November 19th was the day we got to meet our beautiful son, Jude. He was our little Thanksgiving Turkey and our little Sweet Potato Pie, Ellie Rose, was ready to greet her brother with a slobbery Sophie the Giraffe (it's a teething toy...) and a handful of puffs.
It's been one of the greatest blessings in our life to be the parents of these two wonderful babies. It has also been one of our greatest challenges. Everyone always tells you that God only gives you what you are capable of handling. While I agree that I have been able to handle everything that has presented itself in my life, I cannot say I have handled them all with grace or gratitude. Between the 100 million dirty diapers, sleepless nights and Sweet Potato Pie getting RSV (the worst, really...) two days before Mr. Turkey landed Earthside, I would say we are...well....we are surviving. It is beautiful. It is memorable. It is also messy and hard.
If you have found yourself on the other end of "Grateful and Graceful" you know how it is. You tell yourself daily how you should appreciate these beautiful creatures that God has given to you because he knows you can handle it. You tell yourself that you should be smiling. You tell yourself to cherish the poo 'splosions (well that's what we call them) and the crying and the healing. Some call it the Baby Blues. Some call it Postpartum. Some refuse to acknowledge it.
My belly is still flappy...everything is still flappy. I'm healing but no one really can tell you what your body should be doing right now. Everyone has 20 opinions and pieces of advice on breastfeeding but only you know how nursing will work for you and your baby. No one wants to acknowledge what almost every mom goes through--all of these emotions. But I'll say it. I'll be that person that feels ok enough to shed some light on life post pregnancy.
It's hard. It's really hard. You are sad. You are angry for small reasons. You don't feel right. You are certain your body will never be the same. You are hard on yourself. It's ok. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. There is "Grace and Gratitude" down the road...maybe with the help of zoloft or prozac. And no one said you have to be that Instagram mom with the coffee and gratitude quotes. You can be the hot mess mom. Or the craft mom. Or the workout mom. Whatever mom you want to be, you will be the best mom in the whole wide world to your baby. Once you start to notice that there are baby smiles and finger grabs and the cutest sneezes you have ever seen you will be back! You're going to cry. It's ok. You will get better. It's ok that you weren't 100% immediately. You just have to make sure you know you aren't alone and that you might need help--and help is ok.
I am writing today as my baby girl sits in her swing. Before I begin a discussion or explanation on this newer body of art you are going to start seeing, I need to give thanks to the swing! Some days, the only way we get through the greater part of a nap is through the soothing movements of the swing. Whoever was genius enough to create this beautiful piece of baby equipment is proof that there is goodness in this crazy world we live in. God Bless the Swing!
I am a very unique individual. My family history is unique, my racial makeup is unique and the family that my husband and I are creating is continuing that trend of being one of a kind. It is something I am proud of--though it took several years to get to that point. This journey of becoming proud of who I am, where I came from and the path that lays before me got me thinking the other day. As I interact in my community with my own family, I see so many other families throughout Memphis becoming more and more unique in their own way. What I am seeing is that being different is the new normal for family dynamics and what an amazing time it is to be unique!
These new pieces that you are about to see over the coming days are a celebration of families. They are a celebration of our quirky, unique family dynamics. They are dedication to the courage and love that come with being a diverse or unique family.
There are two different styles I have been playing with for my family portrait series. One style focuses more on the racial makeup of families that is portrayed through illustrated Russian Nesting dolls. These play with color and pattern. The other style focuses more on the aspect of quirky people coming together and making children that are also quirky in their own way, which I show through different types of guitars. Both are near and dear to my heart just as my own family is.
I will leave you with a question. What makes your family unique? Is it interracial? Is it a combination of very different personalities? I'm interested!
Until next time,
March 7, 2016 is the day my life changed forever. For those of you that don't know me personally, my husband and I decided to adopt a baby girl. It was a very fast situation. We moved very quickly and quietly as we completed any and all paperwork needed in order to bring home this baby within a matter of weeks. Our family was completely supportive. Our friends stood by our side. The rest of the world had no idea we were about to become a family of three.
On March 7, we received a text that our daughter's birth mother was going into labor and later that day Brendan and I were holding our daughter for the very first time. She was only a few hours fresh. I will never forget that instant warmth I felt from holding her. I will never forget watching Brendan hold her. I will never forget this day because it is one of the most special days of my life.
On March 9, we took our dear Ellie Rose (short for Elizabeth Rosemary) home. We held her. We stared at her. My mother in law had to show us how to change her diaper. Nothing else mattered except for her. Nothing else matters now except for her.
So my artwork has taken a dive in production. I made my mind up a few weeks into my maternity leave that it was more important for Ellie Rose to know me as her mother. I have spent many hours holding her. Cooing at her. Smiling at her. Comforting her.
She is 4 months old today. She stands tall (with our assistance, of course). She laughs. She talks a lot. She coos when she sees the faces of those that love her. She sleeps wonderfully...I'm writing this post as she naps in her room...She was the missing puzzle piece that I never knew I needed.
Because our dearest daughter is now taking naps on a schedule, I am finding I have time to do things like shower, do laundry, eat a meal, and think about my artwork. I forgot what it was like to be in my studio, using my hands to create something. I forgot how much I needed that release. In a few days, you will see work you have never seen me create before. You will see work that is reflecting a new stage in my life. I hope you are able to enjoy it as much I as I have enjoyed creating it. I hope you enjoy some of the newer features to Morgan Pattison Art that I have in store for you all in the coming weeks.
Until next time,