Posted by: graceunbound | March 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday – First Day of Spring edition




I love spring. Even though I know that realistically here in the Dakotas the possibility for more snow still lurks, there is something about the fact that on the calendar it is now SPRING. Barring another ice age, we WILL eventually warm up and I’ll get to dig out the shorts, the t-shirts and the sandals.


The shorts are mostly for the boys. Unless I’m working in the garden or working out, it’s a fair bet you aren’t going to see me in shorts any time soon. I used to hate capri pants, however I am now embracing them in all their wonderful, cellulite covering glory. However, not all capris are created equal, and at some point I may post the very, very unfortunate picture of me in my plaid capris that I wore on vacation several years ago. They were retired very shortly after viewing that picture.


Fortunately that picture was also taken when I was about twenty pounds heavier. Whenever I get discouraged about my weight loss (or lack thereof) I remind myself that I HAVE lost weight, just not recently. Yes, it took me four years to lose twenty pounds, but it is off and staying off. This summer I plan to be a lot more active with the boys. My new exercise plan is called ‘try to keep up with them while they are riding bike’. It is pretty much the only thing that will force me to run. Between bike rides, the playground and swimming I’m bound to lose weight in there somewhere, right?


Then, of course, there is that other most glorious aspect of spring; the planting of the garden. I’ve already got one seed flat filled with onions, lettuce, spinach, peppers and basil making the rounds between my east and west facing windows. Soon it will be complicated with the addition of a flat filled ENTIRELY with tomato plants (one flat has 72 cells…I’m allowing room for failure or give-aways of extra heirloom tomato seedlings), then squash, melons and cucumber. I’ve debated asking my husband to cover the garden in black plastic to warm the soil more quickly, and the moment it is workable the peas are going in the ground. Had you told me ten years ago that I’d be looking forward to gardening I’d have laughed at you. Oddly, I’ve somehow come to enjoy it. Maybe because it is MY garden.


Along with the garden comes home improvement time. This is the year of the painting of the exterior. Finally! OK, so it’s going to be a little challenging to learn to give directions without telling people to just look for the glowing minty-turquoise house. When we first pulled up when we were house hunting we just looked at the exterior and laughed. It has actually faded over the years to something a little more tolerable. Still, I’m ready for a change. And, in addition to the outside it is time to paint the inside as well. Not only am I sick of the sort of yellow-ish green on the walls, but they really need a lift from the chips and dents. I am, however, incredibly torn. I have the color for my accent walls picked out (Dutch Cocoa), but can’t decide on whether to go with a near-white for the rest of them, or something with just a tad more color. So I’ve been taping the paint strips to the walls and migrating them from wall to wall to check in different light at different times of day. The boys are finding the migrating paint strip quite amusing and have started looking to see where it will turn up next. I’m thinking of taking a vote when my women’s Bible Study group convenes here on Sunday. “Cultured Pearl or White Truffle…show of hands?” Between the exterior and the interior we have a big, BIG project on our hands…so I think this may not be the year to tell my husband I also want a strawberry patch.


We get to go on vacation again this summer! An extended family trip to the Black Hills; I can’t wait. The boys are getting old enough that it expands our options of what we can do, not to mention not having to take a mid-day break for naps every day. And I can’t wait to hit the trail that supposedly runs right behind our rental cabin. In case I haven’t mentioned this before, I love nature. I love hiking and trees and rocks and the smell of dirt and growing things. When I lived in Virginia and before I was married as soon as we started hitting nice weekends I’d start heading up to the mountains. I miss the blooming of the mountain laurel and the dogwood trees. I miss walking the trails and finding the hidden Jack-in-the-pulpits and violets. I miss the little rivulets of water running over rocks as melting snow finds its way towards the streams. Last fall I finally found a small place to take the boys for some walking and now Gates is asking me “When are we going to go find some nature again?” I have the feeling this summer may involve some exploration into local nature spots.


Finally, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again; I am grateful for the chance to take this all in. Normally this time of year would involve 55+ hour work weeks, and spring would come without my notice. For the opportunity to be at home, to have a flexible schedule, to spend my days delighting in the unfolding of the seasons and in the growing of my children, I am forever thankful to the God who gives us changing seasons and pours blessings upon us when we least expect them that are beyond our richest imaginings.

 For more ‘7 Quick Takes Friday’ visit Jen at Conversion Diary.



  1. There is nothing like pictures to keep you humble. I have lost about 30 lbs (need to lose at least 40 more) and looked at myself in pictures at my sisters wedding. I thought I looked pretty good, but then I see the pictures.

    My kids love doing the nature hikes as well. My daughter likes looking at the plants and animals, my son just likes to go

  2. So, you’re a gardener! I would love to be, but I know nothing about it, so I can’t wait to see pictures of your work. I would like a tomato plant this year, but I’ve killed every other one I’ve had (ok, I’ve only had two) and it discouraged me. We have some new friends who are real-live farmers and I’ve asked them to teach me. We’ll see how that goes!

    I loved the Black Hills as a teenager, but that’s where I got so carsick on the way to Mt. Rushmore. How close are you?

    And by the way, I think capri pants are fabulous. Even in plaid:)

  3. What a wonderful post!! I am longing for the summer but I am trying to enjoy the spring weather in San Diego. I still hate gardening but I am hoping that changes this year because I have finally decided I am going to plan and putter around the yard.. I am praying the seeds of love

  4. Christi- 30 lbs is already quite an accomplishment, good luck on the rest of it!

    Elizabeth – This is year 2 of an actual ‘real’ garden for me so I don’t consider myself a gardener yet! Actually, year 1 involved a tomato in a pot on the deck that produced two tomatoes that were rotten on the bottom. Year 2 was a 2 x 3 raised bed, I got a few cherry tomatoes and not much else. Last year was the first full garden and although I got plenty of tomatoes and basil I got pretty much nothing on the peas, beans, peppers and squash. So my track record isn’t so good!

    We’re about 5 hours from the Black Hills. And I’m putting duct tape over the temperature display in our in-laws van because the trip home last time was one of the hottest days of the year and my mother-in-law made me keep taking pictures of the temperature. (Hmm. I hope she hasn’t found my blog yet….)

    Ronel – It took a few starts for me to actually like gardening. I tried flowers when we lived in an apartment and killed them all (because of the spiders that came out from under the porch). But it gets kind of addicting once you really get going.

  5. LOVE your Quick Takes!

    I completely concur with you on #2. I haven’t worn shorts in a very, very long time… and eventually came around to capris. But now I’ve found I prefer flowy, springtime skirts. I feel more feminine and not so Mom-ish, but I always have to watch for toddlers who pull my skirt up for no apparent reason. That shows a lot more cellulite than shorts, let me assure you. 😉

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