A happy, happy day

For nine years’ of days and nights, I have had Mia under my wing.  She’s been my shadow for all of her life, my little companion, my teacher. Today, I let her go. She started school today.

I did all of my crying, grieving and letting go prior to today, and I woke up happy and at peace.  Mia was super excited and looked so cute wearing her new backpack, brown Converse shoes, and Peanuts t-shirt. I drove away from her school with calmness and peace, certain that we were on the right path.

Anna and I spent the day together, just the two of us.  We went to Silverwood Park and had a picnic lunch inside and did a little exploring outside.  She collected leaves and tried to match them up to pictures in her field guide of trees and leaves.  We shared a hot chai and looked at artwork in the gallery.  There was scribbling and “writing” and playing with my credit cards. And we did this all at Anna’s 3-year-old pace: quiet, gentle, slow.

I feel as if I am getting to know her for the first time today. It is both wonderful and painful.  I have missed so much, let so much pass me by.  Suddenly I am fully present; I am not overwhelmed.  I am not looking for an escape.  Under these conditions, my children are their best selves.  And so am I.

Oh yes, now I remember. This is what I love.

Spring cabin camping

We spent our weekend cabin camping at Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement.  Our cabin camping weekend has become a beloved tradition for us.  Leaving camp at the end of the weekend was a little hard this time; I would have been more than happy to stay another night or two.  I left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed and centered.  I love the outdoors and I love the simplicity and the satisfaction of a family camping vacation.

dinner in the cabin
little cabin and outhouse in the woods
little cabin and outhouse in the woods
nature hike with daddy to look for spring peepers
Mia hunting for crawlies
the little ones listening intently while Sarah explains how to make dream catchers
the dads especially enjoyed making dream catchers
the lake in early spring
searching under old logs for signs of life
fallen leaf
Lish reading to the big kids by lantern and firelight
our family on the last day
the Prusi's on the last day

a lovely day

This has been a lovely week and today was an especially lovely day.

I have been sleeping well and eating well this week–and hence I have been cooking a lot.  But because I have been organized this week, cooking has been unusually pleasant.  I could get used to this.

Today I ate no sugar or flour and I can already feel the effect.  I feel calm and good.

This morning we had a lovely little playdate with friends and then went to a homeschool program at Westwood Nature Center, which was absolutely lovely.  It was fun and simple and well organized, and the staff is superb.  Some of my favorite people are naturalists at the Three Rivers Parks.

Anna loved the puppet show at the end of the homeschool program and was laughing and making comments out loud throughout: “That is SO FUNNY!” “Is that a FOX?”

Today was one of those days where I love my life so very much, love my girls, love and appreciate my husband who goes to work each day, love that I am homeschooling, love the community that I live in.

a warm November

We ventured to Hyland Lake Park Reserve, one of my favorite places.

I love nature. I love taking my girls into nature.  I would like to live closer to nature, but that’s a story for another day.

Without toys, TV, or walls, they play happily.  For hours.  They run, breathe fully, their cheeks turn pink.  They are their best selves.

I sit back and relax.  Or take tons of photos. How can I resist?

A day to remember.

Fall, so far.

Between worrying about too much and trying to quiet my racing mind, these little moments bring peace to my life and remind me of what I love.

I love fall. I love the weather we’ve had in recent weeks.  I love spending most of my days with my little girls who will be grown before I know it.  I love that their daddy gave them wheelbarrow rides today and that they wore matching Halloween outfits that we made ourselves. I love that simple things make them happy.

I love the moment now, in which they are all sleeping, I am awake by myself, and everything is well.