1. Smiles and huggles the moment I walk in the door will always be the thing I am most grateful for. The time we spend away from each other makes the time I spend with them all the more special.
2. My husband’s deliciously obscure sense of humor. Even on my worst days, he knows just what to say that will make everything better.
3. Sunny cool days when we can sit in the backyard and eat dinner picnic-style.
**I am not grateful to have to retype this post b/c I wasn’t logged into the site and my previous post wasn’t saved**
So rather than retype everything, I’m going to be lazy and just type what I am grateful for today.
1. I am grateful for the lull in between the insanity of garden planning, soil amending, and seedling planting. Its during this time when I can really appreciate the power of growing food, and the beauty of it. My peas and beans are growing faster than I can keep up. The tomatoes are reaching out of their cages. I have three strawberries.
2. I am grateful for organizations which strive to dissolve the distance between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Victory Garden Initiative is one of these organizations and I am thankful for the work that they do. Their mission speaks directly to my heart: Move Grass, Grow Food. (Thanks Gretchen for taking some time to talk to me about YOU today!)
3. I am grateful for a good book. And also probably a not so good book. Thanks to my parents for instilling a true love of the beauty of visiting faraway lands and the knowledge and language they contain. Really, I just love to revel in the silence and jump into the pages.
(let’s try publishing this again, friends)
Today, as I walked off of Alverno’s campus, I looked at the trees and flowers and grass and sky. And it seemed like the first time in a really long time that I actually saw them. I noticed the way the little helicopter seeds were a perfectly contrasted shade to the darker leaves on the maple trees. I noticed how the sky’s colors delicately morphed from pink to blue and how the grass was more vibrant than it was this morning.
1. Today I am grateful for my ability to see these beauties around me and, perhaps more that seeing them, being able to slow down for a moment and appreciate them.
2. A quick summer storm to quench the earth and leave the scents of soil surrounding me. The angry rain that became sunny skies within minutes. Even nature is mercurial.
3. Lola. For without my dear pup, I step on macaroni noodles and actually have to scrape dinner’s leftovers into the garbage.
Today has been physically draining and emotionally uplifting…which are my most favorite days ever. Fueled by Cranky Al’s donuts (doughnuts?) we headed up to 43rd and Silver Spring. I’ve been reluctant to reveal too much about this project, but now that its off the ground, I will.
A long while back, a friend and I were commiserating about gaps in corporate America surrounding work / life balance. More specifically that many families cannot spend adequate time with their children due to their careers. We also talked about the importance of food-ownership and passing skills down to our children. From this discussion, Cultivate Food, Cultivate Family was born. Well kinda sorta. Mostly its still baking en utero, but that hasn’t stopped me from taking a few baby steps to get it moving along.
The plans for CF, CF are lofty and will require a fair amount of time, land, money, and volunteers to help, but I stand strongly by the concept of teaching families how to grow their own food and work towards self-reliancy.
In an effort to gain a better understanding for the need, I decided to rent a small (20×20′) plot in a community garden and donate all of the harvest to food pantries, soup kitchens, and directly to families who are struggling.
1. I’m grateful that I am able to give back. So many times I have thought, what can *I* do? What impact can *I* make, and the truth is….if you sit on your ass asking those questions, you aren’t making much.
2. My trellis. Yesterday I spoke of Kurt as my partner, my friend, and today I am grateful that he is my supporter. He picks me up when I fall. He never asks me if I think I have too much going on. He is always right by my side. Today he helped me turn soil and wrangle the girls and keep me company.
3. Running water. Seems pretty silly to post that I’m grateful for running water, but after being caked in soil with sore back muscles and a sun burn, nothing quite beats a shower.
I am a lover of all things scholarly. I adore books with wild abandon, a smart documentary will always be my go-to on Netflix, and writing is my outlet for the stresses of my day to day life. I say all this because I love TED Talks. LOOOOOVE it. If you haven’t heard of TED Talks, you might want to check them out. The greatest, brightest, most creative minds from around the world come to the event to discuss their area of expertise. I am telling you all this because I watched Shaun Achor gave a speech on happiness and how we really have things backwards when it comes to the things that make us happy. We have a job, but want a better job – to make us happy. We have a home – but we want a bigger home, and when we get that bigger home, we want a still larger home. We are constantly re-setting the bar higher for our goals and what will make us “happy”. This poses a rather large problem because it seems that nothing can make us happy. Now what Shawn proposes is that we be happy in the moment. That we shift our brain, or recondition, to learn to be happy with what we have. At the end, he offered a few ways that we can do that – meditation, random acts of kindness, and the 3 gratitudes. Each day, write down three new things that you are thankful for and in doing so, you will begin to appreciate your life and the human brain actually begins to shift towards positivity. This really struck a chord with me. I am very thankful for what I have, but, if I am being honest with myself, tend to toe the line of depression and anxiety and negativity. So here goes. Each day, I am going to post three new things that I am thankful for.
1. My daughters. I cannot imagine going back to a simpler time without my twinkies. I adore them to the point that I ache when I am away from them. I cry when I hug them. They are my joy.
2. Kurt. He is the first man who I have felt that I can be myself to, and he forgives my faults. He worships me and adores our daughters like I have seen very few fathers do. His patience and brilliance make my life fulfilled.
3. Alverno. I dropped out of college in 2000, not knowing fully what I wanted to “be” when I grew up and wasting many a night (and day) getting drunk. It took nine years before I got the courage to go back to school and I am so glad that I did. I’ve met women whose strengths amaze me. I’ve met teachers who have pushed me. I’ve realized that my calling is probably not in the business world, but I will put in my time and position myself for greatness. And probably the most awesome thing that I have found at Alverno is that I can do it.
So apparently I didn’t include all the photos from us picking out our tree. Here are some that I took (previous were ones Kurt took)…which are way better than his. JK JK JK JK they totally aren’t.
Spring is a busy time for our little family, with planning, tilling, planting, and nurturing our garden. We’ve added three 4X8 raised beds, a strawberry planter made from a pallet, and a blackberry bush to our homestead. I also have a trellis and a potato planter in the works…so….by the end of the weekend, we are usually full of vitamin d and fall into bed with smiles on our sun-kissed faces. The girls have very much enjoyed helping me pick out flowers for the garden and I have very much enjoyed them playing in the dirt with me. Worms excite them to no end and Zoey has taken to popping the flowers off of all the tulips and she “plants” the flowers in dirt with the hopes that they will grow “up, up, up!”. Both girls exclaim “DAN-DE-YION!!” whenever we see the little yellow flowers. Each day I am amazed at their curiosity with things that we take as normal, from Zoey giggling as ants tickle her arms to Violet happily declaring “moon” as she points to the sky.
This post is not for the faint of heart. No it is not, but most of parenting may not be.
The girls have started stalling at bedtime, and we usually fall for it. We’re gradually potty training and as such when a child says they have to poopy, you take that child to the potty. Its a fine line between listening to their needs and asserting that it is time for dreaming. Recently, and I’m not sure if by accident or purpose, but they both will request use of the facilities around bedtime. Success rate: ~30%. Which is great, but the ~70% of times when they don’t use the potty can lead one to not believe that the potty needs to be used. So on with my story. I was laying on the nursery floor, like either Kurt or I do most nights, and I must’ve drifted off to sleep, like I do most nights. I woke up to Z stating quite emphatically “giant poopy, mommy”. These are not uncommon words. Kurt had gone to get mexican for dinner, so I was alone. Sitting up, I was accosted by the tell-tale smell that there was, indeed, a giant poopy. Zoey was standing in her crib, with her pajamas mostly off. I scooped her up and carried her to the living room to get her in a new diaper. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light of the living room, I noticed (at the exact same moment as Kurt had walked into the house and exclaimed “what smells like poop?”) that she had successfully removed her diaper and also successfully removed the poop. And was painting with it. Now, dear friends, a couple of things before I progress. 1. I have a pretty weak stomach for things like poop and infection when they are on a clean surface. Dirty diapers are something I can deal with, but if the poo touches me….look the heck out. 2. I’m all for creativity and not limiting it, but painting with poop should never be considered a creative outlet. Kurt helped undress Z and I herded her into the shower. Our first priorities were: clean child and clean bed. She got the bed pretty good too in this Picasso moment. Here’s where the story kinda takes a turn from gross to absolutely appallingly disgusting…while I was soaping up Z and Kurt was stripping the bed and washing all surfaces, Lola was helping herself to an impressive portion of poop. These are the things I wish I had known before getting a dog. GROSS, LOLA!
I’ve said it a few times in the past posts, but I’m still catching up with pics from *cough* months ago. Here are a few from Thanksgiving weekend by my parents house. The first day was gorgeous – warm, sunny, perfect and we spent it at the park. The remaining? Pretty “brisk”. We visited reindeer, avoided Santa like the plague, danced in a gazebo, and played at the park. ’Twas a good visit.
As I was laying in their room the other night, Violet was being very polite….
Me: *cough* *cough* *cough*
V (quiet): “less you, momma”
V: (less quiet) “less you, momma”
Me: *cough, cough*, hack*
V: (louder) “Less You, Momma”
V: (quite loud) “LESS YOU, MOMMA”
Me: “thank you, vi-vi”
We took the girls bowling a couple of months ago at which time, they almost beat all four adults. What say you to that, Dude? These lanes you are viewing are where Kurt and I spent a fair amount of Saturday evenings with some pretty amazing friends many moons ago. The guys focused on throwing the ball with the largest curve, spin, speed and the women focused on keeping the balls between the gutters. We drank beer out of plastic cups and ran the juke box. Many a Regina song graced these lanes…
And also….are toddler bowling shoes not the.cutest.things.ever?
Last year I publicized my resolutions, and if I try really hard to remember all of them I can remember a quarter. Some I successfully completed, others I successfully avoided. This year, there will be no resolutions, but rather a promise.
This is the year of “now”. I will not vow to stop procrastinating…that is simply not in my nature, but I will say that this will be the year of many upheavals, changes in habits, new perspectives on life. Now. There is no better time, for tomorrow may never come. These are not resolutions, but rather skills that I want to learn in the coming year: soap-making, cheese-making, chicken-raising….the “use”.
We participated in the JCI Sponsored Holiday Parade back in….November. ha. The weather was beyond perfect, the girls were great, but wow was that a frantic walk / run for the better part of a mile ish. The marching band behind us was constantly encroaching on our territory and poor Marcia almost got ran over a few times! We brought along the wagon thinking that the girls would sit in there as one of us pulled and handed out candy. Wrong assumption. Zoey wanted to be held by me….Violet wanted to be held by me. Needless to say, my arms were sore for days. The crowd was great, with lovely smiling faces of parents and children with their hands outstretched. It was a fun experience, however I’m not sure we’d do it again, at least not until the girls are older.