Thursday, May 31, 2012


Summer ball started tonight. I'm not sure who was more excited, Gavin or Coach Dad! Despite all of the pre-game nerves, team orange had a great night. It seems like a great group of kids and everyone is interested in working and playing hard.

Gavin had a good game. It's so much fun to see his confidence level go up the more he plays. This time last year, I remember being happy if he was engaged in the game going on around him. This year, he's really getting the fundamentals down and playing harder.

Although winning and losing is a big deal to the kids, for me it feels like a win to see him genuinely happy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It's easy to get caught up in the monotony of a busy life... absently rushing from one thing to the next; while the beautiful or funny or charming things become obscured… hidden in plain sight.

It’s easy to see the beautiful, funny and charming when it’s quiet; we can commit things to memory and revel in our joy, when life is slow and measured. But, I think it must be a true gift to recognize the beautiful and funny and charming things while in the midst of the demands of life.

The irony of my situation is that I push myself through so many things so that I can devote more of my attention to my family. But whilst I am bustling, they’re waiting; or more tragically, not waiting, for me to give my attention.

I’m not quite sure how to make that change in my life… to quiet my mind, if not my surroundings, and soak it all up. To notice and give thanks for the treasures that fill each of my days... beauty can be so simple, like clover amid the grass, if only we take the time to notice. I guess one just has to make the decision and do it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It's true, two heads are better than one. For the most part, the little people abide by this philosophy... and are great about putting their heads together (literally), especially when it comes to mischief.

Never am I more stricken with a sense of panic, than when things suddenly go quiet. Let's just say that lately... I've had the opportunity to hone my mischief-radar.

Part of it has to do with Benett's unabashed curiosity and a brazen tendency to act as 'ring-leader' and Ellie's willingness to follow suit... that is until the moment that they're caught. Benett is quick to say, "Ellie did it!" And she just screams and runs away. It's a frequent scene.

But if I'm quiet, I can catch them quietly red-handed... and even if they are making mischief... I'll love the way they look putting their heads together in their combined effort.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


She's getting to be a wee bit bossy, and Ellie has the hands-on-the-hips stance to prove it. She has also adopted a new favorite phrase, "You can't do that!" This girl says it in the most indignant way that makes even us adults think twice about what it is we're doing.

I guess I can't really blame her... bossing around Benett is a tough job, but Ellie tries so hard... and I think she just gets stuck in character occasionally.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today I was surprised by a phone call from a lovely friend. It was so great to hear from her... and it reminded me that life really is like a box of chocolates or maybe a piece of chocolate cake. It's sweet, even if your piece of cake has fallen on it's side.

Life is full of ups and downs, and tippy cake. But the frosting on the top are your people. The people that last through all of the tippiness and the twists and turns.

Benett and I agree, no matter what kind of cake, the best part is always the frosting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Whether you're three or thirty, learning to fly can be a scary thing. Being brave enough to try flight is one thing, but trusting that someone will be there to catch you, can be even more difficult.

Yet we try again and again... daring gravity to do her worst... just so that we can float for a few seconds. Whether you're three or thirty, feeling that kind of freedom is worth the risk.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Part of the effort to pull myself out of the ho-hums over the weekend was a sewing project. It was a small project, but sometimes that’s just what I need… no lofty goals, more than anything I wanted to cross something off my mental to-do list that wouldn’t take a lot of time.

It was good practice to be at the sewing machine again. It’s been a while… and I don’t have a lot of experience making clothing, but it’s fun to try new things, especially when given the chance to be successful. Easy was the name of the game this time.

I think I’ll make another, only the second won’t be so much of a pick-me-up project… but an opportunity to use some of my little fabric stash. For the next variation, I think I’ll make the dress a little bit longer and use some more color.

Even as a beginner, this is a good project. I used a jersey and opted for raw edges, but that is just one of many options. Although I didn’t use a pattern, there are so many pillowcase dress tutorials online. I’ve pinned a few for reference.

If you're curious, the button came from a little shop that Monte and I found when visiting Taos, NM. I think it might be the best part of the whole project.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Two weeks ago, Gavin celebrated his First Holy Communion. Like most things in our tiny and traditional parish, it was a small affair... So small that Gavin was the only one. Even though the crowd was small, the beauty of the altar seemed larger than life that night. I have such a strong connection to that place... the place is synonymous with my faith. They seem to go hand in hand... I hope all of the little people feel that way someday too.

I'm not sure if Gavin was nervous to be center stage alone... he's a tough read when it comes to things like that... but regardless he seemed to understand the seriousness of the ceremony. He seemed to really be concentrating on his surroundings, and confidently responding to Father when he as addressed. My favorite part was that Gavin sang every hymn with such gusto that it was all I could do to follow along and sing myself... I would rather have just watched him.

After the ceremony, the small group celebrated with cake. We could barely get Gavin to hold still for a picture, he wanted a slice of his own.

But I like this picture much better than the posed version. I love that he has frosting in the corner of his mouth and that he is so engrossed in reading each and every word on the cards that he received, he just couldn't look away even to smile for his begging mother.

He's eight... and yet it seems like we were just holding this boy over the baptismal font, celebrating his birth and thanking God as each drop of water touched his little head... thanking God for the new little person that He had entrusted us with.

Now Gavin's eight and teeming with love. Monte and I are so proud of him. I wish there were a way to let him know how my heart feels... because somehow, that seems different than the sound of the words coming from my lips.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Like this small dog, in a large open place, I feel like a tiny spec in the midst of a lush green place. In this place everything is growing wild and beautifully all around me, as I feel stalled and stagnant. Uninspired.

For the first time in a long time, I don't have a demanding profession. Not that I want that... I don't like coming home with the feeling that I've already given the best of myself to people who don't matter to my heart... but lately, I find myself missing some purpose.

In the peaks and valleys of life, I would call this time for me a bit of a valley. Nothing major. Just a change-induced newness; which takes some getting used to...

So this weekend, I'm going to give myself a pep-talk in hopes of becoming re-inspired. And even if that doesn't work, I'm not worried; I won't live in this valley forever... I'll always have three little people, and one big one, right there beside me... and those people make me feel like I'm soaring above the mountain tops.

Monday, May 14, 2012


We had the perfect weather yesterday for a little brunch at the park. Eating outside is always a treat for us, but yesterday we had a special meal. Quiche and the most amazing rolls, fresh fruit and even a bloody mary to drink. (OJ for the littlest brunchers... and Monte.)

The food was great and the company was even better. Little and big people alike thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine; which by the looks of most of my images was VERY bright...

Best of all, it was a great reason to celebrate my mom. I think she's amazing and wonderful...and I'm hoping someday I'll be half as good at this mothering stuff as she is. I love you Mom!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I spied this stalk of asparagus in the garden the other day. If you look closely, there are actually two stalks. One standing brave and tall, the other curling up in a reluctant way... unwilling to stretch upwards, almost fearful looking. Afraid of being compared perhaps?

This fear of being compared isn't exclusive to veggies. Comparison is a thief that has the power to rob us of so much joy. I've been spending some time lately thinking about what that really means.

As the parent of a school-age child, it's difficult not to compare children to one another... academically, athletically, developmentally... in so many ways. It's the easy way of gaging what is average. But you know what... I don't want my children to be average. I want them to be THEM... embracing all of gifts and the faults that make them who they are. They're perfectly made, in their imperfection; no comparison required.

Professionally, I compare myself to my peers... my skills, my shortcomings. Somehow that seems less dangerous, but doesn't exactly inspire greatness.

About a year ago, I really started to think about how I came to be where I am in my professional life. Since that post, I've thought a lot about what comes next. In my heart, I knew what I wanted to do... what was supposed to come next for me. But now I find myself growing reluctant. Reluctant because I'm afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of others comparing me. Afraid of curling up and becoming a reticent version of myself, instead of growing tall and brave.

Afraid or not, I'll do my best to follow my heart; knowing that even if comparison has robbed me of my fortitude for the moment, I'll be able to right myself and grow into a different version of tall and brave.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Yep, those are big girl unders. We’re officially in the throes of potty training. Ellie wore her unders all day today… more accurately, she wore 4 different pairs of unders at various times throughout the day.

She’ll get the hang of it… but until then, I see a lot of laundry in my future.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


We had a death in the family. To be precise, we had a death in the flock... but those gals really feel like family. We've grown pretty attached to them and have come to enjoy being in their midst.

I'm fairly certain that our poor little gal was egg bound, even though these three eggs were tenderly laid in the nest just two days before. She was showing no signs of distress when we last saw her. I've read quite a bit on the topic, and although it's not an everyday occurrence; it's not unusual either.

So now there are two... but it just feels like less. Although it was a somber day, Benett added some levity... although it may be just the littlest bit dark.

Benett: "Where's the other gal?"
Me: "Well Benett, it's so sad... but the other gal died."
Benett: "Did we eat her?"
Me: "*gulp* NO! We buried her in the garden."
Benett running off to play: "Okay, Mama"

We did bury her in the garden. The other gals came along to pay their respects (aka: eat worms and bugs). Benett hasn't asked about our missing gal since our little exchange, but I'm sure it will come up again... I'm only hoping that doesn't happen at the dinner table.