Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You can swim through every tide.




Hello, friends.

I want to say that I always appreciate your sweet feedback and comments, but I especially appreciate them on my last post. There were so many wonderful, heartfelt comments in there, and I promise that I do read every single one. Even Michael loves to take time out of the day to sit and read through them all. Unfortunately about 20+ comments went missing on the day that Blogger had the hiccups, so I'm sorry if yours was one of the ones that disappeared.

I also need to address something. It was not my intention at all to necessarily call out or get back at the anonymous comment I received. Although I appreciate everyone coming to my defense, I have incredibly thick skin, and it takes a lot to hurt my feelers :) It was my intent to show that life can go on after you have a baby, and who you are does not have to change. With that being said, I also agree with anonymous, and those of you that suggested that we all do change.



I absolutely have. There are parts of me that are the same, and parts that will never be the same, again. I hope that in the next few weeks, I can be open here and share some of the hard times we have had with Elodie. Because lord knows there were bad days...and sometimes weeks. There is an ugly side to every beautiful story, and our story was no different. Becoming a parent changes you, even if you dig your claws deep and refuse it, kicking and screaming.


I also want to add that I want to continue to keep this blog a place where anyone can come to gather inspiration or find their way. Our monthly visitors are now closing in on 100,000 readers a month, and I know that a lot of you read through the comments as well as my posts. It is so easy to find support, encouragement, and new friendships in the words you all leave here. I would love it if we could all try our best to always be kind, and treat every one else with respect. Not only in the messages you leave for me, but for the ones you leave each other as well. I would hate to ever feel like something I said started a disagreement that could not be handled kindly.



Thank you, friends, and how was your weekend? We spent time with family, shopped, laid out on a blanket and listened to music at Groovefest, and walked some new trails.



I also got to spend a little time working in the yard, and pulled my first handfuls of strawberries and some lettuce from the garden. We are putting a lot of work into our landscaping/the patio this year, so pulling weeds from my veggie beds felt like visiting an old friend. And check out that mess in front of the fence on the right! That is a huge bed of volunteer sunflowers, coming back from last years spilled seeds. I hope that soon, I can find a minute to blog about backyard farming, this year.



And speaking of change, the day after tomorrow I am back at work and my maternity leave is over. This time flew by entirely too quickly, and all day I have been feeling a bit blue about the changes that are to come. But like every other milestone I have reached in my life, I know that this too will transition smoothly and life will go on...with a few extra tears. We can all swim through every tide.



Happy Tuesday, friends.

75 comments:

Emily from Philly said...

It's lovely to hear from you this evening!

I almost commented on the last post but I held back...it made my blood boil for you to to read what I interpreted as a pretty smug (and cowardly!) comment. I am pregnant as well and am starting to feel some pants of the super-emotional side effects, so I thought better of it. =)

Best of luck to you on your time back at work! I hope you have someone who you can trust and who your little one enjoys being around!

--JamJam said...

These photos are SO gorgeous. I am in love with all of them and being able to have a peek into your enchanted little life makes my heart soar.

I used to feel as though I could never have children because I felt too selfish and as though my personality and everything that made me ME would wither away upon their arrival...your blog proves me wrong every time I visit. When I see how lovely it can be I get a little flutter in my stomach from excitement for my own future.

Love your blog, take care!

Alexandria said...

I find your words to be inspiring. Completely. 100 percent inspiring. You exemplify everything I hope to be when I (hopefully) one day join you in the ranks of motherhood.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

i guess time flies.. your baby has gotten big...enjoy the experience...they grow up too fast.

Melisande said...

l always look forward to seeing a post from you, and sitting down to read your blog is a bit of a treat for me. i can't wait until i live somewhere where i can garden every day--you inspire me!
good luck going back to work and have a wonderful week! :)

-Maria- said...

finally delurking- love your photos of course but more so your emphasis on handling things w/ kindness, what a good reminder and a wonderful thing to focus on! thanks:)

{jaclyn} said...

such grace. you are able to express yourself in such a clear and eloquent manner. you shared some very good reminders for us all.

Gaby said...

Aw, Elodie looks so big in that photo! Good luck with going back to work. I'm sure that must be really hard, but like you said, life will go on. xx

Don't Blink said...

Your pictures and words are always inspiring...you touch people deeper than you will ever know...thank you for that.

Kiersten said...

I love that your teabags have encouraging little messages on them, Aura! I always love finding messages on my candy and such (Snapple lids, Halls wrappers, Dove candy wrappers....)!
Good luck with going back to work on Thursday - I'm sure it'll be hard, but like you said you'll get through it and still find plenty of time with Elodie!
<3 Kiersten

Adelina said...

Best of luck to you on your return to work. My little one was born 2/7/11 and I'm lucky that my return to work isn't until 7/7/11. However with my first I went back when she was just 10 wks old. It was a difficult time for me. My only advice is that if it's at all possible to go back to work on a Thursday, do it. It's easier on you and the baby. Someone told me that with my first and it did help. I couldn't imagine going back and leaving her everyday for a full week right away.

I wish you peace and strength through this transition.

Annie Kennedy said...

You have one beautiful little baby.

C'est Moi said...

Thank you for being honest, Aura. So many new moms are afraid to address some of the painful realities of infancy but I feel it's so important to do so and try to be honest about my journey.

It's hard but the rewards are bountiful. xx

Morgan said...

i love her hair!
she's beautiful!


and i love your encouraging words.
there's a reason you have so many followers ;)

Olivia Grace said...

Our sweet baby is six months old this week and I still get a lump in my throat when I leave her in the morning for work. But I constantly remind myself that my work is not only providing a better life for my kids, but it is meaningful and soul reviving for me. We all do the best we can in life to create that perfect harmony and balance. Good luck to you, your daughter is gorgeous!! You have such a beautiful outlook on life, I know that you will carry that with you when you return to work!

Mother Minion said...

My heart breaks for you that you have to go on maternity leave-it's so hard to leave the little loves of our lives.

You are a wonderful Momma, and you have a beautiful daughter.

I always look so forward to your posts!

Amy Rose said...

i always love reading your blog and seeing your pictures...and i think babies with photographer parents are the luckiest! :) i also think that you handled the anonymous comment very well...i've had those before (back in livejournal days) and i went off! i admire your composure! :)

Mandy said...

I love that you have an identity as a woman, as well as being a mother and wife. Our babies NEED us to recognize the importance of being ourselves- even though we are giving so much of ourselves to our little ones. I think it is wonderful you are keeping up with your gorgeous photography and blog. I know it is hard at time to juggle all these things- and I give you props for being a great mom and a great woman. I enjoy reading your blog so much! And I LOVE your baby's name, Elodie!

-Mandy @ She Breathes Deeply

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

I am new to you blog - a friend suggested it to me when I asked her about her favorite blogs.

This past weekend, I left my daughter for the first time (she is 6 months old) to attend a family member's graduation out of town, and I just wanted you to know that your blog brought me so much comfort while I was away. I kept "borrowing" my brother's iPhone to read through your posts. You have a beautiful family, and you take amazing photos. Thanks for sharing your life.

Alivia said...

Thank you for this post, no matter the content, you always make me feel peaceful and content.
Your baby girl is simply stunning.

Anonymous said...

I only came across your lovely site a few weeks ago and have grown to just adore you,your family, your pictures, and your garden.

Your relationship with your family is just like mine. It is the foundation of who we are,where we have come from, and where we are going (sweet elodie!).

I lost my papa 3 yrs ago - it was devastating but instinctively we came together to hold grandma together. Your grandpa reminds me of him - hat, slippers, plaid shirt,and especially his love for grandma.

Thank you Aura...and yes you can swim through every tide-look at everyone who is cheering you on :)

~g

Darcie said...

The last comment from Alicia.. I feel the same way. And the last post really touched me.
My daughter is 1.5 and my son is 4.5 months. I sometimes feel like I'm stuck in a rut and I'm really trying to LIVE not just exist.
Blogging has become one of my favorite things ever, and I love reading yours and seeing the photos as well.
God bless!

Summerly Joy said...

After reading your blog for so long I have started to feel like we are old friends. As silly as that sounds. I have enjoyed seeing you and your lovely family grow. I cannot wait to see how you grow as a mother.

I send my love, A Devoted Reader.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my heart hurts for you having to go back to work so soon! In Canada we get a whole year off and there are people that still take more without pay after that.

Thank you for being so inspiring and sweet. I always love reading your blog. :)

Miss Rai said...

I've seen you around Norman and mutual friends have recommended reading this blog. I just want to say that Elodie is the prettiest name I've ever heard and I hate to say this but your baby is prettier than my baby! ;)

Miss Rai said...

Side note: postpartum depression. its a hard road but will only make your feet stronger. addressing it is the best way to cope. we all went through it. its always good to know you're not alone in feeling a basic primal instinct. we support you.

it took me about a year to climb out of sleep full of nightmares. but i promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Anonymous said...

What happened to your dream of starting your business so you could stay at home with your baby? Why are you making the choice to let someone else raise your kid?

O'Melly said...

Thanks, as always, for the inspiration Aura!

Being someone who loves to try to understand the purpose of hardships, I find it reassuring to know that we're not alone in times of frustration and that no one can experience perfection 100% of the time.

Just recently I've had stress and anxiety over finding a new job and having to go back to work altogether (much like yourself), and while I'm not at all glad that your "blue" about it.. it is nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling those feelings!

Gorgeous photography (as always) and god bless your little family, especially through the tough times.

Melanie

Sini said...

I didn't get any hard feelings of the questions and answers, people change and everyone will take it the best they can. I think change can be a good thing, it might make us hurt too but we will learn. And get over things :) I think you are making incredible things, Aura, while living your life fully, having amazing family and still, finding the time to do the things you love. I do hope your return to work will go smoothly.

My parents were here on weekend, it was a surprise trip! I was so happy to see them, we all cried when they were leaving. family is so important, it's hard when they live so far away. my weekend was definetly great <3

Anonymous said...

i expect my second baby in 2 months. we all have 12 months long maternity here in Slovenia, Europe. How long is it in the USA? do you have "special" kindergarten for little babies? :-)
i wish you all the best!

Pearl said...

aww..this post is so sweet.
I'm happy to know you read all your comments. ;)
Such Beautiful Pictures you take.
Do you care if I post some on my blog in the future? I promise to credit the photo of course.
I'm planning on making my very own garden in the back yard, just as soon as the weather gets better here in pdx. So excited! Cant wait for the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers!

Have a Blessed Day!


Pearl

ms whg said...

Dear Aura,

I love ALL your posts but especially loved the one on making room for Elodie. I became a mother when I was 20, so I had no idea how to be myself AND to be a good mother. In fact, I'm finally having my gap year in Istanbul at 50 and still trying to balance it all out. I learned so much from your post, and even with 20something daughters found so much inspiration for becoming a good mother, which is, luckily, and life-long project xx

theworkingholiday.blogspot.com

Meg said...

Haters hate and lovers love. Gotta keep on keepin' on.

I'm new to the blog. I really enjoy all your pictures and your words. I hope that the transition back to work goes well and the adjustment goes as smoothly as possible.

Meg

17 Perth said...

Aura--

Thank you for being so honest and open about your feelings. It is true that many times a dark side or tough times come with a beautiful story. You are absolutely right. That is the case for most people (if they are willing to and strong enough to admit it). I cannot imagine how wonderful, tough and rewarding the transition is when you have a baby. Congratulations again for all of your great accomplishments.

As for your anonymous comments, I find it very interesting that someone can be so judgmental about you and what you are doing, yet they hide behind an anonymous post.

As always, your photos and writings are beautiful and I look forward to each post. Again, you have a gorgeous little girl--congrats and best of luck going back to work (i know all of your clients will be happy).

Jaymi said...

As much as I want to stay home forever with my kid, going to work is a nice break. And, I am completely jealous of the sunflowers. I try to grow them every year and they never make it. I'm almost positive a few sprouted the other day so, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

i have no baby, i don't even have a boyfriend, but reading your blog keeps me up when i am down. i am down a lot lately, there are a lot of bad things in my life right now. but seeing what you post always reminds me of the beauty in the world, and that not all is lost.

thank you.

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

I too think that we are resilient people who can "swim through every tide". Thanks so much for your lovely pictures and for sharing with us. I'm sure you will find a way to deal with the transition back to work. I know it will be hard though. Juggling home life and work is the part of raising a family that I am the most worried about!

- Angela

M said...

This is a sweet post. That "You can swim through every tide and change of time" is a perfect reminder for me. Thank you for sharing :)

Heather said...

I love coming to your blog, and these last posts of yours have been very inspiring. My husband and I are trying for our first and I confess that I've had moments of uncertainty because I love what we have now as a couple. Your posts give me a little more courage embarking on this new journey of ours.

Urban Wife said...

Thank you for bringing sunshine to my morning. It is always so refreshing to read a different perspective than mine and for that, I appreciate your posts. May you go beautifully throgh this time of transition. Be blessed. :)

Anonymous said...

I am loving your posts, as always! Happy to see you are still taking photos everyday. I am a new mother myself and went back to work after 12 weeks -- and the transition was rough. I was a zombie at work, missing my lil guy, for about 3 weeks; until I was able to feel like myself at work again and find my groove. I do miss my baby everyday while I'm at work, but financially we wouldn't be able to survive on just one income. But I am working a reduced schedule so that helps so much. Motherhood is a beautiful thing and looks like you have discovered that already. Peace. - J.

raichel said...

Back to work??
So soon??

I´m sorry and hope everything is great!!
Just swim...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter.
Your photos are gorgeous and inspiring, as are your words. Thank you.
I am blown away that in the U.S. new moms have to go back to work so soon. I live in Canada where the maternity leave is one year. I honestly cannot imagine going back so soon, especially when you are breastfeeding.
Shame on the U.S. for not supporting families more!
All the best to you through this transition.
I look forward to following along on your journey as a new mom.

jboogribs said...

oh I just <3 your site! I wish I had a yard so i can have a garden and FRESH tomatoes! so gel-us! the pic always are just gorgeous and girl, you look awesome for just having a baby! Keep on keepin on ;)

didi said...

Elodie's hair is just so funky. hehe
keep being positive and inspiring, Aura. :)

Amanda Gibson said...

Just wanted to let you know that your blog is on my list of blogs to check each day....I always love your photographs - and, especially, your words. You have a beautiful spirit and I love stopping by to see the world through your eyes. This is a very happy place. And that baby of yours if GORGEOUS!

Kate said...

I too always look forward to your posts, Aura! Glad things are going so well with Elodie. Keep writing, keep photographing, keep living. Everything you do is so inspirational to others!
:)

Kathleen said...

I have fond that life gets easier in some ways, and harder in others as your baby gets older.
reading these recent posts is bringing back floods of memories of having a newborn! self change is inevitable. I'm STILL fighting it and violet is going to be 2 in 4 months. I meditate on resiliency frequently. resiliency to the changing tide.

p.s. I want to (respectfully) clarify on a comment made by one of your readers. there is a huge difference between postpartum depression and "baby blues". although some symptoms of these do often blend together the diagnosis is not the same.

see below for more info:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mommy-mental-health/200902/baby-blues-or-postpartum-depression

Cheryl McCormick said...

Okay, so, I thought of asking you for some help, since I've been spending some long hot and hard days in my backyard! Yesterday, I pulled weeds around the concrete slabs in my backyard, it was probably the hardest thing ever!!! I pulled them all by hand too, no weed eater, and with that, came lots of scary little critters, from these weeds!! I saw to long snake like things, swivel by me so fast, i jumped out of my boots!!! I did get a great tan though, and thanks to your PERFECT ideas, I used my rain boots after wearing sandles and spiders running out mad that I was tearing apart their little home!... Question, how to keep the weeds away without killing grass? And how often or fast will they grow back, or how often should i make sure to trim them back? I know lots of info. But I needed to ask you, considering you are amazing at this! Thanks love!

Jack said...

Where are you getting these cute striped maxi dresses?!? Love it :)

K said...

Your posts are like a breath of fresh air for me. This is my first pregnancy too and a lot of the blogs I read leave me feeling a bit overwhelmed, anxious, even blue. Yours always inspires me and encourages me and I hope you never stop writing. Thanks again.

Bella Beach Babe said...

I just found your blog. Stumbled upon it actually. Don't you love when you stumble upon a treasure? I have visited so many blogs looked at so many pictures finding yours was worth the wait.

xo

Valerie said...

What sweet words you shared! I completely empathize with you in terms of going back to work. With my first child, I was terribly saddened and sick at the prospect of returning to work. I had a stressful job filled with overnight travel and I couldn't fathom leaving my baby at home (even though my husband is awesome and such a true gem). With my second daughter, I had a different job and was excited to get back into the swing of things. I trusted and loved our sitter and knew my girls were being taken care of.

Anyway, best of luck to you! The first day is the hardest in my experience. I hope you have a great first day back to work and that it goes by quickly for you!

Stacy said...

Dear Aura,
Elodie is getting more and more adorbes in every photo you post. I will be thinking of you and sending good vibes as you go back to work- I, along with every working mother out there, can totally understand the meixed emotions that come with that. Even though I got to stay home with my daughter for 7 months before returning to work, I was a mess that first week and truly had a hole in my heart. However, the silver lining is that it will get easier and easier with time. Just continue to be the strong, graceful woman and mother that you are and you will be okay! xx
PS- why is it that people who have something rude to say like " what happened to your dream of starting your own business? Why are you going to let someone else reaise your child?" hide behind their anonymous identity? Sort of cowardly if you ask me.

Carey said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago, and you put words and images to exactly how I feel about the addition of my little daughter to my life. While we seem to live very different lives, it is amazing to see the similar complications we are working our way through. I am returning to work on the same day as you, it seems, and I am flooded with the need to earn what is needed for my family (her father will be home with her), the urge to continue a career that I love, and the desire to be home with my baby girl. Knowing that I am not the only one navigating this complicated, somewhat unresolvable landscape is comforting. All the best to you, at work and home, as you are doing what is best for you and your baby!

Laura said...

I love your blog. It's so inspiring and beautiful.

diamonddiaper.blogspot.com

Hollie said...

I'm appalled at the rude anonymous comments! You're such a sweet little thing & I can't imagine why someone would ever say something so hurtful to you while you're dealing with the emotions that come along with returning to work after having a baby. I hope your day went ok & I'm sure that things will get easier with time. Kudos to you for doing what you feel is best, because that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

Nuha said...

Coming from a middle eastern background, I love this little window into your world :) You and your family are gorgeous..and your pictures are incredible. I'm your newest follower :)

Anonymous said...

Can you write everyday?

Tori said...

Hello again from Australia, Aura!

Though I don't always comment, I absolutely love reading your blog. I have been reading for about a year-and-a-half. It's beautiful, raw, natural, and it feels so, so truthful. You're a very brave mother, blogging about all the hard times as well as the wonderful ones.

Keep writing, when you find time, because we will keep reading!

Loves of love,
Tori x

bobbi said...

Hi. Elodie is really cute. And your pictures are stunning.

MAJ said...

Wow, what a gorgeous girl with gorgeous hair and a gorgeous name. Does it have a meaning?

MAJ x
http://secretplanet.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL!!! i can't believe how much she's grown in a few short weeks! i come from a family of all working mothers and i will be one in 6 short months. it may be hard at first but i know that i can be a better mother if i can be successful in my career as well. Like you, i'm lucky to have my family around so i know my child will be in good hands when i'm not around and will grow up with well rounded social skills and a huge love for family. and guess what? because my mother worked so hard outside of the house as she did when she was home, we had the luxury of having the financial freedom to see the world!! by the time i was 18, i had seen almost every continent and i owe my parents so much for that! not only that, my parents were ALWAYS happy and fulfilled which made them the best parents ever. there are some people that might criticize that choice (like the anonymous commenter here) but it's a waste of their own time because YOU, my dear, are going to be the BEST mom to little Elodie :)

jennifer said...

i really enjoy your blog in spite of (or perhaps because of) having sharply contrasting views and experiences with pregnancy & child rearing as you have expressed it here. your photography and obvious zeal for a good life are inspiring. how dull the world would be if we were all the same! thanks so much for sharing yourself.

Scott and Tabi said...

omg! she's getting so big!!! all that hair! aaaa! she's SO beautiful!!! and i LOVE her name!! i'm so happy that i get to read about your experience and how beautifully you handle things especially because we're expecting our first baby in november :) i live in California and i'll only get 8 weeks off of work. right now, that seems like such a long time to be away from a career i love but i'm sure when the baby's here, the 8 weeks will go by with lightning speed. i'm sure you'll eloquently describe this transition experience and i'm going to take notes! you're such an awesome mommy!!

ps. i made a point not to attack the rude anonymous commenter above at your request :)

Robyn Marie said...

Your blog is so beautiful, both in words and visually.

On another note, where did you get the awesome summer dress?! I love it!

Lena Lycklig said...

Hey Aura, I have an idea for you. If you really have 100.000 readers a month you could place a little google add-thing at the footer and all your readers (being the friendly souls we are) would promise to click something every time we visit your blog... then you could earn a little extra for Elodies school fund or just take more days off and blog! :) I'm all for NO ADDS, but you can hide them at the bottom rather discrete so it wouldn't ruin your blog... You should try it out. You never know. I think all your readers would love to support you that way. Am I right, friends!?

Averie said...

New to your blog and loving it!

I am a mother.
I have a blog.
I have a dslr and have been bitten by the photography bug, big time. Your photography inspires me!

I love what you stand for, who you are, the words you wrote about comments/commenting in this post...just beautiful. You're in my google reader now.

Best of luck back at work!

heather said...

love your posts. always so eloquently put :)

A. said...

Loving little Elodie's hair...did mama style it that way?

You should make your blog posts into a book. I would buy it, and I bet all the thousands of other people who visit your blog would too. : )

I V Y said...

these are just the loveliest photos!


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Melisa said...

Aura, I have been struggling to remember how to relax & live in the moment. I read your blog and I instantly feel grounded. Thank you!

Tammie said...

Thank you for your blog. It has inspired my daughters to start blogging about their lives, and I love to read and see what they blog about. It helps me stay in connection with them when they are so far away. You however, have a gift. Whenever I look at your blog, I feel better about life and I don't even know you personally. Your thoughtfullness in the way that you look at life and the pictures you take is rare, it is a gift.

Joslyn Rae said...

i love this so much. Everything on your blog! keep doing this. forever grateful that i came across this! :)

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

I saw that one of my readers (on bloglovin') also read your blog and I clicked right over when I saw the word "peace" in huge letters. Your blog is so full of beautiful photos and your writing really captivated me. Just thought I should let you know! : )