Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DISCLOSUREI read blogs that encourage me. The ones that I continue to return to are the ones that promote simplicity, beauty in the every day, contentment with where we are, domesticity. Those are things that I try to focus on in my blog too. There are lots of less than pleasant things that go on in our home on a daily basis...temper tantrums, impatience, overflowing laundry, last night's dishes in the sink. But those aren't the things that I want to remember, so those aren't the things that I typically blog about.

Today though, I feel compelled to tell you that life as a mother has been really, really challenging for me these last six or so months. I have been/am really struggling. April in particular, has seemed especially daunting. Pregnancy is always a very trying time for me. Even this pregnancy, which has (so far) been pretty easy, especially compared to my other pregnancies, has been challenging. Aside from the normal physical aches and pains of pregnancy, the emotional/mental aspect is a real doozy for me. I feel like I could snap at any moment. My patience flies out the window. And, as a result, I second guess myself as a mother constantly. I wonder how I could possibly have another child, when I obviously am not fit to take care of the ones I have, blah blah blah.

Anyway, my point of all this is to say...I don't know...I guess for the people who know me in real life, my blog might seem like a big disconnect, maybe an alternate reality. It isn't!! I love my family and little green house and being domestic. But it is also really hard sometimes. Everyone's life is hard. We all know that. Mine isn't any harder than anyone else's.
When I look back on this time with small children, I want to remember them happily playing in boxes in the yard and eating homemade popsicles and making bread with me. I don't want to remember that today I yelled at them for jumping on my (just made) bed with their shoes on and telling them that they were making me insane. I want to remember them bringing me flowers. I want to remember snuggling up on the couch with a stack of books.

So, please know, I am not trying to be disingenuous. I am just trying to dwell on the good, happy aspects of daily life. And there is plenty to dwell on! I know that full well. Right now, I am just having to look for those moments a little harder.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Outdoor play. Boxes are always a favorite.
Windows flung open.
Clothes on the line.
Backyard trees in full bloom. Green everywhere.
Fresh fruit, always accessible.
Minimal clothing.
WARM WEATHER CLOTHINGOne of my favorite things about warm weather is that my children can run around with far fewer clothes on. Sweet little tan children's bodies (usually with popsicle juice running down the tummy) is just the best. A cloth diaper is my toddler's uniform of choice all day, every day when it is warm enough.
I just don't think it gets much sweeter than this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EARTH DAY(Trees in our backyard, coming into bloom)
Rather than write my own post, I thought I would link to this excellent post that I found through Like Merchant Ships. She summed it up beautifully. I feel just the same way (but I am less articulate).
"Simply put, I did not make this ground on which I step, or paint the sky. Of my will, I cannot make a single blade of grass grow, or a stem bud and then flower. I am here as witness and steward, and worshiper of the Maker. I want to treat less callously what He made. And with a clothespin, a homemade meal, a planted seed, give thanks."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FIRST STRAWBERRIES OF THE SEASONA farmer gave my daddy a flat of strawberries yesterday and he shared them with me. They are (or should I say, were) the most beautiful, deep red color. I wanted to put them in one of my old blue and white Spode bowls, but they never made it that far. When I was carrying them inside, late yesterday afternoon, the boys ambushed me on the kitchen steps. We ended up having an impromptu strawberry-eating party. I probably say this every year but I am pretty sure these are the best strawberries ever. Even relatively local strawberries from Florida don't hold a candle to true local, still-warm-from-the-sun berries. I am dreaming of all the things I am going to do with the strawberries we will pick later this week.
Fresh strawberries, eaten right away.
Cut up over scones and just-whipped cream.
In smoothies.
In fruit salad and cereal.
Homemade strawberry ice cream and popsicles.
Ah, the possibilities are endless. And this is just the first fruit to come into season!
Is it strawberry season where you live? What are you planning to make with this yummy fruit?

Friday, April 17, 2009

CELEBRATING THE ORDINARYToday is a beautiful day. After a conference with the boys, we came to the unanimous decision that we should have a celebration.
What are we celebrating?
Well, it is Friday.
Our newest member of the family has now been alive for 23 weeks (only 16 weeks until we meet him!).
Our church is celebrating 25 years this week-end.
It is beautiful outside.
The house is pretty clean.
What more reason do we need?!

The menu was quickly decided:
Hot Tea (with lots of cream)
Cheese and Crackers
Orange slices
Funnel Cakes I started on the funnel cakes while the boys went outside and gathered flowers, grass, and hydrangea leaves to decorate the table. I gave them free rein, and they eagerly pulled out linen napkins, silverware, candles and candlesticks, platters, and vases. I filled the teapot. As we ate, we talked about who the boys enjoyed spending time with. We talked about the weather and the food. We talked about table manners. I so often feel like I am racing the clock to try and clean the house, cook, teach Caedmon, etc. And lately, I have been really frazzled. So, it was nice to spend the morning just connecting with the children and celebrating the everyday joys of our life. I am not good at just naturally doing that. It takes real effort on my part. But I am always so glad that I did. Sometimes it surprises me that I have to actively work to engage with and enjoy my children. It doesn't always come naturally, as I had expected it would. Often, caring for their physical needs leaves me feeling exhausted. But I want more than that for us. I want more days like today. I am thinking of ordering Blue Yonder's Book of Days. I think it would help me be more creative and interactive and celebratory on a daily basis. So here's to enjoying the everyday. There is beauty and wonderful things to celebrate all around us. We just have to take the time to notice.