I've always been a preserver of memories, and usually in the form of pictures.
I can remember sitting for hours and looking at our family photo albums over and over...recalling vacations, first days of school, holiday celebrations.
And then there were the high school years of scrapbooking where I would spend entire afternoons sitting at the dining room table cutting, pasting and deciding exactly where I should adorn that Mary Engelbreit or Suzy Zoo image to each picture and page.
The days of paper and tape squares eventually faded, and this little blog emerged. And I keep it up because it's still my little corner of space where I document, remember and smile. And so-help-me-to all-that-is-scrapbooking-holy, I WILL print these pages some day so we have a tangible outlet.
But if I'm being totally honest, lately looking back at pictures of the girls when they were little is almost painful. Those round little faces and whispy hair. The images of those first weeks where I can still almost smell their sweet heads. Toddling crawlers and walkers. I have come to realize, those baby days are no longer.
The other night I was looking at our picture wall, and started crying to Nick that "they are just getting so big!" Followed by, "Maybe we need another baby."
Followed very closely by- hold it. Stop it. Snap out of it woman. That most certainly is not the answer.
Because as much as I ache for those baby moments some days, this new phase of motherhood is just as rewarding and soul filling. And in many ways, even more so. Watching them grow into the little people they were meant to be...to see their personalities and character traits emerge even more...to watch them learn and problem solve and figure things out...and to be with them through it all, these things are the truest joys of my life.
And so I realize it isn't so much a longing to return to those early days, but more so just a wish that I could pause time for awhile. Three (almost four) and six are such awesome ages, and I know that one day I will be looking back on these ages feeling the same way I feel today about the baby stage.
Which is why these pictures we had taken in Walla Walla back a few months ago are so precious to me. Moments captured of 'us' in our current phase that I will treasure forever.
The 'us' of gap toothed smiles, freckle noses and flip flops as the only accepted form of shoe days.
I love it all.