buy nothing new month: the full report

some of you may be wondering if i actually followed through on my last post.  so i’m here to tell you that: i did! (mostly).  and i wanted to report on how it went and what i learned.

first of all, january is the month that retailers have their biggest sales.  although i did delete all of the “40% off of the clearance price” emails, they conveniently have that in their email title, so i got a painfully strong sense what i was missing.  i could resist anthropologie, and the gap, and restoration hardware, but when tea collection (the cutest kids clothes on the planet) sent out their sale email, i did have a moment of inner conflict.  how could my kids possibly continue to be well dressed if i didn’t buy them new things?!?! (oh, right, with the dozen cute other things already in their closet.)

psychoanalyzing my own shopping patterns was a very interesting part of this whole experiment.  i realized that i am a very predictable consumer.  if you tell me i am getting a percentage off of the lowest clearance price, i will bite every time– whether it is something i actually need or not.  because, I AM SAVING SO MUCH MONEY!!!  HOW CAN I REFUSE?  bah.  blech.  ug.

i did not get around to making my cardboard animal bust (quite honestly because the one i saw online as ‘DIY’ is actually a kit that you still have to BUY… boo.)  however, i did make some really cool paper dahlias.

hg (1)

i had some old books of my own and a bunch of paper already lying around so i put it all to good use and created some three dimensional art.  i also went to goodwill in search of more large pages for making more flowers and came home with these three jumbo beauties:

hg (2)

“the romance of ballooning”?!  yes, please.  i should have included something in the picture for scale because these books are enormous.  Michelangelo alone might weigh 10 pounds.  and ‘the romance of ballooning’?!  it’s so rad i have to show you some pictures of the inside:

hg (6)
hg (4) hg (3)

things like this cannot be found.  they find you.

to my good fortune, my neighbor happened to be hosting a clothing swap mid-month!  although i had just purged my closet in a major way during the holidays, i squeezed it even further to get some really good stuff out that i just don’t wear.  and, of course, i managed to find a few things to bring home that add a little spice to my life.

as far as borrowing, i did have another near moment of caving when netflix suddenly and without warning stopped streaming the show ‘brothers and sisters’ just as i had become completely engrossed in season 4.  i will admit, i looked on amazon to see how much it would cost to buy the remaining seasons… but then it occurred to me: check  the library!  and to my delight, they had them!  although the solution didn’t come to my door via 2-day express  delivery, it was pretty darn close.  it made me realize how i’ve become used to getting what i want when i want it.  a healthy dose of delayed gratification does a person good.

and the rearranging!  i didn’t torture kevin with any furniture hauling, but i did finally hang a whole stairway with pictures and frames that had been accumulating since we moved into our house (3+ years ago…).  now i take a trip down memory lane at least 17 times a day.

hg

in terms of inspiration, i started to explore pinterest for the first time last month.  talk about dangerous!  it is sort of like shopping for ideas, isn’t it?  and the best part is that it doesn’t lead to an actual purchase in the end.

lately, i have also been inspired to get to work in the yard.  the weather here has been so marvelous (sorry to you who are buried in snow), that the seed and fruit tree catalogs and books are finding their seasonal home on my bedside table.  i will confess that i did place an order for fruit trees this month.   technically, it was piggy backing a replacement order from last year and TECHNICALLY, they are FOOD, and TECHNICALLY, are plants really NEW?  ok, i’m justifying.  can you forgive me?  you will when you taste my elderberry wine…

those boots that i splurged to buy a couple of years ago were worn with great intention this month.  i was also given, yes GIVEN (thank you jac and gabe!) a pair of vintage frye cowboy boots, just in time for the portland old-time music gathering.  talk about great timing.

i took my own advice and consulted the ‘smitten kitchen’ blog and made her delicious mushroom marsala casserole.  i was NOT sorry even a little.  and i got to taste marsala which is not only the pantone color of the year, but a tasty fortified wine.  just talking about the casserole has me wanting to eat it again tonight.

kevin was out of town for a week of this month, and so to kill time one morning i treated the boys (and myself) to a goodwill trip.  i first made them each pick out 2 things that we could drop off at goodwill, and told them they could pick 2 ‘new’ toys.  it was amazing how much time both of these sets of decisions took, especially for 4-year old, jude.  painful, really.  it was as if choosing the wrong items (in either case) could dramatically alter the outcome of his life.  so after 30 minutes in the toy aisle at goodwill, going back and forth between the rescue helicopter that had a broken door and the baggie of superhero figures and weird bobble-head doll, i gave the 3 count.  and the baggie proved itself the confirmed best choice when it was discovered that spiderman’s eyes lit up.  yes, they do.

and in full disclosure, the one additional ‘new’ purchase that i made during the month was a part to repair my broken banjo.  jude was studying musical instruments at school, and i had been asked to come in and play.  when we arrived and i opened the case to play, strings were spewing out in all directions.  for the instrument geeks: my tailpiece had cracked right in half.  i do adore my banjo, so i went right home and emailed the maker.  he responded promptly and said, yes, he quit using those tailpieces because they were breaking.  and apparently i could easily fix it myself by ordering the new tailpiece.  not really something i could make myself or get second-hand, so…

i should also be clear that i did not carry this over to my ‘found’ business.  although, one would think that with my propensity for repurposing it would be no big deal.  which is true.  but we also planned a trip to Portland this month, home to one of my favorite leather supply stores.  and boy, did i do some damage.

overall, this was a really good exercise for me.  it made me think a lot about not only WHAT i buy, but WHY i buy and even HOW i buy.  it seems that the scarcity of time that parenthood brings on somehow gave me a free pass to be less frugal or creative with how i fill our needs and wants.  it felt like a healthy change to step outside of the consumer mainstream for a minute.

so, will i continue on to a ‘buy nothing’ year? um, no.  but i am contemplating the coming season of lent and what i might surrender for that.  stay tuned…

Posted in contemplating | 4 Comments

Homegrown Happy Hour

DSC_5730Greetings from the Pacific Northwest, where the very last of the grapes are hanging with heavy sweetness on the vines.  “Grapes grow in the Northwest?”, you may be asking yourself.  Yes, yes they do.  And in great variety and abundance!  I live in a cohousing community and also have an interest in permaculture and a love for wine.  That combination has resulted in around 10 varieties of grapes occurring on our 9-house, 2-acre property.  To celebrate our abundance of grapes and other produce, we recently pulled together a ‘homegrown happy hour’ featuring primarily grape-themed cocktails, accompanied by other goods that had been put up or processed by our members.  

DSC_5701

My favorite cocktail in any season is a French 75, and this gathering was no exception.  I had boiled down some of the concord grapes with a few branches of rosemary and added some sugar to make a grape syrup.  I used this in place of simple syrup in the drink, adding a healthy dose of gin and just a splash of St. Germain.  Throw that in a cocktail shaker with ice for a few seconds, pour into a glass, and top it off with a little Spanish Cava, and there you have it: a Grape Rosemary Spanish 75, perhaps?  So, so good.

Our other cocktail option of the evening was supplied by my neighbor, Jill.  She had made a grape shrub mixture the night before that served as the base for any number of cocktails (or mocktails for our younger members).  A shrub is basically a fruit syrup preserved with vinegar.  I had my first experience with a shrub at an amazing place in Healdsburg, CA called Shed (healdsburgshed.com/).    I had been wine tasting ALL DAY, and the apricot shrub was a refreshing change.  Jill made the grape shrub by combining equal parts sugar and fruit puree and letting that stew overnight.  The next day, she strained that and added an equal part of apple cider vinegar.  She said you don’t have to add that much, and the better quality vinegar, the better your shrub will taste.  Drinking it straight is potent, but mixed with vodka and a little soda water, it is a delightful, unusual treat.  If you like kombucha, you will love shrubs!

DSC_5735

We also did a little bit of fresh squeezing using my neighbor, Sarah’s sweet and tiny grapes, and our old-fashioned press and tough woman power.  There really is nothing quite like homegrown goodness! Hopefully next year’s post will feature my first batch of wine… DSC_5709

 

Posted in cooking, cultivating | 1 Comment

found (again)

As most of you know, I’ve been growing a leather goods business for the past 7 or so years, mainly on Etsy, some small local shows, some special orders 2 days before Christmas… yes, I do it because I love it and I love you🙂.  But as the boys are getting older (Jude and Leo are 5 and 3!), I have started to feel like I really need to make this a legitimate business or I need to get a real job again.  And who wants a real job?!  So, a few months ago I started doing some real thinking about the business side of things, and realized that what my company needed most was someone else to think about the business side of things🙂.  And by some stroke of pure providence, the perfect business partner appeared!  My friend, Leah, had been in my life for several years via church and other venues, and she surfaced in my mind as someone who is a full-time mom, like me, and might enjoy being a part-time creative business owner as well.  So, I pitched the idea to her, out of the blue, over lunch one day, feeling like it could just be taken as a joke, whatever.  But she was interested!  She had to think about it, talk it over with her people, etc.  In the meantime, she was in line at a local restaurant and pulled out her ::found:: wallet to pay.  She heard a man’s voice behind her say, “nice wallet”, as this total stranger pulled his ::found:: wallet out of his pocket!  So, she knew it was a sign, I know it is meant to be, and we are excited to begin this new journey together!
FoundLeatherGoods159
So… theFoundLeatherGoods010 big news is that we have just launched our own brand new website!  We enlisted the creative photographic genius of Misha at Michele-Marie Waite Photography, and are absolutely thrilled with the results!  Everything was shot just up the road in Edison, WA, and we had an absolute blast doing it.  In case you’ve forgotten what I look like, or haven’t met Leah, we are the models!😉  We aren’t only found leather goods makers, we are also clients (10% discount if you can name that commercial).
FoundLeatherGoods077 FoundLeatherGoods197 FoundLeatherGoods167
Anyway, the biggest difference with the new business model is that not everything is repurposed.  It became a full-time job just looking for materials, and I just couldn’t keep up.  We now source high-quality leather from a variety of places, combining smooth and embossed leathers in our designs.  Everything is still handmade by me in our studio in Bellingham.  And if you happen to live in the area, we are having an open studio on Saturday!  We were recruited to be part of the Fairhaven Girl’s Night Out that benefits Lydia Place, a women’s shelter here in town.  But even if you’re not part of the event, you are very welcome to come and visit us from Noon-6pm this Saturday! 1000 Harris Ave. Studio #2.
Phew!  So that’s the big news!  And importantly, here is a link to the website!:
So, please check it out!  Let me know what you think, and by all means, use the discount code ‘foundfriend’ if you purchase anything for a 10% discount (feel free to pass that on, too!).
We will maintain a presence on Etsy, mostly for our custom wallets and one of kind things I’ll make when I take a trip to New York and buy gorgeous leather at Mood (this happened!!)…
IMG_3991
IMG_4005
Thanks for all of your encouragement and support along the way!  Sometimes life takes you where you least expect…
Posted in crafting | Leave a comment

january experiment: ‘buy nothing new’ month

photo 2 (4)

as i write this, new toys are strewn about the rug.  kevin has taken a load of boxes and wrapping out to the recycling.  tags will be cut off all of the new clothes.  and i’ll be the first to admit: i love buying new things.  and even more, i love giving gifts.  i’ve found that online shopping has that double hit of the rush you get in the moment of purchase, and then the excitement of the package arriving at the front door.  ugh.  addictive much?  but the last couple of weeks, i have really felt the burden of spending.  not necessarily on my pocketbook (though it is certainly reflected there!), but on my soul.  i (very gratefully) had a busy Christmas season with my leather goods shop.  i was sewing down to the wire on custom gifts traveling near and far.  so, a lot of the ideas i had for making things to gift got pushed to the side, and for the sake of time, i ended up buying things instead of making them.  one can only gift leather so many times in so many forms.

a few years back, some good friends of ours challenged us to a ‘buy nothing new’ month (thanks for the inspiration, John and Christa!).  of course, this didn’t apply to food or other hygienic products (we still intend to eat and brush our teeth), but rather to things that you would buy new and either not really need, or things that you could get by other means than buying new.

i don’t quite remember if i stuck with it the first time.  from what i recollect, i ended up talking about it to a few people, making some exceptions, and probably eventually just plain forgot and went to the Gap.  but with this new month and new year coming up in a few days, it seems to be a great time to give it a real effort.  and since i am writing about it in a public place, you are all my witnesses.

i’ve been mulling over some good defense mechanisms for when i get that old urge to buy something new, and thought it might be a worthwhile thing to share.  maybe you are feeling the same way i am and are ready to give the shopping cart a break.  ok, so here’s my anti-shopping list…

1. use the ‘trash’ button on your email HEAVILY.  my very first line of attack on needless shopping will be immediately deleting all of the emails i get from my favorite retail companies offering me their best possible deals, seemingly every day of the week.  even if i will not see the same good deal again.  for at least a week.  see you later, Zulily.

2. make something with your hands.  even if you feel like you are not creative, or don’t have any skills, there are so many fun, easy, and free projects on Pinterest and in other places to inspire you and give you projects you can succeed at.  and in the end you get that same buzz of having something ‘new’ to show for it, and in addition, the pride of having made it yourself.  i’m plotting to make a cardboard animal bust.

3.  trade.  host a clothing swap.  include household goods.  make it a reason to have a fun get together, and donate what’s left over to a women’s shelter or your local Salvation Army.  i hosted a swap one time where you brought your great stuff that you just don’t use anymore, let go of it for good, then it got put into groups based on some criteria (size, purpose, etc.).  then everyone there was divided into a group and you moved around to the different ‘shops’ and took turns picking an item.  in the end you pay one dollar for every item you take home.  all of the money was donated to Girls Rock and Roll camp.  paying the dollar keeps you from being too greedy and taking home things you really don’t want.  and we also got to help a young girl develop her inner Janis Joplin.

4. borrow!  what a great excuse to meet your neighbors!  we live in a cohousing community, so it is really easy to share things with other people.  have an appliance you only use twice a year?  offer it to others to use when you aren’t.  get a community of sharing going by finding out what appliances and tools people might have and be willing to share.  i know that places like Portland, OR even have lending libraries of tools.  speaking of libraries, what a great place to find something fun and new!  it seems like libraries these days are just getting better and better and finding what you want and need.  you can even make purchase requests if there is something that you feel would be worthwhile to the community.

5. rearrange. simplify if possible.  kevin gives me a hard time about always wanting to rearrange the furniture, but it really does give freshness to a space.  hang a picture on the wall in a different spot.  move what’s upstairs, downstairs and vice versa.  get rid of the trinkets that you’ve had for 20 years that you are keeping ‘just because’.  i am totally sentimental, so this is hard for me.  but getting rid of the old can make space for something new and wonderful that otherwise couldn’t have come in.  i mean this literally and figuratively.

6. make a list of things that inspire you, and do, see, hear, taste, feel more of those things.  read a Mary Oliver poem. listen to that TED talk on creativity that your friend recommended. look at the National Geographic photo gallery. go wine tasting. get a massage. go to an art gallery.  hike to a waterfall.  go wine tasting.  watch birds with your kids.  go for a walk with your camera.  say a prayer for someone you love.  sit down and write for 10 minutes without stopping.  reflect on your life.  live inspired.

7.  shop your own closet.  wear things you haven’t worn for a long time.  dress up just for fun. combine things in new ways.  wear those great boots that you saved for so long to finally buy.  and if you really don’t love them as much as you thought you did, get rid of them.  use this as a chance to purge your closet.  and then host a clothing swap…

8. make a special meal.  look up a new recipe.  read a food blog (smittenkitchen.com and prairiekuchen.com are 2 of my favorites).  you don’t even have to make something fancy, but you can.  my friend Mark was just here for a visit, and i informed him that i had procured a duck for us to eat.  in other words, HE was cooking.  and it wasn’t actually that complicated (at least he made it look easy), and it was so delicious and lovely to have some uncommon flavors.  give your palette a little taste of adventure.

9. if you must shop, shop second hand.  craigslist, goodwill, thred-up, vintage stores galore.  there is almost always a way to find what you want outside of the retail mainstream.  thred-up is a dangerous new online thrift shopping experience that let’s you search by your size and favorite brands.  dangerous.  i would advise doing this in moderation.  

10.make due with less.  this is really the punchline of the whole deal, and the lesson i most need to learn.  i am currently reading a book called ‘7: an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess ‘ by Jen Hatmaker, in which she documents the simplification of her life– food, money, possessions, clothing, stress, waste, media.  not only is it very convicting, it’s also spit-wine-through-your-nose funny.  read it with me.  let’s have a big book club.

so, that’s my post-holiday ramble.  it’s not meant to convict you, but to challenge me to live a life less focused on obtaining more new things that i could really do without, and to refocus on more creative ways to curb that addiction.

so, who’s with me?  (only 6 shopping days left until January…)

 

 

Posted in contemplating | 5 Comments

the end of the summer…

someday, someone is going to invent a mind-reading, automatic blogger.  and i’ll be first in line to buy it, because i am really good at blogging in my head.  i’ve been blogging all summer, in fact.  so watch, read, as i attempt to download 4 months of life right here…

i will start just a little before our actual summer to include our second millworks farmer’s table dinner!  we were thrilled to have chris and dee pay us another visit, this time with their newest family member.

photo 1 photo 2 (1)

we spent some time wandering through some local forests, foraging some special delicacies to be included in the meal.  contributions were also gratefully received from tim’s farm down the road.

DSC_3632

foraged greens

it was a fun time to gather together friends from millworks and the ‘outside world’.

Let me explain

photo credit: john shaw

Story half told

photo credit: john shaw

the menu was unique and absolutely delicious:

course 1: salmon ‘tartare’, cucumber, cornichons, foraged greens, avocado crema

First Course

photo credit: john shaw

course 2: nettle and dandelion malfatti, brown butter, lemon, parmesan

Second Course

photo credit: john shaw

course 3: asparagus, farm egg, prosciutto, grain mustard vinaigrette

yum

photo credit: john shaw

course 4: rhubarb buttermilk ice cream, berry-rhubarb tuile, dried chocolate cake

…which was scrumptious!  and we somehow managed to miss getting a photo of it’s beauty.  but here’s the team in action…

photo 2 (3)

already anticipating the next episode of the farmer’s table: millworks!

———————-

the first official weekend of summer, we embarked on our first family camping trip.  our friends, BC and andrea had invited us to join them out on orcas island for an adventure.  it had it’s ups and downs, but overall, i’m glad we went.  advice: don’t include a ferry ride in your itinerary if you want everything to happen on schedule.

DSC_3844

DSC_3833
DSC_3829DSC_3841DSC_3827DSC_3826
DSC_3814
DSC_3803DSC_3799
DSC_3797DSC_3795DSC_3794DSC_3788
DSC_3785


DSC_3768DSC_3767DSC_3765DSC_3763

DSC_3845

atop mount constitution

 

———————————————

another big event of the summer was jude turning 4!  he had been insisting months previous to this that he wanted to have a ‘rescue bots’ birthday party.  i kept hoping that he would change his mind to something that would be easier to put on a cake, but ‘rescue bots’ it was (thanks, gretchen, for taking charge of my camera!).

DSC_4097

the party began with a scavenger hunt to find the rescue bots who had been hidden by the evil doctor morocco.  i had some terrific volunteers helping me!

DSC_4063 DSC_4066 DSC_4056
DSC_4047

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_4071

DSC_4081

 

DSC_4125 DSC_4130
DSC_4108

—————————-

and summer wouldn’t feel like summer without a trip up to kelowna.  this year we were celebrating grandpa’s 98th birthday!  we had such a lovely time at auntie lu and uncle dave’s home on the lake, playing around in the water,  having fun with cousins, and just relaxing…

DSC_4293

DSC_4256DSC_4253 DSC_4251

DSC_4290

cousins!

DSC_4259

beautiful aunties!

DSC_4238

nurse teryn patches up kevin


DSC_4284 DSC_4281 DSC_4280
DSC_4275 DSC_4274 DSC_4271 DSC_4268

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_4197

fun with ‘uncle brent’


DSC_4195DSC_4193DSC_4190DSC_4186DSC_4185

the rescue bots take kelowna

the rescue bots take kelowna

DSC_4208

DSC_4226

big smiles

DSC_4216

DSC_4219

cousin twins

DSC_4332

nudie boys

DSC_4346

DSC_4345
DSC_4319

happy birthday, Grandpa!

happy birthday, Grandpa!

DSC_4308

DSC_4297

grandpa reinhart and jude reinhart

DSC_4337 DSC_4338 DSC_4340
DSC_4367 DSC_4363 DSC_4355 DSC_4354 DSC_4353

boatride!

boatride!

my happy place...

my happy place…

such a lovely way to end the summer!

————————-

and all of the days in between were spent in and around bellingham, hanging out with friends and neighbors, hosting some fun out of town guests, working in and eating from the garden, and just enjoying family time together.  my neighbor put into words exactly what i’ve been feeling so much of lately: “i really like all of the parts of my life, i just feel like i don’t have time to enjoy each part individually!”.  i’ve decided to make a fall resolution to slow down a little more when i can.  take time to breathe and be in the moment, to blog more than once a season.

in general, life is so good for us right now.  our boys are happy and thriving.  i’ve settled nicely into my new studio and feel inspired and eager to grow my business.  kevin is starting a new year of good work at school.  zion is dieting successfully🙂.  here’s to soaking up every good moment…

DSC_4042DSC_4029

DSC_4040

DSC_4022DSC_4020image (1)image (2)image (3)image (4)

 

 

 

 

DSC_3862

DSC_3859photo (5)photo (2)photo (1)photo 3 (2) photo 2 (2) photo 1 (1)DSC_4035

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leo turns 2!

DSC_3553

auntie margo and the boys!

as leo’s baby book is virtually empty (save his birth announcement and a lock from his first haircut), i view this blog as a way to keep track of our family haps as well as reaching out into the cyber world a little bit to those i love, and others who might stumble through. the end of may is fast approaching, so i thought i’d better get leo’s birthday on the blog roll so it gets filed appropriately.

and what a birthday it was!  weeks before the actual date, when you even mentioned the word ‘birthday’, leo would quickly correct, ‘tractor birthday!’.  and so that is what we had, culminating with actual tractor rides, thanks to our dear neighbor, larry.  here’s a photo recap of the day:

 

DSC_3541

hanging out with ‘farmer’ papa

DSC_3550

DSC_3577

DSC_3576

lots of help opening presents!

DSC_3580

here comes the cake!

DSC_3582

DSC_3589

edible haybales

DSC_3597

tractor rides!

DSC_3600DSC_3602

DSC_3608

goofing around with the ‘real’ farmer in the family, uncle tim

DSC_3613

DSC_3615

the little birthday prince gets a ride in his new tractor

DSC_3617 DSC_3616 such a lovely day!  thanks to those of you who were here!  can hardly believe our baby is 2 (but am so glad he is finally sleeping through the night :)).

 

Posted in capturing | 2 Comments

watching grey’s anatomy, and other ways i’ve been wasting time…

there.  i’ve admitted it.  i’m totally addicted to ‘grey’s anatomy’.  i mean how can i not get sucked into wondering if spritely little meredith is going to end up with dr. mcdreamy?  has there been greater romantic suspense since anne shirley and gilbert blythe?  no.

you may ask yourself, ‘how in the world does she have time to watch mindless TV episodes?’  yes.  good question.  the key word there is ‘mindless’.  at the end of the day, when i should be reading my book for the book club i really do intend to be part of, when i’ve been juggling the roles of mother, small-business owner, housekeeper, mother, wife, good neighbor, mother, friend, cook, mother, and gardener, i just want to turn my body and brain off for a little while.  so i drift off into the hospital high drama for a spell, and get tangled up in all the problems of other people who aren’t exhausted mamas.  people who have been skewered chest to chest to one another by train parts seem to have way bigger problems than i do…

and lately, the rest of my spare time has been spent on something a little more practical, and usually enjoyable: gardening!  hooray for spring!  i was fully intending to skip a Millworks community work party this past sunday, but who can resist 6 hours of weeding in 70 degree spring sun??  (i’m actually not kidding.).   i am running out of room to plant things in our little yard, which i think is a good thing, so now it is just a matter of maintaining the perennials, squeezing in annuals where i can, and battling the slugs and the deer.  zion was dispatched twice from the patio door today for deer patrol.  he bounds out across the wetlands to send the deer hopping, and returns to proud congratulations from the boys.  we all have to earn our keep around here.

we did manage to get away for spring break– all 4 of us!  on a plane! i hesitate to call it ‘vacation’ but it was definitely a trip.  we spent 4 nights down in Palm Springs, CA, which has become a convenient gathering spot for many of our friends and family.  i imagined long sunny days of relaxing by the pool while my children played with… oh, yeah: me.  and kevin, of course.  God bless Kevin.  i did get a few hours of peace.  but going on a trip with small children can really be more stressful than just staying at home with your children when your husband has the week off of work.  the swimming pool is not a babysitter, it is a death threat.  it was great to watch the boys play around in the water, but there was very little relaxing.  although there is something about seeing the sun that just makes everything seem a little easier.  it was so lovely to see the sun!

and also lovely to see family and friends!  the boys loved seeing all of their ‘aunties’ (margo, luann, and taunya) and dog cousins (cassidy!).

margo

chatting it up with auntie margo

margo2 and of course the uncles were a big hit, too… (as i’m typing, leo is at my side looking at this picture saying ‘dave!  dave!’.

dave

cruising with uncle dave

my dear friend, Jody, and her 3 kids were down there visiting her folks as well, so we had lots of social time to keep us hopping.

IMG_0958

we took the troops on a trip to the indian canyons just outside of palm springs for a little hike.  the weather was so surprisingly cool that we were disappointed they were not selling sweatshirts at the gift shop.  jude had to wear my big yellow sweatshirt to keep warm.  a stranger on the trail remarked, ‘there’s a little wizard up ahead!’.

IMG_0963

we hiked down into a palm lined canyon that i’m sure would have been refreshingly shady on a usual California spring day, but as it was, we were happy when the sun decided to break through the clouds.

IMG_0970

 

IMG_0974

 

IMG_0978

the next day we spent the morning at the ‘living desert’ zoo exhibit.  the real animals were nice and all, but the statues were much more fun to ride on…

IMG_0999

 

IMG_1002

IMG_1006

our last day we were all feeling a little run down, but we decided to take a drive to our beloved Joshua Tree national park.  the boys were a little grumpy in the car.  bribery consisting of of jelly belly jelly beans, transformers, and tractors was heavily utilized. but once we stopped to see the rocks, the boys were stoked!  they loved it!

IMG_1016

IMG_1015

IMG_1040 IMG_1041

we might have a couple of budding desert rats on our hands.  we went for a couple of short hikes through the brush.  Jude sent a couple of sweet bouldering problems.  we need to work a little on the down climbing (to prevent mama from having heart attacks…).

IMG_1022

because allegiant air has very strict baggage limitations, the only souvenirs we brought back were pink eye and ear infections.  fortunately, the fond memories will last us for a good long while🙂.

IMG_1028

 

other than that, things are just the usual around here.  in addition to vacation maladies, the boys seem to catch every bug that floats by.  the last 3 weeks we have been in to see a doctor every friday.  in addition to other trips for immunizations for chicken pox and measles which are making rounds.  we should just have a standing appointment.

summer is tantalizingly close, though, and i’m hopeful we will see healthier days.  kevin is working on his national boards certification, which is requiring a fair amount of work, so it will be nice when that is over next month as well.

i’ll wrap it up with a few shots from the camera roll.  hope you are enjoying this holy week whether or not you are observing that calendar.  new life abounds!

DSC_3391 (1)

DSC_3393 (1)DSC_3329 DSC_3336

Posted in capturing, contemplating | 5 Comments