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Monday, March 23, 2015

Snow


It is March 23 and it snowed 5 inches last night. 
My sister in Saint Louis is sending me photos of her blooming daffodils and we are shuffling through 5 inches of beautiful, fluffy, white snow! 

We did have a few days of 60-degree temperatures a couple of weeks back and melted nearly everything. The kids played in the mud and splashed in the puddles, and now the cold has returned. We're happily well above zero, but still, the snow sure makes it feel like winter. I actually don't mind. I know it is short lived and it is a breathtaking reprieve from the dirty brown mess that is early spring.  


These pictures are actually from just a few weeks ago. I am guessing that within a few days, all the new snow will be gone, but it sure was lovely to wake up to it this morning. I love snow, I really do. It is magical, even here in Wisconsin. 


Gavin thought he'd help us out one morning, by shoveling some of the freshly fallen snow off the driveway while he waited for the school bus. He is a sweet and thoughtful 6 year old and this was the perfect activity to burn off some of his incredible energy before spending the next 40 minutes sitting on the school bus. 


I love the light 
the snow
the snow in the light
and the light in the snow


magic


I love snow
I don't like cold at all
I don't like being cold
I love warm golden sunshine 
on a snowy winter morning 

there is nothing better



Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Great Spring Thaw



This is my babygirl. 
I love her spring coat. 
I think I picked it up at a thrift store for a couple of dollars when she was a tiny baby. 
I just pulled it out of a bin the other day and noticed that it said 24 months on the tag. 
She wears size 3T now in most things, 4T in some shirts because she has a long torso. 
I think the jacket fits just fine, thankfully. 
I love it. 


Even though her hat and mittens don't match her coat at all, I love that her hat reminds me of a kerchief on a little Dutch girl, or a pixie hat. I love her sweet and messy little bangs sticking out.


She is Miss Independent. 
"No! I do it myself!"
Her favorite words. 


She is sad about the snow going away. She gets out of the car at the end of the day and says "can I walk in the snow, Mom?" and she traipses out across the yard to find the bit of snow that remains after our stretch of 60-degree days. 


The fun thing about the snow going away, is that it is making so much great mud. Just look at those boots. Yes, they WERE pink. 

On Tuesday night the kids thought it would be fun to walk out into the fields that were plowed last fall. Let me just say... BAD IDEA! 

They thought it was great fun until they both lost both of their shoes and boots and were stuck in mud up to their knees. I had to DIG through the mud to find their boots and shoes and ended up stepping out of my own shoes in the process. 

When we got back to the house, I washed both kids shoes as well as my own in a 3-gallon metal pot in out in the garage before bringing them into the house to finish washing them in the bathroom sink. Cliff dumped out the metal pot of dirty water last night and there was 4  inches of solid mud in the bottom of the pot from our shoes! Yes, springtime sure is fun.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Someday...

People are always saying things like,

"Don't wait for someday!" 

"Now is the time." 

"Seize the day!" 

"There's no better time than the present"

"Stop waiting for things to change and change them yourself!"

...and I get it. I do. The world isn't going to make things happen for you, only you can make things happen. I get that we sometimes need a little motivational kick in the pants.

However, I am learning that it is okay to leave some things for "someday".

As I browsed Pinterest for Valentine ideas this year, I came across so very many great ideas for things I could be doing "better". Things like making my own home-made laundry detergent and household cleaners, taking better photographs, finally buying and learning to use Photoshop (or any photo-editing software for that matter), making homemade yogurt to feed to my family, sewing adorable little outfits for my kids, putting together fun little science projects to facilitate learning at home, etc.

As I looked at all of the great ideas, all of the things I thought I'd like to do, I found myself saying "someday" so very many times.  Someday, I would like to learn to use Photoshop, Someday, I would like to make my own safer household cleaners.  Someday, I will take Gavin to Crystal Cave like I promised.  Someday, I would like to get a reflector and a diffuser for taking photos.  Someday, I would like to implement daily to-do lists at home.  Someday, I will go back to school.   Someday, I will start meal-planning and have a weekly menu.  Someday, Cliff and I will have a scheduled date-night each week.  Someday, I will have time to scrapbook again.  Someday, we will actually do a weekly family game night.  Someday, we will take the kids to Wisconsin Dells.  Someday, I will start an exercise routine and get in shape.  Someday, I will get the mudroom organized and repainted.  Someday, I will plant and actually maintain a raspberry patch.  Someday, I will keep up my friendships and put in the effort they deserve so that I don't lose touch with people important to me.  Someday, I will stick do daily Yoga and meditation and I will feel better...    Someday...

Reality for me right now is that there are many, many things that just don't fit into my life. I know that some would argue that I can make it all happen if I just prioritize and MAKE the time to do those things. People will say, "Oh, sure you can exercise! You just need to MAKE the time. Get up an hour before the kids get up so you can work out and get showered before they're awake." I get it. I know those people mean well. The truth though, is that I already did prioritize. Getting up an hour before my kids just isn't something I'm going to choose. I'm not saying it wouldn't be good for me. It certainly would. It's just that Addison STILL doesn't usually sleep through the night at two years old, so our quality of sleep isn't the greatest, even if we do squeeze in 8 hours. I would love to be up early and have a cup of coffee all on my own and have a little quiet time for Yoga or meditation, but I also LOVE that extra hour of sleep and I LOVE it when my kids crawl into my bed with me in the morning for snuggles. So, I am choosing not to get up early. What's high on my priority list? Playing with the kids, getting good rest / staying healthy, having an organized and tidy house (still working on that one), having fun, taking downtime when we need it, spending time at home with the kids even when I know that I could get a babysitter. Yet, with all the time I choose to spend at home with the kids, those picture-perfect images of the Mom baking cookies with the kids in the evenings, making heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast, and calmly and neatly executing pinterest-inspired crafts, are definitely NOT what is happening at our house. What does happen is that we just get by. We survive. We soak up those few moments of peace and happiness when they sneak in amid the chaos of the running and chasing and playing and yelling and hitting and not sharing and us scrubbing glue off the floor and scraping dried up cheerios and milk off the table from yesterday's breakfast and giving the same instructions over again for the fifth time and trying to get through just one family meal without yogurt or cottage cheese being pitched onto the floor and the fighting over which tv show they will watch when one wants to watch Tickety-Tock and the other wants to watch Wild Kratts and wiping up the gallon of water off the bathroom floor because we chose to let them really play and splash and enjoy their bath-time since they were actually getting along together for 5 minutes. It isn't all arguing and fighting and spilling, but the truth is that it IS a lot of the time. Sometimes though, they are snuggling together and playing nicely and making up games together. I can't even imagine how other parents manage to keep a peaceful home. I really can't. I have two good and wonderful kids and a helpful husband on my team and yet our home is total chaos 85% of the time. I know my parents raised 10 kids plus a few extras and I don't remember total chaos when I was growing up. I know my sister has three wild little girls under the age of five (but her home is chaos just like mine). I know that my niece has six, yes six little boys 10-yrs old and under, and I can only assume she has chaos sometimes, but she always looks peaceful and perfectly poised.

My point is that right now my priorities mean that there are some things, some important things even, that need to be set aside for someday.

...and that's okay.