Sitting on the water’s edge.

The sun was reaching the edge of the deep blue sky. Not a cloud to be seen for miles. As I sat there contemplating what to do next, I was surprised to find the ocean to be as calm as I’d ever seen it. No white caps, no crashing waves or thunderous sounds; just the sea lapping up the shore as if it were a relaxing summers day. Not an ounce of thrashing at the water’s edge; only peace and serenity.

I wondered how cold it would feel if I just walked right in. Imaging myself walking right down the slope of the beach, continuing off the steep ledge near shore to sit on the deep dark bottom. I disregarded the thought, since I knew I’d end up floating to the surface and back to shore. There was no current to be pulled out by. I didn’t have a towel or a change of clothes, so I sat there instead wanting to feel more alive; as the numbness was dulling the senses that existed before.

Often as a teenager and thereafter, when I was struggling with coming to terms with a loss or choice in life, I’d sit at the beach looking for answers. I always feel the presence of those who’ve passed on, down by the water’s edge. There I’m faced with the reminder that as much as we want to control our fates, the world has it’s own plans. Much like the ocean, we have no control over the tides, the thrashing, or the calm moments. At any time, it could shift. The ocean always holds answers for me as God’s whispers blow off the water.

Footprints is one of my favorite pieces of writing. My parents had it on their wall growing up, and I now have their framed print on my mantel. When I need help, I go to the beach, toes in the sand, waiting to be carried. Most people don’t know why living near the beach is so important to me, but maybe this story helps you to understand. When we lived 20 miles away, it was not the same to sit around a reservoir digging my feet into the dirt. Unless I was running, not much was coming to the surface.

In the past twelve years, since the first step in my lifelong journey of running began, I can only think of three or four times where I realized how deeply I not only want to run, but needed to run. Running is more about mental health for me than medals, races, or times. Though, I do enjoy the snacks at the end of a race. It is my therapy. Being pregnant, more sick than last time (where I ran up until six months pregnant), I’ve not gotten more than a run or two in. It’s been difficult to face the challenges ahead without the ability to use my body as I would like to knowing what is in store.

I’m not in any healthy shape, I’m sure I’ll receive a firm talking to at my next midwife appointment, and I am still exhausted daily despite resting as much as is humanly possible having a three-year-old-baby-guy running around. My body is craving tons of salts and sweets in order to curb this lingering nausea as I venture into the 20 week mark. I even want to drink coffee (bleh!).

This coming year won’t be a success story of getting super fit while pregnant, reaching any milestones, or doing much of anything other than taking it one day at a time. For someone always so ambitious, it’s hard not to feel like this this year is a waste. I don’t do well on “idle”.

I’ve decided, for now, not to give up. I may not be able to give 100% to everything and everyone, but I’m going to do my best a little at a time. This past weekend, I took the time to garden and remembered how much fun it was to play in the dirt. Now I get why Miles loves to scoop, squish, and dig everywhere. I wasn’t going to plant anything this year, overwhelmed with all the life changes, but I am glad I chose to get these seeds started.

Watching the garden bloom is a soft reminder of how slow the process of growth is in nature, yet how bountiful the result when given the right time, nurturing, and light. Maybe I will see growth this year, just not in clear measurable ways.

I started cilantro a few weeks ago and it already grew like crazy.

More herbs and plants starting in the garden window I love so much.

Life has a funny way of sending you signs.

After getting my garden together, Chris and I went to the Christmas Tree Shop (Miles spent time with his MiMa and PopPop). I wanted to look at a little adirondack chair from their flier. On the flier, it was white with a cat on it. My initial thought was, how cute, I wonder if Ruby would even sit on it (she’s like a real dog who gets dirty and all)… but Bambi would’ve LOVED it.

When we arrived at the store, who was on the box… on a ruby red chair no less – – my little girl, giant deer ears and all. I miss you baby, but I know you’re around growling somewhere.

Chris wouldn’t let me get the chair… He thinks I’m nuts. You know; we’ve already established that.

So, I went on to spend the rest of the weekend with my guys working on home projects. The list is endless, but since we love our forever home, it’s more enjoyable as well.

Miles went under the house with Daddy to run internet cables… he loves his headlamp.

And he loves my old tripod to take pictures. I need to get him a camera…

A Miles original with me supervising from the couch.

And Ruuuubs… we sing to you every day “Ruby, dooby, do”. You love to play fetch, you are the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. I dremeled your nails all by myself, we played outside, and I brushed your teeth! You never snarl and you’re all just love, licks and cuddles. It’s hard not to feel like Bambi had something to do with you coming into our lives at just the right time.

Don’t look so sad, soon enough it’ll warm up and we’ll be outdoors all day every day.

– kate –