We interrupt these travel posts (which are dragging on FOREVER and have entirely too many pictures) to pull my head out of the clouds and back to real life, here in the present. It’s so fun to re-live our summer Europe adventures through blogging about them. It’s a lot of work, but I do it in home that the posts will compel my kids to spend their computer time reading and remembering and weaving these experiences securely into the fabric of who they are. It’s got to be done and there are a few more to come. But I also want to live in the present. And life is whizzing by me so fast that I can barely grasp it! We’ve all settled into the school year, but it has been rough. It’s always a huge transition from our slow summer pace into the ticking clock pace of the school year. But this year has been particularly rough. Hazel’s back to school after her home school year (rough transition….11 is just hard), Peter is in pre-school for quite a few more hours than he was last year, Emmeline actually has homework, everyone is back into music lessons with band instruments piled on top and I am going through a little mini mid-life crisis (which I hope to blog about soon). So, it feels like quite an accomplishment to say we’ve settled into the year, it’s been quite a ride. The fall here this year has been spectacular. With these vibrant colors painting my days it’s hard not to feel grateful. It just feels so soothing on the eyes to be constantly beholding such loveliness. Fall is the time of year to live in Boston. March, not so much. We have been spending as much time as possible in the Fells reservation right by us. I love living so close to miles of woodland and reservoir with trails running around and across it. I’ve been trying to go for a long run there once a week. Something about those woods makes me feel alive, connected to God and clear headed. I’ve also been trying to get my kids into the woods once a week. It is a FIGHT to get them there. I have to coax and drag and urge and command and beg. But, once we are there everyone is happy. All the grudges and battles dissolve in the fresh air. The kids breath and their minds are set free. I swear their brains change in nature, they think differently, their imaginations are unlocked, they connect with each other and themselves. I’m not sure if the wild quells all the chaos that has been happening in our home, or if its just easier not to notice it with all the space and beauty surrounding us. A few shots from my runs in the Fells. Guys, this picture (below) is straight out of camera! the light really was like that. It blew me away. I think that’s one of the things I love about nature, it has the power to really quite literally take your breath away for a second. To take you out of what you thought possible into a new space of creation and transcendent beauty.
We’re trying (and mostly failing) to be more thankful this season. I’ve tried to get everyone to write in a gratitude journal. I’ve even dangled a movie and date night out there as a bribe for anyone who does it for the whole month, but I think it’s another of my failed parenting attempts. So many great intentions! I am doing it though, and it’s slowly changing my balance. Those few minutes each night, thinking about things that fill my life with goodness is transformative. I hope to help my children learn the magic in this.
We’ve been also trying to memorize a quote on the way to school each week. (Again, not doing a great job….in fact we’ve only really made it through one quote for the whole school year so far…...but it’s a good one)
So, to wrap up this super random post from the Shumway present I’d like to share some of the pictures from our annual back to school apple picking fest. In lieu of school pictures for years now I have been taking my kids up to our favorite orchard with their favorite books of the year to take some portraits. Here are our book and apple photos from 2015.
Hazel has been reading aloud to these two littler ones this year, I can hear her enthusiastic voice all the way downstairs and it makes me smile and smudges out some of the other tween stuff that’s been bugging me. This girl is really golden.
Ok, back to head in the clouds, heart in the past Europe posts. They’ll be done soon, I hope, cause I have a lot of pent up stuff to say here in this space. And because the present is pretty awesome when I stop to see it (and write it).