Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We have so many things to be thankful for right now, most of all that I can tell this story with the knowledge that my family walked away safe and sound. 

Last Monday I received a frantic phone call that wasn't even intended for me.  My phone rang with my mother on the other end who promptly exclaimed "I have to call your dad there is a tornado!" and then hung up the phone.  You see, I knew Oklahoma was expecting severe weather that day and we had already double checked our emergency bags the night before just to make sure they were ready to go.  It was only late afternoon here so we hadn't even begun to watch the weather yet and were in fact just playing out with the kids when the call came in.  After that call we immediately turned to the weather only to hear the reporter telling residents in the Moore area that if they were not underground they would not likely survive this storm.  Panic only begins to describe what I was feeling at that moment.  I wasn't sure where my family was, I knew my dad should be at work but didn't know if my mother or my sister and nephews were at home or out somewhere else.  I immediately began trying to contact someone but of course couldn't reach anyone.  As they started to name the streets closer and closer to my mother's neighborhood all I could do was watch and pray for their safety.  You see, my parents don't have a storm shelter at their house and I wasn't sure they would be able to find one in time.  I watched and waited as the storm, an EF5 tornado, demolished everything in its path before finally disappearing. 

Finally she called again, frantic and yelling for me to call 911 because her neighborhood was gone and someone needed to know.  I couldn't get through to her to tell her that they knew, everyone was watching this unfold before their eyes.  What she didn't know at that moment was that her neighborhood wasn't the only one to be hit, the devastation was much worse than they knew at that moment.  Thankfully they had went to their next door neighbor's underground shelter just before the storm had hit...my mother, father, sister, and twin nephews all survived the storm. 

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The shelter they took cover in during the storm.
I felt helpless and wanted to go to them immediately to help though I wasn't sure what to do at that point.  Due to the severe weather that was still predicted for our area (that thankfully stayed clear of us) Rocky convinced me to wait.  So Tuesday the girls and I spent the day packing and gathering supplies (thanks to so many generous people right here at home) to take with us and early Wednesday morning we headed down to see what we could do to help. The pictures do very little to convey what the damage is really like in person.  My father said something that summed it up well to me "It looks just like something you see on tv happening somewhere else." and that is true.  We're Oklahomans, we know what tornado damage looks like and we all know it could happen anywhere but we also are good at assuming it will happen somewhere else.  This time it was not the case for them, it was a very surreal feeling. 
Tornado 171
Tornado 271
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For the first few days only residents were allowed in (and even then only during certain hours). Wednesday morning I was let in with my mother to capture those photos above and help sort through the debris. They were still not letting in volunteers but that certainly didn't stop people from doing what they could to help out. On street corners just outside of the neighborhoods you could find volunteers that couldn't pass the baracades so they set up supplies right there. Cases of water, food, and supplies stacked high ready for anyone that needed them. There were individuals with grills and smokers in the back of trucks and on trailers cooking for anyone and everyone. It was incredible to see.

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Once the volunteers were allowed in I was even more amazed at the generosity I saw. Neighbors pitching in the help one another when they themselves were in great need of help not to mention the strangers that flocked in from all over the country willing to do anything they could to help everyone. Volunteers going from house to house working all day long to help people recover anything they could find and save. Local churches, business, and restaurants coming around with supplies and meals for everyone and looking for anyone that they could do anything for. It was so heartwarming to see everyone coming together during this time. Always look for those helping, there are always helpers.

My sister and I took turns staying at her house with the children, but my girls asked again and again to go see as well. They had helped gather supplies, they had seen the news and pictures we had taken and wanted to go. We debated about letting them see the damage in person but in the end decided it was the right decision, and so they went.

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It helped Kinsley to understand what happened and helped to calm Kinsley's fears of the storms once she was really able to see what was happening and that even though all that damage could occur her family was still safe. She appreciated seeing all the volunteers helping everyone and really saw why it was important to help whenever possible. It was a long heartbreaking week but at the same time so uplifting. We were able to save some wonderful family items that had survived the storm so that was wonderful. Stuff is just stuff afterall, but there are always things that cannot be replaced and each item we recovered was incredible. It was hard digging through the rubble and realizing that was all that was left, I can only imagine how my parents were feeling. They have remained in good spirits, though I know it has been hard for them to do so.
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I was amazed by the spirits of the residents of her neighborhood. All were simply thankful to have their families safe and sound and were looking forward to getting back on their feet. Neighbors that might not have spoken much in the busy day to day of normal life were jumping right in and offering everything they had left to anyone who might need it. It was incredibly uplifting. They all have a long road ahead of them but I have no doubt they will find their way through.
Sidenote:  All pictures were taken in or around my mother's neighborhood and I tried to keep the pictures from showing too much of anyone else's house out of respect.  We didn't venture into the harder hit West side of Moore as we felt it was our primary concern to help my family and their neighborhood and not intrude on others during this difficult time, especially not for the sake of photographs.

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Kait and Daddy 2

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A girl in the water

Kait 26

Kait 25

Kait 24

Kait 23

Sometimes all you need to be happy is a good pair of boots (on the wrong feet even) and a nice bit of water. Especially if you happen to be this smallest girl of mine.  Always on the lookout for the next big adventure and the next space to explore, it's no wonder we call her our little wild flower.  Nothing makes for more fun than some time spent running about outdoors. 

Kait 18

Kait 19

Kait 20

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It's even more fun if you manage to bring a good bit of the water home with you after. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gardening Gift Set

It's birthday season around here and I've been working away on some really fun gifts.  The only downside is that I can't really share them until I know the birthday person has seen them.  I don't want to ruin the surprise, that's my favorite part. Thankfully this little garden set has already been delivered and loved.  I'm so glad because it was so fun to put together. 

Gardening Set 2
Gardening Set 3
Gardening Set
All that crocheted produce really made the perfect addition to this set.  My girls wanted to keep it for themselves, though they have everything but the aprons already.  I guess I need to make them each a gardening apron as well. 

Monday, May 13, 2013


Mother's Day

What an absolutely lovely weekend we had. My family definitely went above and beyond in spoiling me all weekend long. From a special day out with my hubby, lovely surprises, terrific food (that I didn't even have to cook), lots of extra sleep, and plenty of time to do my favorite things with my favorite people. What more could a mama ask for?

I feel so incredibly blessed to get to call myself a mama to my two wonderful little girls.  I guess I always imagined I'd be a mama when I grew up, though I doubt I had any idea what that really meant.  And if I'm being completely honest I'm not sure I can say I know exactly what it means now.  Even as many years into it as I am now I find my views, ideas, and attitudes about parenting are still changing pretty regularly.  I suppose that is to be expected with all the new information and ideas out there and of course with each new phase our children take us into along with them. 

Motherhood is so much more than I ever imagined it would be, more of everything really--except maybe sleep, there certainly isn't more of that happening around here.  More love, laughter, tears, worrying, excitement, and certainly more learning.  I read a quote this weekend that said behind every great kid is a mother who is worried she's screwing it up.  I quite literally laughed out loud as I read it because it rang so true.  Going into this parenting gig with all the ideas of what it was going to be like but not really knowing is enough to make anyone a nervous wreck.  So we learn.  We learn by reading, by following our hearts, and most importantly by listening to our children.

 I realize now how much I truly didn't know when I began this journey nearly 6 years ago.  I didn't know how much our lives would really change, or how quickly our priorities would shift.  That who I was before I became mama would cease to exist and really that it wouldn't matter one bit at all.  That I would become a new version of myself, a better version even.  I had no idea that person could even exist but now as that person it feels more like 'me' than I ever have in the past.  I certainly didn't know that we'd become a homeschooling family let alone unschoolers, and the term Waldorf meant nothing to me back then.  But now it's so very much who we are.  It fits us in this life right now and so we are.

I can't imagine my life without being mama and I am looking forward to the next steps in this journey along with my girls.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This Moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lake Adventures

Lake 3
A lot of our photos take place right in this area--during warm weather anyway.  It's a nice little secluded spot quite near our house and a favorite exploring zone for our girls. 

We've spent many hours wandering around this area that was actually once a little town.  It's strange to think about that as we are searching about, that what is now a lake once housed quite the community.  We're reminded of this fact as we find bits of broken pottery hidden amongst the shells and as we stumble across the cement steps of what was once a schoolhouse.  I wonder about the families that lived here, though many still live just down the road a few miles where they relocated years ago.  How strange it must be for them to know that right where they created so many memories with their loved ones is now oftentimes under water. 

Lake 4

It certainly has provided many great memories and adventures for our family.  Imaginary worlds have been created, dragons have been tamed, treasures found, and on this particular outing an impromptu fishing adventure was had. 

We spotted large carp out in the shallows and a harmless comment was made that we should try to see if we can catch them and that was all it took to start us out on this adventure. We were prepared for muddy terrain and wore our rain boots out this day so it seemed like the perfect idea. Off we all splashed into the cold water.

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Lake 6
Lake 5
Much to everyone's surprise (most especially daddy's, I think), it was mama who managed to grab the big fish. Much shrieking followed suit by all the littles and we promptly let the big catch go again.
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Another beautiful day and (hopefully) another great memory for them to tuck away.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Strider Riding

We did something a little different with Kait this year.  She has always refused to ride any type of tricycle or bike.  She would simply walk it along with her feet or just choose to walk.  We finally decided to try a balance bike instead and bought her a Strider.  Of course the day it arrived was raining but thankfully Daddy made some space for us in the fire department so she could try it out. 

But before she could hop on she really thought the bike needed a good inspection and maybe a bit of work. 

Bikes 5
Bikes 3
Bikes 3
Bikes 2

 She spent a good half hour going back and forth working on her new bike. Finally she decided she had it in good working order and was ready to give it a try.  I think she was pretty pleased with herself.  Though I do suspect she might have liked working on it just as much as she did riding.