• The Balcony

    Friday, July 24, 2015

    I thought of taking a nap during this unusually tranquil afternoon, five of my half-dozen rambunctious lovelies are napping, with the wee one’s early nap lingering right into the others afternoon quiet time, remarkably they have all slip away to the peaceful land of nod, 
    while the oldest is far away on what seems to be some thrilling adventure amongst the pages of her latest novel. 
    This quiet is stunning!
     I experience it so rarely at this hour, I could not waste its pristine solitude on sleep. 
    Here I sit with a brimming cup of steamy hot organic, dark roasted hazelnut coffee, 
    cello music softly filling the silence and a blank page of endless possibilities. 
    I should write about something thoughtful or meaningful yet instead I will add to my slowly growing collection of house pictures. 

    In Texas there is something that nearly every house has, which still seems remarkable to this simple-country-girl, and ever so dramatic!
    My Mom calls it Sound-of-music meets Gone-with-the-Wind.
    Our musical children say the acoustics are best from its lofty station and many a concert has thus been performed. 
    It is a balcony over looking the front entrance on one side and the living room on the other. 

    A balcony, in this very house! 

    Linking our girls room. I was at loss as to how to use this space, other then performing arts that is. 
    There was a desk tucked into the space and so we made it into a crafting area for the tidy ladies of the home and have successfully maintained a 
    No Male Usage
    rule for nearly a year. 
    Unbelievably, it has been a brilliant and constant use of space. 
    With one of our girls almost always crafting away in the balcony! 



    Florence Marigold Garden

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    My weekend is slipping in, effortlessly amidst this days heat, kids are sprawled about with books under fans, I would send them into the water but a few are coughing and germs spread quick among my half-dozen lovelies. 
    When these slowed days come, I always read. Its my way, always has been. 
    And sometimes a story sweeps me away, I am altered by its very meaning, the course of its words. 
    One such captured my heart, brought my very breath right down to a hush, 
    on a slow day in years past, an unraveling story of a stunning soul, young 
    Florence Marigold  
    its author her brave Mother Michaela, the gifted curator of words.
     She invites us in through her blog, to journey life and death, passionately loving, exquisitely humbling. 
    And if you may steal away from your own busy to read and be moved as I have, the live of her story can be found at. 

    When you do you will understand this letter and pictures of our own
    Florence Marigold Garden.
    My humble tribute to a wee girl and her family who has faced the brittle fear of loss, so transparently, it has altered the very essence of my Mothering.

     Dear Michaela, Jay and baby Teddy, 

    I have wondered a hundred times over as to how to appropriately open this letter and for weeks no meaningful enough word of comfort has come, only a bare empty page has stared back at me after countless attempts. But today I am determined, very feebly to write you, and with deep humbleness express my gratitude towards your sweet Florence. 

    I am a young Mother, somewhat shakily finding my way through the days of mothering six little wonders. Often overwhelmed by the necessity of each ones cares and needs, beautifully altered by the weight of each soul  and the treasures that lie deep within. The simple logistics of my days can pummel my enthusiasm towards mothering. Yet over the years I have had a few stunning mentors who have revealed the honest of every breath, staying put in each ounce of joy and living with the intention of beauty. 

    Florence and your families journey has been one such teacher and has powerfully shaped the way I live and mother. The way I tuck each one of my children into my heart and gather them in arms, the way I slow our days, richly seeping in the years of childhood, oh how I hang on to these moments of health and innocence with reverent gratitude. 
    You have artistically revealed your story and captivating beauty of Florence’s bravery and each of your families stunning spirits have altered the way I treasure life, live it, and teach it to my children. 
    Over the last weeks, I have held my children longer, looked into their eyes and valued them humbler, deeper, I have burrowed my kisses into their cheeks more frequently savouring each of their tears and lingered in their laughter. In those moments, when life is rich, Florence’s memory is with me, giving me permission not to hurry away from the richness of now. 

     These last days of Mothering is deeply intwined in the depth of her memory and the weight of your loss.  In so many ways your daughter’s few and frail years has filled mine with lessons I will treasure for a lifetime. I know, know, that because she lived and you lost, my life will be more abundantly treasured. 

    When I heard of marigold gardens blooming globally, I knew we would plant one, 
    our own 
    Florence Marigold Garden
    Because if one of my little souls slipped away to soon, I would need desperately to know that others remembered and that my child’s life continued to bless and effect others. In the days after this year’s mother-day I finally found a gift that would be fitting, that my three girlies and I would pick out marigolds, find some earthy spot and plant an abundance of rich-hued yellows and golds. Hand in hand under the hot Texas heat we gathered and purchased the finest, fullest plants. Searched our property for a spot to honour little Florence, it was our girls who came with the idea to plant them all-around their playhouse, so they could tend attentively to our 
    Florence Marigold Garden
    As we embedded the roots firmly into the earth, we prayed for you and your family, we thanked God for Florence and her sweet spirit and looked forward to a time after earth we would meet her, I vision heaven as a place we will Mother together and watch our girls play together. 

    Daily that garden blooms and pours out joy, magnificently hemming the little play house that brims with the giggles, imaginations and play of my daughters. Florence is with them, spilling her blooming fragrance. The butterflies are attracted to that spot, they come for nourishment and rest, it is significantly fitting, touches each of us, like a sermon of hope, knowing that God is giving us a taste of Florence’s spirit, even far from Canada and deep into the south. 

    I pray these words in some small way envelope your grief and allow you to be assured you are not alone. That your sweet daughter has blessed abundantly, daily and for as long as I mother she will be held closely in my heart urging me to live more beautifully  in her memory. 

    All my love 

    The Girls Wing {Davina & Amaris's Room}

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    This morning, after dropping off half-my-half-dozen kids at day camp, with a quieter house and only half the mouths to feed. 
    I found myself  with a few unspoken for minutes, a rare and thrilling moment of free time! 
    Well you ask, what did I do with it?  
    Tidied up the girlies room... 
    It was pure uninterrupted luxury! 

    I even got some pictures!
    Though only a few imperfect, out-of-focus ones!
    But hey rather imperfect then never! 

    Welcome to Davina & Amaris’s room.
     It is one of the two rooms in the 
    Girl's Wing
    which is up the main stair case. 
    Marion has the other room. 
    Both rooms are located at the top level of the house built into the eves and gables giving the room character and quaint dimensions. 

    When we bought the house this room was lovely to begin, with huge windows and lots of natural light, it just needed a slight infusion of sweetness; seeing as two lovely and sweet girls were going to be sharing it. 
    We painted the walls, put in hardwood floors and switched the brass hardware i.e. lights, nobs, doorhandles for brushed copper and white. 
    Those few changes brightened this room remarkably and added a whole new depth of character. 
    We were able to see a darling room come into existence. 

    In each of our children's room we have written out, framed and hung their ‘blessing’
     {chosen for them from the Bible}
    on the wall. 
    This little corner has both Davina and Amaris’s, which we pray/speak over them every night during tuck-in time. 

    It is a beautiful personal touch. 

    Each room in the Girl’s Wing came with a sweet little bathroom built into the gables. 
    We put Amaris and Davina in this room because it’s bathroom has a tub and the other has a shower {which Marion wanted!} 

    Little Birthday Kitchen

    This last week we celebrated Amaris’s third birthday. 
    We gave her this kitchen. 
    Mama had much joy in putting together this little corner of play 
    for my sweet darling!

    In the pictures bellow you can see we had already removed the carpet {which was brown} just by taking out the carpets the room was improved.  
    All it still needed was a coat of paint and some updated hardware and it was complete!

    Thank you for sharing letting me share my sweet lovelies room!