Saturday, August 30, 2014

August night

I watched the sun go down from the backyard of a good friend on Friday night.
I was grateful to be invited, and glad to share the view from her corner of the world.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Day: School 2014-2015

179 days to go.

First day: Seminary

First day of seminary and we're already taking field trips.
I took my (only) student for a celebratory doughnut run.
After I took attendance, of course.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Family. The good stuff.

 There was already a bond here... our relationships haven't changed; we are strong women of a strong family.
Now the bond is ETERNAL.
Tina's sealing day: August 16, 2014
Boston, Massachusetts Temple
 Families are Forever.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Singing with Joe

Joe came to primary today.
He was the best singer in the house.
(Do I usually scowl while playing piano? I did not know. I prefer to think of it as intense concentration.)

Friday, August 15, 2014

a few things

1. These two nine-year-old boys spent the afternoon together. Watching them stroll around so busy chatting with each other that they weren't even able to focus on an activity was priceless. They talked more (and with more enthusiasm) than two long lost sisters reunited after years apart. They share the same name. They're like a two-for-one special. Entertainment at its best.
2. While those two were catching up, I finished every last piece of dirty girls camp/vacation/work laundry that has been piled up ominously in the laundry room for too long. I also painted M's bedroom floor. It looks much better, and since I estimate that it will be in the queue for new flooring for more than a month or two, I'm much happier looking at paint than at plywood.
3. We almost went to the beach today. I'm glad we didn't. We needed a day at home to just BE. And I caught THIS happening:

4. I made a big pot of beans. Simple dinners make me happy.
 5. For dessert, we hit Kimball's. Everyone else had ice cream. I had myself a big scoop of Lincoln with a cherry on top. DEE-LICIOUS!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

re: the squash; it's in the genes

OH! The produce.
I love it.
Really. Gardening makes me HAPPY.
But I do get overwhelmed at the way it just comes ALL.AT.ONCE.
Today AGAIN, I picked almost two dozen cucumbers and a few more squash; didn't even glance at the tomatoes and beans, because, well, it was raining, and I had a big pot of vegetable soup simmering on the stove top. What was I going to do with more veggies?  I mentioned the yellow/summer squash in a previous post...  I ended up bringing it to my parents' house.  They have mass produce problems of their own.  I woke up to this email from my mom yesterday morning:
She means business when it comes to sharing the garden goods. Mom's my emergency contact.
Now you see why.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Airboat Rides -

NOBODY regretted making air-boat rides a priority on our Florida trip.  Seeing alligators in their natural environment and experiencing this beautiful part of Florida's ecosystem was a definite highlight.

Monday, August 11, 2014


This morning I put on a skirt and some earrings and went calm and ladylike about my business. Mondays are typically harder than other days, and Mondays after a 10-day vacation when you've been driving for 22 long hours to get home to piles of dirty laundry and needs that must be met by the great and intricate web of family connected to your center are EXHAUSTING. Add in previously scheduled commitments and you've got yourself a prescription for combustion right there. 
Good news: I did not combust. 
(disclaimer: I know that combust is not a word. I don't claim to be an etymologist.)
Here's what I DID do:
-delivered tired 15-year-old to day one of band camp
-delivered equally tired 13-year-old to soccer practice
-tripped to the grocery store and escaped for less than $150
-put the groceries away
-picked up soccer player
-took nine-year-old along to collect 49 marching band uniforms from the dry cleaner
-unloaded 98 hangers-full of marching band parts into the High School band room closets
-felt grateful for a nine-year-old with muscles AND endurance
-returned home to make a few lunches and get shoo husband and oldest daughter off to Scout camp for the week
-spattered some encouragement in the general direction of the 21-year-old who was painting in a bedroom
-facilitated a trip to visit cousins in Northboro, and enlisted same painting son to drive nine-year-old to the meeting point
-had the thought that tomorrow will be MY turn to visit Northboro
-enlisted 13-year-old daughter to join me for my chaperone duties at band camp from 2-4 pm
-pulled the uniform closet at the HS together (this involved lots of pieces and parts of uniforms that needed to be put back together, and then hanging them in numerical order in a hot and sweaty classroom)
-threw my hands up in the air when my commitment to band uniforms was DONE for another year (Whoop!!!)
-brought the sweaty teens home and mustered up the oomph to make dinner: homemade mac and cheese and a pile of garden vegetables
-got nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge
-thought about it. that was all.
-Looked at the large paper bag filled with summer squash and discussed possibly having a squash throwing contest tomorrow. Because really, how many ways can you keep eating yellow squash for dinner?
-Drove to the meeting place to pick up nine-year-old plus one seven-year-old cousin. #HOORAYforsummer!
-Spent way more than the "just one minute, boys..." talking to my mom in the parking lot of the meeting place because that was the BEST part of my day. She even told me I smelled good. #afterallthat
-Climbed back into the van to spy the cell phone I had given up for lost/stolen at Magic Kingdom two days earlier, wedged between my seat cushion and the mechanism into which you clip your seat belt. I squealed with delight. #Iwasntworried #worriednotworried #Ikepttellingmyselfitwouldworkout #itsurefeltgoodtobereunitedwithexpensivetechnology
-Felt gratitude. For so many things.
-Came home to a messy, messy house and felt okay about it
-Did the dinner dishes
-Tucked two tired boys into bed
-Managed to have the teenagers into bed before 10:00 pm
-Ordered a celebratory brightly colored phone case online
I'm claiming victory.
And a shower.
And the right to leave 15 pounds of yellow squash in the first unlocked car I find.

first things first

First thing we did after arriving in Florida was to find THIS happy group.
We LOVE the Parsons!
We haven't been all together since they left Massachusetts SIX years ago.
It was a sweet reunion.

south of the border

The South Carolina border.
This is the most absurdly gaudy (cheesy, tacky) rest stop we've ever been to.  EVER.  But experiencing some South Carolina cheese and driving through Pedro's legs made our L-O-N-G drive down the east coast a little more interesting.
If you find yourself making the long drive down I-95, (just as you leave North Carolina and enter South Carolina) be sure to set aside a few moments to stretch amongst some dated and kitschy Americana tourism.  It made us laugh.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

over the river and through the woods (and down the New Jersey Turnpike) to Grandmother's house we go...

 ...past miles and miles of rolling farmland
 to Palmyra, Virginia.
It was GOOD to visit.

 and GOOD to be reminded of what great parents Dub has. I often tell my kids the story of how his family was the catalyst in my decision to marry him (way back when).
 they still bring me great joy.
 It's clear that our children feel the same when we're together.

 Hooray for family!
And hooray for family selfies!
They both make me laugh.

Gordonsville, Virginia

I love small town America.
I also love Dr. Pepper.
Pulling over for this photo was a win.