Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Savour: Battling in the Heart and Mind

I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about savouring the moment lately. A friend is enjoying her newborn - something I want to be doing right about now, but am stuck waiting. Another friend wrote about her beautiful single life, where she is thriving and growing and savouring. Then there's the countless Instagram and Facebook posts on this theme that traipse across my feeds. They always seem to be there, but today they are striking a chord in my little heart.

I think I'm starting to get the message.

Here we are in our fifth pregnancy, and I’m definitely in a state of harried preparation coupled with a “hurry up” feeling that I can’t quite describe. When it comes to pregnancy, I feel like “Been there, done that. Let’s meet this little one already!”

My pregnancies haven't been particularly rough on the physical side of things, aside from intense morning sickness at the beginning of all but the second, but mentally and emotionally, I feel like a completely different person.

I want to be that woman who is glowing and rounding out who seems to be filled with mirth and gladness at the miracle inside her, but I'm afraid I'm just not. And when it comes to savouring the moment? I'd definitely sprint through to the finish line of pregnancy if I could. Why? Let's be intensely real and a little personal for a moment: It took me three pregnancies to figure out that I definitely experience pre-natal depression and anxiety.

Looking back to my first pregnancy, I should have known that sometimes lying on the floor petrified to move, and feeling a nothingness I'd never previously experienced was probably not just normal pregnancy stuff. There were other hints too. Joseph said more than once that I wasn't acting like myself. But somehow I just thought I was just busy and tired and pregnant, and that I needed to simply push through.

Pushing through when you're just you with no children is a lot different than with children. Fast forward to pregnancy number three where I found myself with two active toddlers day in, day out. I noticed that I was incapable of enjoying the mothering tasks I lived for; hugs, kisses, snuggling or reading to them without intense claustrophobia. Making a meal was another thing I love doing that became an insurmountable thing. Being with my children without becoming anxious at their very presence, or kissing them goodnight, constantly thinking it was the last time I'd ever do that, and going to sleep at night thinking we might not wake up tomorrow were among my big clues that I might have something bigger going on.  Long story short, I got some guidance from midwives and my doctor and managed another pregnancy with their help. My typical experience is that I leave these things behind post-partum, and then I get back to being myself.

Now, in the throes of pregnancy number five, I'm managing decently, which is to say that I'm parenting well, getting rest and I've got tools for when I begin to implode.  Fresh air, exercise, good food and sleep is doing wonders. Prayer and routine and honestly, a good amount of herbal and homeopathic medicines are making me feel more on the side of thriving vs. surviving. And yet, the threat of sheer panic at the unfamiliar, or at moments of overwhelm looms. That feeling like the world will crumble at any moment and that I'm walking on thin ice is constantly there, making it difficult to actually enjoy, to actually savour this time of rounding belly and little flutters, of wonder and intrigue at the prospect of meeting an entirely new human being of my husband and my making.

But I woke up this morning and realized that I have to try. Last night I had a dream that my late father was beside Joseph and I as I delivered this baby. He held the baby and my hands in his, then I woke up. I woke up feeling incredibly comforted. I don't put a lot of stock in dreams, but this one was definitely a positive one that inspired me to reach inside for more. That's when I realized that I'm not as alone and as weak as I feel a lot of the time. It is actually possible to be in this moment of waiting and wondering and give it meaning. It is actually possible to savour a time of uncertainty, of unknowns and of a bit of darkness, like a little personal Advent.

At times today, it truly feels like a battle. Other times, it's like a refreshing workout. I'll say to myself, "Lets enjoy these facts: The baby's heartbeat is going strong as we heard at the midwives. We made ice cream and yoghurt today to enjoy and to nourish us. Today there is sunshine and not a lot of wind, which means we can go outside."  Putting those little things above the looming shadows of doubt and unrest takes true effort. Banishing unhappy thoughts is work, but it's a start in savouring.

"Snow may come, she has no fears for her household, with all her servants warmly clothed."
                                                                                                                       Proverbs 31:21

Sunday, October 29, 2017

My Sunday Best Vol. 1: Epic battles and sweet relief

My Sunday Best with A blog for my mom is so fun, so I've decided to join in, and my 7-year-old agreed to be my photographer. Carter, 5, wanted to show off his Sunday fashion. We were all pretty casual in jeans today. I attempted a skirt but it cut me strangely.

Top: Zulily 
Leggings: Old Navy 
Boots: Zulily 
Necklace that you can barely see: A gift

I now have a full-on bump (that will likely just keep on growing till April) rendering most of my clothes uncomfortable or awkward. I actually wore the most uncomfortable dark-wash maternity jeans (that I will not recommend) to Mass, but took them off upon our return and stuck them in a good will pile. So not to worry, I didn't wear leggings as pants to Mass.

Carter's entire ensemble: Old Navy
Glasses he didn't wear to Mass: Treat bag given out at school.

Mass behavior: 5/10 for all 4 boys.

Joseph and I were supposed to make coffee and read today, but I forgot about both, so when I went to put the coffee on while he processed with the book of the Gospels, three of the four boys had to be trusted to sit alone in the second pew. Two of them chose to use this parent-less time to dig around in my bag, pull out a play-doh knife and a pregnancy test and begin sword-fighting with them.

Why a pregnancy test you might be wondering? Well, I'm not a sentimentalist by any stretch, but I had it in my bag since testing positive with this latest baby. I didn't throw it in the garbage because at the time because I thought I'd dispose of it at home, so in a little baggy it went. Evidently I forgot it was there, and seriously need to clean out my bag.

Mass then proceeded in the usual fashion. During my husband's reading, our almost-2-year-old kept saying "Dad! Read!"

To summarize the rest of Mass, here's some things I said to the other boys, possibly more than once:

"Finger out of nose please!"
"Touch your brother again and there will be no timbits after Mass"
"I don't know what kind of timbits there will be, you'll have to wait and see."
"Stop throwing pretend grenades."
"Stop shooting at Father"

Near the end, Zachary, 3, got super fidgety, and insisted on running to the back laughing. He came back though, so I told him that Mass isn't over until Father says "the Mass is ended."

When Father did say "the Mass is ended," Zachary tried to leave, and when I stopped him, loudly said, "But he said the Mass is ended!' Perhaps it's better to say that we don't leave until after Father does. When I said "Thanks be to God," I might have been saying it like "Thank God that's over."

That was not our usual jam for Mass, so I was a bit exasperated and puzzled.  However, I had the lovely realization that no matter how many times I remind the kids to sit still or pay attention, Jesus still shows up. He still becomes present, and He still wants us there. I chalked that Mass up as one for the books, and left reasonably filled and happy.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Runny Noses Prayer

Who doesn't hate runny noses?

I, like countless women, am at that stage of motherhood where my little ones' immune systems are developing (too slowly for my liking). ''Tis the season for nose wiping... fa la la la la (big thumbs down). 

I am doing all the things to get my four 7-and-under's healthy: cutting sugar, adequate rest, frequent hand washing instructions and "coughing lessons" (in which I pull my hair out because I am 98% sure these things are not done without my supervision), and every vitamin and supplement and essential oil I can throw at them! 

Yet, the coughing through the night persists, and one cold seems to follow another.  I am so discouraged (and winter hasn't even arrived!). I hate seeing them suffer. I hate that I can't make them better, even with all the great things I know to do, and no matter how conducive I make our home to wellness.

Now, I do realize that there are mothers out there whose children have worse things than a cold. My heart hurts just thinking about hospital stays, of which I've only gotten a taste in my seven years as Mom.  The fundamentals still apply here though, in that we mothers can not make them well. We can seek the best medicines and the best consultants, but the really hard thing, and what it all boils down to, is that we are not enough. 

And that kills me to know!

We must suffer alongside our sick children as we do our best to help their little bodies heal. We must hear and feel the coughs, wipe the little noses thousands of times, comfort in the night, snuggle and caress, and teach our children the fundamentals of weathering illness. 

Teaching our children to suffer illness is hard. It feels raw and terrible. But they must go through it, and so must we. 

In my journal tonight, I composed myself a little prayer. I hope there's someone out there who needs it just as much as I do.

Jesus, Lord of all,
Help me to surrender in this moment to your will. 
As I keep watch over my sick child, give me strength to help him suffer illness.
Help to have words that give him comfort and strength.
When he wakes in the night, give me the grace to put aside my weariness.
As sickness drags on, help me to endure.
Help me to keep my hands gentle and my words kind, 
Take my weary cries and my worries and bind them to your Cross.
Keep him close to Your Heart when I am resting.
Hold him in your arms when I am asleep, so that I may not worry, 
but know that You watch over him.
Grant Your healing to my child, and to my heart, 
That I may be faithful to Your Will at each moment.


Stay well friends!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Seven Quick Takes: Camping Edition

Linking up with Kelly again!

We are camping, so quick Quick Takes while husband is out boating and fishing with three (above photo) and I only have one. He's blowing bubbles and getting excited to chase them around. Earlier he was happy throwing rocks into a puddle. Toddler adventures really make you think about the pure goodness of simple things.


We are at this conference this weekend with a bunch of other families. This is my 18th year packing up with my family to come to it (I started as a young teen, I'm only 31) 

I was laughing at my teenage self as I was packing most of the things and food for 5 other people, thinking about the stress I used to feel planning my clothing (just my clothing!) so shout out to my Mom and Dad for getting us here and making sure we were fed and sheltered. 


He's just so darn cute.


My husband definitely deserves a lot of the credit for making this all work. He wanted me to drive his boat up, but after a long day proceeding a night where I had a terrible sleep, I told him his boat (not to mention me and the kids!) would probably end up in a ditch with how I was feeling. So he tied the canoe to our mini-van and nobly sacrificed his sailing dreams for me. Wouldn't you know, it's a gorgeous and windy day for it too. 


Post-partum body (x4 kids and poor maintenance) victory! I fit into a size smaller pants than a couple months ago! I've really only worn stretchy jeans or leggings for the past couple months. Because those are comfy, I really just didn't try on my old jeans, till I was packing clothes for camping and thought, "Hmmmmm, maybe those fit, but do I chance the misery when it turns out they don't?"
I am glad decided to swallow my fear and go for it. 


God is just great and hilarious and is probably chuckling at me right now:
Joseph and I married 8.5 years ago, and for that time, his copy of St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life has been a book I've kept my eye on. This year, the boys keep unknowingly knocking it off the shelf, or relocating it to the couch and every time I think "I should really get around to reading that."
After being encouraged by our parish priest to take on 10-15 minutes for spiritual reading, I cracked it open and .... wait for it .... 

I found that in 1923, Pope Pius XI "solemnly designated St. Francis de Sales, heavenly patron of Catholic writers and journalists."
And who is discerning what role to play on this front?! 
It's like God saying to me "What on earth have you been waiting for?!"


On that note, I'm making a concerted effort to put down technology and books and other distractions and be present to my family... who happen to be back from canoeing. 

Have a great weekend! 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Seven Quick Takes: Boy hilarity and rays of hope

Joining Kelly and the quick takers again this week with the happenings around here.

Alberta's gorgeous flower in my backyard. 
True summer (the one with no school drop-offs and pickups) is approaching and we are basking in the fun of popsicles and sprinkler running and gardening. 
Part of me can't wait till my eldest is home all day so that we can deprogram him from the social norms of school life and get our fun-loving, dreamy, hilarious big boy back. 
I know it's cynical of me to look at it that way, but when kids the same age get together, they're so full of insecurity and the desire to impress the others that they are just not their authentic selves. I love my guys when they're free to just be themselves and have silly sayings and ideas and maybe actually enjoy playing with someone younger (or older) than they are. 

Brothers who slide together...
 When you have two toddlers, the hilarity abounds:

Me: "Zachary, why did you take off his (Martin's) socks?"
Zachary: "So I can lick his feet."

Of course.

These three <3 td="">
The study of boyhood is of course one of my daily tasks. They are each different in their personality and phases, but there is still something in them that will likely continue to puzzle me to the end of my days. The older two are 7 and 5, and sometimes say the most profound things. Since we're raising them in the richness of Catholicism, they're in the process of getting to know where they are in God's eyes. They're so genuine in their prayers: 

"Please help all the people who don't have mothers and fathers and grandparents to take care of them."'
"Thank you for air! Because we can breathe and live."
"Please send lots of bats to eat mosquitoes on our camping trip, thank you."
"We pray for our Mom, that she can have help to stop saying bad words." 
"And God, please bless our baby brother Martin. Help him to talk so we can understand what he wants."
"Please tell Mom and Dad to buy me a skateboard. Amen"
"I pray for all the people in the whole world who don't have good suppers like this, because hot dogs are the best."

Last week we took part in a beautiful procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi. While we were kneeling in the church to pray at its close, Carter whispered loudly "Mom, we beat Jesus here." Kind of not the point, my son... but I had to laugh.
Later I had a somewhat serious chat with them about reverence only to find out that they had run ahead of our priest and altar servers to get away from the smell of incense coming from the thuribles. 
These are the people who laugh at flatulence and will stand in the smell of burnt hair at cattle brandings. 


This article about mothers who regret having children kind of irked me this week.  The New York Post is not what I'd call a highly discerning publication, so it's not surprising. Personally I've had a lot of offhanded anti-children comments slung at me as I go about life with my four guys and find this blatant rhetoric against the child truly ugly.  The sad thing to me is that this little article is not the first of its kind. Every few months since 2010 (and likely before, but I became someone with stake in the game in 2010) I've noticed some sort of news piece about how children ruin our lives. It comes down to selfishness really. 
The irony of that is that there are also all sorts of people who want children so badly that they're willing to go through rounds of hormones and drugs and literally torture themselves to have just one baby. There are people who are willing to buy babies. There are people who think that they have a "right" to have their own flesh and blood baby. 
Then there are people who are having babies and not properly caring for them. 
This is the world we live in.  Lord have Mercy.


A dash of hope!

That last take was horribly depressing. Also horribly depressing was last week when my son was having a tantrum in the grocery store, a lady who appeared to be in her mid-50s said to me, "That's why I only had one." 
I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Thanks for your insight. That is so helpful at the moment."
Then I felt awful for the rest of the day about the tantrum, the comment and my uncharitable response. 

Ok, but here's the hope:

I took my 2 little guys to Starbucks to pass an hour between kindergarten drop-off and the year-end school liturgy. 
We went in and sat at a table where I fed them overpriced popcorn and delicious oat bars while drinking a flat white. We had a conversation about how popcorn is so yummy and how fun it is to sit at cafes and drink coffee. Martin had a stick with him and was banging it on different surfaces, saying "Ah!" at different sounds.
Beside us was a lone middle-aged lady with a tablet. She glanced our way, and immediately I thought that we might be annoying her with our chatter and banging and my constant need to remind Zachary about inside voices. 
She got up to leave about 5 minutes after we sat down, but before she left, she turned around.
"Oh, here it comes," I thought to myself.
"You have beautiful boys." She said, placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Thank you!" I said, smiling, and since I have one of those faces that shows all my emotions, I'm sure I looked slightly taken aback.
"You're doing a wonderful job. Have a great day," she said, as she walked away.

Day. Made. Hope. Restored.

Z and Me. Martin is banging on a chair with a stick and therefore not in the photo.


I'm currently sitting at a gorgeous patio table that Joseph and I touched up with some paint on my deck. We've done so much to this little home of ours to make it beautiful and livable and I'm just so thankful for him and all his hard work. 
Meanwhile, inside the house are nicks in the fairly new paint and scratches in the hardwood and dents in the drywall. We just can't seem to keep this house perfect everywhere.
But as I was lying on the playroom carpet under a pile of two toddlers this morning, tickling them and enjoying their laughter, I realized that the nicks and scratches are going to happen if we let our kids live here. There's going to be wrestling and hotwheels flying and Lego creations on window sills for such a short time, and eventually, all the holes will be patched and the paint perfected, and the floors won't be sticky, and I'll be able to write two sentences without hearing "Moooommmm!". And I'll be a little bit nostalgic for these little imperfections and smudges, won't I?


After a hectic week, with another one coming up, I tend to need to unwind and relax and do something purely frivolous. Well guess what, writing down these little musings was it. I feel ready to take on the rest of Saturday, and maybe make some lunch for the non-verbal toddler who keeps biting me. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading all my little thoughts. I hope you have an excellent week!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Seven Quick Takes: Props to teachers, toddler shenanigans, thoughts on body image.

Joining Kelly for 7QT! Check it out!


Half my babies are through Kindergarten and I was a blubbering mess about it. The cute Kindergarten graduation ceremony did not help my emotional state. I'm both happy and sad. Where did the time go?
Patrick went last year, and Carter this year. Their 20-month age difference made that kind of tricky. I held Patrick back a year longer than the technical eligibility, and Carter was just over the age of eligibility. It was really interesting to see how they did individually with the same teacher and the same kindergarten program. Given their different temperaments and strengths, I hesitate to compare them, but I come out definitely on the side of later-start rather than early start with some of the things I saw.  I don't think Patrick could have handled the demands of Grade 1 last year, that's for sure.
This brings me to my appreciation for their teachers (who will hear all this from me personally) but wow, somehow they get these kids through the year in one piece. We've been really blessed with teachers who have impacted our kids in a positive way, truly invested in seeing them improve and flourish.


We've been biking to school in the beautiful weather.  My two oldest are on two-wheelers, and my two youngest are in a bike trailer behind me. So almost every day I strap 70 lbs of child into a 25 lb. trailer and pull that 95 lbs behind me as I keep up with my other two guys and constantly remind them about traffic and bike safety.  My heart-rate is definitely up by the time we reach school, I'll tell you that much! It feels good to build that movement into the day!


As I've worked to get healthy post-fourth-pregnancy, I've come to renewed awareness of the pervasiveness of body-worship in our culture.  The obsession with "getting that body" is infuriating me just a little. Why? Because I don't think playing on people's insecurities about how they look is really encouraging true health and wellness. If you've got a "perfect" body, but you're constantly obsessing about what's in your smoothie, what caloric value your burger is, and people's perception of you, that's not health - that's a problem.  Let me just say, I've never been so secure with my body than I am now.  Looking at me, that might surprise the majority of people.  I am overweight. I have a belly. If you follow my insta-stories, you might've caught me ranting about how I get asked a lot if I'm pregnant (BTW, I don't think you should ever ask anybody that. There are lots of reasons why women don't have flat bellies, and pregnancy is only one of them).

I'm just done with the headache of obsession with certain diets, exercise programs and anything that is based on shame. In this body, I've been fat and I've been thin and I've been in-between, but most importantly, I've been me the entire time. I looked in the mirror one day last week, and I grabbed a large chunk of my belly fat - and I felt... nothing. I felt like the skin and fat that I held in my hand were just there ON my body, but that they were not actually part of my identity as a human being. Maybe in a year, with a good food and lots of movement, and regulation of my thyroid, that part of me will look a lot different. It will feel good not to be asked if I'm pregnant when I'm not - OR maybe I'll feel healthy enough that we'll actually BE pregnant, and I can say "Yes" and let people congratulate me. But who knows what could happen? I could die tomorrow. I could die next week! I just don't want to waste any more time being ashamed of my size or shape, or my enjoyment of certain foods. Discipline for my own well-being is certainly key. Moderation for obvious reasons is necessary. I'm not saying that the pursuit of mediocrity or stasis is at all what I'm desiring, but shame is not the way I need set and achieve goals.


Right now my four guys have popsicles (not in the picture, those are cookies) and are sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous day in our lovely back yard. They'll be such a sticky mess, but my plan is eat dinner outside too, then turn the sprinkler on them, strip them down at the door, and get them ready for bed.  This is the glory of summer!


Rejoicing. My toddler is old enough to be entertained for a short time by his brothers. I thought I'd never ever be here, sitting at my kitchen table, able to type five whole takes with nary an interruption with everyone awake. Until now, I've always had a toddler or a baby and kids not old enough to handle said toddler or baby for more than one minute. And this particular toddler... well, lets just say that before him, I never really had toddlers. I had kids who left me ill-equipped me for the kind of curiosity and sheer determination that this one has. We didn't have doors on our cupboards for all three of the older brothers, so you can forget child safety locks. I just put stuff back and said no. All it took was one or two times of scary "don't-take-shit-out-of-the-drawers" mommy, and those three were done! They did not test me any further on this front. This guy however, must attempt to empty at least one bottom drawer or cupboard per day. It's like it's fun to watch mom re-stack and sort all the plastic containers twice a week. I used to scoff at people who used child locks, because "all it takes is telling them no a couple times."  Lets just go back and slap that version of myself.  She's sorry. She didn't have real toddlers.


It's Father's Day weekend, and this year the kids, because of school, are actually aware and excited about doing something to honour their Dad. It's super adorable, because they have actual gifts they made at school that they want to give him on Sunday morning. I told them that the best gift they could give Dad was a day of listening and enjoying each other as a family.  I was just informed however, that since that's impossible, "he'll probably be happy with a picture of us in a monster truck." That's 5-year-old logic for you.


This little face and three others have come demanding food. It's exactly 5 p.m. and the bellies are evidently rumbling, so that's my cue! 

Have a lovely weekend, and spoil those Fathers!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Seven Quick Takes: Convocation, education and silly indoor girl moments.

Joining Kelly and the other Quick takers once again.



This is my "freshly convocated" younger (by 8 years) sister! 
I am just so incredibly proud of this woman! She's earned a BA in Music, which she has enjoyed working at, through a lot of tough courses, and hours of practicing and honing her skills.
My sister is a talented pianist. But her very essence is creativity and adding beauty to the world wherever she goes. She is also an incredibly deep, critical thinker* Since she could speak, I have marvelled at the way that she makes sense of the world. 
Nobody I know is as disciplined in making themselves better with each coming day. She is very much like my our late father in that regard, as well as in her quiet constancy, her enjoyment of beauty, and the way that she leaves you feeling unconditionally loved if you're one of the few who gets to know her well. 
Our Dad would be glowing with pride at all her achievements, and ecstatic that she pursued her passion for music, which they shared.

*An actual critical thinker, by definition (see next take).


That said, while we were waiting for my sister to walk the stage, I had a lot of time to contemplate the value of education. 
One of the speeches touched on how their university education has taught the graduates critical thinking. I let my own thoughts spin off from this statement (as one does): "Can a university education really teach critical thinking?"
The thing I've observed is that what many people think is critical thinking is actually regurgitation and application of specific ideas they were taught at university (or read in books or online).
Frustratingly, it seems not many people pause to really analyze the world around them and truly think critically about anything. 
It takes more than just dissemination of ideas to inspire a person to do the work of critical thinking. I certainly had teachers in university who worked hard to make us question, but when it comes down to it, it's up to us to do the dirty work. 
It's a matter of letting the possibility that you could be wrong into your life and doing the work to find the answers. Does anyone actually do that? Do I? 
I'll leave it at that. 


Lighter thoughts!
On the way to my in-laws last night, my eldest  took out his rosary that he made at school and began praying it on his own with his little guide. Now maybe this happens frequently with other 7-year-old boys - I don't really know!  But I was a bit surprised, given that we have never prayed more than a decade as a family, and certainly never on road trips with 4 boys under 7. It has not been widely discussed other times either given the loud protests on previous rosary occasions.
Our parish priest had been to the class to bless the kids' rosaries, and had told them that he liked to pray the rosary while driving. 
My husband and I looked at each other and back at our son, before joining his rosary.
"What kind of blessing did father put on those rosaries?!" I whispered,
"I don't know, but we should ask him for more of that!" said Joseph.


My boys like to take my phone and take selfies and other photos. This is some of their handiwork.

Silly guy. I love his face! 


I love the way kids write when they first learn how.


Biblical games:

Me: "Carter, why are our mini-hockey sticks all broken on the ends?"
Carter: "It was Zachary. He was using them as a donkey's jawbone."


There's still those times where I'm not ready to be a grown-up:

In the spirit of having 4 boys and wanting to be less of an "indoor girl" as my husband affectionately calls me, I decided to try to spend more time outside. So here I was, outside, watering and weeding our little gardens (which I actually like, but I've been away from it while caring for babies) when I inadvertently angered a wasp. At least I think it was angry. I kept stepping away, and it kept coming back. 
"Wasp!" I whispered to my boys, who hate the prospect of being stung, and they ran away to the back yard. 
Then that silly wasp landed on my baby (well, 18-month-old).
"I guess I have to be the adult here," I thought. So I swatted it off him, picked up my baby and we ran inside to be laughed at by my big strong Joseph, who flicks wasps dead without batting an eyelash. 


It's 6:39 a.m. on a Saturday. I got up at 6 to finish these Takes. Not because I'm so dedicated to blogging, but because curling up in a blanket for some alone-time on my in-laws couch was a great gift that I couldn't pass up. Plus, it's peaceful here with no city noise - just the tweeting of birds outside the windows.
We are about to enjoy a day of fun on the farm (and maybe I'll earn some outdoor credibility with my boys). Nobody is awake yet though, so I'm daring to crack open a book and bask in the quiet.

Have the loveliest of weekends!