nuggets: bits of the season in photos and words
I’m scrambling to get it all together, making decisive omissions from my to do list. Put laundry away? Nah, that can be shoved in the closet. Shower? A dab of lavender oil will do.
Margot and five friends from her jump rope team are going to be here in 45 minutes and, as cliché as cliché can be, most days I just don’t know what happens to my time. It feels expansive in the morning and then 3pm rolls around and I’m in my stinky workout clothes, not quite where I’d like to be with work and wishing for a grocery shopping elf.
My girls are home and I blink once to entirely shift gears. Work ends abruptly, no matter what pressing thing I am in the middle of. This is one of the many benefits/deficits of working from home. I find my center in eye contact and listening to their tales about the weird substitute teacher, the kid who dumped ranch dressing in her applesauce, the tetherball duel, the research on Gabby Douglas. They ransack the fridge and pantry looking for the easiest, fastest food they can find, usually opting for granola with milk. Unless I’ve made bread. Then it’s thick slices with heaps of butter. Oh wait, unless there’s something like cheese puffs or that caramel and cheese popcorn situation and then they definitely pick those things. I always ask did you eat a good lunch? as I unzip their pink lunch boxes unlocking the day’s lunchroom story.
Tonight we will make pizza and costumes for this weekend’s Tournament of Champions jump rope competition in Seattle. I decide to whip the kitchen and bathroom into shape and ignore everything else. We get it done. We are ready to receive these guests who have never been to our home before.
But then this crazy thing happens. The parents come with their kids and they all walk through the side gate into the backyard and my studio. I remember a critter ripped open our recycling bin last night, tossing it all around the yard. I never picked it up. And my studio hasn’t been tidied up since last weekend’s popup shop so the entry is literally walled off by a heap of boxes and bins. I pruned the grapevine and a gnarled, human-high pile lay just inside the gate. The hose is knotted up in front of the chicken coop so everyone walks on their tip toes in the spaces between the snaking coils. It is literally a trash-strewn obstacle course.
Instead of welcoming all into my shiny kitchen while making pizza dough, I welcomed them into my jungled backyard while picking up beer cans and shoving vines and hoses aside to make a path to the blockaded studio. Watch out for the dog poop! Same same.
A few years ago I would have felt embarrassed. But today I feel just fine. Both are my realities. One thing is for certain in my world: when one thing is put together, something else isn’t put together. And it’s all ok. I do begin to apologize for the chaos and clutter, as I set down an armful of tuna tins and yogurt containers to untangle one mom’s foot from a vine-hose knot, but she quickly shushes me with a wave and a smile. Right, I remember with relief. It doesn’t matter.
We make and eat pizza. Andy tossing dough, arranging toppings and pulling them in and out of the oven as fast as he can for the ravenous girls. We design and construct costumes. A bubbly explosion of ideas and fabric cutting and sewing. You know those moments when you can tell your kid is proud you’re her mom? That happens and I feel my heart push against my ribs.
:: Our deck is rotting. For the last few years we’ve been replacing boards as they fall apart and finally had to go for the railing. Andy mimicked his design for the fence and I’m so happy with it! It’s nice to have a non-crumbling railing and it also brightens up our outdoor living space. Our ancient grapevine was about to bud out so it was timely there too…I was able to prune it up and untangle from the original railing. Can’t wait to see it in its glory in a few short weeks.
:: We hunted for morel mushrooms on Mother’s Day. Despite everyone saying they are everywhere, we didn’t fall into a crop. We did get to hang out with some of our favorite people and receive daughterly hair adornment.
:: Ruby has a soccer game every Sunday. I like the sidelines with this girl.
:: Enjoying the first fires of this season, the one where we aren’t bundled against the snow but instead kicked back and absorbing the ambient glow.
:: I made myself a jumpsuit. I’d been stalking this pattern for a while on social media. It’s the Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case patterns and I highly recommend it. It’s an awesome pattern and the comfiest outfit ever.
:: I feel behind in the garden this year. I have yet to plant much. We are loving the overwintered parsnips and kale. Seeds planted: peas, lettuce, radish. In time, in time.
:: Mama have you ever watched a robin hop so fast they float?
:: My bread baking obsession is deepening. I’m now experimenting with different flours and ratios and pushing the process, studying what works best. I am using the Tartine method of punching the dough instead of kneading, outlined in their wonderful book. The hard part is not eating bread all damn day. I love gluten. Below: first image is 800g white flour, 200g whole wheat flour // second image is 500g white, 500g whole wheat + 100g roasted and ground sesame seeds.
:: Hiking in the spring in Montana is divine. Everything is waking up, pushing up, growing up. And, yes, that snowy photo is current. May 17.
:: Lots of new things at DIG + CO. this year and more coming. Pictured here: beeswaxy reusable food wrap, kid’s cotton twill cap, youth hoodie and adventure journal with wool carrying case. If you’d like to receive our shop emails featuring things like sales, recipes and new products: you can sign up at the bottom of this page (we won’t spam you. promise.).
:: George’s favorite nap spot. Are you tempted to rub his belly? He will claw the shit out of your hand. Go for the ears instead.
:: After school at our house involves countless handstands and braids.
:: Sam Bubbas with tulips.
:: Went on a date with this babe. The one photo we took is blurry which feel just right. We’re in motion these days. We are currently dreaming up a big adventure for our 40/21 next year. 40 years old, 21 years together. Where should we go?
:: Braiding her hair before she performed at the Special Olympics opening ceremony. My bug.
A friend shared this quote with me the other day from the Wild + Free instagram (an account featuring homeschooling bits). I can’t get it out of my head and want to get it in yours. xo
Make this be guilt free. No guilt! If it’s feeling tortuous to finish the book, close it and walk away. It will still be there next fall. Your kids will not fall behind. We are not racing to a finish line, we are choosing a pace that brings life. Remember, sweet mama friends, no guilt allowed. Only freedom. – Toni Weber