I have some things I want to admit:

my thumb (proverbial or otherwise) isn't this color

1. We are not doing a garden this year. Whew. That one has been hard for me, because I so want to be the "type" who gardens. And maybe, someday, I will be. But in the three years we've lived here, we've poured a lot of money (I don't even want to know how much, but it's over $1000) into soil enhancements for our hard clay soil (in addition to power-tilling it), which was still cheaper than starting from scratch with new soil for raised garden beds. And we have poured money (a little less, but still a lot) into seeds and plants, only to have them fail to grow ... due, we now realize (kind of late, I think) to the huge amount of shade in our yard from all the tall trees surrounding it. Yeah, that kind of made us feel stupid, not noticing the shade for more than two years. (See that dark shady area in the back of the photo above? That's where the farm-sized garden plot in our yard is located. In complete shade.)

Also, I may or may not have a black thumb.

So, we're not doing it. And I feel guilty, but also OK about it.

2. A friend and I have been discussing a phenomenon that we both seem to be experiencing. Maybe some of you have experienced it, too. We are in our 30's, have been married at least a decade, and are getting to a point of hating all of our stuff. Do you know what I mean?

I think when you're first setting up your household, you think you need a lot more "stuff" to fill it out than you really do. You think back to your parents' home, and all the "stuff" they have, and you figure, "I need all that, too." So you start accumulating things, from all different sources, without really considering if they are even things you need or want. And now you have 40 million mismatched towels, when you really only need 6. You have cabinets full of never-used kitchen appliances and random luncheon plates. You realize you have too much of everything, and none of it (or very little of it) is anything that you really appreciate. 

I realize that this is such a first world problem to have. And I am truly, truly grateful for the relative prosperity that my family enjoys. But I am so ready to start weeding things out -- the things that I don't use, don't need, don't like. Except I don't know where to start. And replacing the things I hate with (fewer, carefully chosen) things that I love is not exactly in my budget. So I just keep putting it off, and then continuing to feel stifled by all my stuff. It's high time to take action, I think.

my instrument of torture

3. In the early morning, Fiona likes to play a game where she makes me kiss her dolly or stuffed animal. And in the half-sleep of dawn, I often feel like I'm actually being suffocated by her toy (like I can't breathe). But I kiss it anyway, because, really, is anything sweeter than those first steps into the world of pretend?

4. Bedtime around here has been pretty bad lately. I won't go into all the details, because I'm sure many of you have experienced a bad bedtime or two.

I find that sometimes I'm able to keep a very strong bedtime routine and we all thrive for it. And sometimes, depending on where we are in life, I just can't swing it. Tonight my overtired middle child, getting up for a fourth time to ask for this or that, or maybe just to whine, came out into the kitchen and broke a dish, and I reacted in a not-very-kind way. As I type this, at 9:30, I'm still feeling tense from that exchange. Sigh. I wish it were easier to keep things running as smoothly as I want them to.

5. Tonight I laid in bed and listened to birds at dusk with Fiona. And it was the happiest moment of my day.