Monday, January 20, 2014

Some great ideas take a while...

Last spring I learned about Little Free Libraries. I started seeing them online and was enamored by the whole idea of them.  People creating mini libraries to share books they love, connect with their community, and spread a bit of joy.

Last spring was also a time of being painfully ill.  After a horrific week of being stuck in bed, my family surprised me with a wonderful Mother's Day gift.  They had been secretly working on building me my very own Little Free Library.

I was so emotional when they gave it to me as it represented me and my style so well.  They had gone to the REStore and our garage and found items they could repurpose and the results were amazing.

There was a bit of work left to be done and we figured we'd get to it.  As the weeks moved along into summer and our plans and attention were directed elsewhere, our Little Library waited.

The kids took this picture of me in my Little Free Library Shirt.

Visions played around in our heads from time to time and on our trip to Idaho last summer we discovered a perfect companion for our Library, a Little Free Herb Garden just like the ones we saw outside the Moscow Food CO-OP.  We decided we could create a library and mini-garden to share with our neighborhood.

Our sign arrived in the mail!

Made from repurposed wood

This weekend we ventured outside to work a bit in the garage and discovered our Library waiting patiently and Josh said, "We should finish that roof, it wouldn't take long." So there it was.  Motivation, and the ball was rolling. We decided to set the post, finish the mason jar lid shingles to cover the chicken feed bag roof liner and in the time it took me to get ready to hit the grocery store this afternoon Josh had walked the Library out front and I opened the door to find this...

We've seen some of these kids riding up and down the street before, but we've never spoken.

The other night at the preschool parent meeting, Bev and Michael were presenting about Friendships.  The stages of development related to friendships, dynamics of neighborhoods past and present and suddenly my mind was reflecting on fond memories of my childhood neighborhoods and friendships. I thought about our current neighborhood and how we know some of our neighbors and are connected, but it is mostly through the adults. Today as I walked out and saw "the pack" of kids huddled around Josh, lollipops in mouths, leaning over handlebars, my heart leaped with excitement.

This is what that little sign is all about "Celebrating Healthier Neighborhoods". At one point while out chatting with the kids it caught my eye and I thought this little library is a change, a moment in time to stop and notice. Our kids joined us out front with the dog and scooters. Kids rode up and down the street and would come back by and stop and chat about dogs, science experiments, books, characters...the beginnings of building our little community.

Ellie checked out the height...perfect for grabbing that special book!

Later Josh told me how the boys rode by and stopped to talk to him about the library. I almost hated leaving to go grocery shopping, but my heart was smiling as I drove off with my Little Free Library and my neighbors huddled around chatting about it in my rear view mirror. If it has this effect and the books aren't even in it yet...oh the possibilities!

On my way home from the store I imagined my family inside gearing up for the evening ahead.  I turned the corner and found "the pack" riding bikes and I waved. As I neared my house I was delighted to find my family out front, smiling at me and waving!

LOVE! Ellie: "Can't stop for a picture, I'm workin' here!"

They surprised me with Twinkle Lights!  They shared stories of passerbys stopping to chat. Now let the opening ceremony planning begin. I can hardly wait!

Loving the twinkle for the books!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

What is it about sleep?

As luck would have it I wrote this on the first day of our soon to be ending Christmas break and was interrupted by the sweet pitter-patter of footsteps of my Ellie. I knew I had written, but forgot what I said.  As I logged in tonight to write again I reread it and I think I will publish it anyway as it somehow represents my work-in-progress state.  Cheers!

So as one of my students told me yesterday, "These past three weeks have gone so fast! I can't believe this month is already done at school." I was feeling it too.  Fast and yet so exhausting as the time was bursting with festive events and work to do. In these past seven years I have been trying to figure out the dance of being the teacher I want to be, the wife I want to be, the mama I want to be, and the me I want to be. Each year there are things that begin to find their rhythm better than the awkward way they appeared before, and then there are still those kinks trying to work themselves out.

Every morning this week as morning hours appeared I dreamed of sleeping in, and sure enough today as the horror of skunk smell woke me far too early and I worried my dog would be running in to let me know that our Christmas wish of smelling of skunk would be granted... I jumped out of bed to thankfully find him sleeping on Ellie's bed. Of course when I returned Ellie had successfully swung further into my spot like a needle on a compass. Musical some odd hour she comes to find me which tonight I am more thankful than others as she freed up hers for Onyx to escape said skunk.

Any hopes of sleeping in vanished as I was kicked in the chest a second time, and worries about the sight of the garage door left open, and there being no way I was heading out to close it from fear of skunk. So in true mama form I began a mental list of all things I must accomplish when the sun comes up further sealing the deal of no more sleep.

However, as one might view these events as disaster, a bit of me was inspired. As I attended my sister-in-law's baby shower the other night and was asked if I miss the tiny baby stage...I thought as I have before, no I don't. I loved the baby stage and loved holding my dear sweet niece that night, but I love now too. I loved maternity leave and the magic of it all. I loved snuggling my babes and waking up at odd hours to a quiet house before the busy of the day began. Finding time to write and think.

I love the journey. There is so much that is the same, the routines, yet so much that is new and keeps us guessing, wondering, inspired. This is true of seeing your tiny, tiny boy turning into a not at all tiny boy, yet one who needs your loving care and snuggles just the same. And seeing your tiny girl who wants to be not tiny like her big brother and yet wants to be her own unique self at the same time. In these past three weeks, which is a reflection of these past three months, there are traditions that I hold so dear to my heart.  As our journey is at this place in time, I am finding myself sleeping through these quiet times.