It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Urban Self

I took a dip back into my urban self this past week - Chicago still feels like home. Most of these pictures show us doing the touristy things, the things we knew Rowan would love. But for me, the things I love and miss most about Chicago: my sister. My closest work buddies. The youthful energy. The little neighborhoods packed with character. The side-by-side brick buildings with tiny gardens and window boxes everywhere. Walking and taking the El everywhere. Amazing cafes and little shops everywhere you turn. The lake and beachfront. The people-watching. I could go on and on...needless to say, it was hard to leave when we moved to Kansas, and hard to leave yesterday.

At the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower

Ready for our city adventure!
Mobile in Meredith's artsy sitting room

Meredith has created a garden oasis on her little back deck

Cheerful and sweet

The "Bean" in Millennium Park

Exploring our reflections

Mirror images

Looking down from the Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier

Waiting for our boat tour along the lakefront

On the water

Our rented "bike" that we rode all the way from Navy Pier to North Avenue Beach - we couldn't stop giggling and feeling like a public menace along the path!

Aunt Meredith gets talked into riding the "Swing Ride" with Rowan. Barf!
Sand castle at the Wilson Avenue Beach

Lovely water fun!
A cool hour of coffee house crafting after de-sanding from the beach

Fashion-creating artists
Our teeny paper creations
Visiting Rowan's first home on Talman Avenue

Shedd Aquarium - the Jellies are my favorite!
My apartment house in Lincoln Square
Getting ready to cruise Lincoln Square

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Returning to Duty

It has been over two months since my last post.  For those who know me well, you know that I have re-joined the ranks of writers-trying-to-get-published, which has taken away all of my blogging time. I am letting a few manuscripts stew right now, and decided to throw a few photos up and see if I have done a decent job of capturing any craftiness during my writing craze.  Mom, here you go, and happy belated Mother's Day!

Hyacinth, tulips, and daffodils in March

Father/Daughter "Sweetheart Dance" in March

Rowan paints a kit lantern

Rowan tries out her Flower Press

Rowan learns to knit! For real!

Our first batch of dried flowers turn out great! Rowan makes several bookmarks and cards with them.

Rowan and Easton make "fossils."

Loved Rowan's 3-D version of a Lemonade stand! (The tall blue pillar is there to hold up the cloud.) Adorable!

Rowan learns Transcendental Meditation!

Easter Bunny?

Our World of Girls quilt is done! (April)

Rowan constructs and AWESOME bird egg mobile (she must be related to her Aunt Meredith)

Egg-dying Easter fun

Time to make egg salad!

A teeny new black-capped Chickadee, hanging out in the crook of our maple.

Grandma saves the day and finishes Rowan's new dress!

Wrinkled from the mail, but fits great!

My favorite lillies. Ahhhhh!

Clematis in action

A Treasure Bag I made for each of my 15 Brownies

Easton, Rowan, and Malia create amazing driveway art! (Had to take this photo from the top of a ladder!)

Visiting St. Louis - fabulous day!

Mother's Day at the Legends fountain. LOVE my girls!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Keep On Keepin' On

One day at a time, enjoy each moment, take pleasure in the small things. These are my mantras right now. Despite all the unrest with Brad's job situation, I have had several of those wonderful "all is right with the world" moments in the last few days. (Then I remember the job thing and feel a little guilty, but not enough to weigh me down.)  So many things to be grateful for! Here are some of them...

Rowan modeling her handmade fingerless valentine mitts from Grandma...
Brynn getting off the bus after preschool today...
 and looking super cute in the driveway with Ernie.
My budding gardens of teeny yellow and purple crocus... 
 tulips, iris, and hyacinth...
The finished valentine doll sweater, being modeled by Kanani...
And the finished baby hat (yay, I think the sizing is right!) and baby mitts, as well as a mitten started for big brother...
Oops, still need to trim the pompoms! So, almost finished.

It's sunny and almost warm today, my head cold is pretty much gone after only 5 days, and I've actually got a week that isn't jam packed with chaos! I'm going to keep on keepin' on, and life is good. :)