Sunday, May 20, 2012

Getting our hands dirty

The nice thing about longer days, more sunshine and 80-degree temperatures is that it really distinguishes the weekend from the workweek. There's a distinct break, which is necessary and nice.

Screen time was limited this weekend - computers were only accessed to find parking for the beach, the hours of the Lincoln Park Zoo and a recipe for la paloma.

I planted my planter boxes - supplemented with a trip to the Home Depot for more plants Saturday morning. Potting soil, garden tools and flowering plants took over our small porch as Jack and Jossie "helped." I'm still in love with my find - the spiky, feathery asparagus fern. The two big beauties I bought at the greenhouse looked perfectly urban oasis-y in my square zinc planters. And I happened upon smaller ones at Home Depot, which the garden expert guy there was raving over. Perfect height for your container gardens, gentle readers.

And I'm a cheat on my tomato plant this summer. Last year, we planted a few little tomato plants given to us by our neighbor. We worked, we pleaded, we prayed. But nothing every happened. So this year, Mama got smart. I bought a plant that's already two feet high and even has a small green tomato in its branches. Brilliant!

We braved the Lake Michigan beach Saturday afternoon. Despite the traffic and the hassle of finding parking, the afternoon was lovely. It was warm and sunny but not overwhelmingly hot. Jack is much braver this year in the water than last as he played with Jeremy, and Jossie enjoyed playing in the sand and sitting like a queen in the beach chair. Jack and I built sand castles, smoothing our hands over the sand, leveling it off to make our creations. It was nice to feel so in the moment with the warm breeze, bright sunshine and downtown Chicago in the far-off distance.

Saturday night, friends came over for take-out bbq. We pulled out the tequila because it was one of those kind of nights. It felt like summer. My girlfriend and I chatted on the porch, the newly planted plants swaying in the breeze, the party lights twinkling and the sounds of the city as the background to our mommy chatter.

And today, my bestie and her husband hosted an art-themed birthday party for their almost-five-year-old daughter. My friend is always so thoughtful, and her details and touches made the day so special for her girl, including a made-from-scratch birthday cake. Jack and Jossie enjoyed being guests at the party, coloring, making chocolate-covered pretzels and painting picture frames. It was a messy and delightful end to the weekend.

Tonight, we're physically tired (a million times better than mentally tired) with sun-kissed arms. Sending good thoughts to you on the week ahead - especially for those of you who conquered the Cleveland marathon or half-marathon this weekend,  for those of you who are starting new endeavors this week, and for those of you celebrating your birthday. Happy week, loves.

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