Thursday
Aug302012

Spectrum of change

I don't know where the Spring went. Seriously, it's been a blur.

We got back from London in late March and folded back into our semi-suburban life while trying not to let go of the energy and cultural richness we absorbed from our urban winter abroad. 

In April, our return to the family rhythm was thrown off by a decision that would spell a big change for our family. 

We made an offer on a house around the corner.

We weren't really looking for a new house. But the much larger yard, extra bedroom, and potential space for moving our studio into the house (instead of a space we currently rent) seemed perfect. Initially, we were out-bid and mourned what could have been. But, a few weeks later, we were given another chance to place a bid after the initial buyers backed out. (Does that ever happen?) Still emotionally attached, we bid again, and our offer was accepted. Seemed it was meant to be.

We immediately went to work readying our house to put on the market. Since we had done a good job of de-cluttering and packing away many personal items in preparation for renting our house while we were in London, only painting and some minor staging was required. However, this process still managed to take six weeks or so. After all, we had two birthday parties to plan, end-of-the-school-year busyness to contend with and to top it all off, I was dealing with (and still am to a lesser degree) a post-viral mystery syndrome that kept me nauseated and slow. Fun, right?

Fastforward four months and much upheaval. (Showing a house every three to four days while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy with two young kids is not easy).

We have now closed on the new house, and hope to sell our current house soon. Even though this situation is not ideal, it will allow us to do some much needed work on the new house, while still living in the one we are tyring to sell.

Who wouldn't love this house? Presented with a rainbow of books for your consideration...

There is more change in this family than the eventual location shift around the block.

The youngest of us started kindergarten today. Yes, little O is officially in big-girl school.

I had a lump in my throat watching her play at the table in her new classroom at her new school this morning.

I was a little sad, but I am mostly in awe of (and could learn a lot from) this happy little person fully embracing this spectrum of change we are all facing.

Wednesday
Feb292012

London days

We have been having a brilliant time here in London. So much to see and do. For the first month, the kids and I visited museums, historical places, and a few parks and playgrounds. And since the kids started school earlier this month, I have been able to explore a bit on my own. 

We have gotten used to asking where the loo is instead of the restroom when we are away from our flat, saying football instead of soccer, plaster instead of band-aid, and jumper instead of sweater, but it all still feels a bit strange.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I have taken on our excursions:

 

We are going to Paris tomorrow for a long weekend, and then will be back in London for just a few weeks before we head home. Hard to believe our winter here is almost over. But with the temperatures rising and the days getting longer, it is starting to feel like Springtime should be here soon.

Sunday
Jan152012

The London adventure begins

Happy 2012!
We are in London!

I know, I know, I'm not sure I mentioned even the possibility of coming here before now, but everything happened so fast. My husband had an opportunity to teach at Central Saint Martins here in London for a term and we all jumped at the chance.

It was a bit crazy. Getting ready for Christmas is always crazy enough (nonstop shopping and cooking and wrapping and preparing and baking and trying to remember to take a breath or two along the way) even without also getting ready to move across the pond for three months. So, after allowing ourselves to actually breathe and relax for a day or two, we then... (deep breath) ... took down the tree, packed up Christmas, packed our suitcases, readied the house for our exit and the arrival of renters, and then flew here on the first of the year. Whew!

We are settling into our flat and getting to know the neighborhood, the Underground, and English as a foreign language:)
So far, we are loving it!

Here begins the London adventure.

Wednesday
Nov302011

Fresh holly wreath

As we were raking and bagging the mountains of leaves on our front lawn last weekend, we decided, on a whim (why not now?!) to prune our very overgrown holly bushes. In the now (almost exactly!) seven years we have lived in this house, we have only taken a clipper to these bushes a few times. And when we did, it was only to trim a few small springs of berried branches for our Christmas table. It was due for a real trim.

Now that we have a mountain of holly branches, why not make a wreath or two...

'Tis the season, after all.

Luckily, I already had a spool of some green floral wire (found in the kids beading box:)

After cutting some of the branches into manageable sizes, I also cut some small lengths of the wire with the same clippers, and was ready to start. 

Since I didn't have a wire form or foam substrate, I chose one of the longest branches and bent it into a large circle and secured it with the floral wire. Then I just started adding branches where they fit, following their slight natural curves.

And before I knew it, it was a wreath. 

I even had enough to make a smaller one for one of our glass doors inside...

With the green foliage and the red berries, I think they are beautiful as they are, but you could always add a ribbon or even evergreen sprigs. 

And if you don't happen to have a holly bush in your front yard that needs pruning, you could always make a felt version like I did last year. 

Happy wreathing!

 

Monday
Oct312011

Halloween bats

As I am still putting the finishing touches on the kids' halloween costumes this year, I thought I would show you the bats that are flying around and sleeping in our sun room:) Must give all the creative credit to my husband for designing, cutting (with some help from little hands), and hanging all of these creatures. 

Happy Halloween!