Monday, October 31, 2011


The sky was clear and bright. The air was crisp. The children could be heard down the block, happily shouting, "Trick or Treat!"

Gavin had a blast. Running through the neighborhood with his cousin was a thrill. Benett's short little legs tried to keep up... but the novelty wore off quickly.

I knew he was tired when he said, "We gotta hurry up and git home, mama." He wasn't whining. He wasn't complaining. He was stating the obvious. Both Monte and I were in full agreement.

The night was a success for our little team. Both of the boys enjoyed going through their bags of loot. Ellie... well she was content to eat a sucker... with or without the wrapper removed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The pumpkins are carved.

The treat bags are empty, ready to be filled.

The costumes are (almost) washed and ready to go.

Gavin is so excited for a night of tricks and treats... I'm not sure Benett really understands what Halloween is all about, but Gavin's excitement alone, is enough to make him giddy in anticipation of the things to come.

We'll make a couple stops tomorrow. That will be enough for the kids, and enough for us too. Although it's fun to see them enjoying themselves and excited to be dressed up incognito... it's also fun to put them into bed, tuckered out from the chilly evening air, with bellies full of more than a few sweet treats.

Friday, October 28, 2011


No matter the good intentions, or the high degree of patience which you may possess, as a parent, allowing a three-year-old to play with a Kazoo is not, under any circumstance, a good idea. Ever.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Childhood seems to go so fast because the moments that we treasure the most with our children tend to be too few. Don’t get me wrong, I try to enjoy each and every moment with the little people… sometimes are easier than others… but nonetheless, I try to see past the difficulties and find something lovely or inspiring or memorable in each day.

But the truth is that the moments that are seared into the brain, the really special memories that we look back on with much fondness and love, are rare. Not rare because we don’t make time for them, but rare because that’s the nature of it all. If the stars were always aligned, we’d take them for granted… we wouldn’t see them for how special they really are.

My Benett doesn’t always sit quietly on my lap, coloring a picture. Most of the time he’s being his own brand of little boy who loves to play… the louder and messier the better.

Gavin isn’t always so willing to chat. He’s a friendly little boy who is very articulate, but sometimes when I feel like talking he doesn’t. So I get “okay.”

Ellie tries to keep up with her brothers... but even so, she's the baby. Maybe (most likely) my last baby. I try to soak in each second, because this may be my last chance to experience that littleness. To be the mom of a child so small… one who is discovering the world around her each and every day.

Tonight, as we rocked before bed, she laid quietly in my arms. There was no squirming to get up, no reaching for a book or a toy, there was no crying. It was only us, quiet. My littlest one snuggling in my arms. She would touch my nose. “Nose” she’d say. To which I’d touch her nose. “Nose” I’d say in return. Then ears… then eyes… then cheeks. And smile… her proud little grin lit up the room with each assessment.

When I finally put her in bed and tucked her in with the fuzzy blanket that she loves best, she rolled to her side to watch me go. It was difficult to leave. I just didn’t want that moment to end… but stars don’t remain aligned forever…

I blew my baby girl a kiss and she did the same. If I die tomorrow… or a 50 years from now, I’ll remember that little kissing sound she made with her little hand over her little lips.

That was a moment, so simple and quiet. I’ll treasure it forever and for always, but I won’t expect it again tomorrow. I'm okay with that, because I'll remember today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Both Monte and I are tired, to the bone, tonight.

Between Benett's late night marauding and Ellie's midnight crying jag, we didn't get much sleep. The alarm went off way too soon at 4:10 this morning. Today was a long commute day, for me... a long day in general.

So, tonight Benett got his wish... to "watch a Woody moving." (Toy Story 3) Benett just loves the adventure and we happily let him enjoy it, so we could relax a bit.

It was nice to just sit, which little bodies cuddling in my lap. It felt right. It was very relaxing. There is something about having a full lap that will just set things right... no matter how tired I might be.

We need to get rested up... this weekend we have some things in mind... carving pumpkins for sure, but we might also try our hand at making some applesauce. Our lovely neighbor shared a jar with us, and the kids gobbled it up. I think it's a project we can do as a family... and it feels like a great way to spend the last weekend of October.

Monday, October 24, 2011


He's a friendly and outgoing boy, yet I worry about him. I worry that he doesn't have friends... or more accurately, the kind of friends that are really friends. I just don't want him to get wrapped up with those kids who will take advantage of his generosity and friendliness, for their own gain or amusement.

I don't want him to be hurt.

There isn't any specific reason for my worry... maybe it's just because boys are so different than girls. He doesn't have a best pal... someone with whom he's connected at the hip. He is happy to play with anyone... all kinds of boys and girls. But since I'm not sure how the boy-friendship thing works, I worry a little.

Monte talks about growing up in town, and how playing with neighbors or pick-up baseball games was his childhood reality... Gavin doesn't have that opportunity, so we make every effort to get him together with friends.

Yet, I ask Gavin every day who he played with and what they did, with the intensity of a detective on a hot lead.

"Who did you sit with on the bus?"
"Did you play with a new friend at recess?"
"How is 'so-and-so' today?"

Each day the response is the same...

"I sat behind 'so-and-so' on the bus. I like to sit by myself, Mom."
"I think I played with 'so-and-so' at recess... but I can't remember..."

He's not worried. He's happy, so I should be too... I should be content that he's just fine playing with or sitting with, who ever he'd like (or not). Yes, it's a jungle out there, but this boy is friendly and outgoing... and he'll be just fine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


The little people are great teachers. Although it seems like Monte and me should be doing the teaching, we were on the receiving end... and may even come away from the weekend having learned a thing or two.

Pancakes always taste better when in the shape of your name.

Pants are optional... when you're three... and when you're riding a trike (AKA "plowing the field").

Do not try to coax a three-year-old who is riding a trike (AKA "plowing the field") into pants. It won't end well.
Do not try to feed children couscous. This one should be obvious... I'll be cleaning this stuff up for months.

No matter how hard you may try, or how long you soak in the bath, getting couscous out of hair is nearly impossible.

The sky, just after sunset, at harvest time is my favorite thing.

The little people didn't teach me this one... I've known it for a long time.

Although they were teachers this weekend, the little people are learning too. From Monte and me and all on their own.

Gavin is learning that he too loves the sky, just after sunset, at harvest time... for its beauty and because there aren't many places better than in a combine, with Bapa... but that is something that he's also known for a long time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I think this image feels quiet. It feels still. It feels like an autumn evening. There is only one thing missing... a bright pair of owl eyes looking back from one of the stark branches.

I'm not sure what it is about owls. I see them everywhere these days... from home decor to a fun little blog, dedicated to entirely to owls.

I can't recall the last time I saw an owl in the wild, but I was awoken a couple of nights ago by one, who happened to be making quite a ruckus in the tree just outside of the bedroom window. I have to say it was a bit creepy... so on second thought, maybe this tree image is okay without the glowing eyes looking back.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


They're everywhere, overachievers are a part of life... even if you happen to be a stalk of corn.

Today, I placed myself firmly in the underachieving camp. This bug (and headache) just won't give up its strangle hold.

So I kept myself at home, in bed, in hopes of my immune system doing some overachieving of it's own... sadly that didn't happen. As a result, I'm off to slurp soup and put myself back to bed. With any luck, I'll sleep soundly and dream of really tall corn.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I like to be timely. But with three little people, being on time is a challenge in and of itself. It's the source of much stress... either I'm stressed because we're running late or they're stressed because I don't want to be late.

Even when I don't have to be anywhere, being timely can be a challenge. Take this project for instance.It hasn't even been worn yet, but this infinity scarf has quite a few miles on it. It's been to Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico and maybe the East Coast a time or two. I've spent hours with it in my lap. Every inch of the yarn has been wound between my fingers. I've loved every moment. (Except the twist, but that's another story.)

This project is so late it's almost early. Happy Birthday, Mom! I'm excited to say (finally) that you're birthday present is finished. I think I'll hold onto it until Thursday so it can be a full 9 months late. Ugh.

I wanted to take my time with this project, to get it right. I've never knitted in the round, and so I was trying to be meticulous... to concentrate. So I didn't rush. Instead I tended this project little by little working away when I became inspired... Knowing all the while, it would be late.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Imperfect as it is, this gift has been made with love... I hope you enjoy it, and that it keeps you as warm as your love has kept me.

Monday, October 17, 2011


It's moments like this one that I want to commit to memory. This photograph doesn't capture a major life event or even a milestone. It's just a day in our quiet life. A slow moment, just spent as a family... it's father and son... just being.

It's affection. Love, plain and simple.

This photograph and many more like it are the reason I started this journey, Megan Simply Said, a year ago.

All of the sudden I felt so compelled to put down my thoughts and connect them with the images that tell a story… to document who we are, where we've been and to catalog hopes and dreams... to keep a record of the lovely or funny or mundane. All of these things happen so fast and if we're not careful they all become forgotten, fading into the blur of life whizzing by.

Thank you for coming along for the ride. I'm excited about what the next year has in store and happy to be able to look back and remember where we've been.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I believe that all the little people have permanently dirty knees. They become very nervous at bath time, because they know I intend to come at their knees, wash cloth loaded with soap and ready to scrub.

I scrub and scrub, but never seem to get the dirt out. Those dirty knees are walking, living proof that I have a laundry pile full of jeans that look exactly the same way.

Don't tell the children, but I'm considering the use of Formula 409 and a dish scrubber in their next bath.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. But I've never really noticed how pretty it can be in the autumn. In the spring, it's a welcome sight for snow-weary eyes. That first bit of green to be harvested from the garden is special.

But in the fall, it's transformed from slender stalks to shrub-like proportion... filled out completely and studded with red seed pods.

I started asparagus from seed once. It took months for the tiny black seeds to germinate and grow. I'm feeling lucky, so I think I'll bring a few of the red pods indoors and try starting the seeds for a new raised bed. Maybe I'll be able to find an eager little helper who'd like to play in the dirt with me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Gavin and Ellie have a special bond. She just loves him to pieces and he's as patient as can be, with her. I love how much they look alike too... those blond-headed babies!

While Benett is off doing other things, these two will sit and chat... I'm not sure what' they're discussing here, but they sat there for the longest time. Content.

She'd prattle on a bit, and look at him every now and then... then reach out and lay her hand on his leg... just to make sure he was close.

And then they're off to explore. She'll go anywhere with him. Hand-in-hand Gavin walks with his littlest wish... a little sister to make our family complete.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pulled Up

On Sunday, before we visited the apple orchard, we stopped at a favorite park for a picnic and a little time on the playground. The kids had so much fun and to tell you the truth, so did I. It was such a lovely day and the tree color was marvelous.

The other nice thing is that we had this little park completely to ourselves for 98% of the time. A young couple made a quick stop at 'our' park for just a few minutes. At the same time they were walking through the area where he was playing, Benett decided he could wait no longer... he had to go potty... NOW! So he did what all 3-year-old boys do... he tried to disrobe himself.

I'm sure this couple had never seen a mother run as fast as I did (through sand - ugh), trying to get to Benett before his rear end was barred for all to see. I did get to him; in time to make sure his shorts stayed up... but not in time to make sure he didn't pee.

Lucky for me, it was a breezy day. We left his wet shorts out to dry, and Benett sported a pull up for a while. Lucky for Benett, he doesn't mind running around in a diaper. He won't let a little thing like pants (or the lack of pants) get between him and his play time.

Monday, October 10, 2011


On Sunday we made our annual fall trip to the orchard. It was a beautiful day, perfect for picking apples and enjoying each other's company. There was an added bonus too, when the littlest people fell asleep on the ride home... yay for naps!

We were introduced to a delicious new apple variety (maybe just new to us) called Snow Sweet. Look out Honey Crisp, there's a new kid in town! I think Gavin ate three right there in the orchard. Benett and Ellie had one in each hand the entire time too.

Gobbling up fruit and asking for more is a great habit that I'd like to see more often. Gavin was so smitten with his new treat that he requested an apple to take for his morning snack... he's a granola bar kind of kid, so needless to say, I was very impressed!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This weekend I felt a little like I was walking on eggshells, around Benett. He was on edge... cranky and disgruntled in general. The smallest thing would set him off, sending him on a 20 minute crying jag.

Good times.

I shouldn't be so surprised at his moodiness, after all we play that game of 'Put Benett Down to Sleep' for about 45 minutes in the middle of the day. It's a game of will and he always wins. After 45 minutes of him sneaking out of bed and us putting him back, we give up.

This little boy has a very specific idea of how thing should be. He knows what he likes and what he doesn't like, and unless there is sugar involved, attempts at persuasion are futile.

Although he's small, Benett isn't deterred by most things. I do love the determination that he has burning like a fire in his gut. Be it a big huge bale of hay that he "NEEDS" to climb or a step that's too high or a baseball to hit, Benett can do anything he sets his mind to.

I only wish he weren't so determined to not take a nap.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


At the risk of sounding like the crazy chicken lady that I may be evolving into, don't you think this gal is a beauty?

On these warm days, she seems to soak up the sun... spending a little extra time preening. She fastidiously cleans under her wings and her tail feathers are so fluffy... she just shines.

But this gal has seemed a little nervous and until tonight I didn't really understand why. She's very tame and enjoys human company, eating dandelion greens and clover when fed by hand. She's gentle with the little people too.

Her coop-mates, on the other hand, are decidedly less... congenial.

Tonight, I decided it was time to play chicken whisperer to the wildish gals. (They all need names... maybe that's a project for this month...) I started by picking this gal up to show the others that it was going to be okay. Well, she instantly settled into the crook of my arm. She was no longer anxious, and allowed the littlest people to pet her and pamper her with clover. She was in chicken heaven. She only needed some attention... Not unlike us humans, I guess.

I tried the same technique with the other two, but after chasing them around the coop for several minutes... much to the delight of the little people... and by the time I finally caught them and they stopped flapping and squawking and carrying-on... I wasn't all that interested in whispering.

I think I may be okay with having only one tame chicken.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Yesterday  I wore a dress. It wasn't a special occasion... unless you consider that I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn a dress since I donned my wedding gown.

I'm trying to break out of my wardrobe rut, which is not an easy task. I'm just not all that comfortable walking around without pants... which is what wearing a dress is to me.

I'm trying to learn from my little girl. She wears dresses and is just as rough and tumble as the boys she's trying to keep up with... not unlike me. Like her, I need to be able to hold my own with the boys. That is considerably easier to do, while wearing pants.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


A mother's needs always come last. That's okay, it's how it's supposed to be. But some nights, it goes way beyond that concept. On some nights, there is so much to do, it feels like riding bike down a steep hill while pedaling furiously the whole time.

Those nights are okay too, as long as they don't make up the majority of the week. On nights like tonight, I don't even have time to think about myself and the fact that I didn't have dinner, much less feel hungry.

Tonight we had the bikes in high gear and were whizzing down the hill, everything a blur as we went.

Like learning to ride with training wheels, the first step in our busy night can be a little wobbly. Transitioning from daycare to home is challenging on the best days. Tonight we managed to get everyone home by 5:45. It was a minor miracle, but we had to hustle, so we really put our minds to it and kept our bikes on two wheels.

We're picking up speed as Monte popped some chicken into the oven and searched for some fruit while I fed the chickens. By 6:10 the little people were happily eating. 

We're in our stride as the clock ticked 6:20 and it was time for Gavin to get changed, so I could get him to football practice at 6:30. Monte followed at 7:00 with the little ones, so we could all be there to watch Gavin's football game.

At full speed, I took Benett and Ellie home at 7:30 to get them washed-up, teeth and hair brushed and into bed. Monte and Gavin arrived back home by 8:15... It's Gavin's turn to get cleaned-up for bed. Miracle of miracles, Gavin was quick about getting into his PJs, and completing his homework.

By 8:40 we're coasting to the bottom of the hill, and Gavin has finished his work and gone to bed... only 40 minutes late, which isn't too bad for such a busy night. It was a wild ride, but we made it to the bottom! Tomorrow we'll be able to be slower and more deliberate... and have everyone in bed by the 8:00 bedtime.

Just when I think I've made it to the bottom of that very steep hill, and I can sit... maybe enjoy a bowl of Cheerios... I see another hill... only this is a hill to climb... this hill is made up of laundry and dishes begging for my attention.

But the nice thing about going for a bike ride, is that I can decide to keep going, or put the bike away and stay home, and that's just what I've decided to do. Those two things will be waiting for me in the morning, when I'm rested and ready for another hill.

Monday, October 3, 2011


In the day to day care of my kids, it can be a shock to the system to notice a change about them. I mean I see my kids every day... but I don't SEE my kids every day.

When they're tiny and new, each day there are changes. I recall vividly being startled by how differently Gavin looked some mornings when I'd go to pluck him from his crib. I thought to myself on more than one occasion that it was so amazing how quickly he changed.

That's really when my obsession for photographing him started... and that obsession continues with all of the little people now. I may not be the best photographer, but I have loads and loads of pictures of each, in an attempt to record and thus recall each and every moment.

I SAW Ellie this weekend. She isn't a baby anymore. She tries so hard for her independence. She's sweet and funny and has developed this sense of humor and personality that is joyful and spirited.

She's grown into her piggy tails.

All at once, I want to go back and stay right here... I miss that baby and love this new person. I can practically feel that soft fuzzy hair and her silk-smooth skin as she nestles into the crook of my arm. 

She's still fuzzy and soft, but she's stronger and heavier too. She clings to me in a different way, with a new purpose. She looks back at me with love in her eyes. I can see her mirroring me now, and seeing my love in her eyes is a gift like no other. And that is what makes going back less appealing than staying right here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Superman has a cape.

Spiderman has that fancy suit.

Batman has Robin.

I have my gloves.

With these gloves I can do anything. Pick up a frog - no problem. Catch a cricket - bring it on. Grab one of the birds for Benett to pat - piece of cake.

But like the aforementioned guys, without my special accessory it's a whole different story. I'll run, with shivers down my spine, from any amphibian, bug or chicken... Just like Superman and the like, I just can't fight crime without them.

They don't make me super, but these gloves make me a whole lot braver. And bravery is something that one needs, when raising backyard birds... and children for that matter.