Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Days are Long and the Season is Sweet

I am absolutely in love with this summer.
It began with a very full schedule.  After school (and work for me) ended in June, new commitments began and we found ourselves committed for most of the remaining month.  But, once those commitments ended we found ourselves tucking back and settling into home quite deeply and avoided leaving and even letting friends know that we were home in order to keep our time completely open and free.
Matt and I both have a long list of projects we would like to complete in this short season.
It is so hard to find the balance between getting out and playing in the beautiful weather with our newly open schedule... but also getting some serious work accomplished while the weather allows... and some serious rest while the schedule allows.
This year I have certainly been leaning on the side of work and rest... and less play... but honestly the work and rest truly feels a bit like play to me.

The job I took on this year at the Montessori allowed me to buy my dream camera.  Well, what I thought would be my dream camera.  I had not used this camera before... I just kind of assumed it was the one I wanted based on the work of others.  But anyway, I have wanted to convert to Canon for years now.  I also knew that my next camera needed to have a full frame censor.  So, I decided the Canon EOS 5d mark iii was the camera for me.  I didn't actually make enough to buy the camera new (I only worked a few hours each day while the kids were in school for a few months).  I was able to buy a used camera though.  I kept my eye out for a good deal, and I found one.  About an hour and a half drive away was a photographer who was leaving the business of weddings and selling his second camera in the price range I could afford.  It truly felt like it was meant to be.  I have been enjoying learning how to use it.  I find I overexpose the photos often, but I do that this time of year anyway.  I still have SO MUCH to learn about this camera, and I only have one prime lens for it, but I am so excited that it's finally mine!

Our dog playing teether ball against herself, and sweet cousins.

If you let your garlic scapes grow and bloom they make the most incredible flowers.

Summer reading.

This next string of photos were taken in Europe by my daughter, her aunt, and her grandma.

The first couple weeks of the trip they jumped around from country to country.  They visited eight countries!  They flew in to Paris, France and then stayed in Belgium, visited the Netherlands, stayed in Luxembourg, and Germany, then Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.  They then joined another group of lovely friends and began to travel through the southern french countryside.  They have now made their way up north to Normandy, and will end their trip in Paris.  France's Bastille Day falls on my daughter's birthday this year and so she will turn twelve in Paris, France on a day of French celebration!   And then she will come home to us.  I am so excited.

Blooming jasmine, a new hammock (already torn by the puppy... sigh), and fresh plants for the front flower bed.

I did a short sunset session with my sister's sweet little family and following are some of my favorite moments from that session.

This season is a mighty one... with it's long warm days.
Our balance between quiet and fun has felt perfect.  I hope I can keep the balance going somewhat. The end of the season is always a fury and I am ready for that too.  It gets us ready to let go of it, ready for the days to shorten and cool down, of course we are no where near ready for that now, but the time will come.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Speed of Life

This life.
Sometimes the speed of it all overwhelms me.
I am blown away when I stop and look back and realize how much has changed and how fast.
I have two middle schoolers now... how did that happen?
My eleven year old daughter is leaving in a week to travel Europe with her aunt and her grandmother. She will be gone for seven weeks. My son, 13, has a summer job lined up with his grandparents that live here. 
This summer is going to be very different than the summers that I am used too.
I am holding on to two things... facetime every day with my traveling daughter, and how wonderful the quality time with my two little ones will be. They have never had my full attention like this before. It will be a special opportunity for connection.
I always thought that life would slow down as the children got older. It seemed that as they needed less help from me physically that things would wind down. I certainly have more freedom now. I don't have to share my body. Instead of cleaning up after them, I remind them to clean up after themselves, etc. I never anticipated the commitments though. I didn't think about the fact that they would develop their own social lives and all have their own separate schedules. Sometimes it's absolutely maddening. Our schedule right now... Drop kids off at school, go to work, get off work, pick kids up, run around to different practices (different schedules every day, track, soccer, and gymnastics) and then take everyone home, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, bed routine with little ones and then fall into bed and pass out. Every. Day. It's exhausting.
BUT, it is only a season and it is already beginning to change again. AND as I watch them excel in their different areas I realize that the commitment is completely worth it 
(although it does still drive me a little crazy). 
But now, summer is right around the corner.
That beautiful season always begins with a special stillness. 
A span of weeks where time actually does slow down, the commitments wane, and the days are very long. Our summer will begin in just three short weeks. In that time, our commitments to school, sports, and my commitment working at the montessori will all end and we will have days that are wide open with possibility. 

*That is playdough on the tray with the rocks. It's my mom's recipe and I will share it.

Nana's Playdough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water

Mix ingredients together in a large pan and stir over medium heat for a few minutes (until the dough thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan). Turn out on to wax paper and let cool a bit. Knead thoroughly.
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