Saturday, May 30, 2009


I thought I'd share a few more of the floating bubble photos since they are so fun. Look close and you can see us and the entire boat reflected in them. I buy bubbles "for the kids" but really, they are for me. Sitting on the boat at 5:30am as the rest of the family slept, watching the sunrise and blowing bubbles...that morning more than made up for the others this week in which I usually awake to small fingers poking my eyes and small voices whining for breakfast. Need to unwind or bring a moment of calm into your day? I highly recommend bubbles.

p.s. I am trying to be better about adding photos to the share site so there are more from our sail boat camp out HERE if you're interested.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

our floating campsite

Yesterday we sailed to a (very close by) quiet cove and anchored for the night. The kids fished, dad cooked and the baby fussed a bit in the pleasant evening breeze.
We watched the sun go down and listened to the kids giggling as they went to bed in the cabin, excited about this new adventure called sleeping on the boat. The night was quiet and still. There was one bout of baby crying but not one moment of "get me out of here".
This morning, the sun rose over glassy waters we could bounce bubbles on. It was peaceful and perfect. No one was crying. We felt no rush to go home.
We kind of thought we were crazy when we decided to try our little camp out and we decided we most definitely were crazy as we were packing up gear and kids and heading out the door. But it worked. We had fun.
Call us crazy but we will definitely be doing this again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

pick me a flower

The Cone Flowers and Black Eyed Susans perked up quickly after being moved to the deck and I decided I like them in their new spots better. My potted garden is growing a bit fast and I'm having trouble keeping up with the watering. I have also found that the porch gardens may be safe from the rabbits but there is still one little wild animal I can't (and won't) keep away. She likes to pluck flowers and tiny green tomatoes which she then presents to me with such sweet excitement. How could I resist?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

kalmia latifolia

Remember this plant with the really fun name? It's back! I love to go outside with my scissors in search of small bunches of life to fill jars and vases in the house. I never know what I might find but always there is something and always I think I have found the prettiest bunch yet.

Monday, May 25, 2009

a week for whatever

The past several days have been lived outdoors.
The yard, the deck, the boat have been calling to us and we answer barefoot, with guitars and bubble wands in hand.

Dad is home for a week and for a week we will do our best to pass the time slowly, lazily. We make plans that we can keep or change as we go. "Whatever" we will say and shrug and smile.
(this one by T)
Kenna is swinging around a new fishing pole (which she calls her "wild wookie" and we don't know why) and Tristan is taking the pictures.
It might rain. I might make ice cream.
It will be good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

pushing limits

Sitting on the high side of a heeling boat in smooth waters is exhilarating. We had perfect sailing conditions on one gorgeous day a couple of weeks ago but, always our cautious one, Tristan was having a hard time. Our first day on the water together since the big haul-out and clean-up, Shawn was full of excitement and pride as he pushed the limits of the boat. A neighbor from the marina was out in his identical Hunter and the race was on, but Tristan was ready to turn back almost as soon as we left the docks. With some coaxing, encouragement and lots of discussion, he very slowly began to relax. Shawn asked Tristan over and over, "Do you trust me?" Of course he does and you could see the conflicting feelings at work in his eyes. He loves the boat, he loves learning about its parts and functions, he loves being Dad's helper and can tie a bowline better than his mom can but he has his comfort zone and he doesn't love being pushed out of it.
Several times in exasperation I looked to Shawn only to see his face asking the same question. What does a parent do in this situation? Do we follow Tristan's lead and head home? Do we ease up on the sails and drift like a lifeboat? Of course not. We hold on tight to our frightened-but-trying-so-hard-to-hide-it son and we heel. Before long, he was mostly smiling again and we high fived and praised him for his courage. We told him how proud we were of him, and watched as self-confidence replaced fear. He's ok with heeling now and after a loving push into this new sailing territory maybe even on his way to enjoying it.
(Kenna, on the other hand, is going to require some loving yanks back into the boat...but that will be another post, I'm sure. As for Kate, she was in the boat for the first time on that day! She slept the entire time, happy as a baby clam.)

The past couple of weeks since that sail have been tough on this mom. In addition to Shawn never being home and a houseful of sick kids, let's just say I have been finding myself regularly pushed out of my mothering comfort zone. Just when I feel my limits can be pushed no further, they usually are.
I'd like to say I handle these moments and days with grace and dignity, that I am patient and slow to anger, that I don't run and hide in my garden. Yes, I'd like to say that. Instead I have to say that I usually act like my five year old son in a rocking boat. I cry out to God to take me back to the docks where I can put my own feet on the ground and take control. Oh, how I crave control. When He is holding onto me, life crashing all around I can fight it, fear it, hate it...or I can choose to be exhilarated. I can choose to let go and find courage in trust. I can open my eyes and take in the view and be at peace in the storm.
So, this is where I'm at today. I am seeking to behold His beauty and trusting that all this pushing of my limits will make me a better person, a better mom, as I learn to give up control that was never mine in the first place.

" behold the beauty of the Lord..." Psalm 27

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tristan has collected a whole colony of ladybugs and I am beginning to fear for their little lives. What do you feed captive ladybugs?
We are getting tired of saying goodbye to Dad. Thankfully, he will soon be taking a week of much needed time off ...just before leaving for yet another six weeks or so.
Oh, and those trays of seedlings you see there? Dead. All of them dead but it's alright, this year I will not allow myself to be frustrated by these little failures.
This little one is a ray of sunshine. She smiles all the time. If she's not smiling, she's probably asleep and her asleep face is pretty darn sweet as well.

The kids are doing much, much better and we are making some big sailing plans for next week. We are planning to try an overnight cruise. Crazy? Perhaps, but family adventures with little ones require a little bit of crazy don't you think?

Monday, May 18, 2009

monday morning

It is a drippy forty-seven degrees this morning. Where did May go? Not that I mind as I sit here enjoying warm coffee, a very old sweatshirt, the sound of rain tapping on the windows and wondering how on earth to follow Friday's post?
My weekend following the fly-in included a visit to the pediatrician's office with three sick kids, a visit to the hospital for two sets of chest x-rays, a visit to the pharmacy for medicine and one panda bear nebulizer and (oh so thankfully) a husband who was home for it all! Quite a weekend, yes, but that about sums it up. The kids are coughing ugly coughs but on the mend and the husband is back at work today. So, what to blog?
I decided to slosh around outside in the cool, wet air with my camera and see what's happening. Roses are what's happening. Lots and lots of roses whose blooms seem to glow a hundred times brighter on a cloudy day. Just the thing for a Monday morning, I think?
So, here you go...

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

a homecoming day

They waited...

and watched...
and cheered...
and finally...
he is home.
A beautiful day.
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