Saturday, April 23, 2016

My People

I had this post all ready before the craziness that's been our life for the past weeks hit. But that's another post for another time. This string of photos showed me what I love about Illinois: there are no mountains or jaw-dropping fields of flowers. But there are people. My people. And that is home. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Host anyway

We invited some cousins (not some, a lot) over for an evening cookout & Easter egg hunt. They were to arrive at 5. At 5, the power went out...
We just went with it: most of the food was already prepared, the guests were arriving. 
I realized I had a choice: freak out & make everyone uncomfortable, or just roll with it & enjoy the people & absolutely gorgeous, golden sunshine. I figured, my tablecloths didn't match, & my bouquets were a bright hodgepodge of color, losing power just seemed par for the course. I made the choice to enjoy the spontaneity & let go of my expectations for the evening. 
It was the right choice. The kids had a blast. (Our current living quarters were made for egg hunts!)

We made do with a charcoal grill instead of the Traeger.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, & really that was what it was all about. I'm so glad I didn't choose to freak out!

The best part was at 9:00, one of the girls wondered why we hadn't turned any of the outside lights on!!. I don't always do a good job hosting. Too often, I let the stress or the "perfect" meal & little details sidetrack me from my actual purpose: to spend time with people & make them feel loved & cared about. But this evening, I think we nailed it. If our guests didn't realize the power was off until it got too dark to see, I think we achieved what we set out to do.

I'm sure I'll have fails at hosting in the future, but chalk this one up for a win!

farm life issue no. 10

UThe farm is waking up. The evenings are longer, the sun is warmer, & the farmers are getting antsy.
The blueberry bushes are covered with their delicately fragnant white blooms. 
I convinced Dar to give me a spin in the canoe one fine evening. This is farmlife at its best.
The chicks are growing, all the calves have been born. 
 Fee knows her little boots mean we're probably going to the farm, and at the very least, going outside. She's started bringing them to me with the most hopeful look. It has me smitten! We spend a lot of time at the farm, and she knows "calvies" mean she gets to help uncle Riley bottle feed the calf. There's more farm girl in her than her mom, I'm convinced.

Everything is blooming. The peach trees (they're actually done-I took too long to get this post done!), the blueberries, the apple trees. The hazelnut trees are all leafy & chartreuse. (Chartreuse is the color of spring.)
Here are the beginnings of a luscious cluster of blueberries. Only a few more months...or maybe weeks?...Dar told me he's seen some green berries out there!
There is already bounty to be harvested from the green house!
Busy season will soon be upon us. 
The bee boxes are all out (aren't they pretty?:) ), the bees humming their airways to pollinate all the berries. One of my favorite sounds here has become the hum of bees on a warm afternoon. If you lay down in the berry roads, you can watch them zinging their way, following the road. (A berry road is what we call the dirt roads surrounding a berry field.)

This is Dar's favorite time of year: full of promise & excitement, but not yet the brutal reality of harvest. I heartily agree:). 

*I will be traveling back to IL soon to see my family, so posting might be a little sporadic (if at all) for a few weeks! Enjoy the spring, wherever you may be. I hope it's full of chartreuse:). 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Daddy's girl

The other night was one of those magical, golden lighted evenings, so I had my camera around my neck, knowing there'd be photo opportunities worth catching. I had it out when Daddy got home. This is why I take photos!! Capturing these sweet, candid moments...

She loves him. It's obvious. 

March at the Coast

Once again, we took advantage of the forecast to jet out to the coast. 

Fee & Kason enjoyed the sand. I'm still debating if I'd rather have Fee hate the sand or love it...(sand everywhere!). Really, I'm glad she loves it, it just makes for a mess.

(I just love Fee's expression in this photo. Sums up her love for her cousin.)
It was so sweet to see these two together. Fee was a little aggressive & overly loving, but Kason tolerated her okay. Time will just keep narrowing the three-month gap, and soon we won't be able to separate these two cousins! It reminds me of the boy Ohio cousin I grew up with; he was two months younger than me, but we got along splendidly even though we lived states away. I'm hoping for the same with them!

Everytime I see photos of the family, or even part of the family, I'm always" like, "Whoa! We are huge!" Do we really look like such a huge group whenever we go places?! People probably run from us. I love them all dearly though, & am getting to know them better & better. They each bring something to the family: I don't know what we'd do without any one of them. It doesn't seem like they're such a big family when I know them each individually.

I'm so thankful we have such a loving, spontaneous family. I'm so glad Fee has aunts & uncles that love her & love to interact with her. I'm so glad March on the coast can be so nice!