Halfway!

I'm not sure if it has properly dawned on me just yet, but whether I get it or not: This pregnancy is halfway already, the belly has definitely popped out, and the little kicks of our littlest star are getting stronger by the day. This is the best part of the run, so I'm really enjoying it. Filled with love! (Photos by Ronja.)

In cuddle heaven.

Like a devoted mother, she stays with them in most of her waking hours, carefully holding them, carrying them, talking to them, changing one for the other so that every one of the fifteen little balls of fluff gets her love. She shows her more rough handed little brother how to hold them, protects them from the dog and cats, and shows them proudly off to visitors. The baby chicks are in good hands with this one.

(And yes, her big sister is the same, and was almost late for school today because of all the love.)

Spring cleaning.

One late afternoon, the sun was up, spring was there, we'd been out all day and ended it with a huge bonfire in the yard. The fascination in my kids' eyes, how they could sit there for ages just watching it, looking at the flakes fly up towards the sky, feel a slight heat from where they were sitting, mesmerised. Simple joys in a beautiful life.

First of the year!

She came rushing in, shouted mammaaaaaaaa!, and stood there in the doorway, with her hands behind her back and an excited smile. Guess what I've got for you!

It was spring, a tiny bouquet of spring in her hands. Love! 

New life.

Yesterday we all drove out to another farm on an exciting venture: We are hatching new baby chicks out, and we bought a load of mixed eggs in all sorts of colours. Blue, green, pink, olive, dark brown. This means that if we get hens (female chicks), we will eventually get to collect eggs like these in our own chicken pen! How cool is that, such beautiful eggs. The chicks are due to hatch in three weeks, and we are all very excited!

Today.

Was called up at 5 am, jumped out of bed and (almost) straight into the car, drove through a blizzard to the big city, and witnessed a beautiful home birth and a sweet sweet family become four. A wonderful experience, and such a privilege. Love!

Beauty & progress.

We packed our bags this morning and headed out before the mist had been burnt off by the sun; we wandered up the steep hill into our forest and as I turned around, I saw our farm enveloped in the most beautiful light. Again, that feeling of being in place. 

The gapahuk (remember last post?) is seriously taking shape! Mr. Payne has single handedly built it up there, he is definitely our very own Hulk. We are very lucky to have him (in many ways!). It is such a pearl of a spot, the view, the forest surrounding it, everything. It will be another place to create beautiful memories. Love it!

New project.

We are building a lean-to (gapahuk) in the forest above the farm - somewhere we can camp and sleep overnight around the year. Mr. Payne found the perfect spot, with the gorgeous view coming straight in, and today we started the first work on it. Some dead trees were taken down to create the first framework. We are so excited about it!

(I am considering giving birth up there. Yep.)

Just right.

A beautiful thing happened today:

For the first time in many weeks, I felt like myself again, and I had that feeling again, the one I've been missing so much. Since this baby moved in, I have felt so off, so tired and out of focus and nauseous and, then, down. And it's been tearing me up a bit - even though I have known that it was a passing thing - but I haven't had space to feel that wonderful tingle of happiness a lot. Yes, this baby is very much wanted and we are so happy about it - it's not that. The fundament is right, but my physical self was too busy just hanging in there, so everything was affected by that. I was starting to worry a bit. But then, yesterday, and today, I have had days where I have been me again - and today I had a moment I have been longing for. It can happen anywhere, anytime, in any context, there is this sudden explosion of happiness in me, like my chest is going to burst for a few seconds, and I feel butterflies in my tummy, and everything is just right. Not spectacular, not sensational in any way - but just right. I was just cooking, and there it was. 

And then, later, I opened a book that I'd picked up from the post office, and the words in front of me were about this exactly, and I just felt so fuzzy and happy and on a wonderful journey, it was simply beautiful. The book was Home grown by Ben Newitt, and the words that struck a chord in my heart were these:

"But the freedom I speak of is more than temporal; it is also a freedom of emotion and spirit, to know that happiness and fulfillment can be found in the smallest and simplest of places and things. I think of the way I'm so often caught off guard by some small, commonplace moment (...). Sometimes, I cannot even identify a trigger, like when I am walking down the farm road, and I am suddenly swept by a sense of knowing my place. Not just in the here and now, but in the grand, infinite scheme of things and forces far beyond my capacity to even imagine.

What I gain from these moments - the quick bloom of warmth they bring, the quiet sense of knowing that there is nothing else I need - cannot be readily measured, and because it cannot be measured, it cannot be traded. It is my own wealth. It is unique to me and therefore it is secure."

That. Exactly that.

Another thing I thought of today:

How I was afraid that telling you all about the pregnancy would somehow jinx it, that it was wrong to put it out there. That I should have waited. And then I realised, after I have read all the messages and comments from everyone, that what it really did, was open up to all the love and well-wishing and good vibes from people everywhere. And that has to be a good thing, right?

T H A N K  Y O U  for all your sweet words, they are so appreciated.

Xxx

Chosen again / Chapter four.

Since I became a mother I have had the feeling that our children chose us. It's the most beautiful privilege; of getting to be close to them, of carrying them, loving them, being on this journey with them.

If that's the case, well then we have been chosen again - because there is a bump growing and inside is another miracle, another one of life's most precious gifts. 

Hurrah!

Yesterday was great. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes for Falk both here, on Facebook and Instagram. 

The main person had a great day from start to finish: Songs and candles and the birthday crown and presents in the morning, waffles for lunch, the whole family over for cake and ice cream in the afternoon, lots of cousins to play with, and then calm and lovely evening moments, just us. A perfect day for a perfect kid!

Xxx

Two years old: Wild and free.

Two years ago today, you came rushing out and opened our hearts even more, made this family even more colourful, quite a bit more crazy, a lot noisier, and added a whole lot of cuteness to the bundle. You have grown into such a funny, charming and smart little person, sometimes a rascal, always heartbreakingly cute and always on the move. 

Falk, you still make my heart sing every day, you still make me want to shower you with kisses and snuggles all the time, you're still my baby (sorry if you're reading this when you're fifteen). In the wake of the chaos you so wonderfully create, I take deep breaths, look up and see you, exploring, playing, being completey free. We are so happy to spend every day with you, to see you grow and develop, to hear your words flourishing, to see you conquer new milestones all the time, to know the little man that you are.

You are fearless, strong and independent. And although I can see that you are becoming your own little person more and more, needing me close less and less, I hold on to the baby in you, just a little longer. (I might just do that for another twenty years or more.) 

Happy birthday, wild wonderful beautiful Falk! We love you so much our hearts burst!

Girls' weekend.

Mr. Payne and the littles have been to England to visit family this weekend, so Ronja and I have ruled the farm in solitude. We've handled sheep who got stuck, horses who got out of their box at night and had a party in the barn, a crazy bull calf, snow, sleet and ice, hard work from morning 'till night. And in between, we have had dinners in front of the tv, watched the three Narnia movies, eaten too much ice cream and gone to bed too late for our own good. And Ronja danced her first hip hop show on Saturday! 

It's been lovely to have my big girl to myself for a few days, and now that they're all safely back (and have had a wonderful time, too), it's all good.

Hope you had a good one, too!

Xxx

And then, winter came.

Finally, there has been sufficient snowfall to call it a winter. The last days have been beautiful; lots of white fluff covering the ground, embracing the landscape and transforming it into clean soft fuzziness.