It’s beginning to feel a lot like spring around here. As much as I think that I’ve enjoyed living places with 4 seasons, I’ll admit that I’ve also been enjoying living in a place where tank tops and dresses are possible during late February/early March. It’s been especially welcome since we’re living in such a small space – any warm day, we do what we can to get outside and go for walks.
Sometimes we roam through the woods, but mostly we get our two miles in, walking to the gate and back. It’s a little wild to have a front pasture instead of a front yard. Though being out in the country feels exhausting at times (like when every errand takes at least an hour just driving to town and back), I really enjoy the peacefulness when we want to get out and go for a walk. No cars to worry about or crowded hiking trails like we experienced around Fort Collins.
We had what felt like two weeks straight of rain, and spring decided to show up. There are bits of green poking up through the underbrush in the woods and even some along the drive in the field. A precocious iris bloomed yesterday,
and the pear tree is an explosion of flowers.
We’re even starting to see touches of purple here and there – really all over around the house because every one of Chris’ dad’s massive rosemary bushes are in full bloom. We have lots of very happy bees.
It’s almost enough to make us forget that all our friends are buried knee-deep in snow or icy seawater. If only I could send warmth your way, I would.
March means two celebrations in our house. First, Nora’s half birthday, today, then my birthday on the 19th. I don’t have a cupcake pan in the travel trailer, so we cheated a little on our tradition and stopped by a cupcake shop on the way home from school.
Six cupcakes later (four just didn’t seem like enough) we were ready to sing Nora into the second half of her eighth year.
I think it’s finally setting in that she’s as big as she is. For a long time, I would look at her in complete denial, wondering where the time went and how could she be really be 4 or 5 or 6. These days, I look at her and though I do still see the sweet baby that she was, I also look forward with excitement to the young lady she’s becoming. I won’t write too much about who she is 8.5 – I’ve long since stopped sharing her birthday videos with the world – that’s her story to tell. But I will say that I’m incredibly in love with this big girl and so grateful to have her in our family. She’s going to do wonderful things in the world, I can feel it.
Every year for their half birthdays, I give the girls two books. I love choosing the books – trying to find the perfect two for each girl’s age, interests, and personality – and choosing only two – is a fun challenge. Once Nora was able to read, I started choosing one book for her to read on her own and one book that we would read together. I try my best to read to (or with) each girl every day, and I’m hoping it’s something they’ll enjoy doing together until they go to college.
This year, Nora’s “read alone” book is A Wrinkle in Time, a story I’m sure most all of you have heard of, given it’s just been made into a big blockbuster movie. Nora loves fantasy and sci-fi, and I thought that something with a strong, smart female protagonist would be perfect.
Our “read together” book is a nod to her age and growing up: The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls. This is a book I had as a girl, though likely a different edition, and I hope it will be a great conversation starter for many topics related to growing up. We’ve already had many discussions about the facts of life (and of course Nora watched both her sisters being born), but I hope to have lots and lots of conversations related to bodies and health, relationships, and more repeatedly as the girls age. I figure the more opportunities I give them to ask questions and have open, honest discussion, the better.
Alright, who am I kidding…I’m sitting here thinking about my first baby growing up, and it does seem a little fast. So, for old time’s sake, here’s a picture of sweet Nora at 8 months old:
Oh. My. Love. Her chubby little cheeks still make my insides go to mush.