Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lots going on....

To put it mildly, there's been a lot going on around here lately. The end of the school year is always a little nuts - lots of events, grading, weird schedules, and general craziness. This year is no different.

Then add on top of that, add in selling one house and buying another. We were fortunate to receive an offer a couple of weeks ago on our house, and reached mutual acceptance on a house to buy yesterday. And as should be expected, none of that is ever as straightforward as it should be. Right now all we can do is cross our fingers and hope it all works out. ('Cause if it does, it will be great!)

So, in two weeks, school will be out. In four weeks, we will be in Hawaii. In 6 weeks we will be in our new home. All wonderful things. And a whole lot to do in the in between time.

Which made our first Farmer's Market visit of the year even more wonderful this morning. A nice slow pace. Fresh donuts. Potted tomatoes, cucumbers, and a raspberry that we can take to the new house. Asparagus and baby spinach, rhubarb and radishes. Folk music and lots of dogs. And kettle corn for the ride home. I adore the farmer's market. And this one is the one I love the best. Even better? It's 20 minutes closer to our new place. We look forward to many more Saturday mornings there.

It's important to keep enjoying the daily life in the midst of all the "big stuff". I think that is what makes the "big stuff" worth it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Life's not fair.....

This morning I awoke to my smallest child nestled into my side, plaintively mewling "muk....mukkkkk" while his right hand squeezed open and shut. Milk. He wants milk. Fine.

Not 15 minutes later, the big one patters in, whispering, "Can I come in yet?" No. Go back to bed until it's closer to a reasonable weekend wake-up time. And off he went.

Thirty minutes later the little one was fully awake for the day. "Ok, you can come in now......" and the big one runs in from his room where he had been patiently laying in bed looking at books. As my husband read to both boys in our bed on a beautifully brilliant morning, it hit me.

Life is not fair. It really isn't.

Why did I get everything I ever wanted? How did my life turn out to be so much like I always dreamed it would? And when is the proverbial "other shoe" going to drop?

Because all around us, that other shoe has been dropping like crazy lately. From college friends faced with ending treatment for their four year old with leukemia to co-workers losing a teen in a tragic car accident, Friday was a rough day. Friends who have lost fathers far too early and others who are stuck in the wringer of infertility/adoption are all being hit pretty hard right now.

And here I am, sitting pretty. It's not fair.

So I'm going to do my best to keep that in mind. I know there will be times in my life when things are hard; maybe even feel impossible. And I pray that I have the courage to deal with it, hold my head up and admit that life isn't fair. But that "fair" doesn't matter. "Fair" isn't why things are good or bad. Holding tight and appreciating all that I've got is all I can ever do.

That, and hoping that some good ol' prayer helps lifts those for whom things really just aren't fair right now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some fun crafties....

When Luke was born I got involved in an online group with a great group of women all around the country. One factor that ties us all together is our love of being "crafty". For Mother's Day we decided to do a craft swap, sending out love via sewing, baking, jewelry-making, and amazing handiworks. Now that the swap is over, I'm free to share the things that I made for my amazing partner, Molly.

I've been wanting to try some jewelry making, so this was my first shot at using beading wire:

And I had long ago fallen in love with the pleated bag from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. This was the perfect time to try it out. While I liked the finished result, next time I wouldn't use linen for the body - a stiffer cotton would hold it's shape better. I also made the zippered pouch from the same book:

Here's the inside of the zippered pouch - it has a fun little paisley lining, and was my first shot at sewing in a zipper:

All three projects were a blast to make, and having a deadline forced me to do some long-missed sewing. I now want to try all three again for myself! And the best part of the swap? I got some amazing gifts from an amazing woman, Emily. She is a crafter and photographer that I greatly admire, and to have her create amazing handiwork for me was so special!

The package started with these - Cherry Almond Chocolate cupcakes in a jar! They are to die for!!!!! And could they be any cuter?!

Then was this beautiful grapevine wreath with two beautiful lovebirds perched inside:

Then she took two of my favorite pictures of the boys and had them printed on display-designed foam board with fabulous quotes about moms and their boys underneath:

And last but not least? This amazing apron! It is adorable and a work of sewing art - gathers, reversible, fabulous fabric choices. It is going to make baking so much fun - and I'll look just so cute with my red kitchen aid mixer.

Here's everything together (and the other side of the apron):

I am just so fortunate to be a part of this great group of women - and want to publicly thank the Divine Miss Em for her thoughtful gifts. They made my year!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My mother-in-law......

(Last Mother's Day)

I know I've said it a million times here, but I am so incredibly lucky. Today, Mother's Day, has been a great time to reflect on that. I am so blessed to have my boys - they are the lights of my life. I have an incredible sister, brother-in-law, and niece. My Dad is still my hero, and my mom is someone I admire more than words can say.

But there is someone else who has changed my daily life more than I ever could have known. My mother-in-law, Marian, is a miracle in my life. There are just so many things that I want to thank her for:

- for welcoming me so kindly into her family - her open arms and gentle words are more than I could have asked.

- for her incredible love of my children, and support of me as a mother. I never feel judged or criticized, and my boys always know that they have unconditional love in her arms.

- for raising her daughter to be an inspiration of consideration, generosity and intelligence. Carrie gets those things from her mother.

- more than anything, I thank her for her son and the man that she made him. So many of the best parts of Dan come directly from his mother. From her he gets his unconditional acceptance of others, his desire to see the best in any situation, his understanding of the hard work that it takes to be successful, and his absolute and total devotion to being the best parent he can be, he is his mother's son.

Living in a society that tends to make mother-in-law jokes and eye rolls whenever anyone mentions the mother of their spouse, I just have to shake my head and say, "Wow, that must be tough. But, no, I can't sympathize. I happened to win the mother-in-law lottery."

And the really cool thing? Dan feels the same way about my mom.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Zoo trip...

Sorry for the absence - I've got so much to catch up on that I'm just going to work backwards until we get there...

For months we have been promising Max that we will go to the Children's Museum to show daddy the Bob the Builder exhibit. Saturday was finally the day. We checked the passes out from the library, and headed across town, only to find the doors closed upon arrival. Some "donor event" or something. BIG bummer.

But, the Children's Museum and the zoo share a parking lot. In order to salvage some fun we decided to ignore the heavy clouds overhead and see some animals. We rode the zoo train and wandered through several exhibits. It was the first time that Luke really enjoyed the zoo - each and every animal elicited squeals of delight. It was also our first zoo trip with out a stroller in a very long time, and I adored how easy it was to get around (Luke was in the Ergo, and Max RAN everywhere).

About 30 minutes before we needed to leave, it started to sprinkle. Then it started to rain. Then pour. Then hail. And in a brilliant finale, thunder and lightning! It was incredible. And while our screaming and running for shelter frightened Luke, the laughter of 30 people huddled outside the zebra enclosure convinced him that it was going to be ok. And then the rain didn't let up. For quite a while. Along with everyone else at the zoo, we ran for the exit and our car.

Dripping wet, we stopped for a picture to remember our little zoo adventure. But I don't think we'll forget it any time soon!

(And of course, Max was dressed perfectly for the occasion in his ever-present rainboots!)