Oh yes, the places we'll go with Karis.
Oh yes, the places we have already gone with our dear daughter. From Bozeman to Bismarck, South Carolina to South Minneapolis, this little girl has a good start on her traveling repertoire.
Oh the places I would never take her if she had any awareness of where we actually were.
Indeed, during the past months I've been to places where I've walked out saying, "That was good, but I wouldn't take my kid there." Of course, I did take my kid there. One such place was Margaritaville (during our trip to South Carolina) - something about the simulated hurricane with a massive bottle of something or other descend from it made me think, "Huh, this is fun and interesting, but I wouldn't take my kid here." Then there was this movie we went to a couple weekends ago (um, can I say how wonderful and normal and exhilarating yet relaxing it was to sit down in a theater and watch an entire movie?!?) . . . I left the theater (feeling triumphant in getting back to an activity I'd been missing these past months) saying to my family, "That was good and worth watching. But I'd never take my kid there." Hmmm, except I did take my kid there.
Do I need to stop going to these places with Karis? I'm starting to wonder.
And then there are the places we want to go, but just can't quite get to. The church nursery, for example. I helped prepare a dinner at our church last weekend and was totally prepared both mentally and physically to bring Karis to the nursery for the evening. I even pumped a bottle (and I really dislike pumping), optimistic that Karis would indeed take it (I mean, she'll sip water from my water bottle now, why not take yummy milk from a fun bottle!). I started the meal prep with Karis and a good friend for company. I had it all mapped out: I nursed her, Trevor arrived and got Karis to take a nap in her carseat: the perfect recipe for a good nursery drop off! Trevor dropped her off as the meal prep ramped up (read: need to get lots of food hot at the same time). Just as the dinner was about to start, a dear nursery worker walked into the kitchen, Karis in one arm and diaper bag in the other. Bottle attempt = no-go. Extreme sad crying = yup. Poor girl! To be honest, it was kind of sweet. But to be also honest, I had a job to do and I really couldn't tend to her, and Trevor was getting ready to "host" a "newlywed game" section of the evening so he couldn't either.
Time for a tangent: there are a few reflections I'd love to remember about that evening at church. The event was a kind of Valentine's dinner at our church, and it turned into an evening to remember for many reasons. There was the meal, the prep and delivery for which I felt quite responsible, and thus quite perfectionistic/anxious about. Turns out that doing something like that is kind of like giving a speech in that I've been replaying everything that could have been better. That said, I've been challenging myself to let go of those things and to focus on what went well - AND to focus on the evening as a whole, which was so meaningful and memorable. There was the sweet Karis nursery strike that turned into a beautiful site - since neither of her parents were available to console her, she got passed around a bit. At one point I walked out and saw her in the arms of a father to 3 children who I know but don't know well - it was one of those moments of feeling so at home in our community and so thankful for the love and support and care that everyone has for each other. I will always treasure that memory of seeing Karis calm in his arms and the way he let his dinner get cold just so I could run around and get more hot food on the table and so Trevor could go put on a hilarious 3 piece suit and grill married couples about their spouses. That sweet picture of true community is what I'll remember (as I try to forget the weak coffee I made and the fact that there was no pepper to be found to season the potatoes and broccoli).
Okay, back to the places we've gone. Well, recently we were blessed to go meet Karis's newest little friend, Lauren. The day we did this happened to be Karis's 6 month birthday, and there happened to be a whole lotta little girls around (it's actually a group of us that try to meet weekly - 4 moms, 5 daughters, and one little boy who is in the oven). They even sang "happy birthday" to Karis, it was a good little party.
Oh the places we went a couple weekends ago when my parents came to visit. Karis got to dine at her favorite restaurant, Lucia's (it's the one we were supposed to visit with the above ladies the day Karis was born). Trader Joe's, Potbelly's, The General Store, Caribou (her other favorite), uncle Drew's, Open Door church, and driving all around town - Karis does incredibly well on these adventures and is such a flexible little girl.
And though little girl she is, she is also growing and developing like crazy. Karis loves to reach for anything she can get her hands on - earrings, hair, water bottles, glasses, her feet, your face, your clothes, literally anything. She's still smiles like crazy at just about anything, and she most recently has discovered how much fun it is to stick out her tongue and even roll it. What will be next?
Here's our little Valentine. Trevor and I had fun taking her to her 6 month pictures and then out for coffee in honor of the holiday. I had fun reminiscing about V-days growing up and how my parents always made it a fun day with dinner and little gifts (more specifically, socks - my mom always gives me a pair of V-day socks, and this year Karis got some too!)
Here's Karis in an outfit I wore as a 4 month old