7/31/12

summer is for friends.

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summer is for finding friends
running through yards and building forts
late night s'mores and lots of lego talk

summer is for growing into friendships
secrets whispered over melting ice cream
stretching out over a cool patch of grass
dancing with sparklers a little past bedtime

summer is for embracing every moment
we have a few weeks left and plenty to enjoy
trips to the museums
adventures in new cities
homemade pizza with neighbors
and enough swimming to fill each day

today we are off to the store
a short trip to the library
a quick visit to a family member's new home
playing with friends
some serious lego building
sheets made into a castle
and warm cookies from the oven

if i'm lucky i'll get in some yoga
and plenty of cuddles at bedtime

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this is Jessica and her best friend Eli
possible love at first sight

7/28/12

under summer rain.

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the summer rain called our names
under a gray sky
stretching overhead
empty thoughts left in piles
around our yard
like a patchwork of dreams
wrapped tightly around our bodies.

evergreens dropped their branches
to the silent day
swaying softly in wind
limbs hung low
gracefully floating across pavement.

the summer rain called our names
to dance away our boredom
to slip into rubber boots
jump in puddles
careless and free.

And so we joined her
as warm rain kissed our skin
our cloths drenched heavy
with happiness and joy
laughter unfolding from our hearts.

as a 33 year old woman, i can't tell you how good it feels to dance under summer rain with your children.

7/25/12

star wars birthday party.

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We awoke to gray skies and lingering clouds. While we hoped and prayed that the sun would come our way, morning slowly unfolded into a blanket of storms. But I had a feeling. After seeing Jonas' reaction, we decided to not postpone the party and continue on our way. As I piled everyone in the car we headed to the bakery driving between raindrops and darkness. And as I ran with a cake and a boxed lunch in my hands, dressed head to toe in white, the rain turned from steady to downpour. Sopping wet with dripping hair I still had a feeling. Even when my curry sandwich spilled on my white linen pants leaving behind traces of yellow for all to see (that's what I get for eating while driving), I still had that feeling. When we arrived to the pool I once again ran between raindrops, hands full of balloons dancing in a furious wind, small packages and decorations fumbling between my fingers. Jonas asked, "Is the pool closed mommy" and I responded "not today baby, not today." I was determined. I would not let my little one down. My emergency stop to the party stored filled our day with new activities. Water balloons, foam rockets, games and a pinata. The pool was empty, but the party would go on.

Once the tables were set and the decorations were hung the guests began to arrive. We said our hellos and quickly forgot about the weather. As I glanced to find Jonas I noticed all the children, running and laughing, under the canopy of summer rain. And before we knew it the sun came out to say hello.

All day I had a feeling. I knew, I just knew, in the bottom of my heart that everything would turn our way. It's not the weather, the games or the swimming that made this birthday party. It's certainly not the gifts or the food. This birthday was meant to be special. It was meant to be shared with friends and family. We are the key to creating the positive outlook. Even though I cried and cussed as I stood outside the car, it's the big smile that I put on as I faced the children. And you know what, as I smiled I thought, who cares if the weather is dreary. It doesn't mean we can't celebrate.

I'm sure you knew it would be a Star Wars party! Here are a few details about the event. I found my inspiration from pinterest and here, I purchased the lime green striped straws and cups here, the Darth Vader pinata came from a local party store and the delicious cake was from Hazel Artisan Bakery. I used paper lanterns to decorate the tables (which I didn't take pictures of) and had Clone Trooper masks at each setting. I made and printed out the signs myself.

We ended our night in the company of dear friends and a setting sun. It was a good day. A day that I hope Jonas will always remember.

7/24/12

turning seven.

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Seven. A number, that when you're not looking, slowly creeps to eight and nine and then eventually ten. There are moments when I hold on to your youth. The days that were filled with baby talk and babble. Hand prints on paper and footprints marked in paint. Papers and memories I tuck in a drawer. They are hidden away and safe. Safe for me to find when I think of my little baby turning seven. My big boy who reads, who is passionate about words and building. Who uses his hands to construct and deconstruct and who can tell me stories until the sun comes up. My seven year old, who still sneaks into my bed at night. Who reaches for my hand and whispers I love in my ear.

Jonas, you are my first, my sensitive and passionate child. You lead with your heart, your gentle touch and your loving soul. I hope our days of cuddles and midnight whispers never end. Our nights of made up stories and far away lands, tucked under covers with flashlights and gazing at stars dancing across bedroom ceilings.

Jonas, I love you to the moon and back.
A million times.

7/21/12

weekend arrives.

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the weekend seems to arrive sooner and sooner as summer rolls away her days. time slips between my fingers and i am never able to fully grasp it's weight. summer, please slow down. take a few steps back. pause for a moment. i need to enjoy your freedom and warmth.

i hope you can capture some of summer over your weekend. perhaps a late night stroll to the sound of crickets, freshly squeezed lemonade poured into an old mason jar, catching fireflies like childen on a hot steamy night or enjoying a glass of wine under a canvas of stars. we will be embracing the farmer's market, making gazpacho for a hot day, rolling out dough for a homemade pie, getting my hands dirty and working in the garden, taking walks to visit some friends and playing in the front yard with hopes that the sound of the icecream truck will travel down our street.

i also thought i would share a few links today. these are some lovely places to visit with amazing photographs and inspirational words:
The Yard
That's Just it
Oh, Pioneer!
Foxtail + Fern
Luisa Brimble

and these are some lovely blogs that i read. some are women i consider friends, some i hope to become friends with and others i just read and have yet to reach out:
Stylebook
those who love
the fairest
oh dear drea
Adventures in Babywearing
katie's pencil box
Honey & Jam
Making Nice in the Midwest
Pia Jane Bijkerk
Forest Bound
Indian Summer

I also have plenty more lovely blogs to share. And, if you're in the area stop by Gervasi Vineyard tomorrow and say hello! I will be setting up Yellow Finch Designs Jewelry for the Fine Art and Craft show from noon to 6:00pm. I'm excited to share my new pieces and one of these days I'll get the time to actually list everything on etsy.

7/20/12

escape to the beach. part II.

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The only child not afraid to pick up the dead crab // mother and child // sand // cousins // a brother's love // a face to make my heart smile // long bike rides with the family // joy // crabmeat stuffed flounder // fresh tomatoes with onions and basil // sea watching // love (captured by Jonas)

You can see escape to the beach part one here, out to sea here and our july fourth on the beach here.

7/19/12

escape to the beach.

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An empty beach // visiting with cousins from China // a sleepy child resting in shade // wave watching // a storm approaches // a beautiful woman // life with sand // local oysters // scallops and Chardonnay

7/17/12

positive parenting.

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Yesterday we began a new adventure in the young years of boyhood. Jonas is officially a Cub Scout and is spending this week at a "Twilight Camp" for the younglings. Each night we attend for four hours and arrive home a little past bedtime, a special treat for the boys. I would have to say that this is the first time I have been surrounded by so many parents and their children. In a situation like this I can't help but listen and observe. Listen to the other children, to their parents, to the boys helping, to the leaders offering direction. It's not often that I talk about parenting, because really who am I to offer any advice, but last night made a mark on my mind. For a moment I stopped and thought on how important it is that I chose the path of positive parenting. I will not talk down to my child, they are my equal. I will strive to have patience, because when I do not my children can see it in my eyes. I will choose my words wisely. The vocabulary that I use inevitably becomes my children's. Positive language can carry a child steps further down their path. In our home, words like "hate" and "stupid" are considered bad words and you most likely will not hear them coming from my mouth. There are moments when I am appalled at how parent's speak to their children. Do they not realize that they are little sponges? That they will absorb any behavior, be it positive or negative? Isn't that common sense?

In order to maximize on positive parenting I also believe that you must become a leader, you must walk away from your shell and become that strong parent your child needs (this is beginning to sound like a term paper). They can sense a wishy washy attitude and will run with it to the wind. They will walk all over you and shut those listening ears off. Being a firm parent who follows through on discipline is NOT being a bad parent. Children need limits, they need your direction and they yearn for routine. They are looking for you to be a confident person who can guide them in the right direction. Be consistent. But most of all, be consistent with your love. When I speak to my little ones I want them to know that I love them, I listen to them and I will always be there for them.

Share below in the comments if you have any thoughts on positive parenting. I would love to hear them! As I sit here and type we are getting ready to go to the library, then home to pack lunches for a picnic in the park, swimming at a friend's house, home for Jess' nap and some book time, then making dinners and off to camp. Joshua comes with us and attends the tot care program which has games and crafts and Jess hangs out with my parents (thank you SO much mom and dad). My two sitters are on vacation this week so I've been struggling a bit to make arrangements. I'm also preparing for Jonas' birthday party on Thursday, his actual birthday on Friday, an art show on Sunday and dinner with the family for Jonas on Monday. It's a busy busy week around here my friends.