Charleston, SC summer road trip

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We just returned last night from the road trip that we almost didn’t take, and I’m so very glad that we made the journey. As I mentioned before, I had all kinds of worries about the drive, the heat, what we would do while we were there, but none of those things posed a problem. The kids were absolute troopers on the drive. Sure, they watched a million movies, but they really were pretty amazing about the whole thing. Continue reading

Long drives and road trips

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We’ve reached that point in the summer when suddenly there seems to be some sort of time vacuum happening. We text with friends to set up casual get-togethers and find that there are virtually no days left before school starts when we’ll all be in town (and we’re in a city where back-to-school doesn’t happen until after Labor Day). Although we’re doing fairly well with our summer bucket list, I started to panic a little last night. Continue reading

Backyard magic

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Over a decade ago, back when I was in New York and the home and family that I wanted was all still a dream, I was talking to a colleague about how much I wanted a house with a yard someday. The only thing that I can remember about that conversation was my colleague telling me that she too remembered wanting one, only to find that once they had one they absolutely never used the yard. I vaguely recall wondering at the time if that would be true for me too; if perhaps this idea of spending time outdoors in a backyard (or front yard) oasis would just turn out to be an annoyance: yard work, insects, humidity, too much sun etc.

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The first weekend of summer

It was the first weekend of summer vacation and I’m exhausted and ready for bed but want to reflect on our weekend a bit before it all drifts away.

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First of all, this boy finished up preschool and I did cry a few times throughout the day. Once as I got back in the car after dropping them off, then later on as I handed off a bunch of garage sale items to a neighbor (including baby clothes and booster seats that we no longer have babies for), and a third time when Kristin and I met with his teacher for his final conference. Continue reading

The last days of preschool

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We’ve been counting down to summer since the days were in the twenties. Now the board reads “1 Day” and a strange combination of excitement and crushing sadness and worry is bouncing around in my brain. I’ve been worrying about tomorrow all week long; it’s Jonah’s last day of preschool, forever. It’s also the last morning for two months that I have to worry about getting all of the kids up and fed and dressed and out the door in time for me to get to work. And it’s the start of the long daylight evenings with no concern (ok, less concern) about bedtime, nights of catching fireflies in the yard and eating popsicles on the patio. It’s also the first summer that I’ve felt like we really have a growing number of friends here, lots of people I’m excited to spend time with all summer long. Continue reading

Learning to love nature and passing it on

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It’s finally, finally becoming beautiful in Michigan. Last week we had a couple of rain storms and, while things were already beginning to show signs of life, everything in the yard seemed to wake up almost overnight. Our new bike trailer arrived last Monday, and I’d been eyeing the forecast all week long and had big hopes for a perfect weekend outdoors. Ever since we uncovered the patio furniture a couple of weeks ago I’ve been wanting to plant things in all of my mom’s hand-me-down pots, the farmers’ market opened for the season this weekend, and I was eager to get the bikes out. I had a moment towards the end of the week when I wondered if feeling this excited for the weekend was setting myself up for the possibility of disappointment, but I didn’t know how to feel otherwise so I let the feeling pass. Continue reading

A hint of spring

It finally warmed up a bit this weekend (50s, but that’s good enough for me in March). While I don’t expect it to stay that way quite yet, it was wonderful to feel just a hint of spring to remind us that it really is coming if we can just be patient a little longer. When I lay down next to Jonah at bedtime tonight it was still light outside, and we talked about what that means and how amazing it is that the light changes as the earth orbits the sun. And sure, daylight savings time, but I didn’t go there.

We had a nice weekend, and today we made it out to the Delano Homestead.

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The twins turn three

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Jude and Vivienne turned three on Wednesday and we celebrated with some of their preschool friends today. They are growing into such funny, interesting little people. I’m really enjoying those rare moments when I’m able to give one child my full attention and really see who they are at this moment in time. It doesn’t happen often enough, but I’m committed to creating more space for it somehow.  Continue reading

The thrill of a new sled

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A couple of weekends ago, after a big snowstorm, we took the kids to the golf course to go sledding. There were lots of families there and Jonah immediately zeroed in on a snowmobile-style sled with a steering wheel. He went over to the family and asked where they’d gotten it, and the grandpa told him that he’d had it in the attic. “That’s funny,” I said, “we had the same one when I was a kid!” They let Jonah take a ride on it and he was hooked. I called my dad to tell him the story after we got home and he recalled having found ours (with a broken seat) and only having thrown it away within the last year or two. He decided that Jonah should have one, and he ordered a similar model on Amazon and had it sent to us for Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

Celebrating thirty-nine with a special cake and my favorite people

I turned 39 yesterday and I have to say that I feel perfectly at ease about it. Some time ago I expected that when I reached this year I’d have a longish list of goals to achieve before turning 40, but I have surprisingly few. It’s not that I have nothing to work on; there are plenty of things I’d like to be better at (less yelling, being a better partner) and things I’m looking forward to doing this year (learning to sew, improving my photography, learning how to properly edit photos, finally getting some indoor plants for the house) but I don’t feel a great sense of pressure about doing everything before I reach my fourth decade. I feel grateful for every year that I get on this earth and for exactly where I am right now. Continue reading