Sunday, July 15, 2018

happy birthday, afton!

our sweet afton is nine years old.

july eleventh, twenty eighteen.

whatever it is that makes up my afty bay is the most magical and delicate and closest thing to fairy dust around. 

afton is still most at home in the out-of-doors. scavenging through leaves and rocks. looking for little creatures. feeling the warm sunshine and the cool breeze. exploring. there is nothing she loves more than another living thing.

afton is a creator. she writes. she draws. she imagines. she plays. she has a singular intellect. a deeply poignant way of thinking. she notices the unnoticed and sees much of the allure and enchantment that passes the rest of us by. the world is much clearer, bolder, and brighter to afton. 

she loves tiny things. and warm things. and beautiful things. and sparkly things most of all.

afton is everyone's favorite sibling. she is that glue. that perfect playmate. the one the rest are drawn to.

she has the best laugh. almost like she's surprised by how much joy and happiness and fun can be felt at one moment in time.

afton is my orchid. what a delicate treasure it is to help her grow.

we love you, aton aton aton!
our bestest faerie sprite.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

back in the berries

as promised.

we brought home twenty-seven pounds of raspberries, celebrated our efforts with bryan's world-famous raspberry milkshakes, and spent three late-night hours whipping up thirty-four pints of jam with our fingers crossed that that much'll last us the year. 

the wheeler kids can tell you exactly what month we ran out of last season's jam. 

(hint: it was march, and they were not pleased.)

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

fruit filled fun

yesterday was the big kids' first time joining in for strawberry picking at harvold's.

not as glamorous as they thought it would be, but the promise of fresh pie kept everyone plugging along.

looking forward to returning triumphant next week for our true love: raspberries.

but first, pie!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

first camping trip of the season

mount rainier national park:
hoth up high!

and endor down low.

(that's a record three pics of caleb smiling, folks!)

happy camping season, all!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

sayonara school

first, fourth, fifth (and pre-k) next year.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

caleb's (belated) birthday post

my long-awaited, long-awinded ode to caleb wheeler:

two months ago, when we were here, caleb turned six.

he didn't much too much like that his birthday was during our spring break vacation and cited as problemo numero uno that he thusly didn't get to play video games on his special day--which is really all his little six-year-old-boy heart desires.

well, that and possessing the world's largest collection of star wars lego sets. he's had his eye on the death star for about a year now with a goal to amass the necessary $500 at a rate of $100 per year to finally purchase the prized possession at age ten. we'll see how that goes. all i can say for sure at this point is that he counts his money a lot.

which is another important thing to know about our caleb. he loves money. he hoards it. he counts it. he counts it again. he's definitely channeling uncle scrooge mcduck up in here, and holding cold hard cash in his hot little hands is one of caleb's most favorite things to do ever.

money matters is also a favorite topic of conversation. he wants to know how much money everything costs. he wants to know how much money everyone makes. he wants to know how much money he can make. he wants to know which career paths tend to yield the highest salaries. but mostly, he wants to know why bryan and i don't have $500 to buy him the death star.

a few more things caleb loves:

food. not a big sweets man, but if i told you how many sandwiches or pizza slices or crepes or bowls of fruit i've seen this kid pack away, jaws would drop. boy can EAT.

math. caleb's verbal commuication can be a little klunky and off-beat, so it's easy to erroneously dismiss him as perhaps less academically inclined than his more verbose counter parts. until you see the math. boy can MATH. he sees and interprets the world very numerically: from time to measurements to fractions to, you guessed it, money.

games. i know i mentioned video games previously, but caleb loves all kinds of board and card games. what he doesn't love is losing, which can be said of most children and even the adults we know, amiright?, though rare is the flower who hates it quite as much as caleb does. my unsubstantiated theory is that he plays games with such a huge part of his being that he feels very personally affronted and disparaged when he doesn't win. we're working on playing with just a titch less emotional investment.

caleb is very judicious in how he spends his mental energy. there are many things he has not yet chosen to master (a lot of them involving his shoes), but here's a quick list of some of caleb's current favorite games in which he can strategize and intuit around decently complicated sets of rules: castle panic, love letter, dragonwood, cover your assets, and kingdomino. boy can PLAY.

a few more things caleb is:

caleb is independent. he's not independent with a little "i," he's independent with a big "I." born believing he has everything he needs to win at life and with a special gumption (which has mothers like me clutching their pearls) that he's going to go out and do it already.

caleb is a brother. and i know you know what i mean. he's a poker. a prodder. a riler. wherever there is quiet playing or nice sit-stilling, he will surely swoop in to save the day from what might otherwise deteriorate into boring uneventfulness. he loves nothing more than to incite a little bit of chaos. jk! i mean a big bit of chaos.

caleb is a handsome devil. his nickname at home is not "handsome bob" for nothin'.

we love you, bob! you bring an energy and confidence to our family that i just can't imagine us thriving without. happiest of belated birthdays to you, sir!

wishing you blessings of happiness, health, strength, and maybe one day, the death star.

Monday, May 21, 2018

tis the season

summer dance recital, 2018
ballet and contemporary

Sunday, May 13, 2018

love note

Inside my lunch
to my surprise
a perfect heart-shaped
love note lies.

The outside says,
“Will you be mine?”
and, “Will you be
my valentine?”

I take it out
and wonder who
would want to tell me
“I love you.”

Perhaps a girl
who’s much too shy
to hand it to me
eye to eye.

Or maybe it
was sweetly penned
in private by
a secret friend

Who found my lunchbox
sitting by
and slid the note in
on the sly.

Oh, I’d be thrilled
if it were Jo,
the cute one in
the second row.

Or could it be
from Jennifer?
Has she found out
I’m sweet on her?

My mind’s abuzz,
my shoulders tense.
I need no more
of this suspense.

My stomach lurching
in my throat,
I open up
my little note.

Then wham! as if
it were a bomb,
inside it reads,
“I love you—Mom.”

"Lunchbox Love Note" by Kenn Nesbitt

Friday, May 11, 2018

the north shore

i'm sure many of you thought this day might never come, but we have finally made it to the end of our hawaiian vacation summation, en revue.


we'll end this party how we started it: at the beach.

welcome to waimea bay on the north shore. sadly, no cliff jumping for us this go round. 

waimea river drains into the ocean at the bay, and there is a quiet stream of water separated from the feisty ocean waves and surf breaks by a sand bank. this is where caleb and dallin mostly played. it's not the clear, beautiful blue ocean water, but the boys had a blast.

as much as they enjoyed getting knocked down by the big waves and dragged out to sea (legit. they LOVED that part), i loved it not-so-much, and the gentle stream was a much better situation for my little mama heart to handle.

a hui hou kākou, hawai'i!