Oh mah gosh, you guys…. I’m so excited to share this post with you today, as two of my most favorite people in the world are featured in it!
Genie has been a good friend of mine since diapers. We grew up in church together and have become close friends in our adult years. David is her fantastic and hilarious husband (whom my husband gets along with REALLY well), so it’s just a great situation all around. David and Genie have spent the last year living in London, working for the Awaken Movement (which you should go check out after the video). They are less than 30 days away from moving back to the states (Miami, Florida to be precise), and I asked them if they wanted to vlog for me! This video is hilarious and informative, as you get a little inside peak into London life and more specifically, the Uribe’s lives.
I was going to wait until the end of the week to share these with ya’ll, but since my body likes to go in and out of labor, I figured it’s better to get it out now before I push a baby out. After that, I’ll probably be out of commission for a little bit. So, in lieu of Middle School Megan today…
About a month ago, our good friends, The Macarages, drove down to Florida from Washington. Yes… they drove clear across the country for some vacation time with family and friends. We were dying to see them and their two little girls, Harper and Finley, and had a really great visit. Ashley has a photography business, Olive and Mae Photography, and wanted to give us a little family photo session. We’ve never done one before, as all of our “familly” pictures are either phone shots or ones we’ve tried to take ourselves. I was really looking forward to this photo session, as Ashley is great at what she does.
The shot above is probably my favorite out of all of them. I love that she captured the true nature of our little family, as we do laugh a whole lot together. I think Abe was talking about poop and it got us all going. We decided to take the pictures at Alligator Lake Park, where Daniel and I had our wedding ceremony. It’s a beautiful park, but the tricky part was that it closes early, and we needed that good golden hour light (which in the summer, is at like 7:30). It was also raining ALL DAY that day, but the sun came out just in time. We managed to get some really sweet shots. Daniel and I exchanged vows under that tree above in front of all of our friends and family. I can’t believe that’s already 5 1/2 years ago.
I think a year and a half ago, I would have DIED at the thought of putting pictures of my huge, pregnant belly up on the internet for all to see. I think that explains why our pregnancy picture we shared with everyone from Abe’s pregnancy was a goofy one- my insecurity was so strong and I needed it to be funny to distract from the large-ness of my physique. But I wanted to go for it this year. There’s nothing to be ashamed of- I’m growing a human being in there. I looked up pregnancy photos and found a lot of cute outfit options (and a lot of not-so-cute/gross options as well), but I went with this dress from H&M. Green is my favorite color, and the dress was simple and comfy. I got Abe that cute little jean button down shirt at H&M as well, and those moccasins his Mimi brought back to him from North Carolina last fall. They are almost too small, but he was a sport and wore them for me anyway.
It was so hot outside that day, even at 6:30 in the evening. We were all dripping with sweat by the time the owners came around to kick us out at 7. Abe was not the happiest camper, as he thought we were going to just snap some photos and then let him play on the playground- but we didn’t have enough time. I wish they would keep that park open a little later in the summer! Obviously the sun is still way up in the sky. Alas, it’s still one of my favorite places in Lake City.
You guys, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Abe, by far. Except for the recent going into labor a little early (which is what my body did last time as well), I’ve felt a lot less stressed out this time around. I know that comes with being familiar with the territory, and I’m so thankful for that. The first child is hard and scary because from pregnancy and on, you have nothing to reference and no idea what to do. Every decision feels like the fate of your child’s life is in your hands, down to the diapers you decide to use. I know there’s going to be plenty of new challenges I’m met with, as having two kids is completely different than having one (so I hear… I wouldn’t know). But I’m looking forward to meeting squishy Emery Levi and starting yet another new adventure.
I’m also really looking forward to normal pants and whiskey again.
I’ve always been an artist when it comes to the poetry and musical realm of art, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I love that I can write out the things that are going on in my head and then sing them to a tune. That ability has been very helpful to me since I was a child, as it’s been one of the ways I work through and process the things that happen to me and the things going on around me.
But sometimes, I don’t have any words. Sometimes, I am thinking and feeling things that I can’t write out, because I haven’t quite identified what those thoughts and feelings are yet. Do you know what I mean? It’s those times when you know you’ve got a lot in there but you don’t know what to say about it so you feel stuck; those times prove especially difficult for me, as I’m used to defaulting to words.
My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by friends who paint and draw, and I deeply admire their craft and what they make. However, I’ve always been quite intimidated by this realm of art for myself. I’m very much like Abe (or really, he’s very much like me) when it comes to giving up easily on skills that don’t come as naturally as others. There’ve been a handful of times when I’ve sat down to draw or paint something, and it actually came out half decent and I’d feel really good. But 99% of the time, I put way too much pressure on myself to be really good at something I have no technical skill or ability to do, and it ends up looking like crap…. as it should, because I don’t know what I’m doing.
Several months back, I caught a glimpse of some abstract water coloring either on Instagram or Pinterest, probably both. I happened to be really overwhelmed that day, so I decided to pull out my water color palette and paper and paint how I felt. Abe sat down with me and did his own thing, which was wild and free; I love when kids paint. But, I told myself as I started that this wasn’t for anyone or anything, really. It was just to try and get out what I was feeling through a different medium than I was used to, in hopes that I’d be able to come to terms with what I was feeling. The painting above is what happened. The feeling that I had when I was finished was almost euphoric; I felt calm, relieved and emptied. I wanted to keep going, but Abe’s attention for painting isn’t very long and he was over it. I showed Daniel when he got home from work, and was able to talk about why I was overwhelmed earlier that day.
Since then, I’ve been painting with water colors as an art therapy for myself. In conjunction with writing and prayer, it’s quite useful and satisfying.
This was a piece I did one late night, when Daniel was gone for an event. I felt really upset and dark, but I couldn’t identify why, so I painted this. While I was painting, I talked to myself about being scared of someone breaking into our house and Daniel getting hurt on the job. After I was done, I felt so relieved and was able to sleep.
There’s this image I get in my head when I think about the human experience as it relates to depravity and the light of the gospel. It’s really hard for me to describe, so I decided to paint it. The red shape is the soul, and it’s got death roots sprouting out of it, as I believe that’s where we all start out. But then the green light is birthed and sprouts out from the bottom and begins to overtake all of the death until eventually it’s blotted out and we are free.
These are two of my favorites, as they feel bright and comforting to me. The second one I call “The Dance.”
I wanted to paint pieces for Abe and Emery, and I started with Emery’s. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I started it, but it just kinda came out. We had a little scare at 24 weeks, when I thought I was in super pre-term labor with him. At that point, we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to name him. Right before we went to the hospital, my friend Rachel prayed for me and asked me for his name, so I just said Emery. When she was done, I looked up the meaning of the name, and of course was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw that Emery means “brave”.
Abram is a biblical name, and was Abraham’s first name before God changed it. God promised Abraham that his lineage would be as many as the stars. Although we didn’t name Abram his name because we want him to have a GIGANTIC family, our hope is that the love in his heart for God and others will grow as big as the universe.
So the above proves that I’m way better at abstract paintings than I am objects, haha. But that’s ok- I don’t have to expect myself to be good at something I’ve never done. This art medium has become something I really enjoy, and I want to get better, even if that means I have to work harder at it.