Seeing spring everywhere

On a family walk today, Nicholas pointed out that one of our trees was budding. Once he made that observation, I realized many trees in our neighborhood are budding. It's funny, isn't it, how you don't see something, and then when you finally do, you can't stop seeing it.

I have a habit of declaring, "I love _____ (upcoming season)" prior to that actual start of that season. I love winter, I do. But now, it is officially spring, and we've had warm, breezy weather, the kind that makes my soul feel more awake.

Here are some other little life things, as of late:

I bought yellow tulips at the store. Brightens the room and my mood. I just love tulip season.

Watching For All Mankind with Nicholas in the evenings. It's interesting! And well-acted. We're watching season 2 right now.

Nicholas installed a reverse osmosis water filter (with mini faucet). Our drinking water naturally tastes better, but I was so surprised at what a difference it made to the quality of our coffee and tea. We love it.

I went to a bonfire at a friend's house, on the lake, with the other women i'm in a bible study with. It felt so good to gather together and bundle up outside.

Coloring time with markers. He carefully recapped each one, and he also drew blue marker all over his belly (that's balance, right? ;)

Park dates with friends and so many neighborhood walks.

I finished my Nurtured sweater! My SIL took some photos, and a full post with all the details is coming soon.

Nicholas spent much of the past weekend building a built-in desk for the basement. He did the assembly, routing, sanding, etc. And I've done most of the painting. And Coop and I watched a lot of the process through the screen on the three-season porch.

We bought a new linen duvet for our bed, matching shams, and a long lumbar pillow.

We're noticing new patterns of sunlight in our home as we enter into our first spring (and eventually summer) in this house.

I'm still reading (and deeply encouraged and challenged by) Atypical Woman by Abigail Dodds.

I started knitting a pair of Crunkled socks. The texture of the stitch pattern and the color of the yarn make this such a happy project.

I took pictures of our (later and later!) sunsets.

I attended a bridal shower for a dear friend with my SIL and MIL. It was so refreshing to get "dressed up," and to celebrate their upcoming wedding. Congratulations, Angelica and Matthew!

And Cooper has been busy reciting animal sounds, watching birds (and a bunny) out the patio window, hugging his stuffed bears, scouting for the most hold-able rocks in the backyard. He can now climb up the ladder on our playset and go down the slide by himself(!) He helps me add smoothie ingredients to the smoothie cup, and can hold a hand mixer all by himself (all of this with supervision, of course, of course). He strongly favors his red hoodie and his multi-colored mini Vans. He gives us hugs and kisses, tries and very much succeeds at making us laugh. Tonight, he carried two bowls very carefully into the living room, then went back in the kitchen and returned with a spoon. He served us imaginary "soup," and tasted it himself. He holds our hands on walks. He says "Ahhhh," after drinking water. And he loves trucks and vehicles of any kind, the bigger the better. He gives us big hugs and makes me melt into a puddle most days. He is a joy.

I've been making a whole chicken for dinner more frequently, using this recipe (still, hands down a favorite meal of ours, definitely the best whole chicken recipe I've tried, and so easy).

And also really enjoying the "Bacon burger and fries" Paleo breakfast bake.  The textures and flavors are so good.

Reading the next book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon. Oh, how I love these books.

I've been enjoying not needing to wear a coat everywhere, every day. Lots of sweater layers with jeans. (Andrea of five years ago would never believe how often I wear jeans).

We went out to eat at a local restaurant for my SIL's upcoming birthday. We hadn't eaten in a restaurant with Cooper since he was six or seven months old, so we weren't sure what to expect, but he did wonderfully! Loved drinking water with a straw and sat between Nicholas and I in the booth. I'm so proud of him.

Enjoying a (splurge) of a beautiful, non-toxic candle from Sunday Candle Co.

And loving on this little boy some more.

Happy spring, friends.

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