Fresh Flowers

My girl is an artist. If given the choice, she would sketch and paint all day long. I try to keep a steady supply of markers and paints for her to play with. 

Other than art supplies, one of my favorite things to keep around for her is fresh flowers. We almost always have a fresh vase on the kitchen table, especially this time of year. She is always bringing in bouquets she has picked from excursions in our backyard and family hikes. 

Sometimes, a fresh bouquet is all my girl needs to spark some creativity. She studies the flowers and sketches them ever so carefully. She picks out just the right shade and adds the perfect colors. 

I want to honor my girl's passions and creativity and I want to keep her surrounded by beauty that inspires her to create. 

Their Home, too (Little Evidence)

Surely I'm not the only parent that feels as if I am perpetually picking up our home. There is always a mess on the kitchen table that looks like one kid started an art project and another made a peanut butter sandwich, but neither cleaned up. No matter what we do, our home seems to be in the same messy state. I've tried the one touch rule (pick up an item and take it straight to it's designated spot). We've tried big family cleanups at the end of each day. But somehow, there are still legos to be stepped on and stacks of artwork left abandoned. 

I'm usually frustrated when I see their things lying around after I've just spent an hour tidying up. Why can't the house stay clutter free for one day? Why can't they keep their crap in their room? Why can't they put their shoes in the basket just once?!

But I'm thankful for the evidence that they live here. I often think of this as my home where I'm surrounded by my things. I need the little reminders that it's their home, too. 

My Own Jean Louise

"I feel that in every girl there is a spirit, a wild pixie, that if set free would run and dance in grassy fields until the end of time."  

The more I read through To Kill a Mockingbird, the more I see my own Jean Louise in Scout Finch. My girl needs freedom-freedom to laugh and sing and dance and twirl. Freedom to say hello to every person we pass on our walks. Freedom to express her feelings when they overwhelm her. 

If there is an open field or a big room, Scout will dance. She will dance and twirl without a care as to who is watching. She will hold up her skinny arms as high as she can lift them and leap as far as her tiny legs will rise. I love this wild pixie of mine and I hope I can always give her the grassy fields she needs to run and dance in. 

This To Kill a Mockingbird quote print is available via the Rainy Day Colors Etsy shop.  

Coffee Dates {Literally}

I love coffee dates. With my husband, with a friend, with myself. I don't really care. I am always jealous of people who get to spend any amount of time in hip coffee shops. It seems like such a luxury to sit and talk or write or read over a really great cup of coffee. You get to slow down. 

Life with three kids doesn't create much space for coffee dates these days. Occasionally, I'll sneak out to meet a friend or we can get away to a favorite coffee shop together. But the days of endless lingering over a cup of Yirgacheffe are behind us for now.  

Our favorite coffee shop is on a city block within walking distance to a tiny little playground with a dog park. On the coldest days when we just can't stand to be at home for one more minute, we bundle up and head to the coffee shop. Some days, we walk in quietly, holding hands and using our best inside voices. Other days, our arrival is louder. One kid runs ahead while Nathan and I try to stop them while we look up and another one has invited herself to sit with an unsuspecting customer. We are greeted with smiles from some and side eyed looks from others.  

But sometimes, we take all three kids in and it's slow and wonderful. We read and laugh and tell stories. The kids split a cookie and we take up a big table. Once, Scout spilled her entire hot chocolate on a kind stranger sitting on the bench next to us. We all laughed and wiped off shoes and bags filled with steamed milk and chocolate. We leave an extra big tip for the patient baristas who make the hot chocolate at a slightly cooler temperature so they can be gulped by tiny mouths.

Sometimes, we bring our dog and take over the tiny patio crammed in to a narrow alley. We sip our drinks and tell jokes and play games. Sometimes, we walk over to the playground. But no matter where we end up, we always get there slowly.