Friday, September 4
Five For Friday:
We were invited by our friends Julia and Paul to a pool party a few weeks ago, and I was able to grab some colorful and splashy photos while I was there. Since this is Labor Day weekend, officially the "end of summer" in my book, I thought these photos would help it go out with a bang. Happy long weekend to all of you!
Posted by Emily S. at 10:03 PM
Monday, August 31
Fall 1995: There was never any question that I would go far far away for college. In my mind, it was always BYU, and though there was a brief season where my mom was convinced I'd shot those chances to hell with my slacking off in the grades dept., somehow, in spite of the Cs in Spanish my junior year, I managed to squeak into the college of my dreams. I wanted to be far, not because I didn't love my home and family, but because I felt bold and brave and itchingly ready to stretch my wings and fly on my own. I was exhilarated at the idea of a 30,000+ student college, almost 2,000 miles away. It helped that BYU was near extended family, and was filled with like-minded young, spiritual idealists. Seemed less scary, somehow, to share the vast newness with thousands of other un-edgy Mormon kids.
So I took the leap, and when my parents left me behind in my new apartment with 5 new, unknown BYU girls for roommates, and a fridge full of groceries they'd insisted I didn't have to reimburse them for, I was ready to fly. I wasn't even scared, really. I was so ready for the adventure of figuring it all out on my own. How to get to classes, how to begin making friends... How to dive into the BYU experience full-throttle.
And it was good. Really, it was. I loved being in an apartment versus a dorm. I loved my singles ward and loved having roommates. I loved my corner of my shared bedroom, a statement area that declared my leftover quirkiness from my high school years and my attachments to loved ones, as well as my devotion to my Savior and my faith. My sacred space, that corner of my bedroom.
But in addition to being really, really exciting-- really, really satisfying to begin to figure out how to be truly independent, it was also hard, of course. Isn't it for most of us? I'd come from being able to slide through school with not much extra effort to having to actually MAKE myself attend classes. I went from being the alpha sibling in a houseful of kids to having to learn how to be diplomatic and compromising in an apartment full of vastly different personalities. I missed my (ex)boyfriend. I missed my best friend. I didn't really know how to manage my money. I was far, far away from home.
And so my anthem that fall became "Nothing Else Matters", by Metallica. Before my senior year of high school, I'd never have imagined I'd even KNOW any Metallica songs. But my boyfriend my senior year had a deep love for their music. And he knew me well. Knew I'd probably never love the hard stuff they played. But their ballads.... oh, he knew they'd speak to my soul. So I fell in love with "Nothing Else Matters" that year, and when I went away to school, he put it on a cassette tape for me. It's funny how well he knew me, because as he handed the tape to me, and I expressed excitement at finally having my own copy of the song, he gave me a gentle warning-- "Be careful with this song. It's pretty potent. Don't overdo it."
But you know what? In the depths of the hardest moments of my freshman year at BYU, I overdosed on this song. Oh yes I did. I'd lay on the floor of my bedroom in the dark and play it over and over and over, hugging my whale pillow from Polly and letting the tears stream down. Letting it all out. Letting myself hurt and worry and grieve the things I'd not done well, the people I missed, the idealistic vision of how this whole thing was supposed to go. And Bruce was right: it WAS potent. But also healing. cathartic. A place to release my hard, confusing emotions during a new, strange, exciting, hard phase of my life.
Even now, I keep this song close-- and I've not outgrown its power. If I turn to it in the right moment of need, it can still fill my every bone and vein and give voice to my ache.... And help me let some of it go.
Posted by Emily S. at 11:59 PM
Saturday, August 29
For this week's Five for Friday--
Some last images of our summer.... Because even though we technically have a few more days of August, the start of school effectively nipped the summer vibe in the rear. I am really glad for the new routines and the fresh schedules.... But I also already miss the looseness and freedom and togetherness we had all summer. Anyone else?
We didn't do any major trips or things this summer, but I think we still managed to rock it. Between trips to Six Flags, Johnson's Shut Ins, swimming lessons, City Garden, Ballwin pool, time in Columbia, Mo, Grant's Farm, the zoo, the Science Center, using our own back yard for camping, fire pit fires, wading pool time, slip n slide, sponge bomb wars.... Metrolink adventuring, playgrounds, food trucks, the Meadow, the Magic House, Ballwin Days, lots and lots of Lego time, Monkey Joe's, the movies.... So many good memories this summer. So marvelous-- this particular season with my kids at these particular ages.
I'm excited for fall--- it is my absolute favorite time of year, and I almost ache with the anticipation of it all.... But these five photos give me a hefty dose of natsukashii, and it is joyful and sad and fleetingly lovely to look at them tonight... And I say a prayer of gratitude for all of it.
Posted by Emily S. at 12:26 AM
Tuesday, August 25
I've been getting a great Project Life habit going this summer, thanks to an amazing birthday gift from my bessie, where she provided basically everything needed to make Project Life happen. (If you have no idea what that is, stay tuned-- I have a Project Life post in the works this very week! All shall be explained!) The point is, one key component to keeping up on this weekly album is keeping up on sorting and prepping my phone photos to print for the project. So I've gotten into the groove of sitting and editing my phone photos for the week on Sunday evenings, trying to take care of ALL of them, even the ones that I won't need for the album. And so far, I've done a pretty good job keeping up! So this week, for fun, here is a roundup of the majority of the phone photos I took last week. Just the minutia and moments of everydayness... the moments that call to me to take the phone out and grab it in a photo for my own memories. Fun to see them all in one spot. Fun to have them off my phone and available for these sorts of things. Enjoy the randomness!
Schoolwork by Noah * Fresh haircut for Quinn * Working on Project Life on Mondays * Giving Quinn screen time while I clean my way-overdue bedroom
Shopping with my two tag-along yahoos * Lucy bedtime shots * Visiting the Museum of Transportation with our friends Annelies and Avi Meun
A shipment of shoes, indulging my obsession with Livie & Luca footwear for Lucy and Quinn. (Thanks, Carrie!) These will fit my kiddos for the next year or two, hopefully. * Q and I, keeping Noah company as he waits for the bus * August stitching is all done! * Playing at Longview Farm Park while I attend a Jamberry meeting
A beautiful evening, so we took a family walk to Oberweis for ice cream. * Noah bedtime shots * Cute kiddos on a sunny Friday morning
Heading off to Chicago on my own * a cute French patisserie and great conversation with my soul sister, Sam * Time with Steph and her family, including yummy food and a great family session at the Chicago Botanic Gardens
A second fun day in Chicago, with a lovely visit with Beth and her family and a session with them * a leisurely lunchtime stroll around Naperville, IL, where I happened upon a cute craft fair * Argentinian tapas for lunch * country roads to head home, and a visit with Anna
Posted by Emily S. at 10:42 PM
Friday, August 14
Back to school for my two older kiddos. Noah is off to second grade, and Lucy starts her second year in preschool, but in a new school. Five For Friday this week are photos from the morning of their first day, yesterday.
1. Sleepy Noah, saying goodbye to Old Mai.
2. Dappled morning light, waiting for the bus.
3., 4., 5. One hour later, these two are ready to get in the car for Lucy's preschool drop-off. Quinn insists on his backpack, and I'm not quite sure he knows he's not going to get to go, too.
Both had great first days, both came home tired. Quinn and I had a lovely morning just the two of us, sorting toys and playing. All in all, a good first day. I think it's going to be a good year!
Posted by Emily S. at 9:45 PM