a golden pause

yesterday was our first golden day as a family of 4. to qualify as a golden day for me, several requirements must be met: being totally relaxed yet wildly productive throughout the daylight hours, spending time outside, eating one nutritionally perfect meal (grilled sesame shrimp and a huge dark green salad) and one dietary wasteland of a meal (popcorn fish balls, waffle fries and triple chocolate bundt cake). a nap must be taken, music played, and the sink emptied at some point during the day. and i must to go to bed before 10:30 pm. bonus points for minimal bra-wearing and maximum vacuuming. well people, yesterday we hit them all.

perfect toesies. lint and all. thank you miss nina for the deliciously precise (seriously, those edges are SQUARE) and super colorful quilt.

not everything has to go exactly as scripted to be included in a golden day. for instance, in a platinum world, the music playing outside as jesse attached our neighbor's old baby seat to his bike for the first time would have been something more like caedmon's call, hem or darius rucker (hootie done went country, y'all), and less like that same neighbor's socially awkward (lifts up shirt to show tubby stomach, "i'm actually getting some abs, look mr. jesse!) 14 year old son's CD entitled, Native Spirits which he forced us to listen to ("it's so relaxing!").

so as he and jesse and judah rolled out of the driveway layla and i were left on our quilt with the chilling soundtrack of a woodflute, rustling leaves and what can only be described as a rabid, screeching eagle in heat blaring from the speakers. it was seriously alarming. my pulse rose and rose as i kept scanning the skies for possessed avians come to snatch layla off to their cliffside lair (fat chance of lifting her, evil winged ones). i looked super cool jamming out to this in our front yard. it was so hilariously embarrassing.

my final review: Native Spirits; perfect for smoking a peace pipe full of peyote in a sweat lodge, not so great for small town, predator-free front yard hippie lounging.

dont' think jesse wasn't wearing a helmet. only justin the neighbor kid refused head gear. i told him i would be very upset if his head got run over by a car, to which he replied, "that's okay miss keight, i've been in a worse accident than that already." i can only assume his totem-spirit guide kept him safe

see? judah couldnt let daddy forget his head protection

luckily they returned after a quick test-drive so jesse could change shoes. i told justin i didn't love the CD and he immediately put in something else (evidently he brought his whole arsenal) that he said i was guaranteed to love: prince's when doves cry. not only is this the most utterly random choice to follow Sounds of the Plains Indians, but also the creepiest song ever. i heard it for the first time on my yellow sony sport walkman in 4th grade and was so confused and alarmed by the words that i still cannot hear it without getting weirded out. 2 for 2, justin! we should have had you deejay our wedding.

perfect 70 degrees. working on her tan. poor thing has my skin tone (re: purple-white). check out those crossed feet. laid-back style, baby.

imperfect musical accompaniment aside, this sunset was the perfect end to our golden day. i work from home on mondays until august when layla will have preschool at church all 5 days a week, and jesse's new job (yup. more on that later) right now has him working at home too. combine that with a presidents day holiday and all 4 of us were home all day, with parents taking turns with the kids and working on job stuff until dinner time. by bedtime my entire view of parenting had been rocked.

stay right here in my arms forever sweetness. with a hint of elvis lip, if you please.

i am in love with the kids' ages right now. judah at 21 months is a constant riot. we are having our first ever conversations with him and are finally starting to be able to entertain him in ways that don't actually destroy our braincells (peekaboo times a google). and layla is hitting the point of baby self-sufficiency where everything is interesting but she can't locomote into dangerous places. at 3 months she is so very laid back and he schedule is booty-rocking and highly predictable. i just want to freeze frame these days and weeks and soak them into every pore of my body. i know that in a blink we will be playing with their kids saying, "wow i can't even remember when judah and layla were this age," and it kills me! drink it in, drink it in, drink it in!

holding on for safety with a half-smile of trepidation

my intense soul-gripping enjoyment of my kids at these particular ages come as somewhat of a surprise to me. see, i have a confession. i didn't really want to be a mom to 2 kids under two as a 28 year old (aka now). of course i love them more than my life, and neither of them was a surprise, but i knew it would be even harder than i thought, and i never really wanted to give up my young newlywedhood for wiping mouths and bums all day. but even more than i didn't prefer that, i DID (and do) want [at least] two kids under 8 when i am 35, so i had to plan ahead. i thought of these little versions of my children as kidvestments into the future family of my dreams.

that. face. ruins. me. is the background actually blurry? i can't tell because i am actually dizzy with love.

so with this "make the best of it now so you can really enjoy yourself later," attitude, imagine my shock to find myself slamming on the brakes amidst choruses of crying and mounds of diapers. coming to the point of complete exhaustion that a working mother of a newborn inevitably reaches, and hearing myself tell jesse, "no, no, you stay. i'll go rock him back down." because he was calling MY name when a bad dream woke him. that tiny "ma-ma," is for me and me alone. judah never knew i wasn't planning on being 110% sold out for this time in his life when he came splashing into my arms, and he went ahead and loved me 110%. layla didn't sign up to be just a tiny bundle of added stress that i needed to work past until she could keep up with the rest of us, she just knows that i'm the only thing that has sustained her for a year and she needs me.

excuse me neck muscles, lay back down and be not so grown up. look at those long high-ponytail hairs growing!

until yesterday, most of my perfect-family visions involved me and jesse and three or four kids in the 5-10 year old range running around at the beach or building a tree fort. well past the days of incoherent tantrums and utter absence of self-sufficiency. even with these two in my sight and arms right now, i saw my greatest days as still ahead of me. "if i can just get her to where she can sit up, think of all the fun we 4 can have, " and "if we can just get to the point where he will tell us a poop is coming rather than when one has landed, think of how much more fun outings could be."

but lately i feel like jesus has been tapping me on the shoulder (aka sucker-punching me in the mouth) saying, "look what you have right now! don't you see where you are at this very moment?" because beyond the truth of, "all we have is today" and "none of our tomorrows are promised to us" i need to throw my full heart into today. yes, any or all of my little family could go to see jesus tomorrow, and that would be wrecking in many ways, but i am almost more alarmed by the future where we are all alive at the end and i realized i missed it. all the good, rich, life-affirming stuff slipped away in the sum total of a million little "if-i-could-just-make-it-until's." i knew it would be that way with pregnancy and, true to form, i already close my eyes when she's wiggling around during a meal and pretend like the kicks are coming from the inside and not the outside.

those eyes. whew. i am done for.

the best gift i can give future-keight is to stop thinking about her and her fictional family altogether (but yall, she is smoking hot, and emotionally healthy and also 3 inches taller, just FYI before we forget about her completely), and be the biggest, (check) baddest (as in goodest) present-keight that i can muster rightthissecond. i know those 5-10 year olds on the beach will have a a lot more fun with a mom who enjoyed years 0-4 and threw her whole heart into them than they would if that mom tried to just show up all of a sudden with no previous experience.

get [back] in my belly! there's still room, promise!

thank you jesus for our golden day. thank you for my family and even more for you. my new mantra is: all of my todays are golden. help me remember.

what makes a day golden for you? besides bralessness, of course. obviously that's on everyone's list.


  1. Looks like yall had so much fun!!

  2. This post was beautiful and perfect. Love seeing your little family thrive.

  3. Beautiful post!! and how the heck did you get the pics so big??? email and tell me!

  4. beautiful photos. beautiful story. and a golden day for me includes being outside in the backyard. both my girls only wearing underwear/a diaper. and eating ice cream.

  5. Thanks for this post Keight. It simultaneously encouraged me (I'm not the only one who's tempted to just survive until they're older) and challenged me (but seriously, look around and enjoy THIS moment) , and spurred an amazing hour-long parenting talk on our road trip yesterday.

  6. Keight! This was a great post for me to read this morning! College is a weird place emotionally where I just want to be done with it and move on with my life, get married, have kids, etc. I just want all my plans to be carried out whether or not they are God's plans or not, and this post was really good to remind me that I can't do that!! I've just gotta live for today and you reminded me of that! Thanks so much for your AWESOME blogging!! :)

  7. Keight! This was such a great post to read this morning! College is such a weird time for me emotionally because I just want to get it over with and get married, have kids, etc. But your blog helped me realize that I can't spend all my days thinking about the future when I should be thinking about living in the present. I think it's so cool that your blog can have such a good message for all ages! I will definitely be thinking about it forever!! Thanks for sharing your life on your totally AWESOME blog!! :)

  8. Oh, Keight...I wish you could see my smiles, hear my laughter, and watch my tears as I read this amazing post. I can't tell you what a treat it is to witness you unwrapping the priceless gift that is parenting. I'm thrilled about living in the moment, and it is such a golden key to a wonderful life. Fill them up, dear 'daughter.' We're so thankful to share some of those precious moments with you. I so loved 'being there' for my little boys and girls, and treasure the ones I can be there for with yours.
    ps. This post is one more brick in the building that will be your book one day...remember me when you come into your kingdom!

  9. Loved this post.

    Also, loved the pic of Judah holding Jesse's helmet. Swoon.

  10. your picture taking abilities are gettin' good, yo. loved this post.