Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's official...we have moved. Our house is a maze of boxes and furniture waiting to find its final resting place, but the worse of the hot & heavy work of loading and unloading from one house to the the next is thankfully a thing of the past! Last night I even managed to scrape together our first home cooked meal thanks to the grill and some tin foil.

This picture makes me laugh. It looks about like how I felt by dinner time last night. Crooked, a bit off color, and poorly framed. Even so...it feels good to have something to share...and it feels good to be able to post thanks to the Carlisle public library, which is a short 5 block bike ride from our new abode.

I've written several blog posts in my head over the past few days as I've been emotionally process all this change. Who knows if they will ever make it to the screen...I guess only time will tell.

Until next time...whenever that may be...


Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding Time to Pause...

Things around here have been a bit crazy lately...as you can probably imagine. This week we will officially sell our Grinnell house, purchase our Carlisle house, pack up our belongings, and make The Move. Much of my time as of late has been spent playing with boxes. Sorting, packing, trashing...it's been both cathartic and overwhelming. But once in a while I get to pause and simply enjoy the moments of life that still find time to happen in amongst all the chaos. Like the other day when Lexi decided she was going to help Brea practice writing her letters...

I am thankful for life's simply joys...even when life feels less than simple.

Side note: The Move is happening on Saturday. After that time my access to the Internet is going to be very limited for a bit...possibly for a few weeks or even a couple of months. You'll be the first to know when we are fully functioning in the modern world again. I'm looking forward to being able to share with you our adventures as we explore our new community and settle into our new home.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Taking a Leap...

This is amazing and beautiful and peaceful...

Made for artistic impression...yes. But the calm with which he approaches the jump is amazing and gorgeous. What a wonderful reminder of how beautiful taking a leap of faith can be.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

An Undisclosed Location...

In early March Scott announced that he had made plans for us to celebrate our anniversary AWAY this weekend. I was given no details except that a bit of a drive would be involved and reservations had been made. Friday after Scott got home from work we loaded up and headed east...

to the the Mississippi River...

to a B&B associated with a winery which we had visited a few years back on a wine tour event with friends. We arrived with approximately 36 hours of unplanned time. We love schedule free trips like this and the free moments they provide to explore whatever strikes our interest in the moment. Here's a few things I learned/was reminded of during our time away:
  • Small river towns have a really weird social dynamic that I don't think I will ever fully understand.
  • No matter how many times I see the Mississippi, I think I will always be amazed by its presence.
  • The communities that have sprung up on Old Man River's banks, and that are carved into the surrounding bluffs, are interesting and incredible displays of architectural engineering.
  • Cool things are often found in the most unexpected places...

  • All B&Bs are not created equal. Out of respect for the warm hospitality and lovely breakfasts that were part of our stay, I will say nothing more than we mostly likely won't be staying at this particular B&B again. Which is too bad...the location is amazing and the property has so much potential.
  • There might not be anything I enjoy more than a quiet hike in the forest next to the man I love.
  • Conversations that spring up during weekends away always leave me with a better understanding, and a deeper respect, for the man who is my husband.
  • I do not like German beers.
  • Walking into an Irish Pub always feels like home...and Irish beers can very quickly erase the memory of a bad beer experience.
  • Raunchy, in your face, over the top comedy movies do not make for a romantic date night experience.
  • $20 worth of pillows and pillow cases can make a big difference.
  • Hummingbirds are a joy to watch.
  • My husband still has the ability to totally catch me off guard, to do something surprisingly out of character, and I LOVE THAT!
  • 36 hours is just about the perfect amount of time to be away from the girls. Long enough to recharge...not so long that we start to miss them too terribly bad.
Thanks Mr. Mavin for the weekend...for sharing my life...for sharing your heart.


Thursday, June 3, 2010


15 years ago today I married a cute boy with whom I had fallen in love. We were so young. In some ways so naive. Yet we knew that it takes a lot of love, a lot of work, and a little luck to make a marriage work for years and years to come.

Today we celebrate the anniversary of our union in the company of our two beautiful daughters.

We've traveled together down life's road through all sorts of hills and valleys. We have had our share of challenges...as a couple...as individuals. We know that there are hills and valleys left to traverse in the years to come. But at the end of the day regardless of the journey we have never lost focus on the important of traveling with love and compassion as our map. Neither of us is perfect or above making mistakes. We will always have to work to grow as individuals and as a couple if our journey together is to continue. But together we have somehow figured out a beautiful harmony that, at least I know in my case, makes living a life sprinkled with imperfections all that much more beautifully perfect.

I celebrate today knowing that the cute boy with whom I fell in love during my youth is now the man who is my best friend. My soul mate. Whose smile (and those cute little wrinkles at the corners of his eyes) makes me smile. A man whose touch can still make me melt after all these years. He is a man with the arms that make everything OK when they wrap around me...even when it's not. The man whose kisses warm my heart and leave me anticipating more. He is the man whose hand I can't help holding as we drive down the road, or walk down the street, or sit across from one another at dinner, or snuggle (with our girlies) on the couch watching yet another animated flick during family movie night. He is the man who has shown me unconditional love even during my ugliest moments. The man who is not afraid to share his feelings, his worries, or his tears. He is the man who has whole heartedly supported even my craziest ideas because he knows how it feeds my soul to live from my heart. The word love doesn't seem big enough to envelop all the feelings I hold in my heart for the man with whom I share my life.

Cheers to 15 years!

I love you Scott.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Challenges of Parenting...

Just when you think you kinda have the parenting thing figured out, your oldest grows into a new stage and you have to start all over figuring things out. Parenting can be exhausting that way!

Yesterday I spent a couple hours at Lexi's school for some of their last day activities. I was so touched by the number of teachers who made a point to come up to me and wish us well as we prepare to move in a few weeks. They made sure I knew just how much Lexi would be missed at Fairview Elementary. Time and time again I heard compliments about her kind, caring personality and how much of a positive influence she has been on so many of her peers. I was both proud and humbled knowing that while Scott and I try to steer her in the right direction, much of her personality is simply a reflection of who SHE is. She is a friend to everyone, often taking time to befriend the student who is shy, or new in school, or to include the classmate who others would choose to leave out. She is a compassionate, nurturing soul and she often reminds us through her actions about the importance of living with a kind heart.

Her kindness, her compassion is so pure that I'm really struggling with the new stage we have seemed to enter as of late. Until now we have been fortunate to know the parents of many of her closest friends. As such birthday parties and play dates have never really caused me to pause for a second thought. But lately a boy from her class has been calling asking Lexi to come over and play and today he asked if he could help us move. (On one hand sweet. On the other...kinda strange given he's 8.) I have yet to let Lexi go over to his house because I don't know anything about his family other than their address...and it's not in a particularly nice neighborhood.

I will be the first to admit, one should NOT judge people by the neighborhood in which they live or even by the size or condition of their currently living establishment. I mean we have been judged on those things before and so I know how it feels. Often outside appearances can be deceiving. However, when it comes to my daughters I am not willing to take any unnecessary chances when it comes to their safety. It would only take a moment and one unkind person to forever negatively impact their lives. And while they are young enough that I can somewhat control where they go physically, by golly I plan to exercise that control.

But I feel as if it's getting more tricky to explain to Lexi WHY she can or cannot go over to some one's house or attend this or that birthday party. She knows that we have a general rule, for her safety, of not letting her go to any one's house whose parents we have never met. She has been very accepting of that rule in general. But it feels like it's getting harder to enforce without feeling as if we are making a decision without any real knowledge. The last thing we want to teach our children is to make a judgment about someone simply based on appearances. It seems like there is a very fine line between being cautious in the name of safety and negatively labeling someone based on superficial information.

So, seasoned parents, how have you handled this situation in your family? How have you helped your kids learn to be open to the potential good of every single human while still helping them to understand the importance of being cautious as there are bad people out there waiting to take advantage of the naive and gullible?

Your insights are much appreciated.