Tea Swap Party

I was looking for photos for another post when I stumbled across these and realized I hadn't done a post on them yet! 

It all started about six weeks ago when I was running out of my favorite tea and asked for suggestions on Facebook. Some one suggested doing a "tea swap" with other ladies. Two of my friends jumped on board and together we put on a really fun event! 

Between the three of us we provided the food, decorations, and setting.  We held the event in one of the other lady's living room. She set up two card tables and has a gorgeous collection of Depression glass and linens we used to decorate. Three of us brought a few treats. The "tea" was at 3:00 pm so we kept the food light and didn't attempt to provide a whole meal (thought we basically did any ways). 

We asked each of the ladies attending to bring a box of their favorite tea and a mug/tea cup for a mug swap. For the swap we did a "dirty Santa" or "Yankee swap". We had such a fun collection of mugs from tea cups to travel mugs to great big mugs perfect for an early morning cup of tea. For the tea swap we each got one tea bag from every one else so we all came in with one kind of tea and left with seven new teas to try.

Over all it was such a fun way to spend an afternoon. The biggest burden was definitely on the lady hosting at her house as she did all the cleaning and decorating, but we pretty much threw it together in a week. We are already talking about our next one and this time I am thinking of some fun party favors for each the ladies to make it extra special.



Laying the Gound Work

I sat in the kitchen exhausted. The over head light broke weeks ago so I perched on a step stool in the semi darkness my head resting on my knees, my shoulder holding the phone to my ear.

 It had been a long day, a long month, a long year. With all the snow we had my kids hadn't (and still haven't) had a full school week since before Christmas. Josh was home and holding the baby, but still, there was only one person I really wanted to talk to. Mom.

 I can't really remember what we talked about. We caught up on the week I'm sure. I most likely shared stories about the girls. She filled me in on the goings on at my dads church.

I had spent all day working so hard to be loving at attentive to my children only to have it all go side ways at bed time and end with every one in tears. I am 29 years old and when that happens all I want is my mom.

I hung up the phone and started the dishes. Mulling over the peace that often comes from hearing my mother's voice. And it hit me. THAT is why I do everything I do. That's why I say yes to painting even when I know it will make a mess. That is why I bundle the kids up to play in the snow, knowing that they will be back in side in five minutes crying that it's cold (Go figure! Snow is COLD?!) That is why I answer the same question for the fifth time in a row and try to listen patiently to a 10 minute long story told by my four year old).

Because it's not just about now. It's about them at 16, and 18, and 29, and who they will turn to when they just need some one to listen. When they  need to know what to do next. When they need to hear that they are enough, that they are doing a great job, that it will get easier.

What I am doing now plays such a huge part in who they become, who I become, and who we are together in the future. It's hard... but it's worth it...

Happy Birthday... to the woman who taught me how to love...


A Glimps at the Good Stuff

I have been living in a state of exhaustion for such a long time it is starting to feel normal. The house is pretty much perpetual chaos, things are slipping through the cracks at an alarming rate, and I have pretty much stopped pretending that this is a temporary thing and pretty much come to accept that, for now, this is our new "normal".

One of the many things slipping through the crack is writing. I miss this place so much. But, Miss Tacy has hit the baby octopus stage and grabs at any and everything in her reach so using the lap top is a luxury. The past few times I have sat down to write my brain is in such a fog that I cannot think of half the words I want to use and sit there staring at the blinking cursor till I doze off.

But tonight I am powering through. Granted I'm running on the fumes of this afternoon's coffee and the sugar rush from this evening milk shake... but I think it's enough to get out what rolling around in my head. I would just wait... but I don't want to miss this... I don't want to forget....

Because tonight, for a few moments, the curtain of time pulled back and I got to catch a glimpse of the life we are building for our girls.

Saturdays shopping with the grandparents and playing out side in Grandpa's yard till fingernails are black and little girls are so tired they fall asleep on the way home.

Spring and summer evenings playing out side yelling across the street with the neighbor girl until she finally gets permission and skips across the road to jump in leaves and ride scooters up and down the drive way.

Aunt Emily coming from down stairs to bounce babies while dinner cooks.

Calling every one into dinner and sitting down at the table and not even thinking twice about the friend sitting at the table till dinner is almost done and you realize that no one thought to ASK if she could stay for dinner because it just feels so natural to have her.

Driving around with milk shakes on a Saturday night, listening to country music, reviewing the week we had and planning the week to come.

The littlest one pulling up on the bathtub and making faces while the biggest one is taking  a bath. The two of them laughing and babbling to each other while I scrub dirt off of bruised knees.

Washing the middle one's hair and both of us giggling uncontrollably at the funny hair sculptures we pile on her head.

Listening to Daddy read bed time stories on the living room floor.

"How do we do it?" I had asked him at dinner. "How do we make sure, when we look back on our lives, that we don't have a bunch of regrets?"

"Daddy, mommy was washing my hair and she started laughing, and then I started laughing, and we couldn't stop."


Things to Explore (Three Thing Thursday)

One of my sisters writes over at her beautiful blog Lists and Letters. I adore her writing style and she has recently started a weekly writing prompt. You can read about how the "three things" came to be over here. So with out further ado... my three things...

1. Books: Old favorites and new classics. Re-reading a favorite and the discovery of the yet to be read. Worlds real and imagined. Things past and things speculated to come. Fiction, fantasy, food. On the beach, head throbbing from the glare. In the car, feet stretched out on the dashboard. On the front porch, with a glass of cold lemonade. On the sofa, curled up with a favorite quilt and a pen and paper to take notes so I can find my way back to the same place. 

2. Down Town: The farmers market, the antique stores, the hodgepodge. Finding new foods to try. Discovering the perfect piece of some one's past to fit into my present. Learning, learning new things about our town and our family and who we all are and how it all fits together.

3. Fabric Stores: Wandering the aisle. Running fingers over everything from satin to burlap. Seeing not only the patterns and the textures but what they can become. Getting lost in my own imagination and listening to my own voice and heart.