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Smock Mom – Spring

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.

Smock Mom – Evening Walks

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…

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Evening Walk

Smock Mom – Fishoree

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.

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom - Fishoree

Smock Mom – I Love Summer Camp

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.

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom: Summer Camp

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.

Smock Mom – The Farmer’s Market

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.

Amy Graham Stigler, Smock Mom: Farmer's Market

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.

Smock Mom – Fun with Father’s Day Cards

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…

Homemade Father's Day Card

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.

Homemade Father's Day Card

The best part is that our mantel is always filled with a seasonally-appropriate-budget-friendly display of original artwork…

Homemade Father's Day Cards