Apple blossoms in the morning mist. Hummingbirds and finches around us as the kiddos and I greet the morning in our pajamas, exploring the backyard. New blossoms and buds and sprouts from all of our planting. A big plastic bat and ball. Playing barefoot in the yard. Yorkshire tea. On the Banks of Plum Creek. A week full of exciting work from my editing/writing consulting clients. Making progress on Katie’s quilt. Time to dye Easter eggs. The scent of an Easter lily.

These have been beautiful days… I am so grateful for the time to play with my children, to explore with them. We love to take “discovery walks” around the neighborhood, and yesterday we had a magical morning in the moist and misty air. Seemingly the only people out so early, we found mallard ducks in one of the neighborhood pools, washing and playing. Katie and I looked at seed pods in various stages of releasing seeds, and we talked about (and demonstrated) how the seeds stick to animals (and our clothes) to be delivered to new places. We went to all three parks that occur within a few blocks, found a recently sawed tree stump in some bushes, collected various plants, and enjoyed our world together.

Up early, we love to explore our garden and backyard and watch the day begin together. We see our trees and flowers and plants changing. We hear the morning bird songs. We step in tender grass wet with dew. We saw the pale blue egg from a newly hatched bird (there is a nest nearby us). It makes the starting of the day more pleasant, to feel the cool morning air, to go inside for tea and breakfast and warmth.

Katie loves her new gymnastics session, the first she has done with me watching from the sidelines instead of helping to lead her through the equipment. It is bittersweet, mostly sweet, to watch her achieve this next level of independence in her learning. She is proud of herself, too. Eric and I sit and watch and play on the sidelines. It is a good opportunity for us to have a little time with just the two of us…although I always try to be watching and giving the thumbs up to Katie whenever she looks over at us.

Both of the kiddos are becoming more involved in their Friday music class. Eric has reached a new degree of engagement with the instruments and with exploring our music space. We love our Music Together program, and the really neat part of it is realizing how being in this program connects us all across the nation with the other families who also are a part of Music Together. We have a musical language in common now. We’re in the “Maracas” session right now.

Eric is getting closer and closer to walking, and he seems about ready to launch. Just today he had several moments of standing without falling, unassisted, not holding on to anything. Katie walked at exactly 9.5 months, as did I. I think he is on pace for that, if not a little sooner. He has been pulled up and cruising for about a month now and is slowly but surely growing less wobbly! With all the potential for tumbles, our house is a bit crazy right now…this pre-walking stage is one of the most nerve-wracking, I remember now.

My dad helped us drain our pond/waterfall feature in our backyard. I am definitely going to miss its ambiance this summer, but that much water is a safety issue for little Eric. I thought about putting up a gate to section off that part of the yard, but I decided on the more extreme (and, in our eyes, more safe) solution. My dad helped us fill the meandering pond with bark, and I bought a dozen star jasmine plants and some white geraniums. Jasmine blooming in the summer night is one of my favorite perfumes in the world, so we are making beauty from the necessity of change.

Eric and Katie (both in the bright blue) playing with the big drum right before music class begins.

A picture of the patchwork top for Katie’s blanket. Since taking this picture, I finished laying it out on the muslin and batting and have secured the satin trim around the edges—it is all ready for final sewing. The last step will be tying the blanket with threads at the intersection of the squares. I actually am hoping to photograph it in better lighting when it is all done!

Preparing to dye Easter eggs last night!

I held Eric and we worked on coloring a blue egg together while Katie worked on her eggs. Eric’s first Easter egg!

This morning: all ready for Easter weekend!

Tomorrow we hope for a relaxing day of walking to the park and then baking up a storm! We always bring dessert to the family Easter party. In recent years we’ve made coconut cupcakes and lemon pound cake, but this year Katie and I are switching it up a little and bringing white cupcakes with strawberry meringue buttercream frosting. I haven’t made this pair of Martha Stewart recipes since prior to Katie’s birth actually, but they are soooooooo delicious, especially together.

I hope everyone has a beautiful Easter weekend!