Swings and Unicorns

October seemed to tumble by rather hurriedly. The month was filled with … well, basically school. It feels REAL now. The spelling tests each week — one in English and another in French. Math homework. Just being a seven and a half year old seems more time-consuming. And interesting.

I am finding that we need more PLAY time. It’s hard when it’s 6:00p and I’m loaded down with three bags of groceries, a purse, and a work bag, walking from the garage to the house, and a certain someone is aimlessly wandering around the driveway pretending to be a blind zombie, and I snap, “I could use a little help here. Can you at the very least carry your own backpack?”

And she says reproachfully, “I just wanted to have a little fun, Mama.”

I consider how long my day is and recognize it must feel three times as long to her. Sit. Don’t talk. Don’t socialize. Focus on work, work, work. You can play later.

Three years ago, when we moved into The Park House, I decided I wanted More Yes in our lives. It’s easy to let More Yes slip away from you. There’s a million reasons why it happens. You have to be vigilant about regrouping and starting More Yes anew — because it may require you to change schedules or even create new ones, in order to gain that one-on-one time, which is the HEART of More Yes. It might mean starting bedtime earlier (yes, earlier!), quick dinners you didn’t cook, and figuring out how to make “homework” fun, so you can get to the good part of the day when your hearts are connecting.

November will be about more swing sets and doing things that make us laugh, like making sure we continue Tickle Time each night we’re together. Priorities!

Magical Unicorns

As for Halloween, there was a brief moment when she wanted to be a Devil, but the magical candy-cotton-color allure of unicorns prevailed. October went out on a high note with a class Halloween Party and divvying up candy loot with friends!

Catherine VandeVelde
Sweet Summer Ends

And, our sweet summer ends with a power nap.

Summer 2018 was filled with swimming at every. single. opportunity. The Lil Miss finally conquered diving boards and slides. She has a natural confidence in the water that is awesome!

2018 Summer Swimming 4.jpg
Catherine VandeVelde
And Second Grade Begins

I get the sense that this year, Second Grade, will be the beginning of "real" school -- the beginning of that turning towards peers, teachers, others ... and, in many respects, away from Mom and Dad, as the central players. 

I appreciate that she still wanted me to pick her up and hold her on this first day back.

Catherine VandeVelde
In the Garden: Daffodil

One of the more difficult denominations.
No artless formula of psalms, collect,
And-now-to-God-the-father; unrelenting ministry
Of the solo conscience. Mankind’s cheerless concerns
Can drop in here like friends

And yet the daffodils, she says

And yettishness: a state of mind.

O yes, of course the world is harsh
And suffering, O yes — and yet
This morning, as I walked along
And saw the daffodils, I thought —
And so forth, daffodilling on.

Easier not to meet each others’ eyes.

And yet, and yes, the daffodils
Making their point, in scurfy gardens,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Municipally distributed, like grit.
Wherever a bulb can lodge and multiply,
Long-legged, gape-mouthed, a yellow hop in air,
Daffodils are.
Homelessness, poverty,
Injustice, executions, arms trade, war
Are too.

The stillness isn’t easy with itself.

And yet, and yet.

Daffodil Ministry, U. A. Fanthorpe

The Invention of the Park House & #MoreYes

As much as any of us think we know what's going to happen, or how we plan a future, life doesn't follow our carefully crafted playbooks. 

The Park House came along when my playbook caught fire and went up in smoke. I was a broken-hearted thing, facing the need to begin again in another place both literally and emotionally. 

It was a minor miracle the day I unintentionally rounded the corner and saw the For Lease sign. God or the Universe really does drop a sign every once in a while. This was my proof. To me, the sign said "This is where you two belong right now."

The Park House is what was needed. The quiet and space to start healing although, at the time, I didn't think that would ever be possible. 

We call it our little treehouse, the Park House, just a block from the park, filled with light and lots of windows -- that we open every chance we get. 

It's a place where we think #MoreYes is a very good thing. More of laughing and cuddling and painting and crafting and eating froyo and watching dumb kids' movies and turning on the fireplace all the time and having vases and vases of flowers everywhere and being still so we can hear the neighborhood owl hoot hoot hooting at dusk.

Enjoy visiting Parkhouse Creative where we may share whatever takes our fancy in the realm of #MoreYes! xoxo

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

—Kaylin Haught, God Says Yes To Me