Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Quick Catch Up – In Pictures

waterfall

tree hugger

roots

Trail Treasures

me and my bud

Jack in the leaves

Buried in Leaves

Pumpkins

pumpkin patch

Me and Roo

Pumpkin Head Antics

Pumpkin Head Outhouse

Where do I even begin??

It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve posted and we’ve done so many fun things over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago, I surprised Finn by picking him up about 10 minutes before school ended. It was a beautiful fall day and the foliage was at its absolute PEAK! We went hiking on some local trails that I haven’t visited in many years. I brought a little bag for him to collect some nature treasures. We came across a babbling brook and it took me a long time to pry him away from throwing rocks and sticks and leaves into the river. He loved watching them float away and wash down the mini waterfall. Boys. We saw some huge roots from fallen trees that shrunk my tall boy to a miniature version of himself. As we got toward the end of the trail, we happened upon a fire truck and some firefighters in the middle of the woods – turns out there was a brush fire they were trying to put out, so that was pretty exciting as well. It was SO great spending time with him by myself, something that doesn’t happen as often as it used to.

Although there are still plenty of leaves left on our trees, our yard is COVERED in fading reds, oranges and yellows – I love crunching through them, and the boys LOVE jumping in them. Mike and I haven’t begun bagging anything yet, and our raking has consisted of one pile that is continuously scattered again and again. Trucks are driven through it. Kids are buried in it. It’s been fun!! There are still many, many leaves to fall, so the piles will only grow…I’m sure we’re not alone.

My sister has officially moved away. Feelings are bittersweet. She previously lived in Manhattan, just a short train ride away. She and her husband have relocated to Denver, Colorado. While I thank her for moving to city that I envision as a really awesome place to visit, we’ll all miss having her so close by. It won’t be forever, (right Kristen??) but a lot of life will be lived in four to five years that we’ll have to share on-line. Thank GOD for social media!!! BUT – new chapters are ALWAYS exciting, and I know she (they) will do great things in the meantime.

We finally made it back to the pumpkin patch and took our annual hayride where “Pumpkin Head” hides throughout the woods, to be delightedly spotted by a bunch of giggling kids. He is one mischievous character. Proof is in the pictures above… (What is he doing in that outhouse you ask? “Pooping” according to Finn). The pumpkins were slim pickins, but we picked a nice, big, lumpy one – which we carved tonight, just in time for Halloween!

So that pretty much brings us up to date! Tomorrow is the BIG day. One of Finn’s favorite holidays. He has been counting down on his calendar for weeks. I told him only 3 pieces of candy tomorrow night… Is that parental cruelty? Wishful thinking? We’ll see how it goes…

And when the boys go to bed, I’m sure I’ll raid his stash for a few pieces myself. What? We can’t possibly have chocolate in the house and have it be ignored… besides, it’s bad for their teeth…Jack is too little…there are flavors they just don’t like. (Is anyone buying this???)

Happy Halloween Eve!!!

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Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see…

Sparrow

Image via crushculdesac.tumblr.com

Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see, it may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity. ~ Joseph Norris

Every so often, there is a story that is heard, or read, or stumbled upon that just won’t leave a heart or mind without leaving a mark. Last night as I browsed my Bloglovin’ feed, a post about a 3 year old girl, Sparrow Song, who is undergoing her third (and final) heart surgery, stayed with me and has prompted me to spread the message of this brave, little soul.

I do not know this family. I do not even know the sweet mama whose post brought this to my attention, though I do follow her blog, boho baby bump, where the original post can be found.  Please take a moment to read it and be inspired by a small baby girl who has more courage than most grown-ups.

What I do know, is that through blogging, there is a community and friendships can exist between strangers, no matter the distance or the differences in each other’s lives.
I try to put myself in the position of this family. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to watch your baby go into surgery. To see her hooked up to monitors, and tubes, and have to sit and wait while putting every ounce of trust and faith in the hands of surgeons who are hopefully working miracles. Put yourself in those shoes. And then imagine if millions of strangers were uplifting your baby with the power of positive thinking and the power of prayers. I am calling attention to this family’s story because it somehow spoke to me, and I want to call attention to Sparrow, and to let her sweet “Song” reach the pages of other strangers, who if nothing else will keep her and her family in their thoughts, and prayers, or send a card, or a care package if so inclined.

It doesn’t take much to send a message of strength, unity, and optimism to those who need to feel some rays of sunshine in their lives…and an army of people doing it together will certainly make a huge difference for those on the receiving end.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
~ Sally Koch

Spread kindness, be peaceful and share the love. xo

Smashing Pumpkins

Prepping

What is it about boys and destruction.  Is it just mine?  Finn had been asking, and asking, and asking to smash our sweet little pumpkins we had carved a few weeks ago.  It seems a bit early for pumpkin smashing, but I will admit, the wilting, orange jack’s had seen better days.  Shortly after carving, they filled with fruit flies (while still sitting atop our microwave, mind you).  We immediately moved them outside to the deck railing where we figured the cold air would keep them a bit longer.  We lit them at dusk a fair amount of times and watched them from inside as we ate dinner, their inner glow flickering wildly in the chilly, windy October nights we have had. 

So, when Finn asked for what seemed like the millionth time if he could smash the pumpkins last Sunday afternoon, I finally relented.  You would think I had graced him with some amazing privilege, which, I guess to him it was.  He smiled that crazy, silly, devilish little grin and with a huge heave over his head – he flung the first pumpkin with amazing force!  Then again with the second pumpkin.  Each lost some flesh, but it didn’t end there.  He ran down the deck stairs, gathered the remains, and continued this game over and over until there weren’t enough large pieces to justify any more smashing.

Smashing Pumpkins

So…we are down two little jack-o-lanterns, but I guess the good thing about early pumpkin-chucking, is that we can get ourselves to the pumpkin patch, pronto, and gather some more to carve with new silly faces, that will inevitably collect fruit flies, that will eventually meet their fate at the bottom of our yard.  The squirrels will feast on our recycled “back to the earth” mentality – all because I have a boy who thrives on the thrill of destroying some pumpkins.  I look forward to enjoying this cycle all over again – very soon!!

Just a Quicky About My Loves.

These are my boys:    Boys

This is Finn:                                                                                                                                    He is 5.  He is my first.  He is full of life and love and questions about everything.

Finn

This is Jack:  He is 18 months.  He is a mover and a shaker.  He likes to run.  And climb.  He likes to copy his big brother.  He likes to gives kisses…after he has bonked you in the head.  It is very possible that he might be my challenge (as far as tantrums are concerned…)

Jack

These are my boys.  These are their names.  Red & Roo.  My life and my loves. 

And now you know.  xo 

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

 

Long Weekends are Good for the Soul.

squash

I had a nice loooong weekend.  It was a much needed break from work and I definitely took the time to relax and do some things that have been on my mind, and on the back burner of my “to do” list for quite a while. 

I have officially started my Christmas shopping.  I can’t share most of my finds because some special people read this little blog ‘o mine, but I will share these pillows, which I am so in love with, made by my extremely talented, and much-loved friend Cherry, whose Etsy shop Totally Cherry will be stocked with lots of beautiful pillows & pillow covers for the upcoming shopping season.  She is now offering 20% off for the month of October, so be sure to check out her inventory while it lasts!!!  Be sure to “like” on Facebook as well at Totally Cherry Blossoms.

Pillows!

It’s great to be friends with such gifted people.  While at the craft fair where I bought Cherry’s pillows, I browsed other items and was motivated to get my act together and start creating my own inventory from the ideas swimming in my head. 

I have been sanding some old wooden oars that are in need of some TLC.  I plan to paint and distress them to hang in the entry way of our house which is a lot of wall and in need of decoration. 

oars

I had a helper last weekend, and this weekend, he kept me going by picking me flowers.  Love him.

flowers

Sunday was a cloudy, rainy day.  I loved every minute of it.  Red and I had a few groceries to pick up after church, and on a whim (and with a little persuading by him), I bought two small pumpkins.  He couldn’t WAIT to start carving.  He decided, “I want to make a scary one.” I think he did a good job accomplishing it!  The only parts I helped him with were the top and the mouth.  He drew, and scooped and chiseled his pumpkin to become the amazing masterpiece you see below. 

Carving

I have been trying to be good about letting him do things on his own without as much guidance.  I have to admit, I was nervous about that little carving knife, but once I showed him how to cut, and to make sure to keep his non-carving hand out of the way, he was very good about following directions, and so focused.  It was really cute to watch.

glow

Roo was content to sit in his highchair and watch.  I brought out some new wooden puzzle rescue trucks that he hasn’t seen much of and that bought us even more time.   After the pumpkin fun (and by fun, I mean mess, but it was so worth it), we moved on to Play-Doh.  I thought Roo would love squishing it between his fingers and making different indentations with the tools I gave him.  I also knew that some would inevitably end up in his mouth.  One taste and he was totally grossed out.  Wish I got a picture of that!!! 

puzzle cars

Today it was just me and Roo.  I could totally get used to the stay-at-home thing.  <sigh>  I know the grass isn’t always greener…but it was pretty luxurious while it lasted.

After dropping Red at school, we went to Starbucks and got me a coffee.  Drove around and parked at the beach on the hopes that I would get a nap out of if him.  No such luck, but it was fine since my next plan was to go to Hobby Lobby for craft supplies.  I could spend hours in craft stores getting ideas and finding fun supplies.  If only my wallet would allow it.  I have signed up to be a room mom for Red’s class.  The first party is October 30th, for Halloween of course.  The kids will be painting pumpkins, and the other two moms are handling the supplies for that project.  I am in charge of a game.  After much thought, (and of course consulting with my dear friend Pinterest) I settled on Monster Bowling, as seen here. 

Image detail for -halloween activity for kids handmade halloween game for kids

Sadly, I don’t know who to credit for this image and idea, since the link is just a Yahoo search, but whoever you are – thank you!

Once Roo was napping, I began another project that is the cornerstone to all of the above craftiness that I am working on.  Since moving into our house in 2010, Mike has taken over the basement, with half as his workshop/storage space, and the other half, which is unfinished, as his man cave.  He has it made down there, complete with a bar, two TV’s, a beer fridge and lots of cool (though really “manly”) accessories, such as fishing poles hung overhead, license plates on the walls, sports paraphernalia, and many interesting artifacts that he has found through his years working for a marine construction company.  (Hence the aforementioned oars).  I’ll have to take a picture of some of the stuff he has.  Eventually, I’d like to move some to the main part of the house because there are some very cool antiques!  Anyway, my point, is that he has pretty much taken ownership of the entire ground floor.  But today, I carved out my own space and created a craft area – and I plan to eventually own one half of the room.  Ideally, I would love a little shed in the yard that has a power source so I can have a “studio.”  Mike, I know you are reading this – so consider it a formal request.  <wink, wink>

But even in the small space I have claimed, I have set-up my sewing machine, laid out all of my paints, organized my brushes and other art supplies, sorted through all of my ribbon spools and folded my fabrics.  Everything has a place…  My theory:  In sight, in mind.  It feels so good to have everything where I can see it, which will make it easier to start working. 

Back to the daily grind tomorrow, but this weekend has given me a renewed sense of energy and motivation…not so much for my current 9 to 5, but to come home to a new space, and begin to work on the stuff that renews my spirit and brings me joy – besides my fam, of course!  Love them, but the challange will now be to find a way to steal an hour or two to myself…  I think the basement is going to see a “play/family room” re-do in the very near future as well, so we can all enjoy it together.

Happy Monday!!  xo

PS – Linking up with Annapolis & Company!!

It Is What It Is…

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

I’m back.

It’s been a crazy, hard, chaotic month.  I am sad that I haven’t been writing more, but coming home from a job that has been stealing ALL of my mental energy is not exactly motivating.  Besides the fact that I could barely keep my eyes open past nine o’clock, and Roo went through two solid weeks of 18 month old sleep regression, mixed in with a few night terrors just for fun.  Yeah…it’s been that kind of month.

So, my feelings about this j-o-b thing…it’s taken some processing.  That comes in the form of over-thinking, over-analyzing, and second-guessing.  I wasn’t even sure I should post anything about it because things are still so up in the air, and no one knows what will be happening at the end of this month.  But then again, this is MY space, and I am not going to feel as if I can’t spill my guts about things that won’t leave my mind alone.  Writing about anything else would feel fake right now, though Mike is so supportive and the boys are great (other than that freak sleep thing – hope that’s over for good!!)

There have been lay-offs, and my boss was one of them.  Though she isn’t leaving until the end of the year, the rest of our team’s fate will be decided by October 28th.  A colleague and I just spent the last four weeks conducting numerous training sessions for a new system and new business process that a lot of people don’t agree with or like…and of course, the messengers (us) always bear the brunt of the aggression (them).  All of that happened while doing the rest of my normal job functions which already keep me busy on a normal day and…blah, blah, blah…so it goes.  My head has been spinning.

I remember talking about careers and jobs in my philosophy class in college.  Many people say that they don’t want their job to “define” them, but career is a big part of who we are.  Since this is the case, I want that something, the thing I have to do 40 hours a week (sometimes more), the place where I spend more time than with my sweet family, to be productive, inspiring, and fulfilling. 

Maybe this is an opportunity?  The fate of my job has already been decided.  It is out of my control – it is just a waiting game.  There are days when I feel like I can see where the senior Directors might fit me, but the more days that go by, and the whispers among our team take place, and questions from others are asked…the more I have let doubt creep in.  The fact is – no one knows.  Any of us can go.

But here is what I do know. 

I am smarter than my current job.  I am educated.  I am a creative, a thinker and a doer and I want much more of that to be my day-to-day.  So, as I have been repeating to myself again and again…It is what it is.  Whatever shall be shall be.  I’ve been seeking new roads, and maybe there is a plan in all of this that is out if my hands, but good things will come. 

In the meantime…I hope to be around this space a lot more.  This is my refuge and if I could swing it – THIS would be my day-to-day.  Maybe someday it will be!!!  (Hello, DREAM JOB.)  Props to the amazing bloggers that do it so well – photographers, crafters, foodies, fashionistas…you are all my hero’s and my inspiration (Casey Leigh, Annapolis & Co., Dear Baby blog, Under the Sycamore..to name only a few!).  Reading these blogs on particularly hard days and nights has been encouraging and has driven me to keep up my own posts, I’ll make it happen as successfully as they do someday too….and that alone makes me feel better.  So I will leave with a few October “heart swell” pictures…because this is after all, my happy place, and these are my happy peeps.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.   I heart them both.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.
I heart them both.

Playful spirit!

Playful spirit!

My Peeps. Building with Legos.

Flying.

Flying.

More to come … soon.  XO.