Tuesday, May 31, 2011


pe·o·ny[pee-uh-nee] –noun, plural -nies.

any of various plants or shrubs of the genus Paeonia, having large, showy flowers, as the widely cultivated species P. lactiflora: the state flower of Indiana.


Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. Growing up, we had lots of them all over the acres we lived on (and where my parents still live). They make me feel nostalgic and happy and hopeful. That's a lot to ask for in a flower!

Imagine my joy when I found a long row of them on the south side of the house we purchased last summer. I've had such a good time watching them grow this spring. Now that they are blooming, I just like to sit out there and look at them. The smell is so flowery, the blooms so pretty.

It's one of my favorite parts of our yard.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

On Memorial Day - we honor those Americans who have fought bravely for our freedom. My own children boast three great-grandfathers who are WWII veterans. One of whom is still with us, class of '38 (blows my mind!).

Those people, those amazing members of our military, have enabled me to have the all-American weekend.

Including, but not limited to:
  • pitching a tent in the yard, watching the kids play "camping" all day on Saturday
  • strawberry rhubarb pie ala mode (with rhubarb grown and delivered by a sweet neighbor!)
  • a fire in the pit, used to roast hot dogs and marshmallows (s'mores, yes please)
  • a movie in an air-conditioned theater, with bottomless buttered popcorn and sodas
  • planning and dreaming of a family trip to K.C. this summer
  • an endless supply of popsicles in the freezer
  • church on Sunday and a bucket o' chicken for lunch
  • rootbeer floats
  • washing cars in the driveway with daddy
  • watering, weeding, and growing lettuce, radishes, onions, spinach, and carrots
  • a movie at home (with more pie, popsicles, etc) as a family
It's officially summer and we are happy. The kids are obsessed with campers and want to OWN an RV. Talks are in progress about renting one next year and taking a big family road trip.

It's the freedom we have that lets us dream big and enjoy this life. Thank you to each and every person who has given their own time, or their life, for the freedom that allows us all of this.

We will never take this for granted.



Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Photo of the Day

Photo: Sunlit hills and sand dunes in Ireland

Don't you want to go there? RIGHT NOW?!

This picture is of Inishowen, Ireland. Photograph by Dave Johnston, Your Shot. Photo of the Day by National Geographic continues to be one of my favorite blogs. The photos are so beautiful and I often set ones like this one as my desktop wallpaper. I even put one on my phone. My kids often ask about the photos when they see them on the screen and it has been a great conversation starter. We end up talking about where Italy or Ireland or Iceland is and often have to pull up a map so that they can see it.

[By the way, I'm not paid for this, it's not an advertisement. I just like to share things that I like...that's all.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Am 33 Years Old...I Think

I had a dream last night that I COULD NOT remember how old I was. I tried to remember my birthday and subtract the years. I tried to ask people. Nothing worked. I was so confused as to how this could happen, and guessed myself to be somewhere around 38 years old.

It was so strange.

For some reason, I really do feel a bit like that this year. My birthday is in October and this year I will be...34. I had to think about it AGAIN.

Maybe it's because I'm in a strange age range. Not exactly young anymore, but somewhere in between.

I've read a ton of novels this year and have felt this strange disconnect with how old I am while reading. Several books placed the protagonist at a sturdy age of 35. She is successful professionally, but either newly divorced or never married. Looking for love. And finding it. As I was progressing through the book, I realized that I was picturing this woman as OLD. And wondering why she hadn't settled down yet. (Not everyone gets married at 23, Mel, remember that). Then I had this moment of revelation, this character is my age. I could picture her as a friend, a peer. Huh.

Thirty something is just a strange place to be. My friend and I have discussed several times about the challenge of what to wear. No longer wanting the same style we wore in college, but not ready for more mature styles either. My friend laughs when I say it, but I mean it when I tell her that I am excited to be old. I hope that I live to the age when I can happily wear a loose button up and some elastic waisted pants. I want to drink coffee and eat doughnuts before my water aerobics class with my pals. I want to take a bus trip to Wisconsin. I am  going to rock old age.

But for now, I have to figure this time out. This in-between phase.

A good start would be the ability to state my age without having to subtract back to my birth year.
33, 33, 33, 33.
Why can I not remember that?!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May Flowers

March rolled around and we had a few beautiful days. I got SO excited, we cleared flower beds, prepared soil, got everything ready so that we could plant. I took pictures of the buds on trees and coming out of the ground. I watched things sprouting up, wondering what our yard would look like in the spring. There's something so fun about your first spring in a new house. We had no idea how many plants the previous owners had and we have a ton of landscaping around our yard.

 I watched and I waited. Waited. And waited.

April was COLD. And rainy. Dreary. Cloudy. Snowy.

Where was spring?

FINALLY, this past week, it warmed up. We planted lettuce and carrot seeds in our future veggie garden . We mulched elsewhere and put in some perennials.

I'm happier here than I've ever been. I love being outside and enjoy gardening. I'm weeding, I'm planting...I'm playing in the dirt. It's so great! For the first time in a few years, I put in the effort to get some annuals and enjoy their color, even if it's just for this year.

So this summer there will hopefully be lots of fresh veggies, flowers to arrange and put inside. Butterflies visiting. And birds singing.

Yesterday M and I watched a bright red male bird singing a song that soon attracted a dull colored female. We watched her come to visit and then fly away. We laughed when he quickly followed. "Wait!" We imagined him saying, "Wait for me!". It was one of our favorite episodes of Life, come to life in our own yard.

Spring has sprung and it was so worth the wait!