A few weeks ago, most of the leaves were still on our big chestnut tree. Then there was a big windstorm, which knocked about half of them off, followed by a foot of snow, which made raking impossible. The other half of the leaves fell on top of the snow a day or two before we left for vacation.

Of course, by the time we got back, the lawn was completely covered in leaves. I mean, really, the chestnut tree is huge. But it’s been tricky to find a time to rake, since I have no fence to contain two kids and a dog. I had to leave them to their own devices for a while.

Yesterday brought beautiful weather and June went down for a nap without any diaper incidents, so I sat Evan (and the dog) down with some Netflix and headed out to rake. It went more quickly than I expected, but the sheer number of leaves and size of my yard (not to mention my inexperience with raking leaves) meant it was a 2-hour endeavor. And then what to do with all those leaf piles? I generously let the kids jump in one to their hearts’ content, and a neighbor came by offering to park his trailer by the tree so I could dump all the leaves in – and he’d take them to the city facility when I was done. Maybe that was the generous thing. Jarom took over when he got home, and now the lawn just needs a good mowing.

If only I had a lawnmower.

P.S. I had a book club last night, so Jarom’s friend came over to keep him company. Many kids together = no sleep, and when I got home at 11:30, Evan had just barely passed out on the couch, and June fought sleep for another half hour. Then she got up at 7 this morning. Is there a refund or something I’m eligible for today?



We’ve been in our house for 5 months now. I still love it! Some days the house is tidier, some days it’s toddler-ier. But it always feels like home.

When I was packing to move, I got rid of TONS of stuff. Given that we have 400+ more square feet here than in our basement, it wasn’t strictly necessary, but less is better. I often think we own too much, even though we’ve gotten rid of more since moving in. (Although we have added more furniture – but donated lots of toys, books, and random clutter.) Whenever it gets messy – rather, when the mess gets to be overwhelming – I consider donating everything we own. Except some clothes. And all of my books. And a few toys.

I’ve been slowly hiding the kids’ toys in my closet over the past month. They notice if I take a big box out of their rooms, but so far there’ve been no complaints about the disappearing toys. Despite having removed almost all of the small- and medium-sized stuff, there is still destruction in our house by noon. Fortunately, it seldom gets so out-of-hand that it takes very long to clean up.

Whenever I sleep at someone else’s house, or in a hotel, it feels distinctly like I’m visiting. But where we live is comfortable, whether it’s in a basement or a charming little house. I’d hoped that the first few days here would be magical in some way – but I think the same old, same old comfort of home is best.


Last week we went to Southern California for a Thanksgiving family reunion. I’m not ashamed to admit it – I slept pretty much the entire week. Jarom was so nice to get up with the kids and entertain them every day while I snoozed. In my defense, I was exhausted…and an extra week of sleep was lovely.

Because I slept so much, I didn’t get much done from my to-do list. I’m still trying to get stuff ready for an Etsy store, but finding a quality (and affordable!) printer nearby is challenging. Also, I found out after a few tests that my netbook has terrible color display, and images that I thought looked fine turned out to be horrible on any other device. I meant to work on the baby name keepsakes I offered to do for some friends as samples, but I was too busy sleeping. Understandably.

By this time of year, I’ve already sent out our Christmas cards. Well…I still haven’t scheduled our family photo, or had the cards printed, or bought envelopes or stamps. Jarom loved the design I came up with this year, so I guess I have to actually go through with it! But I’m severely far behind. The good news: I’m not panicking about it. Cards will get sent out, eventually, and life will go on.

Other things I meant to be doing: keeping the house clean (it was nearly spotless when we left for Thanksgiving), exercising every morning, getting up before the kids, tracking down a good printer, figuring out how to take great photos of my cards and prints once they’re printed. Yet even with my extra week’s worth of rest, I’m still too tired…without any momentum to get going.