Baby M Comes Home by Amanda Powell

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Bringing home a new baby.

It's a true definition of adventure. Parenting isn't an easy job. It's never-ending, expansive and full as more little folks are added. New babies create a time of exciting adjustment, sprinkled with sleep, playtime, messes, hugs, diapers, half consumed cups of coffee that have been microwaved 27 times.

Babies alter the lives of those involved forever. A mom and dad have kids now, not just the one. A little girl becomes a big sister. The family has expanded into something very different and just as wonderful.

As hard as it can be to take on more in parenting, these new little people are a rich ingredient to a fruitful life. They're something to be cherished and cultivated. As a parent, you have the most important external role of shaping this person...your person. Watch how life, how these little lives, have such a big impact on your world. 

Parenting is a hard job, but such a worth while one. And I do love documenting it :-)


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Larrabee Sunset by Amanda Powell

Over the last few days a yellow haze has settled over Bellingham. Current weather conditions have channeled smoke from Canadian forest fires all along the i-5 corridor, instead of up over the Cascades to the east. The look of this place is changed.. So much so in fact, that hardly any of the surrounding hills and mountains are visible. 

Back before the BC wildfire smoke set in, before hazy streams overtook the blue, clear skies of a Bellingham Summer, I headed to Larrabee to catch a sunset. 

It was quiet and calm, despite the number of people who also came to watch. The water even followed suit, with gentle subdued waves, despite a quickly rising tide. Rebellious gulls however, had quite a bit to say, and descended into a huge feeding frenzy over the water as the sun tucked under the horizon. Even so, it was a nice evening. It gave my ever-churning introverted mind a bit of rest. 

Looking forward to clear, clean skies again. And, sincerely wishing those affected by the fires in Canada a swift return to some sort of normalcy.

A Changing State of Evergreen by Amanda Powell

Sometimes a park description won't cut it for a post. This is one of those times. So, if you enjoy amateur (emphasis here) poetry, whoomp there it is. 

Light and sound

the mist it shrouds

the heart that beats

while evergreen.

The constant sprawl,

will rise then fall,

this never changing 

feels obscene.

You sit in boxes

day and night,

feeling lesser 

for some plight.

You think it ill

remember still

natures rhythm

there unseen.

 

The answers come

and feel untrue,

with nothing left

be cold and blue,

a turning point

you are still you,

and nature has her evergreen.

12 by Amanda Powell

 

As of yesterday,my family and I have been in Bellingham WA for a year. A year! A whole year!

We've realized a dream and now, here we are, a year later. (did I mention this? I don't think I did) The last 12 months have brought many things into focus for us. We have a reasonably clear picture of what we want and where we're headed. The how is still a little blurry. So, we're trying things. Jumping into new working arrangements, getting our food in different ways, tweaking a knob here, turning a dial there. Basically, committing to new processes for a time to see if they get us closer to the life we'd like. I'm enjoying this experiment, honestly. It's a low pressure way to adopt something new, adjust as needed, try something else, and practice taking the uncontrollable in stride. I'm liking the variety of it all. I'm thankful for the opportunity to live life this way.

Moving was a good decision. We've had many challenges along the way, some stemming from the decisions we've made. Others have simply come because life is indeed, a box of chocolates. If this last year has taught me anything, it's that you *must* take the good with the bad, the mundane with the amazing. Neither can exist without the other as a measuring tool. This life, our life, is one I'm happy to be a part of, with its own unique set of challenges, but also its unique set of rewards. 

SO, without further adieu, a visual year in review, if you will (and you will, you have no say here. Also, I love you and thanks for reading, really).

**End note** One image a month doesn't seem quite fair. We've had many visits from family, made friends, taken side trips.. All of our life isn't reflected here. Many times I've purposely chosen to put down the camera. I also don't want to exclude anyone... OR I've already shared the images in another post... OR I don't want this post to go on for days.  


July- the most whirlwind month of our lives and many "firsts"

July- the most whirlwind month of our lives and many "firsts"


August- several visitors and bunches of exploring, all on virtually NO sleep (three words- six month old).

August- several visitors and bunches of exploring, all on virtually NO sleep (three words- six month old).


September-a chill month, both literally and metaphorically.

September-a chill month, both literally and metaphorically.


October- the gateway into what felt like constant sickness, but fall is so beautiful in the PNW

October- the gateway into what felt like constant sickness, but fall is so beautiful in the PNW


November- back to AL for a visit!

November- back to AL for a visit!


December- a white Christmas, lots of packages, a birthday, many colds, but we enjoyed  the season!

December- a white Christmas, lots of packages, a birthday, many colds, but we enjoyed  the season!

January- can't remember too much from this month, because we were sick constantly. Welcome to new germs.

January- can't remember too much from this month, because we were sick constantly. Welcome to new germs.

February- we celebrate a year with this one, who, as it turns out, is a cake-enthusiast.

February- we celebrate a year with this one, who, as it turns out, is a cake-enthusiast.

March- the sun shines again!

March- the sun shines again!

April- more visitors, fun places, and great spectating (not us with that hang-glider, just FYI)

April- more visitors, fun places, and great spectating (not us with that hang-glider, just FYI)

May- Bryan has a big birthday and we drive through Cascade National Park. Next time, there'll be more hiking.

May- Bryan has a big birthday and we drive through Cascade National Park. Next time, there'll be more hiking.

June- Parks, friends, art-projects, and some preschool home-schooling going on!

June- Parks, friends, art-projects, and some preschool home-schooling going on!

July- Happy 4th, and woah, wait a minute, where did the year go?!

July- Happy 4th, and woah, wait a minute, where did the year go?!

Skagit Valley Spring by Amanda Powell

Some friends of ours invited us on the Skagit Valley Tulip Route back in April. We were a little early to the tulip party since this past winter was colder than normal. Still, it was a fun trip. I didn't get too many photos, obviously. Between keeping an eye on kids in the crowds,making sure the one strapped to me was happy, and conversing with our travel buddies, there wasn't much time to shoot. That's totally fine. It was great to explore a new area with some great friends we've made.

... by Amanda Powell

It's windy, or sunny, or overcast, or all of the above. This place has many emotions. Lots of things it may or may not choose to reveal through light, texture, and color. Last Sunday, for example, was a beautiful variable. A misty, wet morning, which gave way to a cerulean sky and mild temperatures. The northwest can't decide some days. This is a place that changes, shifts, and grows as much as we aspire to. It's mysterious, and uncertain, but at ease..