We had company this weekend! Aubrey and Keith came to spend the day on Saturday and it was so fun and relaxing. We met downtown at the Farmers’ Market and strolled a bit, then had Turkish for lunch at Anatolia. I just can’t ever get enough of their red lentil soup. Luckily, Aubrey is the only person I know who loves lentil soup as much as I do. After that, we came back to the woods and visited for several hours. Tim and Keith did some manly grilling of turkey burgers later in the evening.
Sunday we woke up relatively early and went to the lake to sit for an hour while Si napped. I love that our babe is adaptable and will sleep anywhere for a solid 45 minutes, even when some guy throws his oars ashore and drags his kayak through the gravel about three feet from a sleeping baby. Thanks, dude. Silas slept through it anyway, but I was throwing my Mom face at his oblivious back, hardcore.
After the lake, we went to town for a few things and passed Bloomington Hardware, our fave local hardware store. Their sign said “last day for BOGO paint” and, taking it as a sign from above, we pulled in to buy six gallons of paint. We had back-burner’d the basement painting project as well as the exterior block and decks, but at half price per gallon, we couldn’t pass it up. Tim painted all afternoon like a champ and I piddled with the roller but couldn’t get jazzed about it. It is looking so much better.
Here are some of our weekend shots from my phone (sorry) since Log and Ness still have my camera for the moment. I promise better pictures next week.
More updates on the house to come. We are planning a major home improvement month for the rest of May and into June, including some hired help for the first time since we had Ron help us with drywall finishing. We are ready for some progress that doesn’t make us sweat for a change. Exciting!
Stay tuned, someone has a half birthday tomorrow and I’ll be back with a post about mister S.
I don’t know many things for certain. In fact, I know that I don’t know a whole heck of a lot. About the only thing I really know today is that the love in Silas’s eyes when he looks into mine is like its very own universe. Nothing makes me feel so happy so quickly as a blanket on the floor with windows open in a quiet house where Si and I can just lay and look at each other and grin in total trusting, silent, content company as I watch him observe the world as a perpetual adventure of newness.
It was my first Mother’s Day, and this year was odd because we had so many family obligations that it didn’t really register that it was my day as well. Nevertheless, the holiday that has previously been one for me to celebrate my relationship with my Mom is now one I get to celebrate as I look at my sweet sleepy little boy this morning. With every year that passes, I hear myself say things that sound just like my Mom. It used to make me panic that I was turning into her, but now that my perspective has shifted to thinking about Si and the love and responsibility and hopes I have for him, I see that all her energy and words that went into us were just as intense and frightening and rewarding. I have never been happier to be like my Mom than I am right now.
I have a habit of telling the microscopic truth, and parenting is no exception. That is to say I keep a barometer reading on how I feel about things as I experience them and I communicate them to those close to me. Because of this, I have been told I lack resilience or sensitivity or a few other things, but I found parenting in the early months to be very challenging and I wasn’t shy about that. I think if people remember the mountain of small transitions parenthood brings, they are sensitive to people trying to settle into what works for them in an effort to keep all parties reasonably fulfilled and happy. It ain’t easy. Life isn’t perfect, people aren’t always kind, and it isn’t easy to be honest all the time. Today I am setting a goal for motherhood: I want Silas to feel like he can be honest about how he feels and still feel supported by us, and I want him to see us living that as an example. I feel very lucky indeed to be his mama and to raise a child with emotional literacy as a priority. He is going to be one amazing man someday.
I don’t have my camera here, so forgive the horrible picture, but Tim got me a ring with Si’s birthstone and it is stunning. Score one for Timmy.
Finally, we came home last night night at 7 o’clock after tons of tired driving to find lasagna, marinated salad, and vino waiting for us in the fridge. Thank goodness for neighbors. Truly. Speaking of, Elizabeth just sent me a link to this and told me she sees us doing this with Silas. It was a lovely compliment for new parents. We are all doing the best we can, but it’s easy to wonder just how good that really is sometimes.
Here’s to the mothers who are doing their thing, raising the best kids they know how.
We clocked over 500 miles, two extended families, a move, a birthday, a bridal shower, and three cookouts this weekend. Si also got his first cold, but he was still a champion with his giggles and typical good mood. Best baby ever.
Friday, we got off work early to drive North to move Kait and Oliver. Painless! One big trip and done. The next morning, we went to John’s Diner for our usual visit with John and Mary. Best bacon in the world, and sweetest people. We were on the road by 7:30 to go see Logan and Vanessa. Saturday was Log’s 28th birthday, and Ness threw him a surprise party! We were the secret keepers, which is pretty funny since neither Tim nor I can keep a secret to save our lives. He thought we were just coming for the weekend, but when they got back from hiking, our family, Nessi’s family, and Log’s Chicago friends were all there to greet him. The party was complete with great food, pretty weather despite an iffy forecast, and a piñata in typical Log/Ness fashion. So cute. Here are some pictures of the party, thanks to Bridget, Nessi’s sister. It doesn’t even look like her family was there…but they were! So nice to meet her parents and brother, and to see her sisters again.
Mid-party, we left for Illinois to catch Sara’s bridal shower. If I hadn’t left my camera at Logan’s house, this would have been well documented, but we will have to settle for these from Sara’s facebook page instead. The shower was relaxed and lovely, and Silas was the stud of the event. Sara looked beautiful! Marla (standing next to me in the bridesmaids picture below) had her bambina that night! Welcome, baby Haley!
I am going to be better about documenting things in pictures. On the drive home yesterday, we were all pretty miserable, but it sure was nice to see soooo many family members in one fell swoop.
That’s all. Just wanted to announce it to the world after 2 months of slobber.
I’m not big on houseplants, but this time of year makes me wish we had a whole room dedicated to them. Coming home to the woods for the last few days has felt positively cathartic. The green green forest triggers feelings of life at its most fundamental, natural level while I breathe in the almost visible oxygen. Silas will be an outdoor playing kid, you can safely hedge a bet.
When you live in the woods, it is hard to do a whole lot with the yard. We have so much shade when the trees are leafy and beautiful as they finally are now. Roger (father-in-law, not grandpa) came to spend the week this week. He and I tackled some huge yard projects. In hindsight, I should have done a before and after. It was pretty intense work since we raised and filled a bed alongside the house, transplanted and planted some new shrubs and a few pots, and finished everything out with 2 full yards of mulch. Here are some shots of the finished project:
Here are some other shots of the last week of our lives.
What we’re reading and listening to:
these two library finds:
and this super classical compilation:
The rest of the week involved a surprise wagon from Papa Roger that was Aunt Sara’s when she was a toddler, washing favorite toys, making Amatriciana pasta sauce (hold the onion, use canned puree, quadruple the garlic, and add 8 shakes paprika per 28 ounces of tomatoes) for dinner with neighbors, Nikki’s Healthy Cookies, lots of biscuits for Seamus our favorite neighbor dog, and lots of playtime with Si.
Loving that the weekend is only half over. Tomorrow, Tim will be home (he is working today, poor guy) and we are back to the grind with his classes full time. Nice to have a week off when his Dad was here.
Up next: A trip to Alexandria to celebrate the life of my Aunt Betty who was one rockin’ lady, another trip up north on Friday followed by a trip to Lafayette Saturday morning, Onarga Saturday afternoon, and back home again to enjoy at least one hour of Mother’s Day in our own house. Cheers!
This weekend was the annual March of Dimes walk in Lafayette and we went to support cousin Jack who is a feisty 2 year old now after being born at 1 pound, 10 ounces. He is a rockstar! No, really. He wouldn’t go on stage with his parents and decided to go up with the mayor instead. Big things in this kid’s future.
(Pictures borrowed from Abbi, Jack’s mama)
We stayed at Log and Vanessa’s house and played with Zelda, their sweet dog. They were in Chicago, so we didn’t get to see them which was a bummer. We will be up there again in a few weeks for Log’s birthday. It was such a beautiful Saturday for the walk! We randomly got new tires that afternoon, which was convenient for driving home in the pouring rain on Sunday. Tire Barn in Lafayette was super, in case you’re looking.
We have been doing a few home projects, but this week we are hoping to focus on the outside of the house since Tim’s Dad is coming to stay for the week and help out. Tim has a break from his classes this week, which will be nice for all. I will post the rest of the house updates and the yard at the end of the week. Stay tuned.
The weekend is only half gone, but we are posting early since it’s Si’s fifth month on the planet. He is getting so big! Favorite things at five months old:
1. Pinching your face. Hard. Then trying to eat you with grinning gusto.
2. Hearing his own voice. He sings really impressive and elaborate arias. Cute stuff.
3. Being naked. Of course, since he’s got Campbell in his blood.
This was the only picture I could get of him not crying this morning. Teeth, those fickle wenches. Despite teething pains, he gets more fun by the day and we are really starting to enjoy parenthoodl He is the sweetest, most content and interactive baby. Apparently the pituitary gland regulates at about five months and helps with sleep. He has been doing well lately at night and we are grateful to feel well rested for as long as it lasts. I woke up naturally for the first time since he was born this past week and was downright giddy.
In other news, my brother, Logan, came to visit this week and stayed over to avoid some storms. It was so fun to have him here! Silas loved his deep voice. Darling.
We had our friend Dan come lend a hand this weekend and the boys built a small deck off the front porch! Originally, they had other home improvements on their minds, but as usual I was feeling inspired and thought it would be a simpler project than it actually was. Oops. But they did it! Currently they are working indoors on a few other projects, so we may be back later with those updates. Here are some pictures of the progress:
Silas would like to play now, so that’s my cue. Happy weekend!
It was a warm week in the woods, for the most part. My Mom came to visit and it was so relaxing and fun to have her here. We had our first free weekend in a long time and made the best of it by having breakfast with friends on Saturday and doing our first plant shopping. We grabbed a few things, but it is supposed to be cold again, so we are holding off on the major plant purchases.
In other news, we rearranged and bought an ottoman.
We got a few windowsill herb pots and temporarily used them as a tomato plant home.
We mastered the M sound while we played with our Bug Jug from Aunt Sara.
We got a new calendar! I have a thing for cool calendars. Last year, it was national parks. This year, cities of the world a la younghouselove.com.
And finally, our forest is taking a cue from the warm weather and sprouting tiny green leaves while the magnolia welcomes us home with stunning blooms. This picture reminds me that the outside of the house is the priority for the coming summer. Yikes.
Up next for us: a full week of work and school to be followed by a productive weekend with our friend, Dan, who is coming to lend manly hands so Tim can tackle some bigger projects.
There has been a lot of talk in our house lately about important things and the precarious art of balancing them. This is quite a hectic month, so the practice of balance is becoming more essential and less optional. Tim’s graduate classes are in full swing for his elementary education licensure, his job is extra demanding because of some company dynamic shifts, I am nannying full time for a toddler who is not used to any sort of respect, limitations or naps, and Silas is working on some teeth and stretching out his night feedings.
These are all good things, for one reason or another. The less comfortable of the above happenings are proving to teach us various things we need to learn, and maybe the reason they are all time consuming AND overlapping is to teach us how to structure our time better. Talking about the passing time as a sort of currency helps us be more intentional about our commitments so that we have room for “life” in that small, stress free window at the end of the day. In our house, we decided that “life” is when we are not at work, not thinking about work, and not doing homework. It’s the time when we are together and present to each other. I think that is something that each family defines for themselves, but that’s where we landed for a definition.
We have found that trying to maintain the mindset of what we are learning helps us both adjust to rougher phases of life. The other day, I asked Tim the most important thing he has learned. Have you ever considered that question? We both spent a good bit of time before coming up with an answer.
Tim’s answer: Never pass up the opportunity to travel.
My answer: When you don’t like something about your life and you want it to change, put your foot down and make room for what will come next. Do it because you know you deserve better, because you know you aren’t where you are supposed to be, because you know no one else can do it for you.
Wise words spurn the Springtime of the soul.
What is the absolute most important lesson you have learned in your life?
Think on it and leave us a comment. We’d love to hear it!