Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our first week of Spring (and my first day of freedom)




As of yesterday at 4:00pm, I am officially on maternity leave for 56 glorious days. Working on my feet up until 9 days before my due date has not been easy, and I am so thankful to have some time to rest before she gets here.
Since my midwife ordered me off my bike at 37 weeks, I have taken up long walks with Michael to get some energy out and get my circulation moving. Nothing feels better than getting some fresh air and stretching my stiff body. The last couple weeks I've tagged along as he plays disc golf a couple times a week - and I absolutely cannot complain.

The course is 2 miles of thick trees and open fields where I can just get lost and appreciate the first promises of Spring. It completely renews me to watch everything start to bloom. Between dead grass and empty, bare trees that are only bones left from Winter, the tiniest bright blooms and leaves are starting to sprout. The breeze is cool and the sun is warm, and soon enough, everything will be alive again.


















This morning before Michael left for school, he said "happy first day of freedom." There is something silly about it, because even though our days are always ours, and we chose what we do and where we go in life, maternity leave feels a bit like the first day of Summer vacation. I haven't had this long off in over 10 years - I started working when I was in high school and have worked/gone to school ever since.

So really, it does feel like complete freedom. And even though my days will be busy with a newborn, cooking, keeping the house clean, and taking care of my shop, there will also be so many wonderful, lazy moments I am so excited to begin. Digging in the yard, sweet sunshine, open windows and my favorite music, shopping the farmer's market, and gardening. Taking photos, long walks with the little one, and hours on the back patio, wasting our minutes away.

Last week I decided that I would pass on this years Arts Market, which was both relieving and sad for me. I was looking forward to using the money towards a new camera, but lately, I am learning to put my relaxation and priorities in line before everything else. I would have had one month from now to get all my products ready, but instead, I have decided that my list of laying in the sun, gardening, and walks will come first. This is my 6th year that I have had my camera, and I guess I can always stretch it a bit longer. My old lady is still going strong, even if she's terribly outdated and behind on all the fancy things she could be doing compared to newer SLR's.




Today, for my first day of "freedom," I am going grocery shopping to stock up on all my favorite yummy foods. I am going to stop by Grandma & Grandpa's to split open a cantaloupe I bought Grandpa for his 88th birthday, write a letter to a friend, clean a bit, and then sit on the patio and start laying out my garden plan for the season.


So far, my first week of Spring feels absolutely right. And just like every other year when this time begins, I am appreciative and completely sound in how good life really is.

35 comments:

Mrs. Biscuit said...

Your photos are incredible as always! Enjoy your "vacation" I imagine it will be the end of a quiet house soon! I love that you bought your grandpa a cantaloupe, fresh melons really are one of the best things in the entire world. Yum!

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

Kristina Fournier said...

Beautiful post and, as always, photos, Aura. I absolutely love Spring and loved the symbology of Charlie being born in this glorious season.. just as the rest of our little corner of the world was starting to bloom back into life as well - and it seems absolutely fitting for you guys, too. Enjoy your time off, I can't wait to see what all it produces.

Jello said...

absolutely amazing pictures! i love every single one of them ; ) very beautiful... enjoy your day!
love,
Jello

Kristyn said...

Ahhh, I'm sitting inside today and your photos are just the thing I need to see. I'm going to make plans this weekend to get O U T.

Enjoy your freedom time, hoping it is restful and full of peace.

amber said...

Congrats on your freedom! hehe This will be such an exciting time for you. And such gorgeous photos of springtime, i just love this time of year!

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a hairstylist and worked up until 5 days before my due date. It was rough, so good for you!

Are you having your baby at home with your midwife? I had a water birth at home, and it was the most beautiful experience ever.

I can't wait to read all about when your baby girl arrives. You have so many wonderful adventures ahead of you!

Chelsea

Urban Wife said...

You literally brought sunshine into my life today, when I needed it the most. Thank you for sharing such breathtaking pictures of new life. Enjoy your time off from the rest of the world as you welcome your little one into this world.

Julie said...

Yay! Look how amazing, glowing and beautiful you are. I cannot wait to see pictures of the little lady when she comes...enjoy the warmth and the new cycle of life that is happening all around you. Juliexo

The Panic Room said...

I can't believe how fast this seems on the outside looking in. I mean it flew by.

Alivia said...

Happy, happy first day of freedom! It falls on my birthday! So glad I can share this happy day with you :)

Kalei's Best Friend said...

savor every moment.. cuz once that gorgeous baby comes, your time will be spent w/her.. u will be so engrossed w/her, the days will fly by.. believe me..

Carly Anne said...

Enjoy your time to yourself. I think your priorities are exactly right. =)

XO
Carly

All This Grace and Charm
http://allthisgraceandcharm.blogspot.com

christi said...

happy first day of freedome! enjoy this time and i cannot wait to see little miss!! beautiful photos, as always.

Britt said...

Oh my goodness you are way too cute!! :)

Enjoy your time off!

Anonymous said...

the peace that you are welcoming your baby into is the greatest gift you'll ever give her. i know people who have FAR less on their plate than you do (myself included) who are not near as zen and peaceful as you are! that kind of atmosphere and attitude from you will totally wrap around your baby and comfort her soul as she begins her journey into the wild, wild world. :)

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

I hope you enjoy your time off! That's so great you get some time before the baby comes. I LOVE the pictures of you in front of the windows. What lovely light.

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

What a wonderful feeling! Enjoy your days of freedom before your little one arrives. You look like you're more than ready for her mentally, physically and emotionally!!! Eat some yummy melon for me! ox

Lis said...

Lovely to be inspired by the priorities you keep! Enjoy your break!

Notes from Holly St. said...

you are looking beautifully ripe! my baby turned one month old today and looking at your photos makes me miss the last weeks of my pregnancy. i have forgotten the aches and pains already :). soon you will have your sweet baby to cuddle and love...looking forward to hearing the news!

Annie Kennedy said...

Gorgeous photos! I have been photographing all the little spiderwebs around my house too! :)

Calmly Chaotic said...

Congratulations on being off! I hope you get some good quality relaxation time in pre baby. Love the photos as always.

O'Melly said...

You would never guess that your camera is an old lady. Afterall, I was always taught to invest in the lenses rather than an expensive body. :)

Cheers

Stephanie said...

Happy first day of freedom, indeed! As well as the beginning of many exiting firsts coming your way. :) And good call on the camera, you're pictures are amazing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?!

Enjoy that sunshine for me too, its non-stop rain here in San Francisco. Boo. :(

elizabeth said...

ah, aura. your blog is always such a refreshing read for me. you're inspiring.

praying for the most fantastic birth experience ever <3 <3

Laura said...

You're about to bust! So exciting! That'll be me in 8 weeks...

diamonddiaper.blogspot.com

--JamJam said...

I absolutely loved these photos. You are adorable and your life seems so charmed. <3

toi said...

your pictures make crave for spring even more :).

17 Perth said...

As always, your photos are beautiful. Maybe once that sweet baby gets here, you can get your new camera. Im sure you will be using even more than you are now. : )
Have vacation--Enjoy!

grrfeisty said...

i love your gifs and the sun shining through in all of your photos :)
roxy
http://grrfeisty.com

Lady Jennie said...

I love the picture of you and your shadow. The thing that kept striking me is that I'm amazed you're able to do as much as you do working full time.

I remember the freedom well. I took a couple of weeks off before my daughter's birth and she was born in April so I was really able to enjoy the Spring. I was living in Manhattan by the water and will always remember the joy of that time. Since then it's gotten harder with two more kids and ... what I consider the real work. Teaching them and disciplining them, which is not as easy as just cuddling. My youngest is two and as much as I try to take advantage of the cuddles they are growing fast.

Anyway, enjoy friend.

Sini said...

I'm glad that now you have some time to relax. When the baby arrives, it will be even more sweet :) Just yesterday evening we visited our friends, who had a baby boy one month ago. He was so tiny, the smallest thing I ever held, and when I got the chance to feed him, my heart melted. I'm in love with this baby Juju (he's name is Jules and they call him juju).

Your photos are beautiful like always! Happy spring Aura and hope these last days before the birth will be relaxing :)

white collar | green soul said...

Revel as much as you can - it sounds like you will have an absolutely amazing spring! Happy first day of freedom! (I am looking forward to seeign pictures of your little bird).
- agata

Jessica said...

So lovely :).
Ahhh... i know that your maternity leave is feeling pretty good! Working in a salon is TOUGH on expectant mommies! I remember! Enjoy it darling! The little one will be here soon enough!
The photos are goregous..you inspire me so much! I could spend all day reading and re-reading your posts :)
Thank you for letting us peak into your life Aura.

You are one amazing lady!

The DG Family said...

Happy first day of freedom and enjoy! I love how you simply state that you are putting the things you enjoy first. More often than not, we can caught up in a to do list. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

MrsSki said...

Absolutely stunning pictures! Made me want to remember my camera the next time we go throw. :) There is nothing better than a disc golf game on a beautiful spring day. We got to play last weekend, but it turned cold again here in TN so we won't get to play for awhile. Love reading your blog, you are an inspiration in more ways than one.