farewell september

today we spent almost the entire day in our backyard soaking up the last bit of warm weather and saying farewell to summer. it is such a bittersweet time of year. no more running out to check the mail barefooted. no more trips to grocery store in tank tops and birkenstocks. the talk of autumn has been all over social media lately, but now, well now it is really time. i suspect soon we will be pulling those sweatshirts over our heads and finishing off with a knit cap almost everyday. we will embrace it. oh yes we will. 

anyway, today we decided we better get out there and play while the gettin's good. yesterday i rummaged my dad's garden and brought home a basket full of tomatoes, so today i picked up some bacon and we had BLTs for lunch. the BLT is my all time favorite sandwich. Eleanor requested toast with jelly and bacon on the side. we also grabbed a jug of apple cider from a farmer's stand, so we have been drinking that by the glassful all day long. 

 after we finished lunch we began school. school outside is nice because we can take many play breaks. such a great thing for a six year old, let me tell ya. wolfgang doesn't mind it either, although daddy had to take him in at one point because he was eating rocks and dirt by the handfuls and i just couldn't keep up! so nice to have a daddy that works mostly from home. i am forever grateful for that. 

school went well today. she has been working on memorizing sight words and i have been working on patience. her thing right now is writing us letters and she wrote the sweetest letter to wolfgang. i am going to tuck it away in my top dresser drawer along with all of my other treasured eleanor letters and drawings. we are looking forward to the holiday season and have a field trip to a science museum coming up. all is well. it really is. it is so amazing to watch her grow and learn. i get to be there in the passenger seat. sigh. so good. 

side note: this is an album that i will put in the nostalgia bank for autumn 2014. take a listen here



true grit

today was rough. so rough that i fought tears most of the day until eventually there was just no fighting them. all i wanted was to magically grow wings and fly. not fly away, but just to sore high in the sky and feel the wind against my face, wiping my tears. i never wanted this blog to turn into a place for me to whine, but i don't know, i just felt really alone today. you know what i mean? and i am almost embarrassed or ashamed, maybe? to even admit that. but i think it is life and it is okay to feel feelings every once in a while. and it is even okay to share them.

my body is going through a change so to speak. wolfgang is almost a year old and we are still actively breastfeeding with no plans to stop anytime soon, but i think my body is trying to officially bounce back from pregnancy. and by that i mean, i think my period is coming back. i feel so hormonal and emotional and exhausted and the whole bit that comes along with it. my husband has been so patient with me and understanding and even let me take an almost three hour nap today. boy, i needed it. especially after the morning we had at school.

so, yea, school. eleanor and i clashed BIG time today. she didn't feel like doing school and honestly neither did i, but we did it anyway. at one point she hid under the table and just flat refused to participate. i was taking deep breaths and trying to think of a way to get her interested and obedient. well, nothing was coming to me and i wanted to crawl under the table with her and just give up on the whole day. i can't do that. i have to stay strong and positive for her. i have to somehow get a grip even when it feels impossible. i try to remind myself to hug it out. just grab her and hug it out. it will work. it always works. but i am not perfect and i do not always do that. instead i become really frustrated and am fighting the urge to lash out. especially when she has crawled out from under the table and has started kicking her legs and yelling. eventually i excuse myself and lock myself in the bathroom for several minutes until i feel as if i have calmed down. at this point when i walked back upstairs she, too, had calmed down and was coloring. phew. we were able to continue on with school and slowly finish.

homeschooling is so great in so many ways. it allows you to construct your own schedule and basically come and go as you please. doctors appointments? no problem. field trips? anytime you want. start school at 10am today and 1pm tomorrow? absolutely. and being able to keep your baby at home all day everyday, well that is just the icing on top of the cake. i love it for all of those reasons, but it is so hard sometimes. worth it, but hard. i worked with the criminally insane for many years and i will say that homeschooling is even harder than that. obviously it is much more rewarding and a million times more wonderful, but hard.

i go to bed every night hoping that i didn't fail her. i lay in bed and think of how i can make tomorrow go smoothly and for no one to become upset or frustrated. at the end of the day, all i want is for her to feel loved. and this may sound selfish, but i want her to enjoy me. to enjoy my company. to enjoy me as her teacher. i don't want her to dread school because that means more time with me. i want her to love homeschool. i know that i am probably being dramatic and just plain emotional at this point because she is only six and most kids do not like school no matter who the teacher is. and i know that it is okay that we had a bad day and tomorrow is a new day. we will try again. i will try to be more positive and shoot, more fun even. most importantly, more patient. more kind. more forgiving.

i apologize for this blog post, but not really i guess. i think the greatest blog posts i have ever read have been knowing that the woman who wrote it was probably sobbing and typing at the same time. sometimes life is more than feeling inspired over a new recipe or where did she get that dress or i want my house to look like that. let's get to the grit. let's get to the real stuff. the human stuff.


an afternoon at an orchard // round two

a few days back i received a text from a friend asking if i wanted to go apple picking this week. i had already taken the kids this year and made enough applesauce to feed an army, as well as delicious apple crisps and pies. with little thought i decided, sure, why not! i mean, i could always make apple butter this time around and more pie because, well, who doesn't love pie. so, today we finished school early and went to the orchard. my friend's son and wolfgang are close in age and it is always so adorable watching them interact with one another. eleanor does most of the picking and loves playing the role of big sister. wolfgang sits in the wagon munching on apples while she pulls him along. she is so protective and sweet. she found a plump, pink pumpkin that she begged to take home. it is now next to her bed on the floor as to be close to her while she sleeps. under her pillow is a lost tooth that fell out while eating a red delicious apple. later on this week her and i will be busy baking and eating pie. i love this time of year. pumpkins scattered around the house and the smell of cinnamon fills the air. fall is so cozy and comforting. it reminds me of togetherness and oh, man, i love being together with my little family. snuggled on the couch, watching old movies and eating apple pie. 


around the house // our kitchen

two years ago while walking around an historic district in dayton, we came across an open house. at the time we were living in a teeny tiny two bedroom apartment on the other side of town. it was just arick, eleanor and i and we hadn't even started trying for wolfgang yet. we knew we were ready to buy a house and expand our family, but we certainly never intended on living in north dayton. not for any particular reason other than we just never considered it. you know how it is ... you live in an area of town for so long that it is where you are comfortable ... things are familiar. anyway, we walked into this open house and were immediately blown away by the beauty of this 1920's home. it felt so big to us, so unique, so old, so cool. i mean, a dining room, a living room, two bathrooms, four bedrooms AND a finished attic?! to us, it seemed like a mansion. hardwood floors throughout? original windows? a fenced in yard? for us, it was a dream. we were sold the minute we walked in that door. only problem, where is the kitchen? well, it didn't have one. let me take that back, it did have one, but it was not what you would call functional. the only thing in that wrecked room worth salvaging were the original built in cabinets. so beautiful. we knew if we bought this house we would have a project on our hands and for a short time, we would be living without a kitchen. and that is exactly what we did. i am kicking myself for not taking photos of our make shift kitchen we had in our living room. basically, it was a tiny refrigerator, a table with a microwave on it and some dishes in a big tupperware tub. you guys, i washed the dishes in our bathtub for a over a month. it seems so nuts to think about that now.

as many of you may know, we are currently trying to sell this house we love so much to move to the country, (and hopefully stay put!) but i will certainly miss this kitchen. i do love it so. wherever we move, i do hope to copy some of it ... like our big industrial size sink. i do know that wherever we end up ... whatever the kitchen, we will make it our own and we will be home because we will be all together. sharing meals and growing old. 


embracing autumn

i know it isn't officially autumn yet, but it sure feels like it. the air conditioners have been turned off nearly a week, a mess of wool blankets suddenly crowd the couch and in the morning before our feet touch the floor we are reaching for big sweaters and fuzzy socks. as i sit here and type, i am curled up on the couch and the aroma of freshly ground coffee and pumpkin spice candles fill the room. we are finally settling in on our new back to school routine and our days are spent like a song. it's so amazing how my tummy starts to growl at the same time everyday. oh, it must be noon! time for lunch! i have always been a planner, so establishing a routine for my family is so important to me. in fact, if it is 8:31pm, a minute passed their bedtime and they are not tucked in yet ... i become so anxious.

 anyway, i am embracing autumn. i am embracing the change of seasons and a new routine. and of course halloween is right around the corner and i feel myself becoming more and more giddy about it everyday. every year i make eleanor's costume and it brings me so much joy. last night during supper eleanor was throwing out costume ideas and i'm pretty sure she is stuck on being a zombie. i must say, i am not thrilled about it, but whatever makes her happy.

this past weekend we went on our first autumn hike. hiking in the fall is one of our favorite activities, so this trip was the first of many. eleanor complained some, but it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon with my family. eleanor brought along her magnifying glass and field journal and kept calling herself a detective. wolfgang, my little explorer at heart, loves sticks and dirt so he was in heaven.  here are some photos i snapped along the way.