Happy days

Time and moments seem to be racing these days. And just when we start to settle in the axis shifts just enough to keeps us on our toes. A kind reminder to flow in and out of growth and change like cool running water...to be present in a moment and to move on to next without lingering too long. Where nothing is too precious but everything has meaning. I keep telling Matt that these are our happy days...and so, much of it has been spent with my camera down and my spirit lifted. I also got really addicted to this season on The Bachelorette. haha. Hmph.
Our summer babies turned another year older last month (3 and 11! ack!). Our shoulders are red from the sun and regular bedtime has become a story I hardly remember anymore. We're slowly packing for our week away at the ocean...my favorite way to send off the summer and get some rest before the school year begins. Phoebe talks daily about plans of finding seashells and somehow I think I've raised her right. 

Here's hoping this finds everyone well! As much as I've found a lot of peace with the space not blogging has given me...I've truly missed you all. I've got pictures from Phoebe's birthday and our fishing trip up north that I've been meaning to come and sit down here...fingers crossed this week.
 Love and love and happy summer to you!

When the cold wind blows

My favorite part of late winter...giving in to that deep stillness in the air and the forced slow down of time and energy. These seasons are a blessing--cold air and the rumblings of spring light up even the darkest corners of a hibernating mind. And like clockwork, it makes me want to tear down walls and paint all the things and stick a million donuts in my mouth all at the same time. Comfort and patience, scheming, being, doing.

Happy happy February, friends!

November clockwork

This time of year always seems to bring out a funny, pensive side of myself...taking stock of a year and feeling a sudden itch to learn French or finish that scarf I've been meaning to finish for 3 years now. It's my November clockwork...photo-finish ambitions for a year. But sometimes it's just the idea of a year's-end-dream that can drive me...inspire me. It gets channeled into a painting or the most boring part of an afternoon at home with the kids. (that thousandth episode of Barney is way more tolerable when your head is lost in thoughts of speaking fluent French while wearing a lumpy, misshapen homemade scarf of yours!) And it always, ALWAYS, ends up in a prematurely decorated Christmas house.

Is it possible to be altogether proud and completely embarrassed that I already have the house fully decorated for Christmas (tree excluded)? First house in the neighborhood! (Which is saying something, as we live on a street where some people never take their decorations down).

I blame it on that scarf...

smelling the roses

hi friends! sending love and love to you all. i've been spending some time with my family...finishing up work projects...and dreaming a bit. bee learned how to smell (and not eat) flowers last week...and there was just something so breathtakingly beautiful about it and her and those tiny little heavy breaths in. anyways, it made me realize in my own small way how an'ache i was for a genuine, authentic life...filled with smelling life's roses (and maybe sometime eating them too). little ones have a way of reminding us of that..

we're leaving for the ocean on friday. a week away with the loves of my life..time to paint...time to rest...time to collect way too many seashells. (while i'm away you can see peeks of our trip on instagram: @katiespencilbox)

p.s. the summer issue of anthology magazine is coming out and me and matt...our bobbins and our house are all featured inside. here is the trailer and bits from our photo shoot!

Issue No. 12 Trailer from Anthology Magazine on Vimeo.

do over

my goodness, the silence this week! some of it was spent with sweet and simple uninterrupted time with my family, while the rest was 7 days of stripey pajama pants and being on hold with mean insurance ladies...not all bad, but definitely nothing to write home about.

the truth is sometimes life has a way of sucking the air out of a week...and then a 7 month old comes in after that and refuses to go more than a hour and a half without nursing at night. and all that to say...i'm spent. but the beauty of a slow burn down is the preternatural ability to hold onto small hopes...relish in tiny victories...and cry like a big joyful crybaby at 5 in the morning after realizing you accidentally got 4 straight hours of sleep. it's the little things that keep us afloat, no?

so 3 cheers for bowlfuls of blueberries and paintings you could take with you into every room...3 cheers for stripey pajama pants and the afternoon sunshine and the way getting to be a mama to my max and bee makes it all worthwhile. 

and 3 cheers to a happy happy weekend, friends!
let's have a do over next week...

weeding and elbow grease

a bit of normalcy has finally headed back home and is settling in around here. newness is wearing and blending in with the old. it's a happy place to be.
max is home and crazy as ever...days are devoted to cleaning and laundry and i finally got back outside in my element...pulling weeds and digging in dirt. 
(something i haven't been able to do since being pregnant...3 cheers for a napping baby and being able to bend over again!)

it's amazing what a little weeding and elbow grease can do for a girl's sense of self...

signs of summer

summer is bursting at the seams...with our summer baby bee finally here...a garden full of tiny tomatoes... a vase of freshly cut purple weeds on the table because no other flower has survived the heat. max smells of forever sunscreen and pool and matt has developed a green thumb during his time off of work.

the days are running together in the best kind of way and even though we haven't done much with our summer yet, this has to be my most favorite one yet. things are simple...and happy.
if ever there were a time to own a hammock and a shade tree it would be now...

little thoughts and thank yous

 thank you, thank you, thank you from the very bottom of my heart for all of your love and support and congratulations! 
matt and i went out to dinner last night and spent most of it reading your comments and messages out loud and just smiling and staring at each other...amazed by what wonderful people we are surrounded by. each one of you are a gift to me...and we're so excited to take you along on this journey with us!
it's so funny to me that most of you were suspect! haha. i was planning on waiting a few more weeks to tell you all (until i knew baby was healthy and staying put) but he/she had other plans...and popped...really really popped...about 2 weeks ago. we had our first appointment last week and got to hear the heartbeat! all is well and as far as we know there is only one in there, but matt is still holding out hope for two. (he is a twin and they don't skip a generation in his family!)
it's been so long since i've done this...it all feels so new and a bit surreal. i'm definitely taking it one day...week...month at a time.
 having another baby has been a hope of mine for a while now...i just didn't realize how much so until i thought it was too late
i was sitting this morning, thinking about the beauty of my life from where i sit now...and remembering that decision to let go of hopes and dreams for a better reality. 
i had no idea at the time that God would take those hidden hopes, those desires and plans i once had for myself, and send them back my way...just packaged differently and lovelier than i had seen them or known them before.

and that's the beauty of life and growth...of letting go. 
if you're willing to, you don't really have to at all.

thankful thursday november

 it's a rarity to find someone that forces you to better. even rarer when they make you want to be better all on your own. 
and then you sit back in awe as life and opportunities and fine people and goodness abound and each tiny bit can be traced back directly to the day you met that one person that changed you.

i was thinking about that this morning.
i was thinking about my matt...and feeling so very thankful for the patience and space we're given in life to be better...to grow...to uproot and replant, even if it's slow and painful and we drag our feet a bit.
i'm thankful for the knowledge that even the smallest and simplest of lives deserve to be great...that we get to work on it every single day.
 and i'm oh so thankful for those catalyst people in my life that remind me everyday...

but my, oh my, how lucky that one of them is the guy i'm head over heels for!

if you're doing a thankful post this week, link it below in the comments so we can all read along! 

(photos by jenny haas.)

go build a song

happy friday, friends!
it's definitely been a collect some leaves, have warm tea, steal your boyfriend's shirt kind of day!

max is away this weekend and i'm hoping to steal matt away and take advantage of the sunshine...i've got to keep these fingers busy or i'll start sifting through christmas boxes in the basement.
i've got the fever.
i hope your weekend is a happy one!

a few things...

1. i've been the worst blogger this week. maybe for the past few, even! every deadline i have, professionally and personally, fell right on this week. ack! i'm a little bit overwhelmed...and my brain is nothing but swimmy. but really that's nothing a little tea and 5 "to-do" lists can't handle! hopefully i'll be able to catch back up here soon! until then...hello! i hope everyone is having a wonderful last week of september!

2. the paint by number mural i started in buddy's art studio is very very not so much finished. hmph! but thank you all so so much for the sweet comments on it. i will say max came home and was over the moon when he saw it. he wants to help me finish it now! i will have pictures very soon...but not too soon because...

3. i'm out of here for a whole week starting sunday! i'm jetting off with my amy and friend beth to los angelas for a girl's week away. we're staying with lovely friends and have absolutely no idea what we're going to get ourselves into. but i'm making us all autograph books just in case!
i haven't been on an airplane in almost 20 years. needless to say, i am beside myself excited and also a tad terrified...if only for having to take off my shoes at security. 
if anyone has any wonderful suggestions for things to do while we're in southern california or tried and true airplane tips, please chime in! this gal hasn't been further west than missouri. true story!
i was planning on having some guest posters lined up while i'm gone but i decided i'm going to bring you along with me instead! i'll be popping in here and there with, hopefully, funny "katie had a panic attack on the airplane" stories and lots of pictures of palm trees and sun.


seasons and fast food tears

happy first day of fall!
this is, like for most, my most favorite time of year...when ohio is her most beautiful and i feel the most settled. we've been celebrating around here with lots of warm drinks and caramel apples and hitting snooze on the alarm clock way more than we should. these are sleepy days.
i've spent the past couple of days away from the computer and spending some extra time with the boys. we sent matt away last night for a weekend business trip. and my max goes off this afternoon to be with his dad for a few days. i'm a woman left to her own devices...which is dangerous. i ended up, inexplicably, in tears after ordering lunch today when the boy at the window was so nice to me.  haha. it's going to be that kind of weekend.

have a happy one, friends! 
i'll be back tomorrow with a few projects i've been working on around the house.

thursday perspective

today was a breath of fresh air kind of thursday. where encouragement and gratitude meet up in agreement with the weather and decide to make even the most normal of everydays seem that much shinier. and it got me thinking about how much of the day falls back on perspective. how our lives, our jobs, our relationships, are what we make them. and how much we miss when we let others or circumstances or even our own negativity dictate our outlook.
anyways, today could have been a regular thursday...and in a lot of ways it was. but it was also messy bedhead hair with a new dress. finding a 2 year old piece of gum still stuck on the wall and deciding it's sentimental enough to leave and work into the vignette.
 it was extra puppy scratches despite extra puppy messes.
 mixing work with 20 minute coffee date pleasure for the 2nd time this week.
 it was skipping town (or grocery shopping) to go after-school exploring with my guy. and you can bet your bottom dollar when we happened upon the empty theater stage in the park that i twirled and pirouetted and curtsied while max lay face down stage left in embarrassment.
regardless, today was a lot of things. most importantly, it was a wave a hello, thank you kindly, to your shadow kind of day.
but only because that's the way we choose to see it.

indian summer

"these are the days when birds come back, a very few, a bird or two, to take a backward look.
these are the days when skies put on the old, old sophistries of June, --
a blue and gold mistake." - emily dickinson

oh goodness has it been hot here! i think september is all sorts of mixed up. today has been shade and water with dreams of pumpkin pie. 

i hope everyone has a happy weekend!


ack! i'm so sorry for the bits of silence yesterday and today.
it's been the busiest days around here. the kinds where i'm reminded of truths about myself that always seem to be the most forgetful kinds of truths. the ones that i need a refresher course on from time to time. like how i can't do it all. or at least, i can't do it all the way i'd like for it to be done. and sometimes, priorities need to be adjusted. it's hard to remember that the perfect mama, homemaker, career gal/blogger, daughter, sister, friend doesn't exist. i can be the coolest mama and still be the worst/ messiest/ most disorganized housekeeper in the world (which i totally am)...have a schedule full of projects and clients and still forget to call home to my parents for days on end.
the important trick is learning how to laugh off  "dropped pins" just as much as learning how to juggle them. to surround yourself with understanding folks that know your heart. to pick up slack by letting go of other ends.
it's also learning to see when your greatest strengths overextended become your greatest weakness (something matt has taught me)
so yesterday was spent recharging and refocusing.. 
and it was spent cleaning the kitchen.
and even though i'll most likely always be a little frazzled and messy and disorganized, i was reminded of another truth about myself: scrubbing cabinets can be therapy. and sometimes a clean house can make you feel like the coolest mama in the world.