Daybook Today

Outside My Window

Rain. Lots of it. .

I am Listening to

Ballet music. The girls are dancing in the other room, twirling to begin their day. I love ballet music; it easily could be the soundtrack of my days.


I am Wearing

a sweatshirt over my pajamas. I'm freezing again. Clearly my thyroid meds need adjusting.I"m eyeing my sweaters and thinking that I need to replenish there. Sweaters are my friends.


I am so Grateful for



I'm Pondering

“Everything in all the books I once pored over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach. T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with ‘Goodnight Moon’ and ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.”

“…the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make…I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of [my children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4, and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” 

–Anna Quindlen

I am Reading

mostly teacher's manuals this week as I get up to speed.


I am Thinking

my wedding anniversary is next week. And September has been for me, for many years, a month of awaiting birth and celebrating birthdays. I'm thinking a lot about all these years and all these babies since that wedding day. I'm thinking about things I regret, things I'd do differently if I had them to do again. Thinking about all the new things I want to do and wondering if I'm too old. Mostly, though, I'm thinking about how blessed and beautiful this life really is.


I am Creating


I have two red-riding hood capes finished and third well underway. I stitched most of the day yesterday–such a cozy sewing day.I'm a big fan of rainy days, particularly when they follow very active weekends. Karoline loves to be in the sewing room with me, just chattering away and playing with wooden dolls. She keeps me entertained. And warm.

I'll be back in this space a little later today to show you the capes.


still working on last week's projects.


On my iPod

nothing new…But I will be watching Ann Voskamp and Lysa Terkeurst Yes to God Webcast tonight at 8:00. All the details here.


Towards a Real Education

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and Drawing with Children. Today, we draw:-)


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

This is the final week of staggered schedules. Mary Beth still hasn't begun her full dance schedule and we add in one more soccer training. Yesterday was a holiday. We're ramping up and I'm adjsting as we go.


I am Hoping and Praying

for the wildly successful launch of a new show on ESPN next week

 In the Garden

I'd like to plan some autumn crops. Any ideas?


Around the House

Things are a bit untidy this morning. The weekend was full of running hither and yon for soccer. I didn't get home until after 9 Sunday night. We were up super early yesterday for the finals and then the boys went back to Maryland to go to the University of Maryland football game. They've been home just long enough to make messes and laundry and not long enough to do chores. We'll set that to rights this morning. 


From the Kitchen 

Right now, just a cup of Earl Gray tea with a splash of almond milk. Perfect for a very gray morning that promises only a grayer day.


One of My Favorite Things

Mike. Well, he's not a thing, but he's a favorite. Sarah's new favorite thing to talk about: "Daddy's in love with you mommy? Yes, Sarah. And you are in love with Daddy? Yes, Sarah. And you are married? Yes, Sarah. And you love me? Big hugs all the way around. About a dozen times a day. Favorite.


A Few Plans for the Week

Settle in to the new routine; settle well. Summer's truly finished. I'm sorry to see it go.


Picture thoughts:

morning soccer in style





  1. says

    We’re doing lettuces and spinach in big containers here. Broccoli is also a good cold weather crop too. Pansies? Olivia walked in on us smooching the other evening during toy pick up. She said, “You guys are so romantic!” Then had a million questions about “romance” I got to answer.

  2. Patty says

    I am setting up a cold frame, hoping to have crops thru the winter. Still reading Four Season Harvest ( and The Winter Harvest Handbook ( by Eliot Coleman. He has specific suggestions for zone 5 gardeners, of which I am one and you are not. :-) But the principles are the same, regardless. I have a pic of the beginnings of the cold frame in my fb ‘mobile uploads’ album.

  3. Mary Ellen says

    How is the yellow sweater?? I have started my own yellow sweater and am wondering how yours looks because I believe you made it short sleeved, as I plan to do. :)

  4. says

    “”Daddy’s in love with you mommy? Yes, Sarah. And you are in love with Daddy? Yes, Sarah. And you are married? Yes, Sarah. And you love me? Big hugs all the way around. About a dozen times a day. Favorite.”
    Oh. My. Goodness. So great.

  5. says

    I wrote our mutual friend (Sally) today that I’m just beginning a new phase of life and there are no books written for creativity and the empty nest.
    Of course, you are FAR away from an empty nest but it also has to do with the feeling… wondering if one is too old for something different.
    I have decided that there is no such thing as too old for something new. Both of my children have introduced me to all kinds of new things. Now it may have to be my turn to teach them something. :)

  6. says

    That little Sarah – so precious!! Her shades are too much!
    We only have a balcony garden to work with here. I’ve done vegetables in the summer, but not the fall. We already have our mini-pansy seeds sprouting (what are those called over there, I wonder – we call them violas over here). This is a first for us, because I usually just buy the plants in October and plant those. Should be fun to watch our little tiny sprouts grow and flower this year!

  7. says

    I’ve been pondering (the same ideas, if not that specific quote) and thinking those very thoughts for months now. As the big birthday (50) approached and I have just two left in the homeschool (but still plenty of running around!), I wonder how much I’ve missed. As I’ve begun trying some new things with the little girls, I regret all that it’s too late to do with the older children. I know there are seasons to life, but still…
    Len reminds me that the olders had some great experiences, too, that the youngers don’t. And I think the common saying about “it goes so fast” and the common experience of wishing we had been more intentional, more in the moment, means it must happen to most of us. Now that some are leaving and I have more breathing room and maturity and experience and (maybe) juggling skills, do I have more time/space to have those regrets? When they were all young and still joining our family, it was hard to envision this time. Even when I truly heard the message to enjoy the now, it didn’t sink in long term, just for short bursts. Len points out that our children have plenty of good memories, even if I don’t believe I parented well enough.
    It’s so funny that you’re using Drawing With Children! I pulled it out, too, to use this year in a very small co-op. I still have some still lifes (faded now) stapled to the kitchen wall from the last time we followed Mona Brookes’ lead, when my 19 and 16 year olds were still homeschooled (5 or more years ago). Fun stuff.

  8. Michelle M says

    Oh, Elizabeth. You will probably recoil when you read this, but you are so very hard on yourself. When I read your blog I am in true wonder over what you accomplish and often I just can’t read it because I am so “pale in comparison.” I don’t compare myself to many people in this world because I have learned how defeating that can be, but I really have to fight it when I read about your life day-to-day. I had my breakdown day when I dropped my youngest boys (7 and 10) off at school this year. It is a REALLY wonderful and small Opus Dei-run school here in Chicagoland, so I know they are in a truly good place, but I felt an overwhelming sense of uselessness as soon as they were safely inside. We also have the myriad sports and activities, but not nearly as spread-out and, might I say, not NEARLY as stylishly accomplished as you do it. I feel like a lumbering elephant to your swift gazelle. I do it all in fits and starts while you thoughtfully prepare. You are an amazing woman–AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!!! ; ) Your children and husband are so blessed to have you.

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