Slow living, lately

Eva-Maria Smith, author of House of Smilla writes about motherhood, slow living, minimalism, simplifying, and coffee. 
Eva-Maria Smith, author of House of Smilla writes about motherhood, slow living, minimalism, simplifying, and coffee. 
Eva-Maria Smith, author of House of Smilla writes about motherhood, slow living, minimalism, simplifying, and coffee. 

It's been a while since I wrote on my blog and I feel a little bit bad about it, but mostly, I feel this break was exactly what I needed. To be honest, these past few weeks I have felt a bit out of balance. I'm in this weird phase of transition and just constantly feel a bit of inner nervousness. Leaving our previous home and starting up this new chapter in our life hit me harder than I thought. It also hit my husband harder. Sadly, it hit our daughter the hardest. Which led her into a toddler hitting phase. I diagnosed us with what I would call a soul fever and prescribed us a big fat dose of rest. A slow down pill if you will. 

You may have noticed, that I was rather absent from social media this summer. Right now, it seems best, to just put my phone down and spend a whole lot of quality time with my baby and my toddler. Mothering is an all-day, all-consuming thing and in the five minutes in between, I just can't master the energy and creativity it takes to maintain a steady blogging or Instagram routine. Also, I noticed that I got annoyed with loosing followers. Something had to change. Social media should always be a joyous creativity outlet and never a source of any sort of negative energy for me. I felt ashamed of my own superficial feelings. Therefore, I just stopped opening apps for a bit. Instead, I stared at my baby. I simply held my nose into the sun at the playground, instead of checking my phone. Some days, in order to regain some sort of resiliency, I did a whole lot of nothing. Quiet mornings at my mother's house. Siestas to beat the afternoon heat. Mellow evenings. 

It felt like a good start, but at the same time, I felt tired, dissatisfied, and actually bad about not achieving anything creatively. Luckily, I reached out to my friend and fellow photographer Siobhan and she set my head straight, by sharing a lot of encouragement and a little bit of insight on how she recently managed to become happier. She raved about gratitude journaling. Sure, not a new concept - but a new one for me. Every night, I write down three things I'm grateful for. This leaves me feeling entirely pleased with my day right before sleep. Feels nice. Now that I'm going through a lot of change and uncertainty its a good practice to start appreciating the small things. It makes me feel calmer and more centered. I'll keep you posted if gratitude journaling changes my life big time. 

Other stuff for wellbeing I've incorporated into my days lately:

I freed my calendar. Even though, I would have loved to meet some people for dinners or coffees,  I simply didn't have it in me to pack more into my days. Saying no, was bittersweet, but much needed.

Even though I typically don't drink more than two cups of coffee a day, I made sure I wouldn't drink any after 3.30ish pm. Turns out I'm still restlessly tossing and turning at 3.30ish am if I do.

Finally, I took the time to download stitcher (its a podcast radio sort of app) and better yet, I took the time to start listening. There's so much knowledge to be gained and my mind pulses with joy every time I feed my mind something out of the ordinary. 

On car rides, during bath times, and most evenings I started listening to audio books again. Motherhood totally killed my concentration to read at night, but listening to a book, even just for ten minutes, is nourishment for the soul. Ever the lover of Nordic Noir, I'm currently listening to "The ice princess" by Camilla Laeckberg. I'm also wrapping up "The Nordic theory of everything: In search of a better life", as well as "No-drama discipline: The whole brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child's developing mind". 

Next week, me and the kids and Lars (our Dachshund) are flying to Texas. Luckily, my mother is tagging  along for much needed support. There will be so many new places to explore, neighbors to meet, boxes to unpack and things to clean. I'm yearning for fall, when the dust settles and we are finding ourselves in our new life in our old routine. Until then, forgive me, when I'm only sporadically appearing on your feed, or take several days to answer your message. 

How have you been lately? I'm happy to re-connect. Any good tips on how to soothe the soul in more hectic times? 

Shop small: oh, this wonderful gratitude journal you see in the photos was gifted to me by "The gratitude attitude". Even though regular paper would be just fine, I adore the modern simplicity of this journal. 

The quiet hour

Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 

The quiet hour is the time each day, that I spend loving on my son. It's the precious time that I have alone with him, while his older sister naps peacefully. 

When I first had Smilla the "quiet hour" sometimes was a whole day. A lazy day spent with baby snuggles. I was able to focus on her all day, every day. Winter has to share my attention with his big sister. He is tiny and quiet. She is wild and loud.

My baby deserves our peaceful time together and just as importantly, I deserve to be still with him. Just belonging to the moment and each other. 

I lay down with him and feel the softness of the linen beneath us. A soft breeze coming in from the window. We doze off together, or just lay there gazing at each other. The coziness of a light blanket surrounding us, the minutes spent somewhere between sleep and awareness. I feed him and he drifts off into a milk coma. I let the love I feel for him wash over me and forget about the stress of moving and timelines and to do's. Just well deserved, pure togetherness. 

 

 

 

Wherever life plants you

Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
Eva-Maria Smith writes an honest blog on motherhood, slow living and "hygge" lifestyle. She is the lifestyle photographer and writer behind "House of Smilla". 
blooms

Generally, I don't talk much about my husband's military career. For obvious security reasons, but also, because although it is a big part of my life, it is not necessarily what I identify with as an individual. However, every few years our way of life sends us in a new direction. A new assignment typically means a new zip code, a new country and perhaps, a new continent even.

In four weeks time, our home will be completely packed up in boxes, put into crates and shipped across the Atlantic. My husband will start a new chapter in his career and the kids and I will spend the summer with my family in the south of Germany, before re-uniting in our new home for the next year: Del Rio, TX. 

This is hard. Really, hard on me. 

Texas (and please don't take this personal) is not my first choice. Mostly, because I'm very fair and Texas is very hot. I kid you not when I quote my dermatologist "Texas? I'm sorry, but Iceland wold be a better choice for you". 

In the end, the problem is not where we are headed - it's the simple fact that we are leaving.

The only "home" my daughter knows. The "home", I birthed two babies in. The "home" we became a family in.

Three years ago we left the Seattle area (a place we loved) for Germany with euphoria and a tiny baby growing inside of me. I felt giddy at the prospect of spending a few years "back home". Looking back, the time spent here was full of happiness, and sometimes, full of sadness, but it was always very full. We had Smilla, traveled to countless countries, enjoyed every second with my childhood companions, and miraculously conceived another baby. We made wonderful memories with my father, and then, were by his side, holding his hand in the hours he left this world. 

Sure, I married a traveling man and I knew what I was in for. My twenty-five year old adventurous self marveled in the prospect of experiencing different parts of the world. However, while I still feel the want to travel somewhere deep inside me, becoming a mother has made me a person with the desire to nest. I feel deeply rooted here.

There are obvious adjustments that come with moving. I have to find a new home, new friends, new ways around new towns. Then, I have to find my new self in a way. You see, every time  I leave a place, I leave some part of myself behind and I take some of that place with me instead. It is engrained in my heart, my ways, my attitude. My growing self needs tending to, re-discovering and nourishing.

It is what it is. Come September, I will be living in "the middle of nowhere" Texas, right by the Mexican border. 

I know we will be fine. Everything always turns out fine. 

In the meantime, I try to look at the bright side (hello, Enchiladas!). I try to mend my breaking heart and say my goodbyes with gratitude. 

And then there is always that old French Proverb that helps

Wherever life plants you
bloom with grace