the quietest of mondays


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Since the years longest night, our family has been combined with another in some combination of cousins, grandparents, and friends alike.  We have shared meals, and stories, and traditions.  If I am standing in my truth, I will admit that it hasn’t always been easy.  It has been full of noise, a level even a mama of three boys isn’t use to.  It has been filled with disagreements (no, I want to play set up the craft shop! I don’t want to play pretend! or some other version of the same….).  It has been filled with a massive. amount. of dishes.  More importantly though, it has been filled with a fury of creation from all but the babies, lots of understanding looks and commiserating thoughts, shared recipes and ideas, and the best part of all; Arms wrapped around each other with an unimaginable love.

After the departure of the seasons last guests yesterday, a calm fell over the house. My house.  I know, can you believe it?  It is hard to imagine, and perhaps holds a different meaning around here, but it was here.  I swear.  And perhaps it is even still lingering in the eves…  one can hope?  Crafting items have remained in their respective places long enough to be officially called put away.  Milk will be guzzled in a more manageable every other a day gallon consumption.  And my most favorite part of every departure; my boys are getting along swimmingly.  It seems the time “away” from one another brings on a whole new light for their relationship.  They are currently deep in the forests of make-believe, sharpening arrows and rescuing maidens, needing absolutely nothing from the queen of the manor.  Oh my, it feels so good.

The weather is peaking at a toasty 30 today, with big old flakes poofing down with each gust of wind in the gray, sullen sky.  I am soaking up the memories of the much-anticipated and much enjoyed visits, and in turn breathing in the moments of calm, as we re-stack the structure and rhythm of our typical days.

PS- please note the yellow and black straps on our (big) little Rowans shoulders and give me a virtual high five because this is my best idea to date.  For the weary mama or papa, toting a baby, and not having the strength or balance to hoist up a rather large toddler every few minutes in the snow, have them put on a ski harness!  The handle in the back, gives you the strength of ten women!  It is plain old delightful!  




Yesterday morning, we dressed early in anticipation of our boots crossing the first frosty crunch of the year.  They did not.  By the light of a flashlight the night before I plucked all the tomatoes green, yellow, red, or otherwise and peppers the same, just in case.  All that remains is the flowers, winter squash, some straggler carrots and onions, and our new batch of lettuce-y greens.

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And look, we are not the only ones who think our flowers have something special.  They are officially world champions.  

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But it turns out up here on this hill we get to stretch out summer right until the very end. The equinox is upon us very soon, and with it comes the overwhelming last hurrah from mother nature. My absolute favorite. She is decked out in gold and purple like its her coronation, and her costumes do not cease to amaze. We are storing up her sights in the root cellars of our soul; Saving these sweet, crunchy moments for the coldest of days which are surely upon us.

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enjoy your weekend.  breathe deeply in this autumn air.  


the cut off

With school days upon us, and the whole lot of my family continuing our days just as before, I find myself answering a lot of questions from loving friends and family, and curious strangers about what’s next.  My oldest is now five, and though he misses the official cutoff for kindergarten by one whole day, the most common thing said to this little boy is, “Are you starting kindergarten this year?”.  He usually looks up to me to respond appropriately, and despite my earlier pledge to proudly announce our intentions to home school, I find myself continuing to mumble the lame excuse about the cut off day falling before his birthday.  And while my statement is factual, it makes me feel like a coward, and that I am not showing my boys the commitment we do indeed have to homeschooling.  Because the truth is, I am really proud of our days.  They are magical and pure, and full of inspiring, real life learning.  Why the hestiation in explaining this?


I suppose a bit of it comes from the faces I have gotten when I have put my heart on my sleeve and told the plain old truth.  But the majority of it just comes from fear of recieving them again.  This fear.  It seems the dark cloud of it gets in the way of so much, for so many of us.  The fear of judgement, the fear of failure, the fear of regret.  These things are real, and not isolated to me or  to homeschooling, or to anything.

IMG_3327But taken day by day, it can be mitigated and directed.  Taken one conversation at a time, and one child hurdled past the first year of “would be heading to school” before the other,  I am quite sure it will get easier.


For now we will just continue to study the world with intention and see where it takes us.  So, with that being said, happy back to school week, or not back to school week.  How about, happy kids or happy parents or just happy September.  I like the sound of that.

life in color

Where have I been…

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Where have I been…

IMG_8110 IMG_8102 IMG_8095 IMG_8094 IMG_8074 IMG_8069 IMG_8065 IMG_8023 IMG_8009 IMG_7995Now that I can pick up and leave on the drop of dime, I do.  The few degrees more from the mountains to the coast makes all the difference for the falling leaves.  Whats bare up north already is at its peak by the sea.  But now my Lee is back home and it feels so good to be together again!  Happy weekend everybody.

random words of kindness

Yesterday, an errand day, we packed into our car and headed to town.  After an oil change and a tire rotation that seemed to take hours, we moved on to bigger and better things.  On our list was a roll of paper for Miles’ new calculator (1 buck at the listen center! score!) and a needle threader for his sewing machine (that thing is so child proof even I can’t thread it).  Of course JoAnn’s does not have large carts and one of my boys must walk along side.  Or run.  Or hide in the isles of the fabric.  Or hoard different strings and spools and materials he feels he must have.  You know, the usual.  So, amongst the chaos I remembered I had a little project in mind and took this ideal time to find just the right fabric to complete it.

With my hesitance to decide, things began going downhill fast.  Rowan announced to a random shopper, “I want to get out of here.”  Miles was lying on his back scooching around with his feet in between all the isles.  I was desperately searching for some brown leather, pleather, or suede or something… I just grabbed and ran.  Waiting in line was much worse.  There were the inevitable candy wars.  I held my ground.  I have been a mama long enough to know for my boys the food dyes and processed sugar do nothing but torture us all.  They change.  They are not the same little boys and the transformation is immediate.  So I resisted the temptation to just say, “FINE!  EAT SMARTIES AND CHOCOLATE COINS! I DON’T CARE!” and spent the 10 minute wait just putting sugary things back and generally being a broken record.  I never made eye contact with those around me because well, sometimes you can feel eyeballs judging you.  With a screaming boy on my hands, I know the attention is focused on my neck of the woods, and I try not to care what others think of the way I handle it, but I usually cannot help it.  But then, on our way out another patron said out of the clear blue sky, “You are doing a great job!”, and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly giddy with gratitude.

This job of mine rarely gets recognition.  And for the most part thats ok by me.  But on the most trying of days, in the most unexpected situations, it is exactly what I need.  Those words got me through the parking lot with an angry four-year old.  They got me to the post office.  They even got me right into my door with enough calm and patience inside to get four little eyes to droop and drop off to sleep.  A rest long enough for me to make these:

IMG_7207 IMG_7198 IMG_7206(This is what Rowan does when told to smile…)

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Pay it forward, karma, random acts of kindness however its classified, it does mean so much doesn’t it?  When you see something you like, do you vocalize it?  Well if you don’t, you should!  You never know when it will truly brightens someone day (particularly that of a mama amongst chaos).  I can’t tell you how many times a strangers words changed the course of my day.

Does the lady behind me know she gave me the grace to feel good about my errand day?  To give me the calm needed to have some quiet time tidying up my house and in turn giving me time to enjoy this?

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 Probably not.  But she did, and I recognize it and I promise I will do my best not to let an opportunity to practice random words of kindness go to waste.