Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cherry Blossoms

I completely understand the Japanese obsession with cherry blossoms. My favorite are known as Yaezakura or  Double Cherry Blossom. As a child, I was often found perched within the pink downy softness of a cherry tree.  This weekend, while we were waiting for our ferry in Horseshoe Bay, I got a chance to bask in their loveliness while Nathaniel chased our girls around the park.
Here are a few snapshots.

I am often looking for ways to describe this particular variety of cherry blossom. Over the years there have been many poems and haiku written in their honor. How does one accurately describe something so beautiful?
I think that they look like thousands of little ballerina tutus bunched together. Why is it the the fleeting things are the most beautiful? It as though they were created to invoke wonder. To this day, when the  wind catches an armload of  these petals and hurls them across the road, I can't help but *sigh* in breathless admiration. It is like experiencing something otherworldly: a glimpse of heaven perhaps. All I know is that it takes my breath away

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My closet

I don"t know about you, but I hear something akin to opera music when I open my bedroom closet and it looks like this. 

This morning, after dropping my eldest daughter off at school, and tackling a MOUNTAIN of laundry, I started going through every drawer and hanger in my closet. Claire happily wrapped herself in scarves, painted her cheeks with lipstick and rummaged through my jewelry.  At one point she had over thirty of Nathaniel's hemp necklaces around her neck. Now why didn't I take a picture of that?

My closet is constantly evolving depending on the season or my immediate needs. This morning I put away all the clothing that no longer fits my growing body. There is no sense in looking at things I can no longer wear, so I put them away in this cedar chest until I can fit them again. 

Last year I taped a few pictures on the wall of looks that I love.  I have a collection of perfume which I NEVER wear. I am incredibly sensitive to scent and find most of it too intense. Some of the bottles are nearly twenty years old now. I use my cupcake stand to hold earrings, bangles, cuffs, my watch and other miscellaneous accessories. The ornate wooden box holds an assortment of dark chocolate and other yummy things. I use the necklace stands to display my favorite or recently purchased necklaces. The acrylic organizer,a  brilliant  find from home sense,  keeps all my make-up essentials within reach. 

All of my boots are lined up along my top shelf. I use rolled up newspapers to keep them upright. Beside my cupcake stand are two binders. One contains photos of outfits I have created and the other is full of clippings from magazines. I haven't cracked either of them open in a long time. These days I only make an effort to look decent on Sundays. 


I recently covered an old cork board with some old sari fabric and used push pins to hold my necklaces. I also moved a dresser into my closet since I had nowhere else to put it. It fit perfectly and now holds all my socks, bras and pants.

The basket contains our swim suits. My clothing is hung on black hangers, while my husband's are hung on an assortment of colors and sizes. My husbands pants and work clothing  take up the rest of the top shelf. I have a few sweaters and jackets hanging on the rod beside my antique dresser.

Yippee for a tidy, organized space!!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clean versus tidy

 I am obsessed with having a tidy house . 
Note that I said tidy, not clean.

I have no illusions about my housekeeping skills. I am definitely not a clean freak. I remember the first time I went to someones house and noticed that they had vacuum marks on their couch, or the first time I heard that people wash their baseboards on a regular basis. Whaaaaaaaat! I can't think of a time in my life when it ever occurred to me to do such a thing. When I go on pinterest and see tips for cleaning ones dishwasher and laundry machine I almost laugh. The funny thing is,  I obsess over tidy counters, well made beds, and organized closets. Go figure!

 My baseboards are dusty and so are my bookshelves, but they have been carefully curated and organized for maximum viewing pleasure. Whether they are dusty, is no concern of mine. My floors are often sticky and strewn with sawdust from my husband's workshop , but are ALWAYS swept at the end of the day.

 My windows and mirrors are often covered in fingerprints, and I couldn't care less. I don't care how often my sheets are changed or whether my walls are washed. I give our main bathroom a good scrub just before company comes over, but our on suit bathroom can get pretty scary. My kitchen and closet are probably the "cleanest" areas of my house. I frequently wipe my cupboard shelves off and organize and de-junk my baking, spices and Tupperware cupboards. I hardly ever notice grime that accumulates around the kitchen facet or the fact that my fridge shelves could use a scrub. I think I have washed the outside of my kitchen cabinets once and I often neglect the interior of my microwave. I can't stand cluttered counters and hide as many kitchen appliances as possible. My kitchen aid mixer and vita mix base, toaster and knife set are tolerated. Our kitchen window is filled with little potted plants at the moment and it is driving me insane.
My pantry is pretty awesome though.  

My couches are in desperate need of a good vacuuming but I am more concerned about the arrangement of throw pillows.  The walls of my entryway are diabolical but it is the piles of shoes, backpacks and sweaters make me want to holler at my family. Our banister could use a god scrub but I am more focused on the bits of fluff and debris on our carpeted staircase. What's up with that?

 Our master bedroom is generally always tidy, aside from the pile of clothing beside my husbands side of the bed. My closet is organized by color and  by color and all my jewelry and accessories are neatly displayed.I recently removed my children's dresser from their room, because I was tired of wading knee deep through their clothing.  I solved the problem by getting rid of half of it and putting what remained on the highest shelf of their closet. 

If something doesn't have a place it gets chucked in the garbage or donated to the thrift store. I can't tolerate  clutter. It actually makes me itchy and irritable.  After I have organized and purged the content of a room, vacuuming the floor is as good as cream cheese icing on a cupcake. *sigh*  

Ever since I could remember I have had an incredible need for tidiness. I feel an incredible sense of peace when everything is in its place.  I don't know if it is partially due to the fact that I was raised with the motto "work before play" but, I have a difficult time enjoying myself when there is a pile of dirty dishes on the counter or unmade beds. Call me crazy, but they haunt me until they are taken care of. A well dressed bed makes me a happy girl, and so does a pile of neatly folded laundry. On the rare occasion that my entire house is clean at the same time I feel like a songbird in spring. I often joke that only half my house is tidy on any given day, because while I am cleaning one part my children are gleefully undoing the other half. 

Of the joys of "domesticity"!

I thoroughly enjoyed this blog article called "In pursuit of Martha Points". It made me howl with laughter!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Froggy Birthday: Amelia turns five!

As most of you know know, Amelia is OBSESSED with frogs, so it wasn't a surprise when she asked for a "froggy" themed birthday party. 

Everything HAD to be green of course. Claire thoroughly enjoyed helping with the streamers.  

"Hoppy Birthday"

Her dad caught a bucket full of frogs the night before so that Amelia and her guests had plenty of frogs to admire.

Amelia's friends made their own frog party hats which were encrusted with sparkles, glitter and sequins.

Our neighbor brought these awesome frog cupcakes! 

Amelia's guests took home little pots with soil and sunflower seeds.  

Enjoying "frog eggs", otherwise known as passion fruit seeds.  

I went with an ice cream cake again this year as cake decorating is not my thing. For lunch we enjoyed Amelia's favorite foods "ants on a log" (celery with peanut better and raisins), potato salad, chicken skewers, chips, hummus, pita bread, and something called worms and dirt. 

Capturing those moments..

The other day I cornered a lovely woman named Nancy at church and asked her if she would be interested in photographing the birth of our third child. When her eyes lit up, I knew that I had asked the right person. I happened to know that she was comfortable with birth and that she had some midwifery training as well. Furthermore, her presence is one that I would welcome at a birth. 

When Amelia was born, my sister and mom snapped a few photos and took some video footage. When I realized how important those photos were and how often I looked at them, I knew that I would want every subsequent birth photographed.  At Claire's birth, we hardly had time to pull out our camera before she was born. Nathaniel snapped a few of me walking with Amelia during early labor and then at Starbucks while I was ordering a chai latte.  Other than that, the only photos we have are the ones a student nurse managed to snap before I gave birth to my second child.

When Nathaniel and I started talking about where we wanted to move to after our posting in Alexis Creek, I knew that it had to be someplace where I would have access to midwifery care and the option of a home birth. I also knew that I would want to to hire a photographer to capture it. I also also looking forward to having belly and infant photos taken as well. . If this is going to be my last pregnancy and birth I want to celebrate and commemorate it.

Here are a few images I snagged off Google images of births that get me excited about having a home birth again and having a photographer present to capture all the special moments.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Birthday Bliss: Claire turns Three!

Today we finally celebrated Claire's third birthday this morning with a tea party. I had far too much fun decorating the dining area with poms, peonies, napkins, streamers, fancy tired tray, polka dot napkins and whatever else I could find around the house. 

Claire wore a lace crown my girlfriend Heidi and I made back in January, and her favorite tutu of course. All the girls got a pair of wings and a wand to play with. 

I was excited to finally have an opportunity to use these darling ballerina fairy cupcake toppers. I think I purchased them at Homesense  before Claire was born.

We dined on chocolate haystacks, a heaping plate of fruit, tea sandwiches, chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and mini banana chocolate chip muffins. 

I love Claire's little friends. 


After all the festivities the girls watched a few minutes of  the "Tangled" movie Claire had received  and enjoyed some kettle corn.