Friday, September 25, 2015

Nature and Me


As I round out my fourth decade of life, I find that I am becoming a lot more honest with myself and with others about who I am and what I like and what I really want to do and who I really want to be. For example, I'm comfortable admitting that I like doughnuts more than I like being thin. I wanted to be the woman who could end up not liking brownies or cheese after making changes to diet for health reasons, but you know what? Brownies and cheese give me raging adult acne, but I still think they're delicious, and if you see a zit on my nearly-forty-year-old face, you can bet your bottom dollar that it was a pastry or cheese that put it there. Or four pastries. Whatever.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Practicing for Winter

pink in the grey
We bring our own bright color into dim days.

I actually really like grey days. I know many people find them dreary and prefer sun, but is there anything cozier than coming into your own house and being met by a pool of warm lamplight and the promise of something hot to drink? Or even better, staying in and snuggling up with books and cats and other quiet things? I have loved the long days of summer, but I am looking forward to all that autumn brings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Riding on Trains with Children

on the train

Yesterday, the children and I went to York. Depending on which train service you take, it normally takes two to two and half hours to get there from London. Our train on the way out made some stops along the way, so it was a two and a half hour journey. Our train on the way back was supposed to be direct, and thus two hours, but there was a delay which resulted in the return journey taking four and a half hours. The children did brilliantly despite the delay, and I was both proud and a bit surprised. But I guess by now we've gotten pretty good at this.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Thoughts on Productivity

summer mornings

A good number of my summer mornings looked like this photo. And by mornings, I mean until it was noon, or nearly. Kids to my left or in their room, or maybe even downstairs, if I was lucky. Coffee on the nightstand to my right, cat on my lap. It was sublime. It didn't happen every day by any stretch of my overactive imagination, but it happened often enough. From time to time, I'd feel a bit guilty about the level of relaxation I was reaching and think I should get up and do something productive, but then I stopped myself. Because I know how life goes, and I know that rest is productive, too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Eight Years Married

8 years ago
We were young and good looking once, eight years ago.

Today J and I marked eight years of marriage. And by marked, I mean that I got a chocolate trifle at Tesco to have for dessert, since dessert means it's a special occasion. I vaguely recall going out to dinner to celebrate anniversaries before we had kids, but the memory is hazy. Now life is so busy that we don't always remember what day it is, and that's how we both completely forgot about our anniversary last year. (Yes, for real.) I'd say that both of us remembering this year is a step in the right direction, and having a somewhat fancy dessert pretty much puts this year's celebration over the top, comparatively speaking.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

S is for Saturday, Sweetness, & Sanity

every saturday

One of the things that has been most challenging for me as a home educating parent is making sure my own needs get met. In the beginning, it was hard to figure out what was a true need and what was just my preference, but now I'm getting a better grasp on it. And for me, as an introvert and someone who scored pretty high on the highly sensitive person test, one of my true needs is time alone, without a lot of distractions. While this may sound a bit melodramatic, when I do not get time to myself for a long stretch, I start to experience the kind of deep exhaustion that makes it feel as if it's hard to draw a full breath. (See? A bit melodramatic. I know.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Chilling Out in the Interest of Academic Success

first day of school

The children and I got down to business with homeschool this week. Z is the only one officially studying, but I had a new set of markers and fresh paper for E to use to occupy her, plus the iPad if she earned it by falling asleep like a sweet little girl instead of a raging lion. (She has been known to roar repeatedly to show displeasure at bedtime.) We use a method I jokingly call Charlotte Mason for Lazy People, which basically means that we have failed at nature journaling and decided to stop trying.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dreams and Surprises

our favorite place

There are a lot of things we've wanted for our family life that we've gotten to have. Sometimes when I look at what has happened in the past five years alone, I can hardly believe it. So much of what we wanted and needed has been given to us, but even more than that, dreams we've had have come true. I don't mean for that to sound like a Disney movie. It's not like we didn't have to work for the things we've gotten or that it was somehow instantaneous and effortless. In fact, some things took a long time to come around before they completely took us by surprise. But they've always taken us by surprise; that's pretty much a given.