This Fall I Am…

This Fall, I Am….223224120226Abiding strictly to our Dave Ramsey financial plan
And repeating this money-saving mantra over and over again: “it will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be worth it.” 
Sipping tea, and lots of it!
Impatiently waiting for my favorite fall boots to be fixed.
Creating our wedding stationary(!!!!)
Struggling with the late darkness of morning.
Counting down the days until out trip West.
Obsessing over The Tudors series.
Crafting each night.
Crocheting again.
Reading.

Loving all this wedding planning.
Simmering many soups.
Celebrating friends and marriages.

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Life in this Place

When I walked in the door on Wednesday there was a note from Sean. It said that he had made me some soup, and then in bold letters it told me to “take it easy”. I knew what he meant. I knew he was telling me to lay down and not do anything. I knew he was worried I would begin cleaning up behind myself; clearing up the messes I’ve been too sick to take care of all week. I knew he meant I was not supposed to worry about my dirty soup bowl. I knew he would be mad at me and call me a control freak if I did any of these things, and I knew why. I needed a night of silence to myself; to lay on the futon and watch Mad Men, to take a hot shower and rinse the migraine from my body, to rest my feverish bones. So, I curled beneath my red fleece blanket, a gift from the woman whose children I cared for in Georgia, and followed his instructions. The week came and went with synchronized naps with the twins’ nap times, early bedtimes and plenty of reading a great new book in bed.

These past two weeks have the busiest of the year yet! And probably all of that busy is the reason for my poor health.   Many early mornings last week were consumed with coffee and finishing our save the dates, which I can’t wait to share once they’re in the mailbox.  Friday was dedicated entirely to planning and decorating for the bachelorette party. We had a friend staying with us two nights, followed by another visitor over the weekend. I wanted to pull my hair out on Thursday, but the power went out in our apartment. Despite the fact that I had a million things to do that night, I decided to let it go. There are some things you can’t control and this was one of them.  So I took as a sign from the heavens to relax. We found some candles deep in our junk drawer, poured some wine and played Rummikub by candle light. It was the calm I needed in the storm. But as busy as last week was, I feel accomplished looking back. It’s a good feeling to see the results of all your work.  But for now, I’ll head back to the couch for an afternoon of watching The Tutors and eating leftover soup. I’m milking Sean’s advice for as long as I can. 

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^^^This guy still thinks it’s party time ^^^DSCF8176DSCF8178

Silver Linings

morning sunThere is a stop light on the road where I work, that if you hit at just the right moment, it seems to stay red forever. But the other morning when I got it, I wasn’t bothered. Not one little bit. In fact, I was pretty grateful once I came down the hill and saw this view. The clouds had been heavy with rain for many days in a row. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t function anymore. Being trapped inside with two very busy three year olds was getting hard. I was just done with it all. Then, I got stopped at this red light. And as I looked into the sun, I realized life is pretty freaking amazing. The sun is out, I have a car that works, a job to go to, a finance to come home to, a bed to snuggle up in, and a coffee pot to give me fresh brew each morning. What did I have to complain about? So sitting there, I snapped this picture, as a reminder of how great life is. And it is true after all, that silver linings only come on cloudy days.

& then the weekend came.

This week has been a lot of this and that, here and there, up and down. And now it’s the weekend! A busy weekend, for sure, but the weekend nonetheless. Have a good one.

heated blankets & watching new girl
shower planning & craft projects
coffee in the car & preschool drop off 
farmers Markets & sunshine
calling caterers & organizing addresses
dreaming & goal setting
helping friends & laughing hard
planning & following through
orange leaves & green grass
being patient & having expectations
hide & seek
ice cream & rummikub
bananas & peanut butter
orange paint & potato stencils
rice & lentils
lead & rubber
wind & sunglasses
music & clarity

plant on shelfrugpostcardshine oncoffee on bookshelfpurple circle

Hello Fall, Goodbye Garden.

The end of a season in Michigan can be easily marked. Cooling temperatures of the evening slowly begin to erase green from the tops of the trees, urging them to change into oranges and yellows by the morning. And in it’s path, it warns us to take late night wanderings through the garden, to pluck any last tomatoes we can find, to bring them in and preserve them for the long winter months to follow. Like squirrels we begin hoarding the freshness of summer, fearing an opportunity loss by the morning. And as the warmth of these September days surrender themselves, a breeze hits our dining room table, telling me to turn off our ceiling fan and find a sweater.  Come bedtime I have found socks for my feet and a heated blanket for my bed just in case.

Fall is tricky like that around here. Even though you aren’t ready for it to come, it is already in motion. Without my recognition, our tomato plants have begun to slow their production. Our sandwich tomatoes are becoming smaller the colder it gets at night. The last of our cherry tomatoes, which have been hanging on the vine green for some time now, have begun to drop prematurely from their branches, not yet red. I am not ready for this transition. It has been months since we have had to go to the Farmers’ Market or grocery store for tomatoes. For a season I have taken advantage of our tomato plants, happily pawing through them each evening before I go up to our apartment to start dinner.

But all good things must come to an end, and when Mother Nature closes a doors, she opens a window… isn’t that how that cliche goes? Either way. Cliche or no cliche, Fall is here, in Michigan. And our garden, that we spent hours tending to, is now ready to be rooted out so our soil can be cleansed for next year’s crop.

Hello, Fall. I’m so glad you’re here.

And, until I can venture out to the garden again, I’ll be sure to spend some extra time in our botanical living room, where the sun is always sure to pour in and I can smell the coffee from the other room.

hanging plantHappy Wednesday, y’all. We’re half way through the week!

 

Life Lately

This week has been a good one. Life at work has gotten on a regular schedule which brings a peace to the pandamonium that is juggling a large family’s needs. Friday morning has brought cooling temperatures, with Sean making the rounds to close all of our windows and turn off our fans.  How one night has brought such a change amazes me, making me feel grateful for my life in Michigan. Good (or bad) we feel the impact of four seasons here; just when we tire of one, another shows it face, allowing us an opportunity to pack away our tank tops and find our box of sweaters, hidden in the closet. Yes, this week has been a good one. Cheers to the weekend, though. I am always glad for Friday.
3 clay jarsStenciling and cutting and designing our save the date cards.
Attempting to plan our meals better this month.
Playing games on the living room floor.
Rearranging our bookshelves.
Mailing invitations for a 1920’s bridal shower and 1920’s bachelorette party to follow
Appreciating that Sean will help me clean.
Re-watching the first seasons of Parenthood.
Waking early for mornings by myself.
Wondering what the kids are doing in preschool. 
Avoiding beer on weeknights.
Cooking a monster batch of breakfast burritos to freeze.
Talking to caterors about our wedding menu.
Running, again. Feeling healthy and happy about this.rummikub slippers on orange rug making granola red chicken on table

Life Lately

Life lately has been moving quickly. All too quickly, if you ask me. I’ve been trying frantically to hold on to the last days of summer, even though part of this nanny is ready for school to start. But the end of season encourages a sense of urgency within me to partake in as many summer activities as humanly possible. This season of summer will soon be taken over by many months of relentless winter, and the only way to maintain a satisfied mind will be knowing that I lived up summer while it was here. So I’m trying hard, friends. I really am.room with candlegreen beans cookingt plant picture line blue chairI spent Saturday at the beach with my old running turned amazing friend who has given me a surprising friendship I have really come to rely on an trust. Summer has delivered me a fun new friend I hope to see live on throughout the storms and cold winter will bring.

One of my oldest college friends and her new beau came over on Saturday night. We spread a red table cloth on a picnic table in our back yard, brought out a bowl of cashews and a growler of local beer, and talked late into the evening. This friend of mine has always been so loyal to me. In my times of confusion she has been a sounding board I can rely on. As I watch her grow in her new relationship, I feel so happy that someone who has always been such a great friend has found someone so perfectly matched for her. It’s fun to watch your friends fall in love, especially when the person they’re falling in love with is so awesome.  Summer has brought strengthened a relationship and reminded us all of the flitting feeling of  love.

As we sat talking into the night, I admired the growth our tomatoes plants have had this past week. Their branches are hanging low; heavy with tomatoes and touching the ground. The weather has been changing, but despite cold nights and some dying leaves, these plants are still producing vegetables for our dinner table. So we keep watering, and weeding, and picking, enjoying them as long as we can. Summer has brought us fresh food to satisfy our taste buds and stomachs each night.

As the night came to end, we packed our picnic basket and went back into our apartment, smacking mosquitoes from our arms as we went. Walking into our apartment, I was comforted by this feeling of home, of “being home”, of knowing that this place is our place. Sean and I have put in the necessary efforts to create this and buy that, working hard to afford this home of ours. Summer has brought us one year of our lives in this first home of ours.
I wonder what the next year will bring to this place, too? I’m so blessed to have these full-filling end of summer days.

Lately I Love…

Lately I love…veggies hangingpopcornme, mom, sloane and sisters wedding dress daybook by bedapartmentReading in bed.

The color yellow.

Staying up late.

Any excuse to stay home.

Writing.

Knowing we are SO close to the end of How I Met Your Mother!

Children who don’t bicker.

Taking my mom’s advice.

Setting the dinner table.

Browsing Pinterest for picnic wedding ideas.

Sisters.

Babies, too.

The simple act of “being”.

Catching up with my girlfriends.

Picnics by our community garden.

Sunshine.

What are you loving these days?

 

Visiting Leelanau County

This past week, the family I work for, asked me to travel with them to Leelanau County. I said, “yes!” of course! Leelanau County ,in addition to being one of the most amazing places on Earth, also happens to be where I grew up.  So, we packed up their car and headed up North for the week! We would be staying at the Homestead, in Glen Arbor, Michigan and I couldn’t wait to spend the week with the kids, running around, jumping in the pool and exploring the beaches for rocks.

homestead signski lift at homesteadAs the week slipped by, I couldn’t believe how easy it was traveling with this family. I’ve traveled with many families before, but traveling with this family took me back to my own childhood. Part of this nostalgia may have been linked to the fact that we were in my hometown, but a larger part of it was watching the playful and loving relationships between the siblings develop. Being around, or rather, being a part of a large family lets me enter my comfort zone. How fortunate I was to spend the week with this family.Feet on dock at homesteadRiver at homestead

Wednesday morning, I had a few hours to myself. Around the woods and down the beach I walked, feeling so at home being back in Leelanau, feeling so happy to have moments of silence, feeling so thankful to have had this beautiful nature surround me. Bridge at homesteadbeach peebles on the beachbeach at the homestead

Now I’m itching to get back up North! Soon, very soon.

Life at the Green Egg

 

Hello, Monday! You’re never as bad as I imagine you to be in my head, are you? Nah. After a fun weekend, it’s easy to embrace the normality and structure that a Monday can bring. And what a fun, beautiful weekend it was in Michigan! strawberries baptism cardtapestryorange with plantlooking in te treeThis weekend was…
Jumping on the opportunity to work from home.
Introducing new friends with the old.
Night swimming.
Browsing through an art fair.
Chatting with Farmers Market vendors.
Sleeping in.
Drinking my coffee while I watch Mad Men.
Spending Saturday night with an old friend and my soon-to-be- God Daughter.
Getting all my baby snuggles in.
Laughing. Lots of laughing.
Planning a Bachelorette Party poolside.
Over-indulging in strawberries.
Creating cards for loved ones.

Here’s to a great week, friends! Enjoy.