Monday, September 30, 2013

Things That Are Awesome

  • three day weekends
  • when your husband gets a bonus at work so you get to go buy butcher block counter tops
  • knowing your best friend is visiting soon
  • antique fairs
  • paying down debts
  • a text from a student that makes you feel like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing in life
  • this guy

Friday, September 27, 2013

The County Fair

When we moved to my mama's home town from the DC suburbs when I was ten, even my ten year old self knew that it was very telling that the schools didn't close for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah here, but they did close for the county fair.

(Before I moved to Calvert County, I'm not even sure if I knew what county I was from. In the suburbs, people don't identify themselves by county in the same way.)

The fair is important here, and so  Wednesday we brought canned goods to help feed the homeless and bought all you can ride wrist bands for Tom and the big kids, and those guys rode and rode and rode. And while the kids were making Tom sick on the teacups, Arlo and I shared a pumpkin funnel cake, and like every time we go to the fair, the kids declared it the best fair ever.

I think the kids might be right; it may have been the best fair ever, at least until next year. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crannies and Corners / 02

I was most worried about Sena when we moved. We didn't move far, but that little girl loves her Oma so much that I was afraid that the short car trip that separated her from her grandfriend was going to be more than her little heart could bear.
So it was important to me to make her space special, because like her Oma, decorating and design are very important to Asenath Rose. Sena wanted a pink room, and my mom painted it the perfect shade of blush and hung sheers from the walls.
The room is soft and lady-like, just like Sena wanted. And although it is in my nature to want to roughen the look up a little, Sena loves her space, and that's what really matters, even if I just want there to be a little more rustic, a little more bohemian thrown in there.

I like the bits and pieces of Sena that the room holds, the weaving she made with her own hands, the print of the little girl that Sena bought at the Musee d'oOsay when I took her to Paris two years ago, her bell collection, the peacock feather a friend brought her as a house-warming present. But my favorite thing is the Sena print that her great-grandfather made for her grandmother, her namesake who passed away years before she was ever born. Sena and I never got to know Tom's mom, but that picture of another Sena with her nose in a book makes my heart happy, and makes me think that Tom's mom would be so proud of her eldest grandchild. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Weekend We- The Sleep-Over Edition

Ever since we moved, Sena and Gus couldn't wait till the day they could pile into the basement with their friends to play all night long, without being told to quiet down or clean up. This weekend their dreams came true.
For weeks they set up their space; they made a music circle and a fort under the table. They brought down pillows and blankets and every single stuffed animal they own, all in anticipation of their BIG NIGHT.
On Friday their friends were dropped off, the movie projector was set up, popcorn was popped, and the playing, which didn't get punctuated with sleep till the early morning hours, began.
Those five little faces, ten arms, and ten legs, tangled together for hours and hours, crying in perfect laughter.

I had grand visions of pintrest-worthy crafts and homemade pizzas and a breakfast beach picnic, but it the end, my laziness prevailed and I let those little buzzards be little buzzards without parental intervention. Tom and I had a drink and watched Orange is the New Black while they rollicked in the basement below.
In the morning we made monkey bread and cooked-up farmer's market meats, and they were off again for hours and hours.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wanted / 01

I like thinking about what I want for my children, what I hope to instill in them, to teach them is important. There are so many things I would love them to be, so many things I would love them to do. Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time to encourage everything I hope for them. But as I try to think about my priorities and the things I hope to make priorities for my children, there are some wants that are so much greater than others.

One of my deepest hopes is that my children will be learners, that they will discover, and sometimes embrace, new ideas.
I want my kids to love learning. I want my kids to be thinking, questioning, analyzing, and solving all day, everywhere.
I don't want my kids to think that learning is in any way confined by time or place.

I want them to learn during car rides and at the beach, at our kitchen table and in the library.
I want them to be learning in their pajamas and in their snowsuits, while they swim and when we go for walks. I don't want school or weekdays or daylight to have the monopoly on thought.

I want them to be thoughtful in the truest, deepest sense of that word.

Because really, what would Tom and I do with kids who didn't have a touch of nerdy in them. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Weekend We- Warmed Our House/ Celebrated Tom

We spent our morning raking leaves and moving plants, marinating pork loins and chicken thighs, getting ready for friends to come warm our new home and celebrate with our birthday boy. And the people came from far and from wide, old friends visiting from Switzerland, a new friend just moved from Portugal.
We utilized some rum, and we fired up our new grill. We spoked pipes and attacked children. We danced partied promptly at 10 at Sena's command.

Minutes after Gus finished jumping off the stairs, he was ready to pack it in for the night. 
Sena is a whole other story. She wants to sit and hear stories, tell jokes, and keep dancing.
When I finally made this little girl call it quits at 12:30, she oozed bitterness. 
This girl loves a party and hates a bedtime. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Words of Sena R. W.- Happy Birthday, Daddy

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best daddy in the world!I always said that, like most kids, but I am not kidding. He is the best dad any kid could have because:he reads to me every night, he plays music with me every time I want, he wrestles with me an my brother, he spends his vacation digging holes for us, he always swims an races with us, he plays with us.

He really deserves all these capitals and ! marks!

I hope the presents me and my mom got he loves! I hope his birthday party is great. It's coming up soon!

I just want him to know how much I love him. I wish him the greatest birthday ever! I know it sounds like a bunch of "love" and "best" an that type of word but it is true, that is what I think, and I love him.

Excuse the laser eye picture- just wanted a picture of us doing what we love.

Monday, September 9, 2013

This Weekend We- Friday Night Farmer's Market

I didn't mean to stay in Calvert County. I didn't intend to live in my hometown forever. I didn't realize that my adventures would have fingers and toes and would crawl into my bed at night, and that my passport would collect dust rather than stamps.
For years I dreamed of leaving, of packing my family and going. Somewhere exotic or somewhere urban.
But I've grown content.
I have settled, and I like it.
This Friday, like most Fridays, we walked down to the farmer's market. We bought produce and jalapeno smoked cheddar, kettle corn and flowers. The kids played on the pirate ship and danced to old time music. I ran into high school friends and neighbors and people from church, all along the edges of my favorite brackish water.

No, I didn't mean to stay here, but I was meant to. 

Friday, September 6, 2013


I'm not Catholic, but tomorrow I plan to join them in prayer and fasting, begging God to show his love and mercy in the Middle East. I will be praying, in particular, for all the mothers who can't keep their children safe. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Right Now

mermaids, dancing, staying up late

brushing her hair, pants, properly pronouncing "th" sounds

fishing, ketchup, wrestling

shoes, losing, being teased

eating house plants, people laughing, pools

sleeping alone, car trips, getting teeth

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crannies and Corners / 01

I feel like most of my energy, my obsessing, my wanting is directed at this house of ours. There are so many things I want to do, to buy, to make. I'm spending too many hours pining and pinning, wanting and wishing, but meanwhile, slowly, corner by corner, this house of ours is feeling special.
I want to remember each project and each triumph.
This house will change and be re-envisioned, but I want to remember it as it is now. So I'm hoping each week to stop a capture the different spaces, the places where we read and wrestle, play with dinosaurs and play with each other.

I know I shouldn't love things so much, but I can't help but love the baby print that hung at my parents' house my entire childhood, and I love the ceramic chicken my best friend bought for me half a dozen Christmases ago. I love those blue bottles I bought on my first house hunting antique trip with Sena growing in my belly. I love them because they are reminders of the life I've lived, the life I am living. They are souvenirs from moments I don't want to forget.