March 24, 2015

A Little Luck

st. patrick's day 2015

Although winter temperatures linger, it's been such a welcome treat to enjoy the daylight stretching into our dinner hour. The seasons are slow to shift this year, but tonight I drove into the city to teach an evening class with the skies still blue, and even more notably, parked on the street and fed the meter without scaling a mountain of trash encrusted snow. The thaw is on, and we are patiently waiting for invitation to plant peas and shed coats. 

Life has been busy and full, and James and I have been working hard and holding our breath on a few big plans. It certainly feels as though March has been a month of looking forward, and so I am doing my best to close it out by being present and accepting in the moment. That's nearly an impossible task for me, but I'm giving it my best shot. Wish me luck.

March 14, 2015

Gramma's In Winter

Despite the challenges this winter has put on any travel, we have been finding ourselves making the two hour trip out to my mom's more often than ever. Snow just looks better in the country... or maybe we're totally desperate for a change of venue (a snowed in winter will with two small children will do that).

Little Smith has a brain that is so driven by science, it's fascinating to watch his interests develop because they are so different than my memories of my own. He is in constant search of uncovering a process; how flowers grow and bees pollinate, what everything looks like inside, and (to my occasional horror), death, rotting, and the full circle. My mom is fueled by many of the same questions, and it's such fun to see them tear apart flowers and poke at them with sticks, identifying all the pieces and consulting a tower of reference books. 

Baby Roo has proven to be an animal lover (torturer?) and is thrilled to present Blue, the dog, with apples, cookies, and hugs... again and again. She has also become such a bossy little lady, and constantly directs everyone where to sit, crying whenever anyone exits the room (the bigger the audience, the better!).

James is never happier than when skiing, and while his days on the mountain are far fewer than he'd like, and my hometown mountain is small, I think seeing his son get just a little more confident on his 80cm skis has made up for the loss of turns this season. He's also partial to my mom's selection of micro brews, and her number of televisions (4!).

My highlights are getting to sleep in late (sometimes), wearing my 'little house nightgown' (one of those purchases that has made this winter tolerable), and curling up by the wood stove with a good bar of chocolate.

This week has brought the first legitimate hopes of spring to our permafrost, sunshine and rain and even a little snow melt. I am lunging forward, towards longer days and milder temperatures... but I have to say that this winter has been a lovely one for our family. James always laments the receding snow, and I won't go that far! But I am certainly going to miss my nightgown and the wiggle room to eat an extra chocolate bar when spring does find us.

March 5, 2015


When March hands you lemons (aka 5 feet of crusty snowpack)... you freeze said lemons in blocks of ice and call them bird feeders, at least that's what we do! 

Little Smith is at an age where every moment of the day has to be filled with an exciting activity or he starts whining, and I am convinced there are few things worse in life than whining. I have been trying to step it up with some basic structured recreation, like board games (we love Wild Craft and Uncle Wiggly along with the staples like Candy Land), craft projects, and the kinds of things I mentioned here

I still do pledge my love for winter, but unquestionably, it's just way more work... especially with children. For anyone that does not have playgrounds with swings buried under the snow, it might be difficult to imagine just how huge a difference these seasons make in the work load. I delude myself into thinking that we appreciate the warmer months that much more.

There are those bonuses of living in a land of snow; the optimism of waking to a fresh white covering, that special pink light, and the novelty of making giant frozen blocks of citrus, and having them last for weeks. It's the little things.

For now I am adopting the attitude of 'enjoy it while it lasts', and we are heading to my mom's tomorrow for a weekend of skiing and snow worship. However, I fully expect to be having a different conversation by months end, one that circles around mud and green gardens rather than ice cubes. I think I can, I think I can...

March 2, 2015

A Walk and A Thought

snowshoe at the garden / march 1, 2015

The problem with a life booked to full capacity, is that piling on even the smallest bonus commitment upsets that precarious balance. It seems more and more frequent that I find myself gratefully presented with some promising  opportunity; in work, in life, and I often don't want to say 'no', but I also don't really want to say 'yes'. 

I feel a general swell of encouragement for mothers to maintain their own interests and identity, to not get pulled into the undertow of single-minded parenthood. There have been countless moments when I clung to that support, feeling desperate to define myself outside of these two small people, who have rendered my life unrecognizable in a just few short years. 

And yet... my own reality seems to be that the deepest bliss is found in hiding under the covers of motherhood, allowing myself to become completely swallowed up and lost in that role, even at the expense of my other passions and interests. 

I fight that temptation to quit everything, and I take on new opportunities that inspire me, so long as they can be squeezed into the margins around full-time parenting. The hope is that I can continue to grow as my own independent woman, alongside my children. Because we all know that the time moves quickly, and soon these babies will be gone, and the wisdom is that I need to nurture myself, my marriage, and my work... ultimately those are the constants.

It's good to strive for balance, and that's what we've been doing over here these days. Still, it does pull at me, because we all know that the time moves quickly, and soon these babies will be gone, and I would love nothing more than to dwell in the fulfillment of motherhood, for as long as my luck holds out.