Into the Woods, Her First Camping Trip

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I felt a lot of apprehension before embarking on our first camping trip as a family of five. More things to pack, more time to get ready (in all aspects), and sleep were all weighing on my mind. While I was sure to pack all the things she might need without over-doing it, the camping trip really was quite successful. And I think our littlest one had a great time, already being the outdoor lover that she is.

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The morning and evening temperatures were still a little too cool and the afternoons never got all that warm. We didn’t swim and kept layers at hand, so we managed just fine. I stayed tucked in close to the baby at night since it was still so chilly, something I hadn’t fully anticipated for this early summer season. But it made for our time to be very temperate and mild, something no one was complaining about!

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I am a morning person through and through. There is so much to do along with the rising sun, and I LIVE for it. My girls tend to rise sometime after me, and I often cherish those slow, quiet mornings together.

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The trip was a success, maybe not the greatest success, but a success nonetheless. I knew this experience was going to be a learning curve and offer us invaluable information to take with us as we travel, camp, and hit the road more and more. I’m also learning how much I’m enjoying staying at home and appreciating stillness more. If you know me, you know that’s quite a change, but as our life has shifted so much over the last few years I see this was a natural progression.

I’m really looking forward to at least one more camping trip on the coast this year— I LOVE the coast and beach life for all its worth and I want to soak it in and share it with my babies. With a vacation to Idaho in the books, I think we’re set for trips for a little while, but I know school will be here before we know it and I’m here to make the most of our summer while we can!

Early Summer in the Garden

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Morning fog and remnants of rain from the night greeted my sleepy eyes as I peeked out the window, as I do every morning. The force that pulls me to the garden was strong, as I find after a good rain, before the sky has cleared, just as the mornings of golden light speckling the earth fill me with the most simplistic happiness and warmth.

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There are still signs of a fading spring, but the undeniable growth of summer is even more prominent now. It’s a sad state to say goodbye to a spring never to return, but knowing that another will inevitably follow in the year to come. By this time each year in the garden, I’m nearly overwhelmed by the anxiety of being behind in vegetable growth. When did I plant? Did I start soon enough? Why aren’t there more tomatoes growing yet? It’s an inevitable stress that follows me through the gardening seasons, and I urge myself back to calm, to remember that things grow in their own time. The obvious bromide to give into.

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Despite urgings to stay inside where its warm and dry, I was accompanied by my two little girls, who have come to love traipsing through the gardens nearly as much as I. I wonder how they see it through their eyes, from their lower, more innocent perspectives. Then, distraction pulls the thoughts from my mind and I’m wholly present again. If ever there was a wonder why one succumbs to the whims of gardening, it’s safe to say that clarity of mind is a drug of its own.

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The Sweetest Simple Easter

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I adore the Easter holiday. It reminds me of a sort of Thanksgiving in the springtime. The gardens are in bloom, the color green is brilliant and abundant, and my mind has fully, unapologetically wandered to life out of doors. There is family and friend time, a table full of delicious food, good wine, and ideally, an easy spirit.

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After church with my Mother-in-law, baby girl fell asleep in the car, leaving the big kids anxious and having to be patient for our egg hunt. But as soon as those eyes fluttered open, it was on! Last year she was only 6 months old, so it’s so exciting to see the magic unfold with each thing we do. As soon as brother and sister ran to their baskets, Remy picked hers up, and promptly dumped it out! We couldn’t help but just laugh and rescue her eggs from hungry puppies.

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Remy so often reminds me of the magic to be found in the little things, in the joy that is ever-present in little ones, and I find myself so unbelievably grateful for my children. From my oldest to my youngest, I encourage a light spirit of joy, of happiness, of fun, and of youthfulness; as a mother of a teen, I’m thankful to see it has worked, and I’m glad for each and every festivity he still wants to be apart of.

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There was very little prep involved this year, but thankfully, everything came together, and I was so happy with how things turned out. Remy squeezed into a cute little jumper she won't fit into tomorrow, the big kids had their outfits in mind, and aside from the Easter basket treats, we got lucky to have everything else on hand for dinner and filling those eggs! Fruit snacks and a few chocolates, a roast ham dinner, and friends who brought homemade carrot cake filled our day so sweetly.

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After dinner and dessert, the sun lingered a little longer and we headed to the garden to fill baskets for friends to take home. With early spring and overwintered greens and herbs, we had a good amount of treats to share! The kids happily played on their playground while the grown ups happily watched and slowly filled cars with things from the garden, food, and promises of doing it all again soon.

Until we meet again…Happy Easter!

Mid-April in the Greenhouse

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It’s been a process to bring life into the greenhouse this year. With a toddler at my feet and off and on days of rain, I find myself drawn here more than not, regardless of weather or even if there’s a kiddo nearby. I’ve come to love this space, as you can imagine, and the morning light is nearly poetic. I find myself drawn outdoors, pulled to this space as if entranced. Spring is a magical beast.

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The fiddlehead ferns have emerged from beneath the greenhouse, and being the lover of ferns that I am, I’ve allowed them to stay—for now.

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My mother-in-law, daughter, and I had a plant shopping day a few weeks back, and the fuchsias that haven’t yet been planted around the garden, are finding homes to stay in the greenhouse. Of all the ones we’ve planted out, this is the only with a bud. These flowers are the only annuals I buy each year, and I am overjoyed to see them burst forth with life in just a short time.

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I walked into the greenhouse just the other morning—like I do most every day—and was suddenly struck by the individual characteristics emerging from the seedlings I’ve been watching emerge. When most seeds finally separate and push through the soil, they most all look very similar. If you wait and notice in a few short weeks, their unique colors, shapes, and forms begin to appear. I tried staying and tending to my tasks at hand, but found myself so distracted I went back inside for my camera, needing to fill the visions quickly forming in my mind.

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I’m adamant to include an abundance of flowers and vegetables alike, and these floret seedlings are shaping up beautifully.

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Spring is here and showing off all its beauty, not only in the greenhouse, but around the garden, our property, and town. It’s distracting indeed, but a welcome distraction that I fully appreciate this time of year. It’s a time where my mind is completely filled with thoughts of plants, planning, and dreaming as big as I can to fill my garden beds.

I’m amping up produce production as much as within my capability this year, and sharing the experience with my little girl, as well as my older two, has been so delightful. And each day that the rain breaks for us, we find ourselves pulling up our boots and treading through the wet grass to see what’s new since the last time we looked, even if that was just a few hours ago.

Spring at Havenwood

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“Spring won’t let me stay in the house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”

- Gustav Mahler

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About six new fruit trees to the property this spring, not including trees I’ve propagated (new growth from the peach and pear trees have been abundant!). Once the bare roots hit stores, I’m scooping them up left and right. In order to fill the acreage we have and to work toward sustainability (nothing rigid, just loosely increasing production and yields based on what is feasible during that time in my life and the season) I have to be increasingly mindful of how much I put out to improve and grow what I want. I’m constantly on the hunt for sales, what’s best to buy that time of year, where I’m buying, and so on. I have also become increasingly knowledgable in propagation, and patience, when growing from seed.

Spring around here is absolutely beautiful right now. Everything has bloomed about two weeks later than last year, but there’s an abundance from all the additions between now and then. From the fruit trees to bulb flowers to the vegetable garden, there’s something seemingly magical to be found in every corner. After a week of gloriously warm sunshine, the rain has come back. This morning, the kids and I bundled up to head outside during a little drizzly rain. We made it just before it poured, which was immediately followed heavy winds and sunshine. Spring is here at last!

We have many projects on our list for this year, and all I can really think about is continuing to improve the garden space, add as many trees as I can, and truly beautify the space. It’s a slow and steady process, but one I’m happy to commit to and invest in.