Thursday, September 12, 2013

dear james

dear james, 

we just got back from the Amish market. Finn walked around with his eyes open so wide. waving to every one that we passed, looking at the bird houses made from maple and staring at the donuts through the glass case. We bought some honey crisps… another reminder that summer is over and fall is here. 

I'm trying to be excited about the fall like you told me to be. You like fall. You like the leaves when they change, the fires in our little fireplace coming alive at night again and mostly the welcoming of steelhead and salmon in the streams you fish. You keep talking about taking one Saturday and going up to new york for the day just me and you to fish like we did when we first started dating. I think about that trip often. We camped on Lake Ontario just me and you in that little tent. We made guacamole and sat by the camp fire drinking beer with lots of hops (you got me started on IPAs). We woke up at four in the morning before sunrise and got on the water. We trolled up and down that river - drinking coffee we brought in a thermos, waiting for the fog to burn off and waiting for a bite. All morning I kept thinking I felt a bite. I would jump excitedly thinking I had a fish on the line only to realize it was nothing. I was daydreaming when it really happened. I felt it. It took me 15 minutes to reel in and when we finally got the salmon in the boat you yelled "yes Jane!!" and we couldn't stop laughing. 

I love your love for fishing. Instead of watching TV at night you ask me to come in the basement while you build a rod or tie flies that you want to try out on your next trip. We talk about your dad taking you fishing as a little boy. You told me you couldn't sleep the night before you went to the lake because you were so excited. You told me you cried when you were seven and you caught a fish and your line broke.You told me about fishing with your uncles in West Virginia. You talk about the future and about fishing with Finn. I see your eyes light up with excitement thinking about the memories to be made with your own son. But every time you mention fishing with him you always remind yourself that he may not like fishing at all. "And that would be ok, too" You say. 

You're away on business and every morning when Finn woke up and I brought him into our bed he would look for you. He'd look on your side of the bed and when he would notice you weren't there, he would wave bye. This morning our wooden steps creaked and Finn anxiously whispered "dada" thinking it was you walking up to kiss him good morning and I had to tell him not yet- but soon.

When I was pregnant you would put your hands on my belly waiting to feel a little kick from Finn. We'd lay in bed and you would ask "was that him?! Was that? " and I'd say "no, no, not yet."  You said it was just like fishing the first time you felt him. When you really feel it- you just know.

my first salmon

Friday, September 6, 2013

Finnegan Scott. You make me the happiest girl in the world.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Motherhood: the kinship relation between an offspring and the mother. I often think of this "hood" that I have joined along with many other women. I have heard their stories. I have read their blogs and I have seen bits and pieces into some of their lives. From the time I started showing with Finn I had random mothers tell me their birth stories. I had women I didn't know come up to me at the grocery store and mention how I must be feeling in the June summer's heat when I was about to pop. I had women come up to me and touch my stomach. I had women talk to me about nursing, about epidurals, about sleep training, about the right diapers to buy, the kind of crib I should get. I had random advice coming at me from all different angles and while I didn't agree with all of it, I listened to it lightly. And with a very select few I really, really listened.

Motherhood is wild. It's exciting and it's challenging. What works for me might not work for the next mom. What I have found I love might not be what my friend loves as a mom. We are all unique, individual components that get to come together and share this special passion. We are women, we are mothers,  friends, sisters. We are not competition. Isn't that what makes this so beautiful? And we have one concept in our minds that we CAN agree on- to love these little people like crazy.

My brother and my sister in law are having a little girl in November. My sister in law has popped. She gets tired when she walks up and down steps now, she said she feels so full, she said she doesn't know how her stomach will stretch in these next two months. I feel so excited for her and at the same time I feel like this was just me. I was the one who needed help buckling her sandals. I was the one who couldn't sleep at night and was tossing and turning trying to get comfortable with this big belly. I was the one who would look in the mirror or catch a glimpse of myself in reflections and not know who I was looking at. It's so amazing. It's so special. And it goes so quickly. 

Now I have a one year old. I get emails about what my "toddler" should be eating. Or how long my "toddler" should be napping. For nine months Finn and I were one- I carried him inside me and grew with him. Quiet moments in the backyard I would try and tell him what he was about to unfold in, what life was like out here. And before I knew it he was here.

If I could give my sister-in-law any advice before her baby girl comes, and only if she asked, I would tell her to feel those kicks from inside her belly. I would tell her to really feel them. Every turn, and every move that that baby girl makes. I would tell her to remember what it feels like because even if she's uncomfortable, and even if she's out of breath and her feet are getting swollen, her little girl will be here soon and these 40 weeks will seem like a hazy dream.

8 months pregnant
he was once a newborn 

Monday, September 2, 2013

the sweet spots

Finn milk breathed napping on my lap. I kiss his head over and over
James reading a book to Finn in his room before bed. The little lamp on his bookshelf shining over them softly. Finn's globe sits on his little desk.
The random kisses- Finn leans forward and his little mouth is always a little open.
When Finn wakes before the sun and I carry him into our bed and nurse him back to sleep. He dreams in between James and me and we don't fall back asleep because we love to watch him.
Finn's dance moves. He bobs up and down when he hears music.
When Finn falls asleep in his carseat. His little lips are pursed together and I watch his belly rise and fall slowly. So content and relaxed.
Finn pushing toy trains across our hardwood floor.
Finn noticing our garden, our sunflower that towers above him, the ripe tomatoes that he picks off the plants, the small grasshopper that made a home above our garage door, the little gold finches that come to the bird feeder for breakfast, the neighbor's dog who sleeps under their big oak in the front yard. He is so aware and notices nature. We teach him to feel the wind.

We teach him to feel the wind.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

When I was pregnant with Finn, James and I would often talk about which one of us he would look like. We would lay on the couch late at night and imagine whose eyes he would have. Whose toes and hands. When Finn was born I held him against my bare chest and looked at him and deep down felt I knew him. That was one of the first things I said to the slippery and new Finn, "I know you". 

We had imagined him to be made up of different parts of us that all came together at once but this screaming baby was someone all his own. 

Even still people stop and ask "who does he look like?" And I never know what to say. I don't see physical parts of either James or myself in Finnegan. But on some days when it is quiet in the afternoon I will see him with such determination to complete a task and I can see James in his eyes. I can see him thinking in his mind what the next step he will take will be and I know he gets that from his father. This gentle calmness that he uses to get something done. And then some days I will catch a glimpse of myself. In the morning when Finn wakes up and yells for me. He knows what he wants and he wants it. Now. He is ready and though his patience is wearing thin he is not crying. He is shouting for me. And when I walk into his room and kiss him good morning his face lights up with adventure and drama and I think- he is just like me. 

I hope that he grows to be a calm mixture. His dad who is the moon and his mom who is the sun. His dad who is gentle, quiet, softly lit and his mom who is fiery, hot and burning sometimes. 

the dahlias are coming

The dahlias are coming. The same dahlias we planted last year in the early summer months to grow ourselves and use for our wedding. We prayed they would not bloom too early or too late. We wished ill to any bug or bunny that was looking for something to snack on. "Please  bloom" I would whisper to the plants while watering. They started blooming a week before the wedding. They were so beautiful and perfect and they were all ours. We didnt buy them from a florist or a wedding planner, we had gotten down on our hands and knees and planted the bulbs and we had cut the buds back when it was time and we had staked them properly and watered them when they were thirsty and they had bloomed beautifully. 

This year I didn't get to work on them as much. I didn't snip the buds back when they first started sprouting and we didn't fertilize or water or whisper to them as much like last year- but they are still growing. Finn and I go look at them in the morning and I try to snip some of the overgrown leaves off but Finn is now picking tomatoes from the plants and he's gotten his feet tangled in the twine I use to stake them upright and now he's chasing a bird that has flown down to the feeder for lunch so I leave the dahlias to fend for themselves. I have a little one year old who I am going to explore with so the dahlias might have to wait until bedtime for some attention. And even then if I am too tired I think they won't be mad. I think they will still look beautiful in the morning. I think they will still remind me of that evening in September last year. I think they will still remind me of love. 

from our wedding

Thursday, August 22, 2013

it's getting darker earlier

"while you were sleeping
the babies grew
the stars shined and the shadows moved
time flew "

I have always thought about time. I have always realized that it goes too quickly. That I can't hold on to it. That I can't make sense of it. I remember going to Captiva Island with my family as a little girl for vacation and before we arrived I was already worried about leaving. Because I know what happens. I know how quickly the days go by.

I thought this summer would go quickly but I wasn't aware of just how fast it would go. 

Lake Erie. Kayaking early morning with James. Swimming in Aunt Sis's pool for the first time with Finnegan. Him floating in that little raft with the canopy over his head, laughing at me dancing in the water.

Trip to Fairport for the fourth of July fireworks. Finn's first dip in Lake Erie. The waves crashing on his little feet and the floppy hat blowing off in the wind. He wasn't sure about the sand but never whined and complained. Just walked a little slower holding our hands. The fireworks that night, I was sure they would wake him up but he slept soundly above the noisy streets in grandma gable's little yellow room. When he woke up in the morning I opened the blinds and he stood up looking at that big lake outside her windows. 

Camping trip to the Allegheny River. We packed up with pop-up and brought our bikes and boat to the river to spend the weekend. We slept together in that little pop-up while it stormed all night and the rain sounded like little metal pellets on a tin roof. We took Finn for his first boat ride in the fishing boat and we caught his very first smallmouth together. We had bonfires and s'mores and went on bike rides. And Finn's very favorite part- throwing rock after rock into the river's clear spring water. 

All of our bike rides. In Mill Creek, on the Greenway trail, in our neighborhood after dinner where we would pedal to Dairy Queen (I got sprinkled twist, James got butterscotch dip, and Finn got a plain cone. And he was happy!). 

Our early morning walks just Finn and me. We would walk our route around the neighborhood. Sometimes stopping at Wittenauers for a coffee but always stopping at our playground. There are no baby swings so he sits on my lap and we swing together. Then we run to that big slide and go down together. Then we run across the bridge together. Then we kick the ball in the big field together. I show him the way the leaves move when the wind blows. I show him the moon that is sometimes still out above us. 

The first birthday celebration of Finnegan Scott Gable. July 21st. I thought back to a year earlier all throughout day. I thought back to when James and I went to the hospital that Friday morning. We had our bags packed like we were going on an overnight trip. We were both quiet and held each other's hand. So unaware of what would entail in the next 36 hours. 

A sweet party with our family and balls. Lots and lots of balls for the birthday boy. Your favorite toy. You started walking the week before your birthday. You took a few steps from me to your dad and then one morning you just woke up and you were off. You kept your hands in the air to help steady you and you laughed and smiled the entire time. My heart was bursting. 

Our summer vacation to Deep Creek where we spent one full week in a big lake house with my entire family. The first family vacation we have all attended since In 14 years. It was so special. 

Oh summer, I am so mad at you. I'm so disappointed that I have foolishly let you go by so quickly. But at the same time I am so thankful and happy and overwhelmed with love for you. You have given me such perfect memories. You have made my little family so happy. We have introduced our magical little boy to so many "firsts" in your sunshine and warmth. 

I will never forget you. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

deep creek vacation

We just returned from a week vacation in Deep Creek, Maryland. We rented a big lake house for our entire family and we all spent six days fishing, swimming, boating, eating, playing and laughing. We had such a nice trip. We took Finn on the kayak, on a pontoon boat, hiking in Swallow Falls, driving through the hills of Maryland, swimming in the cool lake water, sleeping in the king size bed and having a blast with his grammy and papa and uncles and aunt. It's always a little sad to come home from vacation. Takes a couple days to get back into the routine of things, but it is also pretty nice to come back to our lovely little home. Finn was clapping when we opened the door.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

dear james

Dear James.

It's storming and Finn is napping in the back room. I carried him inside with his carseat and he has been snoozing away. You know how he wakes up though- all of a sudden and so loud. He has such willpower. He knows what he wants.

I'm thinking about the very first time you took me up to our favorite cabin in New York. It was winter and we had snowshoes and we walked the trails and ended up at that deserted cabin by the river and we went inside. I said it felt like it was haunted but you assured me that we were fine. You warmed up my hands and we ate the homemade chili that you brought in a thermos for us.

We walked back to our cabin and we listened to Neil Young and made dinner. I talked about New York and you looked me in the eyes and told me I was smart for leaving when I did. We had only known each other for a month and I felt like I had known you for a year.

We walked in those snowshoes all weekend. You bent down every time and put them on for me. You buckled every button and tightened them just right. Never complaining or acting annoyed. Every time you bent down to fix the buckles and make sure they were adjusted just so, I stared at the top of your head and felt myself fall a little bit more in love with you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

he is one

happy birthday, finnegan scott

And just like that, my baby boy is one.  He took his first steps the week before his birthday.

I keep thinking back to when I was in labor. I keep thinking about James holding my hand with both of his. I keep thinking about that little window in the hospital that I kept looking out of when I could feel the next contraction coming. I keep thinking about my brothers and parents waiting in that little room, my dad with his head in his hands and pacing back and forth- he was so nervous. I keep thinking about the first moment I saw Finn. All slippery and smooth, his eyes wide open. I held him to my chest and examined every part of him. I knew him. I loved him. Moments after, when Finn was nursing, I looked out that little window and a butterfly was tapping on the glass.

Happy first birthday you magical little boy. You have made me a better person. You have made our family happier. You make your dad and me laugh every single day. You are so loved. We are so lucky.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Finn's first trip to the lake

Fourth of July weekend we packed up or little van and took our baby to Gigi's lake house for a couple days.

We watched fireworks, felt sand on our feet, splashed in the little waves of Lake Erie and ate funnel cakes and ice cream.

Here is a little film of our time at the lake.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

normal day

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ― Mary Jean Irion

funny finn

Finnegan is almost eleven months old. I keep scratching my head wondering how could eleven months have passed already since the birth of our baby boy? How can this little baby who isn't so new anymore almost be turning into a one year old.

I go into his room to get him in the morning and he looks taller standing in his crib. After I am done nursing him in the evening and I go to place him in his crib, he feels heavier lying in my arms. He is becoming determined to walk, holding on to the couch, to my hands, to the little plastic lawn mower I found at a garage sale for a dollar. 

He is so aware of what we say to him now. He understands so much. We ask him to point out the moo, the ball, the dog, the blocks... when we are reading books and he scans the page with his little eyes and then once spotted, he points his little finger at the object. 

If we are having a conversation and I mention the word head, or teeth, or nose, I'll look over at Finn and he will be pointing to that body part. 

He makes us laugh. All the time. He knows what we think is funny and he'll keep doing it just to make us smile and he smiles too. 

The love I have for this boy is indescribable. He is so special. He is so funny.

first ride in the cozy coupe!

those little lips


playing in papa's office

loves that sweeper