My Motherhood Lately // Kalona Fall Festival

Motherhood for me right now is a little confusing. Having a toddler is equal parts frustrating and wonderful. I do love this age; Tad's personality is shining out of him more and more strongly with each day that passes. We decided to hop on by the Kalona Fall Festival last night since we did not go last year. It was a bit strange, being that the town is so small it was definitely more of a social gathering, bringing in members of the entire town that we still do not know. I find small towns so odd yet fascinating, especially since I grew up in one, moved into a bigger city (and hardly met anyone), and am now living in an even smaller town where it's difficult to get to know people. It made me miss the festival I grew up with in my own town. Either way, instead of mingling and eating and playing games, we spent most of our time huddled near the vintage tractors, trucks, and all of the pumpkins. 

Telling me all of the interesting parts of the tractors, which include, "Gah de cah do to." Whatever that means. Tad loves cars. Like loves them. It's one of the words in his small vocabulary, and he uses it for basically everything. If we go for a walk downtown, he loves to point out every single car parked along the street. He also loves to take off unexpectedly and hates holding my hand at any time. If we cross the street, me grabbing hold of those chubby little fingers, it's often that he begins to whine and sits himself on the ground, or at worst, lays down on his stomach and gently rests his head on his hands, pouting. I suppose this is a perfect example of mothering toddlers; one moment is pure magic, lovely and curious, new and bright... and the next is pure tantrum-invoked terror. And I find myself hardly making each of the hurdles. 

I know that this time of our lives is so short, and soon I will miss it. I miss the newborn days, in some ways. I am also excited for the future when we can bond more closely through words and activities, shared thoughts and emotions. All of motherhood is quite wonderful to me; I wouldn't change a single thing about the life I chose. Yet, I still feel a little confused with my feelings about this stage, and I can't quite put my finger on why. That must be exhaustion speaking! As I sit here at 6 AM writing this blog post, all I can think of is those sweet chubby thighs running through the tall grass, weaving in and out of people, desperately trying to break free of his mother so that he might take another sweet glimpse at those tractors. My hair is now disheveled, my eyes heavy with sleepiness, a warm cup of coffee on my lap. I am so, so tired, and yet I am excited to wake up everyday, to see what this new day will bring for us. 

These photos make me so happy. They're not particularly beautiful to someone else, but as I was editing them on my phone last night, I noticed how different I appear to myself. Going through pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning, and now just normal motherhood to an eighteen-month-old. I am so different than I was over two years ago, and it shows. When I look at myself in the mirror, I am quick to judge my oilier skin, my frizzy and bushy hair, my soft and squishy belly that can no longer hold itself together. There are days where I want more than anything to just not have to worry about it, wonder if I could be working on myself a little bit harder than I already am, though I generally feel like that's not much. Should I eat less of what I really want? Should I exercise more? Should I take better care of my overall hygiene? I am back to the basics, as I have shared many times before. But then I remember that are so many other things that I love spending my time doing: caring for my baby, taking long walks, playing with puzzles, working on my art, writing for this blog. It's those things that keep me going all day everyday.
And then I see these photos. These perfectly candid photos that I wasn't planning on sharing are some of my favorites because I can see myself for what is truly radiating in those moments that I personally can't see. The moments that I am too busy living. Isn't that fascinating? And I know that this is how my son sees me, how he will continue to see me as he grows up, and just like that all of those silly judgmental thoughts no longer matter. 

I hope y'all are having a lovely start to this new season! We have so much work to do around here before October ends as we prepare for Country Living Fair. I feel like the blog has been lacking some emotion lately, so I hope that I can push out a few good ones before too long. I just love that y'all are here reading and living along with us. It means so much when someone leaves me a message or a comment saying that they love following along! Thank you.

xoxo Kayla