week 42

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don’t you just love it when the week gets all it’s business out of the way by tuesday? our monday was a full, non-stop day of unschooling and then tuesday brought the first water birth i’ve supported. after that i was ready to take the rest of the week off.

this week has been entirely amazing. i don’t know what it is but fall brings about such a sense of peace for me. or maybe it is the acceptance that i’m really finding my groove in life. listen y’all, i’m really good at exploring the world with my little girl and i’m really good at supporting people while they have their babies. this is it for me. i’m finding a way to make this work. done deal. my life doesn’t look that great on paper right now { believe me. i just had to write it out on paper } but i’m really happy and fulfilled. i am so grateful.

unschooling: yay! learning is everywhere!! cards at the coffee shop, stopping at the neighborhood gardens to investigate what happens in the fall, and heading on a christopher columbus scavenger hunt were all a part of monday. we’re fortunate to have easy access to columbus themed learning activities. it’s kinda an annual thing for us. but this was the first time we took the tour of the santa maria. we did it on a whim and i’m glad we did b/c we learned on the tour that it’s going to be shut down for 2-3 years while the park gets renovated.

we also made an art project out of painting rocks for gilbert. i’m actually really impressed with darla and her care for gilbert thus far. she’s into it.

so that’s it from us for the week. we have lots of great things on the horizon that i’m looking forward to sharing in the right time. i’ll be bringing you word of a really great opportunity for the lovely females that read this here blog and some bits of personal news.

wishing you all a wonderful weekend! thanks for catching up on our week.

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week 41

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welcome to a week of unbelievably amazing ohio fall weather.

this is another one of those “look at all the cool things we do outside” posts because 1} i try very hard for you to like me and 2} we’re doing lots of awesome things outside. this is pretty much the one time of the year that living in the midwest is a benefit {sorry fellow midwesterners, you know it’s true}.

i’ve read that if you want to educate a child start with food because food is everything. we naturally fell into that a long time ago, as most families do. food IS everything. it’s certainly one of the first things a child comprehends completely. it’s pretty fantastic to see one subject weave itself so inextricably through one little person’s understanding of the world. darla is always motivated to help and learn when it comes to food. she really, REALLY loves to watch cooking and food prep videos on youtube. it’s easy for me to include her in food prep by saying “hey, we got a pineapple this week. let’s look up and watch a video on how to slice a pineapple.” and then she’ll be sitting there monitoring me to see if i do it correctly and giving me pointers. i’d say she’s involved with making the majority of the meals that take place in our house and i can only hope this will carry on into some independence and desire for deeper learning as she grows.

so, in short: if you’re looking to unschool or do some learning enrichment in the home have the kiddos be involved with your food. everything from procuring it, growing it, cleaning it, preparing it and disposing of it is a learning opportunity.

you can see we tackled a pumpkin and some apple picking this week. we roasted the seeds and turned that pumpkin into some bad ass pumpkin chili. the apple picking served as a learning experience for both of us. I had never been to a pesticide-free orchard before. it’s easy to say i don’t want my food to have pesticides applied to them but it’s a bit of a shock to realize that i’ve probably not had that much exposure to pesticide free food. this is a literal put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is situation. well, i’m happy we took on this experience. it took us quite some time to search through the trees to find apples that the pests hadn’t completely ruined. within 2 minutes of apple hunting i had decided that pesticide free food means i have to come to terms with having food stuffs that other organisms have already enjoyed a little. i’m surprisingly ok with that. it feels more like how it’s supposed to be. we’re not entitled to all the food, but we are entitled to share. when i talked to another mom there with her girls about the experience she agreed and said “that’s how you know it’s good. why would we want to put something into our bodies that nothing else wants to touch?”

on the personal side of things, mike and i passed the three years of marriage milestone. woo hoo! i’m going to be honest, it’s been a do-whatever-we-can-to-get-by-day-to-day kinda year for us. but sitting there on our anniversary i thought “yeah, i’d struggle through another year to be with this man.”  of course i would rather it be a year filled with success and winning the lottery, buying a road home and gettin’ the hell outta dodge kinda year but if it’s another year of eeking by then i’ll gladly do it. that’s my best and real description of love and dedication in marriage at this point. i wish i had something really romantic and inspiring to write for you, but i just have this dose of reality instead, which is, in its own way, kinda romantic.

so that second pic from the bottom is a game we invented this morning called hellen keller where we blindfold darla, spin her around and then challenge her to find different items while blind. it was really quite fun and i’m thinking this is going to be a great activity to have in my back pocket for the homebound winter months.

i hope you enjoyed the look at our week. i’m going to experiment with this week being a week + weekending edition. there is a lot going on with these beautiful fall days. thanks for checking in with us.

week 40

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dance parties are back. i’m hitting a stride with my doula work. and i’ve had a spike in my bacon intake. life is perfect.

well, not really perfect. some days it feels like my life is peachy keen and then other days it feels like, like…like adulthood just amounts to big messes that i don’t have energy to clean up, piles of broken things i don’t have the time to fix. i mean that literally and figuratively. some days it seems like i’m recovering from a string of things i forgot to do.

and that’s life. that’s just how it is. my path is about finding out how to live through these moments, this season.

the truth is i have no idea how i’m going to achieve my dreams and i’m learning to accept that vulnerability. all i know is i’m moving confidently in the direction of my dreams. and that’s all i’m responsible for. i don’t have to have all the pieces together yet. i just have to move. and i just have to groove. and i have to shimmy shake with my ambitions. because if i’m going to achieve some goals i’d like to have a little fancy footwork involved along the way.

so that’s what our week contained. steps forward in unschooling, steps forward in my doulaship, steps forward with living a sustainable and healthy existence. i’m learning to balance out my inner drive to take advantage of these warm days of getting out and about with the fact that sometimes we need to just chill inside even if it’s sunny and gorgeous. thus, the invention of windows. ha. i can feel my inner mammal preparing for the winter. i feel this need to be out and about because i’m really and thoroughly looking forward to hibernating.

although, i admittedly have a vision of wintertime bliss that has never been based in reality. my brain wants to tell me we’ll spend the winter curled up on the couch reading hours of books, watching movies and playing games next to the fire. and maybe that will happen. but you see, we don’t have a fireplace. so that tells me this vision of mine is not so realistic. i’ll probably make it through december before i start to feel like everything is covered with a thin layer of human funk and start wishing for warm days again.

why am i worrying about this? i don’t need to. it’s been 80 and october.

i was actually kinda lax about schooling this week. i just let darla do her own thing around the house most of the time. we only had one outing but it was a pretty fantastic one. i took darla over to the osu wetlands research area, a first time there for us. she and i sat very still and had a stare down with 3 deer before they went about doing their thing. i was impressed by d’s willingness to be quiet and take it in. and yes, i actually took her to a cemetery as an educational experience. we did some grave tracings and spent hours just exploring and talking. this fit in very well as an october activity. darla said “mom, i don’t think cemeteries are scary at all. i think they’re special.”

my weekend straddled a birth work workshop and my part-time gig. i’m feeling pretty exhausted from it all but it’s a good tiredness. i feel very fortunate to be able to do some continuing ed and to meet new birth lovers. it all made me feel very hopeful for the future.

and if i accomplished nothing else this week i figured out to conduct all future client interviews exclusively at Jeni’s locations. Yum!

week 39

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people, in my book the most important thing that happened in week 39 was that i gave myself bangs again. bangs! nothing else matters. bangs are a good fall + winter look for me.

doesn’t that look like a good week? life is busy but it seems busy with the things that are really important. i feel very connected to all the avenues i’m putting my effort into right now. it’s a grand feeling. by the way, i’m digging presenting life in a weekly format on here. i feel it allows me to tell our story in the ways i want. i also feel that it requires much less work.

i find myself living my days in amazement of all the ordinary and out-of-the-ordinary things transpiring. whether it’s watching darla ride her trike or visiting with friends that we haven’t seen in ages, it all seems ridiculously generous of the universe to bestow all this on us.

my week contained warm days running around to parks and outdoor destinations. i had a nice balance of friends and family.  i experienced free time and down time. i walked through prarie fields and city streets. i danced my calves off at a wedding. i say calves because they honestly feel like they are going to fall off my body. i got to hug and squeeze my wonderful, amazing friends and talk about how we all like to be in bed by 11pm now. I got to hug and squeeze my husband. I got to hug and squeeze my daughter.

i’m a person that very much values taking in new experiences. but i have to say, this weekend reminded me how important it is to revisit some of the things i’ve already seen before. visiting my old stomping grounds reminded me of all i’ve already experienced and gave me space to be thankful for that. i have a ritual every time we visit DC of stopping by the apartment where we first brought darla home as a newborn. that place means so much to me and in times past it’s been a mournful visit. this time just felt good. i feel deep emotion being there but it’s no longer marked with a pang to return back to a time gone by. it’s now pulsing with thankfulness that i’m even able to come glance up 7 stories into the air and remember a little baby rolling on floors.

i look back on the list of experiences from the past week and realize how important it all is. from the everyday-doings of the beginning of the week to the wedding bash at the end and i’m filled with the same amazement and thankfulness for both and everything in between. it’s an extraordinary existence to be able to sit down and play a game of pick-up sticks with my girl first thing in the morning. just as extraordinary as running around making the most of a big city weekend celebration. i used to think only the extravagant, grand-travel adventures we took were important.

it might be the bangs, but now i see that the quiet moments spent here in our home or out on daily errands are just as important, if not more. because that is my life. for now. and i celebrate that. maybe my life will be something different in 5 years as it certainly was 5 years past. but for now it is grocery lists, homeschool outings, prenatals & postpartums and the occasional out-of-town trip.

and i’m really, really happy to say this is my life right up there in those pictures.

bird tagging

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the day started out rainy. somehow, even through her own umbrella and a raincoat with a hood d still managed to be soaking wet upon arrival in the car. when she shed her jacket and plopped in her seat, she sighed out “what a dang, darn day” with the exasperation more fit for someone with sixty years her senior. in a short, the day looked to be a rough one starting out.

we’d plans to meet friends at the scioto audubon {you know a usual for us} but we weren’t aware of the fact that every september and october the audubon takes on a big bird tagging project. yeah, you see that up there? those are bags of birds. I SAID BAGS OF BIRDS! although i personally have some conflicting feelings about this process, i feel like it was a great thing for the kids to witness up close. darla was allowed to gently pet a few of the birds. we saw a warbler, a catbird, an american goldfinch and a cardinal.

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after a few hours at the center we hit up the north market because it just seemed like another good thing to do on a rainy day. unschooling helps me see that we’re learning in everything we do. darla LOVES to look at the flowers at the market. we identified several and talked about their prices. and what better way to talk about math than by getting a gumball at the end? commerce is a great area for learning practical math.

so, in the end it was kinda the opposite of a dang, darn day. it was pretty great.

slate run

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oh how we love slate run. i think it’s been way too long since we were last there. we really got our farm on last week given that we were at aullwood just a day before but this time were both equipped with boots. boots make a big difference on a farm.

we started out the morning exploring parts of the park previously unknown to us. our visit started with the covered bridge. darla made me gallop with her back and forth across the bridge. she was ichabod and i was the headless horseman. we walked some short trails and paused for a bit in the prairie with the wildflowers. and it was at that moment that i was again struck by how thankful i am to have this life with her. i will keep my daughter in the wildflowers and out of the classroom for as long as possible.

i’m really looking forward to fall outings. i hope we get nice sunny days perfect for short trips back to slate run. d was pretty excited about getting to romp around after a flock of she-turkeys. she was not so enthused to mess with the males.

can i just say i’m glad i wasn’t born a turkey. i’m real sorry but they are quite ugly creatures.

oh and ps.

I JUST WANT TO DO THIS FOREVER!