Thursday, June 25, 2009

the balance of home with a little bit of babaganoush.

i just hung up the phone from talking with my brother.
'i'm sad,' he said.
i am too.
we dreamed together of what it would be like if we all lived on the same street. of babies running back and forth and impromptu saturday morning waffles.
it is sad leaving...but the resounding theme of balance (like i was reminded here and here and here) resurfaces as my sadness for leaving is melded with this craving for the satiation of home. and i am grateful that i am privileged to travel 'home' in the the old familiarities of cool nights and cricket sounds and lightning bugs that dance above soft michigan grass. but that i have come to love the ocean sunsets, skittering lizards and palm fronds that dance above not-so-soft florida grass of my new home as well. and there is a sweetness to being away from the reunions. when enough months have seperated us from seeing each other that when the time comes, everything is sweeter...hugs are tighter...and minutes are cherished because they are oh-so-valuable.

so it has been this trip. and my absolute utter and complete exhaustion stands to prove that we have done it right.

the girls and i set out the other morning to the country where we found the greatest strawberry farm and orchard. we walked up and down rows of young apple trees...

(and savannah rocks for taking so many of these fabulous pics! photography runs deep in the blood)

fed some furry friends in the petting zoo...

where, after hearing the roosters up close, lainey walked away with the best cock-a-doodle-doo i've ever heard. honestly, i think it's the clearest phrase in her vocab now.

(bears a striking resemblence to a volociraptor, if you ask me)

...and finally drove through winding dirt roads to find a vast field of strawberries.

we searched under leafy greens and little blossoms to find as many plump juicy berries as we could. the girls did better than lainey as most of hers made it straight to her mouth...and down onto her white dress.

it was an hour and a half out of our way and worth every mile.

especially when we finished our picking with a trip to the mill where we inhaled homemade sugared donuts, carmel apples and discovered the joy of homemade pickles...straight from the barrel. they were white and crisp and perfectly brined. ah, heaven.

splendid day...

wedged between other splendid-ity...

like late-night dairy queen with grandma...

where lainey slept through most of it (this ergo carrier has saved me...thank you, donna!)

...but awakened, all bed-headish, to finish off a baby twist with sprinkles.

and speaking of delicious. i've been dreaming of babaganoush from this place for six years.

i've had it now twice this week after i found my car driving itself there. nothing better i've ever put in my mouth.

and then we had that barbecue in my brother's backyard where lainey enjoyed his pond...or more so enjoyed washing the mermaid's hair over and over and over.

and swimming and cousins and cozy breakfasts and evening's been so fulfilling.

(the ladybugs always find us. we love our ladybugs.)

i couldn't be happier. so full of love...but so ready to go home and enjoy it even more. ready to tackle summer with friends...and our anniversary night out in a couple weeks.

oh, this girl has been a trooper. a love. i can't say enough for how proud i am of her little travelin' soul. we fly home late tonight and i expect her little blonde head will lie heavy in my arms on the plane. oh, i will kiss her. i will kiss her and tell her what a big girl she has been on this trip.

daddy, we can't wait to see you. xoxo

Monday, June 22, 2009

happiness and fathers.

this is my family...

...and when i'm here with them, i could just cry that my life does not include hopping in the car on a moment's notice to meet them for dinner, sunday barbecues in my brother's backyard, saturday afternoons shopping with my sister.

i knew i was giving up all that when i moved to florida...but oh how i am reminded what i'm missing when i'm here.

saturday evening was blissful. my sister hosted her first wine & cheese party in her new abode and if her sweet little digs weren't christened before, they certainly are now as we settled into pillows on the floor with friends, cousins, and babies in our lap...playing the 'if' game, exchanging birth stories, recalling memories with our grandma, catching up.

and i finally met barb, my sister's dear friend. although i envisioned our first greeting in slow-motion, in a field of daisies with chariot's of fire playing, running through a hallway with an apron and beaters sufficed. she is as fabulous as i imagined.

and a 4-day road trip didn't quite do it for our fun as heidi rejoined us for a sleepover and sunday morning coffee and sticky buns followed by a girls morning spent in old town yesterday where we perused the shops and landed upon the hidden treasure of honora bird's art gallery.

honora herself met us in her studio where she passionately discussed her art...

i felt very at the midst of a messy studio where creativity abounded.

...and lunch found us nestled in big couches in the back of a cozy brick-walled den of a pizzeria...

and dad's first father's day in probably more than five years where all of us were together. we spent it behind big plates of spaghetti at bravo and then back to dad's where we enjoyed a dreamy walk...all of us together...down to the wildflower field.

i was, in a word...happy.

and my girl is taking in enough family lovin' to last her the whole year through.

and happy father's day to my own incredible dad who continually amazes me...
my wonderful father-in-law...couldn't have chosen a better one if i had first pick in a bucket of father-in-laws to choose from...
and our larger-than-life daddy whose true gift in life is his ability to love his kids in this magical way. we miss you so much.

...enjoying the happy things. ~k