6 months already?

Oh Sweet Journey. I just can't kiss you enough. Your cheeks beg it from me. I love watching you roll all over the floor. I love hearing you moan when you are tired. I can't help but join you when you let out a rich giggle. You are so content with where you are in life. You don't seem anxious....you seem to know that you have time. Yesterday was your first go at organic rice cereal. At first you were curious and enjoyed the experimentation but grew tired of the experience after a short while. There are lots of adventures ahead.
You have such patience and tolerance towards your brother. It fills me up to see the relationship between the two of you grow. You are both so lucky. Your smile is as warm as the sun...your spirit continues to be calming and peaceful. But I must tell you...I think there is a surprising spice in all that sweetness. You have found your voice and you let everyone know about it when the moments are right. Asher loves to mimic your screams...and you can't understand why he chooses to be so loud. I hope you are always confident enough in yourself to speak up. From the sounds of things now....you won't have a problem with that!
I am so thankful for your first 6 months on this earth...for all that you are becoming...and I look forward to more surprises from you.

moments caught

... his gift to you... ...and a self portrait...

catching up...

Each memorial day weekend, Josh's family holds an annual fishing trip up in Greer. We were able to attend again this year and so we ventured up there in our van (she made it both there and back!)...and enjoyed our stay in the beautiful mountains. Some of my favorite moments were caught in these pictures. A long early morning walk with me and my babes, looking at the "farms" (the cabins), the birdies, the flowers, the caterpillar we found, and our shadows on the dirt path...Josh carrying Asher in the sling on a short walk because "Asher tired"...and finally my favorite subjects fishing by the pond right outside our cabin door by the light of the setting sun.


just because it is too great not to share


beautiful beings

Our days with Mary and Avery were so genuine. I had such a sweet few days with them both. Although there were some stressful moments (do we have a vehicle to get us from here to there....being stranded at the zoo...where can the babes sleep at this massive party we are attending????)...it really was a memory making weekend. I am always renewed after being with Mary, and it was so blissful to be with her little girl. Such zest for life and exploring. I love that! Visits like this are some of the greatest kind.


the law of attraction and the goodness of human kind

You can tell this is going to be an upbeat post, right? You are right. My heart sings. Today...our van got fixed. YES! My sister Cory "showed up" for me by piling us into her car and taking us to pick up our working van. Josh got home and I was just TOOOO excited NOT to drive that van around town. Did I mention that the van is WORKING??? We decided to go celebrate. Totally illogical because of the fact that all of our money has gone into fixing the van...but that is beside the point. Sometimes life just calls for irrationality. We agreed on Olive Garden. We were enjoying our meal and in the middle of it, an older couple approached us on their way out. The gentlemen placed his hand on my shoulder and delivered a sweet and short compliment to our family. "You have such a beautiful family." I smile surprisingly at him, thank him and then just watch in joy as he and his wife walk away. I say something to Josh about how nice that was...how I love when people act on the things they feel in their heart and how that meant so much to me. I love when people are bold. Asher was in a particularly wonderful mood and he was minding his own business the entire dinner. There was no food throwing. No silverware went flying through the air. No shrieks were heard besides a loud growl coming from our toddler who had become a shark who was eating his chicken strips which had appropriately become fishies. It really was a wonderful meal. And then the check came. That is when it became an unbelievable meal. The server mumbles something about someone doing something....I was only half paying attention...but my focus centered when he handed me the bill. In it was a piece of paper with a note stating this: "Your dinner has been bought and paid for by another Olive Garden guest. Thank you" I look up at our waiter and have too many questions for him that he doesn't have the answers for. He described the woman who was with the gentleman who complimented our family. He said that she told him we were a wonderful family. Oh the sweetness. If that doesn't make you want to pay it forward I don't know what would. We leave the restaurant in a state of quasi disbelief. We just keep saying to one another..."That was so awesome!" As we walk out the door one of the young waiters looks at Journey and says "She is just SOOOO cute. You both are so blessed." I smile and thank him for his reminder. We climb into our van (the one that is working) and make our way home. We stop to give Sweet-E a bath to let her know how happy we are to have her back. We sit in the car wash with the radio playing "Lean on Me". I sing along. Josh holds on to Asher's hand because of his inability to decided whether he absolutely LOVES the car wash or is terrified beyond belief. It was a sweet moment for me. Good things are happening. My heart sings.


the pleasure of anticipation

Just a quick post to let you know we are still alive and kickin. Aside from the fact that we got our van to start (not miraculously but with a TON of hard work from Josh and my cousin Hector) only to have it break down...again, and that Asher came down with not only an ear infection but also EYE infections (yes...it really happens)...we are doing pretty ummmmmm...well. Josh and I got to take a mini break from reality and went to see Spidey 3 at the theatres last night, Asher is feeling much better and my dad is coming over tonight to help tow the van to a shop for some diagnostic testing. I think it is about time for things to start turning bright. I read this little paragraph this morning from an inspirational book I have: "Awaken today and every day with the gift of dreams, the grace of a grateful heart, and the capacity to look toward the brighter side of things. Rise each morning filled with an enthusiastic purpose that gives you joy, for joy will give you wings. Start each morning with the pleasure of anticipation, and always anticipate good things." - Vickie M Worsham Doesn't that just seep into your bones and make you want to live more purposefully? If only for the moment? I think I have done a pretty good job pushing myself to not get effected by the events taking place lately....I mean really it is all stuff that can be fixed and in the grand scheme of things they aren't really BIG things, after all. I haven't been anticipating more bad things....but I probably haven't been intentional about anticipating good things either. I have just been somewhere in the middle of the road. So this is my lesson. To seek the brighter side of things. What can we appreciate about the fact that my van broke down in the middle of a very hot day? We got to take a walk along the canal that we normally wouldn't have taken. We got to make a memory with Mary and Avery and it will be something we can laugh about now. Instead of waking with a heart full of expectation of how things usually go and how things normally go....I should wake with a grateful heart for the many AMAZING things in my life that are truly abnormally good. And being filled with an enthusiastic purpose that gives me joy and gives me wings....aaaaaagggggghhhhhh....I just like saying that one out loud. It stirs the soul. So...here's to new days...grateful hearts...silver linings...and the anticipation of good things... actually...make that big, fat GREAT things! I will be posting about the really great moments we shared with Mary and Avery as soon as I can get my hands on a computer that will allow me to download some pics. And speaking of really GREAT things. Happy Birthday to baby Reagan Rundio. Shannon and Dan (Josh's brother and his wife) welcomed their baby girl into the world sometime this morning. I don't know all the details but will give more later as I learn more. We are so happy she is here and can't wait to see pictures of her. She was greatly anticipated! Especially by Shannon who was 41 weeks!


When it rains...

...it pours! So where is the flood? Oh...it's under my bathroom sink! Whoever said that bad things happen in three's is sorely mistaken. Try sixes. My van broke down about a week ago. Yes....the one we just got. Yes...it is still broke down. No...we don't know what is wrong with it. Josh and I got locked out of our house the night before mother's day. We got home around 10pm and discovered that, earlier that day, when we "just ran inside" and left the car running with our dreaming babes to grab a few things we needed for the day...the house key that we slipped off my key ring to "just run inside" somehow got left INSIDE. We have one of those OH SO convenient bottom locks that you can lock from the inside. Genius idea...but bad news for folks like us...ummm that'd be scatterbrained. So we slept at my parents house that night. And the next morning Josh and my dad had to break a window to get in our house. So how was my mother's day spent, you ask? Well most of it involved Josh and my pops fixing the window...and then trying to fix the van....and me watching the kids. Same day...my toilet clogs. (this is a whole different story within itself....those of you who know it...this is your cue to giggle). This was no ordinary clog. The sucker was not budging...nothing was going down....I mean nothing. So...a plumber came out to our house the beginning of the week, spends no more than 10 minutes in our home and leaves 90 bucks richer. Asher woke up Monday morning with a croupy cough and a nose that WOULD NOT stop running....which was just in time because we are having a toddler stay with us...in our home...over the weekend. We love sharing germs. Last night, while I am cleaning the bathroom, I hear water trickling from somewhere. I look at the cabinets under the sink and sure enough....a water fall. I look under the sink...soft wood and enough damaged "goods" to fill a garbage can. Does it sound like I am complaining? I'm really am ok with it all. It got to a point of being amusing. But I did make the mistake of joking, after discovering the small lake in my bathroom, "seriously now...what else can go wrong". My cousin mary....one of my most favorite people in the universe, was supposed to come visit us today. The plane carrying both her and her sweeter than sugar daughter Avery was going to land at Sky Harbor at 2:20. She called and said there was a health scare with her father-in-law and that she might not be making it out. Turns out....everything is ok with him. He didn't have a stroke like they thought....and my kindred is coming to visit us late this evening. So...enough with the rain....bring on the SUN! (shouldn't be hard, considering where we live!) I'll update you on all the great big fun we had next week...and hopefully I'll have a story about my van miraculously starting. Hoping the sun shines all around you this weekend and that your world is full of nothing but things going swell!


Happy Mama's Day!

To each and all of you...mother's, mother's to be, sisters, friends, aunties and grandma's!
Enjoy your day of honoring the beauty of women in your life...and the wisdom of just "being".
An excerpt from The Tao of Motherhood:

"The ancient teachers demonstrated their realization of The Way. These ancient teachers were often women. They were mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers. They meditated. Through their relationships, they taught the art of being. Through their meditation, their depth made them seem inscrutable and their wisdom profound. The truth is, they simply knew how to be human."


I love road trips.

Are you curious where we went the past few days? I'll give you a few hints. Wet toes, sand, sun, and fun. Little things being re-introduced to really, great, BIG things. sea life A couple of really quiet and beautiful moments of this. Yep. We went to California for a few days with my great friend Jessica (Dita as Asher has coined her). It was a huge...massively generous gift she gave us...and it was oh so wonderful. There were too many moments of pure emotion...JOY...EXHAUSTION...BEAUTY...EXCITEMENT...LONGING...FUN! Asher is in love with the ocean. The whole idea of the ocean just welcomes creatures like him. Wild, untamed, endless, loud, beautiful, awe-inspiring. His behavior just screams..."I AM IN MY ELEMENT!", when he meets the waves with his tiny frame. I love watching him there. I love that he ran around screaming as loud as he could "WATER FALL...WATER FALL...WATER FALL!!!"...I love when we walked along the waves he would be throwing his body about and then every once in a while would come find refuge in ME, by simply touching my leg or wrapping himself around me. I loved that he felt so happy. I loved that the ocean was our backyard for two days...that we got to walk along the boardwalk in the evening and watch the sun settle into the horizon with brilliant flames...that Asher woke up each morning asking for the ocean...that we had great company and beautiful weather...that the air tastes different on the coast...that Journey got to witness the magic of a wave...that we could walk along the boardwalk at night and hear the ocean, see the whiteness of the break in a wave but could not see where sky began and water ended. I love the inspiration that comes with seeing something so magnificent and being in the presence of such HUGENESS. I love the thoughts it spurs and the contentment I feel. I love the color and life around the ocean. It was such a delight. I am longing for more.


if you were a barbecue sauce...

...what flava would you want to be? Last night Josh, the chilis and I went to a yummy BBQ Pit restaurant. They have all these different types of bbq sauce. You know, like "rich and sassy" or "sweet and zesty". It got me thinking..."what flavor would I be if I were a barbecue sauce?"...or really, what flavor would I WANT to be? This is what I think. Jessamyn as a barbecue sauce would be...."BOLD and BODACIOUS" Bold as in daring and able to go for what I want...undeterred. Bodacious as in FULL...extending my capacities to encompass ALL that I am and want to become...WHOLE...not lacking....you get the picture. So....what about you? If you were a barbecue sauce...what would you be called? Chime in...I want to know a little something silly about you. COME ON....I know you want to play. :)


why not?

why does 6 am come so early? why does asher love to step on my head in the morning? why is journey only sleeping for minutes at a time? why was asher SO good during gymnastics class yesterday only to go find the closest kid to push down when i told him how pleased i was with him? why does a van have to be perfectly in PARK in order to start? (that one is for you deb...thanks again for coming to my rescue) why is it that asher remembers me buying him a sticky green octopus toy from the grocery store WEEKS ago...and begins asking for another one the minute we pull into the grocery store parking lot...and keeps asking for one throughout our entire visit there...and throws a more than mild fit when we don't leave the store with another sticky green octopus toy...screaming "TUPTUPTIE" (asher language for octopus) over and over again? why do they have special parking lots reserved for pregnant women but none for parents with screaming toddlers and 17 pound babies in car seats? why does asher love to make journey smile until i ask him if he could go make journey happy while mama makes dinner...to which he replies "nooooo nourney happy" and continues to "stir" my steaming vegetables until they are mush? why is it that the ONLY thing that would stop journey's tears in their tracks was asher dropping all 20 of his dinosaur refrigerator magnets on top of her? why did she think that was so funny? why does asher always need to be saved as SOON as i start to nurse journey? "hep mama hep...em tuck!" (help mama help...i'm stuck!) why is it so hot at 3pm that when we get in our van asher says "HOT mama ...fider (fire)"? why is it going to get SOOOOOOOO much more hot than that? why does asher get in and out of bed no less than 15 times when it is time for him to go night-night and why do his song requests always center on eels and whales and dinosaurs...all of which i really don't KNOW any songs about so the lyrics and music change night to night? (does anyone know any songs about these things???) why is there nothing sweeter than a walk down the canal at sunset with my family? again....why does 6 am come so early???? well....probably because there is an entire day to be lived! *by the way...the van is named! Her name is Sweet Escape...or "Sweet-E" for short!


5 wonderful months

there are several words that people choose to use when describing you that seem to be repeated from person to person. some of them being:
old soul
easy going
the list really does go on. people are drawn to you. they love to see you smile (and you are oh so generous with your smiles). i never worry about you adapting to things. sometimes i find myself counting on you to understand when i have to attend to your brother first before you...and it seems that you truly DO understand and allow me that space. you seem to know things that perhaps a 5 month old shouldn't already know. most people, upon meeting you, will comment about your full cheeks...and the next thing they notice are your eyes. oh those eyes! so wise...so knowing...so forgiving...so gentle...so happy. one of the nurses who saw you about three days after you were born said "i think she has been here before". perhaps you have. there are many things that people have to say about you. some of the things i have come to know about you are:
you are very observant
you communicate with your eyes and they truly are a window to your soul
you are so generous
you are so optimistic...so patient and so tolerant
you can bring peace into a room with just being there
you "speak" when you need to and don't when there are other ways to communicate
you trust openly
you are so familiar to me
you love your big brother and he loves you
you secretly crave attention but aren't addicted to it
you love life and the simple joys of living
you have brought great balance into our lives...making things more harmonious
i am extremely, beautifully blessed through you
i new your spirit so intimately when i was housing you in my body...but i never knew how you would change and add to my life. i never knew that birthing you would be such a surreal and adventurous experience. i never realized what it would mean to me to have a baby girl...to think about raising a strong woman...to search through what all of that means for me.
because of all that you are...i know that the future truly is going to be one magical journey.
i love you my dear child. thank you for these really PERFECT past five months


The newest addition to our family... Yep! That's right, I am now a minivan mama. A crunchy, sassy minivan mama perhaps...but there is no hiding my status behind the compact vehicle any longer. A new perspective on life...brought to you by: I have yet to name her...but the wheels are turning and I will take any suggestions you may have! As for how I feel about the "new" purchase (am I really in the "van-a-wagon" season of my life?), well...I suppose it could be somewhat ummmmm alarming...but oh the room...and sitting up high...and feeling a tad bit safer with my babies riding along...I am LOVING it. And I love old things. I love that this van has a whole life story and that there are memories that come with the package and that there are idiosyncrasies that we need to become familiar with...just like getting to know any new addition to the family! It shall be fun. And the kiddos? they dig it. Journey smiles when she looks out the window and Asher is thrilled with it being a "BIG tar" and with the brand new view he gets to admire on our "wides". He also may have a career as a future car model... wait....never mind...maybe a career as the next evil canevil... We are already warming her up to our crazy selves. I think she's going to like it here....don't you?