Archive for the ‘Smock Mom with Amy Graham Stigler’ Category
In honor of Father’s Day I asked the dad of my children (aka my husband Zach) to share a quick list of his favorite things. Here it is…
Running in the woods.
Hanging out with friends.
The view at dusk over the lake.
This basically reads as an itinerary of our Father’s Day weekend traditions. Friday night campfire with me and the kids and a Belgian beer (or two). Saturday morning trail run and hop in the kayak (with kids or solo — Dad’s choice). Saturday night boat ride with family and friends and a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the lake. Sunday morning includes breakfast in bed — juice, coffee, a piece of toast with jam, a flower from the garden, hand drawn cards and lots of hugs and ‘I love yous’ and ‘you’re the best dad EVERs’. The rest of the day is step and repeat: kids, run, kayak, beer…..dusk. We always bring some of the chaos into my dad’s life. And family being his favorite thing he can’t resist. And this year Zach’s dad is joining us so we will pull up an extra chair at the campfire and the kids will make some extra cards and toast.
In celebration of spring and the upcoming Easter weekend, Smock’s creative director Amy Graham Stigler shares a few of her favorite things about spring with us today. We’re feeling completely inspired to start our spring cleaning and planting now. How about you?
Spring is my favorite season (when it cooperates) so its hard to narrow the field of things I love best. So here are a few things: I LOVE the light and early blooms and freshness of the air. I LOVE that I can run outside without worrying about ice and snow and frigid temps. I LOVE that the markets resume (flea and farmers). I LOVE that my kids are either on a bike or in a tree. I LOVE our magnolia and apple trees that absolutely explode with flowers and fragrance.
For Easter, we always start with an Easter egg hunt. The kids each get a basket with a few goodies and then go searching for sweets and eggs, which we dyed the night before. If weather permits the hunt continues outside. And we always do brunch with the Easter bunnies that the kids still adore – even though they are ‘on to them’.
We start to reclaim our yard and prepare our vegetable and herb garden. We start frequenting the farmer’s markets for herbs and flowers to plant and early edibles. We start our weekend family hikes on the many trails in our area. And my husband and I try to fit in a ‘date trail run’ at least once a week.
Casual dinner parties with friends and their kids is our favorite way to entertain so in the spring we just tweak the menu and decor to fit the season. The vases are filled with tulips and daffodils and other happy spring blooms, the menu gets a bit lighter, such as a seasonal soup and a salad, and we always hope that some portion of the evening can be spent outdoors. Of course, decorating cupcakes or sugar cookies with pastel candies is always a sweet way to end the evening.
Miette and I recently attended a fairy festival at a local perennial farm. It was our first, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect (aside from lots of little be-glittered girls). On arrival, Miette was slightly awe-struck. Once she got her bearings, in true fairy fashion, she became quite industrious — sprinkling water on ALL the flowers with her wand. For nearly an hour. Other fairy-day moments: watching a puppet show, chasing butterflies and kissing a frog (ok, more princess than fairy, but still). I daresay, by the end, we were both fairied out.
While my last post focused on a ’big’ summer event, this week I thought I would reflect on a small and frequent tradition of our family - the evening walk. The best thing about this tradition (besides its ease) is that it is completely mutable. There is no start and stop time. No map. No itinerary. Very few rules. The kids run and look and shout and wrestle. They point out little things they find interesting – bugs and balls and old coins. They ask questions. They chase the dog. They get tired out. And my husband and I just try to soak it all in. Because this time together seems like it may go by just as fast as their little legs…
Every summer there is an event that reminds me just why we moved to Wisconsin. It’s called the Fishoree and, as the name implies, its a fishing ‘competition’ for kids. (Competition in the sense that there are awards given for such categories as ‘cutest fish’.) It’s a favorite of ALL my boys as it involves worms, tangled line and consequent fish-tales. Oh yes, and a locally brewed beer for my husband (who needs it after dealing with the tangled lines.) Miette loves it as well. This year she spent the entire evening squealing “I wanna catch a beauty!” (As in….“what a beauty!”) And therein lies my focus of the evening – soaking up the sheer beauty of it all.
I adored camp as a child. The dusty cabins, the spirited counselors, the fireside songs — I ate it ALL up. So it was with great anticipation that I went as chaperone to my oldest’s camp this past month. My main role was as witness; witness to the constant (loud!) silliness, the new found independence, the occasional scraped knee and consequent (quickly wiped away) tears.
But I also got to participate in a few of my camp-time favorites — a treasure hunt, a hike in the woods and a visit to the canteen. Next year I am hitting the rope swing.
Its no secret that I adore the farmer’s market. It make me feel hopeful and inspired and, well, just like that ‘kid in the candy store.’ Most Saturdays we zip over to our local market which is quaint and neighborly and somewhat predictable in its offerings. But when we are feeling the need for the unexpected we load up the car and head to Madison for the BIG kahuna of markets.
My kids love the sights and samples and crowds. And the man with the bee-hive hat. And I love seeking out that odd vegetable that will inspire a new recipe and on a good week, may even convert one of my (very outspoken) strange-food-naysayers.
Truth be told, as a family, we’ve been know to blow off parades. One reason is that, in our area, there are just so darn many of them. But one parade we LOVE (Mom for the old cars & the kids for the LOADS of candy) happens on the fourth of July in a neighboring town. The colors alone are worth the one plus mile hike to get there….
Smock’s creative director, Amy Graham Stigler, is a successful designer and an incredible mother. We are thrilled that Amy will be sharing weekly glimpses into life as a designer and a mom, and snippets of inspiration along the way. You can read Amy’s past posts on the Smock blog here. First up, Amy’s kids have fun with homemade Father’s Day Cards…
It seems apropos that the children of a card designer love designing cards. And, oh boy, are my children prolific (and competitively so). Father’s Day alone resulted in 20 plus cards filled with loving sentiment and vibrant color.
The best part is that our mantel is always filled with a seasonally-appropriate-budget-friendly display of original artwork…