohawk! :(. I try to strategically take photos from the other side.

And this face. What isn't to love? 

Three months old...and we already love her so. Life without her would be easier. But so dull & empty! And after a rough night, when she wakes up in the morning & sees me, & a slow sweet smile spreads across her face, it is all worth it. My, how she's changed our lives. But for the better.