March 25, 2010

smells like beautiful

A couple weeks ago, the very fist daffodil of the Season bloomed.

It was right outside the window where I teach and it made me smile every time I walked into my building. Maybe it was a little bit confused, maybe it was a little bit early, but it made me so happy.

Always trying to develop the student's artwork around their work in the classroom and their surroundings, we began working on a Spring collage of a daffodil. It was with a group of students, 5-7 years old, all of whom are the greatest audience members with the most tender hearts. We walked outside to where the first daffodil had bloomed, which now had a handful of neighbors. We studied the shapes of the blossoms, of the leaves, of the stem--breaking the flower down into shapes like "a square with round corners" and "a triangle mixed with a circle." I asked if we should cut just one flower to bring inside with us to study and after a brief hesitation, they all said "yes." One of the oldest children suggested that we should cut the daffodil that bloomed first since it would probably be the first one to wither away; we didn't want to cut one that had just recently bloomed since it still had so much promise.

We brought the flower inside, sat around in a circle, and talked about how we could gently study the flower. I passed it to the first student, a 5-year-old little girl, who picked it up from my palm like it was the tiniest baby bird. She lifted it to her nose and took a massive sniff. "Mmmm, what does it smell like?" I asked.

With closed eyes she said, "It smells like beautiful."

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Our backyard, smelling like beautiful.

March 21, 2010

happy birthday sweetest sister

Birthdays, birthdays, March is full of birthdays.

Today is my one-and-only sister's birthday.

She's the best. Having a sister like Jordan makes me a better person; she teaches me to love better, judge less and laugh more. She is stunning, inside and out. Oh, and she can pull off any shade of hair you can imagine--the perks of being beautiful and a hair stylist.

To your twenty-fourth year: May it be blessed with health and love, my sweet sister.

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Byers Wedding. 2008. Oh So Southern Blonde Locks.

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Jordan and the precious Tony Jones. Brightened Brunette Locks.

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Petaja Wedding. 2008. Warming Red Locks.

March 20, 2010

happy birthday mother nature

Today is my mom's birthday.

She is abundantly generous, beautiful, faithful, kind, thoughtful, gracious, welcoming, tender and loving beyond belief.

This is to you, my friend and mom, Mrs. Hughes:
To another year of learning and growing, full of blessings, health and love.

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My folks, driving away from their wedding. 1978.

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The Petaja wedding. 2008.

March 6, 2010

springs a comin'

The weather around these parts has finally turned around for the better and it makes me want to swing slowly on our front porch, sipping Arnold Palmers with good company.

I've been throwing around the idea of draping gauzy curtains on our front porch since we moved in, and if the idea of it didn't sell me, these pictures sure did. Cut me out and paste me in any one of these porches.

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Image via Traditional Home

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Image via Country Living

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Image via My Home Ideas

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Image via Melanie Acevedo

March 5, 2010

we hope to see you soon, spring.

The Southeast has been living in perpetual gray for what seems like all winter long. Fine Punxsutawney Phil, we get it. You win: 6 more weeks of winter. But as much as I didn't want to believe that creature was right on February 2nd, it seems like he may have been on point. But as of yesterday and quite possibly throughout this weekend we're on tap for what the Weather Channel calls "plentiful sunshine." Ahhhh.

Tec has been in Haiti (working alongside Got Your Back with Danita's Children) since last Sunday so we're planning on spending the weekend low-key, resting up and enjoying 50-degree days, possibly in our yard helping it get ready for Spring. We have 100 ranunculus bulbs and a bunch of berry bushes to find homes for; plus pruning, weeding and de-nasty-ing what's been left over from winter.

So in honor of warmth and the promise of Spring, here are images Tec took when the weather was actually warm and things were still blooming for our Design*Sponge Sneak Peek. Can't you just feel the sunshine?

Enjoy your weekend and your loves.
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