Tuesday, March 20, 2012

38 Reasons...

The other day Josh and I were somewhere and I was wondering??????  How old will I be tomorrow???? I asked it out loud because it is funny how when you are small your age is chatted about casually and expressively and shared at times, what can seem like, constantly, as you discuss it with your siblings and whoever may listen.  It even was an opener at our friend's daughter's 3 year old birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  Mason asked, "Can I tell someone that I get to go to 2 birthday parties today?"  "Sure," I replied.  "Why don't you talk to that boy next to you? You could ask him his name."

"You ask him," he said.

So I did.

"I'm Aiden.  I'm six," he said.

"I'm Mason and hey, I'm five."  And there you have it all was well and figured out.
I have been a sewing maniac lately and have discovered the perks of having a sewing station set up at all times.  Although the spot is a bit on the unruly side of clean, (as it seems all my spaces are at the present moment) it is nice to sit down and create a gift rather than running to the store.

Adults make things more complicated and as I hear about how Ellie will be 3 on June 2nd, and I will be going to her birthday party, and we will sing for her and all such things, I have forgotten how old I am.  There comes a time when you no longer know the number you just know you are you, right then and there in the moment.

Ellie and Mason braved the sea of new faces as we arrived at my friend's daughter's birthday party.  Ellie was enamored with the idea of being at her "friend's" party and wants to invite her over ASAP.  Mason was hesitant at first, but quickly warmed up and told me he was glad he stayed or he would have missed out on all the fun.
So there I was in the car, I believe it was, trying to use math and calculate it all out to be certain I had landed on good ol' 38.

And so began my challenge...the 38 things I loved about my birthday. By the way there are so many stories I have seen and replayed in my head lately and they just don't make it out.  I wish I could somehow capture the time to express them and perhaps they may resurface in some form, but for now here is my list.  This week it seems fitting.  There is a lot to do around me and instead I will sit and write my list.

Oh and you should probably know that I am not too worried whether I make it to exactly 38.  I am not a stickler for such exactness as I believe it is more about the process, so readers don't worry yourself about the number just know you are you right then and there and enjoy.

The day greeted me early with a crowded bed of snuggly kids that burrowed in to see me.  I snuck out at 5:22 am to seek some space of my own as the snuggly had crossed the fine line into cramping muscles and squished.  I headed upstairs to Mason's room and embraced the dark, quiet view of our big, brown farm.  The silhouette of the tall evergreen tree and the shed/barn made it so magical. I lay there until a wee Ellie found me and climbed on up to snuggle some more. A while later she popped up and announced, "The sun's up. Can we make some popcorn?"  Why not? It's my birthday.

The leprechauns delivered "Gold coins!  Enough for everyone!" Mason and Ellie shouted from the front porch as they quickly grabbed Mason's magic hat to scoop them up.

It must be my birthday as the "magic" daffodils have made their appearance with the gold coins.  They are in full bloom now as I type.  If it wasn't so dark I would share their beauty with you.  Perhaps I can get a photo in the morning.
 On a side note, I gave Mason a haircut yesterday.  He asked for "kind of short, kind of long, and kind of sideways."  His review at the end, "It is perfect, just what I asked for."  ("Whew," I thought.) After Ellie woke up from her nap she told him, "Look at your hair. It's weird."

"It's not weird.  Mommy gave me a haircut and it's perfect.  That's why you think it is weird," he reasoned with her.
Baby Dax was born and I was off to visit him.  I quickly sewed him a gift before heading to the hospital.

Josh got the mail on his secret mission outing I was excited to open my brother's card on this Sunday morning.
The King of perfect book gift giving preordered a copy of Bloom for me.
I can hardly wait to read it.

My family sang me a happy birthday song and Mason set my place with two of his chocolate gold coins. 
Birthday songs were then sung for everyone and candles were in full force.
"Mommy why don't you have the number of how old you are?"  Mason asked.
As I said, I am not so worried about exact numbers here.
 If you are....there are a whole lot of daffodils and gold coins that can fill in the blanks.

Ellie's turn with her birthday party favors from the day before.
Party favor hangovers all day around here.

Here he is the little pirate winking at me with all his newborn baby cuteness!
Baby Dax we love you and are so glad you were born.  
I received a birthday card that read, "I am glad you were born..."  This took my breath away for a moment.  It is common to read Happy Birthday and other equally special things in cards and notes and spoken words, but this was different it caught my attention and inspired me.  I thought of the things that make me, me.  I thought of all 38 years of me.  I thought.  I am still thinking.  What will this new year bring?  What will I challenge myself to uncover about myself that I haven't yet seen?  What will I continue to embrace and share with those around me.  I thought about all the love that I receive from friends and family far and near and how it has helped build me up to become who I am today.  It isn't always about the perfect list, the exact number, but rather the process of getting there and the reflecting that takes place when you stop for a moment and take notice of where you have arrived.

Last night before falling asleep I looked through our closet ("yep that's the kind of house I  live in and I hope we never leave it" There's a Wocket in My Pocket) and spied the most amazing silhouettes of Ellie and Joshua with their guitars singing away. Ellie chiming in with her song requests and playing right along with Daddy.  I wished I could have had a photograph, video, something, but to have tried to capture it I would have ruined it.  So I watched. I listened. I am writing about it and keeping it in my memory.  I want to remember it always. Maybe I will paint it.

There is a train I am on right now that seems to be speeding right along, but I am glad we slowed and stopped at this station.  I feel recharged and read to be "going down the railroad..."

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Jen and I returned home after a thought provoking preschool parent meeting, kicked off our shoes in the mudroom,

checked our messages and email at the home office,

had a snack in the dining room,

worked a bit on the project for preschool in the sewing room,

put off cleaning up the kid's playroom,

Yeah, I know this one is sideways, but the photo program was freaking out
and I didn't have the patience to mess with it... you will survive.

put aside some of the tools from a wood working project in the safety tool room,

took a seat on the sofa in the living room, and enjoyed a glass of wine while basking in the glow of the greenhouse lights that urge our young garden seedlings skyward.

All these rooms in about the same amount of space as a SUV. If that ain't multitasking...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Power of Tools

This weekend was filled with some of my favorite things. Although there was much work to be done, it was good work, work worth doing.  As with anything worth doing, time must be invested and on this particular "spring forward" sort of weekend time seemed to be speeding right along and I found myself wishing there was more to be had. 

Instead of dwelling on the "not enough time" I started thinking about what we made time for.  Ellie was  ready for "not a work day, today is a family day?!!" with an early morning wake up call at 6:30 Saturday morning.  As Daddy and Mason woke up at 8:00, it felt as though we had been up for hours.  We were making waffles and other tasty breakfast goodness and getting ready to unleash the day.

Daddy and Ellie took charge of seeds.  Our "happy little farmer"(as she researched back at winter break) worked hard to plant all the "little babies". Ellie loves caring for babies, but she likes to hold them and snuggle them...these babies might not be sturdy enough for her loving embrace.

Our little garden fairy

A watchful eye is needed when unleashing the fun of seed starter kits.  A bit of over-processed packs took us outside to enjoy the crisp, sunny day!

Oh if all our outfits could inspire spinning and flying...
My new favorite shirt of Mason's is this one which is difficult to see in this picture.  "It's kind of like a costume and a shirt," he told Grammie on the phone.  The pirate on it is fantastic and even has shiny gold bling.  Perfect for heading to a birthday party! 
The kids headed out to party and Josh and I scurried to sew, and construct.  We have been working on the class project for Mason's preschool auction and needed the weekend to get things wrapped up.  As with many of our creative works the estimated and actual times don't seem to match up.  We used to joke at how the Home Depot book for Do-It-Yourself projects should be read by multiplying all times by at least 3.  So true to form this project is no different.  Saturday I spent the day at my sewing machine listening to music inside while Josh was outside constructing a castle. At the end of our 8 hours we were calling it a day realizing there was more work in our future.  The kids returned home from their day of fun with Grammie and slept the night away.

Sunday I needed to head outside.  I have more sewing to finish, but I needed to get out.  I was happy Josh took the early wake up call from Ellie so I could sleep in a bit. I played driveway croquet with Mason and then got to work as carpenter's assistant. As I sanded castle pieces with the random orbit sander I got to thinking. There is nothing like a job of sanding to set your mind thinking.  With each piece I smoothed I was thinking.  The power of this tool to take something flawed and reveal its beauty. I was holding in my hands the power to transform - to bring out this wood's future.

I wonder if we all have this power to reveal, uncover, transform the beauty that lies within. I got to thinking about my class this year. The path we have taken.  It has needed a bit of random, orbiting sanding, but the beauty is revealing itself.  I am inspired by creativity in the room and at times am a bit overwhelmed.  The vibrations needed to keep working toward to ultimate reveal can shake you to the very core. Get a bit to close to your thumb nail and it roughs you up a bit.  None of this is completely devastating, yet it can set you back a bit.

"My Onyx likes to run. Come on Buddy!"
 I stepped back this weekend now and then to be an observer as I do in class sometimes.  I was searching for the beauty and allowing my brain to think about it more deeply.  As I watch Ellie love her buddy, Onyx, I am moved by her gentleness, her love for him.  Her walk around the yard with him is pure joy for them both.  She notices him and his needs.

"I think he needs to rest a minute.  I will sit down." (Notice signs of driveway croquet?)
 I know I can get annoyed with him as he pesters and sheds and muddy paw prints the floor, but her genuine love and joy reminds me of my love and joy for my dog when I was growing up. Her caring soul reminds me to see the goodness in him and what he brings to our family.

It is this that is true for so much.  The uncovering, the revealing of layers not seen at first glance.  The joy in the discovery of something you didn't realize was there, or the reminder that you hadn't been seeing it when it was there all along.

I have found joy in creating. Taking items and turning them into something beautiful. Sometimes the uncovering is a process and you need glimpses of wonder to keep you moving in the right direction, so here is a peek at the project.  Not the final reveal, but a sampling of what's to come.  There is something about the suspense of waiting for the finished look, but as I found with sanding, sometimes we need to begin to see the beauty, so we can make sure we are on the right path and are given the fuel to keep pushing on ahead.

Medieval Siege Set: Working Catapult, Horse, Swords, Brave Knight and Princess Costume.   More to come...