Baby Love: Emma May

10502063_10153883799908363_5996945672507358323_nTwo and a half days later yet nearly 3 weeks early, Emma May Fast entered the world and changed the lives of more than she’ll ever know. On Saturday, February 20th at 2:15 in the afternoon I became an auntie for both the 1st time and the 4th time. I’ve been an aunt for over 7 years to three wonderful children on Channing’s side of the family and I love them just as much as ever. But when my Little Logan Sunshine of a brother became a daddy for the first time, I knew the world would never be the same.

12742324_10153883799993363_5634277584651143841_nEntering the ring at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 ½ inches tall; this little southern bell namesake of a girl warmed so many hearts. I don’t even know how to explain all the feels I’d felt since hearing that they were pregnant to thinking about their future to the birth of their little girl.

As soon as she entered the world, all my fears and reservations vanished momentarily because I knew that everything was going to be okay. Logan is turning out to be such a stand-up man and he’s going to be a phenomenal father. He’s going to do whatever he needs to do to make sure that life is good for his little family and I couldn’t be more proud to be his sister.

The Day You Were Born

12717406_10153883800223363_3671269714107456680_nI had drove home on Thursday after work because you were supposed to enter this world that day little girl. But of course, you didn’t. You must get your stubbornness from your mom or auntie. I had to go back to work on Saturday morning and you still weren’t here but that’s okay. You must have needed to cook for a little longer. I got a text from your grandma Julie telling us that your mom was dilated to 8 or 9. I can’t remember now. At that very second, my boss was standing next to me and told me to “go!” I couldn’t believe it. I cried for some reason on my way to my apartment to pick up your uncle Channing (Well officially he’s my boyfriend at this point in time but I’m calling him your uncle.) I don’t know if I was happy or sad, probably scared of all the unknowns. You were early and your parents were young and my brother was being strong, too strong. Your mom wasn’t showing how much pain she was in last time I saw her and I’d never had a baby so I have no idea what she could possibly be going through. But I was elated at the very same time.

12715376_10153883799838363_3626927763486935881_nYou’ll soon find out that you were the first on all sides. You’re the first grandbaby, niece, girl. Just like me!

You were born at 2:15 PM. At 2:15 PM, I was on I29 between Halstad and Hillsboro. I wonder if I’ll remember that 20 years from now. I hope so. We’re supposed to remember where we were when 9/11 happened so why is this life changing moment any different?

At that moment, you were born. My brother and his fiance became parents. My parents were now grandparents and grandparents were now great-grandparents. I feel like I’m seeing and realizing all of this stuff for the first time like I had no concept of it before. It’s weird.

12744170_10153883799763363_2473925917232538382_nI hope your great-grandparents live just as long and hopefully longer then mine did. It’s something I’ll always cherish. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Aggie’s house still like the back of my hand. I remember her buttered saltine crackers and her “funny” accent and her laugh. I remember my great-grandma (your great-great-grandma) Elsie’s letters and doilies. I remember her heart and her stories.

Anyway, we finally got to the hospital around 4 PM and only had to wait a few minutes with your grandma Julie before your dad came out. I lost it. It’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that my baby brother is now a daddy. I know I keep repeating myself but I don’t know how else to explain it. Nothing in his life will ever be the same. His entire world has literally changed. For the better. Everything about this story, about you, is good. There will be times of doubt and uncertainty, times of turmoil and arguments will arise but good will always prevail. I believe that and I hope you do too.

12745791_10153883800053363_3916493355841250004_nChildren learn more from what you are than what you teach. -W.E.B. Du Bois

Well, I suppose we’re nearing the end of this post. There are so many things I can’t wait to tell you about life and about your parents. I can’t wait to watch you grow, explore, and hear you laugh. I hope that you do everything you ever dream of doing, make friends, be kind and think for yourself. You’re already so awesome.

Love, your favorite auntie, Ori.

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9th Day Of Christmas: Baby’s 1st Christmas

Channing’s sister Savanna and her husband Louie welcomed a new baby girl into the family this past October. She’s such a tiny little sweetheart and she’s already brought a lot of joy into the world in the few short months we’ve known her!

Last night, Channing and I stopped over at their house to give them baby Evy’s first Christmas ornament. I searched high and low to find something that would be just perfect. Believe it or not, it’s not that easy to find a nice “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament around here that will last for years and years.

IMG_7976I happened to be in Grand Forks a couple weeks ago and stopped at Hallmark (praise the Lord!) and they had a pretty decent selection of 1st Christmas ornaments. I know that Savanna loves to read to Evy so I decided to get the one you see to the right. Luckily, I was able to find the matching book in town at Target too; “On the Night You Were Born.”

I had to read the book before I gave it to them. It made me a little teary-eyed reading it and thinking about when Channing and I decide to have kids and how life as we know it will change, how we will feel. How Savanna and Louie must have felt once Evy was born. How our parents felt and how their parents felt. Babies…children; they really are little miracles and once they step foot into our world, life never is the same.

“On the night you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same.’ Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.” ~Nancy Tillman (On the Night You Were Born)

If you’d like to purchase this book or ornament for a new baby in your family or just because, both can be found on amazon.com.

Ciao.

IMG_7036This weekend was full of fun. I will try to spare you on all the rambling on details but it was nice to do something out of the norm. Not that my weekends have been “normal” or anything. I am pretty aware of the fact that I live a “dull life” in comparison to many of the people that I interact with on a daily basis. I’ve actually been busier than I’m used to over the last few weeks though. But if you’ve been keeping up with my blog or twitter feed, you already knew that.

We had a nice yet unexpected dinner with my aunt on Friday evening. And we also went to visit my SO’s niece and nephew which was a blast because they are both at such fun ages. I remember growing up and my Uncle Troy seemed to be always present in my younger childhood days. Moments with him were some of my favorite growing up.

We haven’t always had the opportunity to connect with our niece and nephew as often as we’d like to have in the past but are making a great effort to do so as much as we can presently. It’s a good feeling.

Bw-obAeCcAErsTdSaturday was full of JC, shopping, a baby shower for Channing’s sister and some good ol’ quality visiting time with my mom. When days are jam packed with thing after thing after thing, it seems that there are never enough seconds in the day. I loved every bit of the weekend but I wish that I could have spent more time doing each thing because it seems like an hour only last 20 minutes these days.

Oh, and my mom, brother, and I went to get our hair done at my aunts salon in Halstad. (This is a different aunt from my Friday venture.) I wish I had a picture of my moms new do as well because she looks great!

Does time go faster than it should? I began to notice that each day seemed to go a little faster when I was in 4th grade. I don’t know what the particular event was but I know that I was at school and I all of a sudden felt like the day zoomed by. Around that time, I must have become more concussions of the measure of time.

As I’m proofreading this post, it’s kind of silly I guess. To lay out what I did on my weekend. It’s actually kind of boring. I just felt like writing and really don’t have anything specific to write about.

Actually, I do have a couple things to write about but I’m working through how to construct the posts. I have some blurbs of thoughts down but nowhere to go with them. We’ll see what happens. Ciao.

Is It Too Late?

Noticing that there are a few people in my peripheral life that are getting engaged, planning weddings, and having babies..it’s gotten me thinking. Again. I came to a very very sad realization that I won’t have the same exciting joys that they have due in part to my social circle or lack there of.

Getting married involves bridesmaids which usually include best friends and sisters, stuff like that. Planning a bridal shower, bachelorette party, spa days, dress shopping, ect. Having a baby; same thing. Best girl friends, sisters, family, and so on. A maid of honor helps plan everything. It’s one of the happiest times of your life. Your closest friend or sister throws you a beautiful baby shower.

That’s where I fall short. I don’t have that. I just don’t. The last time I had a best girl friend was in 11th grade. And my last best friend (whom of which was male) was probably four years ago. I’ve unintentionally secluded myself from the public eye of friendshiphood. Now, every time I enter a social situation, I feel awkward.

I’ve always had a tough time finding my “spot” in social circles. My peak was between ages 16 and 20. I had friends galore and was open and fun and happy. Looking back, that time in my life quickly plateaued and continuously spiraled down. There are many reasons. One of the most prominent was the period of time where my friends and I were. We went separate ways after high school. Different interests lead us into different directions. Then in college, I didn’t make a point of making many friends during the day because I already had my group of friends from work, whom of which ultimately didn’t go to college but decided to be couch surfers and content with minimum wage jobs for the next 5 years. I wish I had known this ahead of time. I love them and I cherish the memories I had with them but those kinds of friendships quickly become dead ends.

I wanted more so I did more. I moved to different cities. I got better jobs. But in order to do that I left people behind and even though it’s more of an excuse than a reason…time passed. Memories faded. People moved on. For being the 21st century, it’s not as easy to keep in touch as one might imagine. There are so many people I know that still keep in touch with high school pals or college roommates. Friends from old jobs and places in time. But not me.

I have rarely “cut ties” due to disagreements or fights. I don’t really think I’ve ever “broken up” with a friend. Things just…changed. And that brings me to where I currently am. Socially awkward and unable to make friends, I guess. I talk to people daily. I laugh, joke around, have a good time but that doesn’t mean I fit in. In each setting I constantly feel like the goose out of the flock of ducks. I just don’t fit in.

The older I get (yes I know, I’m only 24 but seriously consider it) the harder it is to make new friendships. I don’t live the college lifestyle where you meet people everywhere you turn. I don’t live the bar lifestyle where you can meet someone at the door and party the night away. I don’t meet moms at the park because I don’t have children. I don’t go to coffee shops because coffee is gross. I go to work and I come home. I go to the grocery store once a week. My hobbies include reading and doing artsy craft projects – all of which don’t involve leaving the house.

I don’t mean to be an introverted shut in, I love people. I yearn for a deep meaningful friendship. I want to go to the store with a friend and just walk around. I want to have a girls weekend and a spa day. I want to be the first one someone calls when something amazing (or terrible) happens. I want that. But I don’t have it and I don’t know where or how to get it.

I know it’s probably pity sounding but it makes me sad. It really does. I won’t have that baby shower you dream about through Pinterst boards. I won’t know the fun and memories a bachelorette party entails. I won’t have someone to call. I won’t have someone to share my deepest darkest secrets with. I won’t be that person either. I won’t be the shoulder to cry on or the maid of honor. I won’t have that “bond” that everyone should have.

Is it too late?

Here’s Looking At You, Kid.

If I would have blogged yesterday, I would have spent my time bitching about a really stressful work week. I would have probably had a bit of a pity party and questioned why God puts morons in our lives. Maybe it’s to test our patience, who knows. But..it’s not yesterday. It’s tomorrow.

It’s a little nuts to know that a person can be angry, frustrated, and irate after a long week of working but within 30 seconds of being in the presence of a 3 1/2 year-old, the mood can be changed drastically. I’m hanging out with my niece and nephew this weekend and you know what, it’s exactly what I needed. I needed a pause button on the stress of grown-up life.

IMG_6572Kids are blissfully happy. They have no worries, they aren’t trying to impress anyone. They don’t care what comes out of their mouths in fear that someone will judge them. They are just themselves and it’s amazing. Children are the lessons in life that we don’t give enough recognition to.

I’m not yet a mom but one day I hope to be and I can’t wait until that period of time in my life. I know kids aren’t all rainbows and butterflies but at the end of the day, a child brings a light of sunshine into a shady outlook. They give parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to smile no matter the problems that engulf the world we live in.

With that being said, I feel much more at peace hanging out with the little dude you see to the right. He’s a ball of energy and has a mountain full of life ahead of him. I want to show him that anything is possible and I’ll be living proof of it. I’ll be vrooming cars and cho-cho-choing Thomas The Train for the next 48 hours. Happy Saturday, all!

So if you have the chance blogging world, hang out with a kid today. (A kid that you know of course. Don’t be a creeper and lurk around a playground.)

Smile Kid!

smile

When I volunteered to take my brothers senior pictures, I didn’t realize how much of a challenge it was going to be. I’ve loved taking photos for as long as I can remember but I’ve never felt comfortable taking pictures of people. I guess I never went and sought out models so I never really had any practice. I have primarily focused any and all picture taking towards landscapes or flowers or buildings, stuff like that. Anything but people. And I’ve loved it. I take pride in my eye for a good picture and spend a lot of time on editing to make each photo just right.

looking up

But when I finally took some time tonight to check out the pictures Logan and I took this summer, boy oh boy was I in for a challenge. The sun was our biggest challenge. Although it was an absolutely beautiful day, that meant hot, rosy cheeks for my brother. I’m taking my time on the pictures though to be sure not to butcher them or wash out his face.

It’s a great learning experience, that’s for sure. Once I finish this bout, I’d like to assess the results and improve my skills. If I’m being honest with myself; I’m a little disappointed because I pride myself in seeing things just right. And out of a hundred or so photos, only a handful are actually going to produce quality work. I hope he likes them or we’re in big trouble!!

I’ll update with more photos once I finish but here’s a sneak peak.

bench