Tuesday, August 05, 2014

"I Don't Need Anything That I Don't Have"

I just discovered this unfinished draft...it was inspired by hearing the Glen Phillips song "I Don't Need Anything That I Don't Have" one night while making dinner. I think I will share it in its unfinished state. 
PS.  I am still practicing with my new camera and will share some pics soon.

I celebrated my 40th birthday in March.  Instead of a big bash we had many mini celebrations and I felt oh so loved.  I wanted to write amidst it all, but as life goes these days I write and play with ideas in my head and somehow make time to sit at the computer and let some of what remains flow through my fingertips. 

My first mini bash was at brunch with my husband, kids, parents, brother and lovely friend and her son.  I had planned to celebrate her and her growing new baby and sure enough my family surprised me with the gift I have been wanting for a while. My very own fancy camera complete with new case and strap. They also signed me up for the Photography Workshop I had my eye on. One of the moms at preschool was offering the workshop as a fundraiser for the school.  She shared her talents and knowledge on a lovely afternoon in early March.  The photos in this post are some of my favorite first moments that I have captured so far as I try out her tips on our impromtu "Signs of Spring" walk through the yard and the filming of Mason's science video. 

Mason's shaved ice
Baby chicks are fun to hold
Super scientist

Ellie loves her ducks

"I love our house, it may be small, but it is filled with all the things I love."

The other night after the kids fell asleep, late, just like every night this summer, Josh and I sat together and I stared about our living room.  Living...it's the perfect adjective.  There are times when our place feels so tight and we seek refuge in our outdoor space to avoid the indoor chores calling our names. This past week though as temperatures were three digits, life indoors was where we wanted to spend our afternoons.

This summer began with a flurry of friends, family and travel.  I haven't written in a while and there were many times I wished for a crazy early morning wake up when the house is quiet and sleep is lost, yet my mind begins to spin a tale that must emerge. Apparently, today is the day. I almost forgot what it is like to be up while my little house sleeps.

Like I said, summer began and hasn't stopped. A slight downshift last week, but we are still coasting along this summer. I found myself craving time to reflect, remember, grab hold of all that was dear to me these past few weeks.  As my dad's photo books arrived in the mail the other day capturing our first trip of the season my heart sang as the kids recalled all the memories he placed inside their books. A tradition I love.

This summer has been one of experiences and growth.  Our week in Los Angeles/Claremont was inspiring and a reminder of why we work so hard to teach.  As master teachers taught my children I was reminded yet again how I want to teach and what I want for my own two. The joy that came from the most simple things continues to be so very powerful.

Returning home after so many thrilling adventures seemed a bit out of place at first. Then our Boston friends arrived and the unusual that had become the norm was restored. Our 900 square feet was put to the test as four kids and four adults lived it up. I think one of my favorite memories is how the kids all wanted to sleep on the floor in Ellie's room.  If you have ever been in Ellie's room you may try to imagine such a feat, but if not let me paint a picture. Her wee L shaped floor began with Mason, then Gretty, spilled into the closet with Owen, and out the other side into our room by my bed with Ellie. Not a splinter of hard wood was to be seen beneath this slumber party and since they returned home over a week ago, Ellie insists on camping out right next to my bed each night. She may not be one to get all mushy with goodbyes, but the girl knows how to hold onto and make memories.

Having time to be at home always sparks a time to get creative with our space.  It began late one night while our friends were here when I decided to rearrange the living room after everyone was asleep. It was a half-hearted effort and not nearly satisfying enough. This past week it was our overflowing costume bin.  It is always a heap of capes, props, and the like.  Each time something is searched for the rest is blended up into a crazy mass of character chaos that erupts all over the living room. A trip to IKEA, our yard, and our garage for a few things we had on hand + an afternoon of creative modifications = we now have our very own costume closet.  A perfect home for our 40 or so costumes complete with rustic hat shelf.  Our girl is in heaven!  As she came bursting out of the house in her Supergirl costume to greet me as I returned from a math workshop yesterday, I beamed.  I love that she has a space for all her treasures.

This was only the beginning and the great reorganization of Summer 2014 was underway. Next it was our board game collection.  One doesn't realize how it has grown when they are in various rooms and baskets.  As they all came together on one shelf and made room for our books to find their way home as well, you can't help but realize the possibilities are limitless. I read a quote the other day about books in your house.  Something about, it not always being about reading each one, but the possibility of doing so.  I am not sure that is it exactly and I am sure I could find it on the ol' internet, but you get the idea. This idea led to moving our art supplies too.

By that point, the late night and early morning wake up was catching up and I indulged in my first and much needed nap of the summer. I woke to the kids and Josh creating puppets and puppet stages from shoe boxes and all the mason jars of stuff that had been tucked away and was now out in its shelf just begging to be transformed.

And there you have it. Ever since I have received homemade tickets to puppet shows, hosted a lunch for Gran who was invited to the next round of puppet shows, played many a board game and beamed as the kids invited Gran to play as many games with them as they could fit in.

That night Josh and I sat together in our living room.  Our almost organized living room, and all the tight, unsettled feelings had shifted like books on a shelf.  I was home.

A long time ago someone told me, "I love your house, it's so you."  Later after the party as I looked around our cluttered space I joked to Josh, "What does that mean? Old, messy...and many other unattractive adjectives." I've been known to host a party and not have everything in its place. But I get it and it's true.  Sometimes it's a feeling that can't be put into words. The other night I felt it, and I said it to him this way, "I love our house, it may be small, but it is filled with all the things I love."