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

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

Raising a runner

I’ve never been a runner. I played a lot of sports growing up, mostly with an overwhelming lack of enthusiasm, and the one through-line is that I hated running of all kinds. I can remember the side aches, meandering my way through the one mile “run” in middle school gym class, dreading running as a punishment during every sports practice. Once I was in college I eventually decided to try to get in good enough shape to run a 5K, and I did, and that was enough for me. I’m someone who goes to the gym and does cardio but long stretches of running have never factored in heavily. Continue reading

Easy DIY photo strip valentines

Valentines Cards 2019

Valentine’s Day has never made my list of favorite holidays, but since having kids it feels like an excellent excuse for thematic crafting. For the past couple of years I’ve picked up some pre-cut hearts and loads of stickers and sequins and markers and let the kids go to town and drop whatever chaos they ended up creating into their classmates’ paper-bag mailboxes. This year the holiday coincided with an irrepressible urge to take on a creative project, so I decided to co-opt their valentines entirely. Continue reading

How do you raise kids to find joy in the ordinary?

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This morning when I dropped Jonah off, he told me that he doesn’t like school. It was the first time this year that I can recall him having said so, and it made me sad. He’s had a surprisingly positive experience in kindergarten so far (and I say “surprisingly” only because I had my doubts about the worksheet- and testing-centric culture of today’s public schools). I asked him what he didn’t like and he told me that it’s too hard (which is also surprising, since he’s whizzing through everything they’re teaching). I assured him that he’s doing great in school and that he can do hard things, which is when he took a turn for the existential and told me that most of the time he can’t find anything fun to do. I inquired as to whether we were still talking about school, but no, now he was talking about life in general. Continue reading

Jonah turns six

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Jonah was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving, exactly a week past his due date. So this year, the year that he turns six, was the first year since that his birthday has fallen on a Saturday.  For some reason that felt meaningful to me this year, though I can’t say why exactly. Every year I feel completely unprepared for our children to suddenly become a year older than they were. I know; it isn’t sudden, it’s a one-day-at-a-time sort of thing.  But it always feels abrupt. Continue reading

Finding our sweet spot

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I feel like I’m getting the hang of this solo-parenting weekends thing. We’ve had so many lovely people checking in on us, offering play-dates, asking if we need anything from the grocery store, but to my surprise we never seem to have much aimless down time – those moments in which the minutes seem to crawl by and you’re wondering what on earth to do with the kids now. Somehow our Saturdays and Sundays have felt rather full, in a good way.  Continue reading

The first weekend of solo-parenting

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Have I mentioned before that Kristin is doing a yoga teacher training program in Chicago this fall, and that she’ll be gone for nine weekends? I’ve been incredibly anxious about it, and it kicked off this weekend. To be honest it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I had plans Friday night and getting ready for the sitter and getting out of the house was much harder on my own, but the days went by fairly easily for the most part, and the weather has been so cool and beautifully fall-like that I was happy to skip the usual weekend field trips and stay home a bit more. 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