The Family

The Family

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Walk And A Game And Some Patience Please

One of the great things about living in a university town is all there is to do!

Another great thing is the emphasis placed on conservation. One of my son's favorite places to go is our local nature preserve. There are numerous forest trails that even the smallest kids can enjoy and special programs held year round. We went out today hoping to join the nature walk, but overcast skies kept most people away. We decided to stay and walk some of the trails on our own, something we'd never done before. If you are hoping to hear of a peaceful walk through the woods where all we did was enjoy the beautiful sounds of nature, you will be disappointed. You see, I'm not all that comfortable with being alone in the great outdoors. Blame it on all those scary movies we used to watch at slumber parties growing up (my dad always said they would warp my mind). I feel somewhat creepy and eerily isolated when it's just me and two small children in the woods alone. Add to that a four-year-old asking over and over and over again to get to the waterfall trail that I had no idea how to find and a teething baby ready to be nursed, well it was much more nerve-wracking than peaceful. How I long for patience. I seek it. I pray for it. I yearn for it. Yet it often eludes me. Today was another day I lost that battle.

Fast forward two hours and things had calmed down a bit for us to enjoy a baseball game. Yet another great thing about a university town: the sports! We live in college football country, and I wouldn't want it any other way. But there are so many other sports to enjoy as well. The baseball games are affordable and with the weather being this pleasant, it was a nice night to watch a game. We actually bought season tickets this year and are hoping to enjoy quite a few afternoons and evenings at the ballpark.

I love being able to go places around town with my kids. But, as any parent knows, it's not always a walk in the park.

Monday, February 27, 2012

To Narnia and Beyond

Even though reading aloud is one of my favorite things we do in our home, I often wonder if anyone is actually listening. Seeing that I have a rowdy four-year-old son that can't sit still or be quiet for more than a few minutes at a time and a 6-month-old daughter that only wants to eat the pages I hold in my hand, it's not the most ideal environment for a serious reader. However, I keep at it day after day because I love reading words aloud.

Where Have We Traveled in our Readings Lately?

We've been to Narnia once or twice. We finished reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe last week. We picked up the second book in the set, Prince Caspian, at our local library last Friday. It's a lot of fun traveling into the world and characters of this C.S. Lewis classic children's tale.

Late at night when the children have gone to bed, I've ventured back to Camelot. Not King Arthur's court; rather John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy's version of Camelot. I've been reading/listening to Jackie Kennedy's seven conversations about her life with the President, their time in the White House and her thoughts on any and everyone in JFK's life during those years. She only gave three interviews after her husband died. This is one of those interviews. These recordings have been sealed since 1964, when she talked to Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. a few short months after her husband's death. I find them absolutely fascinating. Only a few people would know about or remember my obsession with the Kennedy family. (In the 8th grade we had to make out a last will and testament for a history project. While most of the girls were picking boys in our school for their husbands in their will, I decided John F. Kennedy Jr. would be mine.) I've found reading the chapter of the conversation before listening to the cd portion of the conversation is most helpful. The book contains a lot of footnotes that help explain more about the people Jackie Kennedy mentions. I love listening to her voice and her stories about the closeness of the three living Kennedy brothers at the time (Jack, Bobby and Teddy).

Lastly, I've been roaming the countryside in England in the early 1900s. This has nothing to do with reading, though. This is all about the award-winning show Downton Abbey. I read several reviews of this PBS show and knew it was one I had to watch. Seeing as I have two kids and don't actually get to sit down at a set time to watch a TV show, I bought seasons one and two off Amazon and watched them at night after the kids went to bed. Mary and Violet (the great Maggie Smith plays this wonderful old broad) are my favorite characters. Violet delivers the best lines on televsion, while Mary's self-inflicted wounds make her the most lovable. All the other characters besides those two I fall in and out of love with. I went from feeling sorry for Bates to loathing his self-righteousness, hating O'Brien for her despicable deeds to being able to see past that as she begins to soften, and falling in love with the annoying Mrs. Patmore and her sidekick Daisy. I could go on and on. If you can find the time, maybe somewhere in the middle of the night as I did, this show is worth every minute!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Starting this Blog

I'm new to the blogging world - in a sense. I follow several blogs (Angie at Bring the Rain, Erin who is Home with the Boys, Lisa Jo who offers the most beautiful prose as the Gypsy Mama and Hip Homeschool Moms because I need and want the advice those wonderful women offer). But to write my own blog, that's something I've been debating. I can't imagine anyone will read these posts because I haven't told anyone I have a blog. I'm too timid to link it to my facebook page because I'm afraid no one will care. I don't have a twitter account, but am thinking about creating one to link this page through it. I read a great article in The New Yorker this week that said Twitter was the antithesis of facebook in that Facebook is to be social with those you know while Twitter is to communicate with those you don't know. Something about that just seems safer when it comes to expressing my feelings through a blog.

To be honest, it's more about writing rather than being read. I have been yearning to get these words out for so long. I have a background in journalism, but haven't written anything substantial in about 10 years. Like most people that have children, your interests and desires get put on hold for a while. Actually, I shouldn't blame the kiddos. I quit writing long before they were born and have missed it sorely.

However, with this blog, I hope some of that changes. I decided I want this space to be about three things I dearly love: my family of four, the written word and travel. Some days, more than others, this blog will be about traveling near home. When we do take trips, and we try to do this often, I hope to share our time and adventures with you!