this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

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…Spending lots of time outside trying to soak up this beautiful fall weather and get ready for the crazy winter weather we are sure to have ahead of us

…Discovering. The awesome nature center in our town (suburb, lets be honest) has the coolest natural playground with fallen logs, a climbing rock, a maze made from plants, and an inside play space with actual animal skins/furs, bones, antlers and so much more. Z loved the fox, so soft! Wish we had found this place sooner

…Getting and (hopefully) staying healthy with lots of great natural remedies found here (especially the delicious and very effective elderberry syrup).

…Cleaning and clearing. We have cleaned out our basement and garage! Four weekends, a rented dumpster filled, several pizza boxes emptied and … we are DONE! Its amazing to finally feel like we have our home back.

…Coloring, coloring, coloring. Z could color all day. A sweet yellow chair found a few days ago for $2.99 (goodwill, of course) and she has her own art space, finally. Next up: wet-on-wet watercolor painting and block crayons to hopefully get away from so much form drawing!

…Cuddling! A loves giving big squeezy hugs, kisses, and nuzzling heads all hours of the day (and night). It constantly amazes me how loving and unabashedly sweet this boy is.

…Loving school. Z has a huge smile for me each day (3 days/week) when I pick her up. This decision of sending her to school, which was so difficult to make, has turned out so well. Confidence. Independence. Magic. Imagination. Pure blissful enjoyment of the beauty of her world. These are the influences I have seen this amazing school having on her/our lives.

…Expressing. A is wearing his heart on his sleeve. This is very new to me and somewhat of an anomaly, albeit a refreshing one, within our family. If he wants something, he lets you know in no uncertain terms and usually quite loudly. With so few words in his vocabulary, it is amazing how well he communicates (better than most adults, I think.)

…Making. We’ve been trying lots of new recipes and more baking and making things at home like yogurt. I am also working on the kids’ gifts for the upcoming holiday of Eid (less than two weeks, I better hurry). More to come on this.

…Thrifting. Been spending a lot of time at our numerous awesome thrift stores here. Lots of good finds! I love that I am not contributing as much to the vicious cycle of consumption and waste and you really can’t beat the prices!

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happy halloween!

our teeny tiny jack-o-lantern

This was our first full-on Halloween, complete with homemade costumes, a party, and dinner and trick-or-treating with the neighbors. Z has been so excited for months (yes, months) trying to decide what to be that it made the whole thing more fun for me.

She chose “Indian Princess.” Her words, her idea. Finally, after much deliberation, I decided A would be a Knight because who knows how many years of matching Halloween costumes I’m gonna get.

Z’s costume included a mama-made crown (reversible, yay!), wand and cape which will become welcome editions to our store of dress up clothes. She wore an outfit someone had recently handed down to her (of course, with lots of layers underneath), her own bangles, and sparkly red “bindi” which was just a sticky jewel from the craft store. I unskillfully applied mehndi (henna) to her left hand and arm and she happily sat still for it to dry!

A’s costume was a red hooded sweater under a mama-made belted tunic and cape. I couldn’t bring myself to give such a sweet and small boy any kind of sword, so he had none. Oh well.

The only things I bought for their costumes were material for the capes and felt for the trick or treating bags, everything else was made from what we already had around the house. These costumes will surely continue to live on in the dress up bins that are among the most beloved “toys” around here.

We also carved a super small pumpkin, actually a pie pumpkin because that’s all I could find Halloween morning (oops). They loved scooping the seeds out, of course, and loved hearing this story as we carved. Then the kids decorated teeny tiny pumpkins with markers. They loved the whole process so much!

Finally, the candy was counted, one piece eaten each, and off to bed. The candy bags were left out by the door for the “Sugar Pie Pumpkin Fairy” (can’t remember where I heard this genius idea!) who exchanged it for a sweet little gnome and an organic lollipop for us to find in the morning. The kids really loved this!

This was probably the most fun Halloween I’ve ever had. It was simple, short and sweet. We focused on time with each other as well as friends and neighbors. No one was left overwhelmed or sugar-high. The only problem is that now when we go on our daily walks, A wants to run up to each house and knock on the door!

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Yesterday I explained my hopes and aspirations for this blog. Today, I would like to introduce myself a little.

I am Sarah. I am a wife to my husband and a mother to my children. I feel strongly about that identity and what it does and can mean. My children are my life, almost exclusively right now, and I choose to see that as an unprecedented blessing. I am confident that this role is among the most important of my life.

My daughter, Z, is 3 and 1/2 and a wildly focused, big-hearted, graceful, completely unique old soul and a gentle but intense force to be reckoned with. Her name means “shimmering” or “shining flower” and couldn’t be more perfect for her (she’s never met sparkly thing she didn’t like). My son A is 1 and 1/2 and a fiercely determined, cuddly, energetic, strong bundle of pure momentum and pure sweetness. His name means “prince” or “ruler” and embodies his inborn character and the presence he has in every room.

I want to protect my children from every harm, of course. But, because I know I cannot, I strive to at least protect the magic of this fleeting time when they are so small. I want them to stay precious and innocent for as long as they need to, which I believe to be much longer than what has become normal these days. I work deliberately to not rush them through their precious childhoods as I have tended to rush myself throughout my own life. In fact, these years since the moment Z was born feel to me like the first time I have ever stood still and it is truly amazing!

Besides my role as a mother, I see myself as a fundamentally creative being. I am an artist at heart. I would love to spend my days painting and building that into an actual career. However, my children need my physical and deliberate presence so much right now that I have those dreams on the back burner for a little while. That said, I know that caring for myself and tending to my own needs is one of the best things for everyone. Lately, I am fulfilling my creative thirst by learning and doing lots of new and different crafty things that I will definitely be sharing here as well.

I chose the name “Sarah’s Serendipity” because I feel that I have been so fortunate in my life in so many ways. While I think “luck” is an insufficient explanation, I nevertheless feel very lucky. I believe (shocker) that my children are truly special beings, each one a perfect contribution to the fabric of our family. I also feel truly blessed to have found a parenting philosophy that is deeply in tune with my beliefs and instincts as well as a supportive community of like-minded people through Waldorf education. I think so much of who we are, especially as parents, has to with what information we have had the “luck” of being exposed to. In that way, serendipity has changed my life.

I really am on a journey in my life right now. I think we all are. We never stop learning and growing. Can you imagine if we did? I hope that my chronicling of this journey will keep you company in your own.

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I need a time machine. Maybe every mother does…

I thought I would be able to remember all the things, the moments, the good, the bad of my children’s lives. So often, I intentionally savor those special and even ordinary moments and promise myself to remember the way my children looked, smelled, sounded. I want to be able to transport myself back to cuddling with my newborn or watching my toddler discover her shadow one sunny day, but I cannot. I don’t remember. Not really, not deeply, not the way that I need to.

I hope that this space will provide me with deeper memories of our time together, with proof that these years really happened. Maybe I can keep alive the magic we experience every day. This space can be my time machine. Now, if only I could go back a little farther to before my first child was born and begin…

I also feel a need to share, to speak my voice. I feel like I have found a way of life with young children that is nourishing and sustaining to our whole family and really does make the world a better place. I would love to commune with others who are sharing this journey and, certainly, to learn from them.

I also want to share with our distant families, and whoever is interested, the daily goings on in our lives. We have shared just pictures up until this point and I hope to now give real snapshots of our lives and of our days, of the big moments and the small. I also want a place to share, to contribute to the collective knowledge, all of the creativity that i find bursting out of me lately. I hope also to eventually use this space to showcase my art that I will someday create time to make again.

Finally, it is my sincerest wish that, above all, this space will hold me accountable, if only to myself. I know very well what I need to be doing with and for my children, how I want our home and family life to look and feel. I find that the actual doing is much harder than the knowing, though, and I hope that having this space will help me act with integrity and authenticity in my daily struggles.

So welcome to my little corner, please let me know what you think and what you would like to see. Let’s use this as a place to connect and have an ongoing conversation. And, I will do my best to fulfill the intentions I have laid out here.

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