It is now the middle of September and even though the sun still kisses our faces here in Michigan and the warmth is still felt, the cool crisp smell in the breeze reminds us that summer is over. The hot humid days at the park are gone, the heavy smells of flowers that fill your nose during those afternoon bike rides are no more and the beach will now be walked over with a shiver instead of bath suits and sunscreen. I am having a harder time this year saying goodbye. I usually welcome fall with open arms and wrap myself up in the sunny but cool days, the apples and pumpkins and the sight of school buses filled with children. This year however I want my carefree warm summer days back. The sad reality that I will soon be packing up all the sundresses and flip flops is not settling well with me. Fall is beautiful and I can't wait to go apple picking at Blake’s and get our pumpkins from the adorable little patch at the corner of an intersection in the middle of nowhere but saying goodbye just seems too soon. The excitement of the colored leaves and the glimpses at Halloween costumes and that rich fall colored decor still stirs that pounding in my heart. I do want fall here. I can't wait for my Frankenmuth weekend with my mom, cousins, aunt, grandma and sister but still it feels like such a shame to let go of the peaceful playfulness of summer. It could be that this fall I am overwhelmed because I am back in school and all 3 kids are in school. Maybe it's because it is my last summer in my 20's, I don't know. What I do know is that I do welcome my favorite time of year with a joy of pies and cool breezes but for the first time in I don't know how long I will look forward to the return of summer.
It’s September which means my favorite time of year has arrived! Apple picking, pumpkin patches, colored leaves and cool breezes will soon be enjoyed by me! There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of my temporary paradise then by doing a page about an apple hunt! Peyton, my colorful third child, is always making me look at even the most ordinary events in a new playful way. He not only wanted to pick the apples from the tree but wanted to hunt down the best ones he could find. He walked from tree to tree pointing at different ones and then deciding yes or no. He often would look at the ones on the ground and I would have to remind him to get the ones still on the trees. His bag did eventually get filled and he enjoyed the sweet victory of his hunt. I’ve always looked at apple picking or pumpkin picking as an adventure but never really went about it the same silly way Peyton did. He has gone picking several times a year even as a baby and it was so cool to watch him really grasp the idea this time around. When before he would just grab the first couple he saw, he now really made a conscience decision to what apples he put in his bag. I can’t wait to see what this fall will bring in his shiny personality.
Well, my stint as a dare devil has ended and I am back to my normal slightly more provoking self. I’m back to my stories and pictures and pretty paper. The change could be because of my recent trip to Frankenmuth or that Mikayla’s shoes caught my attention either way it’s back to the norm for me. Isn’t it funny that the smallest things will trigger a memory or inspire you to be creative? As much as I like to roam this life and find more things that make me smile, I also love that the people right in front of me bring inspiration all the time. Those three little monsters I call children seem to light a fire in my brain. They drive me to make stories, find interesting things to do and be constantly on my toes. Smiles come easily to me though so maybe the people around me are lucky or cursed depending on how you look at it. Often a sign or a silly person in my path will make me laugh. I love that I find the world so amusing but I am sure that my family would appreciate a Mother/Wife that wasn’t so quirky. So I guess I am only back to as normal as I get.
The thing with being a dare devil, living on the edge or being a drifter is that once you do it, it's so hard not to want to do it again and again...
It's like once you steal one cookie from the jar you just can't help but take another. After posting my adorable hello friend card and seeing it all cute up on my blog I couldn't help but dash to my "art room" and divulge in more elusive behavior. In the end I was able to make 10 cards and decided I would share my two favorites. So what makes these my favorites? Well, the Bella is a Bella and seriously who can resist those? The second is all about the color combo. It has all my favorite colors in it, especially the yellow and the pink. On a side note the kids start school tomorrow!
There are times in my life when I just feel like mixing it up. Actually, although I am not sure I should admit this, I often get restless. I love being out in the world meeting new people and doing new things. I hate being in one place for too long and have a constant yearning to explore. If it weren’t for my adoring husband and beautiful children I may have ended up being a little of a drifter. Moving here and there and never being able to make up my mind about which place really feels like home or which job really feels like me. As the years pass me by I have gained a bit more focus but that nomad spirit ignites in me every so often. Since the excitement in my life is often coupled with a 5 year olds soccer goal or my 8 year olds newest art project you can see where frustration with the normal eats at me. Making it absolutely imperative for a bit more excitement and can drive me into the craziness of card making. On the plus side it is very helpful in using up those scraps left behind from my “normal” activities. I know I am such a dare devil…
As school inches closer so does another favorite fall activity: Soccer Season! Of all the joys I get from my darling middle child watching him play soccer is by far on the top of my list. Last spring because of my classes and Mikayla’s ice skating I had to miss out on almost all of his games. During the season I didn’t really mind because my head was filled with figure skating and economics. It wasn’t until mid summer that I longed to see his joy filled smile after he scored a goal or the intense concentration as he tried to keep control over the ball as he kicked it down the field. With his registration done and the fall season approaching I think I am anticipating it as much as he is!
Gavin has this innate ability to fall asleep anywhere. I already can see him as an old man sleeping on the couch with all his family over after a Sunday dinner or in the lawn chair after spending a hot afternoon in the pool. So it shouldn't surprise me that he can fall asleep while his sunglasses are still on. Honestly knowing Gavin there could have been more thought put into it. He could actually be trying to keep the sun out of his eyes while he took his afternoon rest; I wasn't keen enough to ask him this at the time. I long for his talent of sleep instead of my own tossing and turning restless nights. He is so much like his father it makes me smile.
Stunning. Mikayla amazes me. She stuns me all the time. I wish I could say we were so much a like that I naturally understood her all the time. Unfortunately we aren't and I don't understand her. Which is why she often leaves me stunned. Stunned that she is so much better at all things school related than I ever was. Stunned that she is so beyond talented artistically that I have had her draw pictures for me so I could paint them. I am in complete awe that she can shake off the negative so easily sometimes, I even get angry that a punishment doesn't bother her more. She has no time to dwell though she just looks for the silver lining. That is what can be so wonderful about parenting watching in wonder, stunned sometimes, at the amazing experience that growing up is.
Gavin is 100% the middle child. He know how to push everyone's buttons. He knows how to be the center of attention and how to be forgotten. He is the best at getting away with things or having something go unnoticed. He is also my sweet lovable one who has an enduring personality that makes a lot of m friends say he is their "favorite." His easiness and laid back spirit encircles his little life with all the joys it one comes to expect. Unlike most middle children he is never forgotten...unless he wants to be.
What I found most freeing about scrapbooking is that I do not have to do it in order. It doesn't matter that Mikalya is entering the 3rd grade this year and that I now just finished her 100 day of kindergarten page. It doesn't matter that Gavin's most likely will not get done until he is in 3rd grade just that I finally felt like doing it and I can now place it in a book and call it good!
After that dreadful thought of winter I decided to find something that wouldn't make me miss summer but also would bring on the gloom and doom of the grey, snowy months either. In my opinion the only thing that makes winter bearable is that fall comes right before it. Fall is by far my favorite season. If I could find a place in the world wear it was fall (with the colorful leaves and giant orange pumpkins) all year round I would force my darling husband to move me immediately. Fall brings hay rides; apple picking and cinder mills all which makes me want to do a happy dance with the crunchy leaves beneath my feet. The semi cool breezes, the school buses slowly plowing down the streets and the sight of kids in brand new back packs has the same effect on me as the brightly colored Popsicles. Last fall brought on a bit of a challenge for my family since the kids were beginning a new school. As any parent would do I stayed awake at night wondering if my daughter would adjust well. For the last four years she had been with the same group of kids and as much as we needed the change it broke my heart thinking she would be lonely until she found her grove. I didn’t have to lay awake long, which of course was good for everyone, she blended in with the girls seamlessly all the drama included. I was lucky enough to go on the first field trip and meet her new friends at one of my favorite fall places…the cider mill! So much for all my worrying.
As I stare at the calendar trying to squeeze in all the things I wanted to get done this summer I quickly realized that the kids have less than three weeks left. I only have two before my classes start. Looking back over the last two months I am trying to decide why summer fills my heart with butterflies. Is it the carefree unstructured days that make my kids go bonkers; is it the hot summer sun that kisses my skin all pink? How about the baseball games or the smell of BBQ’s as I jog through the neighborhood? The Bike rides to the park or the music from the ice cream truck all linger in my thoughts even as the dreadful chill whips through the air. Yet, none of those can quite compare to the 100 pack of cheap popsicles that decorate nearly every store come the first heat wave of the year. The cheap colorful flavored water is a timeless treasure of summer. Through the years the excitement and joy they create in children seems to be unchanged generation to generation. It’s these timeless joys that bring on those butterflies just as mid November brings on the woeful dread of winter. Sigh. I think I will push off those thoughts and grab another Popsicle for the kids so I can relax and devour the last restful days of my butterfly happiness.
The morning arrives. The sunshine is usually not yet lazying in through the cracks in my curtains when the squeaking of my door makes me quick to hide my smile. Peeking those blue eyes in, usually with blanket over the head, is my morning sunshine...my sunshine before the sunshine. With fast little patters, one big leap and a scurry across the bed he looks at me and says, "I'm cold." Which in little boy language means "I want to get under the covers with you so I can wiggle around until you are forced to wake up." Those little cold feet slide in and plant themselves some place on my body and just as is expected the wiggle dance begins. He moves from side to side, feet in feet out, pillow no pillow until finally he puts his big fat smile to my face and says, "I'm thirsty." Which in little boy language means "get up." On most mornings my sunshine comes in through my door with a head full of red hair and an adorable smile and a big smacking kiss just for me. Well, all I have to say is HELLO SUNSHINE!
Have you ever felt completely hopeless about a page? Like no matter what you do it just isn't working the way you want. This is one of those pages for me. The idea just couldn't make it to paper, the balance just seemed off, the colors needed something. Of course I could have just hidden it away in my hundreds of pages but I wanted to prove that I am above being a crazy scrapper and sometimes it's better just to stop, add your story and move on. So trains you can beat it....I am moving on.
Teaching kids about money is about as fun as getting smacked in the face. It's so hard to see the disappointment in their faces when there just isn't enough...and there is never enough. So when the lesson is approaching I prepare myself with a positive attitude, an ice pack and maybe a stiff drink (insert martini here). Being on a budget for adults and children alike reminds me of being on a hunt, you are stalking your prey once you pounce you can only hope that there is enough "money power" to take it down. Unfortunately for Peyton the million dollar train table escaped but Herold the airplane was captured, bagged and brought home. Gavin, always so sensible, went straight for the trains and picked one without any fight. The drama queen, as so many of you know, can never be pleased and will capture and release many times over. After hunting for hours her tummy got the best of her (and maybe the idea of it being made before her eyes) so taffy was her treasure and she was even kind enough to share. The lesson here: shopping is a fight so go out and win some battles.
Ever since Peyton was little he has had one big smack of a smile. He lays it on you like a wet disgusting kiss. Those beautiful blue eyes of his get super shiny, send tingles down your spine and then he slaps you with that grin. Doesn't matter how mad you are it wipes it all away. I think it's his total childish innocents. He has that down. All his bad is in the name of fun or curiosity which makes it a lot harder to stay upset. Mischief is his friend and they need a good wing man so that big lovable giggle-filled grin comes in handy on most days. I admit it I think it is completely irresistible and if I had a choice between staring at that big smack all day or having it taken away for a million dollars I'd choose the smack. Smack me up Peyton I love it!
Of course they are full of fair, they are MY children. Each with their own kind of flair. If I had to buy flair to describe them or to at least show their personality it would be easy as pie. Mine or course would be a pink cupcake in a martini glass topped with a yellow sparkling crown. What would yours be? Maybe a lollipop or a fast red car or a ladybug. Mikayla's would be some sort of colorful fuzzy animal. She adores animals. She is constantly talking about having a pet or some sort. Usually saying something like "When I move out I am going to have a pink cheetah as a pet." or "when you finish fixing up the house can I get a cat and call her cheddar?" She would rather spend hours playing with her littlest pet shop toys then watch TV, play with her millions of Hannah Montana Barbies or even glance at her Polly Pockets. Not complaining...just thankful. Gavin is easy and really needs no explanation other then I've never wanted throw away a $300 toy in my life...until now. All I would do is find him a Super Mario Brothers pin and call it good. He lives and breathes that game right now. He makes pictures of the different worlds. He talks about characters who I don't even know. Fireballs and fly hats and mushrooms and lives all fill his head. If he is not playing the game he is talking about the game. How far he has gone, how he is going to beat the next part, popping people out of bubbles and scoring points and lives. SIGH! Peyton is a little harder. I think I would get him one that said "Red heads rule." It would cover the fact that he is a freak with red hair that must have belonged to some other ancient relative. It pretty much covers his I am tough and get what I want attitude and it's short and to the point. I love flair. I love looking and thinking about it. I love that it makes me smile. Which all in all is a good thing since all my kids have it.
Peyton is the most animated of all my children. He is crazy and intense, his temper often gets the better of him and he has no patience for anything. He wants what he wants and he wants it now! Honestly I can't blame him for trying to eat up as much of life as he possible can. It's a shame we are all only young once. Sometimes I feel like he KNOWS it goes quick so he is going to have the best time while it last. He loves to watch everyone around him and try to do what they are doing. Of course getting angry when it doesn't go his way, but he doesn't like giving up. He's a little fighter. "Play hard or go home" I swear I hear him thinking this. It is not that often that you will find him calm and reflective. Lounging around on the soccer field taking a break from complaining that he is too young to play on the team yet just isn't like him. Yet, there he is probably pouting because he missed the ball or thinking of what he can get away with next. Admitting you love your child's faults is hard. I know I should be stronger and sterner with him. I know I shouldn't let him get away with being so aggressive. Finding the energy and the will has been hard with him. It's so ingrained in his personality I feel like I will change him. Stupid logic I know. Whatever you want to think of it, his strong will, temper, passion it's my delight. I love that I have another strapping push forward personality in the house! I guess he could be called my partner in crime!
So there is no need to remind me of how long its been. The shame and guilt have come and gone. The sad September 2009 date of my self taught stamper makes me laugh because really not much has changed. I only wish I had some awesome excuse of why I left my beautiful pink blog to sit and rot away in the vast Internet world. Sigh. Unfortunately I did not steal my family away from reality and go backpacking through Europe, or take a very extended cruise to all the exotic places I only dream about, I didn't become a member of a cult that does not use modern technology and (thank goodness!) I didn't stop scrapbooking! And since I have no one else to blame and I feel the child like need to point fingers I will blame it all on facebook. I am here from the same location, with the same three crazy children, same quiet hubby and same passion for paper as ever before. My scrapbooking supply has grown, my pictures have taken over the closet and my obsession with crowns, cupcakes, martinis and paper flowers have flourished. The past 10 months have been interesting to say the least. So let's begin again.
Yes that is my daughter and yes she is in a dog cage and that is how she spent her new years eve. I know the joys of childhood right! Our wonderful friends invited us over to ring in the new year with a bang, 8 adult, 13 children and 1 dog. Do you think the millions of toys scattered across the house could be enough to entertain? Or course not. The dog cage, like the classic box, was the most entertaining, desired and played with object all night. Now let me introduce you to Mis-matched princess Mikayla.
Big Smack Photography is all about fun, playful and melt-your-heart photographs. I put my heart and soul into my work and I love, love, love what I do. I want you to treasure not only the pictures but the memories surrounding them. I'm just starting on this adventure and I'd love for you to follow me as I learn, create and have a bundle full of fun!