Monday, June 24, 2013

a little green around the thumb

I'm a summer girl at heart, and love the long warm days it brings. The first few hours after sunrise is my favorite part of these days too. To really let you in on my secret, the best way to enjoy those first few hours is to take my steaming cup of coffee out to my vegetable garden and smell the fresh morning air! The plants are perky from their cool nights rest and seem to be reaching out to catch the dew filtered, first rays of sun!
The quiet calmness is addictive. Occasionally a bird will break out in morning song to greet the new day.

The calmness is usually quickly interrupted by the Peeps discovering my whereabouts! They know where to look for me, and I let them in on my morning wonderments! Maybe a new bloom, maybe a busy bee working hard gathering pollen, maybe a zucchini (or 5) to harvest or a fresh bunch of basil to smell! My hope is that they will come to appreciate the simple joy found in the "fruit of the ground", and the amazement of the One who created it!

This morning was not a typical June morning in California, as we woke up to a cloudy overcast sky and a slight drizzle of rain! I was not complaining though, and my garden seem to burst forth with even more appreciation! The color of green that they displayed was so beautiful that I couldn't resist going back in for my camera! Capturing these details of my little sanctuary was even more rewarding, as looking through the lens of a camera can sometimes bring about a perspective I've never seen before!

The lens of a camera also can be a bit deceiving as these pictures hide a lot imperfections that are in among the brilliant green! I consider myself fairly new at the whole gardening thing, and the term "green-thumb" would really only apply because I'm not a seasoned gardener! You could say I'm still "green" and have a lot of maturing to do! I'm pretty enthusiastic when I plop my fresh new plants into the early spring soil, but I can be found furrowing my brow in frustration when the signs of disease or pest show up! I google, and try to diagnose, but often my enthusiasm starts to wain and I'm left with sad little, half eaten or curled up leaves on my once happy plants! Instead of giving them the patience to pull through, I'm ready to serve them eviction papers and give them a week to get their act together! 

Experience is the best form of learning though, so I remind myself it's not a sign of bad gardening to lose a plant to a herd of snails! They're a part of nature, but learning a few tricks of the trade can help drive them out of my sanctuary and back to the plants I don't intend to make my lunch out of! And in case they don't get hint...I'll be back out tomorrow morning just as early and I won't be feeling nearly as nice!

Happy gardening to those of you who enjoy it, and I'd love to know some of your secrets or little trick to "green-up" my thumb a little more!

Monday, June 17, 2013

One big celebration.

Brace yourselves, my dears, as we're about to cover 3 months in one post! The keyboard feels so cold and unfamiliar beneath my fingers, and my thoughts that once flowed freely, are trying to break through the dust and cobwebs. But...I'm back in blogland and it feels good to sit and stare at the ole' curser blinking back at me again!

So really this is mostly about the month of May which is one big celebration. You don't think about these things when your young and in love and setting a wedding date! Holidays like Mother's day and Memorial day and so forth just don't really seem to apply at the time, so celebrating our magical day was really the only celebration that was of much concern.

Enter child #1...Now Mothers day is kind of a big deal...(and you better not forget it either.) 
Oh, and also, this child happened to be born in May! Exactly 3 years and some few hours after that once Magical day I just mentioned. We labored a better part of our 3rd Anniversary away in anticipation of him, but he was gracious enough to hang in there until early the next morning...declaring his own day of celebration!

It makes for some strategically planned anniversary get a ways, so sonny-boy isn't left to party without us...but we manage! :) I might add, my birthday happens to be in May as well...yep, right after mothers day... before our anniversary and sweet child's birthday...are you confused yet?! See what I'm saying? 
May = one big celebration.

We don't get away every year to celebrate our magical day...but this year, Mcdreamy swooned me to the wine country of CA. He's been there...and I've been there...but we'd never been there together. 
Napa is for lovers, people...go TOGETHER! :) It was bliss. Although give me some rolling hills with vineyards, delicately prepared foods paired with locally grown wines, and I get a little starry-eyed! 

Here we have Hubby attacking a pastry from the fabulous Bouchon Bakery. It was a cream-filled, sugar-topped, goodness of some sort and he wouldn't even share a bite. True story. Not even a little morsel. My health nut bran muffin was good and all, but shoot it, this would've been the one time to give in to peer pressure.

It's all good, how could I stay mad at him...I was still mushy and starry eyed from all the surroundings anyway! He is, after all, my McDreamy! We enjoyed a couple days of quiet relaxation before the crazy of the rest of the month hit. 

 Before long we packed up again and this time it was daddy's turn to stay home! The boys and I went to Ohio to visit my family for a week...and get in some quality cousin time! There's 12 of them, and they all live a convenient few short miles away from Grandpa & Grandma's house. Never a dull moment on the family farm. 

 If you really want to have some fun, get them all involved in planting a garden. Throw in a hose and watering can to top it all off. The look on my sisters face portrays her true feelings about the matter! Needless to say, she remained relatively calm, and the seeds actually came up in a some what uniform fashion...according to Grandma. We'll see if she asks for our help again next year though.

Here they are...all 12 in their best behavior. I should've included the other 30-some shots we took to get this one quasi cooperative one! Hooligans. That's what they all are. But the funnest, cutest hooligans around town. We miss them when we're not there, and I hope they do us! 

Mama had some fun of her own with some dear friends of her childhood! These two loved me through my high-tops and side pony days, and have provided years of gut-busting laughter and immeasurable fun! Their friendships have blessed my life in more ways than I can count, so to spend time with them when opportunity arises is a no-brainer! And a quick word on Napolese...Double Yum! Okay that was two words, but seriously find myself drooling a little just typing the name!

A sweet capture of a favorite past time of the Peeps in OH. Melts my heart, every-time! Turns out she knows a thing or two about what kids love...because her lap is prime real estate among the "12"! I hope it's a long time before they grow out of fighting over it too!

The last event on the month-of-may party agenda was a monumental moment in this sweet Peeps life! For months we talked about the day it would happen and what life changing things it would entail for him! Some of you with better memories may even recollect this very day in your own lives...but I'm not as fortunate. 

We celebrated the wonderful *FIVE* years of life that God has so graciously blessed our first born with! He wanted 3 things for his party...seashells, cupcakes and shrimp! (oh, and his posse of teenage friends! I think in his mind he's actually 15 judging by the average age of his guest list) The beach seemed like a fun place for everyone of all ages! I guess that's a luxury you get to enjoy when you live in California. Other than the 3 carloads of STUFF we had to carry out to the chosen location, it was a perfect party spot. Turns out the posse came in real handy, because a crowd of preschoolers and toddlers wouldn't have been as much help in the set-up & clean-up of a beach party! I'm now kicking myself for not getting a group picture of him with all of them!

Bottom line is, birthdays are best when in the company of those you love! It doesn't matter where you are or what you do to celebrate them! And you'll all probably agree with me that somewhere between the ages of 18-25 there is a birthday that changes everything for what you've ever known of as birthdays. They don't hold quite the anticipation that they used to. Oh, they can be special...but I've learned to not expect quite as much as I used to.

I've come to realize that even on birthdays, the day is not my own! There's people around me that need me to serve them, and not to expect them to serve me! This was confusing for me the first couple of years I was a mother! It didn't turn out well when I tried to declare the day as mine and put out cold cereal for all three meals of the day...or shut myself into my Lab to create the day away! There were still dishes, and diapers, and disagreements.
Then it came to me that it's in the joy of serving that I found the best birthday gifts ever received. I can wake up to another day of life, another day older, another day wiser and be blessed by the privilege of having 3 mouths to feed, and hearts to fill! To spend a birthday without them in my life, and do whatever fancied my feathers...wouldn't be nearly as fun!

Well, maybe fun, yes...but not nearly as rewarding! :) Just look at their faces, who wouldn't agree with me!?!
And who wants to guess which of the three is most excited about the birthday gift above?

I'll get back to you with those results after a few trips to the driving range.

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