Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life, Lately ...(making room for Elodie)




anonymous asked: I think you wrote way back, when you'd just found out you were pregnant, that motherhood would not change you. You'd still be you, your husband would still be him, you;d still take pictures of lots of things every day...Hmmmm...still feel the same way? Doesn't sound like it :)


Dear anonymous: When you have a newborn, you're exhausted, covered in spit up, living in pajamas, and fighting post-partum hormones... sometimes you don't feel like you. But I can assure you that I am still me, and Michael is still Michael. And of course I still take photos every day! Photography is a decade-long passion of mine, and I don't go one day without my camera in my hand.

When you have a baby, it doesn't mean you will forever lose yourself, and the things you love. The most healthy thing you can do for that child is show them that you have a sense of identity, outside of them. I grew up with two parents who had a world of hobbies, passions, and love for each other.

I guess by reading this comment, I realized that I must have given the impression that something about us has changed. It hasn't. Just because Elodie is here doesn't mean my world turned completely upside down and I lost all sense of who I was. Right now, life is about learning to incorporate Elodie into every part of who we are.
We are continuing to live our life just like we had before...everything just takes a bit longer, and there are a lot more messes :) Life does not have to stop because you have a baby. You can use it as an opportunity to show these precious little sponges what life, and the things you love, are all about.

Here are a few photos from the last 6 weeks.



I am still taking photos every day, of the things I find to be beautiful. Like the tiny dried bits of last years tomato harvest...



...my handsome husband, who I am always creeping on and photographing from behind doorways and hidden in shadows. Until he catches me and flares his nostrils for ten minutes straight so I can't get even one more picture.



The best granola I have ever eaten, brought to me by my friend Megan. Who put together the sweetest after-baby care package for me - yummy acai berry chapstick, lavender soap, yoga pants, home made salsa and granola, all wrapped in brown paper and tied with a rose.



blooming trees...



...and Grandpa :)





A picture a day, so I will never forget these sweet days...



...precious little boys, chasing bubbles in Grandma's sweater.



homework on the back patio, enjoying the lovely Spring weather and sweet, tiny babes.
(and spotting my husbands gorgeous gray hairs)



watching my Mom cook traditional Persian food, and seeing a bowl of chick peas go from nothing to a whole meal.









Barley stew at Grandma and Grandpa's house on my weekly Wednesday visit. She insists it's good for my milk and fills up my bowl about three times after I tell her I'm full.
Then she tells me stories about herself when she was nursing. And how she had enough milk to feed all the babies in their neighborhood. Not only that, but she also fed all the local cats. Then she pours me another bowl of stew, hoping I will attract my own alley cats, while I try not to laugh at the thought of her Mama-catting all those Persian cats.



My Grandma, picking herbs.




Elodie is not a weight that burdens my shoulders or a ball and chain to forever ground me to the confines of sweat pants and daytime tv. She's my daughter, and I want to show her the world. It has taken me 28 years to become who I am, and even though this tiny baby has changed me in ways I never knew she could, I am still me, and Michael is still him. To show her the world, from our backyard and farther is something we dreamed of doing from the minute we found out she would be here, in 40 weeks. And so far, we are doing just that.



She goes with us on our walks. Where we will teach her to find beauty in tiny things.





I look down at her and watch shadows dance across her face from the trees. She squints, and sighs, and I know she is content to feel the sun warming her from the outside in.



She is with me in those sweet, sleepy evenings. With beautiful Oklahoma sunsets. I swing with her on the porch as our late Spring thunderstorms start to fill the air with their weight. She's feeling these things for the first time, and I get to be the one to show her that.

We take her to restaurants, festivals, and museums.



And even if she sleeps the entire time, one day she will wake up to find herself in the middle of the life we kept living, even after she was born.



At least twice a week, she comes to watering holes, hiking trails, and along on trips to play disc golf with her Dad.



Sometimes just the three of us go.



I pull little blooms of honeysuckle up to her nose, and she smells something, for the first time. I was love-sick, remembering my own midwest Summertime, as a little girl. Pulling the stems from the honeysuckle and drinking the tiny drop of absolute heaven, before the bumblebees chased me away. Some day she will do this, too. And today, she smelled honeysuckle for the first time.



Sometimes we go with friends.





And while her Dad is busy playing, I show her the way the Cottonwood trees spread tiny specks of snow across the sky. When the light catches them, I think my heart could explode with how perfect those tiny little dots really look.



We took Elodie to her first music festival, and concert. She was surrounded by 30 thousand people, and she slept the entire time.



But I still know that she felt the bass in her fingers and toes...the same way she did when I was pregnant with her. Every night I would put headphones to my belly and feel her dance.



And I know she saw the lights.



I brought her outside with me, while I gardened.



In her little tent in the shade, she waited....



...while I planted seeds, pulled weeds, and picked fresh strawberries from the garden. These days there is not much time to blog about backyard farming, but I still take the time to teach these things to Elodie.



Some days are hard. She cries all day, and I don't brush my teeth until 4 in the afternoon. I can only dream of my garden and sleep is something I don't even remember, anymore. But just like I thought there would be, there are so many good days, too.



All starting with the days that she started to look at me, and smile...and gurgle a sweet laugh from the bottom of her belly all the way to her throat and into my heart.

And when she's feeling extra sweet, she sleeps for 5 hour stretches at night, and naps during the day. Giving me time to feel like me again.



Time to sit alone for a minute with my husband and drink a glass of wine on the patio.



Time to go for a long bike ride for the first time in almost a year without being pregnant. Time to stretch my tired body that has spent 9 months stretching to grow her. It feels like waking up, again.



And time to look through old photos and laugh. To see where Elodie gets bits and pieces of me, even though she's a tiny duplicate of her Dad.
She has my nose, hair, toes, and tiny little string bean legs.


.......


anonymous wrote: I think you wrote way back, when you'd just found out you were pregnant, that motherhood would not change you. You'd still be you, your husband would still be him, you;d still take pictures of lots of things every day...Hmmmm...still feel the same way? Doesn't sound like it :)


Dear Anonymous - Yes, I do still feel the same way.

140 comments:

--JamJam said...

Beautiful!

Gaby said...

Those clouds! Wow. All of your photos are amazing, as always. Lots of love to you and Elodie. x

Vintage Hippo said...

So amazing to be able to share this time with you. Your words are amazing.

Kristyn said...

Those pictures were the best comeback to a passive aggressive insult as I've ever seen. :) Well done.

I'm not sure what posts this anonymous was reading. But never did I once think it sounded like there was a colossal change afoot to your personality. Of course you are still you. You are you with a baby. Who is only an extension of you!

Love looking through your pictures, as always. So nice to see the details of life through someone else's eyes.

It looks like you have had an eventful six weeks. Adore the baby tent! Something to add to my wish list.

Olivia Grace said...

Your posts always make my day. Such a beautiful family and out look on life!!! Your daughter is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing such a lovely look into your life.

agapelife said...

I absolutely love reading your posts and seeing your pictures of your little family grow. My husband and I will start trying to have a baby soon after I graduate from grad school, it is precious to see you are living your life as yourself. We are both very active and I am glad to see we still can be when we have our very own extension of ourselves.

Be blessed Aura.

Alina said...

You have such a beautiful soul.

I've been reading your blog for years and I don't think I can fully put into words what an amazing influence you have been on my life. Oh boy, where would I begin?....

All I can do is to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your world with us.

Rhiannon said...

I have only come across your blog since you have had your precious babe, and I haven't had the chance to read through your older posts as yet. I have loved to read about your 'new' life. Yes life changes when we have our babies, it is unaviodable, but the person we are GROWS, we dont change.
Rhi x
www.lovewisdommotherhood.blogspot.com

rainbowlens said...

Beautiful post as always Aura. Thank you. Will you still share Elodie's birth story?

Gem

Mindy said...

Im with Kristyn on this. Your photos and words as always inspire me. I am pregnant with baby #3 and got to see the tiny little heartbeat for the first time today. This post just added more sunshine to my perfect day!

Octohawk said...

wow. really amazing photos on this post.

Aura said...

Friends- I can't ever say thank you enough for your sweet words and support.


Alina- That is so kind. Thank you for being here to read along.


And yes, I will one day share Elodie's birth story :) I know every one is dying to hear it! I wrote it in a letter to her, but it's hand written and different than the story I'd like to tell here. So one day, I will get around to it. Hopefully before her first birthday :)

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

my husband and i feel and believe the same way ~ our lives are still the same, and our sweet little crumb entered OUR world and we love sharing everything we love with her. life does not need to stop, but instead, it continues to move forward, chasing dreams, catching them, following our passions, and allowing her to see what makes us so happy and fulfilled. having her by our sides makes life even sweeter.

beautiful post ~ every image, every word.

Leah Vanessa said...

What a beautiful post! Elodie is a lucky little girl to have such a wise mama who is very sure of who she is and definitely still herself.

A Lost Feather said...

i only just recently found your blog, but to me it looks like you've been leading a beautiful, adventurous life with elodie :)

i love your photos.. and i looove your baby's name.. so pretty

sara said...

BEAUTIFUL. Best post to date. Congrats!

Ashley said...

wow. this post litteraly brought tears to my eyes. Not only are your images inspiring but your words as well. so eloquent...you just brightened my day and made me anxious to one day soon start a family of my own. Your daughter is clearly blessed with amazing parents, looking forward to reading more <3

-AR
http://plum-bucket.blogspot.com

Jessica said...

Your words are so lovely! I've always wondered if I will stay true to myself if I have a baby...reading your post today makes me realize how important it is to stay true to who you are even after kids. I love that you continue to do the things you love best!

Kathleen said...

when i first read anon's post i got a little defensive so i held my tongue. life doesn't stop when you have kids. maybe for some people it does, but for me (and i think for you to Aura) life takes on new form. It truly is a balance of old and new elements to create something beautiful. kind of like adding on a half-way finished painting.

amanda said...

Gorgeous.... <3 So so so so so so beautiful!!!

Kristin said...

i'm fairly new to your blog. :) your daughter is so beautiful. i was cracking up about your grandma refilling your plate all the time. my grandma always did the same thing :) you aren't by chance italian, are you? it's slightly scary because your baby pictures look like mine!

Anonymous said...

will you please share some recipes for that yummy looking persian food?? it looks so simple but so tasty. i am trying to cook more healthy things at home and i LOVE chickpeas but have never made them at home. please share!! (if you have in the past on the blog, would love just a link!)

lovely pictures and lovely words. you are a natural born mama and it is very refreshing to see a grown woman maintaining an independent sense of self and personality while still raising a gorgeous daughter, who will surely grow up to be her own woman as well. :)

Annie Kennedy said...

Those clouds are incredible, and cottonwood trees are part of my dreams too. I love when there are things in the air, flying through the light. Perfect :)

People will always be experts with their own opinions, and nothing you can say will convince them otherwise. You don't need to defend yourself. It's no one's job to judge you.

:)

Nikole Taylor said...

Aura,
This post made me soso happy! Your life has always looked like a dream to me. I also agree with anonymous though, your posts seemed more... different that your typical posts. But this one is just like the ones I stumbled upon a year ago :)

Thank you for sharing!

P.S. I love the picture of the clouds. They don't even look real.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Of course a child changes you... there is nothing wrong about that.. Life changes us... A child enhances your life as well as teaches you more about patience, stamina, responsibility.. If those changes are wrong, then I am crazy... Children are the best teachers..

erin d. said...

Dear Aura,

I've read your "blog" since you were on livejournal and when you and micheal hadn't yet found each other in life.

I haven't noticed any change in your writing since Elodie's birth. What I have noticed is that you write less because you have far more important things and people to tend to then any of us who love to read about your life.

I'm due for my first baby this August and I'm starting to panic. As a new mom, what baby items do you feel you couldn't live without, and how do you know what to do? I like to plan. I like to research. I like to know what to expect and right now I'm feeling clueless.

Continue to enjoy your days with Michael and Elodie.

-erin

Midge said...

Beautiful post.

Morgan said...

she does look just like her daddy!
so cute

Melinda Owens said...

I've been reading your blog for a little over a year. I come here because you remind me to celebrate the life that I sometimes forget in the chaos of raising two teenage daughters. You remind me that as chaotic as life can be, it's also wonderful, and messy and amazing. What I like about your writing is that you're completely honest. When you became pregnant, that honesty remained. In the midst of something wonderful, you expressed your fears about the enormous change that was about to take place. It was like we were inside your head, along with all the insecurities and questions that come with becoming a mother. And they come, they do. But never did I see anything negative. I knew, as you also knew, that it would be right. Even though I've never met you. And it is. Your daughter is a very blessed little girl, as is your husband, as was your mother and father. Keep writing...your perspective inspires all of us.

Jessica said...

I read quite a few blogs, but I always look forward to yours the most. I don't usually post unless I have a question, but I have to comment on this post.
I don't know you, but you are one inspiring gal...For sure anyone can let motherhood change them, and I have seen it happen to a few of my friends, but not one post since Elodie has been born has made me think: "Wow Aura is so different now" Everything you post about since she has been born reflects your personalities. I think that your doing an amazing job. And sure just because there are days that you don't get to brush your teeth, doesn't mean that you aren't who you are anymore. I have plenty of days where I don't get to brush my teeth or change out of my pj's. But I assure that it doesn't stop me from doing the things I used to love doing and still love to do.
You can make motherhood what you want of it...It's a beautiful thing to show your children the world through your own eyes, especially when you love life and want to teach them everything you love about it! Or you can do the opposite, let it change you and make it miserable...I truely wonder if anonymous is a parent or not...
Your all around inspiring, keep posting cause I know i'm not the only one who looks forward to your photos and love for life!

Court said...

Good for you! (loved the intro to the post). Gorgeous photos, and I can't get over how beautiful Baby E is!

Pamela said...

Captivated.

You say it all so well.

Our little girls must be about the same age and I feel exactly the same way - I just can't say it so beautifully.

So thank you :)

x

Kiersten said...

Aura - your photos are gorgeous, as always. I'm glad you and Michael are enjoying your first spring/summer with Elodie, and I love getting to read about it and see your photos!
<3 Kiersten

Jessie Lathroum said...

Beautiful and full of inspiration as usual! I ALWAYS get so excited when I see you have posted and I am never disappointed. I am awaiting the arrival of my little one in just a few weeks and I can only hope that I can show him all the beauty and wonderful things that my husband and I enjoy just as much as he will show me all the beauty in what his life is. Thanks again for your beautiful blog!

flyrish said...

I also felt defensive for you and for any new mothers out there after reading that comment. But you handled it in the most beautiful, gracious way possible. Your life just got more beautiful with the addition of Elodie. Life with a newborn will take some time away from your hobbies, but it's only temporary! Clearly your priorities are in the right place.

Nikki said...

such a wonderful, inspiring post. the pictures are pure summertime. you have a knack for capturing seasons as they should be.

Victoria said...

She even has her daddy's hair do :)

Notes from Holly St. said...

Aura, just like you, I said that my husband and I wouldn't change our lives once our baby came and friends and family protested this thought and said it would be impossible not to change. I will admit that the first six weeks were challenging. We were sleep deprived and our world was a little upside down but now that our little girl is 11 weeks old we find that life truly hasn't changed at all. We still do the things we love and have found new joys in the everyday since we get to see it all for the first time through our daughters' eyes. Sure, we are more tired than before and it takes us much longer to get out of the house but life has never been sweeter. Good for you for staying true to your word. Some day soon, Elodie will appreciate that you did :)

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to share in pieces of your time with E. I have just returned to work from my own maternity leave and it is beautiful to remind myself of the beauty in my little one and the things to show and teach him. Thank you for sharing your life and time with all of us, I know it is precious right now.

kate@hautetotsBOS said...

you will have no regrets if you continue this path with your daughter. share it all!
what a beautiful family you are

nmhdias said...

loved this post ;)

kendall said...

Oh thank you for this! I am having my first baby in 6 weeks and I spent so much of my first trimester crying, thinking about how wonderful my husband is, and our I love our little life. Thanks for reminding me that our baby boy isn't going to change anything, he isn't going to change us, but we get to introduce him to our world. Beautifully stated.

leslie.conner said...

That was lovely- beautiful photography! Even more beautiful baby!

Rachel said...

I can completely relate to what you're saying. My little boy is now 6 months. Life is about adding this little person to my world, not making my world revolve around him. BUT its busy, everything takes longer and there's not as much time for everything I used to do...I love it when you have time to post but completely understand if you have to choose between blogging and taking a shower that day -- go for the shower!!!

Becky said...

I know I'm probably comment #50 million, but all of those shots were gorgeous. I love your perspective on things. Your writing is beautiful as well. How in heck did you animate your shots? That is pretty nifty!

Betsy said...

I LOOOOOOVE the Grandpa pictures! Keep them ever before us.

Is that diaper bag the Scout, by Petunia Pickle Bottom???

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

Thanks so much for your lovely chronicles of life lately! This literally made my bad day better ;). You inspire me to go out and appreciate the beauty of the world.

- Angela

Jaime said...

everything in and about this post is beautiful. thanks for letting us catch up with you & your adorable family. your photos tell a story & the words make it that much better.

grandpa's flip flops are THE BEST.

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

Also, I have been wondering, what program do you use to put several pictures together to make them short film?

feel free to email a link to angela.madathil@gmail.com if you have one!

Thanks!

Jen said...

Oh my goodness, these pictures are THE BEST!!!

Loni & Company said...

your posts are always so amazing. mine are boring ha ha ha.

I love that your grandma gave her boobie milk to the cats, how funny!!

That little tiny for E, is so cute! Perfect for her to watch you in your garden!

You've inspired me to plant a garden this summer, I'm only starting with two or three things since I tend to have more of a brown thumb than a green one but I want to grow food to make P's food!

liz. said...

Aura,

Its such an amazing ability to see your life transition, from high school livejournals, to even before lj. There was a long time going that we both had very parallel lives, but I am so so happy to see you....happy. You have never changed. You have always been such a gracious, loving, caring person. I am so happy that you found Michael, you deserve it. I love the fact that you have kept consistent with updating your blog, never stop. Your words are so encouraging and make everyone who reads them find a brighter path in their life. Ironically, I still have the Jetta. I guess one day I can catch up with you!!!! Elodie is a little ray of sunlight!

Hannah Elisabeth said...

beautiful <3

Sue in Canada said...

Great comeback to that anon reader. You are amazing! I have a girlfriend who I think is the most amazing mother I have ever known....you are up there with her now. She is herself with two little girls. She is there for those little angels and loves them to pieces but she also is her and makes time for herself and her friends.
I love your blog and your family circle!

Christina said...

I love it, I love it, I love it all. The pictures, your perspective, your truth and the way you embrace it so passionately. Such a lucky little girl and such lucky parents. You each have found your niche in this world and you all are so blessed to get to live it together. And yay for me for getting to experience it through this blog!! : )

kati said...

haters gonna hate, right? things do change, obviously, but not for the worse. and those of us that use our cameras to document only document all the more once we've got something as amazing as elodie to snap :) xx

With Love, Jamie said...

Best post, EVER. Seriously, so beautiful, real & true :)

talia & scottie said...

absolutely beautiful Aura. what a precious mama you are. Elodie will look back & see how passionately you loved her even in the first days, moments, weeks, months & years.

Huda said...

beautiful response to a judgmental person who seems to lack the basic reality of being a parent: your life isn't necessarily transformed by a baby, rather its enriched by it. Parenting is a life time journey from all the sacrifices my parents made and from observing loved ones who have kids, but the best parents are those who try their best to find many moments of 'me/us,' so they can give their best to their children.

Lastly, what this anon person forgets is the fact that we don't know you despite the illusion online blogging creates that we all know ppl personally. But I enjoy the amazing gifts you share with us as a photographer and the few glimpses into your personal life. It inspires me as an amateur photographer and outdoorsy person.

Macy said...

When my husband and I got married, everyone warned us about how awful it could be and that "someday we'd learn" about the limitations and problems that marriage brings.

We've been married for 4 years now, and we're still waiting for that brick wall of "old married couple" to hit. I don't believe it will actually happen like they say it will. We're just us. And now we're married.

Then we got a cat, and everyone said how awful it would be to have to be responsible for something (what if you have to go out of town or something?!) and we waited for this huge life changing moment of becoming pet owners, and nope. Nothing. We're still us. And now we have a cat.

So we've learned to tune out the "someday you'll learn"s and the "Just wait until ____ happens". I don't believe in it.

I believe that when we have kids someday, we'll still be us. And we will also be parents.

I love hearing your words about taking baby on adventures with you. Life has to readjust but it doesn't have to stop. I'm not even pregnant yet, but the "someday you'll learn" crowd has already started in with their warnings about how we'll have to give up so much to be parents. I know better than to listen this time.

We'll do what works for us. And I have a pretty big inkling that it will include taking baby on cheap trips to the Sonic Drive in and out picking wildflowers or to visit my parents ranch and see all the animals. Just like we've always done.

Thank you, thank you for sharing this, because you're the first momma I've seen that is living this notion out. I love it. :)

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration as a new mother. I don't have children, but sometimes I think that having a baby does somewhat confine you. You truly show the opposite and I admire that about you as a mother so incredibly much.

Our Green Nest said...

I remember when you wrote that post anonymous is talking about and I thought it was cute (er, funny) that you said that, or maybe just confusing. I don't understand how parenthood doesn't change people (specifically, mothering and more specifically, natural birthing). My gosh, I hope it changes you, it's meant to, or at least I believe so. Am I still the person I was before having my girl? No, I'm way better - stronger, healthier, more confident, determined, more aware, and so on and on! But maybe some people are thinking of "change" differently than others. I think so. I think we should still (eventually) do all the things we truly loved doing before we were parents (granted they're safe and healthy and whatnot) and share them with our kiddos, but I don't like when parents choose to have children and just expect their life to keep on as before and "not change"...and expect their children to love everything they love and attempt to make their children somehow "fit" into their previous lifestyle. This form of selfish parenting is pretty darn prevalent these days and I feel bad for those kiddos who are just along for the ride and whose parents are always doing what's best for THEMSELVES and not for their kiddos. BUT that being said, I don't think you're that kind of parent from what I read/see at all...looks like you're a very loving mama just trying to show the world and the things you love in it to your little beautiful daughter.

Sini said...

These pictures are so beautiful, the text is even more. I'm glad you shared your daily life with the family, all the photos and emotions :) And oh my gosh, your way to stretch! you are like a ballerina. I need to start the sports r i g ht now! :P

caitlin said...

You're so inspiring.

sonia said...

YOU ARE ABSOLUTLY AMAZING!! WHAT A FANTASTIC WOMAN. LOVE YOUR BLOG ,AND LOVE THE FACT THAT THIS WORLD HAS PEOPLE LIKE YOU! CONGRATULATIONS.

Ramona said...

awesome awesome awesome! I love that you have her be part of the life you live! I would do the same thing. Beautiful pictures, Aura!

Peggy Anne said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this gentle reminder of how I can still be ME and be a mother of 2wee ones as well. Blessings to you and your family!

Jaymi said...

I know that you know all of this already but, people love to criticize new parents, even if they have never been in the same place. Once that baby comes, your life will never be the same no matter what you do. And it shouldn't be. You're never going to be the same person you once were, but that's the beautiful part of the whole thing. For me, I garden during nap time, eat with one hand and take baths with my son. Some people might say that he has changed who I once was and turned my life upside down. I agree, and that's what I love about this experience.

So yes, I think Anonymous was on to something, even though that was their attempt to knock you down. Motherhood does change you, it should. It doesn't erase who you you used to be, though.

A Cappelli said...

I love what commenter, Alina said "You have such a beautiful soul." That is what I take away from your writing each and every time- that sense of loveliness, purity of soul, the gracious attitude with which you embrace life. It is often too easy to be cynical about parenthood (motherhood), I have been guilty of it in my own writing. You remind me in each of your posts to be appreciative of the gifts, of the world I have been so lucky to have been a part of for these past 14+ as a mother.

white collar | green soul said...

I'm slightly sad that you had to defend yourself to a statement like that... it's quite a naive and ignorant one. But you did so very eloquently and I loved seeing what you've been up to these last few weeks. The pictures are beautiful as always.

Lyssa at Living Simple in the South said...

AURA,
I love lovelove your blog, but have never commented :)Yesterday we found out we are having a sweet baby girl :) she will be our second child, our son is seventeen months. I remember how hard it was getting the swing of things and just wanting to have a little time to put lotion on my legs his first year of life.
HIs first year of life was wonderful and I loved it, but it was huge for me....as in struggle. Looking back I am so thankful because he has brought out the best in me. I love the person I am whole heartedly for the first time in my life and that is simply because he taught me so many wonderful things. I wish the same for you. You will be humbled and taught so much about beauty (because for the first time you cant spend that much time on yourself), but you will look back and be more whole as a person than you ever dreamed. You will become a stronger woman and realize those changes came when you didnt expect them or prepare for them.
Congrats on your sweet one. You are wonderful and I know you are a terrific mother. Thanks for the beautiful pictures to brighten my day!
Love,
Lyss

didi said...

Oh Aura, those pictures totally made my day and I was like, 'Whoooa...'
Thank you for your willingness to share it. Those clouds, I have only seen it on a science tv show.
And that picture of you as a baby girl... if I haven't been following your blog, I'd thought she was Elodie..
Aura + spring = grrrrreat pictures.
:)

Sabrina said...

What an annoying, condescending comment. You certainly responded gracefully.

Sabrina said...

What a condescending comment. You handled it gracefully.

Katrina Gelino said...

One of the best posts I've read in a long time from all the blogs I follow. You're such a good momma! When my husband and I finally get pregnant, I intend to keep doing what we love doing too. If you can do it, so can I! xoxo

http://katrinagelino.blogspot.com/

Jacqueline Marie said...

Thanks for sharing your soul with the world. :)

becca b said...

You're divine in every way.

mirella said...

You are the coolest mom! I love your posts, and this one made me tear up. I love how you are sharing your passions and showing the world to Elodie! It's wonderful. I wish I had been that adventurous in the first 6 weeks with my baby!!! Beautiful post - rock on mama :)

Johanna said...

Oh Aura. I'm all smiles reading your words about your little family. You've always been so positive and authentic - I never doubted that you'd stay true to yourself and your adventures and hobbies. Kurt and I often roll our eyes when we hear that "our lives as we know it will be over" once we have children. No more vacations, day trips, restaurants. People love to tell us that! Especially people we know who are parents themselves, often looking exasperated, maybe even vindictive. What's up with that? I look away nervously, wondering if maybe they're right, or maybe I'm naive? I know it can't be easy, I know it MUST be different, but I hope I'm never that brusk, hollow-faced mom, warning newlyweds about their doomed lives. Anyway - I know it can't be true, because you're here telling me so. Again, not that I had any doubts.

Thank you for reassuring us and sharing these sweet moments. I really appreciate the time and thought you put into these beautiful posts.

Johanna

Erin said...

just lovely

little fire said...

beautiful, strong and peaceful words and images, Aura. thank you! As a mama to an almost one-year-old (yikes, how did that happen? fastest year of my LIFE!), i share a similar journey of facing inevitable change while maintaining a strong sense of self. Sharing scents and the world with my baby has been the best gift in the world. But as much as we show and teach our children, this past year has revealed to me that they teach us so much more-- about the little things AND the big things.

brinabird said...

your words are really beautiful. i have followed you from while you were pregnant and it has always been interesting for me because i was only a few months ahead of you in my pregnancy and now with my little one. i wish i could find the same words to express what i feel for him. unfortunately for me he seems to dominate my life and i am fitting into his life rather than him fitting into mine :)funny thing though is that i don't really mind.

Katrina (Betty Ray) said...

Ok, that comment from anon. was kinda snarky, but I'm a little bit glad she/he (I'm assuming it's a she) posted it because the end result is this lovely post full of fabulous photos of your life.

I will never understand why many women just seem unable to celebrate and enjoy the successes and beauty of other women. I am glad you still enjoy so much beauty in your life and are showing your little lady how to live that way too.

Valerie said...

I LOVED this post and what you said about doing the same things, only slower! I love that you include your daughter in your lives and that you treat her as one of the family. I know that sounds silly as she IS one of the family but so many people view their children as pains, something they have to work around. Like you, I try to teach my children all about our world because I want desperately for them to be good, happy, contented people and to know how much their Dad and I love them and how much we enjoy their company. They are such a joy to me and I always have twice as much fun when they are there! Anyway, all of that to say that I loved your post and perspective. :)

ljamroz said...

Beautiful post! I thought that question was worded quite rudely, I love your response!

The chickpea meal looks divine! Is there any way you could teach us how to make it?

TC said...

Gorgeous post, as always.

My parents never gave up the life they loved, either. They took my brother and I to concerts on school nights. Now that I'm older I can look back and see what that meant and how special it was to have happy parents.

Jack said...

I am so glad to have found your blog. It is a continuous source of inspiration and fills me with a renewed sense of appreciation for the everyday ... a new set of eyes.

Thank you for that.

Amanda Mae said...

That person knows nothing of your life. You are who you are and you are doing what you want to be doing. This was a great post. In a lot of ways my son has made me MORE of who I am because he has inspired me. Yes, you have to fight through the exhaustion, but it gets easier, slowly but surely.

Beautiful photos... and those clouds!! WOW!

Anonymous said...

you are a beautiful mom!

Rachael said...

Beautiful post! I love the way you write about motherhood! I am not a mom, by the way, but I love it.
Love the photos! They go perfect with your words!
And your daughter's eyes....
I love her in her little tent. That was adorable.
As for the anonymous person...you should just say, yes, you feel the same way. But better. Because you're a mom now!

Chinye said...

I've spent all morning going through previous post because this particular one inspired me so.

Thank you for giving us all a glimpse into life as a mommy. I'm no mother, but I am a person who has a multiplicity of interests, and there are times when I'm question why I have changed because I'm so involved with myself. You are not only living the life you have created for yourself, you are also showing your daughter just what it means to be alive, and that to me is a beautiful thing.

Lis said...

I do not know what the intent was behind the questions asked of anon. Adding a smiley to anything {lol} can make anything seem innocent enough, so not sure if she/he was teasing or serious.

I will say I believe you have incorporated Elodie BEAUTIFULLY into your blog; what you are known for--your amazing way with words and stunning photos--are now simply dressed up with an adorable baby. Um, what do people expect?

You have not changed in what I believe is the way you intended not to, which you explained so eloquently in this post. But you're mommy now. I know what that means--and it is that you are forever changed.

Keep growing. :)

Allison said...

Bravo! Aura, you are an inspiration in every way.

xoxo

Katie said...

This post was AMAZING.

I've been a long reader of your blog and enjoy it immensely.

I'm from Oklahoma as well and absolutely love how you describe it. I absolutely love how you express yourself through photos and absolutely love your beautiful family.

I had a little girl 7 months ago and every time I read your posts about Elodie, I tear up and want to get home so fast from work to imbrace my little babe.

much love to you and your family. You are inspiring!!

C'est Moi said...

Hey girl,

Quick question about your baby tent; it's the Peapod, right? What model and why did you choose it? I'm so confused because they offer so many models and I'm not sure what the difference is between them but I, like you, want to use it outdoors on a patio.

Thanks! And if you ever need any new mom advice, please get in touch. I'm so happy that your first weeks are going so well; I was a bit of a mess but almost five months later, the world has changed and now my life with Eliza is blue skies on even the rainiest of days!

xx

Snappy-Q said...

Hi Aura,
I just have to say that while I always love your blog, this post has just blown me away. Hubby and I are expecting our first baby in July, and it has been so hard for me to imagine what it will be like to have a whole new person in my life, without totally losing who I am now. I am grateful that you were able to share so clearly and honestly how you are managing to do so. I really appreciate it, and will be coming back to this post time and time again.
Thanks,
Susie

Becca said...

oh my goodness. so gorgeous.

I love your life and the life in your photos!

what kind of camera do you use?

thanks so much for sharing this goodness with all of us.

heater a. said...

Oh Aura, thank you SO much for this post. Elodie is so lucky to have you both for parents.

I'm 21 weeks along with my own little girl. The first trimester was spent in various states of shock. I love my life, and I didn't want it to change. My favorite things are riding my horse while the sun goes down, building things, and painting. It's been hard to come up with ways to incorporate a little one into that. I know I will have help, and I will figure things out, but it all seems so overwhelming.

Thank you for letting us all know that your life is adapting, not changing. I needed to hear it in the worst way.

The Eshbaughs said...

Aura,
I have been reading your blog for a month now and got addicted on day one. I have read most every post. not cause I am a weird stocker but because you inspire me to be better than I am. I love your creativity. thank you for sharing it with the world. I look forward to reading more and seeing more. You help me to be a better person.

Love,
Kayla

Anonymous said...

hmmm...passive aggressive? hidden intent? insensitive? Perspective shift - I didn't read that into the post/question at all. Sounded like one knowing mom asking a new mom if unexpected changed had in fact taken place...and based on life experience and comments made, I would say they have: "never felt more needed", "feels like the first day that I am alive", "I will learn to let go of my lists, and throw them to the bottom of a hole marked "To-Don't." I, too, would say you have changed... and that isn't a bad thing.

Aura said...

Anonymous - I don't disagree that I've changed, of course I have! I just wanted to throw out there that I was still me, as well. I wasn't offended by the comment, it takes a lot to get through my thick skin :)

Katie said...

you ARE different. you're still you. your husband is still him. but you are both different. you're BETTER because of Elodie. the same, but different. better. you're trying to convince us that you're the same by saying how you're different. embrace it. or, should i say, thanks for embracing it in this post.

Danielle said...

This post is kind of freaking me out a little because Rachel and I were JUST at dinner this evening and we started talking about you and the little one, and I brought up how I haven't even talked to you in person since you left the salon, but that you seemed like a different Aura... I can just remember having conversations where you thought having a baby growing inside of you was so weird and foreign to you, and how you and Michael were so happy-go-lucky and didn't have a care in the world, and how you wanted to wait a few years before having kids, etc. But now you're a mom, a mother, a caregiver to little version of you and the one you love. And so I don't think you have changed who you are, you have just.. changed.

Kelley, Brendan and Baby Brix said...

You live in an enchanted fairy world that I could never breach...

(a compliment)

died.of.a.theory said...

This was so beautiful, I'm actually in tears. And I've been reading your blog for years.

Brighton said...

Perfectly put!

sarah said...

well, we're all different. personally my baby rocked and turned my world upside down. i can't imagine simply getting her to fit into our world.

and the best thing about motherhood? i AM changed. and thankful for that.

no matter how long i was on the spiritual path, my child has been the best teacher, and every student must change.

Pam said...

I've been delighted to witness your pregnancy, birth of your beautiful daughter! You simply AMAZE me, inspire me to live life to the fullest. You have such passion for your family, photography, garden, it shows in your words too. So proud of you little momma and thank you SO much for sharing your world with me <3!

Mrs. G said...

Lady A,

You have done exactly what your title says...you have made room in your life for E. You have retained all of the traits and perspectives and desires that will make her not only fall completely in love with you but want to be just like you. And that is the greatest compliment any child can pay to his or her parent.

Anonymous doesn't know you very well at all.

<3,

L

christiana claudia said...

What a wonderful, elegant and poetic response to a mindless comment! I am so inspired by your mindfulness, and love of small bits of nature!

Elisa said...

Isn't amazing that such comments are almost always anonymous? hiding..
I personally feel honored that you open your doors of your private life to us. I'm always always (since I started reading your blog a few months ago)inspired by your photos, your words. (you have a way with words) that seem to speak on behalf of many mothers out there.

I always look forward with excitement when I get to read a bit of your life that you so graciously share with us.

Mountain Girl said...

Ok, I don't often post a comment, but in this case I think I must. You know something at your young age that I didn't. I am now about a half century old, my two boys are grown and married. I didn't know that one of the best things, as you said, to give my boys was the knowledge that I am/was a separate individual apart from them -- that I had a sense of identity outside of them (your words). Had I known who I was and that it was ok to just be me; that I did not have to conform to someone's idea of who I should be, well, things would've been much different. I think you're on the right track. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty.

Jessica said...

Sigh. :)
Love. Love. Love. That is what I send to you Aura. Love and patience for those times when you encounter people that mistake you and your actions for something that they aren't. You are a beautiful person with such a bright light shining from you. You are brave enough to share all of your joys, sorrows, struggles, celebrations, just your LIFE with the world. There are always going to be people out there either in internet land or in person around you that don't agree with what you say and do (especially parenting wise and that's okay too :) ). You are staying true to you and that is all that matters. I have thanked you before for sharing your personal life with us through your blog, and I will continue to do so because it's a true genuine joy to know you even through blog-space.
You are honoring where you are on this part of your life journey, and all the while making space to bring Elodie into your lives.

She is a lucky little girl to have such an amazing woman for a mother to guide her along the way.

Anonymous said...

Since when did "change" become a dirty word?

I missed all the hoopla, because I don't check every day...but I do read Aura's blog often-evident in my ability to reference her old entry. Perhaps this is a lesson to me just how much "comments" and texts and just...just...black and white WORDS lack sometimes.
Before I had my first little darlin' I also made proclamations about how things wouldn't change. They did, though. Little bits at first...then great things. That is not some cynical/jaded mommy-in-sweatpants-on-the-couch talking. (Well ok, I'm in sweatpants right now). My oldest is three and a half and my youngest is 9 months and every day there are changes. Just last night I was up until 1 am researching ways to be a better mom...to better handle tantrums, to make better food, to introduce them to a new dance, to recognize my shortcomings so I can be better for them. I spent today looking into my son's little face and knowing I was meant to be his mom, to learn more patience, to see I'm not always right. He is teaching me a lot. And so I'm learning...doesn't that mean changing?
Evolving, growing, becoming, CHANGING...I don't think anyone can stare into the face of the most amazing little human being (your baby) and not be changed. To me its not a dirty word. And when I was reading Aura's recent posts I thought I saw that she too had seen this amazing-ness. Things change...we change...but its ok. The baby will change you and that's a good thing. Or, so I thought.

Why do we get so defensive about letting motherhood change us? It is AMAZING how I've changed! (Lots of things change me...not just being a mommy-and thank goodness! I would be awfully boring otherwise.) I always find that statement "It won't change me" a little naive-but in a good way (don't go attacking me again here for being so cynical and hateful, etc-lighten up!) Its good because I think it sets you up for some really big discoveries (and I think its sort of a rite of passage...I wait and watch lots of friends find the togetherness, the passion, the stress, the priorities "grow", "evolve" and yes, change when they have their first baby. I guess that's what I was trying to point out. A little light-hearted jibe. There was a happy face at the end of my original comment?! :) Maybe my biggest mistake was forgetting those first few early weeks/months with baby and how sensitive our souls are. And for that, I am sorry. And also: Lighten up! Glad to see you are still taking lots of pictures, and I bet most of them are of one "thing": Elodie!

Sorry, Aura...I would have just emailed you but I couldn't find how. (I am sleep deprived as well) It was the wrong comment to make, especially since I don't know you. But you wrote a lovely post to get back at me.

And to all comments: Making decisions about my ability as a woman/mother/person and criticizing me hurt my feelings...pointing out just much more how MY words were wrongly interpreted. So I guess I'll just hope I'm taking it all in the wrong vein as well. Next time I want to make a little joke, or share a little laugh with someone I don't even know over the internet, I'll probably just stay mute as well as anonymous. I'm not being snarky...truly...in case you can't hear my tone here. (That sounds snarky but isn't meant to be. I mean it! No REALLY! Still snarky?)

Anonymous said...

BAH! I wrote too much. I should've stopped at "Since when is change a dirty word?". Y'all are too much for me. Oh well. G'night.

Anonymous said...

Motherhood does change your life, however it is for the better! Life is easy with a newborn compared to a toddler! You can bring babies anywhere. It gets a little trickier when they start to have a mind of their own! Kudos to you for embracing the joys in motherhood.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I love your pictures and your baby is adorable. Personally, I think being a parent changes you in your heart. You are still who you have always been, just better.

Lil Muse Lily said...

looks like you are all enjoying life the way you should. all the pictures are amazing but those clouds? INSANE!!!

KK said...

In response to Anonymous, I'd say you are exactly the same but only better!

Wendy said...

The same only better. :) You look amazing for a new momma! The photos are all so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I do understand what was meant by the question....my daughter is one month older than Elodie, and I am forever, surprisingly changed. Aura, your post puts words to exactly how I feel about showing her me and my world as she grows-- I return to work this week, and you perfectly express the range of emotions this brings me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The comment from anonymous didn't sound like a criticism to me and I'm glad she got to clear it up so nicely. Aura, we all love your writing and your photos and find your words inspirational. There are thousands of us and one of you, so it's no surprise that sometimes we feel like you're a close friend when you don't even know us :) the anonymous comment sounded like a friend seeing how you've discovered the awesomeness of motherhood.

O'Melly said...

Hey Aura-Lady!

Glad to see you're still posting that beautiful inspirational photography of yours! It's something you've obviously well-crafted over the years.. and I'm glad to see that hasn't changed.

Hope all is well and peaceful with incorperating your little baby girl into your life style.

Looking forward to more posts!

-Melanie

Cheryl McCormick said...

Your beautiful, and your even more beautiful now that you are a mamma! Seriously, theres no change in you, except, you have a baby, a creation from yourself and your hubbs. Your a mother, your taking great care of your little one as you should! Some people do change, they allow that in, inviting the unwanted! But you, I have not once caught that from your post! I have been following your post for years now, and friends with you on myspace years back, and you are STILL you!! This is why I keep checking in, because I have always loved reading your blogs! You are an amazing photographer, and such an inspiring writer! I love to see what you have to say about life, and its great to see another marriage, through another's! People get upset, people get jealous, but whatever! You are you!! This is why we ALL love reading and keeping up with your life! Just because you don't post everyday, doesn't mean you have changed. xo

Nelly said...

<3

rikshaw design said...

ohh the joy of anonymous comments!! you look amazing and that Elodie is scrumptious! the tent is genius!xo

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

First off - Happy Belated Mother's Day :) I haven't been by in a while it's been busy, busy here starting to plan a wedding. But I had to stop by to see how the family is doing. She is just precious and I'm so happy you feel content and know you haven't lost yourself. The images of the sunset on the back patio of you two are breathtaking! Can't wait to read more! ox

sweetnektar said...

Love your photography, your baby Elodie is beyond stunning, and loved the motion sequence shots. Very clever, nice to look at and congrats on a beautiful treasure!!

Summerly Joy said...

You are inspiration. This anonymous reader was an idiot.

Anna said...

Aura- I adore reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures and accounts of your life. A few months ago I found out that we also brought home a little surprise from our trip overseas and my husband and I are beyond excited. From the pictures that I've seen, I love your nursery-it looks so cozy! I'm having a hard time finding inspiration for our nursery, can you post more pictures of your babies beautiful room?

Lady Jennie said...

My life didn't change nearly as much when I had my firstborn as it did when she became a toddler. Or when I had my second. Or third. It's when I was no longer able to "control" the chaos that my life really changed. As a new mom I was still strolling around Manhattan with my daughter in tow having the best of times (once the sleeplessness and shock wore off). But when my second was born (colicky), my first was only 20 months. Plus I was living in France with no driving license and not knowing anyone who lived nearby. That was really hard for me.

Sonja said...

This entry was absolutely lovely! My own son is just a few weeks older than your Elodie and I too have been doing everything I can to just bring him along on my own life journey rather than trying to "babyfy" my life. He's been out and about with me from the day that I brought him home.

I've also been doing my best to get pictures of him each day, but I must confess that mine are nowhere near as gorgeous as yours!

I just found your blog and will absolutely be keeping up with your beautiful photos and lovely family :)

chambanachik said...

Perfect. :)

Connie said...

Your blog is so raw and real, I love it! The pictures are captivating! Those pictures of the clouds took me back to my last couple summers in Oklahoma. OH how I miss those clouds! They are so ominous and mysterious to me... I was new to them and had no idea what they meant. Huge storm? End of the world?! hehe
I also HAVE to get a tent for my kiddo... why have I had two kids and still never gotten one?!

Mystic Musician said...

I really enjoyed reading about your early life and your family. I feel that there is little doubt that Elodie will benefit from being raised by your whole 'village'. Lovely post.

Victoria said...

This post was perfect. I'm so glad that you shared with us a little bit of your life and that you responded in such a calm way. In a weird way I'm glad that anonymous wrote that because all of the photos are great! You two are such fun parents and Elodie is so lucky! I'm glad that your life has continued even if blogging has taken a bit of a back burner. I think most of us understand, even if we do miss it like crazy!

C said...

Your my favorite blogger.

You have a beautiful family, and you are such an inspiration.

xoxo,
C

jbok said...

just recently found ur blog but i wanted to tell you that u inspire me to follow my instinct. thank u for putting urself out there :)

Anonymous said...

I can understand that people view "change" as something disagreeable-it sounds like we completely remove what we once were.
I married young, I had a stack of hopes and dreams for me and my husband. People teased that I was now stuck. My husband didn't tie me down or limit me, I had my hopes and dreams still that he supported but I also found new hopes dreams and interests that were a combination of his and mine, I went from me me me me me, to me/we. A perfect expansion of who I am.
Now as a new parent I was worried and concerned over all the same things as people teased that I would be stuck. But again my child didn't tie me or my husband down it has become me/we/us, another expansion of who we are and sharing our hopes, dreams, interests with this little one and so excited to see theirs forming and growing.
I think the thing is you don't change, but life does and that happens whether you marry, have children, stay single travel to a far off land or never to anything at all.
Aura you seem to be finding your "expanding" life as an incredible adventure and with the understanding that your life is changing but you as a person, with the same likes and dislikes, is not. Congratulations.

VanityofVanities said...

"When you have a baby, it doesn't mean you will forever lose yourself, and the things you love."

Well said. Having a baby is not about losing but being made complete. The baby completes who you are as a person, eh. Love the baby photo and more photos on this post.

Thanks for sharing,
Cathy@scrubs cheap