It’s been a slow trickle of life updates recently, maybe due to the house in the background and all the noise that creates, or the fact that our kids are getting to the un-sharable age. Whatever the reason life continues to happen and I try to capture as much of it as I can.

Bedtime speed match. #cards #games #speedcardgame #ilovegames

One of our favorite pastimes is games (Aaron tolerates them, but we think he secretly loves them) and we’ve been learning new card games this winter, we also play sometimes. Jessica came home from camp last summer with all sorts of new games to teach us, we’ve just added to the arsenal.

She saw me watching her and said "Goodbye, mom!" ... I'm so embarrassing. #swimlife #usaswim #futurestars #shesafish #werealwayshere

Jessica is now on a swim team at the very beginning level. It’s a lifestyle, this swimming thing, but she was made to swim. I think when she dreams in her sleep she has gills and explores the vast unknown with her eyes closed. Staying on top of the water for practice is one of the hardest things she has to do. It’s self control. She would much rather be “under water” and begs to stay after each practice to dive around the deep end and pretend she’s made of fins.

Heartbeat of the home.

We bought a new table. And I have a post sitting in my drafts folder about this that I’ll get back to one of these days. But this is the first table we’ve bought (and stuck with) since the very first table we bought for our very first house … um, 12 years ago. The table we’ve been using in between was left with our 2nd house (Ardmore) and we just used it because it was what we had available. Life was recorded at that table, feasts were decorated, families gathered, food was served. That table is a language to me. And this table feels like the last thing this house needed to feel like home. A table that doesn’t take no for an answer. Strong, solid lines. Something that begs you to touch it. To eat on. To sit near and next to. This table will be the table my grandbabies know (I hope). The one where we’ll gather for Sunday dinners for decades. Where friends will become like family across it’s girth. I really love feeding people.

Olivers first bus ride: field trip to see how we make maple sugar. #momofboy #hcmaroons

Oliver had his first bus ride to a field trip with his class that I went on. We went to a farm and they taught us about making maple syrup.

Vantaalte Farm sugar shack.

The kids got to collect sap and pour it into the tank for the sugar shack and then watch it steam and boil. Six and seven year olds are hilarious. They’re aware that they’re not like everyone else (they see a difference in boys/girls and are aware that they’re interested in different things) but they’re so unaware of social status or pressure. They freely hug their friends, kiss their moms, they hold hands through the woods and giggle when something hits their funny bone. They’re free. And I love watching them learn to fly.

Also, the difference in being a mom to a girl vs. a boy … it’s something I had no idea I’d be so honored to experience. While Jessica constantly asks more of me, to show up, to teach, to lean on … she needs from me what I still need from myself, and it’s a beautiful dance to be her mom. Oliver gives whatever he has to love you. They’re different because they’re two separate people, but they came from the same garden. To have a tulip in full bloom next to the peony – I always wanted to be a gardener like my grandmother. Understanding the plants and their soils while constantly being engulfed in the beauty of surprise. And I am. I have a pickers garden of the rarest species. And their displays are daring and vibrant and free.

Let's get emotional. From grocery store blah to Muaw! #valentines #thatsdarling

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