Sunday, November 11, 2018

Strict Order


Halloween

Thanksgiving

Christmas.

That is the natural order of things.

I am a purist and always have been. To fully appreciate the seasons, you must partake one at a time, and in the proper order. None of this skipping ahead for Christmas and neglecting the only holiday focused on gratitude. That is how I saw it even as a very small child, and I would fight for it, tooth and nail.

Which is why I am flabbergasted by this year. Even before Halloween was over, I was having inclinations to decorate for Christmas. Also, I have always loved Halloween. It has been my favorite holiday my whole life. I didn't even decorate for it this year. Don't get me wrong, I have had my fall decor up since August. Fall has the prettiest decorations of all. The colors and smells are just so homey and cozy. I typically put up Halloween on October 1st but this year I just didn't. I seem to have had a subtle paradigm shift. Halloween, while fun and delightfully spooky, is all about celebrating the darkness. And I don't need any lectures on the origins of the holiday because I am well aware of them. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is a favorite of mine, and it delves deep into all the roots and symbolism of Halloween. But any way you look at it, it is a celebration (or had slyly turned into one) of devils, witchcraft, and demons. Don't get me wrong, though. We still went trick or treating and fully enjoyed the day because I have kids and days Like that area made for kids. It's half the magic of childhood. Keith went as Sans, a skeleton guy from a video game he enjoys, Faye went as a hipster and she nailed it! Beth was Hermione from Harry Potter, Vince ended up being Spider Man, and Kip was an elephant, but he stayed home and helped pass out candy because I just didn't want to push a stroller and pull the dog on his leash. Taking the kids out was the perfect opportunity to walk the dog. But we didn't watch the usual movies of Hocus Pocus, Casper, etc. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with them, either. I own both and many others besides. It just didn't feel right to put so much focus and emphasis on the holiday that celebrates the opposite of what we want to achieve.

During General Conference in October the prophet asked us to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, paint special attention to every time the Savior is talked about our mentioned. It has been spectacular! I have noticed a huge shift in how often I think about Him now. I can't wait to get my Christmas decorations up because that will be such a beautiful visual reminder of the role of Christ and the hand of God in our lives. And that is where I want my family's focus. To be fiercely fixed on why we celebrate Christmas. I want to pull my nativities out and have them be the focal point of my living room. I want my home to be full of happy musical voices rejoicing in the birth of the Savior of the world.

(not my nativity, but super cute nonetheless!)

I find myself anxiously awaiting the first snow. Yes, I love to watch the snow fall and to see the world completely cocooned in the softness of winter snow, but it's more than that. The snow seems to be the harbinger for the season. And anyway, the snow would just match my mood and it seems to fit already. And so every day I check the weather, and every day I am disappointed but still hopeful that snow will come soon (and all people who are sleeping rough can have a warm dry place to stay) because I have a new roof and can't wait to welcome it's maiden voyage, so to speak.

Tomorrow the Christmas lights go up on the house and I am so excited!

Also, lest ye think I have turned hypocrite, we are going to have a Family Home Evening on gratitude, complete with a gratitude tree that we will add to every day.

I still value the order of holidays and not completely bypassing any of them, I have just finally seen the value in celebrating the birth of Jesus longer than just 25 days so fraught with greed and shopping and so many distractions that are unnecessary, that the actual reason for Christmas gets forgotten and Santa and the religion of consumerism reigns supreme.

Happy Holidays everyone! 🎄☃️✨

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Last Time Ever


Today I sat in Arcadia, rocking Kip to sleep and silently cried. He was nestled in my arms, one hand lightly holding the collar of my shirt, the other, limply hanging onto my lap. His breathing was steady and even, while mine was quick and jagged. You see, I had missed a last and not even realized it. Ordinarily that wouldn't bother me. Sending my kids to school never brought about the tears. Nor did haircuts, missing teeth, or anything else like that. Maybe when naps ended for some of my kids (Faye quit napping at 18 months which was far too early for my liking), but overall I'm not that sentimental. But today, with Kip, it was somehow different.

It's no secret that I suffer from migraines. My doctor was telling me about a recent discovery which is proving to be effective, in the medical world, but which I cannot take while breastfeeding or pregnant. I made an appointment with my doctor 3 weeks out (because that is the earliest he had available) and knew I would have to be done by then. In 3 weeks. Honestly, that seemed perfect to me. I would have 3 weeks to slowly wean my baby and I could enjoy and savor every single time with him. All of this happened last Thursday. Little did I know, by his choice, Sunday night would be my very last time breastfeeding my very last baby. And the tragedy is I slept through the whole thing.

Kip woke me up at 3:00, as per usual. I carried him into my room, laid down next to him, and he started to eat while I promptly fell asleep.

For the very last time.

And I didn't even realize it until today, which is Tuesday.

And now I sit, rocking my baby, crying like an actress for the missed moments I didn't realize were coming.

And then my dear friend Lisa sent me this, and I cried even more.

It's mind melting, how fast they grow up, how quickly they change. I'm not sure I'm ready to be out of the baby stage yet. I think if I had my way I would always have a baby on my hip, but my body is getting older and my other kids complain of lack of attention.

I'm just glad he still likes to cuddle to sleep.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Birthdays and Mountains


This past week was birthday week.

Keith's birthday was on Tuesday the 16th. For dinner he basically wanted Thanksgiving; fried chicken, tortellini, green beans, homemade rolls, and blueberry pie. Homemade, of course. It took all day in the kitchen, but I did it! And he was happy as could be. We have decided to not give our kids gifts anymore for their birthdays. They have too much stuff, and they don't appreciate what they have. Instead, we are doing experiences. For Keith, he really wants to go to a VR place where the whole building is a VR game. He has been watching it since he was 5, waiting for it to be built and to open, and it is finally up and running! We haven't done that yet, but hopefully we will be able to soon. We have had too many other things going on in the meantime (roof, car, etc). On Friday, however, he did have a LAN party with all of his cousins on Jeffrey's side of the family. They played for about 7 hours, and loved every second of it! Friday was also the day that the roofers started on our roof.


Saturday was quite possibly the most perfect day in the existence of days.


I turned 30 something. And I'm not being coy, I honestly don't remember off the top of my head, and don't feel like thinking about it too much. No one asked me so I haven't given it much thought until right now. Friday night, around 10:30 I called my mom and asked her if she could take the kids the next morning. I wanted to go to the temple, and Jeffrey wanted some time to take care of things around the house, which let's be real here, it's pretty hard to get anything done with 5 kids around. And so, I got to go to the temple. It was beautiful, and I learned all kinds of things, and I got to see a friend I haven't seen in a good 6 months!As I was leaving my house to get the kids to my parent's house, our roofers sang Happy Birthday to me. It was simply awkward and adorable! I got to the temple, had a lovely learning experience, and when I left I went to Denny's because free Grand Slam for your birthday, yo! The best part was sitting in quiet and eating at my own pace, not worried about other people, and not having to rush, or be distracted. Of course I had a book with me. I had hoped to eat a hot meal, but because of my book that didn't happen.


I got the kids from my parent's house and took them home. There, Jeffrey took the baby from my arms, gave me some money, and told me to go enjoy my afternoon.


Alone.

By myself.

! ! ! ! ! !

I grabbed a few things, jumped into the car, and headed to the mountains. Except as I drove, I realized that I would need a few things. I had my water bottle, but I wouldn't want to carry it the whole way. Also, I would need some snacks. On top of that, whenever I have hiked, as long as I have been hiking, I have always carried a Book of Mormon with me. I love to read when I am high in the mountains. Upon reaching my destination I have always found a quiet spot and pulled out my book and just swam in the words and atmosphere. They go together, you know, God's word and the mountain tops. So basically, I needed a bag for hiking supplies, so I stopped by the DI for a cheap bag. I love the DI. I found a never before used fanny pack! I had to get it. Jeffrey loves fanny packs and it made me laugh anyway. So with my new bum bag loaded with treats and my scriptures, giddy with excitement I headed to those beautiful foothills.

As I approached I got incredibly intimidated. I had planned to go home a canyon I have been dreaming about lately. It is a canyon I know well. I used to hike it nearly every weekend when I was a teenager and I love that place! But it isn't an easy hike, and I am well out of shape. At the last minute I decided to go to the much easier canyon right next to my favorite. It also has many memories associated. We would have bonfires there when I was a teen. You could look over the valley, see the stars, and enjoy the crackle, beauty, and warmth of the fire and dear friends. This was the place I had learned the magic of roasted twinkies and Starbursts. As a youth, those things somehow seemed to be good. There was a stream we'd walk along or dip our feet into, which had an amazing rope swing someone had attached above it that was the most exhilarating thing ever! That place was magical, but it is completely different now. A parking lot now stands on the lookout where we would build our bonfires. The trail down to the stream has been fenced off, and a trail that connects to the Bonneville Shoreline trail runs through. This is also the place where Jeffrey proposed to me, so while not my favorite canyon, it still holds a very special place in my heart.

And it's much easier.

Even so, I am so much out of shape or was a difficult walk for me. I hate to admit that but it's the truth. The trail wasn't crowded, though, and it was a perfect 65 degrees to go hiking. There was a mysterious spiced apple smell floating on the air, and with every step my heart soared a little higher and my heart was a little freer. I found a deer trail and followed it up for a space and sat down to read and think. I wish i could have mountain time more often. I really miss it and benefit from it. Everything was beautiful and perfect!

After the mountains I talked with my dear friend Melissa. We decided a while back we must have been twins in another life. I love her dearly and really wanted to talk with her on that special day. She lives in Oklahoma so seeing her was a bit out of the question. However, after calling Adrienne about 5 times, I finally mentioned it was my birthday and I would love to spend time with her. We don't see each other often anymore, and we only live 7 minutes apart, which is inexcusable! It was decided I would go down to the City with her to pick up her sister. We decided en route that we would also go to an Indian restaurant while there. The food was fantastic! The company was even better. I'm so glad Adrienne and I found each other again. Seriously, BFF material and I feel sorry for everyone who doesn't know her.

It was the most perfect day I can remember.

Sunday we had birthday dinner at my parent's house. My dad's birthday was the following Monday. My siblings and I all pitched in and got him a new set of scriptures. His previous set had been well loved and used and were dealing apart.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Catch Up.. Forever Long Post


"...through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year..."
This phrase has been in my mind for the past few weeks. Because this is how life goes. the days are so long sometimes, and the weeks just skip by, and lets not even talk about the light speed travel of the years!

Did you know Kip turned 1? I completely missed documenting his birthday on this here little blog of memories of mine.
Why did I miss it? Well, he is an angel, and sweet, and wonderful, and by far my hardest baby. And by that I mean he is still not sleeping through the night much. And so this whole year has been a sort of bleary eye, sleep deprived haze.
I have missed so many details, because I have been a mombie for the past year. And don't let this confession color your opinion of that little boy, because although he is the child who sleeps the least, of all my children, he is the happiest baby I have ever had.

Just not when it comes to sleep.

And when he isn't sleeping, he isn't screaming or fighting, he is wide awake and wanting to play. He has energy and can't figure out why on earth everyone else is sleeping because the moon is up, yo! There is plenty of light to play by.

And so, let me tell you about Kip's birthday. Nearly a month past.
Kip's birthday was on a Sunday and so of course we planned to celebrate it on a Saturday. I piled the kids and the dog in the van, and we set out to the mountains. There is a magnificent trail next to a reservoir that we wanted to explore. The air was heavy with smoke, and we also wanted to get away from the noxious fumes. I was having a hard time breathing, and so I'm sure the baby was, as well. And so we headed away from the smoke. Except we had been on the road for all of 10 minutes when Kip threw up, effectively changing our plans.

Of course, he wasn't actually sick. There was no more throwing up the rest of that day. Just the one fluke time as we were traveling, and just enough to force our plans to change. I don't remember much else about that day. Keith and I did go to the store and got supplies to watch the BYU football game. They won, I think. I can't remember. But it is always fun watching the game with Keith. Vince enjoys joining us, and it is a great bonding activity I can do with my boys.

I baked a cake for him. It wasn't anything great. I was tired, so he got a minimal effort cake. But he wouldn't care. It's cake! Vince really enjoyed it.
He dug into the middle of it while it was cooling, so I had to fix it somehow. Again though, it is cake.
People liked it. We didn't bother with ice cream as Kip was still having a bit of a reaction to dairy.

Later that week I did end up going up to that mountain spot by the reservoir. I brought along the kids I watch, and we took a few minutes to explore. It was beautiful, but children didn't have shoes on, so we couldn't actually hike it. I am so glad I got up there, though. My soul really needed it!

My front door is red. Or was. Do you remember when red front doors and red accent walls was all the rage? Well, this house got swept up in that fad, and my tiny kitchen was painted in red and black, thus making it even more tiny! And the front door, door jamb, and rail were all painted a deep rust red color. Which would look stunning with the right kind of brick. But my house has brown trim and brown brick, so it all just sort of blended together into a dark mass of blah. I have been wanting to paint it for what seems like forever now, but I have never gotten around to it because, Hi. I kept having babies. A few weeks ago, though, I decided I had had enough, and I was going to make a change. So just like my kitchen wall that went from red to buttercream yellow, my front door has gone from rust to a soft yellow. But let me tell you, yellow is the color that suited it the most. The brown brick has flecks of cream in it, and the yellow door really makes the cream flecks pop, the brightening the whole front of the house. The door jamb is currently grey as that is the color of the primer I had to use in order to cover that heinous red. I haven't painted it white yet because I don't have the white. But I put primer on the rail, so it is a sort of grey, and the door is yellow, and the doorjamb grey, and it just looks lovely. It is going to be incredible when I finish it. I am so excited!

Talking about fixing things on our house... well, the roof has gone far too long without being replaced. We kept having expenses come up (again with the babies!) and so never got around to it. I mean, in the 5 years we have lived here, we have had 3 pregnancies, and there have been 3 babies! Beth was only 6 months when we moved in, then a miscarriage, then Vince, and then Kip. So we've been busy. Ha! Get your mind out of the gutter. Babies are a lot of work! And pregnancy for me is really rough. Anyway, we knew we needed to get the roof fixed, but this past storm 2 nights ago made it imperative. I love rain, just not when it is coming into my kitchen through the ceiling. On the plus side, we are going to go from a dark brown roof (why oh why was dark brown such a popular color in the 70's?!?) to light grey. We are going to get white soffit, white rain gutters, and I may be mistaken, but I believe the trim is even going to be painted white! So the whole top of the house is going to be going under a lovely transformation. As well as the back of the house! We have some gorgeous bushes that have been homes to hundreds of birds. I love hearing them sing, and seeing them fluttering by. However, the bushes have grown so large, they sort of took over the back yard, and made it nearly impossible for the kids to have space to play back there. Not to mention the Virginia Creeper which has been slowly and systematically choking out our bushes. So instead of having a gorgeous orange leafy fence right now, I have ffirey red vines, dark purple berries, and dead black branches from the bushes that the Creeper has smothered. Oh, and our sprinklers in the back have been broken, so they haven't been watered much, anyway. And so we are going to be tearing all of that out this weekend. It's going to be practically like getting a new house!

Let's see, what else? Oh, On October 1st we had our annual celebration.
I love the month of October. I love the smells, I love the colors, and I love the cooling of the air. The sweater weather. It makes me so happy to look out my window and see so many colors against the black road. I love the air, and that golden glow that the sun casts on everything. I wish it could be October 6 months of the year. With 3 months of winter and 3 months of summer, and the rest, October. I had to laugh, though. I took some pictures of the table before the kids descended upon it, and then when they saw the pictures the next day they said they wished we could have a table like that.
We watched Daffy Duck and the Quackbusters, and then later I watched The Lonesome Ghosts with the little kids. I love snuggling on my bed and sharing shows from my childhood with them. I love the giggles, and the coziness of the blankets pulled up over us. I made a delicious cranberry cider that only I liked. But it was a beautiful deep red garnet liquid and was simoly lovely and satisfying to just look at.

I got sick last week. The flu. Not fun. But it didn't last too long, and I was happily well by Conference. I love General Conference! It is one of the best times of the year. Just another reason October is the best. But then Beth got the flu. She has had it since last Friday, and today is Thursday. Happily, she will be going to school tomorrow because she is feeling a lot better. Finally!
I feel bad that she missed a whole week of school if you count last Friday. But she was pretty darn sick. However! I have to say, snuggling in bed with that spunky little girl was just lovely. The rain was pouring down, and the sky was flinching grey, and Beth, Vince, Kip, and I got to cozy up during the storm. Little moments like that make me happy.

Sunday in between the sessions of General Conference I took Onyx and we went for a walk in the Hollow.

Solitary wilderness just might be my favorite thing in the whole wide world. What I mean by that is being alone in nature is just magic. It fills me up like nothing on this earth can do otherwise. Just being alone with my thoughts and the wild, the wind frisking by, tugging at my clothes, and making me feel like a child again.
And then the whole being alone bit. I didn't used to like that, I thought, but having kids and always having someone with me, and never having a moment to myself sure changes a girl. I love to just go. I take a notebook and one of my pocket books of poems. Right now my favorite is the leather Emily Dickinson one that Jeffrey gave me. I wander, and I read, and I write, and I think. I think that is the time when I am mostly me. I am a nature girl at heart. The city is full of fascinating bohemian dreams for me, but my heart is rooted deeply in the wilderness, far from cars, and airplanes, and bustling people.

And so, I went to the Hollow. We wandered, and I actually went much further than I had anticipated. We went down to the water's edge, and I sat on the shore, watching the hypnotic rhythm of the waves, the mesmerizing lapping of the water on the shore, and the never ending ripples that danced across the water. Onyx was impatient and didn't want to let me just sit and ponder. We got up and headed back after he got a good long drink, just beating the rain that the clouds had been holding back. What a tender mercy that was! I listened to the last session of General Conference while I trekked back down the trail and to my van. I love modern technology. I love that I didn't have to miss anything while I was out being emotionally filled.

Whew!

I think that about sums up my past month or so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Michael Stipe Served Us

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Today is my dear friend Lisa's birthday. However, due to a chaotic week, she decided to cancel her birthday.

As if one could simply cancel the celebration of oneself by others. Especially if it is someone who is constantly serving and helping all those around her.

I messaged her earlier this week and asked her if she wanted to go out for lunch today. Sans children. See, we used to go out for dinner all the time before the babies were born. Her little girl is a few months older than Kip, and so we got to suffer through pregnancies together. And so, for old time's sake, I asked her if she wanted to go out today. Cleverly forgetting that it was her birthday. Of course, she saw through my ploy, but consented to join me anyway.

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We went to Olive Garden. Italian is her comfort food. When she got in the van I gave her some flowers the kids and I had picked up from the grocery store. Not because it was her birthday. She cancelled her birthday. Just because they looked like they needed a good home, and she would probably appreciate them.

Our server at OG was fantastic! His name is Tad and he was prompt, friendly, and looked just like Michael Stipe, the lead singer of REM.

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It was so nice to be able to actually converse instead of worrying about the babies. When we go out to eat now, it is usually to a place that has a play place, and interrupted by little people begging for help, or crying because of some arbitrary reason or another, and even smaller people who want food, but they want all of it even though their teeth aren't grown in yet, and who spill chocolate milk all over the floor, themselves, and us. Tad asked if we were out to eat for any special reason, and Lisa admitted that it is her birthday today, but begged to not be sung to. Tad confessed that he used to sing really loud and operatic once upon a time, but would be too embarrassed now. I secretly think he really is Michael Stipe doing a side gig for some movie he is going to star in or something like that. The resemblance is uncanny! However, the whole time we were there I kept looking at him, thinking he reminded me of someone, but couldn't figure out who it was. It wasn't until I had left that I realized it was actually Michael Stipe. We talked about it, but apparently no one has ever called him on his secret identity before. I realized who he looked like as I was driving home, and I may have called the restaurant and had them pass on the message that Tad is a doppelganger.

I "found" a new journal and pretty bracelet in my purse that I gave to Lisa. I mean, not as a birthday gift. She cancelled her birthday, remember? Not as a birthday gift but just because I had no use for them and they happened to be floating around in my purse at that moment. I sure love that lady!

We got back to our respective homes, and I finished up Arcadia. I am so happy with it! Of course, when I paint, and get a rug and some curtains, it will be absolutely divine. For now, it is just blissful and very hyggelig.

The big reveal! Unfortunately, I am impatient, and I don't want to wait until tomorrow for better lighting. It was really quite nice to listen to my audio book while cleaning.

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The book is Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. I am so excited to "read" this book! It is the book I chose for book club this month, and it makes me so happy. The movie is one of my favorites, and I can only imagine the book is infinitely more so. Apparently, I have a love for British literature as this is the second book based in England I have chosen, in a row. Anglophile, I believe it is called.

I am happy to get my space tidied and organized.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Door and Hair Locks

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Something about today was just... right. I don't know what it was. Actually, on second thought, yes I do. I woke up this morning around 5:30 to feed Kip. After he fell back asleep I did some fervent praying that he would be able to stay asleep so I could get my scripture reading done. I had been trying to read while I nursed him in the night, but I kept falling asleep. I just couldn't keep my eyes open at 2 in the morning. Weird, right? And so when he fell back asleep I prayed the whole way back to his room. "Please let him stay asleep. Please let him stay asleep. Please let him stay asleep! I really want to read my scriptures and have a morning devotional today!" 

And guess what? It actually worked! It was lovely! I got up, grabbed my slippers, let Onyx out, and then sat down with my journal, scriptures, and pencils. I studied in Alma 4 today, about the people of the ancient church. I love scripture study! I love that I was able to make time for it today. I even got a shower in! I finished studying at about 7:15 and was able to shower before Kip woke up. Miracle of miracles! 

After I dropped the kids off at school, we made a run to the hardware store and I got a new doorknob for Astoria. See, forever ago, when we were new in this house, this door functioned like a normal door with a lock, where the locking part was on the inside. And when Beth was about 2, she locked the door with herself on the inside. And this door did not have a key that came with it. It was installed without the keys when we moved in. I had absolutely no way of getting in to her. I called Jeffrey in a panic and explained to him that she had been in there alone for about 10 minutes. Thus far she was happy, but I didn't know how long she would stay happy, and I didn't know how to get to her. He came home from work. He grabbed a hammer from his tool box, and did a perfect reprisal of Jack Nicholson's Shining. I think. I've never actually seen the movie, but I have an imagination. Beth was happily playing when we got through, and didn't even seem to be bothered by the hammer bashing a hole into her door. I was very impressed! And so, my door had both a large hole in it, and a doorknob where the kids could lock me in here, because we simply turned the doorknob around. So no one would be able to be locked in accidentally. Except we hadn't counted on Vince. That kid is funny and mischievous, and clever. He actually nearly locked me in my Astoria from the hallway the other day, and so I knew, something had to be done. And so, long story coming to an end, I bought a new doorknob from the hardware store today. 

Kip was a doll, "helping" me as I removed the one knob and attempted to install the new knob. Of course, I ran into some snags and Adrienne came to my rescue and fixed it. Of course. Like she always does. I am happy to report, though, I have a shiny new doorknob on my door, with a lock, and a few keys hidden throughout the house. Just in case.

I was babysitting again today. Those kids are just the cutest. I honestly have to say, for the most part, adding 3 extra kids into the mix isn't all that bad. They are really sweet little ones. We had a bit of a scare with the girl, though. She told me she lost her glasses at school on the playground. I had horrible visions of sand scratching the lenses and kids stepping on the frames. I called the school, and they hadn't seen any. I had them patch me through to the kindergarten teacher, and she hadn't seen them, either. I let her go look at the playground, except it was lunch recess for the other kids. I don't know how thoroughly she looked. She wasn't gone long, and when she came back she told me she just had to do the monkey bars, "real quick!" I sighed, and we gave up and headed for home. When we were about a block away from my house she announced that they were actually in her back pack. Whew!

I had to run to the store to get a prescription for Kip, and while there we did a bit of grocery shopping. It was sort of fun to have 5 kids, 5 and under at the store. There were a lot of looks, smiles, and a couple of "Wow!"s as I passed people. I had to laugh. And I was in the zen! It was a moment of complete and utter tranquility. Even with the 4 kids fighting over who got to sit where, and Vince constantly trying to run away from me. It wasn't all that hard, contrary to what the passers by were saying and thinking. 

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Speaking of Adrienne, After school and naps we went over to her house and she preformed miracles on my boys and their hair. Keith is ridiculously attached to his hair. It is a huge part of his identity. As we were driving there, he kept saying mournfully, "This is the death of Keith. So long, Keith. From here on out, I will be a different person." But I was incredibly impressed with Adrienne. There were no tears, which is what has become customary with Keith and his haircuts. Well, that isn't completely true. There were some tears of laughter, so that was good. But man oh man, what a handsome kid that is!

He went from shaggy 
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to shnazzy! And those eyes! Hold my purse while I do a little swoon over here, will ya?

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Vince also got his hair cut. It wasn't nearly as traumatic, and he was funny the whole time. That kid just cracks me up. Over and over and forever, he is the funniest little guy ever! Keith said his hair looked a lot like Gildory Lockheart before it got cut. I forgot to snap an after picture, but really, wouldn't it just be better to end on this heart melting smile?

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Happy Tuesday!


Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurrah for Arcadia!

I have to say, having my own quiet space, on the main floor of my house, is probably the best idea I have ever had. I wanted to find a name for it that I loved and that spoke to me. I wanted to find a word that described this space of mine. Honestly, I sort of hate Mom Cave. I thought back to all my Victorian era books, looking for that word that I just knew existed. Sitting room? No, that implies I would entertain in that space. This is my own Appledore, except physical. My Sanctum Sanctorum. But both of those are very manly places, and I am looking more for something that suits me. I did a google search for "private room for a woman" and boudoir came up. I was surprised! The exact definition of what I was looking for was the word boudoir. Except that word also has other, ahem, meanings attached to it, and my room most certainly is not a place for hanky panky. Bower was another word that seemed to be perfect, but again, it didn't ring to me. Possibly because I kept thinking of an outdoor bowery, and Bowser from Super Mario Bros. My room is not going to be called Bowser, because knowing my husband and children, that is exactly what would happen. 

And so I messaged a few word nerd friends, and together we discovered the perfect word for my room. Arcadia!

Arcadia is a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet. Which describes my room exactly! I don't have to tell my kids to put something away in the "Mom Cave," "my office," or any other such nonsense. None of those words describe this area. But Arcadia is perfect! The only hang up is I keep wanting to call it Astoria, and the song So Long, Astoria by the Ataris keeps getting stuck in my head, but I'm not too concerned. I am hoping that Arcadia, my room, will be a place full of simple pleasure and quiet. Emphasis on quiet. I have already begun to log away hours simply reading in here. I miss reading. I haven't had a quiet place to curl up in and just let the words wash over me, drowning me in the story, for such a long time! Today I was able to steal away in here a few times over. I am still not finished cleaning it. I really haven't had much time to do that at all. I was babysitting today, and will be again tomorrow, except for much longer. But the potential of this room is breathtaking. I have arranged my reading chair so that it looks out the window towards the west sky, giving me a perfect view of sunsets. There is a book case to the left of it, small and perfectly situated to rest a mug on top of it for those cold wintry days I am actually excited for. To sit and watch the snow fall while sipping cocoa and reading a book... I'm most likely just dreaming here. I mean, I do have 5 kids, and I watch 3 more a few times every week. When I'm not babysitting I am trying to get caught up on the house and other things that I have let fall to the side. But a girl can dream, can't she? 

Which makes me laugh. Today while I was cleaning up the living room I remember thinking, "one day I will put my decorations in their spot, and they will actually stay there! Won't that be an exciting day!" But as I understand it, there is always a trade off. I hear of grandmothers who miss the sticky hand prints and muddy feet, and don't clean them up when their grandkids come to visit. They would be in heaven in my fingerprinted, muddy footprints, and juice always all over the floor kind of house. 

It has been a busy day today, just trying to get caught up. The house still looks like it was raided by inconsiderate museum curators who just wanted to see where everything was, and pull it all out and display it on the floor. Everything is disheveled and all over the place and may take me a week or two to set aright again. But here's the funny thing. I don't really mind all that much. It must be from the magic of Arcadia. Because I know, no matter how crazy it gets out there, I have a peaceful and quiet place here where I can escape momentarily.

To Arcadia!
glasses are raised and I wipe a small tear from the corner of my eye.

P.S. Pictures are forthcoming. I just need to finish cleaning first.