Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Thoughts and Life Lately

I've been wanting to get on here and update this little blog for some time now, and woke up this Saturday morning, grabbed my coffee, and decided to do just that! Life isn't really all that crazy, but with another blog, writing for a local publication, and [trying] to get into freelance work, I rarely get to this special spot, my first ever blog, the place I realized I loved to write. Since most of you are long-distance family/friends, I thought a little update on life and some pictures would be fun!
Spring just may have finally arrived here in MT. It takes a good two months longer (or more...) to get here than it does down south, which always makes me a bit melancholy in March and April. I'm working very hard on being content in all things, and this includes where we live. Contentment with where I live is a struggle for me. I always want to be somewhere else. To be more specific, I always want to be somewhere warmer. And it really hits me in the springtime, when I'm desperate for the spring blooms that I remember of TN. Interstates lined with pink and purple trees, sweet smelling and strikingly beautiful. Parks overflowing with vibrant red and yellow tulips and golden, buttery daffodils. Green grass and parks bustling with joggers, walkers, families, moms with strollers, and elderly couples holding hands. Spring picnics and garden planting! I digress.
And so I am desperately searching out beauty right where I am. Yesterday I took a walk through the field behind our house with the girls and was happy to see if full of tiny yellow flowers (weeds, to be more specific, but still pretty!). The grass is slowly changing from yellowish brown to green, the lilacs have tiny buds, and the Meadowlarks are singing--a sure sign that warmer weather is soon arriving. The beauty is here; I just have to look harder than I did in the south.

Many people have asked about the house situation; it's actually a continual question without a concrete answer. Here's the scoop: We are half-heartedly house hunting, but not really. We were full force trying to buy for the last few months, but the housing market (from the buyers perspective) has gotten progressively worse, and simply put, it would be very unwise to buy a house in MT right now. What we could afford here wouldn't fit our family, much less guests or (potentially) more children, were we to have any more. Even if we did buy something small, we would most likely take a loss if/when we decided to sell. We even saw a news report saying that the housing market is at an all time high, making it nearly impossible for the middle class to buy a decent house.
And so, unless something just perfect and amazing comes along, we will continue to rent the farmhouse we currently live in. Though it's drafty and expensive to keep warm in the winter, we love it the rest of the year. It's spacious and has a fabulous space outside for the girls to run around and play and explore. Our landlord said Brad could build me some raised beds wherever we'd like, and even offered to help, so we will have gardens! I've missed out the last two summers due to moving/traveling, so I'm beyond excited to garden this summer!
Our family is well. This winter brought more sickness to Helena than I've ever seen, and was also the coldest, longest winter I've ever seen (the two go hand in hand I'm sure). I think we are in the safe zone, as far as colds and flu bugs are concerned...I hope!!!! We are healthy and getting outside and opening windows in the late afternoon when it has warmed up a bit. The girls have been taking their little sandbox buckets and going for 'nature walks' and collecting all sorts of things from the field. We had a woodpecker in a tree in our yard yesterday and that was so fun! I will be homeschooling them in the fall. Addison will officially be in Kindergarten, Lily in pre-K, and I'll have to find puzzles and little things to make Izzie feel like she's doing school too; she wouldn't have it any other way! She has to be right in the center of everything, and that includes school:) We're still doing some school work, but I've backed off from the schedule we began last fall. I had a realization that struck me rather hard, that life as I have known it for the past almost six years is going to change once Addison is in Kindergarten. Not in a bad way, but it will be a big change for all of us. I realized I could back off with the rigid structured school mornings; they are coming soon enough:)
We will be traveling to Seattle for Kate's graduation in the beginning of May, and then four weeks later to Corvallis for her wedding! Summer will kick off busy, but then we don't have any major travel plans for the remainder. We will try for another 'big trip' next summer. We're hoping to go south every other summer if at all possible...the perks of Brad being a teacher and having summers off!!
Well, I started this Saturday and now it's Tuesday afternoon and the girls are supposed to be napping, but just as I put them down, a cement truck came to do work nearby (like right outside their window), so I don't think there's much napping going on, and I'm going to curtail this, throw some recent pictures on here, and call it good!
Hope you are all well and enjoying spring wherever you are!
 They love taking their magnifying glasses and sketch books out to the field to explore
 Spring break in the Bitterroot, on a nature walk with Grammy (looking at a birds nest??)

 Saturday morning hiking date:)

 Yes, he dressed as a pseudo-leprechaun for St. Patty's Day
Well, this is what you get when you have three daughters!
 We've finally done away with bottles, but still fighting over the paci...she adores them both!

Her happy place:)

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