Can you believe that it is basically October? Obviously I can’t, since the last time I wrote here was in July. Oops!
After a major summer adventure romping through various woods, prairies, mountains, lakes and streams throughout the West…
(Is that not unreal? Seriously. It completely looks fake. You may not believe me, but Joe really took this photo from the Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming.)
…we are now back in our autumn routine. Of which windy and rainy soccer games and dog walks primarily prevail. Life here out in the middle of beautiful nowhere beats a similar drum each year but the older I get, the more I like it. It’s soothing and consistent.
The near future is a bit more cuckoo, though. We are moving in a few weeks. Only a short distance, but as many of you may know, packing up a household is kind of challenging whether you move a few blocks away or a few states away. So there’s that. I’m really excited about the possibilities in the new house, though. The view (!!), design opportunities, and if I’m going to be perfectly honest: getting a bit more breathing room from my loud and loving children when I’m tapped out. It will be very good.
Another thing on the horizon? Jaw surgery to correct my bite…a long story which involves a random condition and previous jaw surgery in my teenage years. It’s not that big of a deal, but I’m progressively getting more apprehensive as the days move along. Maybe because I’ve been through it before? I’m been wearing my “invisible” trays (I’m trying to avoid search engines) for almost a year and I think I will soon need to wear traditional braces in preparation for the surgery which will be scheduled sometime in the next month or two. And then back to my invisibles for a while after surgery. Braces as an adult and a forced liquid diet during the holidays? Should be fun! ;) It definitely gives you perspective, though. Life could be a lot worse. I think I can handle a few odd looks. And hey, I should have quite the smile and I won’t need to worry about gaining any holiday weight, right?
(Top three photos by Joe Mattern, bottom two by me)
Please remind me to never move, okay?
As the older two kids go off and do their own thing, I realize that Iris is finally getting some alone time with her parents that she’s never really had in all of her years of existence. I guess that’s kind of the nature of the game when you are the third child, right? Ben and Olivia were even at her birth! Poor kid can’t catch a break…
Instead of zooming around and completing all those things that pile up on a to-do list, we’ve been trying to set aside time to let her decide what will happen. Last week, she chose a bike ride. While the other kids were at camp and a playdate respectively, we packed a picnic lunch, headed north and grabbed a bike trail that hugs the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Needless to say, it was pretty great. The snapshots I took on my phone doesn’t really do it justice, but hey I live in the moment now, remember? :) I’m feeling pretty liberated without lugging a big camera around.
Here’s a playlist I made that went along quite nicely with the ride. Hope you enjoy it!
Every year for the past few years, the last week of school tends to be very full. It happened again this year, so classroom sleepovers, school beach walks, class stores, dance recitals and an out-of-town soccer tournament filled the calendar. The kids had lots of fun, but let’s be totally honest: even entertaining events require recovery time.
I’ve created a new tradition. I used to feel uberguilty if we didn’t do something momentous the week after school let out. Especially if the weather was sunny. It is almost a cardinal sin not to go out and enjoy the sun if you live in the Pacific Northwest! So the first Monday morning usually went something like this: “Yay! It’s officially summer vacation, guys! Let’s try a DIY project! Let’s go to the beach! Let’s go get a banana split!” In effect…go, go go!
I think I finally get it this year. (I guess it’s about time since I’ve been at this parenting gig for over 12 years.) I’ve learned that it’s okay to relax. Not only is it okay, but it is necessary. I don’t need to take them on adventures or do amazing Pinterest projects with them the second that they get some free time. We can sit and play cards in our pjs, not brush our teeth until noon, lounge in the hammock and have bedheads all day and it is okay. Actually more than okay. It is just as fun as all that other stuff, if not more. Even though I’m still feeling a wee bit guilty (notice the sunny window behind Iris) these few days of laziness are the best.
Celebrate the bedhead. :)
I tend to overthink things. You could call it a convenient quality or a hidden burden–I usually identify it as both. Though these days I feel like it tends to get in my way. I’ve got a great gut instinct, but that brain of mine tends to override it almost every time.
I think pottery is trying to teach me my big life lesson. It is teaching me patience and self-compassion…that’s a lot for a hunk of clay.
Recently I hit a wall with my lessons. I was so frustrated with myself for not recreating the vessels that I had envisioned in that overworked mind of mine. Sensing that, the three seasoned ceramicists I work with all gave me the same advice in different ways: Let it go. Close your eyes, empty your mind and fill your hands. Trust your process.
In short, be kind to yourself and take the journey.
So that, friends, is my golden ring I’m reaching for in life. I’m trying to let go. Expected outcomes be damned.
What about you? Do you feel like you trust your process or do you tend to overthink things, too?
“Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?” -Margot Fonteyn
I could give many reasons for my blog absence, but does anyone truly like to read a laundry list of reasons why something doesn’t happen? The brief synopsis is this: For several reasons, I lost the desire to write in this space.
Blogging, for me, is a siren song. I’m allured by the inexorable pull to share something of myself and find connection with others. But I’ll confess that on some level it freaks me out to write an online journal–Anyone on the Internet can see it!–and at times I get skittish. But ultimately I like the community of good souls I have met through this space too much to stop. So those sirens are pulling me in again. (Hopefully not to ultimately shipwreck on a rocky coastline, though. :) )
There are so many contours of life that I find myself weaving in and out of these days. Comfortable, uncomfortable, exciting, boring, necessary and unnecessary. When I turned forty this year, my only promise to myself was to try to be more present in what I do, whatever that is. I want to catch every moment and dang, that can get pretty exhausting but it can be pretty beautiful, too. So I’m back to blogging to catch those beauties and remember them.
My friend Brandi helped me with a redesign of salt+pine! She did a wonderful job and I absolutely love its beautiful simplicity. If you are considering any change to your site, she is your woman!
(photo taken by my husband on a hike at Lena Lake in the Olympics)
As I like to put it, I am a rather delicate flower.
I’m a pale skinned gal who actually seems to be allergic to the sun (no joke!). I tend to avoid intense sun and heat and revel in sweater weather. Yep, I’m a Midwestern transplant who full-heartedly embraces the thousands of layers that the Pacific Northwest weather necessitates. So this time of year? Hello, I love it. LOVE IT. It makes me super incredibly happy–I can’t even begin to describe the pleasure it gives me. But it is also a guilty pleasure right now because many friends and family members are dealing with the awful weather repercussions out east and my heart aches for them. We were back out in Philadelphia recently and beat Sandy and her aftermath by only about a week. We were really lucky on that one.
The weather in PT is definitely quieter. We are experiencing a perfect combination of both sun and rain before the grey hits. The beauty is pretty overwhelming. And so I’ve been taking the dog for morning walks, appreciating the fall colors and stocking up on my vitamin D while getting lost in my iPod.
Here are a few images of my mornings from my Instagram feed. (You can follow me at saltandpine, if you’d like. I’m over there much more often than here!) A great singer/songwriter who I have been listening to while walking is Sera Cahoone. She is perfect for walking, thinking, reflecting and zoning out. There’s a wonderful performance of her live on KEXP at the end of the post–definitely check it out and let me know what you think!
“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.”
–Pearl S. Buck
My fortieth birthday with a view…
and a fifteenth anniversary in the moonlight soon after.
Both the exciting…
…and the peaceful.
And some things that fall in the middle. (Throwing clay is my newly found therapy and love. I swear, it teaches me things…)
Life online slowed down for me this summer and into the fall, but I’ll come back here from time to time and continue to contribute occasionally over on Pink Moon Daily. It might be photos and quick thoughts for a while, but I think that it’s pretty perfect for me right now.
I made a playlist for a recent camping trip we took up near the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The cover art is a photograph I took from our camping site. Can you believe it? I think it’s one of the best tent sites out there. So listen to the mix, grab a coffee and take a look at the photos in the blog entry I wrote last night (below). You can pretend you live here for the day!
Animal Life Shearwater
Start a War The National
Killed Myself When I Was Young A.A. Bondy
The Crane Wife, Pt. 3 The Decemberists
Desert Raven Jonathan Wilson
Port of Morrow The Shins
Revenge (feat. The Flaming Lips) Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse
Williamine Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard
The Stable Song Gregory Alan Isakov
To a Poet First Aid Kit
Curs In the Weeds Horse Feathers
California Rogue Wave
You Must Build a Fire Crooked Fingers
Cello Song (feat. Jose Gonzalez) The Books
Lost Coastlines Okkervil River
He Would Have Laughed Deerhunter