Leaves are swirling in the autumn wind and falling onto the lawn, making a tapestry of beautiful colors. They are soft and damp, and the husky smell of them blows in through the open windows. Birds are calling to one another, signaling their end-of-summer plans to find sheltered places to build their winter nests.
Mama Cardinal keeps her eyes sharp against squirrels and bees.
The house is quiet today: Squash is at work with My Darling, and Reepicheep and Frog are both on an adventure with my sister-in-law. (While normally the Frog would be in school, when an Auntie purchases tickets in April for a big Broadway show staged in September...well, the Mama might just excuse a Frog from the afternoon school hours....) Pickle and Cuppie are puttering from outside on the swings, to inside, to the basement to play blocks.
I am content.
I began, about two weeks ago, to feel the small, quiet flutterings of a certain Someone. Though my sweet babe measures only about eight inches from head to toe, I am daily aware of the goings on within. Last night, for the first time, My Darling felt the soft thump of--what, a knee? an elbow? a little hand or foot?--and murmured something sweet.
This afternoon, I find myself daydreaming about frozen, deeply snowy winter afternoons, with a small, warm babe snuggled on my chest, breathing quietly, moving slightly, eyelids fluttering, sighing in satisfaction and thanks for the warm belly full of Mama's milk.
Perhaps it's that I slept better last night and then into the morning. I feel better today than I have in a long time. The Nausea Bug and Major Pukey, thanks be to God, have packed their meager belongings and ordered the retreat of their Miserable Minions. Late this morning, I started a shoulder roast in the crock pot, with onion soup mix, carrots and potatoes hedged around the sides. The smell is so tantalizing that I am eager for suppertime to roll around.
Perhaps it's that I am currently comfortably set up in the sunroom. That would be the main common living space which was included in the addition--the addition that began Four Long Years Ago, when we first broke ground. It's completely drywalled, wired and painted. The only things remaining are trim and flooring--but we do have a temporary carpet over the plywood subfloor. We moved the living room furniture out here about a month ago, and it's just as beautiful and spacious as I dreamed it would be when we were planning our scheme years ago. (The bedroom still isn't done.........but progress is being made here and there, and I know that it will be done eventually.............................)
Perhaps it's that I have been leaning back into the comforting arms of Our Lord more lately, allowing Him to fill my heart with His peace. I definitely have my days--we all have our days (as my last entry will attest)--but they are becoming less frequent. The bad days are intensely bad, but they are fewer. My Lord is pulling me ever closer to His Sacred Heart.
Whatever the reason, whatever the circumstance, I am infinitely grateful to be where I am in this moment--enjoying carrying this small child, this beautiful soul beneath my heart. I am learning to be without my Frog each day, and though I miss her terribly, I am able to see the fruits of her attending The Wonderful School. I am loving the time that I've been able to spend with each of my other children, watching them learn and grow. Reepicheep has been busily knitting things--booties, hats, small squares--for the baby. Pickle has been reading nearly non-stop about all things space and engineering. Squash has learned to write his name (!!) and is learning to read here and there. And Cuppie is talking so much that we can almost always understand what she wants and needs.
God is so very, very good.