A Week In The Wildflowers.

Friday, August 25, 2017

"The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration."
-Claude Monet 

For the past week or so the kids and I have been easing back into our home school routine. I always find the first week to be the most challenging after we've had a short break so I knew that I wanted to make our lessons easy but still engaging. Over the spring we hatched butterflies so I thought it would be a nice, easy transition to continue our life cycle study and talk a little bit more in depth about plant life, specifically flowers. It gave us a chance to still soak up these warm summer days but also fall back into a rhythm that works well for us during the school seasons. I love the freedom of Summer but structure is something I crave so much more now that I have three little ones. 
There is a sweet little lavender farm, Long Row Lavender not far from where we live so I thought that would be such a fun place to start our week of wild blooms.We went early in the day and walked up and down the rows of lavender, watching the bees buzz from flower to flower. Luna loved running up and down the rows of purple, most of the day I couldn't keep up with her! At the farm the kids and I snacked on lavender infused baked goods, enjoyed a rest on the cutest porch swing, and we even took home a few little goodies. It was the perfect little adventure to get us into the groove.
"As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees."
-Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth

Over the course of the week we stopped by a few of our local state parks and studied wildflowers more closely. We discussed pollination, foraging for edibles, and the importance of preserving our wildlife. We went on several walks through preservation areas filled with flowers of all types and enjoyed the sights and sounds of everything around us. 
I strongly feel that we do our best learning through experiencing, through walking in nature, through looking up close with our own eyes, through touching with our own hands. It keeps us connected, it keeps us curious. I love throwing our Nature Journals into a back pack and heading out for an adventure at one of our state parks. There is so much to observe and record, we usually have a hard time pulling ourselves away.
When we weren't out adventuring we were reading a few flower themed books and doing a lot of hands on projects.We had so much fun pressing a few blooms, making sun prints, painting our own wildflower fields, and we even whipped up our own geranium and lavender scented play dough. 
Here's a short list of some of the books and activities we used:



"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others are plain, honest and upright, like the broad faced sunflower and the hollyhock."
-Henry Ward Beecher
We ended the week by visiting a sunflower field not far from us, if you're local I definitely suggest a visit to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area during the summer months when the field is in bloom. It was quite an experience seeing so many happy yellow flowers in one field, and we weren't even there during peak bloom time. We are going to be planning a trip next summer so we can really see it in all of it's glory.
So that was our first week back to school! I cannot wait to dive into our next unit, I feel so much more energized and ready for our lessons now that we've ripped the band aid off and jumped in! I'm already busy making lists of activities and topics I want to touch on for the rest of the year.

Are you back to school yet? I'd love to hear what you and your little ones are working on!

Sweet Summer Time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." -Marion C. Garretty

The other day, the girls and I rolled out a large blanket and enjoyed a sweet snack under a shady tree. It was one of those perfect summer days where the sun was so warm and the breeze was just right and my girls were giggling and playing with each other and I remember thinking, "This is one of those Summers I hope we remember always." Our first with our sweet little peach. We traveled such a hard road to get here, to meet her, to get to know her sweet spirit. It feels like a lifetime ago and just yesterday all at once that we were struggling through losses and hormone treatments, hoping one day we would finally bring her earthside and make our family a little more complete. 
Watching her grow through each stage has been such a light in our lives. She puts a smile on all of our faces even on the messiest, most difficult days, and with three kids you can guarantee that there are plenty of those to go around. 

When we decide to expand our families sometimes we may question ourselves or worry "What if I cannot love another child the way I love my first?". Maybe it's because the love we have for that tiny person feels so huge we don't think our hearts can handle more or maybe we feel as though we are not enough but now that I've welcomed this third little one to the mix I can say for certain that our love as mothers is limitless. Each child brings their own story, their own gifts, their own challenges. Each one fits so perfectly into our little hive. Each one fits so perfectly into our hearts. 

When I was watching them play on that blanket together, gratitude flooded my heart. There is so much beauty in the simple little moments of our everyday life. 
Witnessing our children love on each other, seeing how perfectly the journey unfolds.
It was pure magic. 

Bonnet // Sweet As April

Just leap.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ever since I created this space it's felt like home to me. I've always come here to pour my heart out, share the greatest joys of my life, and find comfort and healing during the difficult times. I find that no matter where my journey takes me I always end up here, wanting to share all of the twists and turns with you. I've tried to quit you, sometimes I even gave ya the cold shoulder when the going was pretty tough but I come back time and time again because you are special to me. When something big happens in my life I start feeling that pull, that whisper to come back and share it with you. So here I am, showing up and showing you my heart.
Sometimes there are moments in life where you're standing on the edge of a decision. You're shaking and unsure, your vision blurs and your palms sweat. You know that there are only two options ahead, back down or take the leap. I don't know how many times, especially in my businesses, I have been on that cliff. Afraid of rejection or failure or worse. Afraid I am not enough. Afraid. There have been so many times when I have stood on the edge and then talked myself down. So many times I let fear make the decisions in my life. So many times. And that's all of us right?! Because the unknown is scary and unpredictable and well, unknown.

"The difficult thing is that vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you and the last thing I'm willing to show you. In you, it's courage and daring. In me, it's weakness."
-Brene Brown

I read this quote the other day and it sort of smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks because isn't that the truth?! We hold ourselves back from being authentic and vulnerable because we don't want others to see our weaknesses but the truth is that when we show up, ready to take that big scary leap others don't see our weaknesses at all! They see that we are committed. They see that we are courageous. They see that we are human. And that sparks connection.

A few months ago I was standing on the edge of another one of those scary cliffs. I wanted so badly to make that leap, I wanted to free myself of that paralyzing fear and I knew the only way I was ever going to move is if I just closed my eyes and threw myself off the edge.
So I did. 
I'm still on the long fall down but the view is great and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can breathe. No more waiting, no more fear.

These past few months have opened me up, made me uncomfortable, forced me to grow, and have shown me that my ability to lean into vulnerability is a strength. The more I say yes, the more I put myself out there, the more I stretch and change. I have to admit, sometimes it's a little painful, this personal growth thing. But if you stick it out you'll start to see all the fruits of your labor revealed and your cup will run over and spill all over the floor.
You'll find yourself smiling a little more.
You'll make friends who are honest, beautiful people and they will walk the journey with you. 
You'll become a better mother, wife, boss, friend, and human.
You'll find purpose and abundance in all forms. 
You'll find freedom.

So I leave you with this my friends. Leap.
Say YES.
Take a chance.
Even if your voice shakes and your knees are weak and you kinda wanna puke. Lean into the uncomfortable and open yourself up to all the possibilities life can offer you. I promise, you won't be disappointed. 

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