you’re so lovely, california

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^^ this trip might have been us two {ahem, three} ^^

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^^ and i might have had a whole lot of fun watching that one ^^

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^^ but it really was all about these two ^^

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i can’t even begin to describe how thankful i am that we were able to take these past two weeks to be with our friends. who knows if we’ll be able to do an extended visit like this again any time soon, since both girls will be in school and the new baby on the way might shift life for a while. we coined the term “european visit” last time around b/c europeans always seem to do the extended-length visit. i think they’re on to something. it was a long enough visit to settle into a rhythm of everyday life with just a bit of adventure spice added. i just hope these girls will remember these days.

california is soooo warm and sunny and pretty! i’ve had a bit of a weather shock coming back to below freezing temps this week. and i miss my friends. i want to thank them for making it such a memorable time for us. looove you!

but i am glad to be back in the way that i feel recharged and energized to take on life again. i feel revived by travel and new experiences. in actuality, it might just be the healthy dose of vitamin d. at any rate, i’m ready to take on spring. nesting urges may now commence.

and i’m ready to see all my columbus friends again. it’s time to come out from your hiber-holes, friendlies!


week 43

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our unschooling this week was pretty lax and very experiential. you may have seen we spent the first part of the week cabining at hueston woods. we hit up the park’s nature center for a few hours for some darla-learnin’. i very much dug the center’s wildlife refuge because i got to see two types of owls at close range and you should know that owls are my spirit animal, even if a deer is trying to make a run for that position.

we rounded out the week with some of our favorite people at the pumpkin patch b/c that’s obviously where you should take your children when it’s snowing in little pellets. despite the almost freezing temps, the kids were peeling off layers to romp in the barn. it’s nice to be in environments where the kiddos can be wildly independent and not worry about them b/c everything is basically padded.

thanks for checking in our week of good times and learning through living.

please let this be the summer she remembers

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in some ways, the most important ways, this summer has been idyllic. i feel like i’ve been living in some northeastern novel on the required reading list for freshman lit. the weather has been perfect and we’ve spent the majority of our days out in the world and i keep thinking please let this be the summer she remembers.

i hope that when she’s older and going through the angsty periods that oftentimes result in the authorship of said northeastern novels that she’ll remember long summer days like these, exploring her world, being the master of the universe, splashing and swinging with best friends, telling older kids “technically, i can do whatever i want.” i hope she’ll remember these perfect days by the lake.

when i look back at this summer that has blown by, i’m really proud of all we’ve experienced. it may not be grand. it may not be faraway escapes or exotic new experiences but we’ve been taking in the world around us abundantly and yes, i am proud to provide that for my daughter.


fair friends

we made it to the fair! i was worried that we weren’t going to make it this year. last year was so fairtastic {here, here, here, here and here} but this year we’ve been best in no show. see what i did there? thank goodness for $5 fair day. we had a pretty decent time and this year i finally felt secure enough to take darla on the sky tram. i’m not sure it was worth all the anxiety it caused me worrying that she was going to jump over the side but it sure is a beautiful way to take in the fairgrounds.

the kiddos milked a cow, did some rides, hustled adults for sugary treats…the usual.

sigh. our state fair is a great state fair.

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unschooling: raspberry picking

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we toned it down on the unschooling last week since we did so much the week before, not to mention the precipitation issue. the cooler temps did make for a very nice outing to picturesque mitchell’s berries. yes, those are sweatshirts on those boys. we went with our friends visiting from abu dabi. these unseasonably cool temps were quite a trip for them.

you could almost call this just an outing. i didn’t really try to do too much in-depth convo about the raspberry picking process since darla was having a good time with friends. the last thing kids want to do is listen to their parents when other kids are around. but the nice thing about unschooling is that i don’t have to stress if i didn’t impart every bit of knowledge possible along the way. they learned on their own from the experience. they will remember the thorns. they will remember discovering that the deep red, squishy berries are sweeter and juicier than the bright red, firm ones. they will remember the difference between the black raspberries and the red. hopefully they will remember the beautiful weather and forget the moments of tiredness and small squabbles. i know that’s how i’ll remember it.

our visit was at the very beginning of raspberry season so i’m hoping to make it back to mitchell’s again. it was a simply lovely set-up. plus, we gobbled up most of the berries fresh so my stores for preserves were greatly depleted by jam time.

thanks for checking in on our unschooling today.

is this day camp?

no. no it’s not. well, it was for someone else’s kids. we just swooped in after the camp kids went to lunch and played all up in that shizz.

i promise this looks more peaceful and idyllic than it was. there were various gradients of dirt play with darla leading the pack in no shoes and worm wrangling. there were various gradients of child breakdowns with darla being the leader in that category, also.

but i got to hang out with two babies i saw borned of this world and i already mentioned that it turned out pretty in pictures. as long as my life looks good then i’m not really to hung up on the rest…

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i just want to pause and mention how happy i am with the free-wheeling, unschool summer we’ve been having. even though the day was somewhat of an emotional failure i still walked away feeling accomplished, secure in the thought that my girl had learned and enjoyed and i really had a good time in the midst of the choas of 6 children. i just want to extend summer for all the days and explore our world. this city has an amazing parks system and i’ve got my sights set on experiencing some new places with my girl.

can it be summer camp forever???


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wanna see some blurry, not-very-good shots of our 4th? sure you do!

the highlights for me this year were the annual doo-dah parade and watching the columbus fireworks from a distance with a great group of people, big and little.

i hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday. i will sign off with a quote from miss darla about sparklers:

“mom, did you know that sparklers are baby fireworks that haven’t grown their boom tails yet?”

weekly happy

full of gratitude for all these moments, and many others, this week:

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^^^ 1. snuggling with a little dude i saw born a little over a month ago {photo by darla marie}  2.  two little girls listening to storytime  3.  a return to the north market  4.  take home waffles and  5.  take home hydrangea  6 & 7.  growing little things in our house. ^^^

and a very special moment that i think i’ve decided deserves it’s own post…so i’ll just leave you with this:


please ignore my cackle. thanks.

30th birthday: dirtieth and flirtieth

the past couple days have been filled with love from near and far. it’s been pretty magical and wonderful and little tiring because, hey, i’m 30 now and i get tired easily. a friend said “welcome to your 30s. every birthday from here on out is celebrated with thin soup and early bedtimes.” i can get used to that.

but 30 was GREAT. partly because i got tacos and buckeye cheesecake. partly because of the amazingly thoughtful gifts and cards i received. partly because i finished up the night with some really tasty margaritas and a great friend that understands my need to google amanda bynes, who coincidently shares my birthday.

mostly, it was great because i spent the day with two special little ladies. best buddies reunited. it makes me a little weepy to see how much they love each other. i’m lucky i got to spend my birthday with them, again.

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^^^1. they switched coats and had a great time telling strangers about it.  2. special VIP treatment at the french loaf bakery. 3. playground doings. ^^^

thanks to all of you who made my 30th such a great one. sending love vibes out in all directions!!! a special thank you to my husbeau and mother. you both made my day filled with lovely surprises. i love you both dearly.

maple syrup festival

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we made the annual trek north to the Malabar Farm Maple Syrup festival this past weekend. Did you know Ohio is the 4th largest producer of pure maple syrup in the US? now you do.

this was the third year for darla and i but mike’s inaugural visit. our besties joined us too. and darla made fast friends with some other folks. that lady in the first couple pictures is a complete stranger. she parked next to us and happened to be the other closest person to her when she decided she wanted to swing.

this event has become my herald of spring. it signifies that time of year that we can get back outside to climb rocks and take walks. this was by far the best weather we’ve seen but as my boots can attest, it was pretty muddy.

as you can see we got the gallon to tide us over until next year’s fest.