{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, as inspired by the women at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

September. For me, it’s always signified a fresh start, a new beginning. I’m trying to lean into that feeling this year, in these first few days after Labor Day. I want to renew some of the habits that have fallen by the wayside during the long, hot summer days: journaling, writing, studying, running. I haven’t quite gotten there yet – habits are, regrettably, always easier to break than they are to build – but I’m working toward it. With BSF and MOPS beginning again next week, we’ll have a bit more structure, a bit more routine, which I hope will help me find a rhythm that will allow me to write more than a {pretty, happy, funny, real} post each week. In the meantime, however, here are the moments I recorded this week.

{Pretty}

Summer may be winding down, but we still have an abundance of tomatoes on the vine. Truth be told, I’m ready for fall – ready for sweaters and tights, for soups and stews and chilis, for fires crackling in the wood stove. I will admit, however, that this veggie platter – comprised, with the exception of the olives, completely of produce from my garden or from our CSA – makes me regret the passing of summer food just a little bit.

{Happy}

Every week, Katie anticipates Grandma Time. (Usually, Grandma visits on Friday morning, but this week, at my request, she came a day early). Katie spends the half hour before Grandma’s arrival darting between the window in the breakfast nook and the front door, wanting to be the first to see the familiar white sedan pull into our driveway. Grandma almost always brings something fun – a project, perhaps, or a book, a puzzle or a game – in her bag, and a certain excited three-year-old just barely squeaks out a “Hi, Gamma!” before asking what fun “projet” they’ll be doing this time.

Today, Grandma brought tissue paper, starch, paintbrushes, and a special project smock. They spent half an hour together, carefully cutting squares and sticking them to cardboard to create a special piece of artwork.

I’m ever-so-grateful for Katie’s Grandma – for all of her grandparents – and the dedication and intention they bring to their relationships with her.

{Funny}

These two girls and their cheeseball grins kill me. These photos only captured a hint of the hamminess that they embody – Abby’s taken to squinting her eyes shut and tossing her head back and forth as she smiles. Ridiculous. Ridiculously cute, that is.

Also, this is what it’s like to trim a one-year-old’s fingernails. At least she wasn’t crying this time.

{Real}

In the past few weeks, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of first-day-of-school pictures. A number of my friends have kids Katie’s age, kids who are now attending preschool. Katie won’t be, at least not this year. Instead, we’re playing and running and reading and learning at home. I don’t have any plans, really, other than to encourage a lot of play – especially outside – and to use Abby’s morning nap time for “projects” – which could mean anything from arts and crafts to science to listening to music – once or twice a week. Here, Katie’s playing with oobleck – a non-Newtonian mess fluid made of cornstarch and water.

I’ve wrestled with this decision, even though I know it’s one we can change at any time. A public school kid all the way through, I always assumed my kids would follow a similar route. And there’s something daunting in keeping her home. All my doubts and insecurities come flooding in – concerns about the time required, about socialization, about my own skills and abilities.

But we’ve talked about it, thought about it, prayed about it, and, for now, in this season, this is what seems right for our family.

Those are the {pretty, happy, funny, real} moments around here this week. What about you? Capture any contentment lately?

Family and Parenting, This Thing Called Life

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One Response to {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

  1. Jamie says:

    Those veggies look delicious! We love fall around our house too, except for raking leaves that is.