view of Bellingham Bay from Boulevard Park
Last week the kids and I spent an entire day in Bellingham, WA, and mostly, we spent it at the beach near Boulevard Park. The sun was shining and there was blue blue blue everywhere! It was a warm day, but not horribly hot that you had to stay in the water. A cool breeze was blowing through and after we got our three or four errands done, I parked myself with a book on a bench, a picnic table, and then in the grass on my blanket while the kids played at the park, in the sand, and rested quietly while listening to me read aloud.
It was one of the best days we've had in awhile. I took them to Chipotle for lunch (a rare treat for us now that we don't live by one!), we had plenty of food and water for the entire afternoon, and aside from a bit of grumbling about sunscreen application, these kids had an absolute ball playing on the rocks, in the sand, and just enjoying the gorgeous view of the bay nearby. I got plenty of time to read to myself, the kids went happily unattended for hours.
our 'outside quiet time' (i.e. this rarely happens so it's exciting)
When they got too hot and tired, I suggested we rest in the shade with a snack, some laying down time, and them just listening quietly to the kids' magazines I had brought to read to them for the last hour before our author visit, and they happily obliged! Since we normally do a daily quiet time for 2.5 hours, and not having that in the day, they realized in the afternoon they were quite tired and needed a rest (see, this mama is onto something) and enjoyed an hour of laying on the blanket, closing their eyes, and just relaxing and listening. Heaven!
The Taproot get-together at Ragfinery
Now onto the real reason why we came to Bellingham (the Namaste gluten-free flour, Chipotle, and TJ's orange craisins were just a happy pit-stop), meeting Amanda Blake Soule aka Soulemama at Ragfinery on her Taproot tour of the Pacific Northwest! I've been reading Amanda's blog for nearly 8 years; since Lukka was an infant, and reading her daily words and seeing the pictures is actually a moment I savor nearly every day. She's a crafter, artist, and author celebrity in her niche, and I couldn't believe my luck that she'd be in Bellingham (nearly everyone goes to Seattle) so close to me!
It was my first time to Ragfinery, and oh how I wish I had known about it when I lived in Blaine and was up in Bham so often! This unique store is part fabric, yarn, and notions shop. Although I didn't get a tour (my kids were with me, we didn't stay more than an hour), from what I observed it looks like there are staff who also create garments and piece from the fabric and notions collected, repurposing them. It was a really great store with a color-coded wall that I should have taken a picture of.
Craft and blog celebrity Amanda Blake Soule (@Soulemama) and artist Pheobe Wahl in the flesh!
Above you can see the beautifully decorated event room (you should have seen the cheese and meats all over the table! yum!) with sweet pea flowers, fabric and yarn garlands everywhere, and of course courtesy copies of Taproot magazine. My only wish for this time was that Stefan could have had the kids with him for an hour or so while I could enjoy the wonderful company of craft women (I met a few who I was able to chat with for about an hour), and also knit or embroider with Amanda-really, a lovely dream! Alas, I knew I'd never make it down from Ft. Langley to Bellingham after Stefan got home from work, the event would have been over right as I'd get there, so that's the reason we spent the entire day there anyway. We did have fun, anyway!
I only talked to Amanda for a few minutes, but what I really wanted to do was personally thank her for teaching and inspiring me so much through her blog, her books, and her photos. I've learned a lot from her over the last 8 years and I feel she has mentored me a bit in the ways of homeschooling, homesteading, gardening, and raising kids, even though I had never met her in real life before the other day. A most excellent day, indeed, and a small wish come true.