When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

At home

Well hello there!  I feel like I've left things pretty quiet in this space over the last little while, as my posts have been fewer and farther between than usual.  But while you may have been able to hear crickets chirping in the silence here, the past couple of weeks have actually been very lively ones filled with family, laughter, the sharing of favourite old stories and the creation of new ones.  I've enjoyed a chance to spend some time more surrounded by others and less inside my own head than usual, and the break from "normal" has left me feeling more relaxed, more inspired, and more appreciative of just how good my life is.

Over Easter weekend, Matt and the boys and I very much enjoyed the company of Matt's sister Rebecca and her family who came to visit us from Ottawa, and of his brother Nick, who joined us for many of our weekend activities.  We had great fun doing typical Easter things, such as colouring Easter eggs:


We made our own natural dyes again this year, using foods such as beets and red cabbage (which made for especially pretty eggs once they sat in the dye overnight and then were left in an egg carton in the fridge for a couple of days.)  Noah and Will had fun colouring the eggs, but were not too thrilled with the dye making process itself.  Let's just say that boiling pots of beets, cabbage, and cumin on the stove simultaneously does not result in a house that smells spring fresh and lovely.

Hunting for Easter eggs:

Will led his younger cousin over to a place where he knew there was an egg and then let her find it. So sweet of him.

Enjoying big family meals together around a table filled with favourite foods:

There were also some less traditional Easter weekend activities, like rowdy Nerf wars and football matches between kids and uncles that somehow found the uncles wearing child-sized race car and football helmets out of the boys' dress-up box.  I wish I had taken photos of that!

It was a really great weekend, and a wonderful way to celebrate Easter.  We said our goodbyes with full and happy hearts and hopes of all of us being able to visit with each other again soon.

A few days after our holiday guests left for home, I hopped on a plane to Sault Ste. Marie to go and visit my family, and to welcome in person my newest little niece, Helen.  Every now and then it's a wonderful feeling to take a trip on my own, to leave many of my responsibilities behind for just a little while and to focus fully on enjoying the company of people I love whom I don't get to see very often.  My parents and my brothers and their families and I caught up over some lovely dinners and evening cups of tea, and we recalled memories together over the pages of an old photo album.

The weekend was full of sweet moments between parents and children:

(I love the way my dad always makes me feel that even though I'm forty years old, I'm still his little girl, too!)

Grandparents and grandchildren:


And oh, how lovely it was to hold a soft, warm, baby once again!

It was sad to get back on a plane again yesterday, knowing whom and what I was leaving behind, but remembering that I'll be back there again in July with Matt and the boys made it a little easier to say goodbye.

As much as I enjoyed being away, I was also very happy to walk through my own front door once again yesterday.  I suddenly appreciated with fresh eyes the comfortable familiarity of our home, and I was very touched to find a vase of pretty flowers on the kitchen table with a little card signed by three boys who missed me while I was gone.

Last night I felt very content and grateful; my time away allowed me to once again notice and be moved by the many wonderful things I might sometimes take for granted because I experience them often:  Will's wide grin as I greet him after school, his endless chatter about interesting things, and the way his head feels resting on my shoulder while we read a good book together on the big lounge chair in the family room; witty banter and quiet and thoughtful conversations with Noah, who asked all about baby Helen yesterday and who suddenly strikes me as being suspended in a magical place between young and old;  Matt's easy and wonderfully familiar company and all of the kind and caring things he does for me.  I'm so very glad for the blessing of knowing so many different people and places that make me feel at home.

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