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    Sunday Spark: Spring is Nearly Here!

    …And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the Daffodils.

    ~William Wordsworth (from the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud)

    (Our daffodils are starting to come up!)

     The sun was out today - fabulously bright and filling us with energy (and vitamin D)!  Though it’s only February, we’ve been blessed with beautiful weather in the 40’s & 50’s – and, if you believe the weather report, it is expected to continue over the next week!

    (Planting pansies - oh, the glorious cooperation!)

    Not being one to let a moment pass, we took advantage of the beauty of the day to get outside and enjoy the pre-Spring loveliness. The air was cool and crisp, scented with the rich earthiness of melting snow, and leant itself perfectly to spending our afternoon outside planting, digging, and climbing trees.

    (My daughter found her first earthworm of the season)

    We cleared out old leaves and sticks, potted some pansies, sprinkled organic fertilizer over our perennial beds and put down mulch. How I love getting back into the garden! Then, while I was watering, the children then dug holes in the mulch (Yay! Mud!) and climbed our little tree (thank you Mr. Flowering Dogwood for being so tolerant of little scrambling hands and feet). 

    (My son, enjoying his first tree-climb)

    I basked in the warmth of the sun, soaking up the energy of the earth and the thoroughly enjoying the squeals of pleasure of my children – so happy to be outside. 

    (Is there anything better than digging in the dirt?)

    It was a truly wonderful day. Here’s to a joyful week!   

    Posted: Feb 27 2011, 23:32 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Disconnecting, Reconnecting, and Finding Balance

    So… where have I been? The last five days had me disconnected – from the digital world… and reconnected – with my family.


    We took a family vacation to Bermuda over the long weekend. While there, I made the conscious decision to turn off (are you ready…?) my phone (gasp!) data plan (wow, yep) – so that I wasn’t able to tweet, check email, voicemail messages, or even text (yes. really. yikes.). Now… the first day, I admit, I was feeling some withdraw. But a couple days in, I found that I wasn’t really missing my digital appendage all that much.  And I definitely wasn’t missing the deadlines, schedules, and requirements of home. I'd tipped the balance, and was enjoying it.




    As hard as it was to disconnect, I found it that much more easy and lovely to reconnect with my kids and husband and just have fun.  We walked, explored, rode the bus, had picnic lunches, swam, played, and appreciated life at a (slightly) slower pace (okay, obviously, any vacation with young children isn’t slow-paced), without the pressures of schedules and without constantly checking for a new tweet, a new email, or thinking of a new post. I found – rather quickly – that I had more patience. I felt less disjointed and pulled in different directions. I appreciated the little things more. Of course, when you’re surrounded by scenes like this…

    …it’s difficult to do anything but be appreciative, grateful, and awed. You just don’t have the craving to return to the pseudo-bright digital world when the real world is so amazingly – and authentically shiny.  

    But now, we’re back. Kids are back in school, we’re back at the biz. In some ways it is refreshing to be back in a “normal” routine again, yet it is overwhelming at the same time. It’s so cold here in New Jersey; there is still snow on the ground and we’ve been inside. I already feel the pull of my re-connected phone luring me to fall back into the easy habit of quickly checking my email, twitter, facebook, blog posts in spare moments. I’ve already started back reading the blogs I missed while away, and my own blog ideas have begun swirling around in my head again. It’s already easier to disconnect from my children when they want to connect with their games, toys, and computer they haven’t seen all week and I want to straighten things up around the house, plan out my week, or think of all the things we need to get done. When you’re on vacation, you have no choice but to be present and enjoy the moment and being together. When you’re home, there are just so many distractions.


    It’s not all bad, the digital world. I appreciate my phone – the quick access to information, the hiding place when I need a moment to myself in the midst of kid-chaos, the immediate tantrum mollification of a giggling baby video. I appreciate my blog and my work where I can write and design. I appreciate my twitter & facebook “friends” (although, let the record show only two – count ‘em TWO – of my 4,000 or so digital friends/followers checked in to see why I hadn’t been updating... puts things into perspective), and my virtual world of blogs and websites. But being alone with my family, enjoying the beauty of nature, and the awesomeness of “us-ness”, the realness of us – THAT – I truly appreciate. Our time together helped me realize what is really important and that I need to work on finding a better balance.

    Posted: Feb 23 2011, 23:54 by kelly | Comments (13) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Family Time | Outdoors | Travel

    Wordless Wednesday: New York Toy Fair 2011

    On Sunday, we made our annual trip to the New York Toy Fair. We had a fabulous time meeting up with some of our current vendors, and looking for new puzzles, games, and stuffed animals for a few of our shops. Honestly, I look forward to this day for MONTHS - it’s like Christmas for adults (okay, maybe just me...) - and I don't even mind the tired feet. Here are a few highlights of our trip. Enjoy!

    The Entrance! There were guys riding pedal scooters around in circles ALL DAY. I suppose there are WORSE jobs to be had...

    Giant. Pink. Play Kitchen. This thing was MY HEIGHT.

    Oh, SMURFS! How I adored The Smurfs as a kid!

    Adam, Jack, and Me... Yarrrrrg!

    Just amazing. And, made of Legos, folks.


    For all you Angry Birds fans!

    Two old folks (Ad & Me) demonstrating how you lose balance as you age.


    Dexter Bobbleheads & ACTION FIGURES?! (yikes)


    Awesome Etsy seller. Aren't those cones are the CUTEST things?

    The SeriousShops.com Toy Fair '11 Crew! Dan, Adam, Spence, and little ol' Me in front of the "World's Largest Puzzle" - 36,000 pieces!!!


    Posted: Feb 15 2011, 22:52 by kelly | Comments (16) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Travel | Wordless Wednesday

    Sunday Spark

    Lately, my writing voice seems to have left me. So, in lieu of words, here are a few things of beauty. For all you amazing mothers, who try their best every day, may you (and I) find inspiration... 

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    A fabulous quote from Susan Sarandon (actress & mom of three)...

    I just want my kids to love who they are, have happy lives, and find something they want to do and make peace with that.

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    A gorgeous pastel of a mother nursing her baby. I adore how they are gazing at one another...


    Maternité, 1933. Mary Cassatt

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    A lovely poem about the autonomy of children…


    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


    ~Kahlil Gibran “On Children” from The Prophet

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    An inspiring blog written by homesteading mom, Taryn: Wooly Moss Roots...

    Taryn writes about farm life, natural health, soul food, and parenting in Oregon. Her photographs are beautiful, her writing is impassioned, she is filled with joy.   

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     A touching song by Cyndi Lauper: I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever (try not to cry)...


    Posted: Feb 12 2011, 18:44 by kelly | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |
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