October marks the time of year when our schedules begin to fill up with family celebrations! It’s the beginning of our family’s most active season with the richest of memories. This time of year, we celebrate birthdays, dating and wedding anniversaries, and of course all the holidays. October also marks the ending of another season for us, as our maternity/paternity leave ended. A lot of transition happening here at the Carney Casa.
This month began with a date with my little man. We were already running an errand and decided to stop by Starbucks for a treat. While Starbucks isn’t my top choice for coffee, I made a stop because E loves their cake pops. I love having my little boy to go on dates with!
Favorite memory from earlier this month was sitting with Ethan in my room and having nonsensical conversations. He asked if he could buy me a ring and marry me. Next, he told me that he would find his wife by using Dora the Explorer’s map.
At the same time, there were a lot of challenging moments that left Wayne and me discouraged. Sigh, the discipline of discipline. The commitment to talk things out with a toddler is hard, especially when you’ve repeated yourself, become exhausted, are embarrassed and are tempted to feel anger (and have sometimes given in to that anger). Discipline style is different family to family and we have found peace in the commitment towards disciplining with the gentleness we receive from Jesus. The kind He shows us as He continues to teach us the same things over and over. While we are not without consequences to our choices in this life (and we teach Ethan that) the Lord remains gentle and kind in approach with us. We’ve been holding each other accountable and encouraging each other towards this commitment when we begin to lose patience. Thank God there are two of us, so that when one is tempted to fall we have the other to step in. I want our children to love obedience because they love us, and because they love us they want to honor us as we lead them. Lord, help.
My relatives came to meet Selah this month and we had all of the yummy quality time together. It was actually my first weekend spending the entire weekend with my parents while they visited. Usually, they come to Gainesville to babysit while I am shooting a wedding, so my hang out time is very limited. We went out for lunch, visited a pumpkin patch, walked around in a new area of town and stayed in at night playing Catan.
Pictures with my pumpkins. That third image below is an accurate representation of some moments this season. Hanging on with toes clenched to the ground to keep from falling over.
Fall mini sessions happened this month and I did not shoot them! I have officially passed the baton over to Kim our Family + Associate Photographer. It was a weekend marathon of 14 mini sessions! So many familiar faces and beautiful images! I still had a chance to be a part of them by assisting Kim as the official child entertainer, baby carrier and lens holder. It was actually really sweet to assist Kim and not the other way around. My heart soared reading the reviews from all of the families about their experience with Kim. Another confirmation from the Lord about her role within our team.
While I assisted Kim, Ashley and Alex watched my littles. They walked around the neighborhood and picked up more kids (Ashley’s nieces & nephew who live a few streets down) and spent the afternoon painting pumpkins! Grateful to have friends who not just watch my kids, but make memories with them. This loves me so well!
Selah is smiling! Just shy of 3 months, my little girl smiles, coos and “talks.” We are smitten!!
These slow moments at home snuggling, watching movies and walking around the neighborhood make my heart full. We even got to take a walk with our friends/neighbors one night!
I believe wholeheartedly that the little moments are gifts that the Lord allows and gives us because He loves us. But also because He is God and good gifts glorify Him (James 1:7). Thankful for the quiet moments and the fact that my eyes were led to just witness simple joys that He’s gifted me. Below was one of those times where I looked over from my bed at my two boys admiring Selah. Standing there and smiling at her. These are the moments I never want to forget to stop and delight in. This is a perfect example of why I do these monthbooks.
I’m not a believer that children change everything, as much as I am a believer that children fit into your life. Things do have to change and adjust, but I just think children should join in on your activities and not keep you from them. With the adjustment of baby life, though, I am noticing that I don’t have as much time to do extracurricular things like I used to. I’m an extrovert! Being that quality time is my love language (tied with words of affirmation, actually), this limit on time to hang out has been difficult to face. I did have pockets of time that, while they were short, were still rich in quality. I am grateful for friends who still pursue, even though time together doesn’t exactly look like it used to and for friends who are willing to adjust with me.
I turned 33 this month! My birthday was quiet and restful, which was what my body needed since I was actually sick on my birthday. My birthday started and ended with some of my favorite people. At midnight, Ashley surprised me with flowers and a mini cake from my favorite bakery. I got to sleep in as Wayne took the kids. I was even able to nap in the afternoon. For dinner, we made tacos with friends and played games. Some of my girlfriends sat on my bed that night and caught up on life as I nursed Selah to bed. My favorite.
That weekend, my sister Ivonne surprised me and came to visit from Illinois! She brought two of my nieces over and Ethan was in Heaven! He adores his cousin Eloisa, who is just a month younger. Everything she did, he wanted to do. That boy chased her around all weekend. It was so nice to introduce my sister to Selah and to feel like we had a weekend of doing normal family activities together, as if we lived in the same town. We cooked lunches and dinners, went to church, went to the park and pumpkin patch, cleaned, did laundry, had a family movie night, made a Target run, and a midnight fourth meal at Arby’s (reliving our teenage years together). It was so, so good for my soul to have just normal time with her… IN GAINESVILLE!
Just look at these two peas in a pod! Praise God for cousins.
Since our actual wedding anniversary falls right after we return to work, we decided to celebrate early, on our last weekend of maternity/paternity leave. This year we will be 8 years married, 10 years together! As much as I would have loved an elaborate trip away, this year we had a quieter much more simple trip. We went to our hometown and dropped the kids off at my parents. We had a short 36 hours to ourselves to rest (I got to sleep through the night, twice)! Along with naps, we laid out, visited my favorite food hall (Grandview Public Market), sought the Lord together by the pool, prayed over our family and rode bikes along the intercoastal. It was wonderful.
Wayne’s birthday started out in his favorite way, him cooking us breakfast. HIM cooking US breakfast. I love this man so much because of who he is. His birthday fell on a microchurch fellowship night. We reunited with our sister microchurch by hanging out at the pumpkin patch until it closed, capping the evening with an after-party at Dunkin Donuts down the street.
We’ve only gone trick or treating with Ethan once before, when he was a year and a half. This year we walked around our friend’s neighborhood with their kids and he would walk up and pick up candy by the handful. My kid. It was so cute to hear him say “Trick or treat!” Plus, this year was my favorite family outfit. Selah as our first female president and the rest of our family as secret servicemen/women. The night ended at Chipotle for their $4 booritos, a tradition that started years ago with some friends.
Until next month.