Sunday, January 26, 2014

slice of life: wall-e and eve.

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve
wall-e and eve
wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

wall-e and eve

This boy is so silly sometime. When he got home from school I gave him his very, very late birthday present - Wall-E and Eve figurines. We both love the movie Wall-E so much. He followed me upstairs while I did some things in my room. He was just happy playing on the floor. I almost didn't run downstairs to get my camera. But I'm very glad I did. I'm glad I captured his joy on this day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

five minutes.

five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath
five minutes: bath

Okay, so maybe it was more like ten minutes with Max.
(I am not going to call this a new project because I'll surely fall flat on my face and never shoot another five minutes again. HA!)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the waiting.


In a month she will be welcomed into this world. Into the Roth and Meisgeier families.
It still feels a bit surreal.

I took Max to the Family Birth Center at the hospital on Saturday for a Siblings class. The kids learn a bit about what to do and not do with a newborn, how to help change a diaper, and get a onesie on and swaddle the baby. They also got to see a patient room so they know what to expect when they go see mom. Max handled it all so well. Even the diaper changing - though I'm sure he's not going to be interested in doing that when it's the real deal.

As I stood there in the patient room which was down the hall from where I delivered Maxwell, anxiety started to creep in. It wasn't a panic attack or anything dramatic. But seeing the room and having it all come back to me brought about feelings of worry and anxiety and fear. It's not like anything bad happened when I had Max. I did pretty well physically, considering my blood pressure was quite high and remained high after delivery. Mentally, between being tired, having major surgery, and the pain meds I don't remember feeling much of anything really. I remember doctors and nurses coming and going, a few visitors, knowing that I looked hideous from not showering for days.
I do vividly remember crying when it was time to be discharged. The nurses had taken such good care of Maxwell, why would I want to leave and do this at home on my own? Couldn't I just stay or take one of the nurses with me? They were all so kind.
I remember shoving my elephant sized feet and ankles into shoes and shuffling off to the hospital pharmacy in a daze to get my prescription for pain meds and blood pressure meds while Max had his car seat test. He passed.
And then we all got in the car and left.

As I recall the days I spent at the hospital with Maxwell, I've opened the door for anxiety and worry to creep in. Yes, I previously wrote about how I had moved on from those things. And for the most part I have. They are no longer a part of my daily life. I no longer have daily vicious cyclical thinking in which I catastrophize everything. But it does happen on occasion - I am a work in progress. Saturday was one of those days when all the crazy thoughts came back:

 - How will I function on no sleep again?
 - Will I again be up at 5am and watch from the guest bedroom window as Eric gets to go off to work while I hold a crying baby?
 - Will I be isolated at home for months again?
 - Will the PPD be as crushing and long-lasting? How will I survive it?
 - How will I be a good mom to Maxwell when I'm so busy with a newborn? Will he be mad at me? How will I handle the emotions he is feeling?
 - How will I get to do all the things I want to do when I'm so busy with baby?

Yes, I know a lot of the above may sound completely ridiculous to you. The logical side of me thinks I'm silly to worry about such things. I did this once, I can do it again. But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that when I think back to my time with Maxwell as a newborn - those first few months - most of what stands out for me is the hard stuff - the PPD, the lack of sleep, the trying desperately to calm a fussy baby, the constantly having to hold him to keep him from crying, the holding him while he napped, the not knowing what in the world I was doing, the being jealous that my husband got to go off to work every day do something he knew he was good at, while I was at home clueless and struggling.

But when you struggle with anxiety and depression on a day to day basis. When you work hard each and every day to keep those two beast at bay - the questions above suddenly don't seem so trite.

Here is what I know:
I will have this sweet baby girl, and I will fall in love and love her to pieces, just as I love Max.
I will struggle. Probably daily - at least for awhile.
I will know what I'm doing this time around - most of it shouldn't come as a huge surprise to me as it did last time.
I will have help - from my husband and my parents and my in-laws.
There will likely be a lot of tears those first few weeks. And that is okay. I am allowed to have my feelings and then move on from them.
I will make time just for Max.
I will take a ton of pictures.
I will have the thoughts and prayers of good friends near and far to help me through.

What I am continuing to learn about mindfulness and my emotions is that instead of trying to push them away or squash them, it's best to let them come, feel them, and then let them go. All the while validating that those feelings are real to me and it is okay to have them and express them. (Funny how we don't really learn this growing up. Instead we learn that some emotions are "bad" and we need to learn how to squash them and not feel them at all.) It sounds easy, but trust me it's not. After years of putting myself down for being an emotional gal - I'm learning to just sit with the emotion and feel my way through it.

I can't predict exactly what will happen this time around with this birth and newborn experience.
No one can. And I'm learning that it's okay to not know.

Monday, January 13, 2014

on the edge.

newport, oregon

I've stood at the edge of the ocean many times in the past 40 years.
As a child we used to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon in the fall.
I can remember bundling up and walking along the shore with my parents and my brother as we were all battered by the rain and wind. Despite wondering why we always went in the fall and not in the summer, the stormy weather was quite fun - leaning into the strong winds, watching the waves crash on the shore. And while I haven't been back to Cannon Beach since I was probably in high school, I have been to many beaches since then. I've been to many California coastlines - San Diego, Oceanside, Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Cruz. To Iron Springs in Washington about four times. And finally to Newport, Oregon this past September.

When I stand at the edge of the ocean I'm usually and strangely overwhelmed with wonder at the thought that way out there on the other side there are other countries and people standing on different shorelines. People with a different culture, who likely speak a different language. People just like me - living their life - school, work, kids, family. It's so easy to get caught-up in the little world around us - what's going on in our city and state and country. I often forget that there are all these other people in other places doing their own living of life.

Standing at the edge there I feel put in place, so to speak. I am reminded that I am one of billions.
That's not to say I don't matter. But rather it invokes a feeling in me that there are so many of us on this earth and each one of us does matter. Regardless of our lifestyle, religion, skin color, race, financial situation... each one of us matters. I don't know about you, but it's kind of mind-blowing for me.

To stand at the edge of the continent
water lapping at my feet.
Knowing that water has touched so many other people out there.
And knowing that there is likely someone on the other side, on the edge of that other continent, who perhaps is thinking the same things and marveling at the beauty of God's creation.

santa cruz
santa cruz

(top photo - Newport, Oregon/bottom photos - Santa Cruz, California)

Sunday, January 12, 2014



She likes cucumbers
and carrots
and zucchini
and apples.
Oh, and Beggin' Strips.
I think she'd like to be a vegetarian who eats
Beggin' Strips.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014



oh you know...just a little skyping each other while they sit on the couch.
doesn't everybody do that?

(can you find me in the photos?...)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


One of my favorite photographers out there in the big old world of photography is the lovely and talented Melissa Gibson. Please, I beg of you, take the time to click on the link that is her name and check out her photography website. Oh my goodness - you will fall in love just as I did!
She has recently been taking photos of her daughters' toys and they are amazing! Just go look for yourself - please! She talked a little bit more about the project here on the Clickin Moms website.

The other day I went to Barnes & Noble to pick-up a couple of books and looked around at the toys a bit. And I found Gru! I had to buy him. And having a boy who is totally into Despicable Me right now was the perfect excuse (cause really I just wanted to by Gru for me...still a bit of a kid when it comes to cool figurines...I digress...) Then today we woke up to fog. Thick, thick fog...and it was the perfect set-up for a Gru portrait.



(I'd like to think he's scheming up a way to get rid of the fog that's lingered for weeks...)

My goal for the month of January is to take at least one photo a day. Who knows? Maybe I'll get crazy and turn it into a 365 project. Time will tell. In the meantime, I'll be challenging myself to get out of the box and take some different photos this month. Today was just the beginning.