Halfway through 2020!
June was a little more emotionally exhausting than I’d like to admit, unfortunately, but we made it to the other side! A lot of heavy things had me feeling all the feels this month! There has been so much unrest in my heart caused by division in so many different areas. Everything from the pandemic to social justice issues. Exhaustion in the labor of making hard decisions for work and exhaustion from the labor devoted to disciplining our child. I told Wayne that after June, I need a few days off to just process and rest.
One of the really great things from this month that has proven itself life-giving is gardening! I have always wanted to grow a kitchen garden in my backyard, but I honestly didn’t think I could keep up tending one. Well… this season allowed me to experiment and fall in love with the tiny escape a few steps from my back door! While my collection of veggies and herbs are … small (that’s generous), it’s been my delight, as it has finally bloomed (check out the progress of the tomato plant below)! I got this propagated tomato plant in March! Hoping to move this small collection into raised beds in July!
I love getting to include Ethan in the process every day. We get up every morning and go straight to tending the “garden.” There is so much excitement for the everyday, itty bitty growth. Look at Ethan assessing the pepper plant below. This has been my absolute favorite thing about June! A friend recently pointed me towards comparing the lessons of gardening to the lessons of life right now. The seeds of labor, waiting and devotion will not return empty (Galatians 6:7). There will be a harvest, but the fruit has to reach maturity to enjoy.
Keeping that close to my heart for next month.
When people used to ask me about my hobbies, I genuinely didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think of any. 10 years ago while I was at school, I would say my hobby was photography. Now I try to draw really clear boundaries for myself since it’s become my career. Now, I can finally answer that question and it feels really, really good.
Out of all of my plants (besides the tomato one), I am most excited about my basil. I could add basil to pretty much any meal!
Another great thing about this month was that, while we are continuing to practice social distancing and wearing masks in public, we opened up our circle of exposure to two families, which has helped us mentally to have some people interaction with some of our people but has also helped us with the kids while Wayne and I both work.
The app Timehop yearly reminds me of my first hangout with Ashley. Since then, we will try to do something special to say “Happy Friendiversary!” The kids and I stopped by her house with empanadas and coffee in the morning. Ethan wants to grow up to be a “batographer” and he frequently asks to take pictures with my phone all of the time. Below is his portrait of Ashley and I unintentionally matching on our friendiversary. That night we picked up boba tea and sat in a parking lot reminiscing on the goodness of God in the last 7 years of friendship.
Since Florida transitioned into Phase 2 this month and we were given the go-ahead for shoots, we rescheduled a couple of sessions. My first session this month was a rainy one. Actually, it was POURING, but so romantic! I very much appreciated Makayla and Brandon’s go-with-the-flow attitude as they took pictures and got their clothes wet. It was worth it!
Then a couple more engagement sessions!
Funny story about the couple below. We had met during a FaceTime consultation earlier this month. My COVID childcare hours are different every day. I had a scheduling misunderstanding on the day of our FaceTime meeting, which meant I had no childcare during this meeting. While we were on the phone, Ethan walks out of the bathroom fully naked waist down and runs towards to camera to see himself on screen. Yup! Work from home vibes right there! Luckily, they have experience with kids, because a few days later, they asked us to be a part of their wedding!
Sarah and Ethan’s wedding celebration got postponed until September, but that didn’t stop this marriage from happening. This was one of the most emotional weddings I’ve been a part of. The guest list consisted of the couple, bridal party, parents, and siblings in the childhood home of the bride. There WAS NOT a dry eye in the house. Even the groomsmen cried. I can’t share images of the couple since they are keeping their wedding attire a secret for their wedding celebration in a couple of months, but below is a picture of their ceremony set up… and me social distancing, lol.
Grad minis were a thing! Here is my friend Nathan and his number one fan throughout PA school. I met them during their engagement session, have photographed them for their engagement, wedding, anniversary, family portraits and now graduation. More importantly, they’ve become my good friends.
Ethan had a fort movie night at Auntie Ashley’s house! He stayed up late watching a Disney movie and eating all of the sweets that he doesn’t get at home!
Father’s Day was celebrated with a simple, relaxing day at home. The only thing that Wayne wanted to do was hammock in the yard and so he did… for two hours!
Selah turned 10 months and has discovered her voice! She is very vocal in her excitement and her discontentment. Ethan still lights her up when he comes into the room. Her favorite thing to do is to knock down all of Ethan’s Legos. PS. how cute is this little baby romper from BAUGhaus. Selah is ready for the summer!
I LOVE HER PONYTAIL!
Time with Wayne has been very little with him being gone 67 hours a week. Between his internship, work, and studying I covet Friday night date nights. When we were friends in high school, I would sometimes go to his baseball games and cheer him on. We thought it would be nice to meet up at a baseball field for date night and share a pizza in the dugout. While the date was short, I was so thankful to step outside of the house with him and catch up.
I AM SO READY FOR HIS GRADUATION. Two more months!
In an effort to continue hard conversations about racial injustice, we bought Ethan some more children’s books. “Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History” is full of mini-biographies and accomplishments of black men that helped shape history. It came right on time for us to celebrate our first Juneteenth! The book is probably better for children a little older than 4 since it is a lot more narrative than pictures. The stories are still relevant because we got to celebrate accomplishments including that of film photographer Gordon Parks. Since Ethan wants to be a “batographer,” we had to read his mini-bio. We also read his “All are Welcome” book to generate more conversation about skin colors, loving others and standing up for injustices.
Towards the end of the month, I grew weary of being challenged by toddler reactions. A lot of tears as we continue in the long devotion of training and teaching. To be honest, I ended this month feeling defeated and insecure in my parenting. We are still working through big emotions and teaching Ethan helpful ways to express himself at the same time trying to cultivate faithfulness in the little moments. A friend reminded me that this is just like the garden. Tending, waiting, and even hopeful for the fruit of our labor.
Praying for the same delight in this type of tending, when the fruit is growing behind the scenes.
Hopeful for the growth in July… inside our home and outside.