wonders

Hello and happy Friday. Sometimes I need a reminder that I think the world is an amazing place, that there are wonderful and beautiful things in it. Whenever this is the case, I go looking for wonders and I am never disappointed. Some things do my heart so much good by merely existing. Here are three.

Rainbow trees:

01-rainbow-eucalyptus-tree-bark-hawaii[1]

Eucalyptus_deglupta-base[1]

Yes, rainbow trees! Naturally occurring rainbow trees. They are eucalyptus trees and as the bark peels, it reveals multi colored layers beneath. I totally have a thing for rainbows. And unicorns. Wouldn’t a rainbow tree forest be the perfect place for a unicorn to live? I just might want to live in a rainbow tree forest.

Frost flowers:

frostflower

Frost flowers are ice crystals that form into flower shapes under specific conditions in the Arctic. The idea of delicate little ice blooms floating on the surface of the sea has me enchanted. I’m sure some dee connection could be made between frost flowers and fleeting moments, impermanence, the nature of beauty, etc. But really, I just look at them and think “Oooh, pretty.”

Mouse-deer:

mousedeer

Gimme one of those now. Actually I’ll have two, please. Neither mouse nor deer, the mouse-deer is the tiniest member of whatever animal family hoofed mammals belong to. They are tiny and THEY HAVE HOOVES. Oh, and they are really, really cute.

What makes the world a better place for you?

Photo credits:

Rainbow treesFrost flowersMouse-deer

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when you’re 4 it’s all about sparkles

Abby: “Mama, does the water sparkle because of the sunshine and the wind?”

Me: “Well, yes.”

Abby: “Look Mama! When I do this (squints) with my eyes, it sparkles even more! And when I turn my head this way, it looks different. And when I turn my head this way, it looks different again!”

Ah, to see the world the way a four year old sees the world. This is one of my greatest goals in life.

 

anticipation

Christmas is in …wait, what?!?! Four days?!? Um, how did that happen?

When I got home from work yesterday, Abby said “Mama, Daddy says Christmas is in 5 days.” I told her that this was true and she smiled and sighed with relief. The girl has been working herself into a tizzy for a month. “But when is it going to be Christmas?” she asks me every day. I explain that Christmas is the end of a wonderful holiday season and that the month of December is to be savored and I explain all the fun things that will happen. Blah, blah, blah.

“Yes, but when will it be Christmas Eve and I will go to sleep and when I am sleeping, Santa will come and bring me presents?”

I tell her how many days and tears well up in her eyes.

“Ohhhhh, I’m afraid that’s too long!”

Apparently, 5 days is not too long. Although later she did say “I wish it was only 4 days.”

This is where she and I are different. My mother used to show me which cabinet she was hiding the presents in so I wouldn’t find them by mistake. I never peeked. Not once. I wasn’t even tempted. I would sometimes sit and gaze at the cabinet, daydreaming about the treasures that were locked inside.  I loved the anticipation as much as I loved Christmas morning. And I wouldn’t have ruined the surprise for anything. Marcus and Abby wrapped some of my presents and put them under the tree last week.

“Mama, when you get to open your presents?” she asks me three times a day.

I explain that I will open them when she opens her presents after Santa comes. I get the same response I get from telling her how many days it is until Christmas. Yesterday I explained that we will all take turns.

“But you can go first?”

“Well yes, I can. But don’t you want to go first?”

“NO, I want YOU to open YOUR presents first!”

And maybe we aren’t so different after all because I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. I am way more excited that I ever was as a child. I find myself daydreaming about her reaction Christmas morning, wondering which gifts will be her favorite, wondering if she will gaze in shock or if she will squeal in delight. I just love the magic of it all. I love that I get to be the magician behind it. And then it hits me…

Santa Claus is real. I am Santa Claus.

Sometimes I just can’t believe how lucky I am.

i wish we could live in a tree house

We have been reading Lauren Child’s Princess and the Pea a lot lately. In her version, the princess lives in a tree house.

After one reading a few nights ago, Abby wistfully said “I wish we could live in a tree house.”

So do I.

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Happy Friday friends.

sweden

cottagesweden

***

Lucky Chelsea from frolic gets to spend a month here this summer. I might be just a little jealous. I have been reading a lot about Swedish summer homes online recently. Now we have made it a family goal to spend a summer (or at least a few weeks) in the Swedish countryside in the next few years and my dreams are filled with little red cottages by the sea. Again, these self catering cottages seem to be the way to go with small children and many are much less expensive than hotels.

Parts of Sweden I want to see:

Stockholm – duh.

Malmo – Seaside city where I have some ancestry.

Gotland – Medieval island. Pippi Longstocking’s house is here!

Faro – Otherworldly island just north of Gotland. Ingmar Bergman lived here and used it for the location of several of his films.

What should I add to the list?