Meteorologists correctly predicted an ice storm to sweep across the Midwest. At first glance it doesn’t seem all that terrible outside. I mean, it’s been raining for awhile but the temps aren’t even very cold. But when the dog goes out and slips and slides his way to the crunchy grass for a potty break, yeah, you know not to attempt an outdoor excursion.
The ice is beautiful and cruel. It hangs from every knob of every tree branch, it evenly coats each blade of grass, it cascades down each frozen bit of concrete—stairs and driveways and sidewalks turn into paths of treachery. I long to move closer to the ice, to photograph it in a way it deserves, and yet… one false move with my slippered feet would end up in some sort of disaster. Years of rheumatoid arthritis have turned a simple fall into a huge cause for concern. I’m an elderly 39 year old. :)
So from inside my cozy warm home—and maybe with one step out under the covered patio—I admire the deceitful beauty outside our doors. I praise God for my husband’s office just down the hall from my own. I am grateful for this day off of school so Livia and I can lounge and dream and read and play a bit more. Happy ice day, my friends! Be safe.
My 16 month old nephew stayed still at the window for .001 of a second and I caught him with my camera. What a joy and delight this boy is!
We had a wonderful crowd for Thanksgiving this year. My heart is full.
This is the fourth year my favorite gift-wrapper has graciously come to my house and cut, taped and stacked gifts alongside me. We put Elf in the dvd player and get the job done. Liv’s assigned task is to lay on the couch and not look at what we’re wrapping. It just gets better and better each year and Rebecca brings me much happiness each time.
It occurred to me, halfway into my mowing activities, that this situation was perfect for an iPod and some really loud music. Alas, it was me, the roaring lawnmower, a summer breeze and my thoughts. I started off cursing the suburbs where people treat lawn care like it’s the Best Hobby Ever or maybe a contest that needs winning. We’ve gone from redeeming an old lawn that a curmudgeonly owner completely wrecked with RV motor oil to being what we lovingly refer to as The Squatleys—you know, that family on your block that never mows their lawn and leaves crap out all the time.
I suppose now is as good a time as any to issue a public apology. To my husband. Here goes:
Jeremy Tredway, I apologize for ever looking seriously at acreages and imagining we’d move into one. I know, more than once, you asked who would mow the acres of property and I, more than once, spritely suggested YOU. I was foolish. Forgive me.
We have a nice-sized lawn now, but it is in no way incredibly large. And it’s certainly not an acreage. We back up to a commons and a city bike path—and apparently we and our neighbors mow part of the commons ourself. Isn’t that sweet? It seems like a nice thing to do until you get a little hot and have green grass clippings stuck between your toes and sweat is starting to drip in some very uncomfortable places. As I started to judge my suburban neighbors a little less and started to get a bit cranky and still was listening to the loud mower engine and no lively tunes, I asked myself, what in the world was my problem? Is this job too hard? No. I am too tired to do it? No. Is it the endless lines of back and forth without any creative loops around garden patches to break up the monotony? Yes. Problem solved. Apparently lawn-mowing is not my calling.
But I love being outside. I love the hot sun on my shoulders and the intimacy that comes with spending time in every nook and cranny of my yard. Dreams for future gardens start to emerge. Plans to mess up this beautiful but park-like space take root. I get excited for the point when we’ll make our mark in the suburbs. So hooray for the monotony of mowing and yay for the chance to let thoughts swirl away from the lure of digital clutter. I have strong (enough) arms for pushing a lawnmower and healthy legs and feet for walking. We are owners of a small piece of land and we live in a beautiful part of a lovely city. This is enough for today.
I can celebrate life, even while wiping sweat from my brow. Or perhaps, especially while wiping sweat from my brow.
We believe in cozy around here.
On the evening of Thanksgiving I found three chefs buzzing about my kitchen, two dudes talking around the table, and—where was my child?—probably two little people watching Phineas & Ferb. A few minutes later my parents showed up and we ate some crazy good tacos for dinner. Our Lawton Thanksgiving meal was held on Friday instead and that evening started my hosting duties.
I love to host. I love having the party right there in my house. Sharing our home with friends and family, letting them make me dinner (not a required thing, but those yummy tacos were not made by me!), getting up in the morning knowing the fun continues; I really enjoy it all.
So now I have a question for you all: What do you appreciate when you are being hosted in someone’s home? What special touches make you feel comfortable? What kind of attitudes are helpful when you are a guest? What should a host do? And what should a host avoid? I welcome your thoughts!
I was at a church event when I learned that my friend Emily likes all things Organization. Scratch that, she doesn’t just like it, she lives it, breathes it, thinks of it and makes it happen. Emily even likes to read about organizing so she can learn the proper terminology for things like towel rotation and natural cleaning solutions. In short, Emily blows my mind. Her brain is an alien species to my brain, though in all truth, I wish I was more like her.
But I’m not. So obviously the next step is…? Hire Emily. Clearly!
It is with pride that I post this particular image of the day Emily came to conquer my bathroom. Pride that my bed is made and it looks pretty. (See? I’m not a total loser after all; I can do some things well. Yeah yeah. Moving on.)
These pictures show the reality of my need. After moving to the new house, with more bathroom space actually, I’m struggling to figure out where everything belongs. Also, these pics make me want to hyperventilate. Look at all the stuff all over the ground—argh! Do we really have to pull it all out and group it into categories? Just when I start to panic over the madness, I realize that Emily eats it up. She loves this process and hasn’t broken a sweat. It’s actually fun for her. Which is why she’s the woman for this job.
By the end of our time together, we’ve thrown away useless items (goodbye, old hairbrush and earrings I haven’t worn in five years), donated a few others, and organized the rest of the pieces for cabinets in three bathrooms. We’ve also unstuffed the linen closet, reorganized it and actually have free spaces on shelves. The linen closet looks so pretty with its clean lines and refolded twin sheets. I’m starting to understand what Emily does—she brings beauty and order to chaos, redeeming the space available.
I’ve got Em’s number if you need her help; but you can’t have her this morning. She’s coming soon to make some sense of my laundry room and kitchen nook. And she’s worth every penny.
My brain is gradually readjusting to the new house and the new season. I have traded the luxury of quiet mornings—journaling, bible reading, book reading, blog reading—with the luxury of summertime parenting. I’m sure I have thoughts to share, but honestly, right now I don’t know what those would be. And if I started considering something of consequence to say (maybe in a journal, maybe here) I’d hear a young voice calling out for me.
I kid you not, just as I was composing that last sentence I heard, “Can I have an ice cream, Mom?”
I am blessed beyond belief. We’ve had lots of transitional moments with Livia lately (that’s code for full-on crying fits, sometimes in public locations). Though Jeremy and I are far from perfect and aren’t always the patient parents we’d like to be, at the end of the day we understand how incredibly blessed we are.
So in the newness, as my brain does some adjusting, I am grateful to witness God’s goodness and faithfulness to us. We are humbled by His gifts.
We celebrated our last holiday in the Prairie Box yesterday. Amid moving boxes—some packed and others waiting with open lids—we ate ice cream cake and cheered the new eight year old in our company.
Over a decade of life was spent in these walls. Am I getting a bit sentimental now that we’re leaving? Definitely.
When the sun starts to dip towards the western horizon its rays filter through the trees in the park across the street. It is the most beautiful and magical moment of the day for me. Long trunk shadows reach across the grass, little dandelion puffs become nature’s own disco balls. All of creation worships the One who made it.
I’ve been blessed by this view for ten and a half years now. A new view awaits me next month, one that involves cottonwoods that rustle gently in the evening breezes.
For those who are interested in such things, my own little creative space on the world wide web will remain the View from the Prairie Box. The title has become as much a part of me as my own name, and really, fields of corn and prairie grasses are never too far away when you live in this city. The Box itself will change in order to accommodate a growing family with growing needs. Oh goodness, changes are afoot. I’m a girl who enjoys routine and the safety of a known life, but God is calling us to something new and different. Here we go.