with friends

I love watching the boys with friends.
I love the way so many voices in the yard float in through open windows and the smile I can see folded into the corners of Tucker's eyes from afar. The way kids just show up here, know where to find cups for water and a pencil for homework, shovels for forts and tape for craft projects. The way there is always someone for Tolliver to walk to school with, always a spot for one more in the game. The way the little ones hold hands and trade bracelets and coordinate outfits, a layered expression of their devotion to each other. I remember these stages, the feeling of falling in love with my friends, of belonging to a select few.



ox roast games and video games and card games
cross country meets and ninja courses
zinnias and pawpaws and apple picking
piano practice and marching band 
roasting s'mores and birthday parties and cuddly cats


steady diet

While I don't have a current picture of it, the dining room table at our house appears to be less a place for meals and more a study in plate tectonics. Like, shifting plates, not dinner plates. The entire flat surface is coated in layers of reading material - new books from the classroom Scholastic order and magazines from the mailbox, leather bound references plus post-it-noted paperbacks, all half read and haphazardly tented in precarious piles. A veritable feast, really.



It's not unusual for someone Tuck's age to spend ample time with his whole heart pressed up to sound. He is in band and choir this year, both directors having agreed to share him on a rotating basis. And when he's not playing the piano at home (or helping Andy write a song...) he has ear buds in, listening.

We've tried to let music be like a secret Tuck discovers, and not wisdom we pass down. I mean, I may have forced some Broadway showtunes early on. Recently Tucker proved to know more than Andy about one of his favorite bands, The Black Keys (instrumentation and song keys and backstories) and it felt like a very specific kind of wonderful.
*grateful to friends for the generous gift of time and tickets, making for a very memorable first live music experience


block party

The local blocky party has been around for eighteen years now. In addition to annual favorites, this year's activities included homemade front lawn mini-golf and a bubble truck.

not pictured:
the teenagers (calling Bingo and playing putt putt and helping little people craft cardboard swords and shields...)
the potluck spread -- so many traditional favorites (empanadas! fresh bread! carmelitas! macaroni balls!)
the bounce house and the baby pool, the face painting station and the euchre games
all the grown ups gathered at tables for a shared evening meal


Awe is always an option

I'm still learning to slip into it just by changing where I focus my attention.
bouquets and books and back-to-school parties
modge podge and new mason bees
cupcakes and catching frogs and cross country meets
fresh stone fruit and root beer floats
a yard full of children and cats and insects, all of it...