welcome ... enjoy yourself

Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

m is for magnolia

Growing up, I never noticed the magnolia trees much.  Maybe it was the seasonal allergies that hit me every spring and prevented me from breathing and seeing much of anything. Over the years my allergies have gotten better, and my love of magnolia trees has grown. They're currently in bloom all over St. Louis and luckily we haven't gotten any bad storms that have damaged the flowers (so far). These photos were taken during my latest trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden aka heaven. 

Bonus: some white magnolias! The bulb garden is below and is just as beautiful, but that post will be for another day.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

late spring (part 2)

I love how spring can feel like a well choreographed dance.  Just as the snow is starting to melt, I know I'll be able to find daffodil and tulip leaves poking out of the ground.  Soon after that the first hosta leaves emerge.  The daffodils bloom, the tulips bloom, and soon after that the lilacs take center stage and the alliums and iris follow.  There's a bunch of other flowering plants that I haven't learned the names of yet that I appreciate watching too.  I try to learn to recognize a few new plants every year.  It's a fun game to play while walking the dogs.  

Next up will be the peonies.  Arguably the big spring show stopper.  Unless you're my mom. Then day lilies take the prize, hands down, every year. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

when lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd

When I was in high school, I sang in the choir for three years.  I could hit notes well enough that I could blend in with other people, just not well enough that I'd want to sing solo anyplace other than my shower.  My freshman or sophomore year we sang the song "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" - an adaptation of a poem by the same name written by Walt Whitman after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  

Here's an excerpt. 

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.

The melody of the song was beautiful and matched the mournfulness of the song.  Now every spring when I see the lilacs blooming, that song pops into my head.  Funny the random associations you end up making in your life isn't it?  I probably couldn't name five songs that I sang in high school choir, but I see a lilac, and all the harmonies of the lilac song come back to me.  

Luckily I don't feel mournful when I catch the beautiful scent of lilacs.  Just nostalgic.  Which is how I feel about most spring flowers.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

late spring

Late spring is by far my favorite time of year.  If it's not yours, we can still be friends, I'll just think you're a little crazy.  (But I think lot of my friends are crazy.)  Nothing beats all the colors, all the flowers, and just how vibrant and alive everything feels.  I took my camera on one of my morning walks with the pups last week to capture some of the current beauty around our neighborhood.  Hope you enjoy!  And hope you have a great weekend!  (Regardless of how crazy you may or may not be.)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

spring at the mo botanical garden

Almost every trip home to St. Louis includes a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Few places make me happier than the garden that feels like a second home.  I've been coming here with my mom since I was a baby, so I feel like I have an excuse for being completely obsessed with it.  Here's a few photos from around Easter time, right before a hail storm knocked a lot of blooms off the trees and damaged some of the flowers.  Hope they brighten your day!



Monday, March 30, 2015

portland (in iphotos)

A few weeks ago, Paul and I went to Portland to visit family and friends and celebrate the anticipated arrival of our first baby.  While we were there we walked under the cherry trees along the Willamette River...

tried out a new coffee shop...

soaked in all the spring vibes and blooming flowers...

enjoyed breakfast at my favorite French bakery...

and had a mini babymoon at the Crystal Hotel (the lounge pool was the best!)....

The few days we spent in Portland were so rejuvenating and restful.  I had no idea how much my body and spirit needed warm weather and a mini vacation until I felt myself coming back to life.  One day at lunch I couldn't stop smiling and laughing - all because the weather was warmer, we were surrounded by friends, and we had a break from the past few busy months in Milwaukee.  The winters here really take a toll on me, and it's so nice to get away for a bit and feel like myself again.  More photos from our Portland baby shower coming this week! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

welcome to spring!!!

Last week Paul and I travelled to Portland for a quick visit.  Spring was in full bloom, and the warm weather (60s) was such a welcome change from the weather we had been having in Wisconsin (20s-30s).  If you've ever experienced a winter up north, you probably know the de-thawing feeling that comes with spring.  After spending all winter bracing yourself against the cold, you can suddenly let your body relax.  You can be outside without wearing multiple parkas.  You finally feel the warm sunshine on your skin instead of biting winds.  The return of spring feels like a little miracle every year.  

I'm so glad I had a few days of daffodils, tulips, and cherry blossoms, because we returned to Wisconsin to more clouds and cold.  As I'm writing this, we're getting a fresh sprinkling of snow.  I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it's the last of the season!  

Eight winters up north (one in Syracuse, two in Chicago, five in Milwaukee), and I've yet to master surviving winter happily.  I worked on thriving last year - and I'm glad I did - because without that intention I think I could have slunk into a very unhappy place.  This year the cold and snow hit later than usual, and it doesn't seem to want up to let up just yet.  It really feels like a marathon of cold, and I always hit my wall right around mid February - just when I still have at least another six weeks of cold weather ahead of me.  

But all of that aside, it's officially spring!  There's tulip leaves popping out of the snow, the biggest snow piles have melted, and the ground at my community garden plot has thawed!   We'll have color and life here before too long, and I'll finally feel like myself again.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

today i'm thankful for...

the perfect low-key, normal, completely uneventful weekend

a taco and margarita happy hour

coming home from derby practice to a clean apartment

an evening walk through our neighborhood

a nice catch up talk with a great friend

learning how to make macarons

finally being able to open the windows

adorable dresses (on sale!) for upcoming weddings

making summer travel plans (Portland and Iceland here we come!)

Sunday brunch and errands with my love

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

april fools

I had a lot of fun with yesterday's April Fools Day joke - thanks for bearing with my love of the holiday.  

Each year I get a bittersweet reminder of the meaning behind April Fools Day.  This time of year really does trick you.  One warm day has you thinking you're done with the cold and breaking out your swimsuits and sandles, and then bam!  Another snow fall hits.  One of my friends compared it to opening herself to love after a bad heartbreak.  She keeps telling herself she won't be fooled again, but then she just falls back into the same bad habits. 

Fortunately, there are signs that Spring as arrived even if the weather is really taking its time warming up.  Like the weeping willows turning yellow.  Did you know they did that this time of year?  I just learned that nice little fact from my local ecology center. 

Other signs of early Spring I love: the blue skies, the break in the frigid temps that actually allow you to take your time outside, watching ice on rivers and lakes break up, hearing birds chirp again, seeing buds popping up, embracing the promise of growth and possibilities. 

When leaving the art museum over the weekend, my friend and I took our time walking back to our car - enjoying the view of Lake Michigan, the frozen lagoon, the red-winged black birds, the feeling of long awaited sunshine on our faces.  It was glorious. 

And then 30 degree temperatures returned again.  April fools!