Thursday, June 28, 2012


I'm not a huge fan of eating noises. You know the extra loud slurping, smacking, teeth-scraping-on-silverware kind of eating noises... But if there is one thing that has a chance of changing that little pet peeve, it's listening to the littlest people crunching on green beans picked fresh in the garden.

Under normal eating conditions (inside, at the table, enjoying washed and prepared fare) green beans would be on the yuck list. But outside, when you can pick them yourself and enjoy the crunch as you wander through the garden... that's a whole different scenario... a scenario in which little people can't get enough and noisily eat their way down one row and up the next. It's enough to convert any crunch-o-phobe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Life seems to have been moving extra fast in the recent weeks. Uncharacteristically, the fast pace has less to do with the little people. You see, I'm making a career change. It's a scary and strange position that I find myself in... something that has been on the horizon for a while... but will very soon come to pass. Making all of the preparations has consumed so much of my time and mental bandwidth.

But now, it's time to cast myself on the breeze and put down some new roots; growing in a new and exciting place. As things slow down for a bit, I'm looking forward to some lazy summer days with the little people and creating my new normal.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I've always enjoyed keeping a garden. It's not unlike raising children... tending and caring for these little things that you hope will grow up into strong, productive and healthy adults. Some days I wish raising children were that easy... and that my bedding plants could teach the little people a thing or two about being quiet.

This year more than in the past, we're trying to make the most of our little garden. I'd really like it to be so much more than it is... my garden is not elaborate or organized or tidy, but it contributes to a portion of our diet. That is meaningful and a lesson I'd like the little people to understand. To know where their food comes from, even if it's only a small part.

One thing that we seem to have an abundance of this year, however, is lavender. The plants are full and beautiful... and they smell divine. I've dried a few bunches, a process that Benett enjoys helping to complete. Now that I have a small stock-pile, what should I do with it? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This past weekend we celebrated two really terrific men. Dad was the guest of honor for a little dinner party on Saturday. It was a smallish gathering, where grilled steaks and a few tasty cocktails were enjoyed. The little people got to stay up extra late, so they really thought it was a very special night.

On Sunday, the kids gave us a reprieve and allowed Monte and me to sleep in past the break of dawn... which is the usual rising time as of late. In my opinion, that alone was bliss. I got out of bed at 9 AM. I can't remember the last time that happened!

All through the day, the little people tried, in each of their little ways to show Monte how much they love their daddy. Gavin worked and worked and worked on a picture... a baseball scene. It is a pretty special thing. As for the other two... well, I know deep down they have these warm and special feelings for their daddy... but with the late night, the evening before, they had a very difficult time coping with being awake. They were cranky. The crankyness was sprinkled with bits of love and adoration... so I know they were trying.

We all have moments where trying comes a little easier. Maybe it's not the trying that is difficult, it the projection. After all, we love each other so much... that's not something we have to try to do... it's just a truth. Projecting that feeling and showing those we love how much they mean in our hearts takes practice. It's not unlike the picture above, of Benett and Ellie holding hands.

They were simply standing next to one another... I was taking pictures of their "fishy faces" when I noticed their fingers entwined. No matter how much they banter and bicker and pick and fuss... they love each other. Their hearts know that truth... and when they're not even trying their hands find a way to show that truth to those quick enough to catch it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


With the little people getting older, it seems as though we're able to enjoy being in the garden in a more productive way. Don't get me wrong, they all still enjoy digging around randomly in the dirt more than pulling weeds and many times they have difficulty being careful... but each of the little people are also more helpful.

This weekend we began our canning season and were able to put up a few jars of strawberry jam and some cherry pie filling. As much as they enjoy harvesting the fruit, licking the spoon and bowl are still tops when it comes to helping. For me, watching them experience a new activity or taste something new is well worth the extra effort it takes getting them involved.

The pie filling was a new adventure for us this year. Although we have two cherry trees which have been baring fruit for a few years, we've never harvested them. This year between us and the gals, we picked all of the fruit. (I had no idea that chickens were nuts about cherries! It was fun to watch them remove the pits and eat the fruit.)

Do you have sour cherry trees? How do you use the fruit? I’d like to try some different things next season.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


As the sun is setting on another weekend, I'm thinking about all of the little moments we enjoyed together. Sometimes those weekends with no plans produce some of the sweetest memories.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


In the summer time we try to keep Gavin working on skills that he's learned in school that year. That means a journal again this summer.

He's a lefty, and as a result, writing is a challenge for Gavin. His penmanship just isn't always as neat as he'd like it to be and I know that frustrates him. He has so much to say... so rather than writing things, Gavin opts to chat about what's on his mind most of the time.

Because they're so rare, these little notes are really special to me. Especially when his thoughtful (if sparse) words are accompanied by a picture.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Road Trip

This weekend we hit the road and spent some time with lovely family. Putting a few miles between us and home is a good thing every now and then... we made some memories and had a great time.

Gotta love a good nap in the car.

Hello cousin

Benett loves babies. I mean really loves babies.

I think babies love him right back.

Yay, a hotel stay! And swimming too!

Friday, June 1, 2012


September 2011
Today is the last day of school for Gavin. It's funny, because only yesterday he was excitedly walking onto the bus for the first day of Second Grade. He was so proud and nervous and excited and ready. I think I was too.

Today as he raced out to the bus, he was a different boy, clutching a small bouquet of lavender for his bus driver. He just had to give her something... had to share a little piece of his happiness.

I wanted to take a picture of him this morning, in the worst way. I thought about it last night before drifting off to sleep... that I'd snap a quick picture to remember this milestone. And to prove to myself that he's a little bit more grown up than on the first day of school... I know I would have compared first and last day pictures and tried to pick out each way that he looks changed... a slimmer face, a bit taller, still excited but in a new way now... and my heart would ache.

But the flowers were more important to him, so that's what we did instead.

Life is filled with beginnings and endings... Both are necessary and good in the way that means we grow and change; evolving into wiser versions of ourselves. And the heartache that comes along with it? Well that is okay too, because it just means we savor what comes next a little bit more, taking nothing for granted.