Saturday, March 31, 2012

saturday randomness - phone dump

This is Ella. She is Wylie's favorite chicken and the most docile. The kids played a trick on me and said that she got up here on her own. Not so much. Silly kids.

We spend last weekend and part of this week scraping paint off our house and wooden windows.
Not  because we wanted to mind you. You know I like some peely paint, but apparently the Federal government doesn't (what unimaginative grumps!) If someone is going to buy our house with an FHA loan (and chances are good they will) then we have to scrape and paint all flaky paint.
Boo. So that is where we are at.

I reaarranged the boys room and moved out their desk for a more "spacious" look.
Of course now they just have more floor space to completely cover with Lego's and socks.

This child loves water and rain. He loves to swing and he loves to create gigantic mud holes that he fills with water and then calls them things like Miles Sea. 
We have GOT to move to the country. Stat.

Here Wylie is holding one of the baby goats at Darley Farm. So precious!

On April 18 this blog will be 6 years old. I took this photo early on, within a month or so of starting this little experiment. 

I took this photo this week. 
So much has changed in 6 years. 
So much is the same.
If I had told myself then what all lay ahead I might have slapped myself and committed me to a psych unit. I wonder if I would have been less anxious about so many things if I had just known what was coming? I wonder if I can have the faith to believe that the same will be true in another 6 years and I should just settle down and enjoy the journey?
I hope so.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fly Away Fridays- field

I have been buried under work and house and work and more work this week.
Today I am dreaming of laying on this quilt in the middle of a field looking at cloud shapes with my boys.
Dozing in between, munching on berries and shortbread, drinking fizzy lemonade.

Instead I am working my fanny off. But it's all good.

Love lots,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - on the nightstand

Thanks to the fab LeahPeah for her giveaway!
I adore this handy and colorful and easy to use little book.
It actually makes me want to darn my socks, and contemplate talking hemming my pants.

This one I am loving as well. I happily discovered it at my favorite used bookstore in hardback (I have had it on my wish list forever) and snatched it up quickly. Last night I almost finished it, but I was so tired I could not bring myself to push through. I wanted to wait till I was rested well to soak in the few remaining pages.

I have just started this one.  I have a stack three deep on this topic so far and I am gradually working my way through them.  
Despite this lovely stack, I am afraid all my reading is about to go on hiatus for a few weeks. I just got my manuscript back and it is time for the edits and rewrites. I have to say that my editors were very kind, and while there are plenty of changes to be made, it is still my book. 
I didn't think it was possible, but I am even more excited than before to see it all come together.
 So here we go- The Book: Phase 2.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lent on Tuesdays- Again and again, over and over

This Spring Break I finally succumbed.
I gave way. I broke down. I finally did it.
I learned to crochet. I learned sitting on a worn couch and on a rainy porch for hours.
I learned from my friend. I learned because I listened. Because I asked questions. Because I got it wrong. Because I asked for help.
So. Many. Times.
And still I am not perfect. Honestly, I am not even sure what I am doing half of the time. But I keep going. Because I love it. Because it matters to me that I am capable of learning. That I not give in to the conceit or the mirage that I know all I need to know.

Today I read this post by Shauna Niequist on meeting Anne Lamott (who changed her life, who changed mine.)
And through misty, leaky eyes I read these words:

It seems obvious now, now that we have Elizabeth Gilbert and Lauren Winner and loads of other great women writers talking about faith and life and everything else. But Anne Lamott, in my view, is the first, and the best, and the one we’re all paying homage to when we write about our faith in honest and unguarded ways, using humor and honesty to drop people’s defenses and invite them into the loveliness and the mess.
... she’s the one. The one who gave me a picture of WHAT I WANTED TO BE, what I wanted to do with my life, and what I wanted to do with my words. She’s the one who made me think a girl like me could make something beautiful and meaningful, when I thought that work was only being done by men who knew all the answers, not by women who had lots of questions.

I am one of those women. One of the ones with lots of question who was set free by Anne's voice and heart. I am a girl who tries to weave faith and memories and humor and the simple beauty of everyday task and the hidden wonders of repetitiveness observances into some sort of story that tells God's story,  my story and where, perhaps if I am so blessed,  you will see yours too. 

But lately the questions seem huge. The frustrations and road blocks insurmountable. I feel myself retreating, hiding and protecting. "I hate first steps. I just want to be THERE" said Julia on the tv show SMASH.  "YES!" I holler at the screen. "YES! I hate first steps. She gets it!"
But deep down I know that first steps are the only path.  I know that I will have to start over. Over and over and over. With each mistake, each impatient word snapped, each curse muttered under my breath, each hope raised  and dashed,  each complaint logged, I have confess that I need help. I have to confess my ungratefulness, my falling down. 
And then I have to stop, listen for direction, and start again. 

If there is anyone who gets this it is Anne. And that is why I love her. And Shauna. She get's it too.
And so do Witt and Wells as they sing: 
Bare feet stepping on glass
We break along life’s paths
Our fear and loss, we bring it all to you
Soul-breather, making all things new. 

If you are still searching for a unique or new way to connect with  and observe the season of Lent,  I would highly recommend this 5 song collection,  Image of God from Witt and Wells which has become my soundtrack for this season. Each week I will be sharing something from these beautiful songs and how they are working their way into my heart and prayers.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Make Do {and Make Lovely} Monday- An Ode to Napping

Dear Spring Break,
You were not what I had planned, but I think you were what I needed.
Especially the naps. 

The soft afternoon light coming in through the curtains. The windows barely open, just cracked enough for me to hear the breeze and the birds and the occasional low roar of a passing car. The perfect napping tune.

I loved the feeling of crawling in between my rumpled sheets. Soft and cool, they comforted me.  Pulling them over my head, one foot stuck out the side and off the bed, I sank away from my worries, escaping into the well worn curves of my well worn mattress.

Occasionally I would read a few lines of a book before sleep came. But it was not hard to find heavy eyelids in that cool, gray light, hidden from all the world and all my worries. I napped the nap of the gods; of childhood. Deep and languid and silent.

And it was good.
Yours truly,

sundays challenge- moment by moment

Taking time to live your life will only inspire your work

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; 
   don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; 
   he's the one who will keep you on track. 
Proverbs 3: 5-6 MSG  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

saturday randomness - phone dump

Waiting for Sweet Man's band to play at the Old State House.
Love, love this outfit.

Potter the Hedge Hog post bath.
Sweet baby hates it so much, but it loves the towel swaddling after.

My new hobby.
Just gotta get it tuned and cleaned.
I intend to wiggle my way into Sweet Man's band with this baby.
Much more Linda than Yoko if you know what I mean.

Clearance boots from Old Navy and a vintage Levi's skirt from Savers.
Love them together. I just need a huge floppy hat and I could be on the cover of Glamour circa 1978.

Cosmos are my favorite cocktail of all time.
This will never change.

The boys have mastered bike riding at last.
This took a while because we do not live on a good street for learning. Luckily my in-laws do and they put the boys through the ringer.

This one we can't hardly get off his bike.
Will be so nice when we move and he can ride all over the dirt roads.

Ben and Jeanetta came over for a grown-up night out with no kids.
We went out for Tapas. So great. They are our lifelong very best couple friends and it is always wonderful to spend time with them, relaxing and visiting. The night was amazing nourishment for the soul as well as the belly.

The next morning we recovered with a brunch at our neighborhood Honduran restaurant Rosalinda's  
and ate our weight in yuca and plantain and tamales. It was so delish.


Enough fun, time to get to work on all Sweet Man's To-Do list for the house.

Friday, March 23, 2012

almost ready

Spring Break is almost over.
I am almost ready. Almost. 
Tomorrow is a big work day on the house. Friends and family are coming over to help us with some big projects (anyone feel like scrapping peeling paint??) that we have been putting off in hopes that the house would sell anyway.  But it hasn't so here we go.
This week has been mostly wonderful.
Not at all what I had planned or expected (do you see a theme running through 2012 for me already??) but mostly lovely just the same.
Next week I will take you on a little tour of our week and our projects ( Pinky promise.) For now, I have a little more breakcationing to do.

Till then
Peace & Love

PS- Have you discovered PicMonkey?? I love it so much more than Picnik!

Monday, March 19, 2012

make do {and make lovely} mondays - on break

Taking a bit of a blog sabatical for a day or two or three to soak up some rest and peace as we start our break.

See you back here soon,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

saturday randomness

It's Saturday. Our first Saturday without Chloe girl.
I do OK until I am editing pictures and I stumble across one of her recently.
And then come the waterworks full force.
Guess that is just how it will be for a while.

Thank goodness for great friends who come and distract me for hours, who make me laugh, who understand. And thank goodness for the chickens. The silly, silly chickens. 
They look so serious but really they are so silly. 
They try to eat my toes, and that too makes me laugh.

Have I ever shown you their coop?
Well this is it. Isn't it great? Sweet Man built it out of reclaimed materials (for the most part.)
It needs a good coat of paint to make it all more uniform, but the gals don't seem to mind, and we have pretty much abandoned putting anymore time into since we started getting the house ready to sell.
Maybe if we run out of things to do around here I will take it on.
What color do you think?

Speaking of getting the house ready, I replaced my homespun lampshade in the dining room with this one from Hobby Lobby. I think it looks good and neutral, but still has some charm, and goes with the house.

I have been packing in faith and most of my cookbooks have found their way into boxes, but these were the ones I just couldn't pack up yet.
I loved how they looked with the evening light coming in through the kitchen curtains.

I think maybe I am acclimated to Daylight Spending Time (as Miles calls it) finally.
What about you? 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fly Away Fridays- Spring Break

Our Spring Break is next week and a I am making some plans.
Lilly and Brady will be spending the week with us and so with 4 kids in tow I figured that I needed to have a plan to keep us all busy when the togetherness wears a little thin.
 Of course at this stage I am a little leery of making plans, as my original "plan" for spring break was to be moving or packing or both. But that is not to be yet, SO instead we are going to kick back and have some fun. 

All four kids love the outdoors and making stuff so I am hoping we can find some time to make some adorable kites. I found this Great Kite-How-To-Guide and even though this one is decorative I think I can modify it so that we can make some that fly.

This afternoon I am taking my bike in for a tune up. Wherever we go this week I am planning on taking all the bikes with us, this will be a great way to get the kids outside and active and entertained all at the same time.

Of course there will be some light crafting 

And some yummy baking.

I also plan on a one hour of silence siesta each afternoon. I will send each kid to a different room/corner where they have to remain alone and quiet. They can read, they can play, they can nap, but they cannot come out and they cannot be together. I will camp out in the middle and take my own on siesta

So those are our spring break "plans" (I say that just never know.)
What are yours?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

sweet chloe

Yesterday, our sweet pup, Chloe the Brave left our little family.
She was the best pup ever. Sweet, gentle, loyal, brave, and beautiful.
 She was ours for 13 years and we are grateful for all of them. 
We loved her and she loved us.

Chloe the Brave
April 1999 - March 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

wordy Wednesday-these two, the word is two

After much consideration and ferocious debating it was unanimously concluded that we need a little lightening up around this place. And I don't just mean the cabinets.
So let me introduce you to Twiddle Dum and Tiddle Dee. The wonder un-twin twins. AKA Miles and Brady.

Brady and her big sister Lilly are family friends. We call them our cousins. Even though there is no blood linking us there is enough love, tears and time to call them family and so we do.
Lilly and Brady spend several afternoons and evenings with us each week and it is funny to watch all the dynamics between the kids when there are four instead of two, especially because they are perfectly stair-stepped. Lilly-Wylie-Brady-Miles. 

I never know day to day who is going to pair up with whom. They all shift and change who they play with, who is getting along, who is frustrated, who is tired, who is wired.
On this day Miles and Brady had paired up. Sick of being bossed by the bigger kids, they had come into the kitchen to hang out with me and eat their snack.
Their relationship never ceases  to crack me up. Mr. Serious- but -Whimsical Miles and Miss Silly-but-Literal Brady make a funny pair. I love to watch them argue and joke. I love how Miles can confound Brady with his strong affinity for magical creatures and how Brady can blow Miles mind with her ability to laugh no matter what. Watching him teach her how to spot our  House Brownie through his seeing stone, or listening to her lead him to the silver lining in any situation always makes me smile.

I love that these two have the shared language of being the youngest in a sibling pair, that they are learning to prefer each other over themselves (at times very very slowly, but still) that they alwaus have an alley in the pack, and they have the ability to comfort each other with laughter and silliness and whimsy, just when it is needed most.

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