all the days

I've been racking my mind for what to write about here, and the truth of it is that all of our days this summer have been more or less the same. Or if they've deviated from our summer normal, it hasn't been anything super bloggable. Sure we had some family visit, which I talked about briefly in my Fourth of July post, and then Josh went out of town for work. But like I was going to announce to the internet that my husband was out of town for a week. (Note to any internet killers, my husband is home and will destroy you upon unauthorized entry.) Then we were all sick for a week, and I didn't think you'd want me to regale you with tales of our stomach bug.

So here we are, almost through with July and not much to blog about. Because, you know, all the days are more or less the same. The summer has gone quickly, and our days have developed this slow, easy-going pace. A few times a week you'll find us at some community water feature. Sometimes we'll hit up the splash pad in town, and other afternoons we keep it close to home at the pool in our condo complex. Today I went with a friend to check out this free, foot-deep community pool a few towns away. Asher's been loving the water. It's his favorite. And when we come home from our watery excursions, he takes the best naps.

Asher had his first Otter Pop the other day and was delighted with his resulting blue tongue. I've been making these banana-peanut-butter-chocolate frozen treats and occasionally treat myself to half-off Sonic shakes after 8:00 p.m. I've been wearing my summer skirts and dresses like it's the only thing I have to wear, and the result is that I like to think that I've developed this feminine summer glam that comes with minimal effort on my part.

August will likely fly by just as quickly as July did. My youngest sister is coming for a visit next week, and then she's flying back to Denver with Asher and me for a stint with my people. Then when we get back it's birthday days and then it's September. So. I'll live up these easy days as much as I can and promise to blog when I have something worthwhile to blog about. I've been keeping up with my sewing and document my projects on my sewing blog. At least I've been sewing when I can muster the energy to sew in my summer oven of a sewing room.

What have you been up to this summer? Have your days found an easy rhythm?


a rainy respite

This week Oregon had some blissfully cool days. I know I complain about the heat often, but wouldn't you if your bedroom were 90 degrees at night? Right. And I know that the weather is such a boring thing to talk about, but during the summer I really care about the forecast. Like, a lot. So this week of clouds and breezes and even some rain have been heaven-sent for this complainer.

{Just a lovely cheesy picture from the three-minute photo shoot I did of Asher and his shark backpack yesterday}

Wednesday it was pretty rainy all day, and I did all sorts of lovely domestic things. I altered a sewing pattern, baked bread, and even dozed on the couch. That last one may not fall under the "domestic" category, but it's still pretty great. I kept the windows open all day and reveled in the cool breezes.

I know that Oregon as a state may disavow me for saying this, but so be it: I need some rainy summer days. Just a couple. Not even a ton. Just a couple. So thanks for this break in the 90-degree days. My whole soul is grateful.

PS On The Creative Domestic I have details about Asher's shark backpack and a giveaway going on for one of my favorite sewing books, just in case you're interested!


a Saturday list

Guys! I can hardly believe it's been over a week since I posted last. I certainly didn't intend to go silent for so long. Let's blame summer germs, yeah? Last Saturday, Asher and I both got a stomach bug that left us feeling gross and fatigued well into Tuesday. And just as the two of us were recovered, Josh caught it. So we've just been all kinds of sick around here.

So on this Saturday, Asher and I are back to normal, while Josh is still on the fringes of recovery. To catch you up, here is a list of mostly non-consequential things.

:: The week before last Josh went on his first-ever business trip. Asher and I took almost a staycation of sorts. I didn't make a single official dinner, and we watched more TV than is usual. Though if I had known that we would soon be couch-ridden with a stomach bug, I might have been more conservative in our media consumption.

:: While Josh was out of town I painted our master bedroom. Because we've all been sick, it's not quite put back together yet. But when it is I'll definitely show you pictures.

:: Two of my Facebook friends tagged me in a post featuring this video:

It's hilarious and wonderful. And it made me especially embarrassed to realize late yesterday afternoon that on my sewing blog I used where instead of wear. I was appalled at my lapse in proofreading, though I guess that goes to show that writing blog posts at midnight has its grammatical hazards.

:: I've been loving my summer reading. I've read six books since June and have listened to three more. Reading is just all sorts of delightful, isn't it? My favorite summer read so far is The Time in Between, followed closely by Attachments. Remember at the end of that summer I'll be posting another Twitterature update for all my summer reads. What have you been reading this summer?

Now I think I'll head back downstairs to finish up an episode of Curious George with my boys, which brings me back to the nagging question, What does The Man in the Yellow Hat DO??  I swear that question will bug me until the end of time.


vulnerable love

My heart has been vulnerable lately. I've been focusing more on being a mother who listens, a mother who plays, a mother who puts down the smart phone. Asher is in such a marvelous stage of toddlerhood. He's talking and learning and playing and imagining, and I get to be there to see it all first-hand. And being that witness is significant. Being this witness to his childhood is a responsibility--such a meaningful responsibility.

{Credit for this beautiful photos to Kate West}

Not only am I witness of this life, I am a shaper of this life. More than anyone in his life right now, I create the opportunities for his learning, growing, and becoming. And what a serious role that is, what a sacred one. I--along with Josh--am the teacher, the playmate, the listener, the disciplinarian, the comforter. I can't even find the words to tell you how full my love is for my son--how all-consuming, how raw, how terrifying in its magnitude. I love him so much that I have to entrust that intimacy to my Savior to safeguard.

Loving as a parent is scary sometimes. You love so much you don't understand how it's even possible to love so deeply. Your love puts you in this place of ultimate vulnerability, a place where your heart isn't yours anymore. The fear of failure is so real when you love so fiercely. I pray so earnestly to do right by my son, to do right by God. Sometimes I want to freeze these moments of toddlerhood because these days are beautiful in their simplicity.

All too soon, this toddler of mine will be a kid, will be a teenager, will be a man. And my time as a hands-on, person-molding mother is only a sliver. So I have to make my sliver of time count. I need to use this time to focus on the essentials: Asher is a son of God; Jesus Christ atoned for his life; through our Savior's grace, Asher can change and be made whole. Everything I do as a parent has to find root in these truths. I have made promises to God and to my family to live in faith and obedience. Some days I feel that weight so intensely, a weight that's also accompanied by a surge of raw love that I can feel only because my Savior enlarges my soul to feel it.

More than anything my motherhood proves to me that God is real. Something so grand and lasting could come only from the Divine. Even in those mundane moments of sweeping crushed crackers and teaching basic manners, my Savior is there, reminding me that what I do matters. What I do matters because my son matters, because my family matters. My family matters to God, because families are divinely destined to last the eternity. Those days when my heart feels vulnerable for all the love and responsibility that fills it are the days when I understand my life with the most clarity. The Savior is love, and I feel closest to Him when that love fills my soul.


independence coasting

We spent the Fourth of July at the coast.

This was Asher's first coast trip since entering toddlerhood, and he took it all in perfect stride.

Think sand. Lot and lots of sand.

And kites. Let's not forget how much my Wilson boys love their kites.

We had lunch up at the beach house, and while someone (I'll let you guess which one) needed a little rest, the others headed back down to the beach.

This little guy caught up with everyone in due time.


The grown-ups played games in the sand, and I stole away for a solitary walk in the shallow waves.

I always feel this pull to take as many pictures as I can of the coast, even though they may all look the same.

This place completely overwhelms me sometimes. The Oregon coast is so wild and grand and breathtaking. Every photo captures wonder for me.

I can't get enough of these two. They shine.

My heart is so full watching my two boys. The love I hold for each of them is sublime.

Asher could have spent all day on the beach.

We stayed as long as we possibly could. This boy was in heaven here.

And so was I. Thank you America for this beautiful land, for the continuous waves, for this wonderful, wonder-filled day. This one ranks up with my favorites. Life is just so grand.


beating the PNW heat

Well, it's officially July, and today the forecast is in the high-90s. So. Not my favorite of all the weather options, but at least we have things like kiddie pools, regular pools, and splash pads. Don't forget the window A/C unit that cools our first floor. Go up the stairs, though, and you'll feel at least a 10-degree increase in temperature. And if you're crazy enough to spend time in the sewing/computer room (as I apparently am right now), you'll soon start feeling sweat crawl into your neck and down your shirt.

I have a few tactics for dealing with the heat.

:: First, Bachelorette. Ridiculous, dramatic, and wildly unrealistic, plopping down with that show in front of the A/C is not a bad way to spend naptime.

:: Second, skirts. And dresses. Breezy, flowy, and often like pajamas. Yesterday on The Creative Domestic I posted a seven-day vacation wardrobe full of knit dresses and skirts for another sewing contest. It's a knitcation! And a blessedly cooler one when your legs aren't trapped in skinny jeans.

:: Third, chocolate. Hashtag obviously. Yesterday I had to grab a couple of things at Target (which, you know, seems to happen all the time), and an end-cap full of mini Reese's cups caught my eye and my stomach. And well, they were gone by breakfast. (Or you know, for breakfast.)

:: Lastly, the bun, my favorite of all the summer 'dos. On days like today when even turning on the blow-dryer in the morning is too much to bear, a bun is the ticket. Wear it high, wear it low, tie a ribbon in it, the possibilities are many, and the result is a neck free from pesky, sweaty hair. (I guess you could also just chop your hair off altogether, and believe it or not, Josh would love if I got a pixie cut. But for now, I'll stick with the bun.)

:: A postscript option--the coast. The whole Wilson crew is coming into town this week, and we have plans to spend our Fourth at the coast. And the coast is solidly a 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Portland. Plus, it has crepes. So. Obviously.
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