Monday, September 30, 2013

a little red house


We came upon the orchard and the farm, the sun finally burned off the morning fog and the I pulled into the last parking spot and was overwhelmed by the feeling of home. It might have started on the few mile drive off the beaten path, when the car slowed and we ooh'ed and ahh'd over farm houses and fields with horses and goats and the colors of autumn in the trees. The colors of home.

I've been thinking and daydreaming about where we'll end up. Once we tire of renting and grow out of this space {hopefully not for another year or longer...} There are places where I say I want to visit, but really, I want to live in them all. Iceland. The mountains in New Hampshire. Montana. The west coast. On the beach somewhere. England. France {Provence...deep sigh...} I want to wake up in these places for multiple months, maybe years and do what we do, just... there.

And then this morning, hugging the backroad curves, all those feelings dissipated and my inner dialog went something along the lines of: "maybe I could simply visit all those other places, if home was here..."


A little red house. A bunch of trees. Space for running and sitting and sipping warm drinks on cold end of September mornings.

Yes, someday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

bagpipes, kilts, and highlands...

Last weekend we headed up to the White Mountains for the NH Highland Games. My husband's family is very proud of their Scottish heritage, and the kids had heard about the games since they were babies. This year, we finally took them, and it was a much anticipated event. As was the whole camping thing... since the last time we camped we were pretty much boo'd out of the campground due to a little girl of ours and her inability to sleep... so.. we were a little nervous about pitching our tent, and a whole lot excited for copious amounts of tartan and bagpipes!

Thankfully, our girl {and boy} slept the best that they've slept in a long, long time. And Saturday was a beautiful day in the mountains, breathtaking. My family might have gotten a bit tired of me saying at every turn "Mountains! Look at the mountains!" I seriously love mountains.

Lucas and I went to the games once or twice before we had kids, but this was the first time that I dawned the Cunningham tartan {thanks to my mother in law! She found a scarf for me to wear...} and I have to say, I felt a bit of pride. I've spent a good deal of time thinking about tradition, and family, and home, and coming from someplace. Growing up, our heritage wasn't really celebrated {besides my grandfather requesting warm German potato salad, and having pork and sauerkraut on New Years...} probably because most of my family is from all over the place! So the idea of celebrating your heritage is different for me, but I'm thrilled that my kids have the highlands in their blood and a Papa who wears his kilt, and mini kilts for them to wear whenever they want. So dawn the tartan, I will. And even though I'm Scottish only by marriage, I'll happily remind the kids of where they are from and teach them about their heritage. Plus, you really can't beat the sound of bagpipes.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

school days by the sea

This week school has looked like salt flats and low tide and hermit crab parties. It has looked like rock climbing and sea shell finding and digging for crabs. School has been sunshine and salt air and floating on a log in the surf. It has looked like leggins rolled up, bottoms of dresses soaked with sea water, translucent in the glare of the sun. There will be plenty of days for indoor school once the weather turns colder. But for now, it looks like sunbeams and sandy toes...
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{pictures courtesy of my mother...}

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

apple tradition

Every autumn my mother comes to visit. With her visits our days are full, spent outdoors when we can and filling up on New England charm and tradition and colors... yesterday we spent the day at the orchard across town. The pictures look the same every year, just the height of the children seems to change! This year they are taller and filled our bags faster and fuller than years past. Tradition. That's what this is. A timeless gift to pass along. 
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Monday, September 16, 2013

hair dancing in the wind

Yesterday I met a friend for tea first thing in the morning. I arrived at the coffee shop first and I sat with my pumpkin chai latte and a book, simultaneously people watching and glancing at words on the page. In the few minutes I waited, I couldn't help but feel a bit thrilled just to be sitting. Without keeping an eye on my babes. Without having to rush out and be somewhere. Not going through the drivethru, just sitting.

After my friend arrived we moved to the outdoor seating. We sat for a few hours, basking in the warmth of the September sun, talking about kids and parents and marriage...

I'm surprised, after nearly 7 years of motherhood, that I forget. I forget how important it is to go out in the world with just myself, or meet a friend. To get out and turn the music up in the car as loud as I want, windows down, hair dancing with the wind.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

from the loins of boredom...

 This week has brought the kind of quiet that my creative juices thrive on. Granted, the quiet came because of a touch of sickness that the grownups can't kick... but still... any week where there's little reason to leave the house is a good week in my books. Yes, the kids got bored. But isn't boredom what creativity is born from? Oooh, I like that... from the loins of boredom creativity is born... ;) 

Anyway. Maybe I do need to get out a bit... 

Back to my point. We had a quiet week, and we were able to get in some good school days and snuggle times and Batman watching. Maybe we watched Mary Poppins one afternoon. It was a quiet, good week. 

Sometimes we need a bit of quiet to refocus and learn what we want. I want more of this quiet. And more creativity. And I realized that I've felt a bit stuck since I said the whole "writing fiction is not for me" and I threw in the towel. I hate throwing in the towel, but I have a tendency to do that when things get hard. So today, mostly on a whim, I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Yup. I'm signing up to write 50,000 words in November. That's a lot of words. 

But you know what? I can do it. I just need a push. So here's my push... sharing what I signed up to do, with you. Yes, I tend to clam up and stop writing when I put a label on it. Yes, I don't like to force myself into things. But I also know that I am lazy in my creativity. I am complacent. And I miss writing. 

So. Do I hope to have a sellable novel at the end of a month? Absolutely NOT. What I do hope to achieve is falling back in love with writing and creating a practice.

I just reread what I've written and by no means do I want to say I am terribly bored in life. I'm just... needing to do something for myself that is different than knitting a sweater {did I seriously just say that?} that is not curriculum based or household chores based, or related to anything I've ever done before.

Scary. But hopefully in a good way.
November is a while away, right? 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

swells of September


We're deep in the swells of September. The morning chills, the warm golden sunshine of the afternoon, the last few beach days and the beginning of crimson edges on leaves. The roundness and fullness of the days accumulate to peaceful slumbers and a constant sigh of content...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Across the ocean and back...

{the journal was made by my talented friend Maegan... her shop is full of treasures!}

Just popping in quickly to share something... through the internet I've had the pleasure of connecting with people from all over the world! It's an amazing thing to find people doing the same things you do, across the ocean. There is a sense that the world is not quite so big and scary when we connect and share and find kindred spirits.

One such friend is Vibeke. Her blog, A butterfly in my hair, is a beautiful, calm place that I've grown to love. A while back she asked if I would participate in an conversation/interview of sorts on her blog... and of course I said yes! She has posted our words today, and I'd be thrilled if you would head over to take a look. We talk about everything from books to finding calm to knitting to writing... and more! Poke around her online home, Vibeke is a sweet soul, and I know you all will just love her!

Monday, September 2, 2013



My girl got her ears pierced today. I had told her when she turned five, she could, and I would take her whenever she was ready. Today, she was ready. She held my hand and picked out sweet little heart shaped earrings. She talked with the lady behind the counter like it was nothing. She asked if it would hurt, said she was a little scared, but she really wanted it done. 

I whispered to her, "this was where grammy took me to get my ears pierced when I was young" and she looked deep in my eyes and smiled. I forget sometimes that sharing places from my youth gives us something sacred. We live a few towns south of where I grew up, far enough not to run into too many people, but close enough to frequent. 

She didn't cry one bit. Her eyes got a little watery, but she held my hand and took deep breaths and was fine. Proud and smiling, we walked around the mall that I walked around for years and years. Many of the same stores are there, many changed, but it still felt the same. If not smaller. But to her, it was huge. It was unexplored and vast and full of things to look at and touch. It's funny seeing things again through her eyes.

And so she's been initiated into the earring wearing club. My five year old. My little love with hearts on her ears!