Big feelings and little moments

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I worked from home today, which technically I suppose I do every weekday, but what I mean is that I worked from my actual house instead of my parents’ house – the place I usually refer to as my summer office. I stayed home because Kristin was speaking on an education panel up in Lansing this morning. Maybe it was because I was getting a glimpse of the kids’ lazy summer days that I normally miss, or maybe it was because it’s August and my fear of not squeezing in enough special moments before school starts is creeping in, or maybe it’s because I have to leave for New York this Sunday, but I felt a huge sense of longing and sentimentality all day.  I just wanted to sweep them onto my lap and give them one more hug and wander outside to watch them lolling on the tree swing. Today I wished that I could be a stay at home mom, at least for a little while. It feels so unfair some days to miss so much of what really matters. Continue reading

Family tie-dye

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It’s nearly August and I’ve been feeling a little anxious lately. Even though I’m wise enough to know that summer isn’t as simple as ten weeks of uninterrupted quality family time, and that in some ways the routine and predictability (and lower expectations) of the school year are almost healthier for a personality like mine, I can never quite shake the urgency and panic that surrounds my need to squeeze the ultimate joy out of this season of long daylight and slow mornings. We’re doing pretty well with the summer bucket list, but I’m still concerned that the next month is going to pass by too quickly and that there’s more I could be doing to make it worthwhile.

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Becoming a camping family

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If you’d asked me a number of years ago if I considered myself to be “outdoorsy” I probably would have said no. For years I told people that I didn’t especially like BBQs or picnics because eating outside with insects on a table that was very likely stained with bird poop held very little appeal. Somehow though, over the past few years I’ve developed a mild obsession with homestead-y outdoorsy things, following strangers on Instagram who share perfect images of spotless yet wild looking children in modern-hippie-prarie garb (I think that’s a thing), in breathtaking homeschool landscapes in the mountains of Montana, reading amidst goats and chickens or tending to succulents in a stunning backyard greenhouse.

I wanted in. Kind of. I have a tiny vegetable garden, we started composting, and now I wanted to become a camping family.

Did you know that Kristin and I fell in love while camping? True story. It was a required part of a class and to be honest we both kind of hated that trip at the time, but that’s beside the point. It feels full-circle somehow. Continue reading

Learning to let go, as the picture of summer evolves

I woke up with a summer cold last Friday and knew that it had the potential to sabotage the weekend. We didn’t have much in the way of plans, which I suppose was good, but I crave that family time and the opportunity to make magic together. It was the solstice, and we’d talked about heading out to Virtue Cider in Fenville and then catching the sunset over Lake Michigan with some family friends. Fortunately my germs didn’t sway their dedication to the plan, and I figured it might be my best chance to make something of the weekend in case I felt worse in the coming days.

The kids ran wild together, discovering trails (full of poison ivy!) we didn’t know were there, chasing chickens, flipping over in hammocks and just enjoying the expansive surroundings.

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We adore these friends, and enjoyed the snippets of conversation that we were able to squeeze in as much as the kids enjoyed their wild freedom Continue reading

Glimpses of magic at the edge of summer

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I’ve been feeling so energized to get out and do things and line up new projects. It likely has a lot to do with all of the beauty exploding outside. We’ve been having a ton of rain which is never terribly energizing for me, but when it leads to so much green, and every once in awhile that rain gets replaced by a day of brilliant sunshine and blue skies it makes me want to take advantage of it in every possible way.

I’ve been looking up new sewing projects, spending time in the garden, researching composting (which we started this weekend after years of considering it – and it makes me giddy to put scraps into our pretty countertop bin), and building the kids a dowel swing. Continue reading

For all of the mothers in our village

Mother’s Day isn’t a holiday that we often mark with huge fanfare or extraordinary plans, mostly due to the fact that the adults in this family are both mothers and our idea of a great day involves more relaxing and less planning for someone else. That said, motherhood is a deeply important part of my identity; probably the most important part, so I do a lot of reflecting this time of year on how grateful I am to be living this life. Continue reading

Life lately

I should warn you now that this is going to be a meandering post about many unconnected things with no neat wrap up to bind them all together. I apologize in advance. But it’s the first nice day we’ve had in ages (it’s been like All Summer in a Day around here lately), and I’m at home alone with a glass of wine and the sound of lawnmowers is buzzing through the open windows and I bought plants today and tomorrow I’m going to plant them, and I’m happy about that. Continue reading

Everyday magic

Easter weekend arrived and it feels like spring is finally here. Saturday was full of all kinds of beauty, most of which I didn’t photograph. We started the day with Jonah and I heading off to an Earth Day 5K at the Nature Center. We did it in celebration of his accomplishment of having completed a ten minute run in gym class. I knew that we would likely walk most of it, and we walked nearly all of it, but to my surprise he never complained and actually told me how much fun he was having more than once.

We stopped by the neighborhood hardware store on the way back home and they gave Jonah a cheap plastic kite. He was thrilled and wanted to try it out immediately, so I warned him that sometimes cheap plastic kites don’t work all that well and don’t last a terribly long time, but we walked over to the schoolyard to give it a try. Despite my skepticism, it actually flew quite well and he was over the moon. It was so much fun watching him run back and forth with it (which honestly amazed me after a 5K). Continue reading

Charleston Spring Break 2019

When Kristin dropped off a large bunch of bananas to our next door neighbor just before we loaded up the car to to leave for Charleston, Colleen told Kristin that she recalled someone saying that we would never attempt that drive again after the first time. “I think that may have been the same person who bought way too many bananas before leaving for a road trip. I wouldn’t trust her.” Kristin replied with a wink.

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On ghost ships and the foreclosure of possibilities or Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Last weekend we attended the 40th birthday celebration of my college roommate, a woman I’m incredibly thankful to have had in my life during some very formative times. It was a pretty good sized event (maybe seventy people or so) which was a significant contrast to the intimate dinner with friends I’d chosen to celebrate my own milestone birthday. The next morning we had breakfast with some friends who had been at the same party, and the conversation quickly led to their ages (39 this year) and what they each hoped to do for their own milestone celebration. Continue reading