This weekend we will celebrate our baby girl turning two - her golden birthday at that. 2 on the 2nd and this happens to be the year I will celebrate mine as well - 31 on the 31st and for that reason, this year feels especially big and special. Good stuff is in store, I can feel it. We are having grandparents come to our house for a small, special celebration and I'm keeping it simple with gold decorations for the golden birthday. She requested chocolate cake with strawberries on top and a balloon. She's easy to please and as sweet as they come. I can't wait to celebrate the best 2 years of my life with my little love this weekend. Hope you have a good one too!
January 29, 2015
Every couple of months, I transition new materials in to our play / learning space as Ruthie's interests and abilities develop. Right now she is really into the idea of school (thanks to a few of her recent favorite books) and so each day recently I have been making sure to do some sort of 'formal' lesson with her just as I would have in my old classroom. She loves to say, 'time to sit ciss coss apple sauce for yesson!' And it's the best. This week, I presented (using the Montessori three period lesson) 5 shape cards, a pattern making work, and a practical life tweezing work. It is so awesome seeing her want to learn. As a teacher (and mama) there is nothing better!
If interested in knowing what each material is in these photo's, here you go!
Top Shelf - Music and Sound
music clock / tambourine / wooden train whistle / bells / xylophone
Bottom Shelves - Sensorial, Practical Life, Math, and Science (I plan to break toys and materials into 'subject' area's when she is older. For now, it's just all mixed together for her to choose as she goes.
Geo puzzles / Basket with beads and string for bead stringing / stackable block tower - biggest to small / wooden farm puzzle / color and shape cards / national geographic issues / pattern making work / (hard to see but, a tiny tweezing pom pom work / wooden hammer and ball work / Baric tablets
(We also have a few lower cabinets in our kitchen set up for her so she can choose her utensils, cups and dishes throughout the day, a stool so she can easily help clean dishes and wash her hands and a few other learning materials in our family room and her bedroom.)
January 26, 2015
Over the last few weeks Nick and I have slowly begun the process of going through every single closet, drawer, bin and creak of our home to unload anything that isn't functional or beautiful. We've decided that the function and beauty philosophy when it comes to our home aligns well with our thoughts and feelings on how to be intentional in every area of our lives. Because our home is such a huge part of us, it is the perfect place to put our 'motto' in action. I tell ya what, it is freeing beyond belief to not have excess stuff. Our goal is to get rid of / donate nearly half of our belongings by the time spring rolls around. We have a huge pile to either donate or throw out up on our third floor and still have so many spaces to sort through. Once you start, it's hard to stop! Here are a few tips that have really helped the task seem less daunting for us.
// Start small - Pick one closet or one drawer to work through in a days time. When we first began sorting through all of our stuff, I chose an upstairs storage closet and spent the entire day on and off putting our stuff into keep piles, throw away and donate piles. I didn't feel pressure to work through so many things at one time and was able to stay focused on the small goal of, just one closet today.
// The medicine cabinet - I can't even begin to tell you how freeing it feels to go through your medicine cabinet to get rid of all the crap we keep in there - old pills, half empty bottles of travel shampoo, expired prescriptions and broken hair ties. I mean, whewwww. I filled an entire garbage bag with medicine cabinet junk and my mind instantly felt less cluttered. If you don't know where to start, start there.
// Don't let the piles sit - For weeks we would have our donate piles just sitting in the upstairs hallway which was actually making me feel like we hand't made any progress at all because I could still see everything just sitting there. Once you have a closet (or a few) sorted through, take them to goodwill or to your garage or wherever. Just get them out of your house!
// Give yourself time - depending on the size of your home and how much stuff you are hoping to rid your home of will depend on how much time it will realistically take you. Our home is on the larger side and over the 4 years we've been here, we've let junk collect in the basement and in all of our closets. We are giving ourselves the entire winter season to work through it all. Setting a time line will help in a major way and will help the task feel manageable.
Yay for intentional, clean, simple living!
Quick disclaimer: It's super hard to stick to the function or beauty philosophy if you have children. I will say though, we are extremely intentional with what kind of toys we bring in our home for our daughter. Simple, wooden, non plastic, non noisy toys are mostly what you will find in our home. I've been able to feel like I have a handle on our toy situation too by putting them all in pretty woven baskets and keeping them fairly organized. It's not easy and we certainly could stand to get rid of some of the toys that are never played with. Okay. Purge away!
January 22, 2015
A few days ago I had the opportunity to photograph this sweet, new little family of three. This was precisely my third ever gig as a 'photographer' and while I'm not super confident behind the lense (when it comes to shooting someone other than my own child) I had a blast doing it and am excited and eager to keep working at it. These were a few of my favorite shots. Photographers - teach me your ways and give me ANY and ALL tips! (especially on the editing side :)
January 12, 2015
So anyways, on February 2, she turns two and I'm so happy and proud and in love with this girl that I don't have a thought to feel sad about it. Life with my almost 2 year old is just too dang sweet.
January 9, 2015
The first full week of 2015 is officially coming to a close and I feel like our family sort of kicked its butt. Nothing extraordinary happened but the week felt productive, easy and calm and those are a few things that generally don't go hand in hand with a toddler running around. I still feel energized about the year to come and am just ready to take it all on. The weekend is here and there are no plans that don't involve good friends or down time. Cheers!
January 5, 2015
I've just taken down all our holiday decorations, tidied the entire house, my little girl is sleeping peacefully in her room, I'm sipping on my second cup of coffee and I'm finally sitting down to think about personal, family and business goals for the coming year. To be honest with you, today feels really, really good. The air is much much cooler today than it has been in weeks and it is almost as if the crisp air that's rolled in is our chance to breathe in - start fresh, a new.
I'm more excited about this coming year than I have been about years past and really, I think it's just because life feels really nice right now. You know, just one of those seasons we all wish would stay forever. Our family is planning a really big move and how all those plans will unfold is exciting and has made us really think about the way we live - the 'things' in our house, what kind of family we are building and how we want to feel community in our every day. This year I've set a few fun and personal goals of practicing yoga each week and learning to play the guitar but I think more than anything, I want my goals to revolve around my family. I want my husband to know he is my priority and I want my daughter to feel encouraged, supported and loved. I want us to continue to grow as a family (literally and figuratively) and I want to build into our community, together as a family. If our home plans come to fruition, we are doing something extremely non traditional and I want our daughter to learn from it - that sometimes scary things reap the most rewards and that living a life within the standard guidelines doesn't have to be for everyone. I need the reminder sometimes too.
So here is to 2015. A year for building into community, growing family, living intentionally, and never being afraid of the adventure.