I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
OK - so I do not have photo of these awe-inspiring marshmallows (I'm having a memory card reading issue with my camera and my computer - so later... will share... promise), but... I do have some photos of a family campfire a couple of weeks ago. The air was a little more humid - pool towels hung on the deck behind us - it was warm enough to venture away from the fire to hula hoop and catch lightening bugs. Last night, however, we had our friends and neighbors join us. We used the aforementioned marshmallows to make smores (and these marshmallows are not a one bite treat - you either end up with melted marshmallow all over your lips as I did - or have to delicately pick around the toasty part as my friend did - oh - and once, I happily ate the toasty part of the marshmallow for my 8 year old neighbor while he ate the melty - no prob, E, I can help you out ;-). The air on this night was chilly - we wore jackets, we huddled near the firepit. The kids still ran about - happy to be out past dark - loving the cooler air. My brother-in-law and nephew showed up later, and we ended up taking flashlights down to the "clubhouse" for a short trek in the dark trees and some climbing and swinging by flashlight (like explorers :-). The boys and Lil topped off the night watching Star Wars with their uncle and cousin while hubby and I sat fireside (Olivia was visiting friends - great people - who happen to have a movie theater in their house - lucky girl ;-). The night was quiet - our deck lit with little white lights - Lil drawing with chalk on the deck while the boys drank pink lemonade and became immersed in the movie. Despite being in a city neighborhood, we have a lot of trees - to one side, we have neighbors with a rolling, green garden and frequent friendly words and hand-me-down toys for our kids - on the other, we have the comfort of knowing friends whose house, by the way, was lit so nicely last night - good knowing that behind one lit window, our boys' little friend reads his books - their baby sleeps like our little Lil does in another room - another friend happily sleeps and plays on her top bunk :-). End of night, I gathered up the tray of sweets, said good-bye to family - then tucked our reluctant little ones into bed - waited up for Olivia to tell us all about her holiday weekend with new and old friends.
So... this Labor Day... enjoy friends, family and downtime as we have.... though.... today... despite a couple of invitations that we may entertain, it is ALL back to school prep for us (kindergarten half days start for Enzo tomorrow - preschool for Milo day after - so today is buy crayons, kleenex and glue sticks - get haircuts, etc. - of course, we'll set aside time to grill burgers, cook up the beautiful green beans we have in our CSA basket this week, maybe bake some special back to school cookies... should be fun - plus we're doing the pancakes and bacon that we usually do on Sunday mornings today to ensure that Olivia will hang with us for a bit ;-). See ya!