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, May 20, 2014

Last Days of School

I just put Brynn on the bus for her 2nd-to-last day of school (and remembered to give our cookie gifts to her driver and bus aide!)  I have two afternoons left of "me time" until mid-August, so I've gotta make 'em count. Tomorrow afternoon I am meeting friends to knit, and today I will probably run errands and enjoy the gorgeous day (with an iced coffee beverage of some kind).

I just took a moment outside to check on my garden, and was surprised to find my first blooming clematis! Hello, little beauty!

I'm so glad we created a bigger trellis for the clematis to thrive on this summer - and I was SO good about actually training them this year! Yay me!  Sadly, one of my transplanted rose bushes is officially dead, poor thing. His brother is doing well, and the honeysuckle are blooming and thriving in their Rubbermaid bins, thank goodness!

The bunnies have been chewing at the orange construction fence, and have been frolicking, napping, and probably nesting in the back half of our yard since we aren't mowing it.  When Brynn gets off the bus each day, she is now saying "rabbit?"  So we always head back to see if we can spot one. She likes her new cozy sandbox area, and I have learned to keep a rake under the deck so I can fish for all the toys she throws over the fence!

Rowan performed beautifully in her piano recital on Sunday afternoon, and was SUPER excited to wear her new outfit for the occasion. No more "little girl" dresses for her. Sniff, sniff!

In knitting news, I have FINALLY finished the embellishments on the plain block backgrounds that have been sitting in the drawer for months. Finally!! I might need to re-block them a bit since the edges started to curl. 
I also just finished the 2nd of two identical blocks (because the patterns was so easy and satisfying, and the yarn so yummy!)
And then I got a bug in my butt one morning last week to make a block for Rowan - the panda is her favorite animal, and she is ga-ga over it these days. I still need to embroider the leaf stems, but here he is. And I don't know what she'll want to do with it - turn it into a pillow, a wall-hanging, a doll blanket.  I plan to give it to her Thursday as her 4th grade "graduation" present. :)  Isn't he cute?

Brynn had fun this morning for an hour at the Field Day hosted by her soon-to-be new school.  She was pretty mad at me when we left, but we had a dentist appointment to get her to. I am happy to report her teeth are perfect and she didn't cry once!  She wiggled and fussed quite a bit, but they were great with her and brushed one or two teeth at a time to keep her happy. Bless her heart, she kept saying "Aaaahhh" like we try to get her to do at the doctor's office. Love that little squirmer!  And now, I get to go have my hoo-ha inspected at my annual exam. Wheee. But then I get iced coffee!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The days...they fly!  So much happening this May I've barely been able to keep up with it all.

Within the space of a few days, our backyard has changed dramatically.  The city is updating the sewage line and upgrading the water flow path of the creek behind us, which means all kinds of drastic, tree-killing changes.

Here's a corner view the morning before it all started...

Here's a couple of hours later, after a frantic removal of honeysuckle, trellises, and rose bushes to the side of the deck. (One rose bush has already died. Wah!)

And then the next afternoon came the tree crews.  They sliced through our fence and gate in seconds, and within 10 minutes our back cottonwood was gone. Here's the final picture of our lost tree...
I watched him fall, and took video. My sunglasses hopefully hid the tears as I said goodbye.
I have to say, I am pretty impressed that they got our giant tree to fall exactly between those posts!  In order to "fence in" our yard, we now have orange construction fencing running across, effectively halving our backyard space for the summer. Sigh.

But in an effort to preserve some of nature's sweetness during this rocky time, Rowan and I created a Fairy Garden under the edge of the deck on Saturday.  She picked the flowers and arranged where she wanted them, and I helped get them in the ground. She placed all her little fairy accessories (toadstool, birdhouse, tiny creatures, etc.) around the area. We used a hunk of bark from our fallen cottonwood as a backdrop, as well as a slice of it's branch (which the saw-guy was nice enough to cut me upon request).  We also saved a bag full of wood chips that were left around the trunk, and Rowan created a pathway into her Fairy garden with them, then lined the path with all the stones in her rock collection. She used a large shell she found years ago as a "fairy bathtub" and filled it with fresh water. It's adorable, I must say, and she's so proud of it!  We can check on it from the kitchen windows whenever we want, and are glad our old tree lives on in the magic of our fairy garden!

Before all the yard carnage started, I spent a wonderful weekend with friends at a lovely house on the Lake of the Ozarks.  We sunned, knitted, ate, relaxed, and had a wonderful time!  I learned a new (highly addictive) art form called Zentangle, and spent several hours creating the following doodles...

I also cranked out 17 knitted roses to give my Girl Scouts at our final meeting! 

I created an envelope with photos from our zoo overnight for each girl, Zentangled her name, and attached a rose.

I made a couple extra for my Cadette helper and unofficial assistant leader, Jennifer too, but I turned theirs into bookmarks.

And now that our Girl Scout school year is over, I've jumped into planning our two badge workshops. In June, the girls will be earning their Gardener badge, which requires a 2 week plant experiment they need to do at home.  I created a pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) workbook we will use at the workshop, which included info and instructions on the experiment.  I created an experiment kit for each girl and got them delivered on Friday so they could get started.

Rowan chose to do the "Sunlight" experiment, and is growing her seeds on the kitchen windowsill. She kept saying, "This is so fun!!" while she prepared the experiment. Love that! (You can see her out on the deck adding her extra soil to the plant pot.)

I have more afghan squares to share (now that the roses are done) but will save that for another day.  Right now I have to begin my vigil of waiting for Brynn's bus, and the sun has at last decided to come out and keep me company!