"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I can't claim this I idea as my own because I read about it and immediately loved it.  I created email accounts for my children and plan to email them pics, snippits of our daily lives, stories, etc., over the years.  One day when they are much much older (18 maybe? Older?) I will give them their email addresses and passwords. Until then the login information will be kept in a safe place so that even if something were to happen to me, it could still be found.  I'm sharing this with you because I think it is a beautiful idea and it might inspire someone else to do the same.  Of course, all families are different and what works for one, does not work for another.  Hopefully this will work for ours.

Hi Katie! Hi Jacob!

I don't know how old you are as you read this, but right now you are 4 and 7 and a half.  (I'm 32 and one day I/you will see that number as young as well.)  
I've never been great at making photo albums or scrapbooks, and I hope you won't hold that against me too much one day.  
The reason is simple:  I want to be in the moment with you and your father as much as possible.  If I can document something that happens within a day or so with a photo, blog post, or email, I can remain more present, in my opinion.  Some times I enjoy taking photos and other times it feels as though it is taking away from the memory I'm building, rather than enhancing it.  
I don't enjoy combing through old photos and picking and choosing which ones "matter" enough to make it to a scrapbook.  Those are wonderful to have but I'm sorry, they probably aren't coming from me any time soon.

I hope to use these email accounts as a means for communicating with you in ways you and I can't both fully appreciate at this moment.  I want to be able to be sentimental and personal with you without posting it on my blog, and hand-writing it just isn't realistic at this time.
I also want you to know things about me as a person.  I want to share who I am at this age and in my past.  I want you to know the things that are important to me, important to you, and important to our family as the years progress.  I want to tell you stories about your extended family as I think of them.
My messages will not always be eloquent, photos not always beautiful, and words not always easy to hear -- but just like me, they will always be here.

I love you,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Small Stories

When I first started this blaaahg, BigBoy was three and a half.
He was sweet and affectionate.  Strong-willed and whiny at times, yes, but he had the biggest heart in the tiniest body.

Now, four year later at seven and a half, he's pretty much the same... well, he talks a LOT more!

Let me document a little "2nd Grade BigBoy" for posterity:

It's a small story, but it had a big impact. (On me, anyway...)

Yesterday I decided to try something different than the usual "How was your day?" after I picked him up from school.  Instead I asked some cheesy questions like "Was there anything that was confusing today?", "Did you do anything that made you proud?", and the like.
He said "Brayden did something that made me really proud!  He won at a Math game."
He proceeded to tell me that the rest of the class cheered for his final competitor, Austin, and he was the only classmate to cheer for Brayden.
I said, "You were the only one that thought Brayden would win?" He replied, "Oh no, Austin is the smartest kid in class; I thought Austin would win.  I cheered for Brayden because he needed someone to cheer for him."
He said it was "amazing" when Brayden won, and everyone was really surprised.  (Then I used the opportunity to explain to BigBoy what an "underdog" is.)

This anecdote was BigBoy's proudest and most memorable part of his day.  He recounted it with joy and pride in his friend/classmate.
Never did he complain about not winning (and it wasn't until today -- a day later -- that he casually mentioned that he also made it pretty far in the game, and that was only upon my reopening of the subject).
Never did he speak of the runner-up or his supporters in a taunting or derisive manner.

On a fairly regular basis, I tell my son that I am proud of him.  Not because he follows my rules or the school rules, and not because he is sweet and affectionate.  I tell him I am proud of the person he is in this world.

Sometimes it's the smallest people who have the biggest impact.

Decorating Dreams

When I redecorate my home one day in the future, this is my inspiration:

To me, the reclaimed creek bed in the forest invokes a sense of tranquility, joyfulness, and hope.

The cool blues and greens with gold tones and pops of red represent what I want my house to convey:

You are welcome here.  Be at peace.  Feel and give joy and love freely and find beauty around you.
What lies in the light beyond the trees?  Seek out your path and find out for yourself.

(Also, it doesn't hurt that I love these colors and they will be great against a neutral backdrop with lots of whites and rich wood tones.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snow Day in the Cul-de-sac

This was a crazy week.  Tuesday we were out of school due to the threat of a "Winter Storm" (4-6 inches of snow).
That turned out to be an overcast day with an inch and a half of snow after sunset.
Wednesday we woke up to this:

Considered a dusting in many parts of the country, but it was enough for our poor Carolina-snow-starved children to enjoy!

The boys and girls next door came out to play as well and we tried out a couple yards and streets for some sledding.

There was a layer of ice that helped with the sledding, but BabyCakes ended up whacking her face on the icy road on one trip down, resulting in blood and tears.  She ended up with a busted lip and some scrapes on her chin, but she immediately wanted to get back to sledding after we checked it out.
(As a side note, we ended up being out of school for the rest of the week due to icy roads in the county. We now have 4 Saturday make-up days as a result!  Year-round school has it's costs sometimes. :/)

It was only in the high 20's or 30's so we were able to play a good bit before heading in for cocoa. (Thanks, Melissa!)

Even Kelly got in on the action. :)

 Like I said, we were all a little starved for snow so it was easy to have fun -- even if there was grass poking through!

Of course BigBoy got in on the action!  How does this pretzel position not hurt?!

My memories of childhood snow-day sledding with the Cole's are some of my most treasured, so I am glad my kids are growing up with a few of their own!