A little update: a German summer

Whatever this blog has been in the past few years, of late it has been nothing. I suppose that is due to two very cute, very funny, very busy little people who require my constant attention as well as to a third little Lacy in-utero who takes the few bits of energy I have left to continue growing. Little brother is due to join us in October!

The big news for our summer is that come Thursday, the Lacys will be traveling to Munich, Germany where Travis will spend the next nine weeks studying the language and the kids and I will spend our days exploring the city, finding all of the old churches we can, and hopefully napping a lot. I hope to record our adventures frequently, so those looking for updates on our time in Germany (as well as a week in Provence!) hopefully won’t be disappointed.

We are spending our last few days scrubbing the house, mulching the gardens, doing a lot of laundry (although that is every day lately), and finding all possible ways to not put food in our refrigerator and feed ourselves without my having to cook anything. The cooking motivation is low over here, folks. And possibly for the summer? I’d like to think we can survive on grapes, cheese, and bread, but I suppose that’s not likely.

We would appreciate any prayers you can offer for safety in our travels, and peace and joy particularly for the flight and the adjustment to a new place and a new time. The journey currently feels a bit daunting and it is hard to look past, but we are very excited for all the adventures that await!

{catching up}

I have the writing bug again. It might be the rain outside, or the newly-arrived sweater weather, or just that three weeks after John Henry’s arrival I finally feel like the pregnancy-induced brain fog is lifting. Of course, there is now the sleep-deprivation fog, but somehow my mind feels far more able to read and write and think than I did when I was pregnant.

Processed with VSCO with a7 presetWe welcomed John Henry Lewis (he goes by John Henry) on September 10th and he fits seamlessly into our little family. He is a chunk—weighing 9 lbs 6 oz at birth and putting on weight like it’s his job. He has his dad’s cowlick, the squishiest of cheeks, and he likes to cuddle far more than miss Edith ever did.

Big sister seems generally delighted by the whole thing. She has started offering him kisses (always on the mouth), playing with his fingers, asking about baby every time she wakes up from a nap or gets up in the morning. She is quick to hear his cries and eager to help—I love asking her to get me a diaper and watching her march across the room to the shelf. Sometimes she gets distracted on her way there or back to me, but she is quite reliable when it comes to that task. (Others seem to invite a bit more sidetracking—and then forgetfulness. Like cleaning up her toys.)

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I have never before been a stay-at-home mom, and the adjustment is proving to be more of just that: an adjustment. I come to the end of my day and often wonder just what I did. Of course, I fed babies, changed diapers, rocked babies, put babies down for naps, got babies up from naps, hopefully made a meal or two, read books, played with blocks, possibly ran an errand. But so much of that feels like survival that I often feel like we did nothing but survive. I am reminding myself often that caring for these little people is something, something great, actually—they are entirely dependent on others (primarily me!) for their existence and it is a great task to spend my days meeting their needs.

“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

—G.K. Chesterton

Daily (I)

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Now that I have a home with sunlight and space, my succulent aspirations—and slight gardening aspirations—are emerging. I have a big pot of herbs on my front porch and little succulents are making their way around different spaces in our home. Edith especially enjoyed helping me pick out a few.

Edith continues to grow and change very quickly. She is attempting to say new words every day. Her repertoire includes “kaka” (water), “rafe” (giraffe), “duck,” “kack” (quack), “chee” (cheese), “ba” (ball), “bubba” (bubbles), and “hi!” (said very enthusiastically). She has the sign language for please down and is often seen vigorously rubbing her chest. Many times we don’t know what she’s asking for and if we ask her what she wants she will just do the sign even more intently. She just began nodding her head “yes” and understands when we ask her if she wants to go outside, upstairs, or for a ride. Often she has no idea what she is saying yes or no to, but it is quite cute. She also just started trying to sing along with us, so I have been trying to pull out those rusty children’s songs. Thankfully Jesus Loves Me is still firmly in my mind, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember This Little Light of Mine besides that one line.

We also have a water baby on our hands. She loved a brief stop at the campus beach along one of the lakes. She arrived in her little outfit from the morning (we had plans just to look), but as soon as she saw the “kaka!” her enthusiasm was too much and before long she was crawling and splashing in the water. She left with nothing on.

We are loving the Michigan cherries—there were never cherries in Durham, so it is awfully hard to turn them down whenever I see them. There are daily stained outfits thanks to the juice, but I almost relish the chance to simply run to the basement and pop in a load of wash. The cherries also remind me of home.

Settling in to South Bend

As we are far from family and many friends and beginning a new chapter, I thought I might use my blog to offer updates along with the occasional (read: infrequent) piece of writing.

Our summer so far has been a whirlwind of traveling for Edith and I, packing, driving 12 hours north, unpacking, and settling into our very own little house. There is something very strange about one-way drives and simply driving away from a place that has been home to us for two years. Edith and I began the drive from Durham at 5 a.m. so I feel like I hardly had a chance to say goodbye as we drove down the dark streets. In many ways, I feel like we were driving away from one stage of our lives—still a young, married couple with one kid—and driving into a new stage, one of adulthood that includes owning a home, having multiple children, a lawn mower, a water softener, and a washer and dryer in the basement. That last part I am not complaining about one bit; I didn’t even think to say goodbye to the laundry facility at our North Carolina apartment.

We love our new little house and are slowly settling in. As Travis said last night, the downstairs just looks like we’re messy people now instead of like we just moved in. The upstairs, however, definitely look like we finished moving in a few minutes ago. I likely overdid it and pushed myself too hard in the last few days so we are going to take the upstairs a bit more slowly—one clothing tub at a time. And I will spend a lot more time on the couch.

Our first dinner, just the three of us, in our generally unpacked and organized dining room, was tacos and corn and black bean salad, the latter of which Edith couldn’t eat fast enough. She is a girl after my own heart and I see a lot of corn and black beans in these future summer months.

South Bend is certainly a down-grade from Durham and I can’t say I have found much charm yet. We haven’t been many places, but I return from every drive a bit disappointed by just how ugly and run-down this city is. Our street, however, is lovely and our neighbors very kind people. One already mowed our yard for us. The farmers market, too, will afford many happy times and Notre Dame’s campus is a beautiful place to go for walks. There is a beach on one of the campus lakes that I am hoping to frequent with Edith. She spent most of her fourth of July cookout playing in the dirt so I think sand might be a big hit.

We are happy to have the move behind us, and happy to be here.