Insta Fall

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The chill has snuck in just this week. Am loving all the fall sun and magical light here. Everything is on fire, and there is so much sun during daylight hours… Also these days, I’m in love with Instagram. So much beauty in the palm of my hand.

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All photos from my iphone and instagram feed!

Separation Chronicles: Moving with Kids

The day we told our kids we were moving into two houses, my oldest had just one question: is it going to be fun? Of course, the answer had to be yes! But moving can be stressful even when your whole world isn’t changing. And moving into two houses can also feel like a loss. So how do you keep it fun?

Here are my tips for surviving with your sanity intact:

This one is for you, and is the most important: you will stay sane if and only if you take care of yourself. Need help in the self care department? yes, you do. You are not made of rock and sorting through the physical artifacts of your marriage sucks. It will be hard. Get a moving buddy! I cannot stress enough how important this is. I was lucky (incredibly, amazingly lucky) to have my brother to help me with both our yard sale and with packing. Your moving buddy can help by telling you that no, you don’t need to keep that incredibly charged item, and by making sure you eat and nourish yourself during the pack. You will need this. It will save you.
my buddy

Now what about the kids? Here are some things that worked for me:

1. Make the kids feel involved: set aside time in your pack and prep schedule to have them pack up some of their things, choose some things to donate or sell. These activities will take longer than when you do it yourself, but will help them understand and cope with the move.
Boxing day
2. While packing, keep a kid-safe space free from chaos in your home, where they can rest and play.
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3. Label everything! write on the outside of the boxes, not just “toys” or “books” but be specific: then when you want to find the legos and magnatiles in a sea of cardboard, they’ll be easy to find.

4. At your new home, first things first, set up the kid’s sleeping and play space so they have things to do while you get your place sorted. (Here I’ve put up some temporary shelves with a few toys and books. They have a place to sit and play away from the chaos in the rest of the house.)
playroom shell
5. Embrace chaos! your house will be messy during this transition. Accept it and move on. Let them explore the new place and make it their own!
spaceship down
6. When all else fails, take a break! Find a place to refresh and recharge.
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And keep this with you: soon all this chaos will end. This is temporary madness. On the other side, you will have a space of your own! As I sit here, only a month after moving into my own, I feel such an incredible sense of space and peace, that five weeks ago I could barely imagine. That will soon be yours.

Catching Up: Moving

Box Fan

116 Crown

Sprague Hall

Lighthouse Point

Box Ninja

ashley's magic garden

live art

Beltane Farm

Paul trubey and goat

Pau Trubey and milk

levitate

lobster

The last six weeks have been a blur. The kids were troopers, playing through the chaos. I was surrounded by so much love from my friends and coworkers as we visited old favorites (will miss you so Lighthouse Point!) and beautiful new places like Beltane Farm. And we ate amazing and delicious food. How is it that all my friends are such incredible cooks? And that we turn to food to nourish, celebrate, and nurture each other?

None of it would have been possible without my magical brother, who dropped everything and flew cross-country to be with me twice in the month of June, to help me keep it all together. I can’t thank him enough for reminding me that we come from a long stock of folks who work hard, don’t whine, and always find the time to eat well and drink good coffee. With his help I sorted, packed, and sold the remnants of my old life, making room for the new…

Then came the magic floating forklift to take our storage container, and we were off!

Dreaming: Kitchen

18 days! Less than three weeks until our move and the anticipation is mounting. The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of packing, sorting, and weeding through the remnants of the last 10 years… And dreaming!  Dreaming of all the opportunity this new phase will bring. I cannot wait to walk into our new space and breathe fresh life into it.  There will be more space and light than I know what to do with!

Starting with a very basic standard suburban kitchen, but the bones are good:
kitchen beforeSo what’s in the works?
inspiration board

1. In the kitchen, we’ll have a great big table big enough for a big gathering, art projects, and anything that needs to be spread out.  While this one is a bit out of our price range, I found a great mid-century piece on craigslist that will give us plenty of space at a fraction of the cost.

2. These happy stools will go next to the counter-stable enough for the little ones and beautiful at the same time.

3. With a bit of fresh paint the whole area will come to life: I imagine this counter as the hub of family life-cooking prep, homework, and conversation.  But the light paint will need to go, as the boys feet will likely be making their marks on the low walls otherwise.  The perfect paint solution came via the always inspiring Anna at Door Sixteen: Benjamin Moore Deep Space.

I’m hoping to end up with something approximating the light and fresh spaces you see below, an airy space built for function and creativity!

desire chalkboard
via desire to inspire

emmas kitchen
via emmasdesignblogg

Eraser

I left my neighborhood yesterday on a sunny, warm morning, every fiber of me calling beach! and as we will soon be living inland, I had to listed and head for the ocean. 10 minutes later, I arrived in another world, an ethereal fog. The ocean there but not there, surrounded by mist and the smell of salt. A magic eraser.

feeder
fog
fly
hopeful
bridge
fly 2

Making Space

Much can be said for the need for self care during the process of separation. My quiet place is mostly about visuals. I have little control over my present surroundings, and so I count the days (forty-seven to go!), and pin, and pine, and plan my new space: light, uncluttered, and full of love and laughter.

Here is some of my inspiration:

bedroom

kitchen via an-magritt
sources: 1. 2.

This Is Not What It Seems

Circus

The children in this picture are unaware.  They are filled with promise.  It’s an early spring evening, one of the first warm ones of the year.  The air is sweet with the scent of newly opened buds.  We are at the playground just a little longer than we should be as evening draws near.  They are full of joy, and laughter, and openness.

What they are unaware of, is that in eight short weeks, their life will change forever.  They will leave the small, cozy apartment they’ve lived in for the past three years, and board a plane headed several states over, and when they land, it will be into a very different world: a world where they have two separate families.

Six months earlier, during one of those conversations husbands and wives have, I asked their father what kind of a life he wanted for himself, and for us, as a family.  His answer sent shockwaves: “I don’t know, but I don’t want it to be with you.”  It hung there in the air, the fault lines immediately forming.

I can’t say I was completely surprised.  For a long time, something felt wrong, and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  But I always assumed, whatever it was, we would face it and fight it together.  That night, I began to realize that what I was trying to hold on to was not there.

What followed was quite surprising: there was, of course, hurt, rejection, and anger.  But we still had something together: a strong commitment to the lives of two young boys.  Somehow, through all the strong feelings, I decided to focus forward, on creating the life I wanted for me and the boys.  And most surprising of all, to put aside strong feelings temporarily, and with the help of a very kind therapist, continue to live with the man who wanted to leave me. To continue to share a home with him for seven months.

To say it’s been an easy journey would be false.  Its taken levels of restraint and acceptance I never knew I was capable of.  An incredibly supportive and discreet small group of family and friends created the backbone without which this would not have been possible.  But as spring fully takes hold in these parts, with five months behind me, and two short ones to follow, optimism is starting to occupy more and more space.

This journal has been an intermittent place for me to chronicle my creative and family life.  I’ve always tried to keep it positive (perhaps that is why there are so few posts-it’s hard to positively chronicle unease.)  But I’m going to allow myself to chronicle this new journey here.  There have been many folks online whose inspiring lives and stories have been a comfort for me in this time, and maybe this story will someday bring comfort to someone else.

There are fifty-seven days left in this leg of the journey. On the other end of those fifty-seven days is a horizon filled with what I hope is endless possibility.  There is a community that has already been so surprisingly welcoming, open, and supportive, that their love buoys me on those dark days that do still come.

And there are two boys, filled with joy, and open hearts.

Horizon

 

Letting in Spring!

Fickle friend Spring has been slow in coming this year to this northern spot. Only 2 weeks ago, I was grreted by a snowy scene as I waited on a train:
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but just days after our first ritual spring feast

passover
(let’s see if you can spot and identify our Passover lamb shank replacement:-)

the sun started poking out, as we readied for another celebration (once again, legos make an appearance, this time supervising prep for the easter bunny)
nesting
nesting
and just like that, Spring arrived, slowly peeking in…

buds