Rainbow Friday is a shiny, happy event that celebrates small business and adds color to your holiday shopping days! Each of the businesses below crafts and creates and curates, hoping our neighbors will value our goods and, yes, buy them. We constructed Rainbow Friday so that you, wonderful people, can:
Take advantage of some great sales and have a chance to win awesome things!
Give gifts that support your community. I mean that sentence literally. When you buy from small, local shops you vote for economic health and creative wellbeing in your world.
Stay home and enjoy your people in the days after Thanksgiving. Open your computer and shop when everyone is asleep after a rich day of play, conversation, snuggles and laughter.
Each rad business below is offering up a giveaway and a great deal. Continue reading →
Every night when we go to bed, we carry our kids to their beds from ours, where they always fall asleep just after reading books. We know they will fall back into our bed with us sometime between 10pm and 7am. But for those two to ten hours, we have that entire Queen all to ourselves. Well, and our dog and one or two cats curled among limbs.
I went to log into my blog over the weekend and couldn't remember my password. It's been a while since I've been here. But I certainly didn't think it'd take me a good bit to remember how to login. I changed my password almost a year ago when wordpress told me I had to. I know it was almost a year ago because it was the day after Alice died
. And on that gray, cold day I changed my password to include the date of her passing.
At night, after I carry Margot across the hall, I place her feet on the ladder to the top bunk. It has been six months since the last time I would ever carry her with one arm and climb the ladder to place her up there. It was literally one single, warm night when I just couldn't muscle it any longer. Now, she, half-awake, ascends the ladder with me steadying her from below saying I got you baby. Night. Love you.
Ruby is easier, mostly because she's on the bottom bunk but also because she has just a bit of baby left in her. No matter how awkward the carry position is, her frame sinks against mine like the stars find their place in a constellation.
We leave our door cracked all night because if we don't, Sam leans his claws into the wood to voice his disapproval. Sam is our 17-year old cat whom we've had since he was a kitten. He chooses to sleep with us every night but likes to know he can get out if he wants to.
We went to a college football game last Saturday with my in-laws. At this game, I was one of 25,000 people who wanted a distraction, who wanted to have fun and focus on the things we love about this life. For me, this had absolutely nothing to do with football. For me, I was lifted by the our collective ability to breathe and desire for contentment, fulfillment, love and health. I was thoughtful about our crowd of people. The trust and vulnerability, the blood pumping through our hearts. And, what if.
What if. Continue reading →
hump day nuggets: bits of the season in photos and words
Every year, as the leaves ignite into bejeweled, brittle, temporary bits, our family joins friends beside a navy blue river.
Read more on hump day nuggets: ritual…
I stand in the kitchen, tired, noticing I forgot to brush my furry teeth the night before. "Girls! It's time to start our day!" I shout down the short hall to their sleepy bunk beds. I pull two creamy shots of espresso. The aroma awakens my skin. Andy's art exhibit is in a few days and we are nearing the end of a tightly booked schedule. For months, Andy has been painting between 4 and 6:30am, before his 10 hour work day. And painting again in the evenings and on the weekends. Naturally, I've been keeping (attempting to keep) the homestead stuff together, weaving my work around cooking, kids, garden, pets etc. We've been in a doable and good rhythm, one that feels doable and good because it is creatively fueling for my husband and because it is finite. I cannot wait to see Andy stand in a white gallery*, surrounded by his art and people who love his art. I look forward to someone else making dinner again. I look forward to breezy, cozy weekday evenings.
I steam coconut milk and accidentally pour the most beautiful heart-leaf design into my mug. I think about taking a photo but I stand and stare instead, noticing how one little beautiful thing can be such a gift.
Last week, during a meeting with Margot's teacher, I felt a lump in my jeans on my calf. It was a big lump and I couldn't believe nobody told me that it looked like a was concealing a small squirrel up my pant leg. I fished my hand up the blasted skinny jean to fetch the item and instead I pulled out a pair of my underwear. That I then had to hold in my lap for the rest of the meeting.
Our kitchen is deconstructed as we prepare for the last bits of our four-year remodel. I wipe drywall dust off the little stool so I can spread peanut butter on bread for breakfast. Margot has a spelling test today.
BREEZE I say, emphasizing the Z. She wants to spell it with an S like cheese and and EA like please. And really, I wonder how any of us learn to spell when every rule is broken 12 different ways.
Mama, can you please tie this string on my wrist so it's not too tight but also not too loose? Ruby always has very specific requests regarding fit and tension of accessories and clothing.
One second, baby. I fill lunch containers with sliced tomatoes, cheese and applesauce on the kitchen floor.
Little Dragon plays. The sun cuts light across the dusty floor. Mabel is hungry. I take hold of the fragile string with six gold rings and one diamond in the middle that is held tight to Ruby's wrist. Except I don't have a good grip and the beads fall, hop away and vanish into the floor. She screams in horror. I take a gulp of coffee and pick her up. I tell her we'll make another but immediately regret saying that because that isn't the point. She grieves over that bracelet on this morning.
She presses her wet cheek into the space between my collarbone and chin. I hold her with my right arm. I wipe the stool with my left hand and say SKELETON to Margot.
Despite the sock crisis, the kids make it to school on time and this small victory feels like a big one. Continue reading →
Ten years ago today I married Andy in the pouring rain.
As a teenager I would imagine my adult self. She would dive into a series of passionate relationships, having her heart broken easily and often. It would be ok because she felt alive and ready for everything that feeling alive involved. She would feverishly make art and travel the world after college and maybe never settle into one place.
I didn't imagine that, at 18, I would fall in love with the boy I'd had a crush on since I was 11. And that would be it. Just the one passionate relationship. No broken hearts. We were a meteoric collision where two things awaken and strengthen simply by being together. I was stunned to know love like this existed. Love that made me feel the most alive, the most certain, the most vulnerable.
We went to a concert last night. Our babysitter arrived at 6 when I was in the shower, Andy was vacuuming up tumbleweeds of pet hair and the kids were laying in the driveway with stuffed animals. We weren't ready for her. Or, actually, we were so ready for her. We were tired. We drank espresso, kissed our kids and left.
I didn't know Todd Snider's music very well. But Andy knows me and booked tickets long ago. We paid a little extra to have seats at a table which we proudly noticed makes us in the "older" bracket of concert goers. I remember a time when the cheapest ticket was the ticket we always booked, when we happily stood for hours smushed in the front beer-splashing quadrant of show. Well, I guess we still do that at Pearl Jam but this show felt more like my favorite poetry reading in a friend's living room.
Elizabeth Cook opened and the beauty of her voice and her words brought tears to my eyes three times in 45 minutes. She told stories that gripped the room and I thought about that power people have when they are doing their thing - the real thing they are meant to do - and the universe shivers with joy.
I leaned into Andy's side, his two hands clamshelled around my right hand. He has held my hand that way for almost 19 years. I studied it last night. His hands have aged but they hold the same delicate shape, like a prayer around mine. Continue reading →