big unpredictable skies.
School is out for summer. It ended with a bang- a farewell to a much-loved teacher, a terrific report card and a marathon class party at a friend's house. We're trying to find our summertime footing, so for a little balance in my life I believe I'm going to post photographs for a few days. Quiet reflection on a wonderfully noisy time of year.
Hugs to you all and have a great week!
Thank you gifts for J's teacher and teacher's aide.
For a summer evening- just big enough for a wallet, keys, lipstick, cell phone. They're nearly identical to the ones I made for his teachers last year. Once again, Blair's flowers make the perfect finishing touch. (I took the don't-mess-with-a-good-thing approach, since they were a hit last time. It had nothing to do with being completely pooped out from the perfectly wonderful and active weekend. Really.)
I pulled over and took pictures of this trellis/arbor/entry gate on the back way to the grocery. Amazing! Gardening friends, is this wisteria? Whatever it is, I LOVE it and want some.
Abrupt topic change:
It feels good to have a weekend with NOTHING planned. No ball games or practices. No parties. The only possibilities looming on the horizon include gardening but only if the weather is good. Fishing with Papa but only if the weather is good. Vodka tonics on the patio... but only if the weather is good!
So what happens if the weather isn't good? Sleeping in. Coffee. Cinnamon rolls. Crossword puzzles. Sewing. (J has a project he's been working on too.) Teacher gift making. Reading. Vodka tonics in the family room.
So some of these things may happen. Or not. Fine by me. (Except for the little teacher gifts- they have to get done.) For the next few days we're just going to play it by ear and relax.
Oh, yes. One last thing, WOO HOO for summer!
You can't see her? She's right there in N's hand.
"Mommy, she's berry, berry tiny."
She and N are best friends. They have been for a few months. Tiny Chloe is very well behaved. I expected she might try to get N into some trouble, but so far she has just been helping her think about it. "Tiny Chloe wanted to play in Papa's truck, but I said no, no." She does like to stall at bedtime though. She keeps hiding outside, forcing innocent little N to go back outside to find her. Silly Tiny Chloe.
When I pondered having kids, I never even considered that I'd be a stay-at-home mom. After an evening with a calculator, pencil and paper we decided it wasn't financially worth it for me to stay at a job about which I felt luke warm at best. So after my son was born, I reluctantly quit my job.
It was tough for awhile, but six years have passed, and I am thoroughly enjoying our simple life. So we may not be able to take fancy trips; we take camping trips instead. We don't drive new cars; our trusty little wagon suits me fine, thankyouverymuch. We are on a strict budget in all areas. (Shhhhhh- I have never even once ordered fabric online and the only Japanese craft book I have ever laid my hands on was through inter-library loan. I use almost all thrifted and salvaged supplies and what I do buy new, I always buy with a coupon.) Of course I get envious, but I also feel lucky. I'm older and wise enough to know that it's pointless to try to keep up with others. The truth is I'm very happy with the sacrifices we've made. The sacrifice is what keeps it all so simple.
My good friend Penny (who works part time from home) once told me that she had never had a job like parenthood before, one that seemed so small yet was actually so large in scale. Absolutely true. We've proven to ourselves that we can live small but well, even save a fair amount for the future, on one modest income. I'm blessed that I'm able to make this choice right now.
As time slips along and I feel my focus ever so slowly shifting away from the kids and back to myself, I know that I will eventually want to work more than I currently do or maybe even go back to school. But right now I feel an overwhelming contentment. Now is now. Isn't it?
My work in progress today seems to just be life with kids. Outside of the ever-present snapping camera, there hasn't been much time recently for creativity. Maybe next week. Right now I'm going to go tidy up the kitchen- Brian's parents are coming tomorrow. Then I'm going outside for awhile to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Happy weekend, all!
This inchworm is from Laurie of Old School Acres who makes incredible felt creatures. Isn't he adorable? In person he's even better with the tiniest, most even little hand stitches. Eeeek! She also sent me the little pincushion and beaded pins, which totally make me feel better about giving the inchworm away. I had someone in mind when I asked about him, and she offered to send him to me just out of the kindness of her heart.
And look at this. Gwen made these t-shirts for her friend who studies Mayflies. And she made an extra just for me! Just because she's so super cool like that! I still owe Gwen a postcard of something I snatched up from one of her Great Monday Give-Aways. I think it has been over a year ago that I promised I would send it. I still will- I swear.
Thanks, you lovely creative ladies. The kindness of you artsy bloggy peeps continues to amaze me.
What simple (and dorky) things I wanted for Mother's Day: My breakfast on the patio was yummy. And I asked for a clothesline. We were planning on building a wooden one but hadn't come across the right scraps of lumber. My mom gave us two old clothesline poles she's not using, so Brian put them in the ground for me this morning and I strung the line soon after. This solution was easier though not quite as pretty. But REUSE (n.), baby. It's a good thing.
I'm not kidding myself that I'll line dry all of our clothes. A few loads a week is all I'm shooting for to save a little energy and money. But really, it was so enjoyable that I don't think it will be difficult. Hanging a basket of wet laundry on a warm breezy morning while the kids holler and run through the sprinkler. Ahhhhh.
Now it's time for an iced coffee in the shade.
**quick update: It took me about 20 minutes to download those pictures from my camera and write this little entry. I took my coffee out to watch the clothes blow around and they were already dry! **
to all you fantastic moms out there. I'm wishing for a mild sunny day, breakfast on the patio with a big mug of coffee and a crossword puzzle.
I'm also wishing for a peaceful day for all of you too.
(Especially you, Grace. I'm thinking of you, my dear.)
Yesterday was warm and mostly sunny.
The basement is still dry as a bone.
The weather people have revised the forecast.
There's still a chance of thunderstorms,
but not torrential rain like earlier predicted.
I switched the camera back into its regular color mode.
Tonight is book club.
Friday is J and Coach Daddy's first baseball practice.
I get to put up a clothesline this weekend.
The garden is ok- waterlogged but alive.
The Siberian Iris are blooming.
I'm feeling better already.
I really resist the urge to complain here, but I am in a mood. The rain won't end. I slept horribly, thinking every time it started up again that this would be it. This must be the shower than would begin the slow trickle of water into our basement. (It doesn't flood, but we have had A LOT of rain. And there's more on the way. Several days more.) In between the downpours, I had a dream about Mother Nature as a living and breathing person. She was very pretty. She wore a blue dress. And boy was she mad at us.
I've been having a fling with black and white photographs lately too, which to me have an undercurrent of solitude and melancholia. I've been studying them on Flickr and the settings on the camera have been fixed this way for days. Did the interest in black and white appear because of the mood, or is the mood developing due in part to the interest? Who knows. But either way, they seem to be fueling each other. I'm also reading John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany for my book club. It's wonderful. It's touching and funny but in that Forest Gump sort of way- hopeful and amusing yet so depressing.
I'm trying my best to embrace this mood and take it for what it is: I'm over-tired, I have a headache, I'm husbandless, I've got cabin fever and I'm worried our wee little garden is going to drown. In a day or two it will pass. The sun will return. The garden will surely dry out. Even if puddles appear in the basement I am blessed to have a basement to fuss over. Brian comes home this evening. I have fun plans this week. Summer is drawing near and I'm looking forward to it. But I'm trying not to look forward too much. I might miss something important right now.
Here's J hitting the world's strongest piñata at his Cinco de Mayo party. After about ten minutes of each of them patiently taking turns, the teachers resorted to unmasking them and letting them beat the stuffing out of it on the gym floor. You should have seen those kids, normally so well behaved and calm, all wild-eyed and wack-wack-wacking that stubborn thing. I've never laughed so hard in my life! I couldn't even hold up the camera- I was completely in tears! Oh, it makes me start up again just thinking about it...
breathe. calming deep breaths.
Anyway, we're on our own this weekend. Brian is off on his annual boys weekend. I'm not bitter at all that he left on the day of our ten year anniversary. (Ok, maybe just a little. In the grand scheme of things, I really lucked out in the husband department, so I'll get over it.) The three of us have nice calm plans for the weekend, hanging out together playing, maybe baking some sweet rolls and tending to our garden.
You go have some fun yourselves, you hear?! Take good care, friends.
Even itty bitty girls need to twirl.
twirly skirt tutorial • thrifted cotton sheet • scrap of green cotton • bias tape
My good friend asked me to paint her daughter's big girl room. Bryn is a big sister now and is cordially- as cordially as a three year old knows how- passing on the nursery (the second set down- the bunnies and castle) to baby Colette. They chose yellow on yellow harlequin diamonds with blue rosettes between. And since Colette got the booties and bib, I made Bryn a Little Girlie Purse in the same color scheme too. If you can't tell, she is a little bit crazy for yellow. I casually mentioned that she could keep her chapstick in her purse and now she's crazy for chapstick too.