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motherhood is so incredibly important and powerful and sacred and beautiful to me. so - even though my postpartum, sleep-deprived brain is pretty fuzzy today - i couldn’t let the week of mothers’ day pass without sharing some thoughts here! i want to write something eloquent and poignant that somehow articulates how much i love being a mom, how much i appreciate and adore my mom, how tremendously meaningful i feel motherhood is … but even with a sleep-fed and hormone-balanced mind i still couldn’t do this topic any justice.

so here’s just some totally scattered thoughts for mothers’ day, two thousand eighteen.

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love, love, love that someone calls me “mama.” the sound of little mo’s voice saying that simple word just has to be the sweetest, best, most wonderful sound in the universe. especially when he’s saying it while giving me a big hug.
and i love, love, love the feeling of tiny gabriel curled up on my chest, breathing through his nose, his chest rising and falling so tenderly. and his perfectly contented face after he finishes nursing! oh, it is heaven.
i anticipated that i would really love being a mom, but my expectations have been so far exceeded.

i feel like parenting (and particularly full-time-motherhood) is, in a way, a glorious opportunity to relive childhood - but armed with adult wisdom. watching my sons grow is illuminating, hilarious, uniquely challenging and so much fun.

this week i watched this little one-minute video several times and every time it made me cry. it’s so good! i also listened to these two talks (one / two) this week and gosh there’s some inspiring, empowering stuff in there.

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my mom is outrageously amazing. i am over here trying to figure out life with two kids and flabbergasted that my mom did it all - so very graciously - with nine. nine! she is a superhero, an angel, a wonder, and a saint.
(^^ this photo will always be one of my favourites in the world. i am that tiny baby, number nine! ^^)

and nothing has helped me appreciate my mom more than having her with me around the birth of my own children. i was blown away by her magic during the time of moses’s birth and then somehow even more amazed during her time with us welcoming gabriel into the world. both times she seriously worked her butt off in helping and supporting me and my growing family. she is love, humility, service and goodness personified. i am soooo lucky to be her daughter.

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my mother-in-law is another brand of magic and also an absolute angel. she has taught me so much through her example and her love. i am so very grateful for the gold she instilled in my husband, and i so deeply admire her. she just spent ten days with us and her presence and help was such a gigantic, fantastic gift. (also, she and moses are seriously bffs and i love that so much.)

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there are many women in my life that have helped to mother me, and to teach me about motherhood. i am so thankful every mothers’ day for my sisters, sisters-in-law, and close friends.

i absolutely recognize that motherhood is a painful topic for some. the hurt that surrounds some people’s experiences or lack of experiences with motherhood is so deep and real and hard. every mothers’ day i try to get better at heartily celebrating something that i feel deserves fervent celebration while simultaneously acknowledging and honoring that hurt.

i have to say, one great perk of being an american mom living in the uk is that i get two mothers’ days! england’s “mothering sunday” is in march while american mothers’ day is in may! ian asked me which one i wanted to celebrate and I was like, “duh, obviously both!” ;)
i had such a great (american) mothers’ day this year. after church and moses’s nap, we had a dinner picnic in our garden and then went on a family walk to kensington gardens. it was such a beautiful evening. moses ran through the tall grass, ian chased him, i nursed gabriel while sitting at the base of a big huge tree, we facetimed with our moms. then moses found some puddles (one of his very, very most favourite things), and we walked past some gorgeous neighborhood scenes on our way home. my heart was brim with contented joy.

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i was singing this song to moses today and looked up the full lyrics. i think it kind of sweetly fits a mother-child relationship:
i love you a bushel and a peck / a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
a hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap / a barrel and a heap and i'm talkin' in my sleep
i love you a bushel and a peck / a bushel and a peck though you make my heart a wreck
make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess / make my life a mess, yes a mess of happiness

i love being a mom and i am so grateful to be a mom. it’s my fondest dream come true, my most fulfilling role, my sweetest challenge, my most important work.
i am everlastingly glad that someone calls me mama!

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the sweetest week of my life


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i used to consider the week after moses was born to be the sweetest slice of life i would ever experience. little did i know that it could somehow get sweeter.

the week after gabriel was born included the added bonuses of seeing my sons as siblings, my beloved dad being around, and glorious london springtime. i was surrounded by the five people on earth that i love the most and that love me the most, as my capacity to love felt like it was doubling. our newborn baby brought heaven to our home and our toddler kept us giggling. the sun shone and the flowers burst and my heart was so swollen. 

i will forever cherish the last week of april, two thousand eighteen. 

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^^ the morning after gabriel was born. ^^
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my mom snapped these photos during our photo shoot with our photographer friend kami on the afternoon after gabriel was born. i love that they show the behind-the-scenes of getting a shot of the wright brothers together … there was definitely a lot of adult supervision when we laid a busy toddler down next to a braaaaand new baby!
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^^ ian and i left mom at the flat and went out to the garden with the two boys … and got our first taste of a bit of two-kid chaos :) ^^
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moses gave his baby brother lots and lots of love those first days … and learned that grabbing gabe’s face may not be the best gentle move, haha! 
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^^ ian and i took some walks around our wisteria-laden neighborhood with the baby while moses played with grammie. ^^ 
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four days after gabriel’s birth, my dad arrived! he had a speech in italy and stopped by to see my brother in switzerland and then came on up to london to meet his newest grandchild. 
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i love baby yawns ^^ and baby sneezes >> so so much! 
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^^ ian took moses on lots of fun daddy dates during gabriel’s first few days. and we all oodled over gabe’s amazing hair! ^^
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^^ playing in our magical garden with grandfather!! ^^
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ian and i went out for a little lunch date and blossom walk through chelsea one afternoon. it was such a beautiful day and really wonderful to have time together and with our tiny baby. ian took a week of paternity leave directly after the birth and it was soooo great to have him around. 
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^^ how about that petal dust?!? ^^
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^^ gabriel’s first restaurant experience … he slept through the whole thing ;) ^^
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^^ since we had so much help with moses, it was soooo great to be able to really enjoy lots of newborn snuggles. ^^
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^^ our garden!! it just kept getting better and better, especially during this sweetest week ever, which fell at the peak of the blossoming! ^^
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^^ some (pretty failed) attempts at getting a good family picture - to somehow commemorate that gabriel was born amidst so much new life in our city. ^^
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^^ this perfect tiny soul has brought heaven to our home. I can’t believe that perfect ear and those beautiful little toes were created and grew inside of me! such an incredible miracle. ^^
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^^ one morning, ian asked if he could stay home with both boys - just to try his hand at it! so my parents and i went to breakfast together! it was such a treat and so much fun! we went to this restaurant that is all the rage in london right now - dishoom. ^^
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when gabriel was eight days old, we took him to church for the first time! ian and the baby and i only stayed for the first hour (sacrament meeting) … but it felt so good to me to get a dose of spirituality in, and the short walk to and from church was refreshing. little gabe got pretty into the church meeting - haha: 
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on sunday evening, we had a little birthday party for my mom and gabriel, who are almost birthday twins! (gabriel was born 45 minutes before my mom’s birthday!). ian made a chocolate cake and we celebrated! 
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this is not a great picture, but the only one i have of moses with grammie and grandfather! he adores them both and he had such a blast with them. 
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…and i will end this post with just a few more pictures of our angel gabriel from the morning after his birth. because he is so fresh and heavenly.
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sweetest eight days ever.