Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oklahoma weather

"If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change." 
~Will Rogers

Oklahoma weather certainly does have a way of keeping us on our toes, especially in the Springtime.  So far in April we've gone from incredibly warm 80 degree days of shorts wearing suddenly stopped by below freezing temps and snow the next day.  And of course it wouldn't be a true Oklahoma Spring if there wasn't a tornado watch thrown right in the middle of that to keep things interesting.  Even I was impressed by the chaos that Mother Nature sent our way in less than 48 hours.  Well played.  Just a gentle reminder that Oklahoma weather is nothing if not predictably unpredictable.

Though after the weather and storms we all went through last year, I'm not sure we really needed a reminder.  We're all very well aware of what can happen when Spring storms start to roll in.  Understandably, a lot of people were on edge when these clouds started to roll in...  

Spring Storms 2

Spring Storms 5

Spring Storms 3

Spring Storms 1

Even still, when the storms start to roll in I often find myself drawn out towards the clouds.  I've always had a fascination with the weather, and severe weather is no exception.  It is a nearly magical and breathtaking experience to be out in the middle of nowhere and watch the clouds swirl and change around you.  The enormous and unyielding power of nature is something that everyone should take time to immerse themselves in somehow.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Three Sisters Festival

One of our favorite ways to usher in Spring is by participating in the annual Three Sisters Festival at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.  This year the girls were exceptionally excited since we have started to learn to speak Chickasaw.  They were more than ready to immerse themselves in our heritage and hopefully discover some new things along the way.   

Three Sisters 2

Three Sisters 23

Three Sisters 12

Three Sisters 11

Three Sisters 20

I always feel so at peace surrounded by all the history and beauty of this culture.  Immersing ourselves in the music and language of our ancestors is such an amazing experience, no matter how often it occurs.  Sharing the story of the Three Sisters and planting the garden is such an important part of Spring for us.  

A long time ago there were three sisters who lived together in a field. These sisters were quite different from one another in their size and way of dressing. The little sister was so young that she could only crawl at first, and she was dressed in green.

The second sister wore a bright yellow dress, and she had a way of running off by herself when the sun shone and the soft wind blew in her face.

The third was the eldest sister, standing always very straight and tall above the other sisters and trying to protect them. She wore a pale green shawl, and she had long, yellow hair that tossed about her head in the breeze.

There was one way the sisters were all alike, though. They loved each other dearly, and they always stayed together. This made them very strong.

One day a stranger came to the field of the Three Sisters - a Mohawk boy. He talked to the birds and other animals - this caught the attention of the three sisters.

Late that summer, the youngest and smallest sister disappeared. Her sisters were sad.

Again the Mohawk boy came to the field to gather reeds at the water's edge. The two sisters who were left watched his moccasin trail, and that night the second sister - the one in the yellow dress - disappeared as well.

Now the Elder Sister was the only one left.

She continued to stand tall in her field. When the Mohawk boy saw that she missed her sisters, he brought them all back together and they became stronger together, again.

Three Sisters 21

Three Sisters 22

Three Sisters 3

Three Sisters 7

This year the girls still remained on the sidelines and watched the dancing, but surprised us all by joining in on several other activities including spear throwing and a rather aggressive game of stick ball.   I think we may have found a new favorite outdoor game for our entire family.

Three Sisters 18

Three Sisters 17

Three Sisters 19

Friday, April 4, 2014

Winter Recap

Snowman 6

Snowman 8

Snowman 9

Snowman 5

Snowman 3

Snowman 1

Snow 10

Snow 11

Snow 12

Snow 8

Snow 28

Snow 24

As much as these two loved all the powdery white stuff that fell on us this Winter they are more than happy to welcome in the wonderful Spring weather we've been experiencing as of late.  With temperatures reaching over 80 degrees this week it's hard to believe that some of these pictures were taken not long ago.  Though I will happily admit to hoping that we don't see more of this type of weather for several more months.  At least. 

Monday, March 31, 2014


In the beginning hours of nighttime, when the house is finally quiet and settled and I put myself to bed as well, those are the moments in which my mind also settles from the noise of the day.  It is in those moments that my thoughts become just a bit more clear and I'm able to really think about the things around me.  Silenced are the phone calls, must do's, and demands of the day and I am finally alone with my thoughts and they are free to flow.

Once upon a time these were the moments I would pull myself out of bed and put pen to paper, letting my thoughts stream out, leading wherever they wished.  This is something my grandmother taught me years ago, when I would have trouble shutting out the constantly running dialogue running in my mind so I could finally drift off to sleep.

These days I find myself more and more hesitant to leave the warm comfort of my bed.  Whether it is simply the chilly weather or the near exhaustion stemming from our suddenly busier days, I just can't seem to remove myself from the warm comfort of my quilt in order to write anything.  And so I lie there, letting my thoughts run a silent narrative for only myself to hear.  Always vowing to remember and write them all out in the morning.

Of course morning comes and I find myself unable to recapture the thoughts that, just a few hours before, seemed so important and so necessary.  Lost in the busyness of breakfast and morning rituals, those words disappear with the rising sun.  Journal pages go unwritten, blog posts go unpublished, and heartfelt messages to dear friends and family go unsent.  Things I really cherish getting lost in the shuffle of life.

So today I am challenging myself to write something every day.  A letter to a family member recounting a favorite memory, a quick email to a friend letting them know I am thinking of them, or a quick line or two in my journal...anything that gets me putting thoughts down somewhere.  I'm including blog posts in this challenge as well.  Above all else this blog is a way to capture memories for our family, a record that we can look back on and remember the past through the words and pictures.  So, even if the posts consist of merely a few words scrawled below a group of pictures (or a lot of words above a seemingly unrelated photo), I want to have that record.  No more neglecting this space because I don't have the perfect words to say, something is nearly always better than nothing.

Journals 1

Friday, March 14, 2014

This Moment

. . . . . . . . . 

 {this moment} A Friday ritual, inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

 . . . . . . . . . .

  Girls 5

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to me...

I'm sitting here at the end of the day of my 30th birthday, and thinking about how I got to this point.  I do realize that in the grand scheme of life thirty isn't much at all, but for me, right now and in this moment, it is everything.

Am I where I thought I would be at thirty?  I'm not sure I can really answer that question.  I don't think I ever really looked forward to a specific age with a grand scheme of what my life would be at that very moment.  Sure, I had plans and dreams for my future but they were never really age specific.  Looking back now, I can't imagine imposing deadlines and unwavering plans onto life when it is really so unpredictable.  One of the greatest blessings in life can be that it is so easily changed with each new step you take.  The blessings are indeed within the journey.

What I can say is that, at times, when I stop and really think about things that it can seem just a bit surreal.  Here I am a (supposedly) responsible adult.  Responsible for not only myself but for two small humans, and their education, and a household, and a business, and...  The list of responsibilities certainly seems to drag on for quite a while, and while we're in the day to day goings on of it all, everything seems quite normal.

It is only when I stop and really think about it, that it sometimes catches me off guard.  It has really been an amazing and blessed journey that has brought me to this point in life.  I wouldn't trade any of the little moments that have built my path to exactly where I am right now, as this is exactly where I am meant to be.  When I woke this morning to the scampering of little feet and not so quiet whispers going on outside my bedroom door, I was immediately brought into the moment.  There was no wondering about the past, nor any pondering the unknown of the future, there was simply a moment to bask in the beauty of what my life is right now.

When I was finally allowed out of my room, I was met with two faces absolutely beaming with pride over all the hard work they had put into making Mama's birthday oh so special.  They had worked so hard together to create all the special things that they love to have on their very own birthdays.  Seeing how they had pulled together all those special touches that we use on their special days made my heart nearly burst.

  Mama Birthday 1

The birthday table set with all the favorite pretties and stories, not to mention the letter 'a' removed from Kait's name banner since Mama doesn't have a birthday banner of her own.  And dare I say, their favorite part of birthday mornings, a fairy bread breakfast complete with a dinosaur topper and a few remaining Valentine cookies.  These loves of mine, they certainly are good to me. 

Mama Birthday 2

If this wasn't where my past self thought I should end up, I was certainly on the wrong path.  This.  This is exactly where I am meant to be and I couldn't have asked for a more special birthday.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Explore New Adventures


Every year as we ring in the new year together as a family, we choose a word to define the year ahead.  A simple year to set the tone for the days ahead.  It's amazing the power that a simple word can have on your life.  Focusing on the good you want to come can change everything as you move forward.

We adopted this tradition years ago as a way to move away from the traditional resolutions that many make.  Resolutions are typically about things you want to change in your life, and often come with negative emotions and ultimately failures.   That certainly didn't sound like something we wanted to start our year with, and so a new tradition was born.

This year we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted to embrace in the new year, even if we had a bit of trouble settling on just one word.  We knew we wanted to jump headfirst into any adventures that 2014 might throw our way, and create quite a few of our own as well.  The girls thought we needed to add a bit more, and Explore was added to the mix.  Maybe a bit of longing for the exploring they love to do when the weather isn't quite as frigid as it has been this winter?  Or maybe a gentle nudge to finally hang the embroidery I was working on earlier this year?  Either way it was a perfect addition to our year, and our decor.

This year certainly brought some fun adventures so far in the way of snow fall, surprises, unexpected (but always welcome) houseguests, and the promise of more to come.  Considering we're only three weeks into the new year, we're anxious to see what other adventures come our way...

The designs came straight from Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.  This book has inspired so many projects around here, and there are still so many designs we haven't even tried yet.  I see them popping up in many other places this year, especially little girl dresses.  The lettering is, of course, from Sublime Stitching.  The Sublime Stitching website is what first got me hooked on embroidery, the fantastic patterns and how-to section sealed the deal for me.