There are seasons of exploration. And then there are seasons of contemplation. Opportunities to slow down and soak in change. A chance to grow amidst life’s transitions. This is that season for me. For us.
Last year was a year for exploring. It was soul-enriching. We went new places, did new things, and had a ton of fun. And then, in October, our second child was born. Our new baby girl Arya has added a whole new kind of enrichment to our family life. She has given us the opportunity to slow down and figure out life with two littles. It’s been a couple of months of hard work to maintain peace and find balance in our new life. We have worked hard to simply keep up with the mundane, but still very necessary things. Things like keeping our two dogs walked, making time to exercise or finish an important conversation with the spouse, keeping everyone fed and bathed and in clean clothes, tackling the never-ending piles of dishes and laundry (compounded by the fact that we have two kids in cloth diapers). But we’ve also cut back and slowed down in other areas, to savor and give one hundred percent to the things that truly matter. Things like serving others. Fostering friendships, old and new. And we’re hearing things better. Sounds like leaves falling off trees while taking our toddler to the park, and hearing our toddler give his baby sister kisses (which may be the sweetest thing we’ve experienced yet).
If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know that I’ve blogged about this before. For years before our kids were born, we said our lives won’t stop when we have kids. When Johann was born it was a hard change, but it seemed like we fell back into an active life soon enough and he just came along for the ride. While life is certainly harder now with two young kids (and it’s only been three months!) in some ways not much has changed. We’re still the same people, we still have the same values, the same priorities, the same purpose and the same drive. We’re just in a season of contemplation. Transition. Figuring out our new normal.
Ryan and I are talking about what backpacking, camping, and travel will look like for us this year. People still ask us if we’re crazy for continuing to do this stuff with two littles aged two and under. We may be! And, we hear a lot of “I don’t know how you do it.” But the things we do: get outside, travel, be still in nature, live with less stuff, live responsibly towards our planet, be more self-sufficient, continue enjoying financial peace and debt-freedom…among other things, these stem from our values, our WHY. These are things we so desperately want to pass on to our children that we are being intentional about them. A little planning, and starting small goes a long way. Arya went out on her first real hike at four weeks old. It was a tame forty-five-minute back-and-forth thing, but it was enough for us to see that she, too, has inherited her parents’ love of the outdoors. We took her to the mountains to play in the snow and went sledding all day at nine weeks. She is already adventurous like her big brother, and every bit as flexible and easy-going.
Life is good, and it’s about to get very, very exciting indeed.
So, I’m still here. And, I’ll be back to post more frequently as we move towards our new normal. Thank you so much for sticking with me, for reading, and for the words of encouragement.