Monday, July 30, 2012

A Little Music for your Monday

Anytime this song finds its way onto my Pandora, I can't help but break into a huge smile.  When the kids start dancing to it and I look around to see all of this abundant life and love around me, I am utterly overwhelmed.  Every day of the week is good, even Monday.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summertime Play

One of the things I love about summer are the large swaths of unstructured time: a truly blank canvas.  There is time for so much in any day: a trip, reading together, playing pretend, going to the pool.  I can tell we've hit a good balance of activity, rest and play when our time at home falls into the rhythm of wonderful ease.  We can spend an morning or afternoon immersed in free play and I have the joy of peeking in every now and then to see what, exactly, is the game of the moment.  Is it dress up?  Nursing sick dolls?  A game of going to the doctor's office?  Playing ball with Hugo?  Having "picnics" with play food all over the house and deck?  A whole story evolved around "the princess and the mouse" as the girls literally became each of the characters (I love the pictures of our little mouse nibbling away at some food).  Little by little, Hugo seems to be accepted as part of the flock.  He's the one who can be assigned any role whatsoever in pretend play, my favorite recently being "the doctor."

I think I'm going to miss this come September!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Terrarium, Take Two


I made a terrarium last year with some lovely lady friends of mine.  This was about a week before Hugo was born.   Whenever there is a newborn baby in the house, every non-breathing life form in the house seems to die.  Houseplants tremble at the sight of my growing belly.  True to form, the terrarium did not make it.

This weekend we embarked upon our second try at a terrarium, with a little more involvement from the kiddos.  We picked an assortment of plants, found some rock in the yard, a bell jar, and went to town.  I love it, and it makes a lovely addition to the mantel.  I think we can even keep these guys alive this time.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Photos Out and About

A few highlights from the week:

:: discovering some amazing water table fountains to play in at the National Portrait Gallery.
:: seeing Robbie Schaefer perform at Wolftrap's Theater in the Woods
:: a stranger observing the girls playing in a creek for several minutes and exclaiming, "They play so well together!"  Any parent, but especially one who has had children that have had their share of quarrels knows how what joy it is to have two children that have discovered one another in play.  This has been a good summer!
:: Hugo walk, walk walking all over Virginia, it seems!  This little boy has found his legs, and is not afraid to sue them!
:: swinging by our favorite local farm to pick up a friend's farm share.
:: Ben and I deciding, on a whim, to give our friends with a brand new baby a call while we were out on a date to see if we could swing by and sneak a cuddle.  It has taken me three children, but I *totally* get the newborn baby obsession.

And what adventures have you been up to this week?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Some Pictures from the In-Betweens

We have been embarking upon all sorts of adventures around here!  Museums, outdoor shows, farms, nature centers, and creeks have been keeping our spirits high and our imaginations active (and our bodies tired at the end of a long day!).  More pictures and stories to come, of course.  

But as I was looking through my pictures from the past week I noticed a few plain old ho-hum moments that were captured here and there.  Playing in the yard, reading in bed, taking a bath, going to the grocery store, or eating donuts after church.  There is something so soothing about these ordinary rhythms and moments.  Even on days when we might spend most of the day doing something thrilling and out of the ordinary, I really believe we draw our strength from these quiet moments at home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Crafty Corner

Here is a classic example of life with three little kids.  Over a year ago, I set up a crafty little corner in our living room where I could sew, store some basic things like needles and sewing scissors, and generally steal away for a few moments here and there to get some mending done or make something.  And here I am one year later only now getting around to blogging about it!  

There are so so often little things that need to be "fixed" a bit around here: a dress that needs to be altered to fit a growing girl, straps to a sundress that need to be reattached, or even a bathing suit (for mama) that needs to be redesigned a bit to stay decent while holding a grabby toddler.  Our house is small, and it is generally wise to keep anything essential in the main living area (so I can do a little something with kids at my feet).  And so I carved out a teeny tiny little corner where I could place a table, chair, sewing machine and a few essential supplies.

I have used this little corner so much this past year!  I sewn Christmas bags and smocks for the little girls and have hemmed countless dresses.  The trick really is to have everything out and ready to use, not stored away in storage containers in the basement, which was my previous set up.  I have found that when one shops at the thrift store, it is handy to be able to make some alterations on garments, and all of a sudden that makes your selection much larger.  A too-large dress can become a cute skirt, a too-small skirt can become an apron, a men's shirt can become a boy's romper, etc.  It just takes a bit of creativity!

And the great joy of this little crafty space is that it was nearly free to set up.  Corner desk courtesy of my sweet neighbor Jen, painted chair overflow from our dining table, storage for thread for a dollar from the thrift store, and embroidery hoops also found on the cheap at the thrift store and outfitted with scraps of fabric (which we switch out based on our mood and the season).

What have you done with little corners in your house?  Any inspiration for "crafty" spaces?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

That Lady they call Mom


Fact: my children mistakenly call my sister "mom" all the time and I don't mind in the least.  Yes, there's a bit of a physical likeness between me and my sister.  We share clothing, both have long hair, etc.  But there's more to it than that.  Irene is maternal to the core, and kids can sense these things, don't you know?  She emanates love, acceptance, and is entirely present to you at any given moment.  She loves those around her just like a mom: fully, unconditionally.

Can I call you mom, too, Irene?  You know I'll take you up on it.