Today was family adventure day. My idea was to head north and visit the towns of Bow and Mt. Vernon when in reality the towns I had in my mind were Edison (the town adjacent to Bow) and La Connor (a tourist town on the water). We soon realized Edison was the town we wanted to visit when we drove through Bow and there was nothing but a stop sign.
The only research I did was to stumble across this charming bakery cafe, Rosabella Garden. I had a plan that we’d stop by this cafe and enjoy a wonderful lunch while picnicking outside taking in the sunshine and their 50 acres. I thought this would be a wonderful way for the kids to start the adventure. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The place was far from charming. As my husband commented, ” it seems like a place right out of the movies”. The hosts were curt, they followed us around in fear of the kids causing damage, in fact they were stalking us. It wasn’t until I hustled the kids outside that I noticed the signs. So many signs with “no….”. There were over 10 signs that basically said “you are not welcome here, go away”.
So, what do you think happened while I was outside with the kids? They climbed and touched every item that had a “do not touch” sign on it. UGH! They were everywhere. At one time my husband came out and said “you really need to keep the children off of the things”. I later found out the mean people inside told him to say something to me. After my husband ate his mediocre pie he mentioned wanting to take the kids over to the garden for a peak. “Um, you can’t do that” I said. He didn’t see the “no trespassing” sign in front of the garden and then figured they wouldn’t do anything anyhow. WRONG, they came out and told him to get away and then proceeded to hover over us until we left.
This whole event seemed so surreal and I would a bit more irritated about it if it hadn’t been for the YELP reviews here. Looks like our experience is pretty common for this place and all I can say is thank goodness I didn’t have to use the restroom.
So, I have to admit, I did take a photo of the inside of this place. OOOPS
And, my favorite sign is this one. I find it funny because there is no reason that anyone would park here unless they were going to this cafe. This is smack in the middle of farm land.
So, if you find yourself wanting to visit this place remember to; leave your pets at home, do not touch anything, bring a bottle in case you have to pee and most of all don’t look like you are enjoying yourself. Frowns are welcome here.
These past 7 years have been a whirlwind of craziness. I got married, quit a career I had for over 20 years, had a child, became a stay at home mom and then had another child. What I didn’t realize at the time was how I gave up me. I put into my head that I had to be a specific way as a stay at home parent and what I didn’t realize was that in doing so I gave up me. Not just a part of me but all of me. I became someone else and struggled so hard to keep up this facade of this new person and as a result I have been living with stress, anxiety and depression. The realization came, quite suddenly, as I looked around my home. My home has always been a special place for me and these past years I’ve done nothing with it. While my husband works hard at keeping the yard and garden going (a tough job for just one person) I’ve just sat by watching him and doing nothing but trying to keep the house almost clean. Those special little details that I would create to make the house warm and inviting have gone. I don’t know where they went but they are gone and not replaced with anything new. I don’t even put flowers around my home anymore and I l-o-v-e to have fresh flowers in every room. Once I made this realization I lit up. I’ve started making my lists and am finding ways to add the personal touches back to my home, to my yard and to my family. And all of those things that I thought I needed to be when I became a parent? Well, I took most of them, the ones that are not me, and put them in the trash.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a special friend, today is her birthday. It is a funny feeling for me to feel excited for her on her birthday, hoping that the celebration on this day is as special as she is and that the warmth and kindness she gives to others is given back with her today. I say it is funny for me because we’ve not met.
I pour my heart and life out to her multiple times a week. If I am struggling she responds with compassion and empathy if I am embarking on something new she responds with encouragement. I’ve shared personal experiences I’ve not shared with anyone before and she listens with an open heart. She is a wonderfully unique person and look forward to the day we meet. I feel our lives were connected in some past life and am excited to have met her again.
So, my dear friend, I’m wishing you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Watching my son wander over to a group of artists, today, at the arboretum and then sit down to join them made me think of the school we visited last night.
My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in and learn about early childhood education which included the history of Kindergarten. Now I admit, I never knew what the history was and was so encouraged by what I heard. Kindergarten is german and means “child’s garden”. How beautiful right? Fredrich Froebel is the man who created Kindergarten and the name came from his childhood playing alone in the gardens around his home. His relationship with his aunt led him to encourage women as teachers and it was the teachers who were called “Kindergarteners”. It was his love and respect of nature that would remain with him throughout his adult life. His education led him to studying architecture and then teaching. After leaving his teaching post, he became a private tutor. The parents of the children he tutored offered Froebel a small patch of their property to use as a garden. The learning experiences with the children in the garden convinced Froebel that action and direct observation were the best ways to educate. Prior to his starting Kindergarten, children under 7 did not attend school.
Froebel’s kindergarten was designed to meet each child’s need
– physical activity
– the development of sensory awareness and physical dexterity
– creative expression
– exploration of ideas and concepts
– the pleasure of singing
– the experience of living among others
– satisfaction of the soul
Froebel’s school featured games, play, songs, stories, and crafts to stimulate imagination and develop physical and motor skills.
It is the influences of Frobel and also Maria Montessori and others that are a foundation and philosophy of the school we visited yesterday. Walking into the school I immediately noticed the art covering the walls, building blocks and mazes covering the floors, clay, books AND no where did I see a typical classroom set up. I immediately felt at home. I could feel how wonderful it must be for a child to experience pre-k through 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade here. I saw pictures of the kids skiing down the hills at the Snoqualmie pass (an outing), walking to the library, walking to the bakery, having class outside at the park and at the lake it made me feel like I wanted to be a kid again. This, this is the place I hope my kids will be able to attend. I want my kids to have a foundation of play, laughter, arts, and fun….this is what childhood is all about to me.
I stopped to pick up some supplies for a wedding I am photographing on Saturday and stumbled across this cool space, courtyard. It happened to be a project I worked on just before quitting my job to start a new life as a stay at home mom. This was a fun project to work on (design by GGN) and a great project to end with but all in all I was very, VERY, happy to leave my job. I was no longer happy in my job and longed for something new so felt that being a stay at home mom would offer me many new opportunities what I didn’t think about was the many new struggles that would come along too.
I had this wonderful dream of becoming a stay at home mom, bonding with my children, cooking with them, being crafty with them and all sorts of other wonderful things I see by moms on FB, blogs and other places. Aaah, blissful right? Maybe. I take photos hiking with my kids, hanging out with them at the lake and today was going to take a photo of them helping with cookies it’s what I DON”T post that tells the story, the real story. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children but let’s be real, it isn’t what you see in social media and you can’t predict what you will learn about yourself. Me? Well, I find that when I am feeling a little chaotic and out of control (hmm..every day life with kids) I want my house clean. It makes me feel a little in control and it feels good the crazy thing is there is no such thing as a clean house with 2 young children. I clean up one area and another gets dirty it is a never ending cycle. I also realize I yell. Now, I don’t want to yell it is just something about me that comes out. I want to be that calm, in control mom I see but nope, I’m the yeller. I am not that perfect parent I envisioned and the more I try to be that perfect parent the more stressed I become. I could compare myself all day to other moms and feel really bad about myself or I can, instead, look at all of those great qualities about me. I may not be the craftiest of moms, I may not be the calmest of moms, I am a mom that loves my kids and tells them that every day.
Life isn’t always bliss, if offers us struggles too and it is these struggles that provide us an opportunity to grow and learn. I wanted to share a bit about myself because I don’t want to send the message that life is perfect and, instead, want to share some of the struggles I’ve had because this is where I’ve learned so much about myself and I wouldn’t be having so many great things in my life if I didn’t. Now I cry a lot but I am finding even more things that make me smile and laugh.
Embarking on something new can be adventurous, exciting and down right scary. The adventure, the excitement seems so cool yet we focus on the scary. UGH, I hate it when that happens. Next thing I know I am running away from that adventure in the opposite direction. Life, it can be so complicated at times. So, I’ve started journaling about this craziness, in the morning, dumping all of those thoughts I have into my journal. This has been amazing. The thoughts stay in my journal, tucked away and secured with a heavy rubber band (don’t want those things to escape) instead of my carrying them with me throughout the day. Doing this I’ve started to overcome the fear that typically holds me back and have become more aware of my environment and the support that comes in just as I need it. The support is like open doors that lead me down a path in the direction my heart desires. Sometimes the support is difficult to see and if I were not for my journaling, I may never have recognized it. I read a blog post this morning; Building a Creative Fire. I’ve built a fire before and this would not immediately come to mind as an analogy to building my creative force but when I read it I could really relate to what was said in my own life. What struck me most is what I read in the first paragraph “On the other hand a good fire – and a good creative process – does not need obsessive attention, just a bit of awareness every so often.” One less thing for me to obsess over. Thank you!
This weekend I scouted the location of the wedding I am photographing on Saturday, my first. I gave up a career I had for 20 years to take on a new challenge in my life. With this new challenge I wanted a creative outlet. I chose photography. I dabbled in it at first, I took a few on line classes and I took an awesome classWD-40® FOR THE CREATIVE SOUL: HOW TO GET UNSTUCK. This was a bit of a turning point for me. I didn’t think of it as my getting “unstuck” it just started me down the road of thinking in a different way and taking pictures took on an excitement for me I had not yet experienced. The journey has been and still is incredible. I am excited to take the skills I’ve learned and use them along with my own creative expression as I photograph this beautiful wedding. These are a few photos from my scouting the site.
Reality check: I add this note to some of my posts due to my having suffered with Postpartum Mood Disorder. When I struggled with PPMD I felt that no one could relate to what I was experiencing and reading the experiences of other moms on the web was horrible. Their posts and statuses made me feel like I was alone so I felt that it is important for me to share a bit of reality, at times, in my posts. The journey to my getting to this point where I can photograph a wedding didn’t come easily, it came with struggles, tears, more struggles and tears and a lot of hard work and that is why this one experience is so rewarding to me.
Who knew that when I signed up for an online course I would meet a friend, not someone in passing, a true friend. We met in the the private FB group for the class and became fast friends. We corresponded first through FB and now by email and soon, I hope, by mail. She really inspires me through her life, her love of photography and her heart. When I write to her I feel as if I’ve known her a life time. When I see an email come in from her I get so excited. I feel like a young girl again getting a letter from my pen pal. I have the desire to run home, into my room and close my door so I can absorb what she has to say without interruption. We have recently started sharing photos with each other. A slice of life that isn’t so much about the technical side of the photo but instead something that comes from our heart. The photo represents a memory to us, a piece that shares a little story about who we are. We do this in our emails and I love it. These photos are an important part of our emails because, you see, we live in different countries and have never met.
I had a wonderful evening last night catching up with a few friends. It had been so long since I was able to kick back and hang with these ladies and found that time flew by. I am feeling the effects of my late night today but it was well worth it. Each of these ladies has something about them that truly inspires me and last night my conversation with Carol was just what I needed. She is an installation artist with incredible talent. I was fortunate enough to photograph part of her art installation at the South Park Transfer Station which you can see here. What you see is the steel grating from the torn down South Park Bridge. Very cool. She’s done a few projects around garbage and recycling and a favorite can be found here. As someone who is struggling entering the art world it is a benefit to have someone like Carol in my life to offer words of encouragement and advice.
So, although I received great advice and encouragement the evening in general was filled with great conversation, laughter and just plain fun.