Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Maker of Home: At Home with Madame Chic

I have a lot of thoughts about the word homemaker. Maybe someday I'll share more of these thoughts,  but basically, I love this word and I think it shouldn't get a bad rap.

I also am really bad at cleaning and if you ask me I will tell you I hate cleaning. But I love my house to be clean. So having a cleaning lady is basically my idea of heaven.

A few weeks ago I was reading the book At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott and the homemaker inside me was inspired. The book isn't break through ideas or incredibly beautiful writing, it's just one woman talking about learning to love homemaking. It was the beginning of the book that I really appreciated (I kind of skimmed the end). I take notes when I'm reading books, so here are a few notes from this book:

      There was this whole section on falling in love with your home again. Which is what I need to work on feeling. "We must hold on to these dreams [of a new home], but in the meantime we must not wish away the life we currently have." So, learn to thrive where you are now.

She says, "the more you can love your home, the more you'll want to take care of it." Enjoy the process of taking care of your home. She also says, "This is where simple pleasures are born. It's the small things that can bring so much joy into your day. You will never feel bored or restless when doing housework if you take pleasure and pride in the details of how it's done." She says that details are the key to connoisseurship. 

She wakes up to the sound of Tibetan bells (on her alarm clock). Doesn't that sound amazing?

"Whatever you do, do something to remind yourself that you are alive."

Okay those are my notes.

It's kind of amazing how much my attitude about cleaning changed from reading this. It's been easier for me to focus on how good I'm going to feel about my home and how good I'm going to feel about myself for cleaning. It's been easier for me to see cleaning not as a chore but as something...pleasant? (Who am I???). Not that I clean THAT much more. Baby steps. 


Three peach festivals in a row! Our family is so new that we don't have many traditions yet, but this has sort of become one. Unfortunately is was so crowded this year and the peaches weren't quite crazy sweet ripe enough and I found out you can come pick peaches at Schnepf Farms anytime, not just during the Peach Festival, so next year we will probably forgo the official Peach Festival and just come pick peaches some morning. Also this year you had to BUY tastes at the tasting booth, which was so lame. And all the lines were too long to even get ice cream/cinnamon rolls/pie. Etc. Okay despite that it was still fun. But next year, we are tweaking the tradition.

And as you can tell from the bottom picture, Abe LOVES peaches. Oh that face.


Abe and I went to a local sand castle festival. The sand castles were cool but Abe was a little too little to admire them. So we booked it over to the shady booths where we found this bucket full of water and water toys, aka, Abe heaven.

And then, my sleeping boy. I always get very tender feelings when I sneak a peek at him in his crib.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happiness Grows in the Mountains

Well hello. It's been a while.
Right now Abe's napping and I'm supposed to be doing some stuff for young women's (so many emails!) but even though I've read Gretchen Rubin's book on habits and even though Terry bought me a planner sometimes I just don't want to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Sometimes I want to be doing what I want to be doing. Which is looking at our lovely photos from camping this weekend and admiring how cute Abe is and trying to use my minimal photoshop skills to fix the pictures I way underexposed. Gretchen Rubin, does that make me a Rebel? Because, by the way, I seriously can't figure out which of the four tendencies I fit into. I'm all and none of them. And I've asked multiple people's opinions with different answers. But I digress.

So even though it was only a 24 hour camping trip, it was wonderful. Just what we needed. It rained and it was dirty and beautiful and by the end we all smelled like campfire and were so wonderfully happy and in awe of mother earth. Driving up, Terry and I kept commenting how it looked like the part of Oregon he is from. All the big pine trees. It's amazing that such an Oregon-like place is a mere 2 hours 15 minutes north of Phoenix, Arizona. 

We went with some great friends who have two little boys Abe loves. So between being outside and having older kids to play with, he was in heaven. Most of the really beautiful shots were taken by my friend Miriam.
Earlier this morning Abe and I had gone shopping for rain coats because neither of us owned anything waterproof. While we were trying raincoats on, Abe totally face planted and was crying a lot harder than normal. 20 minutes later as we leave the store I realize it's because he had skinned his nose. Ouch. So of course, as soon as we get to our campsite, one of the first things he does is faceplate into the dirt. Which was sad and adorable and believe it or not it was not that fun to clean the dirt off his skinned nose.
You can see his skinned nose and scratched forehead real good in this one. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures (thanks Miriam!).

We went to the nearby fish hatchery the next day. This was one of those way over-exposed photos but I think you still get the idea of the type of heaven this was for Abe. Like, please Dad, let me jump in heaven.

Abe just learned how to do this. The whoop. It kills me.
 Stealing the Andes mints at the end. If you haven't made chocolate graham cracker-marshmallow-andes mint s'mores you probably should.