Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learning to swim.




It is the 29th of March, 2012.

Somehow it is both expected and hard to believe that one year ago, today, Elodie was born. Pink, screaming, child full of will and opinion.

In these life-changing moments, we begin to think, change...lay down the stepping stones that eventually lead to the growing paths we take in life. Ones that lead us to who we are, and will become.
I did not know that day, that my Spring morning would become the biggest stepping stone I would leap to. Still, it did, and after 12 hours of labor, with my baby on my chest, I realized that this might just be the most important thing I had ever done.

Born from a family of story-tellers, there was something different about this story. And for the few short months after she was born, I started to realize that telling our story here was not what felt right. Just minutes away from Elodie felt like stolen time, and so, I did the only thing I knew how to do so well when life changed paths - I jumped ship.


240 messages (I read every one), and months later, I found questions I did and did not have answers for. Little bits and pieces I would read before work, at night before bed....words that would leave me wondering what I was holding out for, anyway. Maybe, I thought, there would be this moment in time where it would be right to come back here and pick up where I left off. But as more time went on, the more I realized that my time here is over. Maybe this was just another piece of my story, but not one that needed to be completed to fulfill a message. Maybe I'm not right at all. Maybe, maybe, maybe I will never know anything at all.


Then I read, that sometimes when you jump ship, you learn to swim.


This has been a hard year. One full of challenges, sleepless nights (hello, my baby did not sleep through the night for the first time until she was 8 months old) tears and frustration. Empty checking accounts, baby bodily fluids in my hair, and times when we thought we just couldn't handle one more minute of screaming.
Instead of learning to swim, I have never sunk to the bottom and drowned so quickly in my entire life. When I thought I might just get my head above water for one second, the reality of our new life was enough to pull me back under again.
The depression, not recognizing myself, and Lord, that screaming, screaming child full of will and opinion.





Nobody said it was easy. Nobody had the heart to say it would be this hard.




And still.....still. I would do it over a thousand times for just one more moment in that first second I looked into her eyes, and just knew her. Screaming baby, sweet, precious child who means the entire world to me. She has taught me patience, unconditional love, and more about myself than I ever bargained for. Bad things, ugly things....things I pushed down so deep that I thought for sure nothing would be able to pull them up again. And here they are, on the surface, weighing me down like an anchor, but lifting my body weightless until it floats to the surface and over and over again I learn - that the opposite of learning to swim is learning to drown. And for her, I choose to swim.



For 12 months I have been present in every moment of Elodie's life. I put this blog aside because I wanted to learn what it was like to never worry what anyone else was thinking of us. In our pajamas in the middle of the day, sitting in a messy house. At the park, with our real smiles. Nobody there to capture it or see it...just little flashes to save for her, one day. For us, one day, when the little rolls of her legs begin to fade and her tiny feet grow to fit into little lady shoes. This is not a place for pictures of us in pretty clothes doing pretty things, eating pretty food. It was a place to share, open up, and hopefully give something to whoever was needing it.




I came here to say hello, goodbye again, thank you, and to let you know, friends, that today, the 29th of March, is the day my little baby girl finished one entire year of her life. What a sweet ride it has been. For every time I thought I would surely drown, there came a moment to once again fill my lungs with air and find the strength to swim again. That is a sweet, sweet kind of love. One that asks no questions, one that does not define boundaries. It just is.








Happy, happy, happiest birthday, to my little baby girl, and to me.

242 comments:

1 – 200 of 242   Newer›   Newest»
Kristen the Bishop said...

Thank you thank you thank you for an update. Elodie is just as beautiful as ever and you have such a way with words.

Taylor C. said...

Aura, it was so wonderful to hear from you today and happy birthday to your sweet baby girl! I check in often to see if we will hear from you and a huge smile came across my face to see a new post this morning. I will keep checking in, your words are worth reading and waiting for! Until next time...

Take care and be well

Nikole Taylor said...

As soon as I saw there was a post from you I instantly perked up!
I've been having a rough time and reading about you drowning and learning to swim totally helped me.
I also can't believe Elodie is so big! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Lots of love, Nikole

prettybaby said...

what an adorable video, i love love love the ending, so pretty! xx

Frankie said...

Was so excited to see a new post in my google reader today. Despite your previous goodbye I left your blog there just in case. As always what you had to say beautiful and eloquently put. Glad you're learning to swim for sweet Elodie. She is so beautiful. Wishing you all the happiness in the world as your continue on your journey. And a very happy birthday to Elodie.

Leslie said...

So wonderful to hear from you, Aura! I come back and read through your archives from time to time when I am needing a little inspiration and a renewed way of looking at life. Elodie certainly is such a little sweetheart! I hope you continue to do well and find that it is much easier to 'swim' this year!

Amanda said...

What precious photos! Happy GIVING birth day to you! I also burst into a smile when I saw an update in my feed. I've been doing what I've heard called an "archive-crawl" on your blog these past few weeks for all your gardening posts. It is SPRING after all and I need to get my front porch garden in order and you always had the best tips and photos for inspiration.

Keep enjoying life and thank you for the update!

Sam said...

Aura,

Your stories are so missed in this space. Your words are always so life affirming, so real, and there is much to learn from and appreciate. I do hope you will be back again soon. I know it is a personal journey, but when you are not around, this OK girl in TX misses what you have to say, quite a lot. Happy birthday to Elodie, and to the new and ever changing you. xo

Amanda said...

Okay, 1 more comment to give you warning that if this post gets 1,000 hits in the next week or so it's from my 2 year old daughter wanting to watch the "baby video" again and again, :) We're about to watch it for the 3rd time in all of 10 minutes.

And all that HAIR! Wasn't it Grandpa who said you'd have a girl with lots of hair?!

Kristin said...

so great, as always to hear from you, Aura! Your blog has been one of my top inspirations for the last couple of years, so hearing an update from you was wonderful. your little girl is beautiful, happy birthday to her! all the best :)

A Cush said...

I can't tell you how excited I was to see an update from you.Your words have so much heartfelt meaning and passion behind them. I look back through your archives often when I need a little something to pick me up. I don't have a baby yet but your honesty about the experience is very uplifting. I feel sorry that people said mean things to you which aided in your decision to stop blogging. Their ignorance and petulance is a result of their own insecurities and I hate that this was taken out on you. It makes me happy to read your words and though you have struggled (as all parents have) you are doing a wonderful job and Elodie is just beautiful. Happy Birthday little Elodie!

Maura said...

yes... this exactly... thank you for this post... parenting is so much harder then I ever expected but so must better too. I am still learning to swim as well :) Best wishes and Elodie is simply beautiful :)

Alexandra Durbin said...

It is perfectly wonderful to hear from you again, Aura. For months and months I have come to your blog for inspiration, sifting through archives of your meaningful words. In particular, your posts on "bringing the outdoors in" - they are still my personal favourites :)
Happiest birthday wishes to your darling Elodie.

Megan said...

Thank you for coming back even if it's to say goodbye again! I so loved reading your blog! Thanks for sharing your life! What a precious baby girl you have! It's hard to believe she is already one! Best wishes to you and your family.

Ashley said...

I was JUST thinking about you when you updated. I'm glad to hear from you and I thank you for the update (although clearly you didn't have to.) Your way with words is still perfect and lovely.

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for coming back for an update. I still come back to your blog to re-read posts that have inspired me, challenged me, or just made me laugh. Elodie is beautiful and I'm sure that although you feel challenged, your love will be enough to sustain her. I look forward to anything more you choose to share. Until then, I pray that you have a life full of blessings and sunshine.

Hessu said...

Hello Aura, so wonderful to read a new post from you and see these pictures.
Although you are not actively writing here anymore, I have been coming back here sometimes to read your old posts for inspiration, I always find something to think about in them.
Happy birthday to Elodie and to your whole family.

jeana said...

I was so excited to see a post from you! I just love everything you have to say and all your photos just move me. I understand the years of learning to swim. Not sure you ever truly learn, but it does get better! Happiest Birthday to your precious Elodie. I'm hanging around because you inspire...even when you're not around :)

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Wow, it is definitely a learning experience... I bet you are stronger and amazed as to what you didn't think you could handle... Enjoy each moment- the stressful to the funny times....Glad to see u back blogging... The depression is due to being overwhelmed... Motherhood is not an easy job.. Its a lifetime one that keeps on giving...

sarah bear said...

I was so glad to see your post in my feed! Sad to see it is only just this update but I understand your choice. Life is messy, perfect blogs aren't "real" anyway...happy 1st birthday to Elodie :)

helen said...

What a beautiful post and so lovely to hear from you again. Wishing You, Elodie and your family much love. x

Julie said...

I think for some of us who blog it is a drug, that once you've tried it will never truly give it up. Good for you for taking your break. I have two six month old baby girls at home, waiting for me as I sit here in my office doing my work. I hate that I am missing moments with them but I do not have the courage to risk an empty bank account. I am sorry that becoming mom has come with so much difficulty for you, I dealt with a heavy load of depression right after the girls were born but have managed to push through it. You are doing a great job. You are a wonderful mother I am sure, your little girl is going to have a beautiful life because you are creating a beautiful world for her. Thank you for update, I will look forward to another when she turns two. And thank you for sharing your world how ever much or little you chooses to, you are inspiring.

Brooke said...

I stumbled upon your blog last summer as my husband and I were planning a road trip to Colorado and I was doing some google searches. It quickly became one of my favorite blogs because of your authenticity, beautiful photographs, and sweet words. I never left a comment before, but I wanted to now just to let you know that. I don't have any children, but I know that I have felt like drowning at times and have made the choice to swim, and in a way I still have to make that choice every day. The choice to seek out and notice the beauty of life, even at times when it seems so elusive.

RBooher said...

Aura,
Thank you for your beautiful words and your beautiful perspective on life. You have a gift for giving words to challenging emotions.
Thank you for sharing.

a happy mamma said...

I was so excited to see you back on my reader! I love everything about your blog, words & photos. It's so great to see an update of beautiful Elodie. It's hard to believe that she is 1 and my little boy will be 1 on the 2nd. I remember when these little were just a peanut in our bellies from the Bump days. It's great to see you back, even if it's not regularly. But I still hang around for those times where I hope you will surprise us with another moving post. Take care of you and your beautiful family.

Loni said...

Aura, I know the feeling all too well of a screaming baby and sleepless nights as you probably know. It is never easy.

You've made it a year, only a lifetime left to go.

You can do it!


Happy birthday little one.

mama foosa said...

happy birthday to your precious little elodie!

i cannot believe it's been a year since i was anxiously reading through the april mama posts and seeing you were in labor.

i know exactly what you mean about choosing to swim. i've grown more and learned more in this past year than the 25 combined before it.

elodie looks so curious and loving. thanks for your beautiful words. take care, aura :)

jkaye said...

I really do miss your writing, photos, videos etc., they were always so inspirational to me in a real way. Yours was not a blog to just read and enjoy but to think about... to inspire decisions and changes in my own life. However, I'm thrilled for you that you've made the decision you have - to swim and to spend time with your family. I hope you'll be back someday, on a more permanent basis, if it right for you. Happy b-day to your beautiful daughter! :)

Gosia Myślicka said...

wow! it's soooooo nice to here from you :)
all the best :)

robyn devine said...

oh dear aura, it was such a treat to hear your voice one more time in this space! i know you say it is goodbye again, and i completely understand the reasons behind it. at the same time, i miss reading about your life, your gorgeous take on the world around you!

as a new mom myself (Owen is just 7 months) i have been heading backwards through your archives and reading a bit of your words from pregnancy and when E was tiny - i've loved it!

i hope you are recording stories in your own way to share with your family (and especially E) as the years go by. even if we don't get to share in them anymore, your voice should be written down as often as you find you can!

{maybe a new blogger blog, but marked private so you can record everything without the eyes of the world on you?)

Urban Wife said...

The happiest of birthdays for beautiful Elodie! You have amazing talent with putting thoughts into words that reach out and touch so many lives, including mine. Thank you for that. At the end of the video, I was reminded of one of your last photographs you posted during your pregnancy. Your pregnant silhoutte and now your baby girl's silhoutte, in the same spot with the same sun shining down on her. It took my breath away.
Keep enjoying every single moment.
Xoxo.

Linda said...

Oh I love the "hello again" part of this post and hate the "goodbye again" part. As always, a beautiful post. I found your blog late and quickly it became my favorite. I hope it's not goodbye forever. It feels too much like losing a good friend. Maybe not that. Maybe more like losing a place of peace and comfort. Happy Birthday to your family for the birth and amazing, messy, crazy, wonderful first year of Elodie's life. Take care.

Melisande said...

happy birthday elodie! i was so happy to see a post from you today! i've often wondered how you and your family were doing, so i'm so happy for this update.

Kate said...

Wow this totally made my morning!

I had to double check my blog-feed I thought I was seeing things or made a mistake into thinking that you had posted again!

Happiest of birthdays to your Elodie. Your family has and always be one of the main inspiration for me and my little girl. To make those messes, play in the dirt, to not be afraid to not have all the money in the world to do all of these "amazing" looking things for the sake of posting about it. It really is just for us, for her. The memories we keep.

Are you weaning at all? I found when my daughter naturally started weaning from the breast I got extremely depressed. Something about a hormone drop, I guess. Anyway! You're doing a fantastic job, I'm sad to see you leave again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you've done.

love and light.

//nancy said...

your girl is absolutely beautiful and as merely an observer, i am so happy for you. thanks for sharing bits of your happiness. :)

Emily said...

Your writing is beautiful, as if not more, beautiful than your photos. Living in the moment is the most important thing we can do. I'm happy you're focusing on that instead of a blog "life" but sad to see it end. Blessings to you and your family.

Shan said...

I've missed you. It's funny how you come to feel like you really know someone through their blog. Thank you for the update, and as always, for being so inspiring. Best of luck to you and your little family!

Alle said...

Tears, tears, tears and more tears.....
Thank you so so much!
Elodie is a doll, she's soo cute!
I'll be mom in one month too and I understand every single word you said.....thanks Aura, your words are so so precious....thanks..

Alle&Cecilia - 34 weeks pregnant

Alle said...

ps. happy birthday little "mini-Aura"!!!

Ana said...

Aura
Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life. It has been wonderful reading about what you have to say.
Your words have been missed.
Love your pictures and hope you´ll be back soon.
A very happy birthday for both of you.
Ana

po said...

Hi, I have never commented on your blog before, but loved it for while. I was so happy to see you had posted again, and sad to see you will not be back for good. But thank you for sharing this because this kind of honesty means the world.

Vintage Hippo said...

I have never been so excited to see a blog update in my life!! Your posts are greatly missed but I adore you for your choice. Happy Birthday to little Elodie and I hope you and your family are doing well. Beautiful video.

Chris said...

Thank you so much for this post- makes my heart lighter...so there is perhaps a chance to learn swimmig instead of drowning..I should try...thanks again & happy birthday, Elodie!
Orange wishes from Berlin.

Rachel said...

happy birthday Elodie! So glad you came back for an update.

Krista M said...

Thank you for stopping in! Stay afloat....
<3

Lyssa at Living Simple in the South said...

Aura! It is so good to hear from you! SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! Such a precious little lady!
i remember feeling this way after Weston's first year of life...he didnt sleep through the night until he was nine months old...it is SO HARD!
So glad you are enjoying motherhood so much, it fits you beautifully!
Thank you for popping in! Their second year of life is the best I think!!
happy birthday e!

Lyss

Becky said...

Happy Birthday Elodie! Aura, I'm sooo glad that you shared an update on your little family. I was very disappointed when you decided to take a break from your blog, but I understand that you wanted time with your child. Congrats on making it through the first year!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! That video is beautiful! What a wonderful present for Elodie to look back on someday, and what a great way for you to celebrate your achievements as a mother! You are going to create a beautiful world for her.

Maddison Snook said...

Thankyou for updating us! I miss your blog and think of you and Elodie often.

Best wishes, and happy birthday Elodie,
Maddison =)

Maddison Snook said...

Thankyou for updating us! I miss your blog and think of you and Elodie often.

Best wishes, and happy birthday Elodie,
Maddison =)

lbenoit said...

I stumbled upon your blog when I was pregnant and looking for some help with maternity fashion. My little girl is now 6 months old. I still have you in my google reader hoping to see updates.

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for the update. Thank you for talking about how hard it is to have a little one come into your life. I find that not many people talk about that aspect. But, as you said, the difficulty is all worth it for that one moment when they look into your eyes and smile at you. I will miss your amazingly well written stories, but understand the need to live in the moment. Thanks again.

Gem said...

I was so happy and surprised to see a post in my Google Reader from you. As always, thank you for sharing. I hope you will return but if you don't, there are your beautiful archives. Happy Birthday Elodie!

Betsy from three20 said...

I gasped, smiled, and I think my heart even skipped a beat when I saw that you had updated your blog... and to see pictures of how big Elodie is! Ahh, I melted.

Thank you for the update. And a happy birthday to your lovely little E :)

Hello, and goodbye again :)

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful, truthful update on the first year of life with your daughter. So grateful to read your words again today. And happy birthday to your sweet girl.

kindramariex0x said...

Beautiful :) Your words were so missed, Aura, and everyone here is so glad to see a new post from you, even if it is the only one for months to come, or even longer. Happy happy birthday to sweet Elodie! I can't believe a year has come and gone.

Here's to many more beautiful years and learning how to swim.

xoxo, Kindra

Emily Peck said...

You know...I've kept your blog in my reader this entire time hoping you would pop back - what a nice surprise to see you say hello. I'm glad to hear you are doing well (as well as can be with a new life). I've been there....I understand. xo!

Kathleen said...

I needed to hear this today. I haven't been on blogger for quite some time so I take it that the universe had a divine appointment for me today. This week I felt like I was drowning. Between writing my thesis, running a house, cooking meals, being in class until 9:30pm and having to get up and do it all over again with my sweet little girl on my mind (aside from the temper tantrums, the waking at 4 am, ) I want to cry, but I feel so drained I don't think I can physically shed a tear. I started to wonder if all this is worth it, if i could emotionally and mentally pull forward. then I realized, Yes. I've made it this far and I can keep going. Thank you for this reminder. To life and it's many seasons. Enjoy Aura.

{jaclyn} said...

Awww, Aura. Happy birthday to Elodie and you. I saved your post for last in my google reader. As you can see from all the comments you have been missed and it appears you will be missed again.

I appreciate your beautiful words and for sharing bits of the past year with us. I especially loved 'Nobody said it was easy. Nobody had the heart to say it would be this hard.'

it's harder than I ever imagined, as my 7 week old refuses to be put down or refuses to let me sleep-I want to scream and cry simultaneously. They are something else, these little ones of ours. And while the hard times continue it gets better all the time for our little family of three -the coos and smiles at 2am and the look of recognition in my son's eyes when he hears my voice after i have been away.

This is the best adventure. Good luck on yours.

Emily Brisse said...

Lovelovelove those images of Elodie with all that big sky behind her.

Best to you, Aura, and may the water be warm.

Gaby said...

Wow, what a wonderful surprise to wake up and see a post from you in my reader! I would be so delighted if you continued to blog but understand if you don't. Loved reading this little update. Take care Aura xx

francine said...

oh my gracious! such a sweet surprise to hear from you aura!! when i saw your name in my google reader i got the biggest, goofiest grin on my fac :) blessings to you and your lovely family!

karen said...

thankyou for coming back and sharing your beautiful words and pictures with us again! Love to your beautiful little family. Happy Birthday to Elodie. So lovely to see that video with the three of you

Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

what a sweet tribute to your girl. Loved it, and loved your message, too.
Be well,
Sarah M

yours truly, melissa said...

So exciting to see an update from you again today! Beautiful writing as always and your video is precious. "You and I" = one of my most favorite songs. She's beautiful! (Do you and Elodie share a birthday?)

Brown Girl said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet baby girl. Thank you for updating on your life. I miss your writing... ;) Take care and keep on enjoying little E, she's beautiful.

Ellen Glek said...

I became a mom 1.5 weeks ago and used a few of your pregnancy style tips not long ago! You are one of the best bloggers out there. Your style is entertaining, honest, and modern. If I was in the business, I'd hire you as a columnist. Sad to see this blog probably end, but tip my hat to you for knowing what's best for you and your babe.

Anonymous said...

You have been so missed around here Aura. I was so very happy to read an update. I too am going through a lot of struggles in life. You always make it all so real what you have to say. It's amazing that I don't even know you but every time I read an update from you it makes me feel better. You are and always will be one of my most favorite blogs to read on the internet. I do hope it's not goodbye forever but just goodbye for now. Much Love, CC

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Such a cute video too. I sympathize with you. My little girl just turned 3 months and I thought I would die of despair some days. I'm glad you're back even just to say "Hello! Goodbye!".

neha said...

AURA!

I am so so so SO incredibly happy to see your update. I've been checking your blog every once in a while, I miss your words so much but I understand that your hands are full.I jumped and gasped and was so entirely happy. Please keep writing, be strong! and don't give up the fight :)

Happy birthday beautiful Elodie.

Alex said...

Happiest of happy birthdays to sweet little Elodie. I can't describe to you how this post makes me feel. I feel complete but empty, all at the same time. There are so many times in the past few times where I've gone back through your archives, trying to just grasp a piece of who you are, the words you write, to try to imprint your words on my heart. Because the words you have written have explained so many feelings I have had as a young adult. You are an inspiration. And I'm so glad to have seen your words yet again, and so sad to have to say goodbye again.

The Panic Room said...

What a great surprise to get to see a post from you, and such a sweet video. Love that you checked in.

D Durling Cooke said...

I have never left a comment on anyone's blog before....but I just had twins in last November and you have written what I could never put into words. Being a parent has kicked my ass several times over. But I'm in it for the smiles and giggles that come just when I think I can't take anymore. I wish you would write more. I love your words and you photos, but I totally get it. I'm sure you're an amazing mom and Elodie is one lucky little lady.

Grace D. said...

The video is beautiful :) she seems like a lovely little girl.

emily said...

thank you for this beautiful update.

i found you via the sakura bloom styleathon (and now have the honors of doing the sling diaries myself!) and your writing and documenting has always been my favorite: so simple, so honest, so discrete. it always made so much sense to me when you bowed out for a little bit. i respect you so much for that.

cheers to you and your beautiful elodie.
happy birthday to you both and blessings to you all.

17 Perth said...

Oh Aura--good to hear from you. Happy happy birthday to your sweet little girl (and as a side note--today is my husband's birthday), a special day no doubt. As always, this is beautifully written and I can understand every single note of it. The depression, the love, the feeling that you cannot take one more, and then you realize that you can keep moving forward--and you want to. Hello and good bye to you again....and prayers of love, comfort, peace for you and your family.

Michelle said...

My day got a little brighter when I saw your post in my reader. You sure have a way with words, and I love your photography. What a blessed little girl Elody is to have such a wonderful mommy!

Elise said...

Aura, it is so lovely to hear from you as I cherish your insight and inspiring words. I am glad you are learning to swim with the ebb and flow of the tide - life definitely can have a tough current.
Thank you for sharing Elodie's birthday and first year with us.
Take gentle care Aura.

Elise X

beingMonisha said...

Aura,

So glad to hear from you! I totally missed you all this while. I would check your blog every once in a while to read through your posts, for inspiration. I understand that being a mother, you have a lot of things to attend to. And with that, finding time for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us is an achievement. I pray to God to help you swim through these challenging times. Hope to hear more from you...

Lots of Love,
Monisha

Kelly said...

I was just thinking about you and your amazing family last night and wondering if your blog was still up. I can't believe it's been a year since your beautiful girl was born.

I wish you all the best and hope that one day you will come back and know that you don't have to be all pretty and shiny on here, you just have to be you.

Ramona said...

Aura, I am glad to hear that you are well! I really like that you chose your family first!
May you continue on your journey, learning to swim and finding new adventures to embark on, new shores to be discovered! All the best to you!

Sherene said...

Happy BIrthday Mama.This is wonderful from so many perspectives and one I am sure I will share over and over again. Thank you for sharing.

Teanut said...

Thank you for writing and posting this. Your words and video have done more than bring tears to my eyes and snot run out of my nose!

My daughter was born a few months after yours and your blog was very inspiring and comforting while I was pregnant. I understood why you left it, as well.

Though we don't know each other, I am happy to see these real-life images of you and your family from the past year. It has made me appreciate my family even more, if that was at all possible.

We'll be here the next time you guys want to pop by and say hi!

Anonymous said...

SO SO HAPPY to get an update from you Aura!!! THANK YOU for sharing your words, photos & life with us! Hope you can come back again soon. :) Thank you.

Rachel said...

To say I was excited to see a post by you in my blog feed this evening is an understatement! I do miss hearing your voice and seeing your lovely images on a regular basis.

Thank-you for being so honest but also thank-you for sharing yours and Michael's and Elodie's one year milestone with us. Happy Mummyversary! My favourite part in the video is where you first appear laying next to Elodie...you just look happy. And I LOVE how much time outside she is obviously getting! What a beautiful family you have.

died.of.a.theory said...

Dear Aura,

I often gravitate back to your blog in the chance you might have added something, and often just to read over older posts.

I respect so much your reasons for leaving it behind, but this update really has been wonderful to read, and has moved me in many ways. I am many miles away from you, but in some ways similar - I have a similar family set up to yours, and it brought great comfort to me, the first time I read your blog to see how much pride you take in that closeness - in a 21st Century world, its difficult to come by this. I have similar eastern roots too, so I felt a connection to your words and your outlook on life.

A couple of weeks ago, I lost my grandmother. It has been a difficult time for me, and reading this post today has been hard but comforting for me. It strikes a cord with me to push through the darkness and look to the light life can bring you. I hope one day I can be as blessed and lucky as you, to not only achieve a family of my own, but to appreciate it too. I am sure that Elodie will grow to be a wonderful woman, with a mother like you (though, again, disclaimer so I don't look too weird -I'm well aware I only know a fragment of your life ;))

Your words, your photographs, your outlook and perception are all arts in and of themselves, and I want to thank you for the inspiration you've given me, because I know I might never get a chance again.

Happy birthday to both of you.

Love,

Heather S.

Shannon said...

It's been a rough couple of weeks with my five month old twins. This was just what I needed to read...to know that it is really hard for other mothers as well and I'm not alone in my frustrations.

PQ said...

Hi Aura! Since you are back, albeit briefly, I just wanted to thank you for this blog. I found it right after I gave birth to my own son, one week after your beautiful daughter was born. Your photos, your words, your honesty and eloquence about all aspects of your journey was just the right dose of sanity & beauty I needed during many late night nursings :) I wish you and your family peace and joy.

Alexandra said...

AURA! So happy to see your update... I was just wondering about you the other day and hoping you were doing well. Your daughter is growing in to a beautiful young lady :) Take it easy, hope to see more updates from you when you're ready.

xx

Aubrey said...

It was really great to read this update. I can't say I wasn't hoping that today your silence would be broken :) Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Aileen said...

Happy Birthday, Elodie!

I just want you to say that when I logged in and saw you had updated, I thought it was some sort or mistake and then I got really happy when I realized it wasn't.

No one judges you got staying in your PJs all day, etc. I don't. I come here for beautiful photos of REAL life, your real life. And the words you use to tell us stories.

nettie said...

Aura, I find it coincidental that i would open your blog yesterday and read through the archives. why did i pick yesterday to read through your words again? Then i read how it was your baby bird's Birthday. I thought wow, I wonder how life is going now? Elodie is so full of life! The clip with your cat shows just how smart she is. She wanted that ribbon and she got it! Her hair is beautiful! I'm sure you hear that a ton. but those eyes tell a story that the world is waiting to listen to!
Happy Birthday to your little girl and congratulations for making it through a year that i think would rival the SEALs Combat training! My little turns one tomorrow, i have begun to write my reflections, and the only thing i keep thinking about is how people approach me and say, WOW DIDN"T THAT YEAR JUST FLY BY? I answer honestly and say, NO, I WAS AWAKE FOR MOST OF IT SO TO ME, IT FELT LIKE A WHOLE YEAR! Though i would not go back in time and make my baby a sleeping babe. THose nights were tough but beautiful. The mornings, well they were pretty rough. All i can say is, Congratulations to you and Micheal!

white collar | green soul said...

Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. Beautiful video of a beautiful little girl. I haven't come on here in months and just decided to today - one day after you posted again. Such wonderful timing and such inspiration images as usual.
- agata.

Heidi said...

God, I´ve missed you. Please come back....

Mrs. Rosenbalm said...

So happy to see an update! I’ve missed your words and pictures so much. I check back often just to see if maybe you’ve returned. I’m glad to hear that even though there have been many ups and downs, you are all doing well. And I can not believe Elodie is already one!! How fast the time has gone by.

Parenthood, and motherhood aren’t always easy. I’ve been at those same high and low points. But like you said, I would do it all over again. They are always worth it. :) I’m sad that your return is not permanent, but I’m okay with patiently waiting for another update in the future.

Lots of love, and blessings to you and your family!

Ana F. said...

Happy Birthday, Elodie!

I was SO SO SO excited when I saw there was a new post from you. I said out loud "Oh my, she's back to blogging!" and that thought actually made me really happy. I miss your posts and your beautiful photography. But you had me thinking about this whole blogging thing. Thank you for this wonderful and honest insight on your perspective about life. And even though I wished your kept writing here, I sure understand your reasons.

I'll miss your blog!

Anonymous said...

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.''

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet treat to see a glimpse into your new life of motherhood. It's exactly as I pictured. Sorry to hear of the unkind days, even though we're aware it comes with the territory. I hope you find solice during the cruel hours of sleepless nights in daydreaming of the times when you can take your baby bird and teach her to fly. One day you'll be able to show her the meaning of life through day hikes and camping, gardening to feed her soul, and the simple pleasure of a new issue of pottery barn read in a hammock ;) And just maybe one day in the future you'll have the blessing of forgetting the ugly insecurities of new motherhood and baby bodily fluids in your hair enough to consider creating another heart that has to be born outside of you because it is too big to contain within.


Best of luck Aura Joon. Michael, Baby E, and yourself are such a beautiful example of love and family.

-G

Christina said...

Aura, what a lovely post full of truth. Your life is yours and yours alone. As is Michael's and Elodie's. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw there was an update and I am in awe of how grown up baby E looks! She looks so happy and content which means you both are surely doing things right. Keep up the good work.

Amy said...

What a heartfelt story about the accomplishment of the first year. I expected nothing less and you never disappoint. Your delivery is such a gift and your posts are never taken for granted. I hope you take comfort in that. I loved the privilege you allowed us of seeing Elodie and your grandmother interacting. I remember how you worried they might never meet. Now Elodie will be able to add on to the wonderful stories you have of them. How beautiful is that? To the beginning of many more birthdays, each with their own story, Cheers.

From Me to You said...

Birthday wishes to Elodie! You and Michael must be so proud...and a little relieved :) You made it through the first year, you CAN make it through the rest. My first instinct is to beg you to reconsider this space, but that would be selfish and unfair to you. So instead I'll leave you with the best advice I've taken from you in hopes of returning the favor:


Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.


Sending hugs (bc I think you could use one) and love your way. We'll still be here if you ever have the urge to return.

mama D said...

happy birthday to your little e.

congrats mama, you did it!

my son (now 3) did the exact same thing to me.

he made me realize who i am, who i want to be, who i need to be, and whom i need to do it all for.

and now, my 5-week-old daughter is, once again, reminding me.

i'm still learning. slowly but surely.

and i'm loving every second of it.

best to you and your beautiful family :)

Cynthia said...

Aww Thank you soo much for todays post. I check your blog every day to see if your are back and today when I notice your posting I got exited thinking that you were back. You are such an inspiration for many of us here, you teach us with your words many ways to love life and to achieve our dreams. I got pregnant 3 months before Elodie was born, this news very hard for me because I was dealing with many health issues, but your blog help me a lot to overcome my fears of being pregnant and walking a new road that was not in my plans. I'm Happy to say that my baby is now 5 months and I lover her with all my heart. It hasn't been easy for me as well but i will not change anything, she has brought to our family so much joy. I wish you were back again, I will keep checking you blog and may be some day you will come back and teach us how to swim too. Happy birth day to your sweet little baby.

Andrea said...

I got so excited seeing your post pull up in my google reader... sad that it was just a one time. thing. elodie is a beautiful little girl, happy birthday to her! I will miss your writing and posts so much. If you ever feel the itch again, don't hesitate :)

Alicia said...

i've never written a comment. but i've been a follower for a long time. i couldn't help but smile great big when i saw your name on my blog roll. loved reading about your last year. and the video was the sweetest. hang in there. it just gets better and better. and i hope you return before her second birthday!

Fom Fla said...

How appropriate is it that Elodie is your spring baby? Just when you can't stand the bleakness of winter any longer it fades to spring and brings color to the world. That was not a mere coincidence, that was divine intervention lol. She's your seed to forever watch grow day to day and year by year. Happy Birthday to your spring baby (and grandpa!) and Happy Nowruz....what a lucky little girl to be born during such a meaningful time to her mama. I can only imagine how adorable her Farsi sounds. I love how you describe her as your child full of will and opinion...but could you expect anything less? She is your yurt baby after all, born to be wild and free just like her parents. Wait till she's a teenager! Scared yet? lol Don't be, you and M got this ;) Elodie will always have a fun adventure story to tell her friends after summer vacations and loving memories to share with her own children one day. And isn't that what it's all about anyway? Having a good story to tell at the end of the day? This is yours, thank you so much for allowing us to listen.

veronica said...

I know it's a weird thing to hear from someone in an entirely different place, with a life that isn't bound to yours, but I have been reading your journal for years and it is an absolute gift to share these fragments of your life with you.

your photographs, words and films always seem to help me affirm my own place in my own crazy world, and I thank you for that, always.

I have no doubt that Elodie's life is full of joy and happiness and that she will grow up to appreciate all of the ways you have filled her life. Congratulations to you both, and happy birthday to your sweet girl.

Veronica

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

Happy Birthday to your darling little girl. I am so happy you wrote this. I think of you often, even though we don't know each other "in real life". Thank you for being such an inspiration not only creatively but one that will also teach us to get off our computers and get out and live life, not matter how difficult it sometimes is. We're always here for you... just a click or two away. Congrats on making it through all the ups and downs but still finding the beauty and positive side of everything! oxox

tulipbuzz said...

Huge Sigh, your words always wrap a blanket of warmth, a moment of serenity. I held my breath till the bitter end hoping it wouldn't end. It is so hard to find a blog to relate to, that is honest and raw. I'll miss your words all over again...

Joan Blondina said...

Aura, thank you for the update! It was so nice to hear from you. First, I love the video. So many beautiful moments. I also love the Ingrid Michaelson song... I have been listening to that song non stop these past couple of weeks; then I hear it on your video. What a small little world we live in :)

This has been a really hard year for me too. My babe is one month older than Elodie. If you were to ask me 14 months ago what I thought motherhood would be like, I would never have been able to guess that it would be so darn hard. I would have never chosen "depressing" as a word that might characterize this last year. But I have seen so many dark moments. I've heard someone say that you get the child that you need, and I think that this is true for us. Motherhood asks us to confront so many things about ourselves, and not all of them are met with welcome arms. Because of this the beautiful moments are just so beautiful!

Thank you for your honesty Aura.

Little Mama said...

The pictures of her grubby little feet and hands are just precious! A little adventurer just like her mama I'm sure.

Thank you for the update Aura. I have an 8 month old baby and know exactly how you are feeling. Motherhood is not an easy task and it's easy to feel like you're sinking. Elodie looks like she is thriving and happy so you are definitely doing something right even if you can't see it yourself in the moments when you are struggling through the murky water.

Wishing you all the very best.

Alison

Andrea Nicole said...

Beautiful.

Katyha said...

Ah motherhood is hard isn't it? those first few months are hard especially living on no sleep and constantly breastfeeding but those days go by quickly until only a blur is left and you have a 17 year old boy ready and anxious to leave home as soon as he possibly can. So enjoy this very precious time :)

Much love xx

Cait said...

Oh, how wonderful it is to hear from you! I can't imagine what this year has been like for you--the highs and the lows--but I am so glad for the bits you choose to share. You and your daughter are so lovely.

Victoria said...

Hello, goodbye. She is beautiful. Happy Birthday!

Born of the Sea said...

Aura,
It was so lovely to see your post today. I always check in every once in a while. Your blog has always been an inspiration for me. Not because everything seems perfect and beautiful, because that is not life. But everything is very real and raw on your blog. And your words are art. May you continue to have strength and swim and see the beauty the world has to offer and in Elodie's beautiful eyes. Hope to hear from you again. And happy birthday to such a precious little girl.
XXXX
-Morgan Born of the Sea )

raichel said...

So glad to see you here again!!
What a beautiful post, Aura.
Bests wishes from another recent mum from Spain.

Jamie Nicole said...

I was shocked to see an update from you! I don't have children and don't want to because I wouldn't be able to handle it. I miss your words, outlook on life, and your pictures. I wish you would come back but how selfish is that of me?! :) Happy belated birthday, Elodie!

Jo said...

What a wonderful surprise! Thank you for this wonderful update, and happy birthday to Elodie!

Anonymous said...

Aura,
My heart still hasn't settled enough to sit and read this. Your words on this blog have changed my life. Thank you for writting again.

R~ said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming back!! Oh, it's wonderful to log on and see your new words, pictures, events. Thank you for the smile!!!

Happy Birthday to you lovely ladies.

Luna said...

I'm so glad I stopped by today. Thank you for sharing, everything :)

Taylor Yves said...

so sweet! congrats!

Anita said...

Aura-- you look so happy! And Elodie is radiant. I am so happy to hear you're doing well. If you ever choose to come back to this blog world, I'd be one of many people who'd welcome you with open arms.

Jaymi said...

I remember the depression and the constant screaming and the nights (and days) when I thought it would never, ever get better. And I remember saying that there was no way I would ever do it all over again, no matter how good the good times were and now here I am, a week away from having another little boy and I'm actually looking forward to it this time around. Weird how these things work sometimes.

julie said...

Let us know if you ever write a book! You are such a great writer! Hope to read you in the future somewhere. I will come back to this place, please stop by sometimes.
Happy, happy birthday to you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words Aura :) here is a small poem to share with your little Elodie -

Happiness Soup

Do you know
I know a secret recipe
called Happiness Soup?

and I'm gonna share it
with you!

Take one million hugs
and stir stir stir

Here's one big BOWL
HUG
for you!

miss zee said...

she is absolutely beautiful, as are your words. i miss your posts so much, but my heart is full of warmth knowing you're out there living this life you and michael built. we've all enjoyed the ride, you guys enjoy the rest on your own. lots of love - zainab.

Joanne Juend said...

i am very glad to be able to read your post again. feeling very blessed! :)

God bless you and your family Aura :)

xoxo

© Annie W.-T. said...

Welcome back Aura...just for this moment. Taking one day at a time & smile whenever you can.

Being a parent is never easy. Ask my mom who is 70+ years old. She have many many stories to share.
Baby=screaming, crying, sleepless night...
toddler=running, messing up your house and more scream...
tweens=worry about peer pressure, this and that...
teens=sex talk, drugs, is your child doing well in school, shopping ($$$)....
adult=worry they married too young, is he/she the right for my baby girl/boy
on and on...
Also it is okay to let them scream, cry...eventually the baby will stop.

Enjoy the moment before you know it your little baby girl will be independent just like her mommy.

Depression is normal after birth and before you know it will pass. Do pamper yourself it is important for your soul. Do come back whenever you feel like it.

Life=always challenging no matter what.

Happy belated birthday to Elodie!!

Dawn said...

Aura! It's you! You're alive! Oh my goodness.

I thought I would stop by here again today because I knew that Elodie's birthday was around this time of year. I wanted to leave you a note that wished you well and, behold, a new post from you.

It was entirely delightful reading your words again, and seeing some of Elodie's explorations. I have often wondered how you and your husband have been growing and learning and trying and struggling and loving with little Elodie.

If you are, again, leaving, then I, again, wish you well. Though you may feel depressed at times, a struggling mess, your words here still bring inspiration to thousands--literally thousands--of individuals. I hope that you are still able to read our words and find joy in them, because we miss your presence. However, we do understand why you have devoted yourself elsewhere. Again, I wish you the world, the best, the good and the bad learning experiences. I wish you a life of love.

Fiona said...

A wonderful surprise to see your post this morning Aura! Happy birthday to sweet Elodie and hugs to her awesome Mom and Dad!

Anonymous said...

So happy for your familly. happy birthday for Elodie.Look how many peaple look back to your blog even if they now that you stop posting. This is something dont you believe it.

With love
Katerina FF
Greece

Anonymous said...

The way your write makes me want to smile and cry at the same time; it's beautiful. I found your blog right after you jumped ship and it's so great to see an update! You and your baby girl are so beautiful.
Reading your past stories have opened my eyes to new and wonderful things. Thank you, a thousand times.

Melissa from Houston

Mindy said...

Such love and light radiates from your images. So happy to have an update.

Anonymous said...

Aura,

You don't know me but I followed oyur blog fo ra long while before Elodie was born. I have missed your posts more than I can say, and it is wonderful to hear from you. I check back often to see if you have returned. Elodie is just beautiful and SO BIG! I can imagine it hasn't been easy but we all just do the best we can. Every day is a good day, but some are better than others.

Big hug from CA
SheaLynn

ourwestcoastnest said...

Aura,
I check your blog weekly to see if you've come back to update us! What a sweet surprise this morning to read your honest words and sneak a peek at the beautiful baby girl you are working so very hard to raise. I started reading your blog when I found out I was pregnant last year. Though I miscarried at 7 weeks, I continued to read and am happy to say that I am 9 1/2 weeks pregnant now and everything seems to be going very well this time. I felt nervous reading your words, hearing you speak so honestly about how difficult the year has been, imagining life suddenly becoming so much more challenging to my husband and I and a part of me felt an intense fear for a brief second. When I saw the smiles and waves and laughter in the video it was reassuring. Mixed in with the crying and lack of sleep was so much beauty and precious memories and I will hold onto that promise as we prepare to bring our baby into the world in November. We are starting a garden this weekend and I will surely look to your garden posts for help.....so, whatever you do, don't take em down =) You are a real gift and I'm happy that you are able to take care of yourself in the ways that you need to. I will, however, keep checking to see if you've any wisdom to share with us. Love to all 3 of you!
Christina

R~ said...

I had to come back and read it all again. Thank you for your honesty. This was yet another beautiful post.

Jen said...

Thank you Aura- this was so, so beautiful as your posts always are. I find they quite often resonate for days afterwards as I consider your words. I can't believe how little Elodie has grown and it seems you have grown along with her as you've guided yoursself through the ebbs and flows of motherhood. Congratulations to your first year of being a mom, it looks like your doing wonderfully despite all the challenges :) happiest of happy birthdays, and I hope to see you soon <3

Jen
Vancouver, BC

Jessica said...

On a whim I decided to check your blog tonight, "just to see". And I gave a little "eek!" when I saw that you had updated! This post just speaks to my mama heart. That sense of drowning and swimming, you hit it dead on. My little girl will be three in August, and watching your video and reading your words brought back so many memories of her earlier baby days. To say it get's any easier would be untruthful. You just learn how to swim with the current instead of against it. Live with this new life that has replaced the old one. Where the old one exploded into a million pieces this one takes it's place.

I love you Aura. I love what you have done here. Given us a raw real glimpse at life. I know I've never met you and only know of you what you have been so generous to share with us here, but you have made such an impact on my life and so many others' lives, touched our hearts in innumerable ways.

I wish you and your family nothing but love and hope that wherever life may take you that it is blessed.

I hope that you will come back and update from time to time and know that we will all be here, reading and remembering this beautiful simple life lived.

Tashina said...

Thank you so much for your words, stories and photos. You inspire me in ways I can't explain. Thank you :)

Dani said...

So precious!

Thank you so much, Aura.

♥♥♥

until next time.

Dani (from Portugal)

we hold hands said...

AURA<3 Such a lovely surprise to see a post from you! I'm sorry to see that the past year has been a bit crazy, but reading your positive words are an inspiration for me to get through some of the stress I'm dealing with. I hope some day, when you have a little more time, you do return to blogging! Your words were such positive inspiration and light in some many people's lives!

Take care! Happy birthday to your little one! Hope to hear from you again soon!

love,
Melissa

Jenn said...

Aura, thank you for sharing your world and beautiful family with us readers. Like so many others, I too go back and re-read old entries and find peace and inspiration through your photos and the genuineness of your word. Would love to have it all in a book to cozy up with.

More than anything, reading your blog leaves me full of the desire to create. Anything. Whether it be cooking or gardening or just playing with my dog. So as much as you are missed, I understand. You inspire me to shut off my computer and start living.

Thank you.

Jenn said...

Aura, thank you for sharing your world and beautiful family with us readers. Like so many others, I too go back and re-read old entries and find peace and inspiration through your photos and the genuineness of your word. Would love to have it all in a book to cozy up with.

More than anything, reading your blog leaves me full of the desire to create. Anything. Whether it be cooking or gardening or just playing with my dog. So as much as you are missed, I understand. You inspire me to shut off my computer and start living.

Thank you.
Jenn
Torino, Italy

Jenn said...

Aura, thank you for sharing your world and beautiful family with us readers. Like so many others, I too go back and re-read old entries and find peace and inspiration through your photos and the genuineness of your word. Would love to have it all in a book to cozy up with.

More than anything, reading your blog leaves me full of the desire to create. Anything. Whether it be cooking or gardening or just playing with my dog. So as much as you are missed, I understand. You inspire me to shut off my computer and start living.

Thank you.
Jenn
Torino, Italy

Learning said...

Thanks so much for giving us another glimpse into your lovely world! What a precious little girl you have. I appreciate your honesty about how hard this year has been for you. I cannot wait to have kids. But it helps to temper that with a bit of realism, and think about how there will be very difficult times once we are blessed with children.

I realize your life has taken you in a direction where you don't have the time or will to blog anymore. However, I SO treasure the blog entries you did write. Your pictures are so inspiring. Honestly, I read your posts a bit like a treasured book. I love to refer back to posts you did at this time last year and the year before. It is so refreshing how you find so much beauty in the simple things in life. Thank you for giving so much joy to the world through your blog.

It sounds so odd to say that a person I have never met has changed me. But you have. I never took the time to appreciate nature and the wonderful gifts all around us until I started reading your blog. I also never fully understood the great benefits of gardening, being careful what food I cook for us, and what chemicals we use in our everyday life. Really, you taught me to be PRESENT in all things I am doing. That is why I truly respect and understand your decision to be as present in Elodie's live as possible.

Also, my husband's family is from India. I love the information I have learned about your immigrant Asian/Persian culture. Your family's story is so similar to theirs. We moved to another state just to be closer to his family to have a village for our children.

Thanks you so much for your lovely blog. Take care of yourself. I'll be thinking of you, and praying, that the next year brings many joys and that the path is a bit easier.

- Angela

MML said...

Aura - raising healthy, happy, children is hard. No one tells you that. There is so little advice, help, guidance, truth, given to new mothers - it's been 8 years since the first son and 5 years since the second and it does change. Does it get easier? It changes. And Mamma Bears have it different from Papa bears. This is the time when you want to outsource your chores, call on your village, go by the internal voice - too much of the outside world can be confusing. Keep the lines of communication open with your husband - with a strong relationship and understanding, life will be good.
Parenthood - the hardest job you'll ever love!

Anonymous said...

HBD Elodie! HBD Aura!
TEARS! TEARS have fallen from my eyes, to see a new post from you! i always check this blog every week, even if it's just to read one of the earlier articles, i feel such a sense of peace when i read them, calm, quietly alive, renewed, joy in the small things, a warm place to reside in for a while from the world often cold....i wish i had a way with words like you, just to say HOW HAPPY I AM!!! just because you've posted again. No pressure to keep posting, I understand everything you expressed in the goodbye post, and in this one again, but I felt a great sense of relief, almost, just to see a hello again. God's richest blessings always for you and yours and thank you so much for everything, every picture, every inspiration, every story shared, every picture of food healthy simple and fun, from the garden, your gramps on his bike, a charming ensemble, and for the pearls of wisdom so patiently illustrated, wishing you continued strength in life through the ups and downs wherever it may take you, all my love, and a final thank you! - Christi

Kelli said...

Missed your stories so much!

Happy birthday, little Elodie.

Reetika said...

You have such a way with words. You make me cry and smile at the same time. I have been checking your blog every other week hoping to see an update and today i was pleasantly surprised. Thank you so very much! Your little bird is as beautiful as you are..such a joy to see her explore the surroundings. A very happy birthday to the lil' one.
Miss you tons.
Thank you.

Love always,
Reetika

O'Melly said...

You would think that after all of the growing we've done and all the years that pass us by, that we would somehow be used to the never-ending challenges and lessons that continually land on our doorsteps, but no! Never!

That's what is so beautiful about life; just when we think we've got it all figured out, a whole new chapter/lesson/challenge either slowly blooms from a previous place, or comes out of nowhere like a slap in the face. Either way, it's our job, right, and purpose to accept those missions and pull as much out of them as we can. <3 It's what feeds our souls in the end.

Thanks for such a sweet reminder.

Take care!

jodi said...

Aura I've said this so many times to so many women lately: that first year is hard. You stumble your way through, one day melts into the next, you've got food in your hair and dark circles under your eyes. You cry and laugh and sob and wonder why. And then there's a birthday and the reflection that always comes with it. You question why no-one told it would be like it was...but then you realise that you wouldn't have heard them anyway.

Aura, this post was courageous. I really admire you for jumping ship and subsequently swimming (although I bet it was exhausting).

Elodie is delightful and wise, so beautiful.

I miss your posts but I understand your silence.

Much love beautiful muma. Go gently x

Anonymous said...

I have thought of you and your sweet little girl sooooooo many times in the past year. Thank you for posting a snippet and I hope you will blog in the future. ;)

Christine S. said...

Ahh tears!!! This post hit home ... My little guy is almost 8 months and I'm drowning myself in sorrow as of late. He is my world and I can't imagine how life was before him but it's been very challenging. He's been a bad sleeper from day 1 and has never slept through the night. I'll be lucky if he sleeps for 2 hours at a time before he wakes up screaming ... I'm left feeling defeated and have days where I feel like I'm sinking so low ... But I choose to swim back up for my beautiful son. He has shown me love like I've never known before ... It's hard but it's been the most rewarding gift of my life .. Thank you so much for this post. I needed to know I'm not alone ... Hope to read most posts but I understand your need to be away from this space.

Anonymous said...

Oh Aura...thank you so much for updating! I truly respect your reasons for leaving, but this post reminded me of how much I miss your writing and photos. It was like a breath of fresh air in my day.

I started reading your blog a couple of years ago when it was posted on the Lettered Cottage and have loved every word since then. There were so many stories that moved me to tears and spoke to something in me. The "your dreams are my dreams" post, the Colorado posts, Oklahoma summer posts. I remember reading your post about the baby armoire and being afraid to paint it and take that next step in life, but exhilarated by the thought of having a baby. And then when you announced you were expecting. It moved me so much because I remember being in that exact same place and thinking "look, if Aura can do it, maybe I can too!". So now, 26 weeks pregnant, this post brings a smile to my face knowing that you did do it, are doing it, and that I will be just fine.

Thank you for sharing your life and for returning for one last update. Happy birthday to Elodie and congratulations to you and Michael for the accomplishment of one year : )

Anonymous said...

I was so happy this morning to see a post from you & hope to even if it is just once in a while to see more. I have been following your blog since 2010 & it is one of my favorites. I was pregnant with my now 7 mos old while reading your blog & would get inspired with all your Elodie posts. My beautiful girl doesn't sleep through the nights at all yet so I definitely understand you. There are so many things no one tells you, but I would definitely not change a thing since I can't imagine life without my Olivia. Your video was so lovely & I hope your beautiful girl had a wonderful birthday!
~Angie

Jennifer said...

This was so beautiful and encouraging. I'm expecting my first baby in June and it can be really frightening just thinking about all the things that are to come. But God is good and *always* provides so that you don't ever sink to the bottom. Look at what beauty he created for you with your little girl. Even though its the hardest thing a person can do, I can't imagine a better life to live than that of raising a new little person:)
Thanks for sharing.
~Jennifer

Vang said...

Happy belated birthday to sweet Elodie! And congratulations to you and your partner, you both made it through the first year. It's good to hear from you. Good luck on your path through life.

michella s. said...

wonderful to see a post. I check often to see if you maybe update and it lifted my spirits, which I needed tonight. your blog is one of the few I check now and again. your words are beautiful and from the heart. happy birthday to you and elodie. you deserve all the happiness.

Sophie said...

Aura,

Thank you for sharing all that you did on your blog. From the moment I first found it, it was near the top of my 'top sites' and has actually remained there even since you have not been blogging! Personally I can never understand how you (and so so so many others) were able to share so much of your private, personal lives with the world but I'm so glad you did. Your photos are beautiful and inspirational and of course your baby girl is gorgeous too.

My son also did not sleep through until he was 8 months old, and it is so tough. No-one tells you. And now he's nearly 2 and I'm doing it again, craziness! I love my little man, but my 2 days a week where he is being cared for by others keep me sane and happy (and he loves it too).

Good luck and enjoy.

Sophie

Beth said...

Thank you for the update Aura. It is wonderful to hear your beautiful words on sweet Elodie. You have a beautiful perspective on life and I often find myself coming back looking through your archives because they inspire me. Happy birthday little bird, here's to another year!

Beth

nicole said...

my girl is seven months today and all i can say is thank you for your words. they capture the amazing highs and lows of motherhood truly. congratulations to your little family and thank you for the update.

TashaWater said...

Thank you. You've moved me to tears many times, but never nearly so fast and so powerfully as this beautiful piece. (and I really don't tear up much!) I have been a mother now 6 years, and no one ever told me it was so hard. My first little boy didn't sleep through the night till he was 2. I was 22, and it was very, very trying. I was so moved by your words, it brought the last six years back so strongly, but when I gaze at that handsome 6-year-old now, a day never passes without a smidgeon of a triumphant feeling for having survived my strong willed boy. So, hello and goodbye again... your words, images, wisdom are all missed. Wishing you the best through all of your journeys, wherever they may wind and take you, no matter how many courses change their tracks. You've inspired me more than you could possibly know.

Megan said...

Thank you so much! Yes... Parenting can be so hard... I dare not think of how awful it might be when my kids grow up to be teenagers... I'll probably get my comeuppance then! I hope not... But we'll see.
Anyway, tangents aside, it was so nice to see your update on my reader... I'll always keep your blog there, just in case.
Such a beautiful video, also. Your girl is very sweet. I find that I am willing to endure a * lot * to find the sweetness in the middle. : )

grace.to.be said...

mommying is just a beautiful mess of wonderful and awful all doled out and mixed up together! :)

and. learning to take it one big gasping breath at a time.

so good to see you here again. even, if just passing through.

happy birthday sweet mama and baby!

Drew said...

Congratulations on Elodie's birthday and your first year of motherhood.

"Nobody had the heart to to say it would be this hard" so accurately describes how I felt with my two year old daughter and how I am feeling with my three weeks old son. Especially at night I wonder why no one said it so that I could take it into consideration, and then during the day I feel blessed no one did so that it didn't make me choose not to walk the road of motherhood with all its ups and downs.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog after your "sign-off" post. Since then I've went back and read all of your posts. I enjoyed the current update - but most importantly you've been such an inspiration to me. I recently moved back to the OKC area after attending college out of state. It seemed as though I was in a "waiting period" of sorts, although I found a job after college I was not living in the moment. I believed that I would enure my time here in OKC bored and uninterested in what was happening around me. Your posts have taught me to enjoy my life in the present instead of always planning for the future. You showed me that there fun and unique things about OKC. I understand that the online community can be harsh and unrelenting but if you decide to never post on your blog again please keep it up so others can read your inspiring words. I will continue to be a loyal reader either way.

With Love,
Amanda

Anonymous said...

aura, you and elodie are so precious. thank you for sharing your life with all of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you for always adding a bit of light to MY day when you leave little notes. :)

Anna Lueschen said...

Dear Aura,

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here.
I didn't find your blog until a couple months before you "jumped ship", but I was always looking forward to your next post. I have now gone back to the beginning of your posts, and it's so lovely to see your thoughts and adventures, and developments.
I'm living abroad in Germany with my love, and sometimes I miss home in Ohio with the fields and veggie gardens and simplicity so much. Your blog has been helping me to remember things that are dear to my heart and to hold on to them. Thank you for all your honesty, beautiful pictures and inspirations!(i've just gotten through the post with Eureka Springs and the song from Ray LaMontagne, haven't been able to turn it off replay yet:)
Wishing you and your lovely family peace and blessings
-Anna

Di + Severus said...

I keep forgetting to check your archive to make sure whether Elodie's birthday is on 29 of March or April. But I remember it's on 29! Haha
So happy to see this post, Aura. And of course happy birthday to sweet Elodie.
Oh my God, that sweet video. I'm so happy for you I might cry. Please send my virtual kiss for her. Take care to you and your precious family. :')

Angela said...

I don't have any advice or inspiration or even a big long speech -- I'm just happy to known you're all well. ::hugs::

Elodie is absolutely beautiful.

XO

O'Melly said...

I saw the tornados that your state's enduring right now, and although I don't know anyone personally from OK, I thought of you and your little family and hoped you guys were okay.

Peace & Love

Don't Blink said...

Thank you...my soul needed this today...

Valerie said...

Yay! An update from Aura! I periodically check your blog to see if you're posting again and also to review past garden posts. What a treat to find a post from you today! I'm so glad you and your family are doing well. Elodie is such a doll! Happy birthday to your sweet girl!

Joleme said...

Thank you for writing this. Your beautiful words always has a way to my heart. I feel like I am reading my life story as I can so relate to this as I'm reading this beautiful post. Happy birthday E and well done you. You're an amazing mother and an inspiration to me. Take care Love Jolene xxx

Merani said...

Even if someone had told me the challenges of parenting I'm sure I would not have understood, just as I did not understand the immense love my heart was capable of.
Seeing Elodie's furrowed brow is always a highlight in my day. You are a tender and sweet mother and your family is dear to my heart. Congratulations on one year of parenting. May each following year be just as fulfilling as the first.

Emily@Little Forever Family said...

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and have spent the last few hours reading your uplifting words. Elodie is a stunning little babe and your shining spirit was a strength to me. I have just a question though, how do you make your own soap?

Colleen said...

What a gift you have with words and pictures! I found your blog late & was so touched by your words and your style - I found myself reading through the older posts. I don't have children - but it didn't matter - I found something to love in every post. The love of nature, the garden, decorating & your love of family & friends - your words bring it all to life. I was so sad when I read that people wrote unkind comments & such. How vulnerable you must have felt. It would have creeped me out as well. Whatever road you take - I wish you well & thank you for sharing your words. If you ever write a book - sign me up!

Shelley said...

beautiful lady. your blog has continued to feed me and motivate me even though you didnt share for so long. i respect your decision and I pray for peace and beauty in your life as a mommy. Mommyhood is no easy task but it is such a rewarding blessing.

Under Her Charm said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing new pictures and the video! So sweet.

Notes from Holly St. said...

I'm so happy to see this post! (though three weeks late). I've missed your beautiful poetic writing and honest depiction of life. Elodie has grown so much. Happy first birthday to her! And congratulations to you. You did it, Aura.

My daughter turned one in February and I felt like a warrior on the day of her birthday. I had conquered the hardest year of my life.

When she was one week old and I was feeling tired and overwhelmed my mom said to me, "No one said that motherhood is easy." To which I replied, "Yes but no one ever said it was this hard."

I've come to realize that things get easier. We adapt, grow stronger and make it through to see the beauty in every stage in life. Enjoy each day.

cazS said...

Gorgeous Aura,
Thank you...missed you.... I have tears running down my face ... I checked in every now again hoping you would say Hello... thank you, it means so much.
Happy Birthday Elodie!
To you, hubby & E, may the year's blessings overflow exceedingly ...may life be light, peaceful, satisfying and pure bliss...
C xo

Honey Mamma said...

Thank you for letting us glimpse back into your life...keep enjoying it on your terms and raising that beautiful baby girl with a healthy sense of self ;) because ultimately that's what all Mamma's want for their lil' ones...love and light to you and yours.

Anna said...

Aura, I have missed your blog- your pictures and your beautiful way with words. What a lovely video. I especially loved the clip with your Grandma holding Elodie. It's just too precious. I hope you find time every now and then to stop in and update us. I miss seeing pictures of your family working their magic in the kitchen with those delicious healthy recipes. I always felt inspired.

Anonymous said...

Oh no :( I thought that you were coming back and I was SO happy! I miss you and your beautiful/inspiring life. Sadly the ONLY person that care about on the internet does not want to have anything to do on it, ha! Anyway, still, thank you so much for stopping by again to post this, it was wonderful.

Alma said...

Love this!!! new follower from NY! Beautiful written. This is a love letter from a beautiful mother to her daughter! Happiest of birthdays!

Melissa Blake said...

Ahhh, i think this is the cutest video i've ever seen!! I'm so glad you have this special time with Elodie

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

Happy birthday to your sweet girl and to you and your husband too. Amazing how a child is the beginning of a new everything, isn't it?

I still hope that one day you come back, but I am happy to hear that you are appreciating life in the present without your blog. Life in the present is all that really matters in the end anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Betsy said...

Yay! OMG, closure. I'm so happy to see all 3 of you. Hope the pup is well. :)

Love Betsy

Anonymous said...

Aura, you are the one totally right. That is the reason why I never started a blog at the first place or a twitter or a facebook etc... It is such a waste of time. In the morning, I rather seat on my patio and listen to the birds than checking what people (that I don't even know in real life) have been doing in the past 8 hours. Like you I gave up on being so reliable on technologies to live my life or even worst, other people's life to live mine. What is this new thing that people need to check their cell phones 24hrs/day or their facebook. Why do people have this need to twitte about e.v.e.r.y single detail of their (private) life to the world? And, who cares?

Technologies are creeping on us and so are people if we let them inside our life.

You are making the right choice and nobody can blame you for this... time will just make you realize more and more that you have made the right choice at the right time in your life.

Take care.

Chloe

Ashley K. said...

I have missed and will continue to miss your writing. You are a wonderful story teller and have a graceful way with words. I am glad you checked back in, although I am sad that it was just to say goodbye once more. I will continue to keep your site bookmarked in the hopes that you will stop in again someday. I hope you find peace in your everyday. And just so you know, my daughter turns two next week and still does not sleep through the night. I am trying not to take it personally.... :)

Ashton said...

So very happy to see an update. I totally understand your reasons for not continuing this blog. Being there for your little girl should always be your #1. Thank you for your honesty amidst this blogosphere of what life "should" look like. God bless.xo

pretty little things said...

I just happened to check your blog in hopes you might return and you did - even for a moment, and I'm glad to see you and your family are doing well! We miss you here, your beautiful and thoughtful words always make me look at my own life differently and I thank you for that. Sometimes we all feel we are drowning instead of swimming, and sometimes its nice to know others are right there next to us. I hope you continue to check in every now and then. xo.

http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

Crèmebrûlivin said...

Such a lovely video, best best wishes to you!

Nicole said...

Beautifully written. I hope it was a happy day. There is absolutely no way I could have had a blog in the first year my first baby was born. I was too vulnerable and too tired. So I understand completely about staying away from this place. And you know...it's a very wise decision. These little ones of ours need our complete attention (my blog posts are only ever short and simple and that's what I like and only what I'm able to give). Take care dear Aura. And well done for making it through the first year :-)

AE said...

Beautiful, Aura! I've been looking forward to the possibility of an update every since you jumped ship.
I want you to know, you've inspired me to have a vegatable and herb garden of my own this year. I always loved reading about that.
Great things, and enjoyable things, wouldn't be so if they lasted forever. Blessed be.

LeeLee said...

Beautiful post. Happiest of Birthdays to little Elodie.

heather{land} said...

I've kept your blog in my reader because I love your beautiful works, writings, hearing about your adventures, and secretly hoping you would make a return. Thank you :) Wishing you and your lovely little family strength and all the best :)

Huda said...

I'm not a parent, but you've beautifully expressed what some of my friends who have kids state about the struggle and joy in being a parent. Glad to see all of you are doing great, Khuda Hafiz.

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