December is finally here! I think November may have been one of the craziest months of my life. Finishing up the 2015 wedding season, moving into a new home, then leaving two days later for a trip to St. Louis for Thanksgiving, and then moving my mom back to California. We are all still recovering. Vitaliy and Rose didn’t make it through without getting sick, unfortunately. So, that’s where we’re currently at right now. Somewhat still living out of boxes, Christmas decorations sitting out with no Christmas tree yet, and my family on the mend.
Rose has been sleeping terribly since we moved, then she slept terribly in St. Louis, and now her sleepless nights continue with a bad cold making her quite uncomfortable. So, last night I went to bed at 8pm. I’m tired. Really tired. I think all the changes and the lack of sleep has started to get to me. And also, the no Christmas tree – it’s killing me! I’ve learned over the last two years that the answer to everything, everything, is thankfulness. So, here we go!
10 Things I’m Currently Thankful For
- A sick babe. Last night, Rose nursed and then fell asleep on me and for the first time in weeks I was thankful to be up with her in the middle of the night. Rose is a very independent babe and has never liked to cuddle or be rocked, so last night I soaked up all the “sleeping babe curled up on me” that I could get.
- My new house. I realized yesterday that part of the way I’m feeling is likely due to the unfamiliarity of our new space. It just doesn’t feel like home yet. But it’s slowly coming together and I cannot wait to use it to host family and friends and even people I may not know yet.
- My mom. She spent all day yesterday painting every door in our house. She’s played with Rose when I felt like I had nothing left to give. She’s reminded me of the power of a to-do-list and setting realistic goals each day. And she’s only been here a few days. Moms are special human beings and I got blessed with a good one.
- Thrift stores. We downsized so dramatically 4 years ago that we had next to nothing moving into our new house. A new home feels even more uncomfortable when it’s empty. It feels cold and lonely. I thought it would be months before we could fill our space with the budget we have, but we have found so many gems in the last few weeks. A few items we purchased in St. Louis and shipped out with my mom’s pod. And then we discovered the best thrift store while out on an afternoon stroll in our new neighborhood. We now actually have a dining room table to sit at!
- A struggling business. I’m just putting it out there! Our business is struggling. Or maybe it’s not the business that’s struggling but us who are struggling. I just feel lost and uninspired, but I also feel a spark flickering somewhere deep. We’ve been photographing weddings for so long and I think we just got comfortable. And then we had a baby and just became exhausted. We’re in transition, we’re adapting. It’s a hard place to be, but I’m thankful to be here even though it’s humbling and uncomfortable. Because it’s necessary. I can’t wait to see where God leads us, I look forward to discovery and change and growth. We started our own business to have freedom and to do work that was inspiring and had purpose. I think we lost our way at some point, or perhaps these are just growing pains, or this is all part of the creative process. Either way, I’m eager for a brain dump and brain storming session. One of my favorite things is manufacturing ideas!
- Coffee. My little morning treat to get me going!
- A snoring husband. Thankfully my husband snores very little and if asked to turn over, it subsides immediately. But when he’s sick or extremely exhausted (which he is currently both!), it is loud and nothing can make it stop. But the other night, after another middle of the night nursing session, I crawled back into bed hoping for some shut eye only to be kept awake by the repetition of Vitaliy’s snoring. On most nights, I would have been annoyed and woke him up to turn over in hopes to make it stop. But that night, I just felt thankful. That noise was a reminder to me that the man I love was in a warm bed laying next to me. Those breaths were reminders of life, he is alive and well and by my side. I can’t even fathom doing life without him. He loves me and serves me and Rose and my family in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.
- California. I miss my family back in the Midwest terribly. And I absolutely hate goodbyes. They’re even harder with a little one now. But I’m so thankful to be back in California. I love the weather, the beauty and the California creative vibes.
- Good design. Vitaliy and I recently fell in love with Mid-Century Modern furniture. This is quite a step away from my shabby chic appeal I grew up with. We’ve been on the search for a dining room table, chairs, coffee table, dresser – I’m telling you – there’s a lot we need. And comparing one piece to another, it is amazing the difference good design can make. Not only in functionality, but in the way it makes you feel too. It’s really making me think in regards to #5 as well.
- God’s grace. My faith makes up my core, guides my decisions, and gives me hope. I am hard on myself. I always have been even from a young age. And I often put that same mentality onto God and often think He’s mad at me. But that’s quite contrary to His nature. He is just, but He is also gracious. While we, as humans, like to wear one hat or the other, He wears both simultaneously. While I’m prone to lose hope and give up on myself or someone else, He just continues to pursue me and share His loving grace with me and pick me back up. As I mentioned earlier, I’m tired, and if I’m honest, I’m a bit anxious, but with God’s grace comes enough energy to see me through the day ahead and enough peace to remind myself that with Him, I have everything I could ever possibly need. I am loved. (And so are you!)
Picture: Rosie’s first flight! It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, but we all survived.