– Surviving as a new Mama, a Pep-Talk –

As I write this I am typing with one hand and holding a teether in my five month olds mouth to stop the screaming. I have about 1,786,363 other things I could and some may say probably should be doing but as I looked at all my To-Do this and Remember that lists I couldn’t shake the allure of a blank page. I haven’t written anything except Lists and Baby Logs in a month or so and it is beginning to make me heavy. I have been exploring this amazing world of mommy blogs as I create my own online presence while learning to be a Mom and maintain my identity. All while attempting to continue creating and to feel accomplished. And I wanted to share a little about where I am, the chaos and the crazy and the fact that it isn’t always shiny and trendy and beautiful like we see on so many power mommy pages. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE all of you shinin’ Mamas out there and you bring me drive and inspiration daily, for that I am extrememely grateful. I also realize your shining infectiously beautiful blogs are that way from years and hours and countless trials and errors. I totally understand that you have your food in hair and lego stepping painful moments, and most of you acknowledge the messy side and that is what makes you real and inspiring. The fact that you have been in the deep flood of burp rags and dirty bottles and evil boob pumps and tough to clean parts, and still  have made it to a fulfilled, growing, (did I say shining?) state, makes me hopeful, and excited, and driven, and full.

That being said, I wanted to write a post about the beginning of mommy hood and highlight all of the crazy it carries and share a little of what I am learning and how I am clawing my way up the mountain of motherhood as the rocks keep tumbling down. It is wild. Some of the rocks flying down at you are the same ones from before parenthood, deadlines, lack of inspiration, the normal struggles, but after your little joins you there are suddenly all types of new rocks, seemingly much bigger than the old, and there is probably a fire coming up the mountain, and wind, and your pants are probably on fire as you climb, ya they’re on fire- and you’re holding a baby, who is biting your cracked nipples- But as we all know if we are making this trek as a new parent, there are so many new beauties that weren’t there before, the sun shines a little brighter and a new shade of light fills your world, the birds are more colorful and sign a new song- ya know if I am keeping up with my metaphor, the birds and sun are the precious beauties our babies gift us; the smiles, the moments of discovery, the nuzzles of love, the whole new world of perfection they bring into ours.

Yes, there is nothing that could touch the blessing that they are, the huge jump of meaning and beauty your little world makes is unreal and priceless. But in the crazy moments, when you are tired, and you can’t believe your hair, and you think of your adventures of before and the freedom and the salty air and the things you used to create and you stare at your unfinished projects, it is hard. You feel stuck, and in the weirdest way because um hello, look at your beautiful little human you would never want to be without her or this new role you have as a mama- but you are also human, a unique only you human, and we need that identity too- and we have fuel tanks that need to be filled, not only to keep your heart happy but to be the best version of yourself to that little life smiling up at you in the morning. And that takes time, and time is non existent when you have a new baby. And it is hard. And it’s beautiful. And you will find your way and smile at this chaos from afar and naievely think ‘Ooooh it wasn’t that bad.’ Yes, we all have those fuel tanks that need to be filled, and for each person they are different.

For me it is reading and writing beautiful words, playing in my sand and ocean, creating something that excites my soul; paint to white canvas, seashells to dish, wood pieced together. I need these little moments of accomplishment in order to be stoked and happy and goofy for my little. And it is hard. The fuels needed for these are hard to find; creativity, drive, time. They all seem like things you must of imagined knowing before because they sure don’t exist from where you are now. I am starting a creative business and sometimes after being screamed at and pinched and demanded of the last thing I feel is creative, and it has proven difficult for me to accept that, to understand and accept that sometimes you feed, love, bathe, change, and nap your little and then finally step in to your studio only to hit a wall. To not have the drive, or not be able to lure that little creative spirit of yours out of hiding- or your baby just wants to be held and talked to, and when this happens you have to just pick up your tiny little human and absorb this o so small glimpse of time you are in and be OK with not doing anything but making them giggle and watching netflix today, and to know and believe that that alone is an accomplishment. I know, I know we hear it all the time, ‘JUST A MOM!? no such thing’- ‘Your babies are alive, you are doing something right’- ‘Mothers have the biggest job of all, we don’t need to do anything else!’ all those same catch phrases from all the mommies and mommy bloggers out there, that somewhere along the way the words lose meaning when you see so many highlight reels on instagram, and blogs, and on pinterest.

We see these beautiful, fun, happy moms with their four perfect littles in their trendy outfits and their perfect curls and you wonder how they do it, because it all looks like time to you, those curls def took time, they would for me! And you think about all they put in to it and for one day? One picture? and all of their candid shots are glowing too and you believe that is their life, beautiful and put together (did I say shining?) and it is easy to get discouraged and to wonder how you will ever be able to turn the seed of the dream you carry and guard inside you in to a vision pretty enough to set up on the shelf next to theirs and you feel small and it is hard. But then you look at your highlight reel, and you see just how truly beautiful your little world is in all of it’s messy glory. And you write something that makes your soul smile, or create something that makes someone else smile, or you read a chapter in one of your books and you feel it again- Hope. Truth. Calm. Gratitude. You get a little fuel in your tank and you feel better. But it is still hard,  Hard to believe you will figure it all out, that you will find this groove, and schedule, and identity every one says you will. But you will, it just takes time, and waiting and wondering is hard. But there is power in releasing this need of ‘right now’ and ‘just as planned’. You get to a point where you are ok with everything not happening today, you do. But it is an ongoing give and take from and back to yourself but you learn it, and you grow in it, and so does your little one. You start a project and they steal you away and then you catch their first laugh or see them do something new and you are grateful you weren’t distracted. Because the blog posts and laundry and dinners won’t make the memory bank, but the little, perfect moments will. And when your little one hits a milestone you will see your baby fading and your child growing in to itself and you will once again be thankful for all the times they stole your attention, because those moments are the things we will cherish. Not the projects done or the cleaning accomplished.

My girlfriend came over to see me and baby yesterday with her brand new little girl and this realization hit me as I told her just as I had been told by other moms that the crazy stage of cluster feeding and tiny naps and sore nipples will end, and I realized it was true. It is just one of the lessons you have to gather up yourself to believe, because in the moment it seems never ending. We talked about breastfeeding and how we had to release our need to resent and avoid compramising our plan, that just listening to our babies was the best thing. We all operate with the best of intentions for our little one but we also operate with a need to hold ourself to a higher standard than is realistic. I have always had such a hard time being patient, I have always  wanted things to happen as fast as I can imagine them, and all the time and effort I put in to my vision has to count or I am instantly discouraged. This is no new struggle for me, but becoming a Mother hightens it. Before when you were just you and young and wild and free time had no hold, it was all you had. Then suddenly you don’t have any and you are responsible for a whole human, one you love more than life itself and the preasure and desire to become your full self sinks in fast.

We all have spent a life time imagining the ‘grown up’ and the type of Mother and Wife we will be someday and suddenly someday is today and we have this crazy need to be it all RIGHT NOW. This makes us anxious to do it all, and we try, we tap dance to a always quickening rythm not realizing it is only ourselves causing it to pick up speed until we just can’t keep up, and as we slow our speed and our song softens and calms we finally come in to our true tune and that is what it is all about. Slowing, absorbing, and loving our new role. And letting go of perfect, of ‘right now’, of needing to do it all. And as we learn this lesson of releasing our unrealistic ideals, new, unimaginally perfect circumstances set in. And we grow, our littles grow, and we no longer miss anything because there is nothing but time for everything else. We start to see they are growing and changing every moment, and no two days will ever be the same even when we feel like they are all a long line of the same, your baby isn’t the little soul it was yesterday, nor are you, and that is worth slowing down and absorbing. As I watched my sweet friend Caroline tend to her tiny new baby I remembered that stage, in all of its beauty and struggles, and I saw that it had gotten easier, and that I have created so much since. And it is in the release that I have become richer. And I was freed. And it was beautiful. I hope this helps you to know that you are enough, you do enough, and if you slow down and look in to those little eyes of the life you created laying in your arms, you will see- to them you already are everything. And in that I hope you can release yourself from all of your inner demands and be freed knowing that you are already all you should be. And the most beautiful, hopeful part is there is so much more to come as you continue to build your little world, it is in the learning and doing that the living lies, not in the end result.

peasprucingrey

 

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– What does my mantra ‘keep sprucin’ mean? Find Out Here! –

At the end of every post you may have noticed I have a tag line that reads ‘keep sprucin.’ I wanted to tell you the story and meaning behind those words so you can put the idea to work for you. It is a term I created a while back to describe what I try to do each day in every aspect of my life. It started a few years ago as a silly idea I came up with after listening to one to many of my mom’s made up jokes. They are puns mostly, bad puns, not very punny at all lol. But this one sort of stuck with me because it truly captions my actions on a day-to-day basis. My home here on the Oregon coast is surrounded by beautiful and mighty Sitka spruce trees, on all the sides but the one that faces my shining ocean. And my place in this world between the two is why I named my brand and blog ‘Sitka Trees & Salty Seas.’ It is an absolute tribute to this precious place I was made.

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved the way the tall old trees stand proud all around us. When the sun sets or wakes here in my sandy little town they spread their lovely silhouettes upon the watercolor of sky. The contrast is one of my favorite sights on this earth. The sky’s painting is ever-changing but no matter what the day weathered them with, the spruce trees are always standing tall, just as lovely and mighty as ever. They are never slighted by a ‘bad day’ there aren’t any when you are a tree. When you are a tree good days or bad, you just keep growing and adapting and getting stronger and bigger and more beautiful. And ever since I was just a sandy little blonde girl growing up my most satisfying and full moments are those when I create or complete something. This comes to me in many forms. Whether it be painting a happy piece, putting together a perfect little seashell creation, writing something that just spilled out from me perfectly, or simply rearranging a space in my home. All bring me the same flooding feeling of humbled satisfaction.

As I enter each day that burning feeling in my soul to compose something out of my over-stimulated over-inspired heart is what I run on. The chase of the  feeling that ultimately comes after you finish something made straight  from mind and emotions, a feeling turned object, reflecting all of the roots it holds within you.  I am always looking to ‘spruce things up’ as it has been said before, to always ‘keep sprucin’ in all I do. The big and small areas of my life, the pebbles and the mountains of my heart. Every night when I lay my head down I need to have the assuring buzz that I made something or made something better. And as I build this blog my goal is to instill that same desire within you. The buzzing drive that will spark an inspiration within you to do the same. Whatever your task or challenge may be, whatever it’s size, whether it is writing a book or just organizing the flippin’ Tupperware cabinet finally, I hope to help you to the foot of, and all the way through those missions. Because we are what we do; and when what we do creates something beautiful or results in inner peace and accomplishment our souls become richer and the drive multiplies. We conquer the big by assessing and obtaining the small. With every little task and project completed we are fueling the next; making our skills better, striving further, getting closer to our visions, even if they aren’t yet clear. Our every move in this life is in part the deciphering of our creative process and fulfillment. The more we do the more we become. We promote inner abundance and order by obtaining it on the outside. Not in materials or monetary value but in the beauty, flow, and personal authenticity in the little world we build around us that is our life. The feeling these things bring is why I remind you with each new note I gift you to above all ‘keep sprucin’ in all you do. In the big, the small, even in the tiniest of things you love that bring you joy. The miniscule luxuries of the soul that seem so small to others. Those things that appear normal to those on the outside of your being, the things no one could see or appreciate the way your specific heart does. Yes, even the littlest personal necessities are all equally important and soul shifting as the big. These personal fuels vary from person to person.

For me it is my sleepy monk coffee. The ground white chocolate Americano I wake up thinking about. So bold; so many moments and memories in its aroma and flavor splitting all of my senses awake. Reading a soulful sentence that flicks my heartstrings with its beauty. The silent words read to self catching in my throat and swelling wet in my eyes. It is the cove in the morning; a parking strip right above the shore line in my home town. Seeing the waves kiss the smoothed, cool, charcoal stones awake, the shine my place has as the sun climbs over the eastern mountain ridge to greet the sea. The sweet moss filled salty morning air. The smell of my favorite shampoo after some time with out splurging. It is as small as a bathroom mirror love note, and as big as my little girls love filled eyes and heart slicing smile. The simple, and the immense. All are of equal importance to my self nurturing routine, to my inspiration, and truly to my overall happiness and inner condition. The specifics that make you feel like you is our personal Authenticity in its purest form. The chosen specifics that fill your heart and soul with bliss and inspire you. Be like the noble, wild spruce trees, through any weather, any condition- just keep planting your roots and spreading yourself towards the sun. With every drop of fuel this world gives you nourish yourself and grow. For a tree those come in elemental forms. In the sun and the rain and their life giving, positive sources. And in the more testing forms like storms, wind, lightening. But no matter the origin of these sources the tree almost always converts them to life, to growth, to solidity- to new blooms, and deeper roots.  For us  these driving forces come in many different forms. The good and the bad as well. But I believe ours are more emotional and circumstantial pieces- like love, loss, success, delay, passion- relationships that take work, jobs that take compromise, learning to know the difference, when to fight when to fly. It is all a conditioning of sorts to the better if we just believe it to be. Be like the Sitka- turn it all to growth.  We all have these factors working in our lives every day, they can be a blessing or a curse, the choice is always ours, we must choose joy again and again. Find your strengths in every opportunity, the little piece, however tiny that you can twist in to a tool- find them and put them to work for you.  If we do this with the things we can’t control and be sure to add the things that drive our happiness and accomplishment, our potential becomes infinite. Whatever keeps you going and growing- capture it and spend your time and self on it. And when you are given the more challenging and testing circumstances and moments, stand tall through the storm and use the moment as a lesson- find the blessing, and in turn an opportunity to expand your understanding, you heart, and your abilities . The taller the tree grows the stronger, and the same goes with us; the more we nourish the self the more powerful we become. To quote myself in much earlier notebook scribbles from my life ‘Any progress is good progress. Either what we do is a success and bring us good or it is trial and error and brings us a lesson. But it is always, always a step somewhere, and anywhere further than where you started is a win.’

So take my words friends and-

g spruce fixed blue

 

– Pregnant! The big news and what the *&#^ to do with it –

pregnant

Two pink lines, positive, your hunch was right, your boobs are actually sore, you’re not just gaining a little winter weight; it’s a baby. A human baby. Your baby. Growing inside of you. Right. Now. It’s big enough news to take in and process had you been trying to conceive, but a whole other wave to try to surf when it wasn’t in the plan; or the  realm of immediate possibility, or in the same atmosphere as you were the minute before you took the test, but here it is, plain as day, you caught it, you’ve got the pregnancy bug. Soooooo wherever you are in your life or world, it just got much bigger. Huge. Way way bigger.

Alright so let’s figure this out.

– First Step:

DO NOT Panic.

ok ok, scroll down when you are through thoroughly panicking.

– Step Two:

Breathing. You probably haven’t done that since you read the results. Soooo, start that now. Like right now, No! Now. Breathe!—   Ok, good. Try and keep that up as you read. You are breathing for two now you know so try and be real about it. Haha alright sorry for that last ‘for two’ line, if it sent you back to Step One feel free to start over and meet me here again once you think you are calm enough to read on.

-Step Three:

If you don’t have her with you already, call your person. You know , your person, whether that is your oldest, truest friend, or your sister, or mom, or your grandma; call her. The one person who knows you better than anyone in this whole world. She is your messy tell, the one you can get on the phone with and puke out an attempt of words to mirror what it is you are really feeling. Second thought, make sure you know the person you call is the right person, because the first word explosion will be messy. So maybe if your Mom or sister is your person normally, but you know this is big news for her to hear, opt to swap her out for a non-judgy friend or a cool aunt, someone who won’t take you’re panic for more than it is, an emotion-comotion. Bounce off of her, allow her to calm you, keep breathing, got it? Alright.

Next: Telling the Baby Daddy.

Alright this one is big, and depending on your relationship with him he may be the first call you think to make; he may in fact be your person, oooooor he could be a fling, a short term boyfriend, or a ‘we are kind of dating- but not officially- but he said he wanted to be official then we didn’t talk for a week and now we have a coffee date and he has nice eyes and oh my god I am carrying his baby‘ situation. What ever the technicalities may be,  either you will share a joyful explosion, or moral ‘holy shhh-t’ support, or a silence of sorts. It may be awkward and tough or one of the best moments of your relationship, and life so far. BUT either way; before you pick up the phone all scary and out of breathe like you are right now; remember that this cannot be undone. And no matter the circumstances this is a big part of the beginning of your little’s story, and a big milestone of your life together, and you will want it to be baby book, and story telling worthy. And not that I agree with the whole arrangement or anything but the women has a lot of sole responsibility for certain things in this whole pregnancy thing. We find out first for many reasons I’m sure, but probably the most important is because we are the ones who hold this wild reservoir of maternal strength and instinct of how to handle things; things like telling the father. If they held the responsibility of knowing first most of our men would have fainted a few times already and still be trying to breathe through step two. We are the more sentimental and softer of the genders, and we have these crazy mama instincts deep within us that are about to show themselves, they are there, believe me, in you, somewhere, just like that little baby you just discovered; hard to believe in but most definitely there.

So take a moment and make a plan to tell your man, (or your whatever he may be/have been; see above) you probably know him better than most do so take a calm moment and think about how he feels most safe, how you will be able to make this a real, pure, happy, and most of all safe and secure moment for the both of you. And this goes for you mama’s who don’t know if this is or will be a thing, if you will you will carry out the pregnancy I mean, to be beyond blunt. But that is a big part of it especially if you  aren’t in a full relationship, maybe haven’t even had contact with him lately, or are on a ‘break’. All of these are very real scenarios and they shouldn’t decide your overall feelings. Either way, even if you don’t know his reaction (or even your own yet) treat this with the same advice I gave above, no matter the outcome that is the start you need to attempt to put in place. A safe, happy, comfortable one. This part is about you two as a whole, and as individuals making a huge life decision, one that should be shared. It is so far from being about your current ‘relationship status’ or lack there of, it is about treating this moment and decision with the love, respect, and decency it deserves. It is the most intimate thing two people can share, you know, your d.n.a., this moment, this news; and it needs to be handled as such. With out factoring in possible outcomes. Even if you’re terrified, try to operate as though you are calm and collected and those attitudes will anchor themselves within you, and, subsequently in him. After the initial shock wears off, if you allow him to feel whatever his out right feelings are and work through his initial wave of emotions (and what is often panic) he will most likely mirror your calm and controlled nature if you maintain it. Try to remember in the moments after you first tell him that this is a big thing, try to take your mind back to your own step one, and understand he is at his, give him a moment to panic and control his breathing and try not to take his reaction too personally, of course it isn’t a complete free card, the crazy show should wrap up after a few minutes of course and he should be able to join you at this new-found zen of decision-making and moment handling I have brought to you here by reviewing my own pregnant revelation in hind site. You have a surge of hormones coming alive within you as well as completely justified emotions brewing because of this life changing news. It is easy to take every action and word coming from him the worst and most sensitive way possible, try to hear him and tell your side without getting too emotional, reacting too hard will do just the opposite of the above and make him seal up and that won’t help anything. Just as you have your reactions and emotions so does he, and just as you want these to be respected and treated softly (and for good reason) so does he. The treat others how you want to be treated rule comes in to play here, which isn’t always easy with the weight of everything I know, but it is so so crucial to set the theme and try to keep it safely in the calm while figuring this out.

– Now: Moving Forward, remain sane while finding your way too parenthood.

This part is insanely overwhelming at first, and it can truly make you a little crazy, ok maybe a lot crazy. So don’t feel like you are the only one who has ever felt like they were drowning while trying to stay afloat in the flood this news brings to your world. When I found out I was pregnant with my first I was scared out of my mind, and extremely unsure if I was even ready for such a huge thing; you know, being responsible for a whole little life. I also didn’t have ANY pregnancy symptoms and that made it really hard to fathom it as real, that in just nine months there would  really, suddenly be a baby. It is so huge and so hard to even begin to process, let alone decide the first steps with any sort of confidence. My boyfriend was beyond calm and supportive and for that I am so grateful. We didn’t find out until I was almost fifteen weeks along. My periods had been so irregular a lot of my life and though I had taken two pregnancy test early on, both came back negative, not to mention my periods had continued as normal through out this time. Anyways, this meant that by the time we went to the first doctors appointment to confirm the at home pregnancy tests’ positivity, they had us do an exam as well as what would have been the third, and in most every other woman’s case, the final ultrasound. It also meant that we were able to tell the sex at that first appointment. So within just a few days not only was there suddenly a human growing but it also had a little identity beginning to sprout, a female one. So my point is it is A LOT to take in on any scale but as a woman you were literally born to do this, you are beyond equipped even if everything inside of you is screaming that you aren’t, the tools and answers you need are inside of you. They may just take a bit to come out of hiding, but when they do, woah!  You are woman and they will hear you roar. Ok, its more of a scream, definitely a scream as you get all primal and push this little human out and in to the world. It may take some time and it may not come all at once but I promise you will find your footing. Your fabulous, fabulous, super woman footing. And you will be all that your little one needs. For no one could love them the way you do. The only manual for your particular baby is inside of you, and it may be a whisper at first but soon that voice will grow loud and confident and strong. And suddenly you look up one day and holy shhhh- it really happened. You are a mom.

But you have to carry her for nine months, and lord is it work, the key, I believe to surviving this whole beginning pregnancy part is to take it day by tiny day and to view each day passing as a small win. Really as a step closer to your body being done with this huge job lol.  Another day down of this hard-core training that god puts us through in order to toughen us up for the even bigger job that is motherhood. You have to tally it as one day tougher and closer to your full potential bad ass new self.  And it will be hard.  You will hurt, every part of you in new and exciting terrifying ways. You might feel sick; morning sick, car sick, sit sick, stand sick, smell sick, again, new sicks you have never felt. And you will cry, a lot. About real fears and feelings and about ones your prego brain created in its’ hormone frenzy of fun. You will cry at commercials, sometimes because they are touching and some times just because they are for peet’s shaving cream and ‘awwww my dad used that when I was little and I can remember the smell now and oh my gosh I miss my dad, he was so amazing what if I can’t be that great for my baby, and honey you should use peet’s shaving cream because the smell is just so important to me and I want our little girl to have that and- Oh! An ice cream commercial, brownie batter what? I won’t be able to think of anything else until I have that heaven in my mouth.’ You won’t sleep totally sound for months, you suddenly realize you were sleeping soundly before, and peeing regularly, and eating normal meals.

You will have a hard time remembering what normal is like, and an even harder time believing anything will ever go back to whatever normal can survive after such a huge change in the make up of your life. Trying to imagine what that would even look like after a human who relies on you solely enters your world is hard, but I promise you will find your new norma one day. We never can tell when that day will be; it could be weeks after you bring your little nugget home and find your ‘routine’, it could be months of trial and error finding a system, or it could be the second you bust that thing out. Suddenly you will rubber-band back to yourself, well a shell of the woman you once were, now much stronger and more grateful. You will be scooting along in your new little life and I promise you will snap into your new role of being a mama, probably without even truly realizing it; as I don’t think it’s an exact moment.  More an accumulation of little moments and tasks that fill you up drop by drop. Moments of diaper changes, worried thoughts, bursts of love, and sleep deprived drunk happiness. Of spit up dripping down you, cracked sore nipples, bottles washed, dried and sanitized again and again. And sweet, sweet little baby moments full of sleepy smiles, tiny hands gripping yours, little faces nuzzling in to you, and of the spark in their eye when they begin to recognize you beyond all the other faces. You will begin to collect and track these moments, their every move, meal, and milestone and it will be a whole new world. A new world full of more joy, pride, and gratuity then you could ever envision before knowing the sensations of parenthood first hand.  It will be an absolute and utter mess at times, but it will be yours. The little monster finally sleeping in your arms will be yours. The looks you share with your man when your eyes meet as you experience it all; a knowing look of shared aw, appreciation, and just pure, pure love that only you two can decipher.

 

I promise, after god knows how long of being scared, and huge, and sore, and just exhausted from your pregnancy and then new parenthood, after all the madness you will suddenly look at this beautiful little piece of you. This little soul whose breath sinks up with yours as she sleeps, who needs you so heavily, who smells like heaven and boob milk and you will have the thought, the inevitable realization. Yes, you will look around at what used to be your house, and see that it is still under there, somewhere, just as your old self and life is still there, some where under it all. You will see all the tiny clothes and toys, and that mean breast pump staring at you, and all the laundry and dishes standing tall, and in the midst of it all you will feel a burst of desperate love and thankfulness that every piece in all its beautiful dismay is yours. Every little smudge and stain and precious speck of the new life you have made is all yours, and I am telling you, it may be a totally love drunk thought but it will come. And by the time it does nothing but this new-found love, this cherished new level of  precious life and beauty, different from anything you have ever felt or known, nothing but that will matter.  You will see your precious little world all your own and sigh as you absorb that burst and think to yourself, ‘ha, pregnancy, it wasn’t even that bad, look at all I got, I could totally do that again.’ And you know it is true, in all its ridiculous irony, that you would do it all again without hesitation, and you probably will, now that you know what comes after. This priceless reality that comes after all the discomfort and craziness.

So finally,

As you enter this crazy journey to your due date just keep breathing, and know that this storm won’t settle in to a perfect little glowing christmas card of a reality but it will land as it is supposed to, and the beautiful, beautiful wreckage of love that comes will be all you never knew you wanted, all you never knew life could be. I know that isn’t exactly a perfect promise at the end of the tunnel but it is better than perfect, it is real.

g spruce fixed blue

My Sandy Little Family

My house has a one to one people to dog ratio. When my boyfriend and I met he had two labs and shortly after we started dating I adopted a speckled little perfect mess of a mystery mutt. And then this last Christmas Eve we were blessed with our first little one, Brighty Jo. She is beautiful and perfect and smells like heaven and I never imagined a love like this. Not just the one I have desperately fallen in for my little girl but also a new love that was born for the man who gave her to me. I have always sort of gypsy’d around before settling down with Dylan. Before him I moved all over the country, working crazy jobs, living off of wild adventures and balanced chaos. Now here I am, all of that came to a grinding halt, the same stand still I have spent most of my time fearing; the monotony, the dull everydays, becoming stagnint, it is now my haven, my sanctuary. I remember wondering how people did it, the house, the marriage, the sameness, and now I find myself blissfully thriving in it. I feel a slight sting of embarrassment that I ever believed that this sort of life couldn’t be full; absolutely full, and bursting with love and truth and excitement. Dylan and I went to high school together, and in the sandy little beach town we grew up in that is saying something. Our school isn’t like the ones in the city with it’s masses of students, there are only about four hundred kids in the one high school in our town. He was a few years ahead of me, we had all of the same friends and somehow danced around each other for years. Like everyone who grew up in Seaside, we knew each other without really knowing each other; only because our lives had paralleled from elementary school on. When I graduated I found a cycle of living at home and moving away and coming home again. Only returning to work through the summers and save for my next adventure. After about five years of those same shenanigans I was in the midst of one of my living at home phases and in a pretty serious relationship. As was Dylan. Within the same six months we both had ended these live in relationships of the exact same length of each other and stumbled fatefully into each other. We met, really met and actually learned each other for the first time, baffled that we had shared the same bus route, places, and faces for literally YEARS and never discovered our surreal connection until then. We spent more and more time together and found a friendship and love that was unreal. It was wild that we had both been right there all along and complimented each other so well and yet never found each other sooner. It really reenforces the belief I have had for a long time that god gifts us the things we need but not until we are ready to appreciate, nurture, and protect those gifts. We have a shared love for so many things, biggest of all, this beautiful coastal town we call home, the sea, family, all of the simplest yet most thrilling parts of life. Our principles, faith, and beliefs matched beautifully. We were no doubt the rest of each other. Because we had both just ended serious relationships, that up until they fell apart we both thought would be indefinite, we decided the only wise thing to do was to take things slow. That went exactly as planned. Enter positive pregnancy test a month later. Surprise!

Woah.

It was news neither of us well, obviously expected, but also something neither of us could find a reason to go against. We had been dancing in this beautiful little routine of our love and had truly found a confidence and need for each other neither of us had found with anyone, or anything before. The calm sensation that met our hearts after the initial shock wore off was undeniable. We were having a baby. That is obviously the only thing a couple needs when they have three dogs between them after all. Oui. So here we are, we have a sweet home barely a mile from our ocean, a soul shakingly beautiful little girl, a home that we are slowly making our own and, of course, the three dogs. Sitka, Corona, and Coho. A tree, a kind of beer, and a type of salmon. Naturally, as the oregon coast natives that we are. We love our local coffee, our beach, surfing and skim boarding, making things for our home, cooking, hiking, collecting treasures on our morning beach walks, and all adventures for that matter. We are beach bums through and through, our house is a sandy little haven of us. I am so excited to share it with you and hopefully inspire you whether you are coastal creatures like us or city folk looking to escape a little, I urge you to join us, it’s gunna be an epic ride!

– Magical Chocolate Peanut Butter ‘get you a husband’ Cookies –

These amazing cookies earned their big promise title because I am pretty sure they lead to a life altering course of marriage and baby bearing for me.  My now soon to be husband and ‘baby daddy’ share a  serious love for anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate. When we discovered this shared appreciation for chocolate peanut butter matrimony when our love was still new I hit pinterest hard, determined to find THE chocolate peanut butter cookie of his dreams, alright, alright, and mine!  I never imagined I would discover a chunk of heaven quite like the one I found!  I wish I could give credit where credit is due but the secret place in cyber space where I first found this magic has since vanished. Luckily I wrote down a brief guideline of the recipe and have managed to recreate and even perfect it with a few changes. There was sheer panic throughout our home a few months ago when the tattered and peanut butter crusted sticky note holding the holy grail of cookies went missing, it was a terrifying hour or so.  So I thought it time to get it down in detail, and also thought it my duty to share with you, they are just too good to hold secret, all though that has been temping. The smell of these perfect little pieces of sweetness always take me back to the beginning of my man and I’s  love story, also a perfect little piece of sweetness. Which then lead to, you guessed it, another little perfect piece of sweetness (very shortly there after I might add) our perfect little girl Brightly Jo; The baby girl who absolutely defines the line sugar, spice and everything nice! So it is with a heavy warning, even a suggestion of ‘protected’ use of this recipe I pass it on to you! I just know it will become a staple in your home!

– Ingredients –

 

-2 cups flour

-1/2 tsp. baking soda

-6 tbs. peanut butter

-1 stick of butter

-1 cup brown sugar

-1/2 cup white sugar

-2 tsp vanilla extract

-1 egg, 1 egg yolk

-3/4 cup chocolate chips

-3/4 cup peanut butter chips

-Note: if you want more of a chocolate punch you can use 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, that is what the original recipe called for, I just prefer half and half.

– Directions –

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

– Mix Flour and Baking Soda together in a medium glass bowl, set aside.

– In a large glass bowl measure out the butter and peanut butter and butter and melt in the microwave, usually about thirty seconds stopping in the middle to stir, heat and stir until all the chunks have melted.

– Slowly stir brown and white sugars into butter/peanut butter mixture while still warm.

– Add vanilla extract, full egg, and egg yolk.

– Slowly mix flour and baking soda mixture in to liquid mix until combined.

– Then throw in the chocolate and peanut butter chips. I usually just work these through with my hands. Your dough will be dry and pretty crumbly, even hard to stick together, thats normal.

– Make dough in to 1 or 1 1/2 inch balls depending how big you want your cookies. Put balls on cookie sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: These cookies will not fall at all so they can be close together.They usually turn out to be big half circle cookies like the ones shown in my picture, if you want a flatter cookie you can smash them down a little with the flat side of a fork.

I hope you and who ever you decide to share with enjoy these little pieces of heaven, oh and if your luck is anything like mine, your life together! 🙂

– (Pictures to come soon!) –

Disclaimer: Cookies contain too good to be true tastes and may cause consumer to fall madly in love with you. Prepare and share with caution. Use only with people you want to see again as they will return, sooner than expected in most cases. The blog ‘Sitka Trees and Salty Seas’ and it’s owner are not responsible for any unwanted attention, relationships, or addictive side effects that these cookies may cause. Thank you.