Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Two Sides

there are two sides ...
to every coin

pelting rain and furious winds
create crystal coated prisms
luminous, tinkling

holiday delights,
disguised saccharine layers
of cozy nostalgia,
bequeath blurred thoughts and
peevish indispositions

true recognition,
so rare yet familiar,
that empathic voice and touch
breach our defenses
split wide open

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Last night we went to Crosswinds church with our Van Allen friends for a lovely Christmas Eve service.  All of the songs and stories were so nice and everyone loved having their own candle to hold.  I was very moved by the singing and thinking about the importance of the season.

 We came home and set out our stockings and put the boys to bed.  Then we watched the Lars and the Real Girl with the olders and went out to find a midnight mass at 11:45.  Alas, there was none to be found!  We went to three different Catholic churches, but they were all deserted.  I guess we need to do a little more research if we want to try that again next year!  We went home and I started a breakfast casserole and did all of the Santa things, finally able to fall into bed around 1:30.  Once again let me declare, having both older and younger children at home can be a pain.  Fortunately, the boys were happy to let people sleep in.  We had breakfast around 10:00 AM and went into the living room at 11:00 or so.  Christmas was quite small since our main present is our upcoming trip, but our kids were their usual grateful and lovely selves.  We had a wonderful and relaxing day.  Hope everyone else had a nice Christmas as well!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In Honor of Winter Solstice

my turn to orbit the sun
at time of longest light,
when each early sunrise
is met
by raucous bands of busy birds;
flowers, grass, and even dew
shout their refrain with
color! fragrance!
the candid star diffusing energy
leisurely, generously

and yet,
something about the
shortened southern journey --
the pigment erased
from the landscape,
the only sound
a lonely wind,
all my chicks gathered round --
stirs in me a
deep contentment
a fathomless peace

Monday, December 21, 2015

blankets for our mamas

I finally finished this blanket!!! Just in time to send it off for Christmas. It took me longer than any other blanket I've made so far -- definitely need to watch more K dramas to keep up my crocheting regimen. I'm slacking. I'd like to thank everyone from park days, dance class, and rehearsals for your support -- you know who you are!

And I finished this one this morning. I worked on it mostly in the car on our long trip this past summer, but still had some loose ends. A shout out to 16 hours of Broadchurch in the last week for making this possible.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today's math joke from the four year old: What is penny + nickle? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What Do You Do?

what do you do?...

when your youngest,
your baby,
shyly crawls out of bed
to whisper that
he just needs a
little cuddle?

snuggly pajama clad,
wiggling this way and that,
until --
his back curves perfectly
into your torso
his head still fitting
under your chin,
soft hair tickling your jaw

and catch a trace
of the cookies you
made earlier,
how intently he licked
that bowl

what do you do?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


like a country dance
from long gone days,
my thoughts through

a sleepless night
come together for one
brief moment of

only to whirl away erratically
to the edges --
nonsensical, intangible,
then back again to
curtsy with a

Thursday, November 26, 2015

turkey trot

Happy Thanksgiving!  We've had a very nice day today.  The first thing we did was drive down to Miller Park where I ran my very first 5K!  It is exciting!  I started running again this past summer, but the farthest I've ever gone at once is two miles, so this was a big deal.  The girls ran together and Phin ran with me for most of the way and then stopped when we passed Matthew in the parking lot.  We really were almost done and he regretted stopping when he later saw how close he was to the finish line.  Phin had also run in the half mile children's race so I am pretty certain that he ran three miles today -- one way or the other.  My time was 36 minutes which is pretty slow, but I didn't really know I could run a 12 minute mile, haha!

We were planning on going to the Clay's for dinner around 2:00, but Clare called and asked, "What is the most tragic thing that could happen on Thanksgiving?"  I answered that someone must be throwing up, but the truth was that their oven wasn't working!  So they brought the turkey to our house to bake and we ended up having dinner closer to 5:00.  She had tried to broil some of her delicious rolls and a pie, but that didn't work out so well.  We still had a lovely dinner!  And the company was wonderful, too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

First Snow

Even those who dislike Winter
Enjoy the magic of first snow.
Colossal flakes steadily drifting...

Blanketing the lagging fall leaves
With fleecy whiteness.
It's not quite time, the sun returns --
Radiant after the brief scare,
Reflecting off the shiny wetness,
Finding a path through newly bare branches.
Rivulets running down windows and pipes
Drip, drip, drip -- A sound usually reserved
For Spring

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


An un"media"ted afternoon
Includes long lines of hot wheels
Following a carefully plotted course....

Boys, with one knee down and one
Up for efficient scooting,
Spit out directions as each car
accelerates, vroom!
turns, errrrrr!
brakes, eeeeee!
crashes, pshhhh!!!
Glassy eyes replaced by shining ones.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Autumn Leaves

Green falls away
Revealing gathered summer sunlight.
A flash of fluorescence...

Glistens and glitters
Before the graceful drift and tumble
To beloved mother's base,
Cocooning her roots through the chill.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

happy halloween!

Autumn in Illinois is always so lovely!  It is bittersweet because one knows that at any moment the weather can turn on you and you'll be in a perpetual state of chill for several months... so each sunny afternoon, each evening that doesn't require a jacket, each bright blue sky, is one to celebrate.
::We were able to meet some friends at the Haunted Trail -- it always makes the long, long wait so much more bearable!
::getting his face painted at the end of the Haunted Trail -- Phin had to run home for piano lessons so we didn't get a pic of his spidery face.

::We bought a pass to Rader Farms and tried to go a few times a week.  I think we got our money's worth!

 ::The boys wanted to be a storm trooper and a lion -- I went to Target and they actually had those costumes!  But they were both so expensive, and this one of Finn, from the upcoming Star Wars movie, and Snoopy were both on sale!  The boys both agreed very complacently which was so nice of them.

 ::Our beautiful neighborhood!

::At the neighborhood fall party -- waiting to hit the piƱata

 ::Lucy dressed up to be a crazy cat lady and Jessa dressed up as a cat

::Same tree a week or so later

::We went to IHOP with Syndy and Charlie for free scary pancakes

::We always wait until the day before Halloween to carve our pumpkins or else they are devoured by squirrels, mold, or both.

 ::Halloween night!  I'm glad that Ibby still likes to dress up -- and her costume was just things found around the house -- perfect!

::We always like to get a pic in front of the Emmert's house -- they always do such a great job decorating!

::After trick or treating we met Maggie and gang at Chipotle for boo-ritos - yum!

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting....
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Friday, October 2, 2015

rainbows and babies

I made this blanket for my friend's rainbow baby -- I finished it in July, but finally was able to give it to her today. Syndy was so kind to make the onesie for me.

 ::And a pic of flowers because I LOVE them!  I am so pleased with my zinnia harvest this year!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Phin the Flower

We went to Nauvoo on Saturday and Ibby was able to do baptisms in the temple for the first time.  No pics of her on her special day, but I took a couple of the boys at the park we visited while we were waiting for everyone else!

A butterfly landed on Phin's leg and stayed there for several minutes.  He was so still  and watched it carefully.  Then when he was done, he shook his leg around and was surprised that the butterfly didn't want to leave.  It stayed attached to his shorts for a while and then flew circles around Phin's head multiple times before finally finding another beautiful "flower" to perch upon.

When the girls were finished we decided to let Lucy drive for a bit on the country roads around town.  She got her drivers permit the day before!  It is hard to believe that my third baby is that old and I got a little teary eyed at the DMV while she took her test.  It really all goes much too swiftly for me.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

birthday time

Happy Birthday yesterday to my Ibby girl!

And she had a fun party with some friends.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

happy Mother's day!

My husband doesn't like to buy dead things, but humors me on occasion. Pretty pink flowers in my pretty pink room.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

cozy stripe

Three year old comes in while I'm running on the treadmill, "Mommy, are you pretending to run?" Why yes I am. I'm also pretending to be out of breath and sweaty -- I have a really good imagination.

I finished another blanket!!!  This one is for my loveliest of friends, Miss Fara.  It is another Attic 24 special.  I have been so happy with the kits and the instructions.

smile emoticon

Sunday, April 26, 2015


These two gorgeous girls did a wonderful job at their dance concert in the dance they choreographed themselves!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

just the usual

We had a regular old Saturday today, running some errands and then took the kids to Steak n' Shake.  I was laughing so hard at Archie because he was so so tired, but kept eating... We still think he's adorable.

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