Sunday, September 16, 2012

ordinary days

^My dad's photo: Juniper and my man.  Yellowstone.^
Woo wee.  A lot of life has happened since I last wrote in this place.  We have camped, and harvested, camped more, harvested more.  We've visited relatives and relatives visited us.  We've been nursing colds for over a week now, finally getting over the hump.  Hazel has grown two teeth and is teetering on the edge of crawling.  Juniper's interactions with the world leave us shaking our heads everyday, marveling at her memory, her nimbleness, her physical exertion, her analogies, her language.  Our surrounding mountains are ablaze, both with fire and crimson maples.  A good friend birthed a baby girl in the same room in which Hazel entered this world.  Life is good.
It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago that a ten-pound Hazel was only happy thrown over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes.  Or how young Juniper seemed when, last March, she would collapse in a fit of giggles when I'd recite "T'was the Night Before Christmas" in a thick Irish accent (I tried it again today and didn't even get a second glance).  I am continually amazed by the constant change and shift of my kids' quirks.  I want to grasp at them all, record them for time immemorial, but it's like trying to grasp the wind.  The best I can do is throw up a kite and enjoy the ride. 
I have been reading Katrina Kenison's book, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir.  She writes, 
     Our photo albums from those days are full of pictures of birthday cakes and holiday celebrations, vacation trips and family adventures, piano recitals and baseball games.  But the memories I find myself sifting through the past to find, the ones that I would now give anything to relive, are the ones that no one ever thought to photograph, the ones that came and went as softly as a breeze on a summer afternoon.
     No picture, or home video, or diary entry can begin to capture the nubbly texture, subtle tones and secret shades of a family's life as it is from one hour, or day, or season, to the next.  It has taken a while, but I know it now--the most wonderful gift we had, the gift I've finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.    

Be warned that what follows is a whole lot of photos of vacation trips, family adventures and (early) birthday celebrations.  But swimming in my heart is all the ordinariness, the beautiful, frustrating, rewarding, intense physicality of life with two small children.  I'm still trying to grasp the wind.  I always will.
  ^My dad's photo.  A smokey, Yellowstone sunset.^

::  My dad and step-mom stayed with us for a week.  As per usual, I didn't cook all week.  (I've promised a future of me cooking for of these days.)  
My girls are lucky enough to call these exceptional, buoyant people family.

:: We caravanned up to Jellystone, meeting our Montana half.
^Sam, Owen, Uncle M and Aunt D.^
^My dad's photo(s).^
:: And now we are back to these beautifully ordinary days.  


  1. That book sounds as if it could be really good. I have not heard of it - will be adding it to my library hold list asap. Thanks! Loved the pics (as usual), especially the Yellowstone ones. We have a MT trip planned for next summer with the boys and I cannot wait to get back.

  2. I have been thinking of that exact thing all day today--the simple, everyday treasures. I've been pondering a blog post, or photo series on that very thing. Its funny how when you get something in your head you start seeing it everywhere.

    Beautiful photos--yours and your dad.

  3. Gosh, your kids *have* grown! And it looks as if you are living well, enjoying the specialness of the ordinary.


What say you? I want to hear it!