(Village of Pinehurst)
Adjusting to being a mom of 4 has been...interesting. I'm grateful for my oldest who is thankfully extremely self sufficient and for children who offer me grace on a daily basis and love me while I work to maintain even a shred of sanity during this crazy phase.
Harper has been such a joyful addition to our brood. I've been on edge for most of her short little life, just waiting for the other shoe to drop and for the non stop screaming and never sleeping to happen but every day she gets a little happier and a little more scheduled and I find that I can breathe a little easier and feel a little more certain that she is just a happy baby. She really only cries when she needs something and in the car. Her brothers ADORE her, especially Beckett, who would probably lay next to her all day long if I let him.
She still reeeeeeally hates the car, but I'm trying to learn how to just shrug my shoulders when the wailing starts. It used to make me crazy anxiety ridden, being stuck in a car with a screaming baby, and sometimes it still does. (18 months of car screaming with Declan has possibly scarred me for life.) But a lot of the time I just have to shrug it off because we can't stay housebound forever.
We've loved exploring downtown Southern Pines. Secretly I've always wanted to live in a little town with a walkable main street (it's Broad Street in SP) full of independent shops, bookstores and coffee shops. (Probably reminds me of my Burlington, Vermont days.) And the village of Pinehurst is just as charming - sort of a nod to old New England towns and little Charleston-esque alleyways.
(downtown Southern Pines)
(Givens Library in Pinehurst)
But I can't live in the 'before', which wasn't at all problem free anyway and was just as lonely and isolating in other ways - so I'm trying very hard to live in the now and find joy where I'm at.
We downsized significantly - losing almost 2000sq feet of living space. The littlest boys are sharing a room and everyone is underfoot constantly. I love it and hate it. It's so much easier to keep clean and it forces us to purge on a monthly basis and I'm finding my kids actually do so much better with the bare minimum. Lots more family time, both a result of having less space to be apart and having Todd healthy and here and present with us. We've been able to explore so much, take day trips and do some really fun family things that we haven't ever done before.
In the words of one of my most favorites, Glennon Doyle Melton, this stage is both brutal and beautiful. It is, as she says, brutiful.