Andrew took this after Alfie woke up from his nap this weekend. Whenever I’m holding this little guy, no matter the time of day, no matter if he’s fully awake or if he is ready to drift off to sleep, Alfie gets so much comfort in laying head on my chest like this, right on the space above my heart. I like to think of it as his way of saying, “Love ya, ma.” Sometimes he will do this for a few minutes straight, which those of you with little ones know this translates into something much more drawn-out when it’s happening…something to the tune of a good slow drip. I don’t remember the other kids doing this little cozy cuddle with me, and each time he does it I cannot help but feel completely rooted as a mother. It makes me feel so at peace in my day, thinking this is where I am supposed to be right here, right now. I am also going to dress us in matching whatever the heck I want until he throws a fit about it, in which case I’ll probably keep doing it. 😉
As much as I love to cook and come up with yummy meals for our family in the kitchen, I also really love nights when supper consists of dousing everything in olive oil and Old Bay and throwing it on the grill. You really can’t go wrong with this combination. I also recommend buying tandoori paste and rubbing it on your meat(s) before grilling. It’s not pictured here, but you can find some at Whole Foods. It made for the best Indian spiced drum sticks! They got a good char on them and went well with the grilled sweet corn and shishito peppers we made that evening.
Lilac season came and went pretty fast in Kansas City but I managed to find some deep purple beauties in bloom at Trader Joes this past Friday which made me very happy. Alas, they are all looking sad and rather droopy today, but we enjoyed them this weekend and I think they were worth the little splurge while they lasted!
Watching Theodore eat sweet corn is my favorite thing to do when we grill out. He takes his job of corn-eating so seriously and does a pretty good job getting all the kernels off the cob himself, after which he chucks said cob in the grass.
Nights that consist of scrabble and pale ale are good nights. The other evening Andrew and I played a game that took us well into the evening and it was such a good time. We have gotten into the routine of playing board games on the weekends in lieu of watching movies because we get to talk more and it’s just really fun! Sometimes we’ll do both if there’s a good movie or doc we’ve been wanting to see, in which case I get distracted and always lose.
She’s going to be five years old in a few days. Where. Did. The. Time. Go?
I threw some cosmos in the ground the other day to brighten up our garden. Our wild flowers are a few months off and the other flowers I have planted here and there are not yet in bloom, so these pretties should hold me over until then. I love the delicate nature of cosmos and how they sort of dance around. Aren’t they lovely?
Alfie is at the age where everything is a toy and worth trying to knock over, put in his mouth, or somehow dismantle. Nothing is safe, including plant stands, plants, anything/everything in our lower cupboards (which are in need of securing yesterday), crumbs, and piles of folded laundry I didn’t have time to put away. This age is the reason I have no need to go to the gym, yet the very same reason I should to get my bum to the gym or anyplace that doesn’t involve chasing around tiny humans who are trying to put the world in their mouths. Mamas need a break too, ya know?
First baby: Give us all the things all the blogs tell us to register for, please and thank you. Yes, that means a bottle warmer. Second baby: Some organic rompers, wood hair brushes and eco-friendly teethers would be rather nice! Third baby: DIAPERS. WIPES. CHEERIOS. REPEAT.
Stella has been pretty obsessed with learning her upper case letters lately. This isn’t something we overtly teach her or even push her into learning, but the other day she wanted me to write all of them out so she could practice writing them over and over again. I think they invented the old “apple not falling far from the tree” saying based on mother/daughter relationships like ours. We could’t be more alike if we tried.
Last year we filled one of our garden beds with various herbs and they just took over! This year, I am doing most of our herbs in pots like this one to give us more space to grow vegetables and other greens. I’ve been snipping from this pot just about everyday for the past week and it really does make a difference in our meals.
I painted this verse on a piece of watercolor paper a few days ago and propped it up on our dresser. I love reading it each morning. “…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11 It fits in so beautifully with everything I am working towards right now.
Theodore’s favorite thing in the whole wide world these days is gathering up all the pillows in our home and throwing them in Alfie’s crib. He calls them “bobos” and about three times a day I’ll corral them up and put them back on the beds they belong to and back on the couch and chairs and so on, only to be stolen by Theo shortly thereafter for another pillow party somewhere in the house. Luckily for him, I love pillows so he’s got a lot to work with. Not so lucky for Alfie, his bed remains the center of this sort of fun most afternoons.
We went on a bike ride to Heirloom Bakery on Mother’s Day for brunch and all got apple juices to drink with our pastries. Andrew took his glass bottle home and washed off the label so I could use it as a vase. I mean, if that’s not love then I don’t know what is. My man just gets me.
They are looking through Stella’s baby book together, naming all the people they know. Theo pointed out great grandma to us all which made us smile real big. He knows his great grandma! That’s pretty special. Sometimes these two fight like cats and dogs. Hair gets pulled. People get pushed. You know, the ushe between siblings. Then there are times they they come together like magnets and play together astonishingly well, and when this happens, you just have to sneak up behind them and snag a picture because good grief! This is as good as it gets.
Here’s me in motherhood, here’s me right now. Happy for my decision to slow it way the heck down in all areas of my life…feeling really good about this place I’ve found myself in. And thank you for all who left kind comments on my last post. I am looking forward to writing to you all this week! xx
Christina - Cute photos! I really like the light in the one of your baby girl in the hammock. What kind if camera do you use?
Taylor - These photos are so joyful! I’ve saved the verse to meditate on as I prepare for the birth of our first child. Thank you for sharing! I hope you continue to find peace through your decision to slow down.
Carissa Grace - I’ve loved that verse from 1 Thessalonians for so long and had it up in my kitchen for the longest time. I may just reinstate it : )
Lovely photos and words!
Katie - The best part about slowing down and choosing your blog as you main focus is one…it’s all yours, nobody like IG owns it and can tell you what to do with it, who will see it or what is considered okay to post…And two you can post as many photos as you want and not say sorry for over gramming…I love photography and when I get a good photo or 10 good photos I want to post them all and not feel guilty about it. On a blog you can do that. You can also share so my much More verbally…Really makes me think. Feeling kind of burned out with the pressures of IG and returning to my blog (which is abandoned every 6 months for 6 months 😁😂) seems like so freeing. Anyway just popping in to learn something new (which I always so and love) and be inspired. Thanks!!
Katie - I love that verse. We have this print up in our kitchen–http://www.gracelaced.com/store/live-a-quiet-life. It’s such a great reminder. You have inspired me to slow down and take a break from social media also! It’s been very refreshing. And it helps me spend more uninterrupted time with my very busy 6 month old son. Thank you for sharing, Amanda!
Ashley Woodbeck - Beautiful photos! Do you take them via iPhone or a digital camera? xx
Jessie - Your post this morning paired so well with my cup of coffee 😉 Loved this peek into all of your spring joys, friend. That first photo of you Alfie…! That has been Simon’s spot to nestle in too…right into mama’s heart. Ben was a bit like that, but not as much as Simon. Every time he rests his head there, I melt and my world just slows way down, something we mama’s need in the hustle and bustle of our crazy days. How could you rush that moment away? Impossible. Our boys…they have our hearts.
Your cosmos are to you what my little Dahlberg daisies are to me, brightening my days lately 🙂 I even moved a little pot of them inside and put them right up on the windowsill above the sink…as you and I both know that us mamas spend a lot of time in that spot. Might as well make the view a pretty one 😉
Stell is just so sweet with her letters. Ben can’t get enough of that lately. Maybe it’s a 5 year old thing 😉 Fred and I start the crossword early in the morning and sort of pass it back throughout the afternoon/evening and Ben has started filling in everything we leave undone…spelling words he sees written throughout the newspaper. Hungry little minds. Love that! Hope she’s enjoying counting down to her big day! Julia has “strawbaby” cake and balloons at the forefront of her little mind these days…3 next week! I just finished her birthday photo book at midnight last night…zzzz… 😉 I make one for the kid’s each year (“Benjamin’s First Year”, “Julia’s Second Year”, etc). Out of all of our books, I’d for sure say that those photo books get the most attention. The kids love “re-living” those memories.
Lastly, that verse. Like a hug 🙂 Something so rewarding and calming about living a quiet life, minding our own business in a way. Slower, richer days. This quote, though far from fancy by any means, has been a great reminder for me lately: “It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what YOU are doing.” Boom.
Thanks for the chat, pretty mama. Have the loveliest day! <3
Brandi - What a wonderful way to document memories of your family. I can just imagine looking back through this blog some day far down the road will be amazingly gratifying and will pull at the heart strings. What a wonderful thing for you and your children to have. I have a ton of photos of my little ones; however, I do not have a blog to document it all. A big regret I have is not taking video of it all. This was before iPhones making it so easy and now that he’s 19 it’s just not as welcomed as it may have been when I had more control over his days 🙂 Anyway… what a beautiful post. Again. Thanks for sharing your days, they exude a type of calm and nostalgia.
Emilee - Hi Amanda. My name is Emilee and I’m a single mother to an 8 year old boy and we live in St. Petersburg, Florida. I wanted to let you know how much inspiration and joy I draw from your blog. Mothering is simultaneously the most rewarding/joyous and difficult job I’ve ever been tasked with which is why I absolutely love the transparency you offer in your writing. I have to admit, there have been a handful of times I’ve been in the middle of one of my self-loathing fits because I wasn’t living up to the impossible standard society can sometimes impose on us and just at that moment you would post a little reminder to cut myself some slack. A reminder to slow down, breath, diffuse some oils and relax because tomorrow is a new day. Your posts remind me that all mothers are faced each day with similar challenges and that I’m not alone or shall I even say….failing. So thank you for the words of encouragement, for feeding my inner neat freak with glorious ideas for organizing my son’s toys, for lovely cleaning recipes and beautiful imagery of your family and home.
I pray your day is joyful and that you and your family would continue to be blessed.
Tiffany - So so lovely, Amanda! Thank you for continuing to let us peek into this simple, slow life of yours. After reading I always feel refreshed and encouraged just as I need to be. It is obvious in this space here that stepping back is feeding your soul. You are radiating peace and beauty through and through. Blessings to you dear one.
Lisa - As a mother of three little ones myself, it’s nice to follow your blog and feel a calming sense of peace amidst the chaos of everyday life. So thank you. Thank you for being genuine in your posts and showing sweet simplicity in an otherwise rushed lifestyle most of us have grown accustomed to. Stay true to yourself and enjoy these fleeting moments with those whom God has graced you with. You have inspired so many others to also take this leap of faith in taking a break from the fast pace of social media and just being in the now…in being present. xo
claire - I have so enjoyed these past few posts. They have made me reflect on my own life, what is important right now, where I should be putting my energy. So many thanks!
Eden Day - Your words and pictures inspire simplicity and intentional living and I am so thankful to have stumbled onto your blog! Your joy for motherhood during the rough and joyful times is so refreshing! As I was painting our home this morning, that verse came to my mind and to read it here was affirming that God is trying to remind me of His goodness in the slow, simple, intentional life. Thank you, Mama Watters!
veronika goisova - Wonderful times you have with your loves Amanda,beautiful images to document it,enjoy your slow down time 🙂
María - Your posts are always so inspirational… thank you Amanda 🙂
Blair - Loved this update!
Katelin - So blessed by your wisdom to slow down and disconnect. That verse is a gem that I will have to place somewhere as a reminder as well. Thank you for being such a lovely light!! <3
Pam - Cherish your sweet words, Amanda! I look forward to your posts like I look forward to a warm cup of tea during my girls’ rest time. Slow and life-giving!
Nicolette Gawthrop - Beautiful photos. I used to take the time to make blog posts and it always felt so cathartic and wonderful- im re-inspired by your space. ALSO! I love to do little water color things and maybe you have these, but I I found these neat Japanese paintbrush tipped pens that make doing lettering so much fun and beautiful and easy. X
Renee - Beautiful, Amanda! So good to “catch up” with you. 🙂 Enjoy your beautiful family in such a wonderful season of life!
Kirsten - This is a beautiful post, and your picture is especially beautiful. It looks calm, joyful, serene, and youthful. But, it isn’t surprising, since you are all of those things! This is a sincere question, I am sincerely wondering how you slowed things down., I also have three children; however, in very different seasons of life, I am not big on social media, however I had looked from time to time, but I don’t curate my own sites. I do some errands online, hoping it simplifies life rather than complicates it. I have three boys 12 y, 10 y, and 11 months old. I don’t remember my older boys sleeping this little and being this busy. I do love and appreciate the curiosity and I like being on the go, but I do want to simplify his life, and I am wondering how to make things more calm, despite it not being all within my control…for example, homeschooling one child, getting another to and from school, a dog, etc, so I’m wondering, apart from social media, how do you slow time, but still show up. And, also, it appears Andrew really helped support your goals both in your relationship and also as a mother, is he naturally someone who lives life that way? I ask because I hesitate to guilt another parent into it if their life doesn’t seem to be calling for that yet. I just find life, ironically, more lonely, and more frenetic with this new pace….thanks!
Samantha Harper - Love seeing you so happy! Love your little family!
Allie Royall - Love seeing Stella in her floral dress :).
Star White - Your perspective is always so refreshing, Amanda. Thank you for sharing! I’m reading Simplicity Parenting right now and just really resonating with these ideas of slowing down, simplifying, finding rhythm, and making space for relationships. You set a great example for those of us a few steps behind in motherhood. Blessings! Star
julia - beautiful post. loved catching up on here with you, and the photo of theo eating corn! precious. and i absolutely love that verse you painted out, i have it hanging in our home as well 🙂
also, we did herbs only in pots this year too. so much easier to control the amount you need want and since our yard is pretty small i like saving ground space for the bigger items! 😉
Justine - I love reading your inspiring posts all the way from Scotland – although I’m afraid I can’t sympathise with the Mid West summer heat. We get about 1 week of 19 degrees (if we’re lucky!) Also, your home is beautiful!
admin - Justine, thank you dearest and sending you warm and humid Midwest vibes from across the pond! x Amanda