Monday, April 29, 2013



The dramatic, thunder and lighting, "feels like mid-summer" kind.  I have to admit the severe lack of rain around here is very disconcerting. It makes me tense. It makes me pine away that much more for the seasons I constantly long for. It makes me wonder how anything survives. 

But felt just right. The long drawn out early thunder that heralds a storm. The darkness that makes noon feel like twilight. And then the rain and wind and with them a sense of "ahhhhhhh." 

I cherish these days that set things right. They feel familiar and balancing. Restorative. 

This weekend we got rain. 

And I got so much more. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


How can something as simple as peppers, herbed goat cheese and a little olive oil be so perfect?

Because it really, really is.

Monday, April 22, 2013

this age...

Oh, this age.

I love it dearly. Everything is new. This age, when they aren't babies anymore (although this mama has a hard time letting go of that stage) and they are so excited about everything they learn. Every book is a favorite and I think that's my favorite part.

I can (and have) read the same books over and over...knowing that this stage of monotonous recitation of the same story for a month or more is actually a first step to reading, and seeing that process again feels like a privilege.

I love watching how children learn. It is so seamless, almost effortless and a beautiful thing to observe. I love how early and distinctly their own interests emerge. This one here, right now she is all about monkeys and a clever little witch named Lizzy.

"Read me the Lizzy book, mama."

"Ok, little one, we'll read it again..."

"...and again."


Lots of time spent right here this weekend, with coffee, jasmine tea or wine. A little fabric shopping online, a favorite movie, so much reading (including more than a few picture books with some very cuddly little ones). Sleeping late thanks to the sweet man who sometimes knows what I need better than I do.

A quiet, indulgent sort of weekend that was very needed.

And very appreciated.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


What a strange week.

The happiness and anticipation of a little boy who knew he was getting a brand new bike for his birthday juxtaposed with the images on the news that I saw... but my little ones never did. I do this dance of what to tell them about horrific things that happen in the world around us. I have always said I'd be honest (and I am) but I also think that with the level of saturation and the ongoing nature of situations like this week, it is just too much. Too much for sensitive little people who take too much to heart as it is. So it has felt like a dual reality around here lately. The sweet innocence of watching little ones play (and one little one turn six!) all the while knowing that so much was happening in the world outside of their reality.

But that has left this mama feeling a bit raw and exhausted. My children are still so young, my oldest is only ten, and I have, so far, been able to live in a bubble of sorts. A protected world of our own making... one I didn't even realize we'd made but a lovely, sheltered place of home, books and play, nonetheless. This week somehow, for the first time, I jumped ahead to a world where they are grown and away, and realized that this world will still be... this world. What naive blissful mama delusion have I lived for the last decade? Every daydream of the future somehow took place in a world I've never seen.

I have somehow been able to find a way, with each tragedy that transpires, to retreat into my little nest and feel safe. Sad, shaken, rocked, angry but safe. I'm still trying to process how this time is different. How something that happened so far away cracked the veneer of my sheltered corner of the world and why now. That is going to take some sleep and quiet contemplation because clear thoughts are not to be had tonight.

Instead, there is this little man, enjoying his day, looking so big and grown compared to the tiny little thing I met six years ago. The sweet little baby that still feels almost too good to be true. Oh my goodness, how he makes the world a better place.


*He didn't actually receive the mask as a was how he "arrived" at his little party. Always in character...always of the things I love best about this little guy.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


For the second time in the days leading up to my son's birthday, I am transfixed by news of a violence and horror that I can't comprehend.

Six years ago, on this very day, as I woke up with the knowledge and sensation that this little man was preparing to join us, I also woke up to news reports of Virginia Tech, a place so very close to home. As I became impatient for my body to kick into gear and help this baby into the world I was also struck by the thought that he was waiting, waiting for a new day, one not marked by so much grief.

And now, as he tells me every morning how many days it is until his birthday, I am watching a different but all too familiar scene on the news. It leaves me with a confused and naive feeling of wanting to shout "No, no! It's his birthday...nothing bad can happen...all is right with the world!" As if I can somehow change things for everyone if I can just get them to understand this bit of overlooked information.

I have no words of wisdom, no answers, nothing comforting to add to help explain what happened yesterday. But I do have a little boy, the most amazing, tender-hearted gift of a little boy who is about to turn six. We're going to celebrate his birthday, celebrate him, and all the while I'm going to send all the love and peace this sweet soul brings into the world to those who truly need it now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I remember talking to my then-eight-year-old daughter when we found out we were moving here. She didn't seem to want to leave our city anymore than I did. We are quite resistant to change, me and this girl of mine. We were walking down a busy street after her ballet class... passing the same shops and some of the same people we had since she was five. Already the streets and views around us seemed to be receding from my reality. They were, even then, a bit out of reach and our move was still several months away. Later we sat in her room, crossed legged on her bed, talking about what all of these changes would mean for us. Behind her I could see the city lights and the ocean beyond. I remember wondering if this wise little creature could see through the smile I was faking.

We sat there, allowing ourselves to look ahead... to a house with a big yard, to less noise,  to less traffic, to nature outside our door instead of the gorgeous botanical garden we drove to every weekend. We let ourselves imagine a life in the country and as it took shape we found ourselves getting a bit more excited. A new adventure. We would plant a garden, tend flowers, keep chickens. I saw Green Gables, she saw Little House...we each put on the appropriate literary character to prepare for this new chapter.

It was the thought of keeping chickens that was the turning point. The thought of our own hens, of a tiny homestead, that helped us look forward more than we were looking back. We kept that excitement as we unpacked, as we made changes to this house and as we waited to see how things would settle.  During that time we also discovered the coyotes that seem to roam practically at our door and the hawks that swoop low and fly off with a rabbit from the fields around us... and the oppressive heat to which none of us seems able to acclimate. My mama heart became a bit heavy... and more than a little confused. And oh, the guilt. The guilt of thinking I promised something I was now wavering on. That was on my very strict "I'll never do that when I'm a parent" list and now here I am...not only wavering but balking, delaying and avoiding.

Then last week I read this post by SouleMama. Something became clear somehow after reading her words. She mentioned feeling guilt with each attack on their flock and how it made her worry about the effect on her children. "Yes, exactly," I thought, "you understand!" Of course, loss and death are a part of life on a farm and children are very resilient. I remember from my own childhood in the country  that this is all just a part of life.

But something else became clear, something more at the heart of this. Something that doesn't necessarily lessen my guilt but does help me put things back in perspective.

We don't live on a farm.

We don't have season after season to watch the cycles of life that come with a lifestyle closer to the land. If we kept chickens they would have been pets and the inevitable loss of one or all of those pets would be quite devastating to my sensitive little family. We wouldn't have a good year to balance a bad year. We would have a memory heightened by the frame of what will actually only be a short time here.

So, we've stepped back from our initial plans as we reevaluate what is important to us. I'm trying, very hard, to focus on what is constant and good in our lives and remember to appreciate it. Because really, there is so much. Three little faces most of all.

We're letting go of expectations, especially the most unrealistic ones. And maybe, just maybe, I can let go of some of this guilt.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


It seems that all we've done around here lately... watch the grass grow. That's not so bad.