Friday, May 30, 2014

All Done

Yesterday Caroline took two huge naps and I crossed more things off my list than I have in weeks. Today, not so much, but much of today was spent in a state of thoughtfulness. Amy celebrated her last day of kindergarten today. Last day? All done? What?? There were weeks in the dark of winter when I couldn't figure how we would make it through the rest of the year. But we did and oh my, what a good year it was. I definitely shed a few tears as we said our goodbyes to her teachers and school today. I wish she was returning there in August. Today is the start of two weeks of "lasts" before we begin a new season of "firsts". 

Days like this are hard to write about for me; it's hard to do justice to all the big thoughts in my head. So I'll just end with this instead: 

Reason 1,467 why I love my Tevas. A downpour while we were in the school turned my grassy parking spot into a small pond. Not a problem! 

So there you go, without further ado, kindergarten complete! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To the Mountains

This past Saturday we finally made it out to visit my brother and sister-in-law. About a year or so ago they moved down south, only four hours from us. They have visited us several times but until now we had not repaid the visit. With only a few weeks left before we are on the other side of the country it seemed it was now or never. 

I am so glad we did!! All three kids were angels in the car and we had a blast hanging out and seeing the places and projects being worked on. 

We spent Sunday morning exploring some mountain property and simply enjoying the amazing views, perfect weather, and play-in-the-woods outdoorsy-ness that we are all lacking. It was terrific. 

Now we are in the home stretch of move prep and the last days of school. Lots of busy days. Oh, and last week my sweet William turned four! I owe him a post. I'll be back soon! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mother's Day Quilt

My Mother's Day treat this year was my decision to spend Caroline's morning naptime hand-sewing the binding on this quilt, thereby finishing it and removing it from my kitchen counter "I'm-working-on-this-project-really-I-am-pile". Insert happy sigh here. 

This might be my favorite quilt yet. The fabric is from a Moda charm pack ("Scrumptious", I think), with just white in between and on the back, and I squeaked out just enough strips from another fat quarter to make the binding without buying any additional fabric. The quilt measures 42ish inches square. I did some loopy free-motion quilting over the whole thing. 

I feel like I can't really claim any artistic genius or real creativity here, as I did pretty much the simplest thing you can do with a fabric collection already coordinated and already cut. But I really, truly, love the colors and it was a quick and satisfying project. Amy got me started on this one, when she and I spent some post-bedtime Big Girl time together. She planned out the top after I suggested the basic idea, and she did sew a few squares on the machine herself. She wanted this to be for Caroline, which was perfect because it is just right for a floor/play quilt for now and can go on a wall later. 

Just for fun, here are the other quilts I've made and kept for myself: 

They are all pretty different... I wish I had a more consistent style but I'm drawn to so many different looks and colors that I'm kind of all over the place when it comes to what I like. Oh, and I almost forgot, there's this big one, too. And I have one completed top finished over a year ago that has yet to be quilted. There have also been a few others that have gone off as gifts. 

For my birthday I bought another fabric assortment with the intention of making a bed-sized quilt for Caroline, but I have a feeling I won't be working on that till we reach the west coast. And of course the fabrics don't match this most recent quilt at all! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Empty Space

This whole moving thing must be for real, because here we are with an (almost) empty room. I was completely thrilled that we had a neighbor who not only wanted our extra guest mattress but also was willing to pay me for it and take it away this afternoon. 

With the bed apart, frame and linens stored, and the carpet vacuumed we now have a luxuriously empty room upstairs, and the kids all think this is pretty much the greatest thing that has ever happened to them. Which kinda makes me feel like getting rid of all our stuff and just having a bunch of empty rooms... but perhaps that is a bit drastic. Anyway, it's a little novelty and a welcome bit of breathing space - a room where nothing else needs to be done until the movers come.

Caroline thought it was pretty great too, and was happy to show off her new sitting-up skills. 

Yup, I think this will be my new decorating theme... no furniture, just a few pillows on the floor. Seems to be a hit. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tiny Garden

Just kidding about that posting-every-day thing. Yeesh, where does the week go? 

We are enjoying a beautiful week of warm and summery weather, but minus the outrageous humidity, and as you can see, we have been poolside most afternoons. And by poolside, I mean, we fill the little pool, A&W play in it for all of 5 minutes, and spend the next hour filling buckets/squirting things/making mud. But hey, it passes the time. 

And in other outdoor news, the kids have quite a nice little container garden going. Less than two weeks ago we went to Lowes and bought small pots, fresh soil, and I let the kids pick their own seeds. Usually I am all over the garden project early in the spring, and in this house we have had some nice tomatoes, herbs, flowers and beans both in containers and in the ground. But with a mid-summer move this year, I had no intention of starting anything I couldn't finish. Nevertheless, the kids were eager to plant something, so what's a mother to do?  Amy is growing marigolds, chives, and beans. William chose pumpkins, petunias, and carrots. This is perfect seedling weather right now and everything is growing like crazy. I hope all these guys can hang on in their pots for the next 5-ish weeks until we can drive them up to my parents house and plant them in my dad's garden. Good thing we are getting a trailer for that part of the trip, otherwise we'd all be traveling with potted plants on our laps. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014


I return here after a weekend spent just enough away to feel refreshed and recharged. 

Some places have a beauty that defies description, so I only can speak of the joy in being there, the pleasure of the company, and the achey feeling that comes with knowing it is only a visit. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

This Moment

One of the first blogs I ever found remains one of my favorite, and every Friday Amanda Soule posts a "this moment" picture to wrap up her week. Her photos are lovely and speak for themselves. Mine are not nearly so, and therefore require much narration: 

Caroline finally has herself a walker. I had to hunt around to find the same model I had for Amy and William but had long ago given away. It was worth the hunt, because I've found there's a lot of poorly conceived and/or poorly constructed baby equipment out there. Anyway, she likes it. And that afternoon all A&W wanted to do was sit next to C while she played. The agreed that they were all playing a game, and that the game involved being on a ship... or a plane... or a spaceship. Caroline was the pilot, but that's where the agreement ended. Amy wanted to be the co-pilot/gunner and suggested that William be the flight attendant, but as you can imagine, that didn't go over very well. I just walked away. 

But that moment kinda sums up how things have been lately. I feel like we are all really on top of each other. Amy is pulling ahead of William a bit right now and waffles between being Miss Cool-School-Big-Girl-Bossy-Pants and being the playmate and sister to William that he would like her to be. William has been needing way more in the way of entertainment during the day, of which I seem to be in short supply. Caroline is adorable and happy and way patient, and I feel like I never get enough time to simply dote on her. And then everyone wants my attention to his or her cause. At the same time. From about 3-8 pm daily. By bedtime I am pretty much done and it takes huge amounts of self-control to stay cheery and positive and not spend the last half hour of everyone's day yelling.

But of course, there are plenty of wonderful moments in our days, and truly I continue to enjoy the company of my kiddos, and most of my personal frustration comes from the feeling that I can't make everyone happy all the time. And also have a clean house. But that's another story. 

We have just over a month left before our move. I am going to try to make this month be another blog-a-day challenge month for myself, so that moments like this one from last week don't slip under the radar: 

There really is much good in our days.