Birdie eating grapes in the backseat as we leave on vacation. This kid does not nap in the car on principle, but when she's not yelling she's hilarious.
The beautiful, private beach just a short walk from our camp site. While our tents were nestled under cool, leafy trees and all around was the forest (including enormous raccoons, you guys), the beach was hot, with smooth sand and turquoise water.
Pea's face every time she sees the sea.
An enormous tent and comfy air mattresses. I am no survivalist.
Time with my brother, the girls favorite Uncle.
Pea's burns are first degree only. This is a miracle.
On what was supposed to be our next-to-last day of camping we had awakened to early morning rain. A whole lot of it. This made an already-tricky situation with a 1 year-old who puts EVERYTHING on the ground into her mouth and does NOT like to be constrained AT ALL (ask me right now what I was thinking taking her camping and I will tell you that I have no idea but for some reason it had sounded fun...) into a wet, muddy, slick headache. But there was the promise of sun later and the beach was already dry and warm when we woke so we lit a small fire to warm our chilly bodies and started making plans for the day.
Pea was playing a game at the large picnic table when she slipped on the slick ground and fell backwards into the now-cooling campfire coals.
I had just hidden away in one of the tents for a much-needed nap (Birdie had screamed/nursed/screamed/nursed two nights in a row) when I was shocked awake by the cries of, "Am I on fire?! Daddoo, am I on fire?!!!"
Oh my god.
I stumbled out the front and saw Jeffrey rolling her on the ground.
I think my heart stopped.
Right before the adrenaline kicked in.
In the end her burns, across the back of her legs and back, have begun to heal quickly and thanks to Jeffrey's always-ready first-aid kit and the healing salves I always travel with she probably won't even scar.
But oh, my heart...my heart will carry this scar forever
Obviously the camping trip was over. Jeffrey started throwing all of our stuff into the big car and the girls and I piled into my mom's car and back home we came. Mostly because I wanted to be near our doctors/hospitals in case she needed further attention. But also because it was hard to recapture the peaceful relaxation of the hours before.
And because my heart would not slow down at all.
The whole time I'd been completely paranoid about Adeleine's safety. Penelope follows directions so well and is pretty cautious about powerful things like the ocean and fire so I hadn't worried much about her. And we had five adults with us so all in all things were set up very safely. In the end it was an accident, something we couldn't even prepare for.
She talks over and over about what it felt like to land in the fire pit and grab onto the hot sides just before my mom and brother pulled her out.
Thank you, thank you god that the fire was almost out.
Thank you that it was such a cool morning that she was wearing thick clothes.
Thank you that my husband takes his Boy Scout training seriously.
Thank you that there were four adults right there.
Thank you that now, just a few hours later, there is hardly even blistering.
Now if only my heart can recover...
Posted by Annagrace at 10:01 PM
Setting a tiny, window screen-trapped ladybug free. Watching her as she suddenly realized she was outside again and lifted her polka-dot wings.
This morning's thermos full of iced coffee and note from Jeffrey. Do you know, I think I love him more every single day. And not just because there's (really, really good) coffee involved.
Nursing Birdie to sleep for her morning nap (the kid still takes 2 naps! I can't believe I made a child who can nap! Sure makes up for all the screaming--Woot!) as Pea softly creeps up to kiss Sister on the head and tell her 'night-'night. Except she leaned in close, touched her lips to Birdie's flushed cheek, and hoarsely whispered, "Tag--you're it."
Friends signing for their first house today. Friends who will be neighbors so soon. Toasting their good fortune with champagne and mango sorbet mimosas after a dinner of homemade hamburgers with jack cheese and guacamole. Birdie threw every single thing off her high-chair tray (again. of course.) but then proceeded to eat half my dinner off MY plate with my fork.
Walking to their new house, the four children scattered across the largely empty streets, pointing out gardens and basketball hoops, funny backyards and swimming pools. Their beautiful, tree-shaded lawn and the garden with blueberry bushes.
An almost startling breeze coming up at the end of the day, smelling of fall and the ocean. School starts soon. Not for my girlies but still exciting somehow...
Posted by Annagrace at 11:29 PM
Sometimes they cook up especially lovely.
Heirloom tomatoes that look like sunsets inside.
The face of someone who is a most effective finder of all things small and dangerous (screws, paperclips, minuscule pieces of plastic) and who can try my patience several hundred times a day. But oh, how I love her.
Posted by Annagrace at 8:48 PM
It's been a busy week at our house. Sometimes I don't know how this can be, as Jeffrey and I love and crave stillness and calm but then I look over the breakfast table at my two, sunny-faced monkey children and it all becomes clear. Still, I am daily making attempts and finding quiet and stillness inside me...a solitary moment to read a page of something beautiful, taking full advantage of the moments of cooperative play to stare out the window, far far beyond the silver and green tree tops. And I'm trying really hard to not give in to all the beautiful, wonderful, good, things we keep filling our time with and remember how to keep home as our core. For a little bit longer. Still.
I don't have a list today. But I do love this apron a lot. A thrift store score and exactly what I've been looking for, down to color. Extra points for the print reminding me of the illustrations in a favorite childhood story collection. How's that for something tiny and good? And when I wear it I feel in every pore the master of my kitchen. No, not mistress, that sounds like something else.
So...there's the apron. There are tiny, clutched at moments of calm. And there are BIG plans in my head, plans that are finally making their way to paper and a computer. Plans for a non-profit and a foundation and oh my, I can't tell you now, but I'm pretty sure I have figured out what I was born to do and though it's a couple years away (honestly) from being in any way more than a well-planned-out dream, I feel like the future is suddenly opening wide and I'm no longer nervous about what's next.
So...there's that, too.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:56 AM
A day at the beach. Saturday we drove to a gorgeous, gorgeous beach I hadn't been to in a few years and had the loveliest day. Jeffrey was in a strategic planning meeting all day but my mom came along. The weather was close to perfection, there was coffee (lots!), there was all the food we'd brought for lunch and snacks, there was really good Mexican food for dinner. It was cool and shady in the mountains there and back, and all the shadowed green of fir trees and farms felt like a healing balm after the hottest week I can remember.
The next morning, Sunday, I was left to sleep till eleven. Eleven! I haven't done that since...well, since Birdie was tiny and I'd been up all night so it almost didn't count and we were all so frazzled that god only knew what time of day or night it was anyway and would anything ever feel sane or better or good or not stressful ever again?!! Eleven. I missed my usual writing/alone time because of this, but Jeffrey took Penelope to his company's pool party in the afternoon so I was home with Her Grumpiness the Teething Tantrum Lass, but ONLY Her Grumpiness. Not Her Grumpiness and Her Who Wears a Thousand Moods a Minute. So all in all it was a very calm, restful, short kind of day.
The nights have been cool again. Oh, I love this. You can give me almost any daytime temperature as long it turns into a clean and breezy 60 degrees at night.
Surprise extra money at just exactly the perfect time. Miraculous. The knot in my stomach is slowly relaxing. This was completely unexpected and amazing. Now we just need to continue living like the single-income, two-child family we are, instead of...well, instead of a lot of things.
Cooking two meals last night so there was nothing to do tonight but go have a make-up writing session and catch up on some reading.
Posted by Annagrace at 11:04 PM