Saturday, March 18, 2017


One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote this...

When my kids were babies, people liked to tell me that the intensity of nursing one baby while another sat on belly holding a stack of books would naturally ease up when the kids were older and more independent. And that school would crack open an expanse of time in which “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.” I always cringed at that sentence.
Our daily routines feel more intense today than ever before. Everything is bigger: our children, our grocery bills, our laundry piles, our social calendars, our needs, our responsibilities, our worries, our joys. Sometimes I dream about having those baby days again. As a new mom, I found a content stride and purpose I hadn’t perviously known. Everything felt dreamy and safe with my kids dangling from my torso 24/7. I was good at it and I loved it. I wasn’t even sure I’d ever have kids and then I wanted to breastfeed forever and quit my career to pursue work that allowed me to wear babies all day. Time measured in carrot purées, walks around the block and writing for giant chunks of time during my daughters’ naps.
Oh, that rose-colored hindsight. I know those early days weren’t easy but they feel like they were now that we are navigating things like peer influence, increasingly full after-school sport schedules and pushback over earrings that I find *too* dangly. Also: the fact that my kids have outgrown my wingspan. They fly on their own, sometimes out of sight. But always on my radar, my chickens. Always.
      Nici Holt Cline (

I couldn't have written somehting truer about life currently myself.
As we fast approach Felix's, my baby's!, FOURTH birthday I find I have so many emtions running through me.  We knew almost from the moment he was born that our family was complete.  I knew to savor those baby and toddler days even more knowing they were our last.  Growing is so bittersweet all the time.  I really had no idea what a ride we were getting on just over 8 years ago.  An unpredictable never ending ride of raising children and being parents.
I've realized that part of why I've stopped blogging so much is that it's stopped feeling ok to write about my kids and my struggles as a parent.  It's been really rough since we've moved, harder than it's ever been.  I knew if I came on here I'd gush and that didn't feel right.  Their stories are becoming their own.
Ainsley is 8 which seems so old.  If she had her way she'd spend all her home time biking around the neighborhood buidling fairy houses and making clubs with friends.  She believes so much in magic and is still so innocent in so many ways.  I love that so much and am glad she's been thus far pretty unaffected by peer influences.  For all our struggles with that girl she's one of the strongest people I know.  When I can step back and remember that I'm completely amazed by her.
Louise has really come into her own this past year.  Just this morning she said, "Mom?  What does a crush mean."  "It's means you like someone, usually in a different way than how you like your friends or your family." "I thought so.  Well, I have a crush on Evan,"  Then she blushed! and giggled! in such a sweet way that I knew it to be true.  My girl has her first real crush.  How sweet.  It makes sense for our Louise.  Her whole first grade class is one big gaggle of friends.  She's sobbed the few times she's had to miss school this year.  She LOVES it.  She is super into doing her work and is so on top of everything.  She still loves art so much and is most happy when coloring or writing or reading one of her new chapter books or playing with friends.
Felix is such a great little guy.  He's totally into super heroes and playing pretend, soccer and swinging.  Most recently he loves listening to jazz music with me and trying to pick out what instrument is playing.  He loves doing everything his big sisters do and takes really good care of himself.  He's so proud to be able to do so much for himself and third child, I am glad to let you.
I feel like I may always mourn those baby days.  They were so special.  It makes it even more magical that it was in Oak Park, this idyllic urban village, in so many ways. It's easy to over romanticize that time of life, still it's hard to let go.  Being home all day doesn't feel as good as it used to.  Home used to be where the action was! Now it's starting to feel lonely.  I really relish my alone time but find I'm this odd balance of introvert and extrovert.  I really miss my connections in Oak Park and seeing friends every day.

I'm still finding my rhythm here.  I'm trying to relax and enjoy Felix's last preschool years with him home and trusting that my new path will make itself clear to me soon.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Catch Up

Well hey there! It's been a while.  I finally got my act together and cleared off my computer and phone so I can take more/post more photos.  Yay!

So to catch up...

Christmas Fest at St Olaf with mom (Ian and Ruth too)

(the tiniest cousins, but not for long! notice that bump behind Rory?)

 The last 8th floor Macy's visit ever. I'm so sad, but so glad we got to go one more time!

 winter break bliss

winter days, school projects, walking errands, lots of time with my little man (who only wears shorts and t shirts and his cubs baseball hat!) life is good and fuller than ever

Family Fun Day for Skijammer with Ainsley.  This girl can ski anything now.  It was so fun to spend the day with her and Pop (on his 61st birthday no less!) 

Now we are looking forward to Spring, though we just got a good few inches of fresh snow last night.  The kids are SO excited for Florida in 3 weeks, me too.  Just yesterday Felix and I found thrifted sandals for everyone.

Hopefully I'll be here more regularly now.  I miss it!

Thirty Three

What a year it has been.

After the flurry that was moving and settling in and a summer so full with my little people dare I say we are starting to feel truly settled.  This wonderful home that we've found is taking shape.  I'm starting to get antsy to change the few things I'd wanted to and the first few repairs have been made helping us learn more about this 50+ year old house.

I am more excited than ever for spring.  Now I know the beauty that is to come in the yard and am as determined as ever to maintain and improve it.  I planted garlic for the first time last fall and am SO excited to see that sprout.  I'm thinking of motivating to make some starts inside the house this year.  The few things I was able to can were so enjoyed this winter.  I'd love lots more of that this next year.

But enough about all that.  I'm 33! Closer to 35 now than 30.  I still feel 28 inside.  How is that?  I've had a hard time getting into my groove here.  So much of my energy has been spent on the kids, getting them acclimated and trying to keep this much bigger home in order.  I find I'm most excited this year just to get back to what worked so well for me in those younger mom years in Oak Park.  Planning our days and our meals well, using our time together as best as we can.

I look around me and notice the other women I encounter.  Many have jobs and children.  It can be hard for me to not feel insufficient sometimes.  I am so happy to be able to be home with my kiddos.  They need a lot still.  Now that Felix is in school three mornings a week for 3.5 hours each I am starting to see a glimpse of what is to come.  I find myself noticing opportunities more.  Part time florist at the locall shop.  Subsitutes needed at preschools.  Tutors needed for middle school English. Part time activities director at a local nursing home. I've been a mom for so long part of me has forgotten about the other things that I can do and right now it feels scary to even consider comitting to anything else.  I hope that changes.  I feel like I'm yearning for more someday soon.

Right now that feeling for more is being chanelled into making.  I am so thankful for some wonderful gifts I received for my birthday to help with that.  I've been stocking up at the thrift stores to make lots of old favorites, pillowcase nightgowns and lap quilts, potholders too.  I've been meaning to try my hand at some sewn art for a while now.  There are a few blank wall spaces just crying out and the phrase "why not!" keeps taunting me.

The why not right now is purely tied up in my motivation.  I've been struggling all year with those after lunch hours and am determined to figure them out in my 33rd year.  Felix is my first preschooler to have completely dropped his nap (excepting on weekends with Ian) and I'm at a complete loss.  He is so zonked after preschool but won't sleep and while I hate letting him watch things for rest time I'm not sure what else to do.  When he plays he plays rambunctiously and that little body needs a rest, me too!  I'm hoping to start using that time to sew.  Maybe my little guy will get used to hanging with me and the fabric like his sister's used to.

For my 33rd year I see me focusing more on me, in the hopes of being able to have more energy for others.  I've been so wrapped up in the kids and my struggles with the move and anxieties and i'm ready to put that all behind and look forward.  I forced myself to start tunning again, on the treadmill which I hate, but I'm doing it 3-4 days a week and that with the yoga has helped my energy so much.  I'm drinking more water, not eating after dinner, and in general just trying to be more mindful of wha tI put in my mouth. It's helping and I'm optimistic.

So aging so far isn't so bad.  I'm excited for what's to come this year.  An almost 2 week trip to Florida soon, a summer up at the cabin (now that I can drive us there on my own!) Lots of time spent in the garden and outside after a long snuggly winter.  I'm loving it here.

To 33! and beyond!