Friday, June 28, 2013

Scenes from Fernbank Science Center

We drove into Atlanta to visit with 
my BFF, Erin and her cute kid, James.

Erin and I decided that we have to see
each other more so we're planning
little cheap summer meet ups to get together.

We met up and the Fernbank Science Center.

After getting hopelessly lost on the way there
and making Erin and James wait forever
for us to actually get there,

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We ended up having a great time
poking at dinosaurs...

admiring the moon...

wishing we were astronauts...

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pushing every single possible button
and turning every single crank in the place.
It was a fun afternoon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: When I Meet Them There

Originally posted 9/17/11

I'm realizing that my days around here seem to run together.
Ordinary moments unfold around me daily
and I need to stop and relish in them.
One day, my boys will be out living life
and I will miss these everyday experiences.

So, I am taking the time to document
the simple moments that pass between us.
I'm calling this little collection of memories...


If you read my column a few weeks ago,
Zen and the Art of Motherhood
then you already know that

The Spiritual Practice of Parenting
with Zen Buddhist priest and author Karen Maezen Miller

(I just copied and pasted that btw)

Miller quoted my favorite Rumi quote-

"Out beyond the ideas of the final way and the only way
there is a dreamy field.
I'll meet you there."

She said that scholars and philosophers

were always debating where that dreamy field was.

Was it the heavens, in our hearts, in our minds?

She said that she believed that that field existed
in that place early in the morning when you

hear a little voice calling out "Mama!?"

That moment when you meet your child with groggy eyes

and they smile when they see you, that is the dreamy field.

I decided to start collecting the

moments in my life

where I dwell in that dreamy field with my children.


As we drive to school
and have wonderful
and imaginative conversations
through the rear view mirror.

I just love the creativity and trust
that we have in each other as
we make up stories
or talk about life.


When my little one
follows me into the laundry room
and "helps" me put clothes in the dryer.

He says "Thank you, sir!"
as I hand him the wet clothes.
It's the sweetest thing.


When I take a moment to sit at the table and
help Griffin with his homework.
I can feel his little spirit
thanking me for taking the time
to stop and help him when he needs it.


Those moments when Koen
feels so big as he "helps" daddy
with an outdoor project.

I can see him learning to be strong
and handy around the house,
juts like Roger.


That dreamy field is all around us
as we sit together and read bedtime stories
Koen literally tries to climb into the book
and fly the rocket ship sometimes.


Playing airplane
is such a thrill.
There is so much freedom in pretending to fly.
The joy of being silly is contagious.


Perhaps my most treasured time of day
is sitting at the foot of Griffin's bed
and telling him bedtime stories.

Even though I'm usually tired
and grumpy around the edges,
I feel so privileged to watch him
as his drifts off to sleep.

My days are spent weaving in and out
of that dreamy field.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

We finally made it to Athfest!

Out town has an outdoor festival every summer called Athfest. 
We never go because it's always too hot to enjoy it. 
Each year I see pictures of my friends at the festival
on their Facebook pages and everybody looks sweaty and annoyed. 

 The weather was much cooler this year so we decided to go. 

They have an entire area dedicated to kids.
Home Depot had a little building activity
so it was madness in there.

Kids hammering all at once and a drum circle too.
There was also a loud hula hoop dance party in the corner.
For a moment I thought that my head might explode.

The kids loved it, though
and enjoyed making little tool boxes.

They also loved their cherry snowcones.

We listened to some awesome Blue Grass
and embarrassed the kids by dancing 
like we were at a hootenanny.

It was a fun afternoon.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 17

Rummaging through the dresses at The Goodwill Store
makes me so incredibly happy.

There's nothing better than finding a good bargain!
I love hunting for the perfect dress.
 I'm just classy that way.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Busy enjoying summer...

{image found here}

Sometimes I'm just too busy 
having summer fun to dream up a post. 

Sometimes the pool beckons.
Or the boys need me to play with them.
Maybe it's cause it's hot and I feel lazy.
Perhaps I'm just too busy eating ice cream.
So, every now and again I might skip a day around here.

Because living my life is more important
than documenting my life sometimes. 

See you tomorrow for The Happiness Project.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer live List #10 :: See a live puppet show

Our local library celebrated puppet week
with a production of The Ant and the Grasshopper.

I thought that kids would enjoy it,
so I carted them over there to watch it.

As we took our seats in the auditorium,
Griffin looked around the room and announced,
"This is awkward, I'm the only kid over the age of 4 in here."

I told him to settle down and sit through
the show so that his little brother could enjoy it.

He sat back in a bit of a huff as the show started.
I looked over my shoulder at the crowd behind us
and quickly realized that he was right.

He looked so big in a room full of toddlers and preschoolers.

About 5 minutes into it, Koen grew bored.
When he gets bored during a production
he yells stuff like,
"That's a stupid grasshopper!"
or "I hate that dumb ant!"

Much to my chagrin,
I knew that it was time to go.
So, I packed up my big boys
and left the last puppet show we'll ever attend.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Love, Insanity and Two Kids

Originally posted 8/13/09

We had been driving for 3 hours and somewhere between the small towns of Camilla and Albany, Georgia...our car turned into a war zone.  It had been a long journey to Florida for our vacation and the journey home seemed even longer. Koen was at the end of his little tiny rope and was screaming in the back seat. I kicked off my flip flops, clumsily climbed into the back seat, and squeezed my butt between the two car seats. With one hand propped to hold the pacifier in Koen's mouth and the other arm being held hostage by Griffin (who thinks it's so cool when I sit in the back that he enthusiastically grabs at my arm and kisses it all over, which is sweet but not so easy when you are crammed into that little space) I fought with all of my might not to break down into tears along with Koen.

Little did I know that things would unravel to an even more insane place.

Griffin got in on the action and decided to start screaming too. He put his hands over his ears, closed his eyes, shook his head manically, and yelled "DON'T PANIC GRIFFIN!" over and over at the top of his lungs. The poor kid flips out when Koen freaks out and that is unfortunate for the entire family. Especially when you are all crammed in the car. It takes so much work not to flip out on Griffin for flipping out over Koen who is flipping out because he is just a baby and that's what babies do.

Roger tried to troubleshoot and shouted from the front seat,  "Griffin, are you hungry?" Because whenever Griffin is hungry he turns into a drunk frat boy. We have solved many tantrums by simply force feeding him pretzels more than once.

"NO, I'M NOT HUNGRY!" was his response. Meanwhile, Koen had crossed over into exorcist proportions, was bright red, and flailing his arms.

It was, in a word, insane. My heart rate sped up and my head throbbed.

I was going to freak my freak! Needless to say, none of this madness would make it into our sweet home Movie.

Roger caught my eye in the rear view mirror and smiled the kindest smile. He just shook his head with a slight giggle and mouthed the words "I love you." I let out a sigh and mouthed back, "I love you too." Then we just locked eyes in the reflection and shook our heads and smiled at each other.  All of the noise dissolved around me, although both of the children were still screaming. Suddenly, it didn't matter that everything was falling apart. We were in this thing together and in the end, our love would endure all of the tantrums and hardships that come with being parents. As long as we stay connected and don't let the crazy moments divide us, we will be a strong family.

The truth is, that we wanted this life, insanity and all. If we didn't have these children, my life would seem aimless. I realized in that moment what being a family was all about, loving each other no matter what happens. It means laughing at the hard times as well as the funny moments.

We stopped the car and Roger got out with Griffin. They threw rocks into the woods on the side of some no name road we had pulled over on. I saved Koen from his dreaded car seat and nursed him in the car. After we had strapped the children back in and had gotten back on the road, I climbed back into the front seat next to Roger. The children were like little angels in the back seat.

Roger reached over and grabbed my hand. We held hands for miles and miles.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The one in which I ponder having a mid-life crisis but quickly come to my senses...


I love this little old lady and I want to be her when I grow up. I've had it with society telling me that I should freak out because my 40th birthday is fast approaching. (In a year and a half, but whose counting?) 

Things are changing in my life. For one, we're done having babies and so that chapter of my life is coming to a close. I considered having a good old fashioned identity crisis over it but then I watched this video earlier this month and decided to stop all that madness.

I want to enjoy my life and the fact is that ageing is inevitable. I will shrink and get wrinkly. My kids will grow up and leave me. My hair will turn grey and all of these things will not define me. 

Who I am will stay the same. I will still laugh at inappropriate jokes. I will still wear flower pins in my hair. I will still do a little jiggle with my hips when I hear a Marvin Gay song. I will get my husband to rub Bengay on my sore spots and then keep on dancing. 

I won't be invisible and allow my spirit to slowly die inside of me.

So, thank you Dorothy Custer for being such a bad ass granny. You've set me free. From here on out I'm going to stop thinking about my age and I'm just gonna go on living and having a good time.

I might not jump off of a bridge, though. That's just plain crazy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 16

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Long ago, when I was very pregnant with Griffin,
I bought this sweet little book.

At the time I had a beloved cat named Cowboy
and so this book reminded me of him
but really, I hoped that I would one day read the story
to the child that grew in my belly.

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I read it to Griffin as a baby 
but as the years went by,
he lost interest in the little cowboy
and wanted to read about ninjas and monsters instead.

So the book sat on the shelf for a very long time.

Until a few months ago
when Griffin awoke from a nightmare.
He was afraid and randomly asked
if I would read The Little Cowboy to him.

We read it and it gave him comfort.
He fell soundly back asleep.
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Now, it's become his book of choice.
Every night when we settle down to read a story,
we read all about the cowboy's adventures.

I love that my big 8-year-old still loves
the sweet book that I picked out just for him, so long ago.

I'll always cherish the moments
we spend curled up together reading.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Love and the zoo...

My BFF, Erin and her sweet little boy, James
came in town from Atlanta for a little visit.

Let me tell you, it was a love fest.
Everybody was holding hands
and happy to be together.
Griffin and James literally held
hands the entire time.

It was super sweet.
I love seeing our boys love
each other as much me and Erin love each other.

Except Erin and I never fight over toys.

even though it was hot
and we were sweating like pigs,
we had a great time
visiting the podunk zoo in our little town.

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We love our little zoo
because all the animals were nursed
back to health from injuries
and are well taken care of.

The staff works really hard
to educate children about wildlife.

We always enjoy visiting the bears.
 It was a super fun day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Raising Leonardo da Vinci

Originally posted 4/3/12


When Griffin was a brand new baby
and I was a brand new mom,
my mother told me a story
about Leonardo da Vinci
that I have kept with me well into motherhood.

How he was an illegitimate child
that was not given the same privileges as his own father.
Yet as a child, he had an uncle named Francesco that took him in.

Together they explored the wild countryside.


Franceso fostered Leonardo's love for nature and animals.
They observed insects and explored the land.
They sprawled out in the grass
and created shapes out of the clouds.

Creativity was found in the world around them.


I can easily envision Leonardo as a child,
crouched down by a stream
and racing sticks in the water
that trickled between smooth rocks.

His nurturing uncle not far behind him,
encouraging him to try and grab a tiny fish.


I can't help but feel like Francesco
when I take my boys out to explore
the wild woods near our home.

We take them down a beautiful path
that I hope will lead them to their own greatness.


Where they stop and feel the grass beneath their heads
and find the dragon that floats across the sky.
They observe the wind that pushes the dragon in font of the sun
and unleashes the warmth that kisses their curious faces.

We are raising Leonardo da Vinci.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Scenes from the pond...

I hope that y'all don't get tired 
of seeing pictures of us fishing
because we all absolutely love it.

I just have to make a record 
of the time we spend as a family fishing.

I have a feeling that we'll look back
at these moments as being the best of times.