Friday, September 12, 2014

// a d v e n t u r e s i n b r e a s t f e e d i n g - k a r y s s a ' s s t o r y //

I love sharing everyone's story, even the ones I have not gotten a chance to connect too much with yet.  However, it's always great to receive the stories from the women I've gotten to "know" through instagram; the ones I've followed along with through photos and words.  Karyssa truly seems like such a sweet and loving Mama and I'm sharing her story today!  <3

As soon as I became pregnant I knew I would give my baby my milk. I wasn't sure in which form. My mom didn't nurse me or my siblings and my family who did nurse was never open about it. This is just the beginning of our parenting differences. So after thinking it over I decided I would exclusively pump. As I said none of my family really talked about or expressed love for breast feeding, boobs to me were sexual. Well fast forward to 35ish weeks and everything changed. I saw a mama nursing her sweet little babe and suddenly I longed for that bond. She sat just gazing at her newborn and giving him all her body had to give. After seeing that and coming to the realization that boobs are for babies that is their purpose I was set, that would be how I nourished my sweet Willow.

Our journey didn't start off as easy as I had dreamed. Willow was born with meconium in her lungs so once she was born they had to whisk her off to get it suctioned out. Luckily that didn't take more than twenty minutes and then she was placed on my chest  and she latched beautifully! The biggest obstacle was that she was also very jaundice so it was incredibly hard to wake her for feedings. She just wouldn't wake to latch on to me. The first night at three am just five hours after she was born the nurse told me I HAD to give her a ounce of formula because she NEEDED to eat so I obliged. I have never felt more defeated in my life or ashamed at a mother. Actually this is my first time admitting that I have given her formula. So when I woke the next morning I was determined to do whatever it took to establish my dream breast feeding relationship. So since she would eat from a bottle I asked the nurse to bring me bottles to pump my milk into...but she refused. She had good intentions, she was worried that Willow would suffer from nipple confusion. That didn't make sense though because just hours earlier she had given my dear Willow formula from a bottle so what was he difference? So I sent my husband to go buy bottles for me to pump into. It worked perfectly! Willow was drinking my milk while tanning in her tiny little baby tanning bed. I felt so full of happiness. After leaving the hospital I was able to get her to latch onto me with the help of a nipple shield and a lactation consultant. After two weeks we were exclusively breast feeding straight from the source!

Now we are nearly fifteen months in with no end in sight. This journey has been one of my favorites this far. I am so smitten with the way she plays with my lips, how she just stares at me and the fact that my body is nourishing and providing for her. I am so happy to have pushed through our struggles and been able to made it to this point where it is just second nature. I cherish the moments she's on my breast as I know that someday soon it will be over. These memories will warm my heart forever.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

// w h e r e w e w a n d e r //

“I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.” 
― Annie Dillard

"I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.  It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind.  Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go.  The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind.  Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff."  Annie Dillard

"The gaps are the thing.  The gaps are the spirit's one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once-blind man unbound.  The gaps are the cliffs in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery.  Go up into the gaps.  If you can find them; they shift and vanish too.  Stalk the gaps.  Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe.  This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon.  Spend the afternoon.  You can't take it with you." Annie Dillard.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

// y o u n g l o v e m e d i a //

In my mind, I have thousands of thoughts swirling; as if caught in a whirlwind.  Around and again: tumbling as if caught in motion without end.  At times, I grab a few and I sit down at my desk.  In need of solitude, these times are infrequent and without pattern.  (oh, it's the parent life.  One I would never trade, despite the infrequency of solitude)  Yet, I enjoy this form of gathering.  I gather my thoughts and put my hands to work when the moments arise.  

I could write all day, if only life would let me.  I have always been a bit emotional:  I’ve desperately wanted to be so many things in my short life.  I’ve tried many different routes, without anything finality.  Without arriving where the line ends.  I remember being a child and falling into a heap on the floor.  Why?  Because all of a sudden nothing seemed to matter compared to these feelings I felt.  Whether I was attempting to understand the concept of a God that always was (holy heck, that was too big of a concept for a child!)  or the beauty of a butterfly, I could feel all the emotions.  Yes, I was a child with such enormous feelings; ones I was not truly able to manage.  Yet, writing never ceased to capture me.  The passion I felt for words sustained me through many fits of emotion.  In short, the words on the paper have been everything to me.  

I did not know anyone who felt the same way about literature, let alone felt the emotions that led me.  I experienced some loneliness.  Yet, I’m sure many writers would say the same.  I’d read my poetry to loved ones, but their reactions left me perplexed.  “Oh, that’s a bit deep for me.”  I did not understand that concept.  Too deep?  I never wanted to cut off my understanding at a certain level; there was too much to experience and understand.  Plus, didn’t people get it?  My poetry was written from the whirlwind: the thoughts and emotions that moved inside me.  It was not quite reality, but that wasn’t the point.  No one understood.  

It doesn’t surprise me that I also love photography.  Because it’s storytelling I love the most.  Whether it’s writing or taking a photo, I live to capture a moment’s center; the essence of an instant.  I want to remember.  I so desperately desire to remember the moments of worth and it’s only through writing and photography that I’ve realized every moment has worth.  The art is  figuring out which moments to record and which to sit back and enjoy.  I’m working on that.

So, that’s a bit of a backstory.  Here’s why I’m writing this:

I am going to be so incredibly vulnerable here.  My biggest fear is being “too much.”  Too needy, too emotional (I always am).  I hope this comes across the way I have imagined it.  I thought of writing this and at first I wasn’t afraid.  Now, I’m a bit nervous.  But please, as you read this remember my good intentions.  <3  

Jimmy and I have taken a lot of risks in our short time together.  We got married, became pregnant right away and moved across the country.  We had no idea what we were doing, but we left with so much hope.  I do not regret the hope: it’s much better than worry!  Yet, we were a bit naive.  After a few years of surprises, we dug ourself into a hole financially that seems a bit impossible to fix.  We desire nothing more than to financially support our family and everything we thought of, we’ve done.  Yet, and our close friends will vouch for this, it seems we have a case of “bad luck.”  We’ve been through so much and the stress of life has nearly landed us in the hospital.  My husband got shingles in his eye (stress related) and his vision is still not better. Yet, we cannot afford an eye doctor.  I’ve gotten hives and headaches.  Physically, we’ve suffered, not to mention emotionally as well.  I’ve seen my kids suffer a bit from the stress, although we’ve worked so hard to make their lives magical despite a lack of money.  I feel full at the thought of their childhood being spent outdoors: that is true wealth and I’m thankful for that realization.

So, now we are left with a bit of an idea on how to help ourselves.  But, we can’t invest in the things that will enable us to get out of our hole.  It feels as if we are stuck, yet I know we aren’t.  It will just take time and dedication.  Saving a little at a time. We will make goals and follow through.  Even though I know this, I still feel scared quite often.  

Jimmy and I know that our best bet is a steady income.  We cannot throw ourselves into a creative profession at the moment.  But we can do some creative ventures on the side.  And we can do it together.  Jimmy and I have always worked so well together.  When we were first dating, we worked at a coffee shop/music venue together.  It was at times challenging, yet overall we were an amazing team.  So, after that introduction I will finally get to the point:

We are starting a design group.  Our venture will be called Young Love Media and we cannot wait to move forward.  My husband has made a webpage and we’d love for you to give it a look.  Let us know what you think.  Let us know YOUR dreams!  If you’ve overcome obstacles to accomplish huge feats, please tell us how YOU did it.  We want to learn from you.  When we gaze to the future we see a community of people helping each other; fulfilling needs that we are made to fill.  We aren't alone.  

Here are a few photos of projects we have recently done.

And here's our website with more of our work:


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Friday, September 5, 2014

//w h e r e w e w a n d e r //

I think we've become "walk junkies."  We are always looking for beautiful trails, hikes, short little paths.  It's become an addiction.  That much is clear.  Here are some photos from our latest find: a beautiful trail through the woods, which is but a minute from our front door. <3

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