Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our Table, 10:30 am

Our Table, 10:30 am by pentenriederhaus
Our Table, 10:30 am, a photo by pentenriederhaus on Flickr.
One hour into our home schooling day. I love seeing this beautiful mess. The children are both learning so much these days ... sometimes I feel like I am scrambling to keep ahead of them in planning lessons/experiments/art projects! Such a good problem to have.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Signs of Spring

We saw geese flying orth this morning as we waited for the bus together, Son and I. Several months ago, we stood in the same place in the driveway, waiting for the same bus, and watched them flying south; it's nice to share in life's full circle, pointing to the sky and joining the birds in their exclamation of coming Spring.

Life is moving at a pretty quick pace for us this Spring, lots of things falling into place within weeks. Lots more to be done as the days grow longer and warmer... I am already longing for the long, lazy days of summer by the lake, on our sailboat, toes in the water, hands a permanent greenish-brown tinge from working the earth.

I have such big plans for myself and the children this summer -- plans to walk in the grass barefoot, learn to float, lie on our backs watching the clouds, and ground ourselves in all that is good and wonderful. Big plans to be simple, move slowly, and dream a lot.

But first there is the work to be done. So I am enjoying instead the planning process and looking for the signs that we are ready to move forward.

We've been spending more and more time out of doors now that the sun has returned and the stomach virus appears to finally be leaving the house. The last month has been a rough one as we've traded illnesses around the family; I look forward to opening the windows and doors and sunning out the last traces of winter and its ugly viruses. For now, winds are still high and temperatures a bit low in the windy Islands... so we're making do with walks and snacks on the deck in the sun, smelling the moist earth as it welcomes in the melting snow and ice.

Watching for more geese.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Love Day

Handmade Valentines For Friends
Every Valentine's Day I watch with a mixture of curiosity and amusement as my family and friends react to the holiday. Some make such a big deal of celebrating -- expensive gifts, fancy dinners, dramatic declarations of love -- while some make almost no mention of it at all, and others make a big deal of NOT celebrating ("Happy Hallmark Day" as one friend put it).

Personally, I love this day. I think because it has always been more about the little things than any big expectations, more about the giving than the receiving, and more about the loving than the gifting. I've never expected much from the day other than an acknowledgement of the day and of love. Big gestures make me feel awkward and uncomfortable... and money has never equaled love for me (though I don't turn down expensive gifts, I certainly don't expect or ask for them). To me... if the love expressed on this day is deep and abiding, a simple, handwritten, handmade note is more than enough to celebrate. Diamonds are a nice gesture... but make me slightly suspicious -- what did you do, or not do, which made you feel that you had to give me something that expensive to prove that you love me?!?

We have been on a journey to simplify and save our resources for a while now, and while we still love to give each other things, Husband and I have agreed that future goals have a higher priority than our current whims. Our huge, exciting, lovely Valentine's/Birthday/Christmas/everything-else gift will likely arrive in a few months, so we agreed this year to forgo big gifts. We've even waffled a bit over going out to eat or not. I assume that at some point he will take me out to stuff my face with highly processed carbs at one of my favorite restaurants, but we're not huge fans of fighting crowds so we'll be waiting until well after the holiday rush on tables.

So I was a bit surprised this morning when I came downstairs and discovered a gift bag left for me on the counter. French Bread, Nutella, and a gift card to my favorite coffee shop (which I only frequent when I have a gift card for it, since it's so expensive). Husband certainly knows the key to my heart.

Isabel and I had Nutella toast for breakfast...and as I drank my coffee I thought again about how blessed we are to love and be loved so fully, honestly, and completely. To be surrounded by those who understand and appreciate us just as we are. Where there's no need for flashy gifts or showy declarations... just quiet moments of pure love and an intimate knowing of each other and what truly matters to us.

"I'm so lucky, Isabel."
"I'm so lucky, too, Mommy."

I hope your Love Day was just as sweet and perfect for you as mine was for me, whether you're a diamonds and roses kind of couple or a Nutella on toast kind of couple!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The past two weeks have been busy ones -- some expected business, and some unexpected family events that took up a fair amount of my focus and time.

There are so many good things happening right now that I want to chatter on about, but as things are still in the early stages, I suppose I'm being slightly superstitious and choosing to not talk much about them in case I somehow jinx it all. Someday soon, I expect I will be sharing some very exciting (to us, at least) news!

In the meantime, I am deep cleaning my fridge, folding laundry, hosting playgroup, and wading through what feels like cold after cold this winter -- and I don't mean the blizzard. Feels like I, and the kids, have been sick off and on for about two months. Getting old! So ready for longer days of sunshine and hours outside with my bare feet sinking into the grass and dirt.

My oldest is home from school today after being up from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. puking... which means I've been up from 3 a.m. worried about him puking. Which means we're both very, very tired.... and there goes my motivation. Have a feeling there will be lots of reading, coffee drinking, and minimal household maintenance.

I'm thankful today for the ability to stay home and take this time... there are days that I run from early hours until well into the evening... but there are also plenty of days that are "easy", calm, slow, and peaceful, and I am so grateful for this. (Husband, thanks for making this possible! Your time will come, I promise. :) )

I've had my camera packed away for several days now -- last on my list of things to do. Time to take it off the shelf and get back to capturing these moments before they slip away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cleaning House

It's taken me nearly a decade of living on my own, two marriages, four different homes, two kids and one house on the market, but I have *finally* developed a regular cleaning schedule that I actually stick to. I am insanely proud of myself.

Now... if only I could say the same of posting on this blog. ;)

Friday, February 1, 2013

{This moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, 
leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.
Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


It's a chilly morning! Looking forward to the company of friends this afternoon to take the sting out of this cold snap.

Hard to believe that last week we were out in just our sweaters!
(We've since warmed up to a cozy 68 degrees inside -- and it's now only -7 outside.)