I Love You a Lot a Lot.

When was the last time I just sat here and talked a bit about my kids?

(Yes, we’re here again. Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA for those who asked!)

You do get the stories and photos – whether it’s sponsored or not – whether it’s here or on other social media networks. Right now there’s a buzzing in my head that started right after Scarlet’s gorgeous haircut, and when I treated for Friendly’s dinner.

It could be too much heat and not enough water. In the air, on the ground, in my body. I feel like it’s always two parts emotional and one part physical, whenever I’m feeling a buzzing or an aching or a queasiness. I know the signs, but not always how to prevent them, or to stop them in the tracks. Sometimes I try every tool in the toolbelt, or most of them, to find whatever it takes to find peace. I think I know how to find it, nearly always. It’s not always easy but worth the fight.

Sometimes, often, I have no idea where to even start. Sometimes, often, I sit down to write and it’s like trying to make fetch happen, and I have to stop trying to make fetch happen. By the way, a cupcake if you get that reference, which you should.

Every time I sit down to write here, it’s another day and another moment. I started last night with the aching, dizzy head and now it’s a new day with an iced maple coffee. The sky just turned dark with an impending storm, and we got our needed rain.

Now it’s night again, and I’m procrastinating articles, but I’m not procrastinating ice cream. Tomorrow, Lindsay and Parker and my mom will arrive in the afternoon, after I have subbed (yes, me) for one of the teachers at Des’ summer camp.

And yes, that was no joke! Me. A teacher. Speaking of which, I just got my first paycheck from teaching a photography class and although the money is nice and needed, it’s about the fact that I taught a photography class. Me! Resume material!

Even though I hope to never use a resume again.

Even though I hope to never run out of material again, resume material or otherwise. I hope it keeps coming, faster than it’s going. My Facebook status tonight: When Des is older and reflecting on his childhood, I sincerely hope he remembers the time his mother snuck into his bedroom late at night to look in the mirror, dressed head to toe as Rey from Star Wars. I hope he remembers how he grinned at her, and she grinned back, putting her finger to her lips, and then tiptoed out of the room.

Now it’s this morning, and I’ve been coming back to this post for over 36 hours. Des has no memory of the event last night, but he did ask to dress like Han Solo for breakfast. I find that the kids say their best zingers in the morning, before I’ve truly come to life, and often on the way to school or camp. My memory is pretty efficient at transcribing everything verbatim.

Here are some good ones. Sorry, but not very sorry, if they offend anyone. You shouldn’t be on this blog anyway if they do!

Your daily “Scarlet Tells It Like It Is”:
Her: “Are you voting for Ryan O’Donnell today?”
Me: “Of course! Maybe after we drop Des off.”
Her: “Why can’t kids vote?”
Me: “I guess people believe kids can’t make as informed decisions as grown-ups.”
Her: “Adults are voting for Trump. How smart are you guys anyway?”

She has a point. Now deep breaths. Take a look at this pretty picture:

Scarlet, who spent her first morning alone with me in ages:
“So.. is this what you do all day? You write and you write and you occasionally eat pie and then you go to Costco and complain that there are too many people there, but you’re there too?”
Me: “….yes.”

Again, she has a point.. And I do write and write and write. And I’m actually getting tired of it, but not in any longterm ways. Just maybe.. it’s ok.. to take a few days off from writing. My brain won’t shrivel up and die. It always comes back.

Des: “I love you a lot, a lot.”
Me: “I love you a lot, a lot, too, baby bear. Do you know what it means to love someone?”
Des: “Nana.”

Scarlet: “Ok, everyone. I’m holding a raffle. Winner gets to go through my imagination portal into my imagination land into the gemstore – which I run – and pick out one of my gemstones for free.”

Des, after watching Juniper chase a bug: “The cat is dying that bug! That bug.. is no more.”

And now for my finale, is Scarlet hula-hooping!

I meant to do just a Currently post, choosing my own ten action words from this list, but I wrote so much above.

I’m going to attempt a quick(ish) one:

Loving: My hunt for three kinds of LulaRoe leggings: planets, cameras (of course), and clouds. Anyone, anyone? Finder’s fee! I’m also loving one-on-one time with the kids with their alternating camp schedules, that I just discovered a new (to me) ice cream place only minutes from my house, and how Cassidy looks in a white button-down shirt and black pants before work.

Planning: The kids’ birthday bash is tomorrow! Ahhh! Bounce house delivery. Check for magician. Cake and decorations for cake. Presents! Food! The decorations Cassidy made. The costumes! Yes, the costumes. Ice cream? Why am I so terrible at planning? Not for nothing, but this party is followed by my solo trip to NYC (fancy hotel, baby), our family trip to Cape Cod, and in theory – our honeymoon to Alaska. And my schedule for all the time I’ll be away!

Stressing: About everything above! And how it’s been a slow week for getting new work, and that always makes me panic, until it stops making me panic. I hope. And I have an article due by the end of the day and my heart beats fast.. Deep breath.

Wishing: That the world wasn’t turning so uncertain, and violent. Not that it’s the first or the last time. I’m a parent now. And it seems to be going far into the future and far into reverse, both full speeds ahead and behind. And that the nature of it all, plus our sensitivities as writers, lovers, parents, friends, make us feel powerless and immobile. Or powerful and mobile. Speak your heart. Don’t be satisfied that someone else will clean the messes. It starts with self. Then it spirals. Love.

Marveling: Over kid quotables. And that baby Parker will be in my arms in only hours. And all of the beauty and the love.

Listening: To Scarlet sing “Call Me Maybe” with a piano game app on Cassidy’s iPad. Another deep breath.

Traveling: Everything and everywhere I said above. Maybe more. We like New England road trips.

Celebrating: The kids’ birthdays! And not for nothing, but my birthday is in 2.5 weeks. Yikes. Not a fan.

Wearing: A sundress, of course. The sun, it soars.

Eating: In my mind? Quiche. In reality, I haven’t eaten yet today. After camp drop-off.

Boy, 1212 words before this sentence. I guess I can’t be contained even when I’m trying to self-contain. Too much to say. May you all have a beautiful day, with pie or quiche, or hope, love, and marvel. Here are the rest of my Peace Pagoda photos:

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  1. What can i say that you haven’t already said here, but that I heart your words even more than you know. Hugs and will be MIA after tomorrow with Disney next week with blogging, but just had to stop by and say Happy Birthday here to Scarlet and wish you a wonderful birthday bash weekend, too!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Happy birthday to your sweet kiddos! (And you in a couple weeks!) I LOVE that pic of Des holding out the flower in his Superman shirt. I hope all your parties and travel go well and that you have hope, peace, and lots of love through it all!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you!!
      I love the photo of Des too. It’s slightly out of focus, but that’s ok, because he was too. Moving so fast among the wildflowers!

  3. I always love reading your posts. Especially ones like this. hey give me the giggles and the goosebumps! I can’t wait to see pictures from the birthday party! I know they will be great!

    1. That’s what I’m going for! Giggles and goosebumps for all.
      The photos will hopefully be posted soon. I didn’t take as many as usual, but I hope the ones I took came out ok!

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve read a post like this on your blog and it’s such a refresher. I just love how Scarlet can tell it like it is and Des is just too cute. I can’t wait to see the birthday pics and sometimes you do need to take a break. We’ll be in Disneyland in a few weeks and we’re excited to take a getaway, a getaway from everything blog related. And guess what? We love you here a lot a lot too! <3

  5. I love the peace pagoda pictures. So beautiful. I’m also wishing the world wasn’t so uncertain and violent. It seems like the norm these days, but I remind myself that there is also so much beauty (evidenced by your lovely post today). xo

    1. I think it probably flows in and out and the world is always violent, but maybe our awareness has been increased and distorted too. It all scares me so much!

    1. I’m already wondering what lens to rent!
      I hope Alaska breathes a lot of life in me. Not that I don’t already have it, but it’s been a weird 2016 for the world.

  6. Congratulations on the teaching gig! I love the kid’s quotes. Out of the mouth of babes. Priceless. Im also a bit freaked out by our world. I got two emails from family today asked me to head home because of all the violence. What’s the point? Sadly, it’s everywhere. Have fun with baby Parker!

    1. So true. You can think you’re safe but not be. That’s the scary, random nature of it. It’s enough to never read the news, but that doesn’t work either.
      At least baby Parker is so sweet!

  7. Does Des still sort of love me? Does Scarlet still want to share berries with me? And take me to her favorite pizza, then ice cream?

    Hugs to everyone!

  8. Scarlet & Des are wise beyond their years.
    You taught a photography class? That’s amazing! I’m still contemplating teaching another jewelry-making class.
    Sometimes I want to give up writing, but I just need a break from it. This time off from blogging has been really good for me, and I’m actually looking forward to returning next month!

  9. I so wish there was an actual imagination portal… I would love to zap into a child’s imaginary world for a few hours, how fun would that be??

  10. Peace Pagoda – how lovely! And you teaching a photography class, that’s amazing! I want to be in your class! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Excited for your birthday costumes by the way. Plus I just told myself, OMG Scarlet can do the hulahoop while I CANT! HAHA!!

  11. Ha! Fetch! – I loved that movie! I agree with you about the world taking some steps back lately, even in our country….makes me sad. Love your photos of the banner & reflection. There is something so peaceful as they waiver in the wind.

    1. A prize for you. You’re the only one to have mentioned the reference! It’s a weird movie, but catchy and smart too.
      The news certainly makes me take a step back..

  12. You taught a photography class? How cool! That peace pagoda is pretty awesome. I want to visit! Oh, and sign me up for one of your families mega parties any day ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs and happy birthday wishes to all! P.S. Scarlet has some serious hula hoop skills!

    1. I did! It was for SITS and it was a week long and oh so scary for me!
      Definitely come visit our Peace Pagoda. They are sprinkled throughout the country, so I wonder if there’s a cool desert one by you.

      Scarlet is good, right??

  13. You can tell him that some adults are angry at the government, and they want something different as to why they are voting for Trump. Personally, I would add that if a person wants change the best thing would be that they be the change they want to see.

    1. It’s hard to tell her that, putting aside my own feelings for Trump, but she’s pretty open-minded and I actually get through these conversations without saying swear words. Wheee!!
      That last sentence is definitely one I tell her!

      1. I don’t blame you at all. I wouldn’t have told her that. It was just the only reason I could think of as to why people vote that way. I’ve been very funny about voting. I always pick the person who I think will be better for the world, regardless of how it would effect me.

        1. I think what you wrote was so thoughtful! I was admitting my difficulty in it, but I think it’s a nice thing to say. One of her good friends likes Trump, or he used to anyway, and her reaction was good! Despite what she said above, ha!
          And I love the way you vote.

  14. 1) I NEED to visit the Peace Pagoda.
    2) Scarlet!!! Scarlet tells it like it is, and I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚
    3) I think it’s absolutely WONDERFUL that you taught!! That is HUGE, and I’m proud of you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    4) I feel like I’ve been a little skimpy on my writing as of late. Blaming it on Summer, summer, summertime.

  15. I saw your birthday picture on Facebook this weekend, and I made my husband stop what he was doing and come see it, because it was so awesome. One of the things I miss about having little kids is the fresh perspective they bring to any conversation. Hope you’re having a great week!

    1. AW, thank you!! I love that. I’m certain your husband thought we were big dorks. Just kidding! That makes me happy, though.
      Blog conference in NYC this week so it’s a big week!

  16. Scarlet so right ๐Ÿ™‚ If adults can vote for Trump maybe kids should be allowed to vote.
    I’m so tired of the violence, hate, and intolerance. I’ve had to take a break from the news because I just can’t take all of the bad energy.
    You Gus looked really cute in you Star Wars costumes ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I agree. And then that means taking a break from Facebook because sadly that’s where I get most of my news first.
      Our Star Wars costumes really brighten my day!

  17. Good gosh, your pictures are gorge, momma. Also as Scarlet gets a wee older, I see so much of you in her ๐Ÿ™‚ Beautiful pictures… and you all dressed up in Star Wars costumes? LOVE!!

    Peace Pagoda looks amazing, thank you for sharing this with us. And STOP TRYING TO MAKE FETCH HAPPEN! LOL, just when I thought I couldn’t love you more <3 Also congrats on the teaching!

    Oh, and I tried to leave a comment on the last post with the recipe, but couldn't ๐Ÿ™ Hope that doesn't disqualify me from the contest. Because now I'm hungry for puff pastry cheesy squares with ranch dressing and fakin' bacon ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That makes me feel great! I worry she looks less like me as she gets older. I think my awkward period was like.. 30 years long. I think it’s still ongoing!
      Des is wearing his Star Wars costume right now to pick up Scarlet from camp.
      Thank you for knowing my Mean Girls reference!
      As for the recipe post, I think comments were off. Oops. They’re good!!! I’d like to try it with fake bacon.

  18. I kinda want to win that raffle and hang out in Scarlet’s imagination because it sounds like a super fun, chill and smart place to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Yes, sometimes adults are idiots. And Scarlet’s imagination portal sounds awesome. Can’t wait to get to the party post!

  20. I’m gonna have to request that my cupcake be coconut and with sprinkles. And then, YES you can sit with me and we will eat and share funny stories about what kids say; and how scary accurate they can be.
    Currently: I am not writing much at all. But I am living; and I’m okay with that in these small moments that are adding up to one BIG summer.

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