One of my favorite holidays of the year is upon us. Today is for spending a little extra time with my children. Playing games and laughing from the bottom of my tummy. Today is for eating treats, baking cupcakes and maybe even decorating cookies too. Today is for making something spooky, painting pumpkins and reading a good mystery.
Today we'll stay inside, away from this dreary rain, we'll listen to music and dance around the house. And while we party and giggle, we'll be thinking of those who are not as fortunate. Those who have been affected by the storm and who will not be celebrating today. They are in our thoughts and prayers.
Halloween is a time of disguise, a time for tricks and treats, parties, candy and loud music. Friday night we indulged in all of this, and boy did we enjoy ourselves. In keeping with the tradition, we attended our annual children's Halloween party. I can remember back to when Jonas was just three months old and I carried him around in my arms. My little lobster.
Then there was the year Joshua was born. When I needed family to help because my Joshua was so colicky and fussy. That first year I rocked and nursed him in the mother's room to help calm his mood, and Jonas, my dinosaur, pulled Nana to every corner of the room. Joshua had recently been diagnosed with a mild to moderate hearing loss and was very sensitive to sound. The loud music was just a bit too much for his little ears.
And then came Jessica. She was just two weeks old and I can remember how full my hands felt with a newborn and two small children. We felt lost in a sea of people. Joshua stuck to the dance floor, Jonas wanting to run to each room for the various activities, and myself wishing Jon could be there to help. Let's just say baby carriers can be a mother's best friend.
And now this year my children seem so independent. Jonas off running around on his own, Joshua still stuck to the dance floor and my Jessica right by his side. Those two have a special bond that I will never fully understand, but when I see them together my heart smiles.
They danced the night away. The party ended and they continued to dance on. It was a late night for us, I gave up on that little thing called bedtime. I don't do that often, but sometimes it feels good to let go. To embrace the moment.
You can see last year's party here,
One of my favorite weekends is upon us. A time when fall is in her prime. When the few leaves that remain on trees are hues of yellows and oranges. A time when cinnamon and spice fill the warmth of your house and every corner you turn there are always pumpkins lurking. I just love this time of the year.
Our weekend is full of festive activities. A huge, loud, and extremely fun Halloween party tonight for the kids and myself. Tomorrow is our first morning of no soccer so it's sleeping in and pumpkin pancakes, and perhaps pumpkin donuts too. Just because it sounds so tasty. Tomorrow afternoon brings a birthday party and then a lobster clam bake. Sunday is trick or treat and dinner with family.
I'm hoping to get a couple posts done this weekend too, I have some catching up to do around this little space of mine. I also have a few other side projects I am working on that will keep me busy and creative. I'm hoping to have some positive change come my way. A new path, a new direction. Time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend, find a moment to relax and, if you choose, enjoy some candy.
Did you know that I don't even like candy? Chances are you will never see me eat it, unless it's a piece of dark chocolate. Then, maybe. Definitely.
We need to embrace and cherish the time we have. The time with family, friends, and even the time we have to ourselves. We don't have many nights with Jon to ourselves so we make sure they count. Our Monday nights have turned into our family night outing. Josh has acting class in the evening and then we all go out to dinner. A simple outing, yet something we look forward to each week. I love this time with my family, these moments my husband and I share with our little ones. I'm already looking forward to our next one.
Once again, another week has slipped between my fingers and I haven't been around much. Between a house full of sick family members, homework, housework, Halloween parties, meetings and more I have not been able to have much time for anything else. I wish I could say I have nothing this weekend and I could get all caught up. That never seems to be the case these days. More Halloween parties, birthday parties, family dinners and Trick or Treat. Busy, but good.
At some point during this weekend I will find a moment of silence to my self. I will indulge in this moment and absorb every second of it.
we walked in silence
as a family
listening to the open woods
and the music she made.
we walked down paths
over fallen trees
and under branches
leaving subtle sounds
behind with footsteps.
we walked so far
children had to be carried
on backs and in our arms;
along the way we found
a walking stick to help
carry the weight
of our journey.
our journey was a hike
a family outing
an adventure that turned
into a forest of animals
to a mountain
waiting to be climbed
to a sea of serpents
that slithered on forest floor.
our journey was imagination
becoming lost with a child
allowing them to hold your hand
and take you anywhere.
for this, i am blessed
because every day is a journey
with my children.
**Yes, Joshua truly was that tired! And yes, Jon and I pretty much carried him the entire hike. His eyes look so sad here, but trust me there is not an inch of sadness in that child. He spends so much energy singing and dancing all day long that by dinner he is beat. Our hike started a little later than planned so he was extra tired this evening.
I'm not really a fan of football. It's just one of those sports I never could get into, yet I can't turn down an opportuntiy to go to a game. Last sunday my sister and her husband invited us to go to a Browns game with them and I was more than thrilled. To honest, I was more excited to hit up a good restaurant and chat with my sister who I don't get to see that often, even though she lives up the street.
Before the game we ate at Johhny Mango, a quaint restaurant with a cuban, vegan gluten free flare. Basically, right up my alley. Nothing beats good food and bloody marys before a game.
Then it was off to the stadium. I have to admit, I felt in the minority since I wasn't wearing any Browns attire, which that then turned into the joke of the day. In fact, I don't think I own a single article of clothing that is affiliated with sports, but I can tell you I have an entire drawer full of Grateful Dead and Phish T-shirts :)
The game was great, the Browns actually won, and hanging out with my sister and brother in law was even better. Thank you so much for taking us with you! It was exactly what I needed to prepare myself for the Superbowl. That's right folks, Jon and I will be attending the Superbowl in February 2013!! Awhile back I mentioned that Bender's Tavern (our restaurant) won the Taste of the NFL. Well, that means we get to attend the SuperBowl and prepare the winning dish, seared scallops in a sun dried tomato beur blanc. Yes, we will be working and I'm sure we'll be working hard, but we also will be attending the game and I will definitely be checking out the city since I've never been to New Orleans!
There are leaves that dance across my window. I can see them floating in the park. Crimson reds, golden yellows. I love watching the park while I sip my morning coffee. Eyes awakening for the day, enjoying the silence. The still air.
Every year it is tradition to visit the pumpkin patch. We've already been twice this fall. I helped Jonas on his school field trip, an outing every mother should attend at least once. I hope I can make them all. To see the smile on his face as my car pulled up. To watch him reach for my hand as we walked in the field. To know that he asked to sit by me on the hay ride instead of his friends.
My little Jonas and I have a special bond. Even thought I sigh and sometimes fuss that I don't have time to lay with him every night, after baths and plenty of books then talks in bed, I truly do cherish that time. Because one day he won't want his mommy to lay in bed and hold his hand, to rub his back. And on that day I'll be so sad.
Tonight I was sick in bed, and I bet you can guess who was there to hold my had and rub my back. My sweet Jonas is such a gentle soul, a kind person and an amazing son. I have so much love for my children it sometimes hurts, have you ever had that feeling?
We managed to sneak away for two days full of a water park adventure. Well, for Jon it was also a bit of work because the real reason we went was for a food show. But it was a bonus that family could attend to enjoy the activities.
And you know what, who would have guessed that this grown woman is not a fan of water parks. Not only do they invoke my phobia of germs but they made me realize that I do not like enclosed rides, fast rides and especially rides that you have to go face first. Somehow my boys, thank you Jon, managed to get me on two rides. Both of which were enclosed in a tube and one that you had to lay on a mat and go face first down a scary dark tunnel.
No thank you.
I can now say I experienced that "jello leg" feeling as I exited the rides. My white face must have sent a message to the children because they seemed to find humor in my fear. I smiled, I laughed along, but I'm not going to lie, inside I prayed I wouldn't have to go on another ride.
Except the lazy river.
That ride I enjoyed.
This week has been hectic and crazy so make sure to bare with me and stick around. Yesterday was one of those days when I just couldn't catch my breath. I constantly felt like I was drowning. I could see the surface, I could see the rays of light but I could not manage to pull myself out of the water. Today is better, but today is busy. Once I catch up I will be back on a regular basis.
Also, some changes are coming to the blog so please don't mind the mess. It takes me awhile to figure things out ;)
Now that Jessica is two and another season is upon us it's time to fill her closet with a new wardrobe. The only trick here is that I need to fill it on a budget. So that means lots of thrifting and homemade projects. I purchased some solid color pants (leggings) from Target and immediately had this project in mind. It's easy, fun and fits into any budget!
a couple potatoes
exacto knife or paring knife
solid color leggings, pants or a shirt
This is honestly the easiest do it yourself project! I use potatoes all the time for stamping because I almost always have them on hand and it saves money.
// Begin by cutting your potato in half and placing cut side down on paper towels. Leave it like this for about 15 minutes to drain any water.
// Use your knife to cut desired shape into the potato. This may take a little practice. You can use the exacto knife to "clean" it up a bit.
// Paint on the fabric paint and make a couple stamps on scrap paper to make sure you like the shape and you have the feel for the stamp. When you are ready stamp away on the clothing.
Let me know if you try this out, and if you make a post about it please link below in comments. I would love to see your projects! You can let your imagination run wild with fabric paint. When the boys were little I let them paint their own t-shirts all the time. We used brushes, fruits and veggies, race cars, leaves, blocks you name it!
As predicted, it was a great anniversary date. Dinner at Basil was amazing. You can't go wrong with tuna rolls and Peking Duck, followed by a homemade soup made with duck broth and vegetables.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ingrid Michaelson, her music and her sense of humor. I wasn't familiar with her, well except maybe that one song everyone knows, but I'll certainly be adding her to my itunes list. And, the opening band was great! I highly recommend checking out Sugar and the Hi Lows.
The only downfall of the evening was the cold that seemed to hit me mid show. I think the kid's colds and sicknesses have finally caught up with me, and I'm sure my exhaustion doesn't help. You know, that exhaustion where you could jump in bed and sleep for days but when in reality you hope for just six hours of good sleep. My body is telling me to rest and take it easy. And that's what I'm doing tonight. Movie night with the kids and pizza, and I'm not even going to go out of my way to get gluten free pizza. That's right. This will be a big test for my body, but I'm so tired I don't even care. After our movie it's straight to bed for everyone. I'm hoping to rise rested and ready to go for our soccer morning. Tomorrow night we are off to the Wilderness Center for the Enchanted Forest and Sunday we head to Cleveland for the Browns game.
Sometimes I miss those weekends when you had nothing to do but lay around with a good book. I'm looking forward to all our events, but I'm hoping I get the rest I need to carry me to Sunday. I think a hot bath and green tea before I hop into bed may help. Happy Weekend friends!
Today is going to be a great day. I can feel it in my bones. Today we celebrate nine years of marriage. Do you ever wonder how time can pass before you in the blink of an eye? How it seems like yesterday I was just walking down the isle to meet my love, and today we are running around our house with three children? We have school, music class, soccer, lego club, acting. I never envisioned all this in my life, yet my life would be incomplete without these events.
My life is my husband and children. And I wouldn't want it any other way. This is the life I have always dreamed about, even if at times I didn't know it. So thank you Jon for completing my life. I love you with my heart and soul, to the moon and back.
You can see last year's anniversary here. I forgot we saw STS9 on our anniversary. This year we're going to see Ingrid Michaelson. I don't really listen to her music, but we're always in for live music and she's playing right here in our little downtown.
Have you ever met a child who captivates your soul
who holds your heart and runs into the wind
who reaches for your hand and suddenly nothing else matters.
Have you ever met a child who whispers secrets in your ear
words you cannot understand, but surely they mean love
because what else could that sweet innocent voice say
I once met a child whose eyes I became lost in
I wandered and lurked
Searched and strayed
and yet I felt home.
with this child of mine
whose hand I grasped
and secrets I stole
to tuck away
far in my heart.
► ► ► ► ►
On Sunday we celebrated Jessica's second birthday. A small gathering with family and a few friends. It was a cool autumn day, a perfect day for braised short ribs, mashed potatoes, a pear walnut salad and, of course, dessert. Vanilla cake (gluten free, dairy free) and spiced muffins.
Every day I learn more and more of what my children need. Of what they need from me, as a parent, from this world, from grandparents, friends, siblings, aunts and uncles. It is truly amazing how parenthood will change you. Because I have children I am a better person. I'm not a better person for myself, but for my children. I need to eat healthy, exercise and educate myself for them. I need to volunteer in the community and help those in need for them (and for the good of our community of course).
I have learned that birthday's are not about the gifts, they are not about the gatherings, they are about my children. Their happiness. And I will do whatever I can as a parent to make them happy. I will shelter them with positive energy. Positive people. What they need is for me to take their hand, listen, ask them what they want to do, to get on the ground and play, to get my hands dirty. To run around wild and free. What my children need are me.
Because one day, down the road, I will be old. My life will be different, and I don't want to sit on regrets. I want to know that I gave my children everything I could possibly give them, and they aren't items that can be wrapped in a box or purchased.
Love, attention, happiness, laughter.
Those are my gifts to my children.
I made feathers that the kids could decorate out of newspaper and wire and then wrapped the stem in colored tape.
The inspiration was found here.
I made Jess' headband.
Her outfit is from the Gap
Her beautiful silver and turquoise cross necklace was a gift from my uncle.
And no, Jon's shirt doesn't have stains on it. He was a good man doing the dishes!