Berries and Sunsets. Good things.

I had all this stuff to post today. Truth is, I don't have the energy to go through the pictures. It's because we had a full, full, full weekend. Fuller than we ever have. I'm beyond exhausted. We got to be together the whole weekend, we have had so much fun. We'll soon have even more exciting things happen on our homestead. I'm going to sleep smiling from all the goodness and I promise to keep the pictures coming when I have a bit more energy.

For now....

This is what happens when you keep a THREE year old out of the berry patch for nearly two days.  Enough for breakfast.  Oatmeal with raspberries, yes please.
 He's just as excited as me!
 And sunsets. Whenever I take a minute to fully enjoy a sunset, I am reminded of all the good that fill our days, and how thankful I am.

Family time

It's not often that we have a full day together as a family of four. In fact it's at the most once every other week.  Usually we are squeezing in a quick evening trip to the ocean, a quick walk, a quick chat in the field, anythign for just an hour together before someone has to go to work/bed (thankful for coastal living).  We always try to make the most of our limited time together. Today, though, we'll get to all be together all day. Not sure what today will entail, but one thing I know for sure...whatever it is, we'll be doing it together.

She's THREE!

My goodness, we have a growing girl!  Our little 4th of July firecracker is THREE!

(Remembering: 2 1/2 years, 2 years 18 months,  12 months9 months6 months3 monthsJust being born )

My letter to Audra:
Audra Grace,
In one sense, it's hard to believe you are three already, in another, you seem so much older sometimes. You fill our lives with conversation, constant conversation. And questions. Plus energy. Lots of energy.  And spunk. Neverending spunk.
You love so many things. Animals. All of them. Especially tiny tiny ones and your cats.  You tell the animals, "I am your mama, I take care of you."  You sometimes hug them too tight.
You love to run, everywhere. You pretty much never walk from point a to point b. It's always a full out sprint.You could swing for hours.  You 'tirl" (twirl) in dresses.  You jump on the mini trampoline over and over again.  You climb. You hang. You do flips (somersaults) down the hill. Your favorite exercise is swimming. As in jumping in, going under water and diving. You are fearless and pretty much never get hurt. You fall down and bleed, but jump up and keep going.
You do also enjoy some sitting activities. Mostly art. You love to paint.  You spent a long time on your paintings and they are so colorful. You also love books.  Your favorite books are Richard Scarry and any book with a wolf/fox. Little Red Riding hood, Henny Penny, Gingerbreadman, Three little pigs.  You play 'bad animals' and sometimes pretend to be a wolf or a fox. 
You take the time to notice little things. Bugs, flowers, details. Every single berry in our raspberry/strawberry patch with the slightest hint of red-gone. You also eat raw rhubarb, green onions and kale in the garden too. You frequently smell like a sub from all your snacking. You also like to chop, cook and bake.
You love people. You love to chat on the phone. You ask about people you haven't seen and remember lots of names.  You talk about people who are "spesh" to you (special).  You freely give hugs and kisses.  You love your mom and dad equally and love to 'nuggle' (snuggle) us.
You love your brother. He is truly your best friend and you get along with him so well.  When he does bother you, you sometimes say "Whatever Adri" and walk away.
You love lots of food, but definitely love meat. And Cheetos. And bananas, eggs, cheese, homemade bread and celery. In fact, you'd eat all that stuff and call it a perfect meal.  Today though, you get your choice of meal and have chosen rice and beans.
You don't sleep through the night still, nor have you ever just about. You have done so a handful of times your whole life I guess, but that's it.  You hardly take naps anymore.  Maybe this will be the year of more sleeping, but I doubt it. You just function on little sleep (sort of like your mama).
Other than your hugs and kisses, it is really the cutest thing seeing you 'wink' at me.  It's really not much of a wink, more a blink, but it's totally adorable. You are confident in what you do. You are independent. You are loving and you are loved by so many.
Really, you add so much joy to our life. You keep us on our toes!  You are so much fun to parent and we love you oodles and oodles and oodles.
The many faces of Audra Grace (And yes, that's a mama made dress...more on that dress soon!):
I asked you a list of questions that I hope to repeat every year. (Find your copy here).
Nicknames: Audra Grace

How old are you? 3

What is your favorite color? Blue

What is your favorite animal? Bunnies

What is your favorite book? Little Red Riding Hood.

What is your favorite TV show? Daniel Tiger. Daddy lets me watch it.

What is your favorite movie?  I don't know.

What is your favorite song?  All night all day, angels watching over me.

What is your favorite food?  Eggies and Cheetos.

What is your favorite drink?   milk

What is your favorite breakfast food?  cinnamon toast

What is your favorite snack? Pears

What is your favorite outfit?  shorts

What is your favorite game?  I don't know

What is your favorite toy?  dollhouse and snippers (scissors)

Who is your best friend?  Henry

What is your favorite thing to do? Go to the YMCA

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with the swingset and Zippy (the cat)

What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas and Easter too

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Mama

Where is your favorite place to go? YMCA

What is your favorite restaurant?  Pizza Hut

Where do you want to go on vacation? I am going to see BOG

What do you want to be when you grow up? I don't know.

What are you going to do on your birthday? Have lunch on the porch. I'm going to eat rice and beans and chocolate cake


The Beginnings

The beginnings have arrived for marinara sauce. Everything but the tomatoes (which look promising).  Kale, collard greens, green onions, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic scrapes.  It feels like we're living like royalty.  Well, royalty who lack servants I suppose.
 This little guy right here is the most enthusiastic about using our own.  His excitement paired with the fact that he actually eats the stuff...well, that's the stuff that makes this mama's heart sing.

Rearranged Screened Porch

One of the features of this house that drew me here most was the porch.  It's a 3 season porch, facing south.  In the winter, there's walls and windows. In the summer, the walls and windows come out and it turns into a floor to celling screened porch. It's the best place in the house, without doubt. We eat out here, we play out here, we congregate out here. When we have company, we tend to just drift to the porch.  This is where life happens. 

On a whim, I completely rearranged the whole porch.  The little nook that I created is where I sit and relax at night. It's where I blog, think about my day and count my blessings.  I just love this space.  You probably don't need this many pictures, but here you go!

Strawberry Picking 2015

True:  We have strawberries growing in our garden.

False: We regularly bring in ripe redness and sweetness from the strawberries in our own yard.

True: We have faces and hands stained red everyday. 

Not that you really wondered where our homegrown strawberries went...   It's better to snack on them while they are still warm from the sun anyway.

I don't really mind that we eat all of our strawberries as they ripen.  That gives us a chance to go strawberry picking. Find last year's here.

I actually didn't tell them we were going.  They both had their very first swimming lesson without a parent.  We had some very hard moments that day and days/weeks prior.  Someone really hates to do anything without mama.  But goodness, the bleachers are 4 feet from the pool. Apparently not close enough for him (she is miss independent).  He pulled himself together.  He went in the water without me. I was the only parent walking the perimeter of the pool and sitting on the sidelines to start. But he did it.  And by the end of the session, he was comfortable enough for me to sit on the bleachers. What a relief!

As a reward, I pulled into the farm. They immediately recognized it and squealed "STRAWBERRY PICKING!"  Which is funny, because I am the only one who picked. They just ate strawberries. I even caught them taking the strawberries I picked OUT of the containers to snack on them. I guess they thought it was personal chef service? Or delivery?  I put an end to that...pick your own! 

I guess I'm rambling now.  Anyway, here's the 2015 strawberry picking experience.




More Picnics

Continuing this picnic a week for the months of summer.

Location: Coastal.

Entertainment: A little live music, sand and water.

Meal: Strawberry shortcake. That's a meal, right?

Where will your picnic be this week?  Do plan one!




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