This weekend

We played outside a lot this weekend. It was so beautiful. Sunny, and not 89 below.

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Grace and I also had a date. A very fun date. We went out for tea and to the bookstore. (Didn't have the good camera with so photos are a little blurry) Apple cinnamon chamomile tea and a homemade blueberry scone (enjoyed with while wearing fancy hats). Perfect.

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Baking Therapy

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I'm trying to catch up on my posts. These pictures are actually from Wednesday. I was feeling a little overwhelmed so I decided it would be a good day to bake my cares away. And it was. Well, the muffins were okay. We made apple cinnamon and lemon poppy seed. But, more importantly, my mood significantly improved... so did Grace and Jackson's. And even better, I found a new activity to occupy small children... flour and water.


Her Outfit

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I've been getting better at letting Grace pick out her outfits...always brings a smile to my face when she comes down the stairs.


The Nature Center

We spent the afternoon here today with some friends. Today was their annual "Winter Blizzard Blast". They didn't lie, it was a blast.

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We saw several birds up close, including two owls and a hawk...

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We watched a demonstration on horse logging...

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Explored some snow forts...

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Went on a loooong hike through the woods...

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And enjoyed the beautiful winter day.


A Happy Sunny Day

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Today was such a cheery day. I know I mentioned it in my last post too, but these two are getting along so well this week. So that of course makes everything wonderful. But I also spent some time this morning planning our garden... and it got me so excited. Can't wait for hot sun and dirt under my nails. But for now, cold sun and snow in my boots will have to do.

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Experiment 2: Day 6

This isn't really day 6. I have been meditating a lot lately, in small doses, whenever I think of it. Unlike my last experiemnt, I am not resisting this one, I absolutely love it.

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But I suppose this is day 6 six of lighting a candle and actaully sitting down with the intention of mediation. And I do love that as well, it just dosn't happen as easily.

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Again today I was filled with gratitude. I feel like I have so much to be thankful for. I am surrounded by gifts... my children getting along so well over the last few days, gardening season coming up (and the fact that we have the land to do it on), the career oportunities that are opening up for me, being able to stay home with my kids, our beautiful home, our health, the sun being out today... the list is endless.


Her Book...

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"Hooty Doot". (Doot rhyming with toot, not sure how I should have spelled it) It's about a cat, a dog, and a beaver, all of whom are named Hooty Doot. I love this girl.


Valentine's Day Morning

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New books
Mama-made jammies

And later...
In the afternoon Katie came over to play and we had chicken pot pie for dinner. Even more perfect.


A Date

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Out to the movies (Blind Side, so good)
Did a little shopping (our favorite store... the Goodwill)
Discovered a bar with a view and had a beer
Went out to dinner (could have licked my plate)
Pretended we were in college (enough said)


Experiment 2: Day 5

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I am filled with more gratitude today. It was a beautiful frosty-sun-shiny day, my house is sparkling, there are clean sheets on the beds with clean children tucked inside them, our valentines are finished and in the mail... and the weekend has just begun.

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Experiment 2: Day 4

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Last night I took my meditation to the bath tub. There is nothing better at the end of a long day then soaking in a hot tub and relaxing. I couldn't stop thinking about how grateful I am feeling lately... I love this life.


Cleaning Meditation

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I'm practicing joyful cleaning at our house this week. Since we were snowed in most of the week it was the perfect opportunity for some deep cleaning and laundry catch-up. I'm always surprised at how satisfying and even enjoyable cleaning can be under the right circumstances. When there is no outside pressure and I am simply cleaning to care for our house and our family, it can be really gratifying. As I am practicing my experiment for this week I am also realizing that meditation is something that can be done throughout the day, at anytime, to bring myself more into the present moment. As I clean, I can be conscious of the love I am putting into my work, and how wonderful it is to be able to stay at home and care for my family. What a gift indeed.

Experiment 2: Day 3

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Life and death. It has suddenly woven it's way into Grace's foremost thoughts and questions. It started last week when we finished Charlotte's Web. She cried hysterically, pausing only long enough to ask questions that I could hardly answer... "Are we going to go to heaven?", "When are we going?", "Who will be there?", "Can we bring our house?". The thought of us leaving here to "go" somewhere else was so confusing for her. I muddled through it somehow, trying my best to answer her in language a four year old could understand (and not find terrifying). Mostly I held her and just allowed her to grieve this new concept- that none of us live forever.

Last night it became more personal as her and Ryan were talking about Simon and he admitted that Simon may have died. Again she was a sobbing mess. I was at class when this happened but Ryan found himself in the same place I had been in, struggling to help her understand this most difficult concept.

So this was the focus of my meditation last night. How to gently explain to my beloved daughter that this life we live is only temporary.

I awoke in the middle of the night last night to Grace whispering to me, "Mom, are the dinosaurs up in heaven?"
"Yes, I suppose they are", I said.
"Will they try and eat us when we go there?"
"No, for sure not. Everyone loves each other in heaven."
Oh the innocence. How I wish I could bottle it up and save it forever. Perhaps death is not something I can explain to Grace, but something she will come to understand slowly, with time and experience. Perhaps the quest for understanding never really ends... I know I am still on it.


Valentine's In the Making...

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Experiment 2: Day 2

So today I've been reflecting on these little souls I've been entrusted with. These beautiful little souls that so constantly need my love and care.

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And I asked myself if I could do it any better... the love part that is. Could I work just a little harder to love them just a little more unconditionally? Could I see them, even in their worst so-in-need-of-a-nap-screaming-mad-moments, and right then and there, only see love.

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Could I hold them in my mind with both their strengths and faults as one complete picture, and just feel love pouring out of me...

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This is my mission. To love more fully in all of these precious moments with my little ones.


Experiment 2: Day 1

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Task: To meditate everyday and reflect on the experience.

As I sit here, the sink filled with dishes because there is no hot water supply to our kitchen right now, the soft beep coming from the broken button on the basement watersoftner indicating that we need salt (even though we actually don't), the puddle on the kitchen floor from the leaking pipes, I realize that everyday, every moment, I have a choice. What will I pay attention to... what will I focus my energy on. Of course everyone has this choice, but somehow, the present moment living of being at home with little children makes this choice so much more... apparent. Maybe it's because the day is not usually filled so much with mediocre moments, but more often it seems to be made up of a lot of highs and lows. The above being my low moments of the day.

The highs of today being the back rub my children gave me this morning, or all of us working together to clean and organize their play kitchen, or the two of them playing joyfully in the sink while I was able to talk on the phone with a friend without interruption, or (my favorite thing in the world) all of us snuggled in bed together reading books. I'm just not sure there is another job out there where the day to day moments are so able to pull at your heartstrings, in one direction or the other. And everyday, I get to pick which moments I will pay attention to. Which ones will I sit with as I lay in bed at the end of the day. And so I chose... the good ones, the ones that fill me up, that remind me why I do this, and allow me to drift off to sleep with a smile.


Papa Time

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Grace and my dad had a special outing just the two of them. He took her tubing where there was a "moving sidewalk" that bought you all the way back up the hill again. And the hill was "the biggest hill ever... bigger then you and daddy, and Jackson." I think it's safe to say she enjoyed herself.