So, words are not coming so easy for me right now. A few have suggested that maybe it is “pregnancy brain”… so I tried to think about being pregnant with Co… was my writing spurred on by the pregnancy or inhibited? And you know what? I couldn’t remember. (Exhibit A? Perhaps)
Other possible blame holders are as follows:
-sickness [I finally stopped being nauseous last week… and then promptly got strep throat.]
-processing a lot of private info not fit for the the world wide web [though I love you bloggy friends dearly]
-time [sometimes the question is: should I complete morning hygiene or blog? or should I eat breakfast or blog? or should I sleep or blog? or should I read my Bible or blog? so currently though I have not written much… my clients, the tiny person growing inside of me, my tired body, and Jesus thank you for taking one for the team.]
Still, the lack of blogging should not be mistaken for a lack of stuff going on in our lives…. no, sir! I can honestly say that my life has never been so full or so good. More mornings than not, I find myself sitting at the kitchen table eating steel-cut oats and sipping tea with my enviably sweet husband while Cohen entertains us with his songs, dances, or “shows”, wondering is this really my life? Could it really be this beautiful and simple? And somehow it is. [And by “somehow” I mean, of course, thanks to Jesus]
It is not perfect, naturally. We have spats. Sometimes he’s tired from a pressing week at work. Sometimes I am overly emotional and reactionary. Sometimes Cohen doesn’t sleep for days on end. Sometimes the mail comes and it is all bills. Sometimes my clients all decide to all fall apart the same week. Sometimes one of our dogs runs out in the yard, cuts her side 8″ long and 3 layers deep, and we have to spend $300 we weren’t expecting to.
It is not perfect, but it is good.
Yesterday it was sunny without a cloud in the sky. After two weekends of rain forcing us to cancel our plans, we were able to have a work day in our “yard”. The excavator came Friday evening and when David, Co, and I got home from our Whole Foods run [ps- don’t want to cook dinner? Just go to Whole Foods on a Friday evening- samples galore! Co said, “Mom, this is the BEST grocery story ever!”] there it sat in the yard. I thought both of my boys were going to have a hard time going to sleep just knowing that piece of machinery was on our property.
We got up around seven and I tidied the house while the boys started learning the excavator. I took off for an hour or so to have prayer with Mom, Aunt Deb, my cousin Emily, and few friends at the church. When I returned, my in-laws were in the yard with work gloves on, our dear friend Nick was loading his truck with the debris and my husband was digging out some giant stumps left behind when the dead trees and out of control bushes were cut down to make room for the… well, house.
Work was in full swing, which was good cause I have big plans for this yard between now and when this baby arrives. [think: siding, a wrap around front porch, patio, pergola, privacy fence, garden, playground, and yes- even grass 🙂 ]
The day went pretty much that way from there on out. We lost Nick to his wife for a few hours (but kept the dump truck 🙂 ), gained my brother in law Tim and my brother Matt and my mom in the afternoon, and just kept at it only stopping briefly for lunch. Our yard is just under a half acre and with 60+ stumps to be removed and truckloads of ivy to ball up, we made a serious dent in the project, getting more than half way through the yard.
Here are some photos of the yard before we touched it so you get an idea of where we started two years and some 30 truckloads of brush ago:
I found that though I love yard work [especially if I get to use a chainsaw], I wasn’t much help. That whole no-heavy-lifting-or-twisting-from-the-middle-pregnancy-thing kept me from the kind of work I normally love to get deep into. Around the same time I had that realization, I also realized how awesome it would be to have Yard Crashers come with a crew and complete a massive project in two days! What is wrong with those people who turn down the help at their local home improvement store? Seriously? I am willing to bet they have never tackled a half acre of space that has been overrun by various kinds of ivy.
But I digress.
One side of our yard has an old (and somewhat dilapidated) stone wall. On top of the wall were growing these ugly, unkempt vines and bushes. Unable to reach our neighbor (her daughter rents the place), we weren’t sure if the wall and ugliness atop it was ours or hers and the surveyor wanted $350 to tell us. So midway through the afternoon we just decided to hack it all down. David and I have had many conversations in the past week about that mess of vines… I wondered if they wanted the privacy that it provided. David assumed that if it were theirs, they would have at least trimmed it. Eventually Saturday afternoon we decided that we would assume responsibility for the mess (by hacking it down, mind you) and then if they wanted the privacy back we would plant something in its stead… something, you know, attractive.
My goal was to have it all down (all 175+ foot of it!) and cleaned and the neighbors side raked up before she got home. While I was inside helping my mother in law make dinner, I saw her car drive up and have to go through her yard to get past our truck, which was still parked there.
David hopped the wall and headed over to talk to her. I was so busy when he came in that I didn’t ask how it went. So he made up his plate and we got a call from the owner and he headed back over. I stayed inside. After all, I am pregnant, right? And he’s the calm, diplomatic one in the relationship anyway. He was out there for a solid half an hour. I kept peeking out the window, thinking I should go over but then realizing I had a house full of people.
As it turns out she has no idea if the wall is ours or hers either, but she’s been mowing under that mess and not trimming it for years because she didn’t want to mess with something that was her neighbors and upset someone. She was thrilled to have it all gone. And apparently she told David her whole life story and her daughter’s to boot. Which made his dinner cold and stomach growl, but also let me know that our neighbor is a single gal in her late twenties who is going through a separation. I think I will be making my way over there soon. So, the moral of this story is: talk to your neighbors.
Funny how something as practical as yard work can uncover ministry, isn’t it?
The evening ended with homemade cooking, leftover Subway from lunch and pizza. My dad and three of my five brothers, my in laws, my brother in law, and our dear friends Nick and Bethny were all lounging and eating and laughing. Joe, Josh and Cohen were building lego airplanes in the toy room. Dad and Paul (father in law) were sitting in the kitchen talking man stuff. My brother Matt was eating us out of house and home 🙂 Nick, David and Tim (brother in law) were joking around and laughing like men who needed to after a day of physical labor. Bethny, Debbie (mother in law) and I were talking pregnancy and babies and grandparents and giggling about Bethny’s parents who have already bought a crib and pack-n-play (she’s 11 weeks preggo with their first grandchild). Only hours earlier, Aaron, Beck and her parents had stopped by to introduce Hudson to everyone. I sat there, surrounded by so many people I love, eating the casserole Debbie made, thinking that somehow this is the life I always dreamed of possessing.
…and this morning, just one day from the first day of Spring, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. What more could a woman want?
Thank you Jesus!
Well I need to get ready for church… I hope where you are the day feels as pregnant with possibility as it does here! Happy Sunday friends!
*more yard photos coming when its more “done”- right now even though there is a lot of progress, it looks all torn up and muddy so its hard to tell*