Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stranger things.

Quite often I find myself hoping that the playground/lake/store/beach is not too crowded. I think that is a common hope among adults, but not really for kids. They just don't care and actually, I think that in general they prefer to be around new people, quickly making friends.

I wonder what causes us to change our minds about sharing space with strangers.

I've decided that the openness to interaction with other humans is a desirable trait, and thus I've been working to change my initial reaction when I come across full parking-lots, occupied benches, or any flood of pedestrians.

I already love big gatherings of family and friends. Maybe I can take a page from my children's play book and look at everyone as a potential friend.

(above: my lovely cousin Amanda and her darling, and quite daring son.)

Actually, walking up a GIANT hill with hoards of beach-goers was, I think, more pleasurable than going the hike alone. Each group sat at the top and looked out over the earth in triumph, having conquered a small bit of it. No body was really mingling per-say but the quiet comradery was quite pleasant.

(above: my cousin Ryan, the hill vanquisher.)

Speaking of comrades, I'll have you know that I am a firm believer in the closeness that can be produced through family crucibles of any sort. I won't wish the sort of intense sadness that binds relationships (death, illness, etc.) upon anyone. But climbing a hill together... that I hope for everyone.

We're all climbing hills, really. Financial. Emotional. Whatever. I am so glad for the closeness we feel these days as we work together.

Believe it or not, our youngest loved having sand poured on his head from his brother's boots. I'm pretty sure he was just thrilled to be the center of their attention for a while.

We ran down the hill, holding hands. We fell a lot. Iggy did a whole-head-plant like an ostrich, coming up with a mouth-full of sand. Instead of spitting it out, he just started chewing to swallow.

I'm not exactly sure what to say to wrap up my disjointed thoughts on strangers, triumphs, or sand.

Oh, I've got it. If I came across a stranger who had fallen into quick-sand, I would help them in a huge battle of strength and will to survive, and because of what we'd been through together, we would likely become friends.

train leaving gray

You must love Mason Jennings. Ok, it's not a must, but I hope you have at least sampled the world he spins in song. So many scenes of my young, married life and new motherhood joy bring me back to his music.

I must hear "train leaving gray" after I catch my children smiling in their sleep.

Another of his songs that just fits right now is "ballad for my one true love."

Since life can't possibly be any sweeter, I'll post gratitude, gratitude, gratitude to my Father who led me through my youth to the desires of my heart.

I also know that things can't possibly stay this sweet, consistently, for the rest of life so I will savor this season, recording it in my heart.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

juggling act.

Here we are at the church getting ready to preform in a talent show.

Matt juggled balls while I juggled babies. It was pretty funny, methinks.

Enjoy the long weekend, and may the weather be agreeable!

PS. Duke wants you all to know that he had five juggling balls in his jacket pockets and a regular-size stomach for a 31-year-old, married male with three kids.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Apart from the racoons...

And cats. Some silly cat seems to have confused our garden for its litter-box.

Regardless of the frequent pest visits, we're officially harvesting greens and such from our humble plot.

The kids are pretty, darn thrilled.

rainy days.

This is about when, each year in Oregon, I decide I want to move.

The winter has been so long. April showers turn into May showers, never letting up for more than a day or so.

The kids have been winter-caliber sick.

On the bright(?) side, Duke and I are getting really chubby from all the coco and marshmallows.

Cheers to what I hope will be a much sunnier weekend ahead!

Monday, May 23, 2011

just now.

I just walked in on the boys demolishing my craft supplies. All over my bed.

I was pretty proud of myself for not screaming and stomping my feet. But then I caught myself making them feel pretty bad through the employment of (very subtle) fake-crying. How do you teach your kids to be considerate, respectful people without a. scaring the poop out of them or b. guilt trips???

When I caught myself I just calmly made them pick everything up and put them down for a nap so that I could sit here by myself and eat an ice-cream sandwich.

Duke, when are you coming home for the day? I hope soon. When are you taking a vacation? I hope soon. When can we spend every second for the rest of our lives together? I hope soon. OK, maybe that's not a good idea. But I need you.

Everything they do is funnier when you're home to joke about it with me. (Like how in the top picture, if you look really close, you can see the black cat hiding in the grass about to jump out and scare the boys. It was great.) Come home and let's sit on the couch and laugh until we feel like we had a good work-out, okay?

Memory Lane.

Oh, my computer desktop. If my counter-top was as cluttered, I would be mortified. I sorted through it the other day, giving my farewell to the folders of the past and the many projects they represented.

One cyber-pile that I could not bring myself to toss out was my "to post" folder, filled with sweet picture stories I'd never had the time or ambition to share.

So here is a hodge-podge post of wonderful things that happened not too long ago, but already cause me to feel nostalgic...

1. Backyard bocce-ball.

2. Summer naps in blanket forts.

3. S'mores, just because.

4. Duke at the park.

(I can't see these pictures of him and keep myself from smiling.)

6. When Fitz had no teeth!

7. Our Mcdonald's play-place fun.

8. Sparky's long hair.

9. Renaissance faire costumes.

10. Nearly naked boy attacks.

11. I miss the family dog.

(We had a very sad service in my parent's backyard last summer. That sweet dog was a great comfort to me in my teenage years. Duke and I called him "the chastitizer" because while we were dating, if we tried to kiss or hug, there he was, squeezing in-between us.)

12. Fall leaves, and racquets for rakes.

13. Breezy bike-rides.

14. When I had long hair and a tiny tummy.


Now, hopefully, I can get back to making memories from today's moments.

Whoops, I skipped number 5. Oh, well.

Friday, May 20, 2011


It seems we cannot have enough of one another, Duke and I. Could be that he's studying for an upcoming sectioned CPA exam. He's passed two sections, with two ahead, and he's admittedly anxious, seeking refuge and comfort in my arms.

I'm not complaining. Though we get little time together, it's nice time, close time. Last night we stayed up far too late sharing our current perspectives on any topic that popped up: our children, the new baby, our families, our responsibilities, our goals and relationship. We reluctantly fell asleep with more words for one another on our lips.

We just as reluctantly awoke for the day this morning, choosing to lay together an extra-long time. I think Heavenly Father knew we needed a little push to get going today so he sent Iggy our way, to squeeze in between us in bed and promptly throw up all over our pillows and blankets. Poor darling, he's been sick for a couple of days now, sleeping most of the time.

While Duke studies I do mounds of sick-laundry and sanitize what I can around the house. I am looking forward to the refuge we find in our time together, whether it's just the two of us or shared with our dear sons.

Life is really good.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

greens and blues.

Green earth with blue sky was a good idea.

We made cake for the ducks (butter and bread sandwiches with marshmallows in the middle) and sang them a "happy hatch-day" song. Iggy even made them an egg-shaped card.

The rain came half-way through our walk and we ran, and laughed, and ran. It was an adventure.

All the while we were surrounded by stunning green and blue creations.