Because red was her favorite color.
Because she loved roses.
Because Queen Anne’s lace reminds me of her.
Because she was wild, whimsical, and wise.
Because she would have been seventy-three today.
Happy Birthday, Mom.


Lately I’ve been noticing how this autumn is touched with gold. There are reds and oranges, yes, but the trees are especially yellow this year. Resplendent, in fact. The days have been warm and sunny and the nights crisp. The wind has been rustling leaves about, reminding me of clambering up our old sycamore tree as a child. I watch my daughter outside, the way she inspects the ground and gathers treasures, and wonder if she’ll remember these days. Making flower potions, walking in the woods together, collecting leaves. I think she will, considering the fact that she still remembers how my husband accidentally broke her first sled before she had even turned two!

I bought her these overalls two years ago, two sizes too big. I wanted them to last a while. At first I rolled the cuffs up twice. Then just once. Now no rolls at all. She wears them every time she works out in the garden with Dada, and whenever we go on walks. Even though we have our share of difficult days and time-outs, seeing her outgrow these overalls reminds me to appreciate this stage. All of it.

Our flowers are still hanging on, depsite the chilly nights. There are quite a few cosmos and zinnias left, but it’s these bright blooms that I associate with autumn. Our first year here, we thought they were three-foot tall dandelions! It turns out they are sow weed flowers (and the stems make me itchy, by the way). Weed or not, I still like seeing them in the meadow, opening at dawn and closing at dusk.


The itchiness doesn’t bother my daughter a bit. She picks them and brings them to me, always saying, “Here Mommy, I brought this for you. I know how much you love flowers.” Indeed I do. They’re such amazing reminders to appreciate the beauty of the moment.

For the love of fall




Oh this time of year. It always gets me. The golden light, the scent of fallen leaves, the music of crickets in the fields. I want to slow down and absorb it all, yet life has been so busy on the home front. Lots of milestones and sprinklings of magic. Some maddening moments, too, I’ll be honest. My son was up at five this morning and my daughter at six. I’ve been on the verge of tears all day. I feel a strange mixture of sadness and fatigue coupled with gratitude and inspiration bubbling beneath the surface.

For now I simply want to pause and remember yesterday. My son took his first steps. Four of them. My daughter gathered flowers for me, as she so often does. White asters and zinnias this time, while barefoot, of course. And then I made this mandala with her offerings, which I combined with four locust tree leaves. The four directions. The four seasons. The four of us.

Autumn blessings to each of you, too!

Summer magic

Poppy magic

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to each of you lovely souls who left comments on my Wild about flowers post.  I was amazed at all of the gorgeous descriptions of your favorite flowers.  It was such a delight to read about the cherished memories that flowers evoke for each of you.  I was even reminded of some flowers that I had forgotten about, like forget-me-nots!  And snapdragons, which my mom used to make “talk” for me.  Fuschia is another flower that was mentioned, and it brought back memories of the plant my fourth grade teacher had hanging in our classroom!  There were so many dear moments shared in the comments.  Memories of mothers and grandmothers, of picking irises and blackberries.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read through them if you can!  I appreciated everything you shared and responded to each of you.  If you didn’t subscribe to follow-up comments, then please click on that post and scroll down to find my replies!

Oh how I wish I could send a copy of Bella Grace to everyone who commented.  I truly do.  Your love of flowers has inspired me to spend more time here on my personal blog.  I tend to be so busy with other projects and family life that I don’t come here as often as I plan.  But knowing there are so many of you out there who love the magical beauty of nature inspires me to bring more to this space of mine.  So stay tuned for more goodness!

And now for the giveaway winner!  (Sorry it took me until the wee hours to get this posted!  I was making sure I had responded to all of your comments first!)  My daughter is always my helper when it comes to giveaways.  I write each name on a piece of paper and usually she picks one out of a jar.  This time there were so many names that I had to put them in a big colander!  She chose the winner: Bonita Rose!  Quite appropriate considering that the post was about flowers!  I’ll be sending you an email shortly to get your mailing address, so please check your inbox for a note from someplaceserendipitous{at}gmail{dot}com!  

In the meantime, I’m wishing you each a day full of summer magic and light that dances on flower petals.  Remember to keep checking the Stampington blog for more chances to win a copy of Bella Grace!  Xoxo.

Wild about flowers

Bella Grace

It’s such an honor for me to be featured in Stampington’s amazing new publication, Bella Grace.  As the cover says, “Life’s a Beautiful Adventure.”  I believe that with all of my heart.  At the same time, I must admit that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows at my house.  There are toys strewn about and plenty of tantrums.  My husband and I are often worn thin by the stresses and messes of having two small children.  I’ve been pregnant or nursing for the better part of four years.  My thoughts tend to get muddled with hormones and lack of sleep.  So when tempers flare and tears flow, I know I need a bit of quiet time outside amongst the flowers. 

Flowers have always been comforting to me.  Magical, even.  As a child I loved gathering bouquets of daffodils for my mother, weaving my way through the wet woods in tiny rubber boots.  As much as I love picked flowers (my husband is the best at gathering wildflower bouquets!), I especially love flowers when they are out in the wild, roots deep in the ground and petals blowing in the breeze. They connect me to a place of wonder and happiness, centering me and reminding me of all that is amazing on this earth. 

Zinnia confetti

I love beds of zinnias, with pops of sweet color everywhere.  They’re like floral confetti to me, and such lovely symbols of friendship.

Buttercup jump

Buttercups do something special to my spirit.  They bring hope and cheer after a long, cold winter.  I’ll always remember the day I frolicked in this little field of buttercups while my daughter giggled in the stroller just a few feet away.  It was a return to joy for me on multiple levels.

Poppy path

Poppies remind me of Greece, where they pop up from rocky soil.  I smiled every time I saw them, often going for walks by myself and watching them flicker in the wind.  A photograph of poppies I took there and sold online led my husband to me, so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

Sunflower seats

Sitting amongst the flowers is dreamy, I think.  It’s something I hope everyone takes the time to do someday.  I came upon this sight just a few days ago, at a local flower farm.  It was a serendipitous find, just when I needed some flower therapy.  There were bees buzzing, crickets chirping, and a sense of softness in the afternoon air. 

Petunias on the porch

These petunias hang in our gazebo out back.  I just love the velvety feel of the blossoms, and the fact that they attract hummindbirds.  Nurturing nature is something that my husband and I believe in strongly, especially when it comes to teaching our little ones.


Flowers remind me to listen, too.  I often need to get out of my own head, where there are just too many thoughts whizzing around.  I pulled over to take this photo of sunflowers outside a restaurant in a neighboring town.  The flash of yellow as I was driving by called to me.  I’m so glad I happened to have my camera in the car! 

Allowing the light in

Queen Anne’s lace will always be my wildflower link to my mom.  It reminds me to allow the light in.  When I miss her, I look to the meadow.  I remember how she taught me to find the little purple flower in the center of Queen Anne’s lace.  Often it seems like a tiny heart to me.  Deep down, I know that love is a big part of this adventure we’re all on.  A few quiet moments with the flowers work wonders to help me listen to my heart.  That’s where I know truth from fiction.

How about you?  Tell me about your favorite flower.  Lavender?  Violets?  Cosmos?  Daisies?  I love them all!  Do you have a childhood memory that comes rushing back when you see a certain flower?  Or is it the sweet smell of a bouquet that melts your heart?  Leave a comment here and tell me all about it.  By doing so, you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a copy of the inaugural issue of Bella Grace!  I’ll be adding a few flowery goodies in the package, too!  Comments will remain open until Sunday, August 10, 2014 at noon Eastern time.  I’ll announce the winner in a new post here that day!  Feel free to subscribe to posts (scroll down to the footer) so you don’t miss out.  And guess what?!  The goodness is going to last all month long!  Be sure to check back at Stampington each day to unlock the link to the next entry on the Bella Grace Blog Hop.  There will be giveaways and entries from lots of lovely souls, including my fellow She is Three contributors!  Xoxo, Jennifer


Kindred spirits

kindred_issue 6_600
It is a delight to reveal that my photo has been chosen for the cover of Kindred Magazine’s Spring 2014 issue! I found out last week on my daughter’s third birthday. Even more special is the fact that my daughter was in the stroller just a few feet away from me the day I took this photo. Spring had arrived, the buttercups were blooming and I remember the joy of hearing her giggle at me frolicking in the field.

Rebirth is the theme of Issue 6, with writing and photography by these contributors. Copies can be pre-ordered through Anchor & Plume Press.

Birthdays always bring me back

Mommy I want you to make me feel better

I’ve been away again. Somehow I always end up wandering off from this personal space of mine. I suppose that’s what mamas do from time to time. Life is happening so fast. Most days I’m simply keeping up…and yet there’s no keeping up with an infant and a toddler. They’re growing and changing quicker than I can fathom. Almost every night I fall asleep with a mental list of family moments to remember, emails to answer, bills to pay, photos to upload and ideas to write down. But sleep inevitably takes me. As it should at this stage. I’m learning to let motherhood guide my course. I’m taking note of the now as best I can.

Though I should be sleeping, I can’t let January end without writing here just once. I had planned to post on the twenty-eighth, in honor of my mom’s birthday. Her birthday has a way of bringing me back here…back to the creative part of myself. It’s something I know she understood. She would have been seventy-two this year. Hard to imagine since she always seemed so young. In my mind, she hovers somewhere around forty, and yet I’m forty now.

My plan to post on the twenty-eighth was sidetracked, but for good reason. This week my daughter came down with a cold. “Mommy, I want you to make me feel better,” she said. Her little voice took me back to my own childhood, back to a time when my mom could make everything better. When I felt sick, a cup of ginger ale and the twinkle in her eye worked wonders somehow. Now I’m the mommy. I keep having to remind myself of that. So often I feel like I’m doing it wrong. I feel like I’m not capable of being as good a mommy as my mom was, probably because part of me is still a little girl inside. But I’m here, and I’m doing it. I helped my daughter put on her leotard with the pink skirt and her fuzzy polka-dotted slippers and we sat on the kitchen floor eating graham crackers together. Her nose was still stuffy afterwards, but on some level I know she felt better. So did I.

Wildflowers on my walks

Seeing softness
Oh my, it’s been a while again.  The last time I posted here, I didn’t even know that we are having a boy this time.  Yes, a boy!  At first I was surprised and speechless.  Now I’m so amazed and excited that I wonder how I’ll ever wait three more months to meet him.  The time is flying, though, it really is.  It’s been a very hot and busy summer here.  One thing that I can always count on, even in this heat, is a nice morning walk.  (This week’s prompt was perfect!)  The wildflowers along the way never cease to inspire me.  Here is a little glimpse…

Blue or pink, what do you think?

Blue or pink, what do you think?
Big things are happening today.  This morning we’re headed out for our 20-week anatomical ultrasound.  Soon we’ll know if Tiny Baby is a boy or a girl, and our two-year-old will learn if a baby brother or sister is coming to join her.  In some ways it feels like I’ve been waiting forever to find out.  In other ways, I can hardly believe the time has come already.  Sometimes it still amazes me that we’ll be a family of four in October.  Above all, we just want the baby to be healthy.  After our appointment, we’re heading straight to our favorite Thai restaurant for some celebratory vegetarian pad thai!

The world in a water droplet

The world in a water droplet
I actually managed to play along at 52 Photos Project this week (yay!), where the prompt was water drops.  The weather here has been very timely. We’ve had a whole lot of rain, and I went on some wet but very refreshing nature walks. It’s pouring right now, in fact.  On Friday I stopped to admire and photograph these wildflowers along the side of the road. It felt so good to simply be in the moment and absorb their beauty. When I went back through my photos that afternoon, I realized that the reflections of clouds and branches from above made this tiny rain drop resemble the world. Somehow that reminded me to try and keep life simple, rather than overcomplicate it as I tend to do…