we spent the month of may mostly in our backyard.
i remember last may, i was newly pregnant and although it was a delight watching my little 9-month-old lucy (how was that just one year ago?!!) discover water, grass, picnics, and dandelions, everything was tinged by that around-the-edges sickness that colors my first-trimester world. even on mother's day! i have the most distinct feeling of queasiness mixed in with my happiness from that day.

this year, i felt like a million bucks.

my loves.

it was the first time lucy took one look at what i was wearing (yolo! yolo!) and wanted to match; we had to find her a yellow dress to wear too. i asked darin if i should put polly in her yellow dress as well, and he said that's just going too far ;)

before we left on our trip, we had been watching a nest of baby bluejays in our plum tree. The three little babies became fledglings the day before we left. (Lucy and I watched one of them make his first exploratory dive-bomb from the nest and hop clumsily over to this fence.) I was relieved about the timing, because we planned to leave our two cats inside anyway, and this would give those groundlings the chance to learn to fly, a process that takes about a week. Did you know that the mother and father bluejay continue to feed their offspring for the first month or so of the babies' flying lives? Bluejays have complicated social situations, and I watched multiple adults keeping a watchful eye on these fledglings from spots around the yard, squawking if danger seemed eminent.

As soon as we got back from Utah, I found that I could recognize the young bluejays by their scrappy, smallish appearance, and their low-flying jaunts around the yard, and that it appeared that all three had made it into safe-flying adulthood! Our backyard is still their home, and they are luckily wary and quick when the cats are out.

Almost daily, the laundry on my line changes. You can tell a little about what the weather's been like, activities we've been doing. 

You might find rugs, or sundresses, or diapers. Or a lightweight vintage Beatrix Potter bedspread my mom thrifted for us.

and's undies! Yep, Toot was so ready. As soon as we got back I started putting her in underwear that my mom got her (she calls them Nana Unnies) and she only had a handful of accidents. At first, nights were looking good too, but there have definitely been cute little twin bedsheets on this line too. 

my own little groundlings. me and my own squawking: i have the fiercest love and protective spirit for these babies.

especially as we embark on my big tradition when summer hits: putting up my pool. This year pops did most of the work, with a special little assistant who is very excited about the water.

Ready to float around even when there's only about six inches. 
Now it's full and we are in there every day, she's brown as a berry, fearless, and yes...she starts swim lessons Monday.

an attempt at a ponytail.

polly began sitting up in earnest when we got home, and practice makes perfect. She might be small, but she is so strong and sturdy. and of course THE MOST KISSABLE!

pops also worked long and hard trying to fix our rusty old lawn mower, but finally after a couple of days, and sky-high weeds, we gave in and got a new one. it felt good.

and finally, with a mowed lawn and a filled pool...let the backyard hangouts begin!

us mamas got together one day and let the kids play all afternoon.

scout, arlo, polly: (i was just looking at this post [very end] and marveling at how close they all came to their due dates.)

a backyard is a terrible thing to waste. so we won't. it's the saving grace of our house and is full of memories of parties, cat graves, failed garden plots, and echoes of the shouting laughing voices of adults and children alike. i hope one day even after we move from this house, the spirit of joy we've felt in this yard will linger forever.


Rachel Weaver said…
I gotta say, i think darin was wrong. three yolo dresses = the perfect number of yolo dresses.
anne said…
marianne loves to match too. all three of you are rays of sunshine! your backyard looks super fun especially with the pool. i love your laundry line too. i never tire of pictures of hanging laundry. maybe if i had a line i'd enjoy doing laundry more. probably not :)
Tera said…
My new all time favorite post! Made me smile the whole time and the photos of you all are just dreamygorgeous!!!!! I love that little flowered dress Polly is wearing, August had that one. Still have it put away :) Didn't Lucy wear it too? Wonderful!!!
Teeny said…
okay, i am about to run and have dinner, but i was so excited to see your post. Summertime with you includes balmy evenings, backyard beers, friends, family, river swimming, food and babies -what isn't to love?! I'll come back hopefully tonight to comment properly. xo
Lauren Knight said…
This all looks like the perfect start to summer! That pool looks like a lot of fun, and your girls are getting so big I can hardly believe it. Such happiness radiates from this space, I always feel myself smiling when I visit you here!
Yep, it was a gift for Lucy before she was even born. I think it's so pretty, definitely a keeper!

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