March 26, 2016


James started a new job this week, and the decision to leave his previous company was one of the toughest that we've made as a couple. It's much harder to leave a position you love, and that was the best job he'd ever had, far and away. Frankly, it changed our lives for the better in so many respects, I actually marvel to realize that it only lasted a few years.

There's the expression that 'every baby is born with a loaf of bread under each arm', and I often think of how true that was with our little Roo. I vividly remember James fielding calls while we were in the hospital giving birth to her, fiercely negotiating his next move, after years of struggling to leave the architecture firm where he'd worked (slaved!) for nearly a decade. Caught on the losing end of office politics, and working 80 hour weeks with little compensation, and less appreciation, we knew a second baby meant that he had to make a move. He weighed offers from half a dozen architecture firms before finally deciding to take a plunge into the unknown (enemy!) world of construction. It was scary, but we were comforted in following a 'good guy' and former colleague, and ultimately we found that the payoff was about so much more than money. 

Finally afforded the respect and responsibility that he'd long deserved, James has matured so much in just a few short years, both professionally and personally. It is a beautiful thing to watch someone you love get all that credit you always knew they were owed, and to see the impact it has on every aspect of their being. And so, it was yet another leap for him to leave the comfort of that position, and again follow his mentor to a new and exciting project. I'm so proud of him, how hard he works, how he makes time to get home so that I can go out and work too... it's a lot of pressure and balance and responsibility, and I never take that for granted. 

We're looking forward to this next chapter, a big new building in the works, and another transition for our family. Any change is nerve wracking for this creature of habit, but mostly I am just feeling very grateful for it all. Cheers! (and happy belated St. Patrick's Day ;)

March 22, 2016

the Break

It's 1:30 in the morning. James started a new job today (yesterday now), and I got his abbreviated report, as we traded kid duty, and I headed out to teach evening studio (he says it went well, more on that coming soon). The sun was still up when I pulled out of the driveway. Daylight savings has been nothing but bliss in this house, 5am wakeups have slid all the way back to 6am- pinch me!

After a month of deferred transitions, James's limbo between jobs magically coordinated with my spring break last week, so we pulled Smith from preschool and headed out to my mom's for some down time. I am already dreading next year, when Kindergarten guidelines will make our lives even less flexible (homeschool?! James says 'no way'... but it sure is tempting me). 

We had intended to ski, but the crazy warm winter put an early end to the season (I tried not to add another parenthetical thought here... but I have to note that we now have several inches of fresh snow, in a predictably dramatic March twist... I'm only going to get a few hours of sleep, let me have my parenthesis!). So instead we played with Poppyseed the wonder dog, hiked, and poked around town. It was mostly relaxing, though the impending new job did have us more on edge than I would have liked. Considering we generally don't handle transitions all that well, I think it was a success. 

I watched Smith come to life, exploring nature without restriction, and did my usual hemming and hawing over whether we should be living in the country. Both kids fell in love with Poppy, despite the jumping and nipping, and have been begging to see her since our return, and for a dog of our own for next Christmas. James and I went out for a nice dinner to celebrate our 12th or 13th dating anniversary (he's going to kill me... but I really don't remember). My mom and I caught up on reality tv... so quite the well rounded spring break.

And now it's back to the not-so-usual routine. Updates coming when I can string together a few more hours of sleep!

*thanks iPhone for taking these pictures. I keep trying to use my real camera more. I have been better! But in truth, I need a new camera as mine has all kinds of issues, and that iPhone is always right there in my pocket ;)

March 10, 2016

Not-Such-A-Winter's Respite

Every year I look forward to a late winter planting project. Some hint of green to brighten the tale end of our dark days and pull us through until spring. Winter in new england is a difficult season, full of extra burdens and responsibilities and expenses, and while I love the slower pace and the focus inward, March typically finds me desperate for relief.

This year has been so mild and snowless that I have to admit not feeling that usual stir-crazy-desperate-for-spring-and-earth-and-buds mania. The buds are coming, and I rub my eyes and shake the feeling that it's all just too soon. Surely there must be another month or two of blizzards and icy driveways before we earn these longer days and softening soils. 

We'll see what the next few weeks have in store, but at the moment it's open windows and t-shirts and a feeling that winter is behind us. It's weird, but I'm not complaining. 

Despite a winter that hardly warrants the name, the kids threw some beans into soil a few weeks ago, and have been delighting in watching them grow. It's such foolproof fun,  two year old Roo planted her's entirely without direction, and Smith is an old pro. They water them on their own, I don't worry if the leaves get pinched or pulled (like our poor jade and aloe plants!). We may not need relief from this wimpy winter, but we're happy to foreshadow the long green filled days ahead. 

Winter planting through the ages... well okay, just 2014 and 2012... but I do love a good annual tradition!

March 2, 2016

The ROOster

This little girl is a force. She's a tiny thing, barely hanging onto the bottom rung of the height and weight charts, but people often remark on how 'big' she is. I can only guess they're reading the enormity of her spirit, so bold that it cannot be overlooked, even on first meeting.

She wakes up every single day far before the sun, full of gusto and directing us all at top volume. She typically looks for the cat first, whom she greets with tight squeezes and pets that mimic wrestling moves. Her whisper is so loud that it can be heard from three rooms away, and there's little hope of sleeping in for anyone under our roof.

Her affections border on brutality; head butts and fierce hugs and slobbery kisses. Before each nap, and at bedtime every night, she requests a hug, then a kiss. In that order. If her directives aren't followed to a tee, she will scream and throw a tantrum until her demands are carried out. She's a challenge to discipline, but also the sweetest and most joyful person that I know. 

I can't count the number of times a day she tells me, 'I love you, mama', and when I let her know that I love her too, she fires back with, 'and I like you'. She's quick to notice if I'm sad or frustrated and will take my arm offering, 'it's okay', with a sympathetic brow. She's a total daddy's girl, and a devoted little sister. If ever Smith is being reprimanded, he will wail for her to save him, and she'll fly to the rescue, 'I'm coming Wy!'. Often she'll announce out of nowhere, 'I love my bwother', and leaving him at preschool drop-off is always a chore.

She is so tough to resist. She'll make up stories (one might call this lying) and bat her lashes to get what she wants, every point is worked from a hundred angles until we're all so confused that somehow, she ends up winning. And her smile and laugh are both so vibrant and powerful that it is impossible not to catch the glow, and give her the world. 

I can already see that she will be the reason my hair turns gray, but also the reason that I can breathe a little easier. She has my back, and the backs of all of those whom she loves. If you can work your way past her scowl, reserved for all first 'hello's', and get into this girl's heart, she will fight for you with fury. And for a 2.5 year old, she packs a powerful punch.