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365 week 22

i have seriously thought it was friday for the past three days. it's weird. to have no concept of what day it is really makes the week feel that much longer and more exhausting.

but, i've been told today is thursday, so ... pix. and, more importantly, pix that are in totally random order for some reason:



the birdhouses have been hung, and birds (and squirrels) and have started snacking.



i really need to come up with something they can do this summer that doesn't involve electronics.



love love love. they have adored each other since day one, and i love love love that.



henry's collection of ribbons from spring track season.



last track meet of the season, and it r.a.i.n.e.d. the entire meet. we were soaked.


poetry day at henry's school. his turn to read a poem he wrote. see his best bud, josh, and josh's mom's looks of amusement? here's why:

"heh, heh, heh" by henry skinner

from the poetry anthology entitled "video games"

heh, heh, heh


i'm sneaking downstairs to play a first-person shooter!

turn it on.

wow! wooo!

ick! barf!

weird! freaky!

uh-oh ... dad wants to play now.


we have big, fat bees at our house.


this is why i keep crap.

i've been a martha stewart loyalist since the early 90s, when my mom got the very first issue of "living." the colors, style, creativity, photography and articles sucked me into the world of martha and i didn't want to leave. each month, when a new issue arrived, i would flip through and imagine the day i could utilize all her miraculous yet "duh, why didn't i think of that?!" tips, or cook some amazing recipe, or create something beautiful. i have the entire library of magazines since subscribing in '96, including baby, kids, and halloween, and flip through them when i need to de-stress or unwind. i was lucky enough to fill in years 93-95 from a yard sale for $10. that was a happy day. and happiest day of the year? the day her december issue arrives.

i'm serious.

even when she went to jail, i remained firmly in her corner. say what you will about the woman, she's brilliant at what she does and what she's built.

through martha, i became totally smitten with darcy miller, when her work was introduced in the premier issue of martha stewart weddings, which serendipitously dropped the month after i got engaged. her fresh ideas and simple creativity always blow me away.

in a recent issue of "living," there was a feature on darcy's scrapboxes:

now, since i scrapbook, the idea of scrapboxes was instantly intriguing to me. here, at last, was my justification for all the flotsam i've collected through life and keep stowing away in boxes. every time i try to purge, a few items remain stubbornly in the "i can't get rid of that" pile. and now i know why.

my purpose in life is to make a scrapbox gallery wall. and i know just the place for it.

our entry/stairway in the new house looks like this:

Entry so i'm thinking that shallow gallery ledges will create this kind of look ...

on the corner of the stairway landing, with a gallery of framed art and family photos on either side leading up/down the stairs.

sounds heavenly to me.

i take hundreds of photos a year, and yet i display so few in my home. i want our new house to be steeped in all things family. i want it to reflect a casual, comfortable, welcoming vibe. and what could do that better than boxes filled with all the little trinkets and ephemera of our lives that i've so faithfully hung onto over the years?

the only constant i've ever held about my "someday" house is that it must have a stairway. there is something so romantic about a banister. i know, i'm weird. when we started looking at house plans, the stairway was a huge consideration for me ...

Inspiration for Decoration blog

(the sarah richardson stairway photo above will be the one i show our builder.)


and a good stairway seems like the perfect place to display little snapshots of our life. the scrapboxes will be three-dimensional representations of special moments within that life.

thank you, darcy miller, for justifying the persistent presence of stuff lying around the house that otherwise might get thrown away. i can't wait to turn our life souvenirs into art.

365 week 21

(is my math right? i know i've gotten off track here and there. this may end up being a 48 week year or something ... )

time for last week in pictures:


the day we all fell in love. with the ipad.



the day i went to see "sex and the city 2" with a dear friend. and we smuggled in some wee little bottles of wine.


the day the kids painted birdhouses.



the day we saw our kids do nothing out of the ordinary.



the day henry's class field trip to the state capitol included going out on the roof balcony and getting up close and personal with the gold statue atop the building.


the day i took pix of twins. and my photo-taking abilities went out the window and i was most displeased with the results.


the day my youngest worked on her backstroke technique.



voila. happy weekend! we have our last track meet of the season, so fingers crossed it won't get rained out like the last one!

baseball and diplomas and dirt, oh my!

last week was incredibly eventful around here, and i just left y'all hanging. (that's a southern term, i've been told by my southern friends. they throw it out quite casually, whereas i have to sit and consider very carefully where to place the apostrophe ...)

it didn't seem very neighborly to tease you with big stuff ...

(remember this photo of the day?)

and then just ignore them, but that's just what i did.

so, sorry for that.

i'll back up to the baseball thing:

last last weekend we got to go to the twins game with a group from henry's school. the new stadium is just gorgeous - sleek and sophisticated, and yet it has a real "hometown" feel. the stands were packed, and everyone was there to have a good time.

sidenote: i LOVE going to baseball games. my dad took me to minor league games in iowa when i would go for my summertime visits, and there was something so magical and romantic about those old stadiums. my first ballgame was at wrigley, and marc and i went to a couple of games there when we were dating. we've gone to see the st paul saints play since we've lived in minnesota, but not regularly, which is sad. (aside: marc hates baseball. which means we don't often go. he's a real giver.) oh, and i feel it prudent to mention that among my most favorite movies of all times are bull durham and, my hands-down-i-watch-it-every-time-it's-on favorite movie, field of dreams. i sob like a baby when i watch that movie. harry caray announcing cub games on wgn was the soundtrack of my summers when i would visit my dad, the game coming from either the tv or a small black radio that always seemed to be on and would follow dad around the house. i find the sound of a game soothing.

but back to last last weekend.

we boarded the train in the morning to head downtown, happy to avoid traffic and parking. and the kids were thrilled with the train, period.

about 12 stops and 45 minutes later, we pulled into the station before the stadium and walked toward block e for lunch. kieran's irish pub called, and we were answering. as we sat at our table, harper decided she also wanted to be a photographer for the day. i obliged her for a few shots:

IMG_5525 IMG_5526

after a hearty irish brunch, we walked across the street and into the stadium entrance. and my excitement grew.

we sat patiently through warm-ups and the mascot t-shirt cannoning ...


and at the bottom of the first, harper had had it. she was not going to sit still in hot, crowded bleachers anymore.

so i agreed to take her for a walk (because i really didn't want to watch the game. nope.) and let her try her hand at a few more shots.

(i may have helped her line up that last one.)

we wandered back toward our seats, sat through two more innings, then our kids hit the wall. they were done.

we made it through five innings.

the best part of the kids' day was the train ride and they just couldn't wait for the return trip. guess i know how to kill a couple of hours for $1.75 this summer ...

we had a few days of busy busy busy, then friday came and with it, harper's preschool graduation.

i told myself it was no big deal, i was excited for her and the new horizons before her, i'd been through this before ... but no. there were some tears. this is my BABY, and she's heading to kindergarten in three short months. i'm not sure i can allow that to happen. when did her chubby little feet get replaced by long, skinny size 13s? when did she turn into a *kid*?! when did i blink and this aging occurred, because i know *i'm* still only 31 ... ahem.

IMG_5670 IMG_5674

she was pretty proud of herself and excited that summer vacation for her is, at last here.

but before she could go throw on some sneakers and go running out the door, she had to first sit in an office and watch mommy and daddy sign some papers and hand over a bunch of money.

yes, my friends, the dirt is now officially ours.

after getting a closing date back in april, and then running into a snafu and having to wait 30 more days for more paperwork to be run, we can finally exhale and know for certainty (barring any ridiculously unfair wrench the universe may throw in our works) that this land is our land, and this is the place our children will be raised, and our grandchildren will come visit, where we'll celebrate our holidays and special occasions, and make so many memories.

i can close my eyes and already feel the breeze on my face as i gently rock on the porch swing, a cold glass of vouvray in one hand and a book in the other, while i gaze to the north and watch my kids play on the neighborhood playground ...

and i can already count the numbers of jars i will need for all the creatures harper will bring home for me: dragonflies, butterflies, fireflies, tadpoles from the pond across the road next to the park ...

and i can already picture the day that i walk west three doors to our former/future neighbor's home to chat with his wife or tell him to turn down his dave matthews band so i can hear my dave matthews band ...

and it will be so amazing to wake up in the morning with a view straight south over the lake, check the weather, and say, "hey! today's a great day for a boat ride!"

and i can't wait to see the light from the east coming into my studio, and invite parents to bring over their sweet little bundles of joy so i can shoot them in a space that is set up just for them ...

it will be so, so good. and for the first time in a year, i truly feel that it is really happening.

and THAT is a good end to a good week!