The Heart Of Life

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won’t all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good.”
– The Heart Of Life, John Mayer –

Oh! Hello, again!

Looks like it has been nearly 2 years since I made any posts here. As noted in that last post, I had a fair reason.

Having a brand new baby and losing my father on the same day, my mother having a major fall/surgery/rehab/etc within two months following my fathers burial, dealing with the adjustment in life with a newborn, husband going off to sea and having no assistance or resource, and a late hit of postpartum which was again dealt with on my own….. well, you know… I just couldn’t write. Time, stress, sadness, adjustments, travel, and so many things left no room to sit and write.

Let’s be honest – besides not wanting to be a Debbie Downer…. I mostly figured, “Hmm…. write on the Blog…. or Sleep….” Guess whatSLEEP WON EVERY SINGLE TIME! New mom life of a baby that was NOT a good sleeper – sleep trumps most things.

In spite of the challenges, the immense heartbreak, and lack of sleep – we have actually overcome a great deal and made some wonderful memories along the way. Some fun was thrown in to the mix, too!

Such as?” you say….. Get comfy – this shall be a long post!

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Shenandoah has attended A LOT of concerts, festivals, and local music shows. Aiken Bluegrass Festival (May 2016), Dead & Company (June 2016), Watermelon Park Festival (Sept 2016), Suwanee Roots Revival (Oct 2016), Lowcountry Cajun Fest (April 2017), DelFest (May 2017), John Mayer (Aug 2017), Harvest Festival Charleston (Nov 2017) and Pour House Deck shows several times a month since she was about 4 months old (bluegrass bands, funk bands, Dead cover bands mainly). There have been some other musical fun peppered in – but those are the main highlights.

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Music loving baby! She will groove to most anything with a good beat!

We have enjoyed time out at the beach, in the parks, walks, hikes, farm fun, apple orchards, playing with friends, birthday parties, going to school, chasing (and hugging) our chickens, playing fetch and snuggling with the dogs, visiting family, weekends in NC mountains, day trip to Savannah, exploring Mayberry (Mt Airy, NC)…. just regular types of fun.

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So, what are Shenandoah’s favorite things now that she is nearly 2 years old?

The gal’s favorite characters/shows/movies are: Winnie the Pooh, Peppa Pig, Snoopy, ALF, Some Looney Tunes, Bobby’s World, and Frosty the Snowman. She is big on the “Little People” toys, her trike, farm toys, her kitchen set, and her stuffed animals – mainly the Jelly Cat ones.  Shennie loves to clean, vacuum, and wash dishes too!

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Her favorite songs are: Baby Mine (Dumbo song but Alison Krauss version), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Theme from Winnie the Pooh, Up, Down, Touch the Ground (Winnie the Pooh), Mind Over Matter (Winnie the Pooh), Camptown Races, If You’re Happy & You Know It, Theme from Peppa Pig, Frosty the Snowman, Away in a Manger, and anything with a good beat.

Shenandoah loves jumping in muddy rain puddles, coloring on sheets of paper, seeing animals and fish at zoos or aquariums, going to school to play with friends, helping up in the garden, collecting pine cones… all manner of fun kid stuff.

Shennie has had the chance to explore and be apart of so much her first 2 years on this Earth.

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She is QUITE willful and she is very intuitive. She is sweet, she is playful, she is happy, and she is silly. She is still not the best sleeper, but she has a great appetite. She has a strong temper. She loves hugs, kisses, and snuggles. She has a very large vocabulary for her age, and is counting to 10 by herself (although sometimes she forgets 4 hahah). She loves animals, music, and books.  Shenandoah is equally shy and outgoing,  She is just fantastic.

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Jon has been working very hard… working on the house especially – but also his career.

In the last 2 years, he has achieved a great deal. Besides becoming a father, he received his Chief Mate License and left the Drill Ship he had worked on for several years to go back to Deep Sea work. He has had some fun on four wheel trips and weekends with friends, spending time with Shennie, as well as his family in Virginia.

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I have been able to learn the Mandolin over the past 2 years. When my father died, he left his Mandolin to Shenandoah. However, I wanted to learn how to play it. One reason was so that when she is old enough to pick it up, I won’t be totally daft on it and can help her along. Another big reason I wanted to learn it was to simply try to do something new – just to teach an old dog a new trick. But, I mainly wanted to just sorta be close to my dad…play his instrument and hold the neck and strum the strings where his hands had been for so many years.

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I picked the instrument up and tried to figure my way around it when Shenandoah was about 7 months old….. I fiddled around with it trying to apply my old and untouched knowledge from my dad teaching me guitar and my self-teaching baaic piano in my youth. I got a couple books, went to YouTube lessons, and got a grasp on my own for a while.

Then, I got to a place I felt I had good footing but needed more. Jon got me some mandolin lessons and I was able to get further in my learning! I worked on those for a couple months – but put them on pause while we made some adjustments from the holiday season, Jon coming home after being to sea for 4 months, Shennie starting a new school, and my starting some new, part-time work.  I have kept playing at home and trying to learn more – but scheduling classes hasn’t been realistic at this time  – but! I look forward to things evening out and I am able to pick up the lessons again.

So much to try to catch up on in the past two years, and there is plenty unsaid in this post but it has been so fun watching her grow and seeing her personality blossom.

… and the Heart of Life has been good …

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