August 30, 2012

Lake Ontario, Starry Skies, and Beginnings

Three Beautiful Things:

1.  Our trip to the lake was filled with many beautiful things:  hugs from family, singing around a bonfire, catching up, waterskiing, fresh corn on the cob and tomatoes, relaxing in a hammock...

2.  I let the boys stay up late for the bonfire.  Nathan looked at the night sky and declared, "Mom, it's like fireworks!  But better."

3.  Aaron's first day of kindergarten.  It was full of more tears and emotion than I anticipated, but it ended up filled with smiles and excitement.

Forgive the picture quality.  Taken via iPhone at night in front of a bonfire.  Still think it's pretty great. Nathan just kept pointing to the fire, exclaiming "Mom it's a bonfire!" 

August 29, 2012

There He Goes...

First day of school.  My heart is still with him.  I'm basically just counting the minutes until I get to go pick him up.  Thinking we will celebrate with some ice cream!

August 28, 2012

I'm Still Here...

It is very rare that I catch a sunrise at the lake

We had an absolutely wonderful vacation at the lake.  It is truly one of my very favorite places in the world, filled with love and family and beauty.  The boys had a blast, begging to know why we couldn't stay longer and when we will return.  Every time I go, I try to bring some of those feelings of peace and relaxation home with me.  This time, however...

We were able to extend our stay for an extra night, and we still came home to a house in complete and utter disarray.  I'm not sure I can or want to write about it here - suffice to say that the work should have been completed before we got home, and a week later it is still not complete.  The levels of stress around here are pretty high.  Oh, and school starts tomorrow.  Those peaceful feelings didn't even last me a day!  

So I decided to spend a few minutes going through the pictures, remembering the quiet moments and the fun times.  Soon the house will be back in my control and we will be able to move back in.  Hopefully the first week of school will go smoothly - in this regard, it's the excitement that's running high and not the stress, so I'm hopeful that will continue.  

We are also heading to Maine this weekend, to celebrate the start of school and to give Summer its proper send-off.  I am confident that the beach will restore some of our sanity and give us the strength to finish this project and move on to the fun part - enjoying the new rooms!   

From sunrise to sunset...

August 15, 2012

Road Trip!

Me and just a few of my cousins at the lake, circa 1979. 
(I'm on the far right in the blue pants)

It'll be quiet around here for the next week or so.  We're packing up the car and heading West.  We're going to make a quick overnight stop in Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, and then we're going to our family cottages on Lake Ontario.  I'm looking forward to lots of family quality time, frisbee, corn on the cob, bonfires, sing-alongs, s'mores, skipping rocks, and all sorts of other wonderful stuff.  It is one of my very favorite places on Earth.  I'll be back next week, ready to tackle the house and gearing up for the start of the school year.  Until then, I hope you're all enjoying these precious Summer days!

August 14, 2012


All lights from Rejuvenation

It is all coming together.  I'm sorry for the delay in showing pictures of the full rooms, but the last couple weeks have been very slow.  Progress is being made, but it's still mostly a disaster back there.  So for now, let me show you lights!  They just went up today, and they are all so very pretty.  The one above is giant and awesome, and I'm afraid I'll never be able to take a picture that does it justice.  I'll keep trying.  Below is a little light in the pantry.  Seems fancy for a pantry light, but it's so cool.  And the bottom fixture hangs above our kitchen seating area.  They are all perfect, and I love it when decisions that were agony to make end up being so right.  More to come...

August 13, 2012

Conquering Boredom...

One afternoon, Aaron suggested we find skipping rocks in the yard and then go across to the river to throw them in.  
An excellent idea!

We're doing tons of awesome things this Summer.  Taking trips to the beach, going into Boston, swimming in Walden Pond, picking fruit, swimming in pools, going to the Newport Folk Festival!, going to the movies, visiting friends...  Especially when I was working, I wanted to make sure we packed in as much as possible on the weekends.  When it came down to it, though, the biggest thing I really wanted to give my boys was the opportunity to be bored.  To stare it down and push past it.  To see what they could come up with on their own.

You remember it, don't you?  Waking up as a kid, with no agenda, and working to figure out what you wanted to do with your day.  For me, my favorite activities were picking berries, building forts, and swimming.  The first week of this vacation, Aaron asked me every night what we were going to do the following day.  He's a kid who is used to having a schedule.  I do try to have one thing planned for the day, even if it's just a visit to the playground, but we've otherwise been pretty open.  I've watched him adjust to this, tentatively at first, asking me "Mom but what can we do?".  I always have answers, and sometimes I'll offer some suggestions.  Often he comes up with something by himself anyway.  He's been doing a lot of drawing, reading, watching baseball (baseball camps have been at the fields in our backyard), playing with his next-door neighbor friend, building lego creations, and making up tons of unique "games" with his little brother.  It's been really fun to see him get comfortable with these wide-open days.  They've been flexing their creative muscles and thinking about the way the world works.  You would not believe the questions I've gotten in the past few days alone.  

In a few weeks, we will leap back into the school routine, but I'm so thankful that we've been able to give them this gift of time.

August 10, 2012

Alabama Shakes - Hold On (Newport Folk Festival)

Hmmm...Not sure why this didn't post last week.  Just realized it.  I didn't take this video, but we were sitting on the other side of the stage witnessing this awesomeness.  Enjoy...

August 9, 2012

House Update - We're Getting Close!

I think my mom was a little annoyed at last week's "sneak peek" pictures.  These show a bit more, including that gorgeous sink and faucet!  Seriously, aren't they beautiful?  As you can see, our kitchen hasn't been painted yet, but that will be done this week.  Soon, I promise, I will post some larger pictures.  The goal is to have the entire new space completed before we leave for our vacation next Wednesday.  Then when we return, we'll get to start the settling in and decorating phase. Yay!

August 8, 2012

My First Week

Busy can be good, but I'm going to enjoy the lack of busy for a while.

A few thoughts and observations after my first week at home:

*There are so many hours in the day!  Before, it seemed that I simply couldn't fit everything in, and all of a sudden, I am blessed with the opportunity to make choices as to how I want to fill all the hours of our days.

*I am a horrible baseball pitcher.  I'm really going to have to improve my skills if I'm going to be able to keep up with this family.

*I need to stock up on snacks.  The boys were provided snacks at their preschool, so I guess I got used to that.  I'm realizing I need to have more available at home.  Same goes for milk.  I don't even drink milk, but my three boys go through about three gallons a week!

*We are messy!  I also got used to the boys not being at home every day, which meant that the messes were somewhat limited.  Now we're making messes all day long!  I must get better about making them clean up after every activity.

*I can already tell that it will be crucial for me to carve out some me-time during the week.  I've been waking up early enough to exercise before they wake up, and that helps; but I'll need to find more time here and there to enjoy some quiet.

*It's a lot easier to stay physically active when you're not stuck in front of a computer all day.  I am walking and pitching and swinging and wrestling and throwing and chasing and... phew!

August 7, 2012

Life, Lately...

Well, I'm one week into my new routine, and I must say, I am loving it.  It is definitely an adjustment, and I'm learning so many lessons every day.  It is almost as though I have to relearn how to get things done.  All of a sudden, the days seem long, and I'm excited to spend time figuring out how to fill them.  I've noticed the transition occurring in my boys as well, as they learn how to navigate unstructured days. 

I am loving the lack of schedule, although I am looking forward to a little more organization.  The house is still a disaster, and I simply can't wait to tackle this place one corner at a time.  Just let me at it!  

So what did we do this week?  We went to the playground, the farm, and the grocery store.  We pulled weeds and played with roly-polys and worms.  We picked cherry tomatoes (yes we've managed to save some from that pesky deer and are now getting about 1/2 pint a day!) and made caprese salads.  We went to the lake, swam, and built castles and rivers.  We threw the football and swung in circles in the yard.  We played tons of "baseball" in our back yard - basically hitting practice with me as pitcher, and we all run around the bases when they hit "home runs" (hits in the air or ones that make it out of the infield).  The boys got to spend a day with Grandma, who also took a turn as pitcher.  They made up games themselves and with a neighbor friend.  They built a giant lego zoo and painted masterpieces.  They went to a swim lesson, which was thankfully a lot more successful than previous attempts.  

And what's planned for the coming week?  Hmm...tomorrow will involve a visit to the library, Thursday is another swim lesson, and Friday includes a hair appointment for me (that should be interesting, huh?).  Otherwise, we're making it up as we go along.  

August 2, 2012

House Update


My mom asked me to post more pictures of the house progress, so here are a couple more sneak peeks. I don't want to share pictures of the whole rooms, because they are still incredibly messy and incomplete.  For example, the oven is sitting in the middle of the family room floor.  I like focusing on the little details that are actually starting to come together.  You can see paint on the walls!  Above is the bathroom vanity - the sink isn't in it yet, but it's in the room.  As I said, I'm focusing on the details.  We should only have a couple weeks left before we have a functioning kitchen.   The countertops were installed over the weekend, and they look great.  This week, we should see the tile backsplash completed, the paint mostly completed, the island countertop installed and cabinets finished, and the plumber is coming on Friday!  Exciting times.  

family room

August 1, 2012

Dancing, Transitions, and Stone Walls

1.  Dancing and singing with my boys at the festival this weekend.  One of the highlights of my Summer.

2.  Today is my first day without a job.  It is a bit strange, this not quite knowing what to do with myself.  But as I pushed Nathan on the swing at the playground this morning, I felt happy.  For all of us.  

3.  One of the many things I love about New England is the appearance of gorgeous stone walls.  Especially in the more rural areas, like where I live, they are around almost every house.  I don't particularly like digging up the big boulders out of my yard, but I do love those walls.


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