Claire and I got ukuleles (she a soprano, me a tenor, both made by Kala) the other day at the music shop in town.  Mike grabs mine often and learning some chords and simple tunes is quickly becoming a family affair.  I'm really loving the ukulele tablature websites, and have learned how to play "Can't Help Falling in Love With You", which happens to be the song I walked down the aisle (well, grassy path) to on our wedding day.  fun, fun, fun.


at july's end

plus a bunch of swimming and popsicles, ukuleles, and a restart to the horseback riding lessons.


about a girl

she is part warrior, part woodland fairy.  a little bit joker, and a whole lot of serious.  she is often quiet and reserved,  but she can let loose and enter a place that is all giggles and wild dancing.  she is discerning, compassionate, considerate, and kind.  she appreciates both the sensible and the sparkly (which of course is not to say that they are necessarily mutually exclusive).  she is stubborn.  observant.  she is both timid and brave.  she is no stranger to happy tears.  she is well acquainted with them, actually.  sometimes she tastes colors and feels sounds, describes things in the most amazing ways.  for example, once she took a bite of apple and told me it tasted 'high and bright' and reminded her very much of a specific pink marker of hers.  another time she took a bite of hummus and said "mama, for just a minute this hummus kind of tasted like you.  it felt like you.  for a second I felt this warmness and it was like you".  

she surprises me often.

she wants to be near me, near us.  I watch her spread her wings.  sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much.  I am happy to hold her close for now.  I stare at her face - sometimes I think I could watch her for hours- and wonder what lies ahead for her.  sometimes we sit, she and I, on the couch and smile at each other and are amazed by how big the love is, by how much space it fills.  it's so big it hurts- in that way that stretches us farther than we thought we could stretch and makes us more vulnerable than we ever knew possible.  in that way that fills you to overflowing with all the feelings that are available to you, and opens your eyes to the goodness and the joy and the fear and the worry and the pain but mostly, mostly, the sustaining, redemptive goodness of the world.

of course, sometimes when we sit on the couch together we just laugh and make fart noises.

I hope all the usual hopes a mama will- safety, peace, a deep knowing of how loved and cherished she is.  confidence and trust enough in the world to soar in whatever direction, toward whatever big and beautiful things she wants to reach for.

this girl.  my sweet warrior princess.


summer days

her summer bucket list is pretty short and sweet, and basically revolves around frozen treats and water.  we aren't close to the beach, but we just may work a little trip out before summer's end.  since we hosted the camp at home a few weeks ago, it's been quite low-key around here.  mostly lots of time in the garden, swimming and popsicle-eating, and a bit of playing with the leftover indigo dye (I decided to get out a bunch of Claire's old onesies to dye and send off as gifts for friends with new babes- we are very likely going to stay in the family-of-three camp, so I didn't need to be holding onto a bunch of old stained onesies).  there were fireworks watched from the grocery store parking lot with a bunch of friends (we kind of just brought our own party), I've been taking care of the animals at the farm where I work part-time since the guy who usually does it is away, and, well, that's about it.  I feel like we spend a lot of our time eating fruit, picking flowers, and reading books and I'm feeling beyond grateful that that sweet simplicity is the reality of our days.  these days, I am feeling particularly grateful for the small and beautiful bits that shine brightly like little gifts offered up throughout our days, helping steer my mind back to what is right here in front of me instead of the bigger, harder, scarier tragedies that we are daily made aware of.  I want to be worldly, informed, proactive........ but I also know my heart and I can't help but think that maybe we aren't built to take on all of the tragedies of the world on a daily basis.  how to find that balance is something I am working on.

we head to the market on Saturday mornings to see friends, listen to music, and buy the vegetables that we aren't growing ourselves.  she always wants an apricot croissant and a raspberry lemonade and I've taken to sending her to her piggy bank to keep making that happen.  there is a free yoga class at the market now too, and today I finally took advantage of it (well, the last 10 minutes, anyway).  we're preparing to head north for a few days to see some friends and meet a new baby........  yes, indeed, I quite like the easy pace of this summer.


summer fun :: a homegrown garden/art camp

During the first official week of summer break in our neck of the woods, I hosted a sweet group of 6 girls (plus Claire) for a little homespun garden and art camp here at our place.  They stayed each day from 10-3:30pm, and together we played and ate and read and made all sorts of artwork and splashed around in the little kiddie pool and got into lots of fun projects.  We painted mandalas, I taught them to finger-knit, we experimented with straw-blown watercolors and mono prints, we collected herbs and made a first-aid salve, we indigo-dyed bandanas, they helped me make an elderflower tincture, we painted clay pots and made seed bombs, my mom came and painted their hands and feet with henna, we picked raspberries and made jam, and made teeny tiny fairy houses and tea sets out of oven-bake clay.  Friends, it was a full, and fun, week.

And I was exhausted at the end of each day.  I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch for a while one afternoon shortly after everyone had been picked up.  But oh my goodness we had such, such fun.

This is most definitely something I will do again.  Maybe not this summer for another full week, but surely a few days here and there!