Charleston...more information

I was just catching up on a few blogs and came across this post on Charleston at domestic ease. Check it out here.

Makes me want to head back there sooner rather than later. ***sigh*** I may not have mentioned this before on the blog but after a day of walking around that fair city I let Mr. M know that some time in our distant future I wanted to rent one of the quaint row houses for a month or so and spend time getting to know every nook and cranny, museum, restaurant and cafe of this wonderful place. I kid you not I felt like I was walking around in some period movie for a week. Charming! Sweet! Beautiful! Click the link above...look at the pictures...I think you'll agree.


Fave Read

A few weeks ago the Book Fair came to Miss A's school. I had volunteered to help set-up so on that afternoon Miss K (my constant sidekick) and I went in to do our part. We set up books, moved tables, and put boxes away. Miss K charmed the librarians and was shown a great corner complete with stuffed animals and toys.

The Fair opened for business the following week so the girls and I had to stop and shop (what's not to love??? Beautiful, well-written books being sold to benefit the school. It's a win-win). It wasn't hard for either of them to find several books that were perfect for our collection. I'll admit I picked up a few myself, mostly for them but one for me.

On the top of a side bookshelf this caught my eye.

I guess the word, ordinary, and the subtitle, "A Mother's Memoir" were enough to make me think I may like it. I started to carry it around with me to dance class, speech sessions and the short wait at the end of the school day.

Katrina is a usual mom who decided things were getting too complicated. The process of self-discovery led her and her family to leave suburban life and find a quaint hilltop on which to rebuild a new life of simplicity. She also reminded me of how quickly kids grow up. Her two sons were entering and then finishing high school. Mine are just starting school but I know it will quickly be time for graduation...yikes!

I've been itching to clean out, organize and simplify our home in preparation for a fun summer. I've also started to think it would sure be easier to clean, keep things neat and organized if I just didn't have sooooo much stuff!

I also try to remind myself all the time that its really the everyday moments that I (and the girls) will probably remember instead of the big productions that we sometimes put all our effort into. I love the morning cuddles when our kindergartner wakes earlier than we do and we get a few minutes of quiet time. The toys, crayons, hand-drawn artwork and school papers that clutter my home now will someday be gone and I'll wonder why its so neat around here. Walking through every water puddle and pile of dirt is really not that big of a deal. Eating sometimes requires spilling on the floor and very sticky fingers. Learning to read is a process and a certain mother needs to remain patient even at the end of the day when all I would like is a few minutes of peace...a few minutes one way or the other won't really matter.

I'm grateful for whatever it was that drew me to this book. I've finished it now. I've already sorted through the office and taken a load of stuff to the church's rummage sale. There's more to be done but not so much that I can't enjoy a quiet, simple moment here and there. 


Maybe I'm doing alright

So today I spent a couple of hours organizing a very untidy office. We just finished tax preparation (yuck, ick, strong dislike!) so it was time to box up last year's paperwork and prep the file cabinet for this year's bills, invoices and other merriment.

Miss K likes spending some time in the basement in a closet that has become a storage place for toys that are 'rotated' through the second floor bedrooms and the main floor play-zone. At some point I can't take the chaos anymore and bring toys to this nice basement 'toy closet'.

Today my organizing buddy found a doll pack-and-play bed and immediately headed back up the stairs to retrieve her Bitty Baby and a little blanket. Soon it was nap time and baby was rocked back and forth until she quietly nodded off. The mobile even turned and played a little lullaby.

I was struck as Miss K played by how she cared for her doll and sweetly talked with her. Saying, "good night", "love you" and gently tucking her into bed or picking her up. Made me think for a fleeting moment that perhaps I'm doing alright at this mothering thing. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of moments to doubt my abilities, but for my little 3 1/2 year old sweetheart to be kind to her dolly means she learned that somewhere. It may not all have been learned from watching me but today I'm going to take a little bit of credit and plod on.


Something fun to do

For several years now I've had the opportunity to travel to an occasional conference with Mr. M. Since he's working I usually have a day or two on my own. There is always a wonderful group of wives looking for things to do. However, when I get away on these rare trips I'm happy to spend a few hours on my own as well. I think I've mentioned it before but its bliss to have only yourself to get ready, sit peacefully and watch the Today show in bed, order room service or shop.

We found ourselves in Washington DC a couple of years ago. I had just received a new camera for Christmas and really didn't know how to use it. I found a few books but I need hands-on training to figure things out. So while getting ready for our trip I looked at the Washington, D.C Convention & Visitor's Bureau's website. I found a link to Washington Photo Safari and checked it out. It sounded perfect...a walking tour of our country's capitol, a lesson on how to take great pictures and a guide with much more experience than me who could help me figure things out. So I signed up!

Dave was great and the time flew by. There were only 2 others in our group so we were able to ask any questions we had. We also got lots of first-hand knowledge and trivia about the city that I may not have gotten otherwise. There is something about the perspective of a local resident.

Fast forward to this past winter. We were heading to Charleston, South Carolina. I always search for "City X photo tour" when we're heading to a new place. Sure enough, a lovely woman in Charleston was doing the same thing. So I signed up!

This time I recruited a friend and fellow farmer's wife to tag along. We ended up being the only two members of the tour that morning and had a BLAST learning about the history of Charleston.

The beautiful ironwork that has become a signature of Charleston.

The beautiful gardens.

And this beautiful, mossy tree that was so charming to me.

The moral of this story is simply to check out what is offered locally. I highly recommend these photo tours. You get great pictures that YOU took. A local resident shows you the city and tells you the 'insider' information.
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