We’re right in the middle of our move now, straddled between two places, sleeping on floors, loading and unloading until exhaustion. The sun has been shining the last two days, reminding me that Winter is not forever and Spring is coming soon. We’ve been welcoming the new season with lighter sounds balanced with energy to keep us moving. Here’s a few to share with you, as I hope the days are warming for you all, too.
1. Ethio Invention No. 1 Andrew Bird // 2. Little Numbers BOY // 3. Afterlife Arcade Fire // 4. Alive Barnaby Bright // 5. Ships Tyler Ramsey // 6. Halls of Columbia Pickwick // 7. Bill Murray Phanotgram // 8. Amsterdam Gregory Alan Isakov // 9. Entertainment Phoenix // 10. Will Do TV on the Radio // 11. Morning Beck
Our current home–the one my sister and brother-in-law willingly shared with us these last 10 months, the one we’ll be leaving next week–is currently littered with unfolded clothing and boxes, like a war zone. We’ve all given ourselves over to this transition, holding our orderliness and typical routines loosely once again. I packed up most of our books and our part of the kitchen last week. Kristen and I laughed trying to remember what belonged to whom, “is this yours or mine?” Our habit of sharing things has lessened these possessive words, and they now feel awkward.
Our new home, the one now void of furniture and life, smells of fresh white paint. A bare canvas. An unwritten story. As we have peeled back old layers and discovered forgotten parts of this space the last few weeks, I could imagine the house stretching, thanking us. I collected hours and days brushing coats of white oil-based paint along the trim and doors last week. While my hands steadily moved back and forth, growing tired and blistered, I couldn’t help but feel its symbolism, the sense of promise, like Ancient Israel brushing lamb’s blood over their thresholds. As the white paint spread over the old, dingy brown cabinets and trim, I thought about the significance of this color white: new, pure, righteous. I noticed this same paint embedded under my nails, in my hair, on my shirt. I too am marked. It may seem dramatic to think of paint in this way. Maybe these thoughts spurred from the beginning of the Lent season last week, or maybe I had simply been breathing paint fumes too long. Regardless, it did feel significant. I didn’t choose white paint for its symbolism or because I wanted to make a spiritual declaration, I chose it because I like the aesthetic in my home. But I realized this week, God is always telling a story of redemption, and if I’ll pay attention, I’ll hear this story in all areas of my life, even in my paint.
This house marks a new beginning for us in so many significant ways, a new foundation both literally and figuratively, and I’m so grateful. My parents came this weekend to help with the kids and help Mark and my brother-in-law Tim repair broken floors and build bookshelves. One of my brothers, Josh, also drove in and joined a couple of our friends, who helped paint and scrape floors. The kids went home with my parents yesterday for the week, leaving Mark and I (who are on Spring break) an uninterrupted work week to finish a few more projects and (ideally) begin moving in. Eep! Thank you again, Mom and Dad. I’m hoping to share some more images of specific spaces this week. Until then, thank you all for your encouragement.
Courage is found in unlikely places.
― J.R.R. Tolkien
liam // You read stories like one might drink water, consistently throughout the day, as though you might wither away without them.
blythe // I noticed you nearby, standing on the upward facing rock, determined and unmoved–a brief picture of your spirit.
burke // On your ninth birthday, we all sat with you and shared our favorite things about you: your silliness and love of jokes, your sincerity and thoughtfulness, the way you share your Legos and play, and even your growth in wisdom and in learning self-control. You listened intently, your eyes opening like windows allowing new air into your soul.
olive // On Tuesday, you turned five. Your siblings and cousin made a banner and played “Everything is Awesome” (from the Lego movie) for you. You pumped your tiny arms in the air, singing along to your private soundtrack. Perhaps, one day you will feel small or somehow insignificant. On that day, I hope you will remember the moment at age five when you stood at the edge of the world and didn’t flinch.
Ok, are ripped jeans essential to a closet? Maybe not, but they are seriously one of my favorite pieces from my closet, something I reach for weekly. I have loved wearing them with oversized sweaters and flats this winter, but as we have had a few warm days recently, I decided to pair my ripped jeans with something more feminine and cool to give my winter arms some sun.
I imagine at this point everyone in the Northern hemisphere has tired of winter. Even though Saturday was warm here, the trees are still barren and shadeless and once again covered in frost and ice. We’re moving into our new home next week, and I’m longing to include more indoor plant life there in spite of my black thumb. I really love the shades of green in Fawn DeViney’s image. But then again, I’m not surprised; have you seen her other work? Stunning.
What says Spring more than a tank jumpsuit and market basket full of flowers? Please count me in. I’m absolutely smitten right now with Emily Suzanne‘s images and with Hackwith Design House‘s new Spring line. They make me crave lighter materials and warm light and outdoor weekend markets. Sigh.
Although we are currently painting our entire new home white (with a bit of controversy from one of my children), I love dark, dramatic walls and spaces and am looking to include a few in our home in the near future. Right now, I’m really inspired by this country retreat in Australia, Orchard Keepers, which still manages to keep warmth while combining crisp whites and dramatic darker tones. I love how this particular wall gives the white dishes and glass and wood so much presence. Don’t you?
Bianca Cash‘s words should be a mantra in our home and I hope to one day purchase her lovely scripted print to hang there. For now, I’m inspired to keep living fully and humbly and with thanksgiving. Thank you, Bianca, for writing it so succinctly.
This weekend we camped next to a 450 foot pink granite rock with birds to wake us and the stars to tuck us in. On Saturday, Burke’s birthday, the kids and I climbed a large boulder in our PJs. I sipped my first coffee and watched glory rise up their backs and faces. Hundreds of feet below, Mark scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire patiently waiting for us, but only I returned, letting our little mountain goats free for a while on the littler rock. We climbed more that day until our winterized bodies pleaded for us to stop. ”Oh dear,” Olive uttered, her eyes following my finger point to the summit, the place we’d climb. She’d be five in a few days, I reminded her, big enough to climb on her own. And we all did although often stopping for the littlest legs and to empty rocks from their sandals. “Step. By. Step,” she says. At the summit, the kids bounced across dark abysses and down into caves, without care or questions of ability. They laughed, implicitly trusting their instincts. It reminded me of parenting in that way, all the time fearlessly crossing abysses.
On Sunday, we abruptly woke up to cold rain drops on our faces. The same open roof that allows the stars, allows the rain. We quickly packed our tents and gear, running laps between our site and car. When we were finished, we drove away, our hearts panting and full.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. – Martin Buber
I’ve learned so much about my children through our travel time in the car. Sometimes it happens through our car conversations or games of 20 Questions, but every trip, whether 5000 miles across the country or a ten minute errand, reveals something new about the way they experience the world, adventure, and transition. This week I caught a few of those secrets.
liam // always has his feet up and his nose in a book.
burke // prefers to snuggle up with a blanket and stare out the window.
blythe // often busies herself with an activity books or by drawing in her journal.
olive // usually sleeps. As Blythe said this weekend, “everytime we get in the car Olive falls asleep.” So true.