Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi:
 the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

I've been thinking about messes a lot lately.

Thinking about messes and authenticity and imperfection. And I've been thinking about what it is that draws me in to a computer screen throughout the day.

I want to know about other people. I want to see what they are doing and where they are living and what they are eating. I like knowing what other people wear and what they read and what they watch on Netflix. It makes me feel connected. It inspires me. It encourages me.

But sometimes the beauty that I find on the screen seems so unreachable and unattainable. It is styled to the point of becoming sterile. The images, and the people behind them, lose their vulnerability, their relatability. They become impersonal. Beautiful and distant.

But messes are different. They tell a different story-- the story you  hide before guests come over. The half empty jars, the remnants of last's nights dinner, the half finished projects. The drawers full of things you're going to get around to fixing.

In an effort to celebrate the real and the authentic, to find beauty in imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, I am starting a project. I'm inviting people to share the wabi sabi in their homes. To share their messes and their moments, to tell us how they approach disorder and where they find beauty.

I am so excited for this project, and so honored that so many women I respect have said they are willing to share a part of themselves that they might not usually.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Like most people, I hate to hear my voice in recordings. And there's a reason we don't usually like it, or so Tom tells me. It has something to do with vibrations and how we hear ourselves, versus how other people hear us. Our voices sound different to us inside our own heads.

I think writing is the same way. I hear myself one way, and then I try to put it in words, and it sounds so different. The Rachel of this blog, does not sound like the Rachel in my head, who does not sound anything like real-life Rachel.

Real life Rachel is loud, and her voice sounds like gravel and whiskey, and she laughs even louder than she talks. Real life Rachel mispronounces words she knows the meanings of and she doesn't enunciate as well as she should.

Real life Rachel takes up a lot of space, in every way imaginable. She fills every silence. She uses a lot of hand gestures. Her favorite form of humor involves embarrassing herself in front of other people, the more the better.

Written voice Rachel, this written voice, is so different, at least in my own opinion. This Rachel seems so much softer, more introspective. This Rachel is quieter and sweeter, and in my opinion, not nearly as funny. Also, she cusses less.

I am realizing that most people don't like their writing, but I sort of do like my writing. And I know it has nothing to do with the fact that my writing is great.  But I think it might have to do with the fact that my writing voice is so different from my real voice, the one that laughs after she says things so that people will know she is joking.  I am almost completely disconnected from this voice. I guess it just means that this voice, the one that works hard on capturing  and savoring and thanking, isn't authentic.

In real life, I would laugh right now, a big horse laugh and you would know that I am not taking myself as seriously as it appears. In real life there are lol's and hehe's that I never type.  You might not realize how often I intend to poke fun at myself.   In real life, I would have offered you a drink and a grilled cheese by now. And I would have tried to offset my aggressively boisterous personality by asking you lots of questions about you.

Sometimes after parties and gatherings, real life Rachel is embarrassed by how completely over-the-top she can be, attention seeking and, quite frankly, obnoxious. If I was actually capturing that Rachel's voice, I think I would hate it. But I don't know how. So I've made up this character instead. And this character seems like a better mother anyway, so I'll let her keep writing.

Monday, February 24, 2014

This Weekend We- Family, Friends, Fire Pit

This weekend we played in the sun and walked around barefoot in the sand. Scooters were scooted and  forts were built and little tiny driftwood rafts sailed down a creek cold from melted snow. 

And then, things got even better.

All sorts of people we loved came over for a birthday bonfire from Gus. It was our fire pit's inaugural lighting, and I am quite certain it was a great idea to put it in. I plan to make good use of it as we finish up winter and go into spring.

On Saturday night, I could not even get over how happy I was. Happy about my friends and my family and good weather and good food. 

I was happy that Gus let us invite over our whole tribe to celebrate him. The party wasn't limited to his peers. There are so many people who love that kid and who are helping him to become the amazing human that he is, why should we just celebrate with the under ten crowd? One day my kids might steal their parties from the grownups, but for now they are happy to let us tag along. 

So we torched Christmas trees and strummed guitars, and at least one of us may have gotten a little too festive (finger pointed at myself). 

I also had one of those dorky little moments of excitement, when I realized that I was sitting on my porch with my almost nine year old daughter, while one of the guys from the much cooler, much older college band played his guitar for us. I was so eager in college- so impressed. I danced my heart out to that band every opportunity I got.

It's funny where life will take you. 

Also, my friend Maggie took the bottom five photographs. Thanks, Mags.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Right Now

I should be cleaning, but Arlo won't let me put him down.

Yesterday I should have been cleaning, but instead I took pictures. Of my house. For no reason.

Pictures of my dirty house.

Even I don't fully understand.

I'm just going to let it be for a few moments more. And then, when I'm good and ready, I will wield my tyrannical powers without regards to my lowly subjects, and force Tom, Gus, and Sena to participate in the much loathed "Ten Minute Family Clean-Up." 

It is my favorite. 

It's amazing how much four people can do in ten minutes. Usually I keep going after the timer sounds, after finally finding some motivation.

Full disclosure: During a recent Ten Minute Family Clean-Up, I, the ruler of all, was found texting with a friend in the corner. They were none too pleased. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dearest Gus, Happy Birthday

Happiest Birthday, my sweet, wild boy.
You are so funny and generous, with a touch of seriousness..
You still say the best prayers, even though you do it less now because you say you get embarrassed.
You are such a good brother.

And chess player. 
I swear I'm going to beat you one of these days.

Earlier this week one of my high school students told me he stopped kissing his mom when he was seven. This is not the thing to tell a mama two days before her son is about to turn that fateful age. Promise me you will still rush to the door when I get home from work to get the first kiss. 
Promise that I can still tuck you in at night. 

I know in my heart you are going to be a great man one day, 
but I'm so glad you are still my little boy for now.

Happiest 7th Birthday Augustus Kiernan. 
I am so glad you are mine.

Also---thank you so much Mama and Aunt Laurie. 
They took my boy for his yearly Toys-R-Us shopping extravaganza. 
Usually I have to work, but today I had to nurse a sick Arlo. 

Gus's Six Birthday here and here. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sick Day Cuddles

I woke up to discover a sick little man who had never even cried out during the night letting me know he needed me. And the mess in his crib clearly indicated that he did, in fact, need me.

This has been a day full of laundry of the most disgusting variety and lots of cuddles with sick little boy who can't find his happiness.

Gus's birthday is tomorrow so I'm praying this isn't the sort of virus to go raging through the house, though like so many things in life, there's nothing I can do about it if it is. Just gonna have to ride this incredibly gross wave and hope for the best.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Waiting on Breakfast

Yesterday I waited and waited and waited for my sisters to be ready to go to breakfast. I waited so long it turned to lunch and I made myself food. My sisters did not inherit my timeliness gene.

But eventually they did show up, ready to eat. And although I wasn't hungry, I was dressed and my kids were dressed and we had nothing else planned, us Weavers.  It was, after all, the fifth day of an impromptu winter break. So off we went for a noon thirty breakfast at a place no longer serving breakfast. But I drank lots of coffee anyway. And we sat and sat and sat. And as I looked around at my kids and my husband, my mom and my sisters, I realized it was worth the wait.

Sometimes I'm restless, but I know that I'm not going anywhere. Because if I went somewhere else, I wouldn't have so many people to wait on.

If you would like to join a rather elite group, one which basically only consists of people sitting at the table pictured above, you should go over to Apartment Therapy's Homie Awards and vote for this little space and all the other little spaces you love to visit. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mornings Like These

Winter is hard on Gus. He loves to be outside, but he hates the cold, or so he says. It's hard to get my little wild man bundled up and out the door. But once he's out there, as long as the snow isn't sneaking in his gloves or up his pant legs, he seems happier, more at peace.

Sena doesn't complain about the cold, and she is far better at entertaining herself. She happily spends hours writing detailed instructions for sleep-overs (which are hilarious) or organizing her dolls. And the cold doesn't seem to creep into her bones like it does with Gus.

Today we bundled up earlier than usual and headed down our hill to the beach. Gus tramped across the creek and wandered along the shore, and I think for a minute he forgot how cold he was, even if his rosy cheeks and running nose told a different story.

"I like summer more. Every day is different in summer. In the winter all we do is walk to the beach"--Gus.

I decided to take Gus's complaint as a compliment. At least I'm doing something right one season of the year, I suppose.

Inspired by  the idea of capturing my favorite time of the day.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This Weekend We- Long and Ordinary and Perfectly Nice

This weekend has been a completely, wonderfully, unexpectedly ordinary weekend, except it began on Thursday and won't end until the the point tomorrow evening where I start to remember that a high school class will be waiting for me the next day.

Two snow days on top of a holiday weekend made for a min-winter break.

And we did have big plans for the weekend. We were supposed to drive to Albany so I could meet my godson and see my friend after two years. But alas, the storm that brought us an extra long weekend prevented them from flying in. I'll have to wait two more weeks before becoming a godmother, before hugging my friend who doesn't actually like hugs all that much.

So this weekend had room for puddle exploring, more doughnut adventures, and a sling shot lesson to boot. 

The next four weekends hold all sorts of plans- two birthdays, a baptism, and bourbon tasting book club at our house. All wonderful, not-as-ordinary things. Which means, we're booked up until Spring. Spring. I was very excited when I realized that.