Monthly Archives: May 2015

wednesday morning in the garden

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Wednesday morning was another quiet, drippy morning. I headed over to the garden just shortly after it opened – this time alone. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I went to the garden by myself. I’ve done it at least a handful of times, but it’s been years since the last time. I didn’t have anywhere to be until nine, and so I wandered around the place. Occasionally I saw another person – mostly gardeners – but for the most part it was just me.

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I think I’ve needed a few moments like this more than I realized. It’s not that I don’t get time to myself when the girls are here and when we’re busy doing a dozen different things. I think we’re really good at carving out that time alone. But it’s different still – there’s an undercurrent of rushing there, no matter how much I try to ignore it. I’m alone when I run, but I still know there’s a time limit – that there is dinner to make and children to bathe and homework to check.

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Yesterday was different. I still had to work, but the day was still mostly in my control, and I could fill the hours the way that I wanted to. I came home and planted some flowers, looked for a vacation rental, ate a small dinner, and then went to a late night yoga class. It felt a little like a spa retreat – you know, minus the whole working in the middle thing.

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Still, it was a little lonely. M and I have been enjoying the week – meeting up for dinner and drinks, working on projects together, sleeping in, talking in leisurely ways without interruption. It’s nice, really, really nice. But yesterday we did our own thing, and didn’t reconnect until late. And we both miss the girls.

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I think it’s really important to have this time to recharge. I needed the space to finish the book I was reading. We’ve been slowly, thoroughly cleaning and clearing the house after a busy school year. Changing light bulbs, switching out sheets, reversing the fan directions, airing things out. We’ve been eating out at places the girls wouldn’t enjoy, there is no babysitter to arrange and pay, the house is quiet when we leave and when we return. We can be ourselves, but a little bit different too, if that makes any sense.

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This time next week I’ll have pictures of the garden with two girls in them. We’ll be on summer time, back together again. The house will be messier and louder. I’ll cook more, and get less sleep.

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It will be wonderful.

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friends with good taste

I’ve been thinking about friends a lot lately – probably because it’s SUMMER and I’m excited to have time to hang out more with friends. We’re hoping to bring back the Thursday night get togethers at our house when there are live blues bands playing across the street and our street corner fills with lawn chairs and people.

I’ve also been thinking about my online friends a lot too. It’s a funny thing to write something into a box – it feels like I’m just writing to myself. But now I have friends all over the place – most of them are only first names to me and I couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. But slowly I learn a little bit more about them and maybe pick up on where they live or what they like to read or how old their kids are, and over time this funny friendship grows into something more. They send me restaurant recommendations when we travel, I remind them of a dish they meant to try out, we connect over a conversation about children, or flowers, or renovation projects, or loss.

Because of this, I’ve really come to like Instagram – mainly because I can follow you back and see what you are up to. (Feel free to follow me @thirdstoryies – it’s set to private, but just send me a request.) I love the pictures in my feed – such a sharp, bright group of talented (and funny!) women and men. I love the conversations and connections there.

A few weeks ago I saw a picture on IG of the daughter of one of these friends. She was wearing this adorable dress covered in hand drawn doodles.

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As soon as I saw the dress I knew that was the perfect birthday dress for F. (We usually give the girls an outfit, a book, and something fun for their birthdays.) I commented on the dress, and asked her where she got it. It’s from stadler-Kahn┬áin Philadelphia. A few minutes later it was on its way to me (with a cute note from the artist giving permission for the dress to be colored in by the wearer).

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A short while later this same friend posted a picture of this mug.

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What?! Gnomes? In a car? With a punny pun? If you know my E, then you know why this was a slam dunk gift for her. Again I asked for the details – and this time I really lucked out because she sells this mug in her bookstore! A few minutes later it was on its way to me.

That same morning I posted a picture of F with her new beloved mouse friend. Sure enough, my friend struck again. Have you seen the book The Mouse Mansion? I had not, but after a quick search I knew it was the book for F’s birthday. She had a copy in her bookstore, and so my order grew again.

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I thanked her for singlehandedly taking care of my birthday giving plans in one morning, and I also joked that her friendship might just be breaking my bank!

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There are days when I just wish I could do it all – fill all of the hours of the day with all my varied interests and passions. But since I can’t, I’m so grateful that I can know all of you, and all the genius ways you inspire me on a daily basis.

sunday afternoon in the garden

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It’s been a gorgeous spring, and we’ve tried to spend as much time as possible at the garden. I like to go in the mornings, but I’m happy to find time whenever I can to get over there. This was a weekend of handing off children – E and M went to the Indy 500 with Grandpa, and Grandma came here for a quick visit.

The irises are fading, the garden is green and lush, and the Lantern Festival has started. The colors in the garden are stunning – both the silks and the flowers. I could move in and be happily at home.

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We’ve got a whole week to ourselves while the girls are at Camp Grandparents. A change of schedule and routine is a great way to kick off a new season. It feels a little bit like stolen time. Kind of decadent, sleeping in til ten and late night dinners for two. Vacation-like. I was ready.