Last week I had more dark days than normal. There are ups and downs in every day, and sometimes within each hour, but last week I was feeling torn and unsettled and impatient. I'm not sure if it's due to the fact that the future can be so unknown and up in the air, or if my hormones are tingling or what, but I was having so many different questions and wants for what I want to do with my time and my life.

Part of me is itching to go back to work, and feeling fearful of 'losing my skills'. Many moms go back to work after a year of maternity, but right when I was like oh yeah I am ready to get back in there, I was 37 weeks pregnant with Elliot. All of that being said, another huge draw is Elliot and Penelope. I want Elliot to have his year with me, and I with him. Ultimately, I will be able to work for the rest of my life if I want to. Our kids are little once. Every day they will 'need' me less. Be closer to being in school. And be closer to moving out and going to university (omg wtf *CRYING*). Now it sounds like I'm very pro-work for me. Ugh see the struggle? Cognitive dissonance definition: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. The days where the kids are exhausting and the routine feels done and the weather is bad - those are the days where I want to be doing more work. Developing myself. Interacting with adults. But the days where they laugh and play and cuddle and learn new things - they are worth more than anything. They are the most golden of days. I laugh and smile with them. The day flies by and my heart soars in adoration and gratitude.

What's the answer? I have no idea. How do I plan? What is the balance? Lately when others or myself are asking for advice, my go-to is what would your future self say? What would 65 year old me say to 26 year old me? I think she would say slow down. You will work and it will be great. These first few years are so fast and fleeting and we will talk about them for the rest of our lives. Start small and be honest. Add more when it feels right. Does any of this ring true to you? What do you wish you would have done more or less of? My children are my world right now. They will always be my world, but I know I will need my ambitions and goals eventually, too.

As I look at pictures to add, I am verklempt. Even though I have mixed emotions, I am so in love with this part of life. It's messy, loud, and I wipe up oatmeal for more of the day than you can imagine - but it's so sweet. The way they make eachother laugh is the best sound I've ever heard. Their heads smell so good. They need us and there is something nice about that sometimes, too. Penelope is at dayhome and Elliot is waking up from his nap, but I just wanted to reflect and say what's on my mind, maybe get some stories back (seriously share your stories!).

A quick update too:

- Penelope's vocubulary is expanding so quickly. It's funny to see her say new words. She can say S's and P's and F's, and many others, but it can get mixed up. She can say Sierra (Sier), and Sun. But sock sounds a lot more like FOCK. Which is funny.

- Elliot is not crawling. He does a worm wiggle that actually sends him backwards. He does not like this.

- Elliot doesn't understand Cheerios. He likes to try to pick them up but once they enter his mouth he is disappointed and rejects it. One day you'll love them!

- Elliot loves jumping in his exercsaucer and laughs his head off if Penelope walks around him. It's the best to watch!

- Penelope does not like walking down stairs outside. She needs a helper. I am this helper usually. I am also log holding Elliot on one side, while I lift her up by her arm and she screams in frustration. Good times.

- She is learning shapes and names so quickly. When I watch stories on snapchat or instagram it's so cute when she says the name without being prompted. Her memory can be so astounding!

- Elliot loves water and squashes. As long as he has something to chew he will sit very contently for a long time. Now to get him on his belly for crawling!

Ending in gratitude:

- Even if some days are hard, I love the simple mountain life for our family. We get to drive Mark to work. No traffic. 4 minutes. We see friends often and easily. And some days I'll be at home all day playing with the kids and it goes by in a fun flash.

- Penelope's dayhome. For her to play and be around big kid and for me to get quality time with Elliot, and alone time for me when he naps. It's nice.

- Supportive husband. On nights where I spin, he comes home and takes over. This is usually the hardest time of the day. Feeding them and making dinner, baths, changing, all of this is peppered with crying. I am able to sit in our bedroom and relax, then build my energy back up to teach. So key.

- Farm eggs. We get farm eggs from a woman in the valley now. One was blue! Simple but so nice!

- Coffee. - Snow. As I type this, snow is dancing from the sky. It's not too cold or wet. It's just saying Hi! Winter is here! I love you!

Sending love from the mountains,


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