Monday, June 27, 2011

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...

This face

Our pool, and it's inhabitant

A lunch full of summer veggies...

...and a girl full of summer veggies

The first sugarbaby watermelon out of the garden


As June comes to a close and another week begins, I hope you find in the little stuff a few things to love, too! Happy Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday View

After all the chores are done, after all the messes are cleaned, after all the phone calls have been made, the e-mails sent, and the traffic fought, it's good to sit back and take in the view. We hope you have a great view to take in and relax to this Friday, too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Before and After

If it's one thing I love around here, it's instant gratification. What better way to feel that immediate pat-on-the-shoulder feeling than to refinish an old, treasured, yet abused and ugly piece of furniture? Point in case: Audrey's little wardrobe, which was mine, and my mom's before me.


This poor little guy was hand made by a favorite uncle, and it spent a huge part of it's early years as a staple in an attic space made up like a playhouse with my mom and her three sisters in a cabin in Minnesota. It then moved around the country with them, following my grandpa in his post-WWII traveling salesman career, until it landed in the basement of their retirement home in Missouri. On a visit in the early years of my childhood, it was reclaimed, and it became an important piece in my room until I was practically in high school.

Once I lost the need for a micro-wardrobe, it moved out to my mom's art studio, where she went through a Pollock phase, and it suffered the ramifications... and there it sat. Then, in designing my daughter's toddler room in the style of Scandinavian peasant home, I realized this little gem was still out there somewhere, and I set out to reclaim it. In all it's mistreated glory, it graced my home once more, though quite worse for the wear. Refinishing it was on my to-do list, but not exactly at the top... until today.

Today, with 'Italian Olive' flat acrylic paint, a cheap yet oh-so-perfect stencil, and a small tube of crimson, this little wardrobe finally got what was coming to it... a little TLC and another generation completely wrapped up in it's mini-magic.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...
Strawberry season

The lingering glow from a weekend spent in appreciation

Homemade goodness from a little girl to her Daddy

The Father who now goes by Pappy and the man who now goes by Daddy
Watching collaborative art happen

Making homemade pasta*... hand...

...make that "hands..."

My little sous chef

Fire-red sunsets on muggy June evenings

The morning moments before the temps hit 90+


Sandy starfish and sandy toes

I hope you're finding things to love as this week gets started! Happy Monday!

*Want to try making pasta at home? Simply mix a pinch of salt with about 3 cups of flour in a big bowl, then make a well in the center. Crack 4 large eggs into the well and, using a fork, mix the flower into the eggs, slowly. There will be some flour left out of the egg mixture. Knead until smooth and elastic, cover with plastic, and allow to rest for about 30 mins. Roll out as thin as possible with a rolling pin (or use a pasta machine), cut into ribbons of desire thickness, and boil in salted water until pasta floats. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Tonight, I'm watching this...

Enjoying some homemade this...

...and feeling so blessed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Since I gave up the "real" working world for a full-time (and then some!) position of stay-at-home mom, first to one little one, and now to two, I have struggled to define myself. I never realized before kids that so much of my identity was wrapped up in my image and my contribution to society and to my household through my job. After committing to the 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year position here on the home front (and after becoming a mom), both image and contribution drastically changed.

It was a struggle at first. I was not used to measuring my worth, so to speak, with such abstract, intangible things, like what comes out of raising children and keeping house. It seemed so unimportant and unworthy, to say I was just a stay-at-home mom... ha. My my, what a little perspective does to you.

It's true, I had to redefine myself and really invest some effort in to being a home maker. I didn't get it at first- what it meant to make a Home. I didn't understand that it is way more than just cooking, cleaning, and changing diapers. Oh, so much more goes in to making a Home. It really is a job, and doing the job right (or what is right to me) has contributed so much more to my family than I ever gave working in the 'real world.' It took me three years and two kids to get to this point, and I'm still learning, investing, and working to make my family better, and to make this house we gather in the Home that keeps us healthy, keeps us growing, keeps us safe, and keeps us sound.

Here are a few truths I've come to realize in my short time in this profession:

1. Home making should not be marginalized... it is difficult, labor-intensive, often times thankless, and important work that significantly impacts the family around which it revolves.

2. 'Home making' is drastically open to interpretation, and a fluid creature... it becomes what it needs to be to work for the family it serves. There is no one right way to make a Home, it must become what the lives of the people that make up the household need it to be (in other words, what I write is what works for us, but it could be another family's nightmare, and that's OK).

3. I am a Home Maker, and I haven't lost any part of myself in becoming one, nor have I lost the ability to function in the business world if I choose to reenter it some day (which was quite a fear in those early days). I have, in fact, learned more about my true self since starting this job than I believe I would have if I had never tried.

There are always days when I'm left wondering 'what if,' or wishing for a more regular 9-5-type job. There are also days when I find myself sitting on the bathroom floor eating peanut butter straight out of the jar with the lights off and the door closed because it's the only time and place where I can have a little peace and quiet and be totally alone despite the fact that there are 100 things left to do before the end of the day and the pets are hungry and there are kids that should be sleeping but are not for some reason and it seems like if I could just have the chance to gather my thoughts for just one minute...


Like I've said before, there is no one perfect method for anything in life, but despite it all, I believe I've found what's perfect, true, and right for us right now, and that is truly important to me. And when I find myself needing just a little extra inspiration, a kindred spirit, or the guidance of a trail blazer with a like mind and a beautiful family philosophy, I visit these blogs:

In times when it can feel like you're going no where fast and no one notices, take a breath, take a moment, find some quiet, and look for inspiration. That's what will truly lead you to making a happy Home.

Early June Heat

It seems that we're back to the summertime routine of mornings outside, afternoons in the air conditioning, and some evenings back out... right now, the hours before noon are the best for a little girl and her plucky sidekick to get outside and take in the breeze. What better way to work up a lunchtime appetite than splashing, digging, running, and soaking up some warm early June sunshine?

Of course, all the out-doorsin' makes for sweaty, dirty (and tired and happy) babies, so allotments for longer bath times in the evenings have also become part of the routine...

May you also find a way to be in the early June heat.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...

Marigolds pirated from Mimmy's garden

Pizza dough sprinkled with a little too much flour

How much Audrey Baby loves Abbey Baby

Summer dinners where all the veggies came out of the garden only an hour before

Evening coloring in pajamas

This girl in this light

Family story time

There's not a better way to end a crazy week and start a weekend! Hoping everyone's Friday is just as wonderful.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Playroom

Capitol 'T,' capitol 'P,' The Playroom made some serious headway this week. For so very long, the open room at the top of the stairs, always called "the landing," has been crying out for a more fulfilling purpose and a little love. We schemed and planned and designed, and this weekend kicked off the movement toward a resolution. Some spackling, some painting, some rearranging, and a few scores from craigslist and voila! A 75% completed kid space where toys have a home, legs have space to move, and imaginations have breathing room. While one wee one knows no different, the other couldn't be more thrilled.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yankee Blood

Buh. As far as I'm concerned, summer is here. I know it's not officially here for another few weeks, but who cares? It was 90 degrees at 9:30am this morning as I was heading out to get groceries, and after only 4 trips to and from the car unloading, I was sweating. Many of my plants are starting to wilt and die, the pavement is too hot to walk on with bare feet, and our air conditioners run almost non-stop 'round the clock. So the calendar says it's still spring? I say otherwise.

Let me pause and acknowledge that it is this warm climate that lets me plant my garden in February and start harvesting in March, and it's never seemed to bother me this much until these recent years. However, when one has to hibernate through the summer as someone would expect to live through blizzardy winters, it wears on you. Seriously- we hole up and live indoors through the season that many northerners spend the year waiting for. Maybe... maybe this growing intolerance and dislike of the sweltering summer months can be blamed on my Yankee blood. I have to admit, I find myself fantasizing about living up north where so many of my extended family resides. Needing sweaters at night in July and describing the breezes of August as "cool." Not needing or having air conditioner(s). Planting one tomato plant, one squash plant, and one pepper plant, and having so many veggies you have to push them off on to neighbors. Not having to shave your outdoor pets! Honestly. Maybe some day I'll be able to give it a try. For now, though, I'll try to look on the bright side (as the greener grass one usually finds on the other side has started turning brown no matter where you look). There are a few good things that come with the season, such as...

Shorts that show off chubby toddler legs (which are quickly loosing their chubby)
 Remembering the actual size of a puppy who spends most of the time layered in 7 inches of fur

The first of many batches of homemade ice cream

Really big carrots

June usually kicks off my pining for October, and the slow forgetting of what 'crisp' air is. Though it's getting almost too hot to be outside for extended periods, we will continue to spend as much of that time as we can out doors until the grass is too crispy to walk on bare-footed, the birds are too hot to fly or sing while the sun is up, and the garden is all but dead. Ahem. Happy unofficial summer.