Happy birthday to my lovely, strong, amazing, curious, beautiful daughter, Colette Gaelle! She was definitely a surprise 2+ years ago…I had a difficult time after I discovered I was pregnant. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without her and I am so thankful that we are graced by her unique personality & determined spirit. It is really special to see her strong connection to her siblings, especially the bond she has with Frankie. I always wanted a sister and I am touched to see their love for one another.
autumn is in full swing and i haven’t posted a single thing since may! one of my great joys these past months has been working in the garden. back in the spring, i was lucky to enlist the help of my friend kyle (who is a great gardener and has a fearless approach) to get me motivated in the garden. our yard is pretty large, but was completely overgrown, wild and overwhelming. my friend sarah, her son and my eldest son helped all day to begin the transformation. we cut down trees, dug up stumps, hacked off branches and cleared the way for a new space!
kyle and ethan taking out branches left and right!
here is the garden space after we finished that day.
our driveway was overflowing with yard debris..
the next weekend, micah pulled out the garden boxes and rototilled the entire area. i worked on creating new garden beds and bordering them with old bricks we found in the yard.
next, we built a third garden box, dug out holes and laid all of them down diagonally.
we had dirt delivered and got 12 yards of wood chips for free! it took forever to wheelbarrow it all!!
finally, it was starting to take shape!
i had such a wonderful time planting seeds with all the kids. we planted a bean teepee, beets, mixed greens, snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, shishito peppers, kabocha, swiss chard, bok choy, hot peppers (for ethan’s hot sauce), japanese eggplant, herbs and a ton of colorful annuals. we bought some perennials too, but tried to get it as lush & colorful as possible without spending money. we were lucky to have great neighbors & friends give us veggie starts and perennials throughout the summer.
as the summer came to a close, the garden was truly magical. we had wonderful dinners with friends, read for hours on the hammock and the girls loved to play amongst the towering sunflowers & exuberant zinnias. can’t wait for next year!
it can be a struggle to focus on the positive, especially with a busy life & four children. at the end of the day, i am often overwhelmed by the plethora of dirty dishes, piles of laundry (clean & dirty both), the remnants of food that coco tossed on the floor, the clods of dirt trailed in by baseball cleats and the various complaints & tantrums. yet, there were many lovely moments today too..
clementines, lemons & daffodils
working on my t-shirt rug project
i absolutely love going to kruger’s farm on sauvie island. we often go in the summer months to wander about, pick (and eat) berries and languish under the giant old oak tree.
our annual trip in the fall to the pumpkin patch has become a tradition our entire family looks forward to. this year was coco’s first time. we rode the hayride out to the patch, picked out our favorite pumpkins, explored the giant corn maze, ate homemade corn dogs, wood fired pizza, roasted ears of corn and delicious caramel apples! micah and i enjoyed some pints by captured by porches too. we were ready for a thunderstorm at any moment, but it waited until later that night. all in all, it was a perfect family day, complete with wild flowers, live bluegrass and sunshine!
After a lazy morning, we went down to the river. It was really lovely…not crowded at all, as it can get later in the summer. I love the closed sun umbrellas poking out of the rocky beach…absent families claiming their river real estate.
Frankie had a wonderful time, although she was a bit tentative at first. She held on tight to her mini tube and would only sit in 4 inches of water.
Aidan & Gray spent most of the day exploring, searching for glass, swimming across to the little beach & laying in the sun.
Coco slept most of the day. When she finally woke up she was in a great mood! Sweet girl.
Sarah walked the kids over to Cousin Island. The boys found over 60 pieces of glass & Frankie discovered her wild island spirit.
My goodness, it’s been too long! A week after my last post, we had our baby. She arrived 3 weeks early and was 6#5oz. Her name is Colette Gaëlle and she is absolutely lovely. Here she is moments after birth.The surprise labor, fast c-section and subsequent recovery were challenging. I feel so grateful for such a wonderful circle of friends & family. And for Micah, who truly handled a difficult situation with grace. After 2 months, we are finally getting into a groove of sorts. The memory of hardship fades as we embrace our new family dynamic. It’s crazy, it’s loud, it never sleeps, but it’s beautiful.