Living | Loving

Time. It's the one thing that I seem to always be in need of. And it's how he feels the most loved. My Graeme-bear just turned four. At his birthday party, as we all stood around singing to him, I saw it in his eyes for the first time, and it's something I'll remember with my heart for a very long time-- he knew we were celebrating, and best of all, he knew we were celebrating him. He's always been my little one that can communicate exactly what he's feeling and thinking, even sometimes rewording his sentences until he's said it exactly right. I am so grateful for this. Because, when it comes to loving him, I want him to be able to tell me what it is that makes him feel my love the most. 

Reading is our thing. I've known it since he was just a tiny little fella. But what started as just a little Dr. Seuss here and some Sally Lloyd-Jones there, has turned into an entire world of heart mending and love building. When the days are easy and we're happy together, we read. When the days are difficult and we're upset with each other, we read. And when I asked him, a couple of months ago, 'sweet pea, what do I do that makes you feel that I love you?', I wasn't surprised when his answer came-- 'when you read to me'. His words brought a smile and a heart-cry all at once. Because, as I recently read somewhere, my relationships to my children now are somewhat a snapshot of those in the future. That stops me in my tracks. That makes me say to my tired self in the morning-- get dressed, get them dressed, get outside, and enjoy this life with them. It talks to me again in the afternoon, when Jobie is all curled up and napping soundly-- spend time with Graeme, read, make cookies, do a craft. This time is a vapor.

This morning, we went for a walk. We found a pear tree that we had never discovered before. Graeme brought along his harmonica and played for me, asking to see the pictures afterwards. Noticing red hands and runny noses, we made our way back into the house to sit by the fire and thaw out a bit. And at lunch, Steve and I commented to each other about getting lessons for him with a new, harmonica-playing friend of ours. This afternoon, when Graeme gets back from tagging along on a visit with his daddy, to an elderly lady in our church, we'll read. 

Today was easy and, by our human standard, good. But it isn't always that. Last night, as my husband and I sat at the table finishing up dinner, the boys downstairs loudly clanging and chattering (read: yelling and screaming), we looked at each other and said, 'are we going to make it?' And later, after we had tucked them into their beds, and climbed back up the stairs to enjoy the quiet of the evening, my husband's reply came, 'we always do'. Yes, because of His unending mercies and graces, we always, always do.

The Harmonica from Sarah Kate Branine on Vimeo.

p.s. I'm taking a short break from this space for the rest of this week. I hope to see you next week with some snippets of Job's second birthday along with a wonderful giveaway with Minnetonka. Thanks for reading here.


  1. Hmmm....loved this post. Your writing is so beautiful (as are you photographs)

    1. Ruthy,
      Thank you so much. Boy have I been praying for your sweet Parker Penny since reading your post earlier this week. Hugs to you today! x

  2. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Great post. I agree with discover street... your writing and photos are so captivating. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jenna,
      Did I mention that my niece's name is Jenna, too? Love that name! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement today!

  3. ahh - teary eyed at your question and his answer. What a good mama you are - that God is making you into.

    1. Katie,
      I keep scrolling through my IG feed thinking that a sweet little baby boy's face is going to pop up : ) Can't wait! This mommying process is such a sweet and good one, and with that, a lot of heartache and wrestling-- not from my boys per se, but from my own heart, especially when I'm not resting in the fact that God is in control and he is the one changing me day by day.

      So, let's begin talking about you guys coming out to visit : ) We need a visit from the Barkers : )

  4. I love your thoughts in this post and your sweet voice talking to Graeme in the video but can I also just say, Sarah, your pictures are stunning here. I mean, professional photographer stunning. The one of the pear? Wow.

    1. You are so nice. So, so incredibly generous with your words. I'm so glad that you got to meet my sister and visit Greenville. Next up, Pleasant Hill! : )

      p.s. And, thank you!, for your nice, nice words.

  5. What a cute cute video. I love this post. :)

    1. Oh and I was going to say my oldest son went through a harmonica phase and it was the cutest ever. :)

    2. Laura,
      Thank you. Aren't little harmonica players the best? We're so excited to talk to our friend who also plays. I think it would be a great opportunity for our Graeme to learn! Thank you for your words here today!

  6. To know that women like you are raising boys like that makes this mama heart of three girls swell with happiness. Keep loving and leading over there friend!

    1. Oh my dear! Your comment made my heart beat fast with happiness and a sense of responsibility all at the same time! Sometimes I forget that we're raising future men, husbands, daddies! Thankful for your care for your sweet girls, too!

  7. My little one is the same way with his words. It's the sweetest thing and I've learned to stay quiet until he's mastered his sentence just right. :) Books are such a blessing. We love them in my household for many reasons. It's every time I look back at pictures that I am reminded of how quickly time is going. It's like a kick in the pants letting me know to make the most of it. :)

    1. Dana,
      I know it! You are so, so right!

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