best of the fest: nelsonville music festival

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dear family,

one of the things i love about us is that we’re willing to give things a try. we don’t put ourselves in a box more than we have to and for the most part, we make things work. we have a lot of fun and adventure in our lives because of those things. we’re great. let’s keep it up and add another to this crew!

love, me.

i know 9 mos pregnant me would not have been able to hang in for the entirety of nelsonville music festival last weekend but dammit if i wasn’t sad to miss out on the all the fun. i was really and truly grateful to head down on sunday as a family of three and just enjoy the day and atmosphere. i can’t say we were as invested in the acts as much as we’ve been in years past. it was more about taking in the atmosphere. maybe it was a little bit about making a promise to ourselves that we’d be back in full force, bigger and better than ever next year.

darla definitely knew the ropes this time and made it very known that she did not need us. that is until she wanted us to buy her something. i desperately wanted to just let her experience this last time down there as a trio in the way she see fit but damn if that girl isn’t having a hard time making good decisions right now. i know she’s a kid. but i’m just a bit flabbergasted at how she comes to the conclusion that things are a good idea sometimes…

anyway, i just want to say i’m thankful to the universe for making it possible for us to attend this past weekend, thankful for my husband and his energy levels, thankful for the weather, and thankful for the beautiful ohio people who make the weekend so magical. unless this next kid is born with that extreme allergy to sunshine or something of the like { please do not do this to spite me, universe. this is only a blog } our tix for next year are as good as bought. boughten? buyed? i buy?

pssst. read our full weekend of attendance from last year here.

our week




of moments

from our week.


garden painting

park projects

big belly

quotemeal pies

quotemeal pie snack

painting projects

north market hideout

there’s just something about summer that makes me feel like we’re living life right. and we are. because summer is about living life to the fullest, giving yourself that extra hour of play time each day, taking half days to spend by the pool, getting all the extra things done in the extended daylight hours.

some things we did right this week: creeking, garden painting projects & play date park projects with friends. ummm i wore my pants around in really awesome ways this week all over town. and mike blessed the family with quotemeal pies. darla built front porch forts and undertook even more painting projects. she also did quirky things in front of interesting backdrops that i appreciated on an aesthetic level.

yes. life is full and good.

*wishing you a weekend that is likewise*

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fellowship of hand surfers

as i’ve been driving around on this weekend, this weekend in which we’ve been blessed with exquisite weather for kicking off into summer, i’ve noticed the small sign of kindred spirits extended out car windows.

i watch for these hands fingering the breeze, twisting and turning into configurations against the wind. each one has their own style. some have a simple spread of the fingers as the current slips between digits. others cup their hand and ride the currents up and down. others are multitasking as they tap or shake a beat into the winds.  is hand surfing an acquired act or is it something that each of us born with this trait brings to organic fruition? is your hand surfing style a sort of fingerprint? maybe no one out there hand surfs in quite the same way…

and i assure you not everyone does it. not everyone is driven to extend his or her hand out into the air while on the road. we’re a select crowd. a small population that really has no chance of meeting anywhere else but on the road. occasionally i’ll pass another hand surfer. i feel confident in my feeling that there is no need for a wave, for we already have our hands out connecting in the way that seems most appropriate. sometimes i’ll pull up alongside another driver with his hand out and i’ll feel the small twinge of solidarity and know there is no need to even take the other driver in. we are already displaying the most important part of ourselves.  once, a few days ago, i was fortunate enough to be the 4th car in a line of hand surfers and i think that was the closest to free that i’ve felt in a long time.

for i know a little bit about who that person is inside by that simple extended hand. i know what they are reaching out for as they ride down the street. it’s that little bit of freedom. it’s the small, hibernating piece of our childhood that still believes that someday we’ll spread our wings and fly away. it’s a bit of rebellion that at least a part of us can be riding on the wind, even for a little while. it’s nostalgia taken human form.

as we head off into summer, i’m so thankful to see this fellowship of hand surfers out there on the roads. i realize that this is a piece of my childperson uncovered. riding down the road with my hand out of the window of the car would be my quintessential act of summertime. it sums it all up for me in a way that nothing else can: freedom, fresh air, sunshine, travel. a literal throw of caution to the wind.

and thank you to all of you kindred spirits out there for helping me usher in summer. i will look for you every memorial day weekend from now until the end of my driving days.

our week

what would 80 year-old me want to know about this week? what would i want to remember?

i try really hard to capture life as it happens and tell the story of our time together in this space. you see, this story that i tell myself now is how i will remember my life in my years to come. our lives are a collection of the stories we tell ourselves. once this moment passes all we have left is the story.

what do i want to tell myself?

i want to remember the way darla said “i’m the queen of the underworld mermaids” after she colored her lips with black marker. i want to remember the brightness of the poppies around the corner. i want to remind myself of how many times i gaze at that little cradle next to my bed and think about the day in the not-to-distant-future when this person will no longer be a part of me but separate and taking up space in the outside world instead of within me.

i want to remember this picture darla drew of Woody Cat during a breakfast date doodle session and then her demanding i send a picture of it to my parents. i hope to remember how engrossed darla has been with her first set of legos. i want to remember our colorful garden projects and how we really got into finding new objects to paint and add to the gardens, how a walk down the alley to find these items turned into an adventure. i want to remember how it feels to watch new things sprout from the ground and have such high hopes that they will turn bountiful by summer’s end.

i want to remember how darla talked a complete stranger into constructing a fishing pole for her from scratch. i want to look back at a moment of late afternoon life in my household and remember how normal and beautiful it looked bathed in sunlight and be reminded that sometimes there are moments of peace here. i want to remember darla’s joy and enthusiasm as she shows me how she’s taught herself to jump rope 20 times without misstep. and i want to remember how that little girl planted a tree. i want to remember how i tried to talk her out of it at first, tried to explain the years it would take for that tree to grow, and had to stop myself. i had to say “elaine, she’s a little girl who wants to plant some seeds in the hope that they will grow into a tree.  just let it go.” and i did. and she did.

i want to remember how overwhelmed and exhausted i felt by midweek. i felt utterly incapable of handling any and all things in life that day. i was short on patience and rude at times. i cried. i yelled at darla and snapped at mike. old lady elaine will smile as she reads that all it took was an early bedtime for my household to then wake the next day and have the nicest of days. the difference a day makes.

and i think 80 year-old me would want to remember how much i love my life and my family and myself at this point in time. i think future me will need to know that is part of my story. that it’s hard some days and i feel lost but despite that, the majority of the time i am happy. so the other stuff doesn’t matter.

future me needs to know that i’m happy, so that’s what i want to put down here. this week was real life and real life makes me happy.

queen of the underworld mermaids
neighborhood poppiesbaby cradledarla's woody drawinglego trainlego concentrationcolorful garden projectneighborhood poppy with darladarla's fairy gardendarla fishing polefamily afternoon darla jump rope darla planting tree


*best wishes for a sunny, memorable Memorial Day weekend to you*

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bump day


love baby bump


i’m glad i snapped a photo of the bump from this weekend because this one shows how much the shape of this body changes from day-to-day, and throughout the day, as our little babe flips and turns around in there. i also like how this photo shows the lines imprinting into my body from my non-maternity clothes. maybe my body is needing some after all…

but what i love the most is the faint showings of some stretch marks coming through my Robert Indiana tattoo. it seems pretty poetic to me. i have been wondering if i would make it through this pregnancy without any stretch marks, as i did with darla, but it seems highly unlikely at this point. i’m counting on those marks growing along with my belly for these remaining weeks. and that’s ok.

this human, female body is just amazing to me. the transformations of late pregnancy are awe-inspiring. i love looking around a world of round bellies and imagining all the other little amazing human bodies curled up there.

this mother form is love embodied. 

*and also i love the cameo of my great healthy, pregnancy hair.


 darla coffee date morning snuggle festweekend belly

before i jump in to talking about myself, let’s talk about you. how was your weekend? was it a good one? i hope so.

we experienced a nice midwestern weekend here. our time was spent soaking in things like farmer’s market visits, mother + daughter coffee dates, yard work, snuggle fests on our one morning together as a fam and rain. we soaked in lots of rain. and a visit from grandparents. isn’t it grand when ordinary life moments come together so nicely? my parents and my husband helped me catch up on rest. this bump is really wearing me out these days. i’m crossing my fingers for nicer weather this week so we can get outside and run off excess energy {for darla, not me. the only thing i have an excess of is a need for sitting down}.

and hair! i have an excess of hair. which brings me to the next development of this blog…

lustrous pregnancy hair

the next few months are going to be a celebration of voluminous hair. i’m going to enjoy this until this baby is born and my hormones shift back and all this hair falls out. i’m living in a hair dream right now and i’m gonna talk about it, dammit.

*my hair and i are sending you our best for a superb week. we hope you see some sunshine*

our week

let’s just take a look at how the view to my week began:

morning view

yeah. yep.

and also these wonderful moments took place somewhere in there…
morning buddynursery shoppermother daughter waterfall darla + waterfalldarla bikepainting project garden paintinglunch date  darla pottery darla at the store

i’m exhausted. this could be because: weather is warm and life is full, my child is an endless pit of energy, i am growing a human, and finally, i am not an endless pit of energy. i’m more like one of those shallow rubbermaid containers of energy. you know, the kind that fit under the bed?

mmmmmm bed.

i guess it means we’re doing life right. i really do love keeping busy. i’m not always the best at turning around and taking a good look at all that we’ve accomplished with the day or the week. i tend to focus forward and get wrapped up in that never-ending to-do list, leaving myself feeling consistently overwhelmed. these friday posts help me take a look back at all that was done. and most weeks when i look back i see a much better balance of fun, work and learning than i do in the everyday. i probably should start some kind of gratitude ritual with darla at the end of the day to review all we’ve experienced. that would help. i’ll add that to my to-do list.

i thought i was going to get a full and separate unschooling post done with this week but i don’t have the brain power to extricate that out from our regular life doings. plus, i feel that since we’ve been doing this for a full year now i’ve finally fit it into my brainspace that unschooling is the integration of everyday life and learning and not separate times or days i set aside. i have done a better job of not being focused on regimented, scheduled unschooling. it’s just part of our life. we wake up and if it’s beautiful out i say “we’ll find another time to do the chores. let’s get outside” and we learn outside. if it’s rainy we stay in and learn inside or from our errands around town. and if it’s a long, cold winter that breaks our souls, we learn from the powerful world of netflix…

we took an adventure day this week that resulted in a trip to a waterfall, picnic and stroll along the river.  multiple visits to the nursery, and helping with our own garden provided ample learning opportunities for D. we started an art project this week for the garden that i hope will help us bring some bright color out into our growing space. i can’t seem to get enough color into my life these days. i want to paint ALL THE THINGS!

*that’s all from us for the week. sending you love and butt pinches for a wonderful weekend!*

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