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It’s okay. I’m pretty sure no one’s listening anyway, which makes dead air juuust fine. But I had a few minutes, and I thought I’d stroll back over to the Dooryard to see if it’s still green.

A great deal has changed since I last posted. I am still a mumma with a career, but my career is changing. I am now in full-time school and full-time internship for teaching. Hopefully, this time next year, I will be happily ensconced in my first year of teaching either high school or middle school (whichever charms me most). While I loved my former career as magazine asst. editor, I have wanted to come back to teaching for some time. Becoming a mother changed everything for me, and I realized it was finally time to get real.

So this is what “real” looks like for me: doubling my student loans, interning at a high school all day, class all night twice a week, readings, research papers, lesson plans, paper correcting, maybe eating (sometimes), and sometimes getting to spend time with Simon and Baby Henry (who’s barely a baby anymore, but I’m still going to call him that).

I’m on a much-deserved break right now, so I’m spending today cooking for a game night we’re hosting this evening. On my list: granola, beef stew, and crock-pot mini cheesecakes. Here’s the catch. I have no car today, and my recipes involve a trip to the store. Guess I’m gettin’ my boots on…

Pictures to follow. OH! And I started canning since I last wrote, too! How cool is that?!?

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Okay, so maybe it’s really Screen-Reduction Week in our household…

The good folks over at the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood have organized one solid week of encouraging families, churches, schools, libraries, and so on to turn off our screens and get the hell outside. Or in the kitchen. Or into a book.

(Yes, I am aware of the irony of posting about Screen-Free Week through an electronic screen-based medium. And I’m over it.)

Anyway, Simon and I know ourselves well enough to understand that we like our iPhones and Netflix, and that they are part of our routine. We are unlikely to remove them from our lives entirely, even for just a week. The problem is that they are too much a part of our routine, so we are using this week to help us ease the grip these screen-based sirens have on our lives.

Lawn Baby

SFW Day 1:

– Dragged a blanket outside and rolled around on the grass a bit. Baby Henry has just started antibiotics (see my griping on this here), and he needed some good old fashioned sunshine. So the three of us cuddled, nursed, giggled, and read until the breeze grew cool and the peepers raised their evensong.

– Made homemade pasta and pasta sauce, following Marcella Hazan’s careful and caring instructions. I love this woman. Love. Looooove. If you have any interest in Italian cooking, buy her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Now.

– Danced to some Toots and the Maytals in the cooking-warmed kitchen.

– Ate at the table for the first time in weeks. Baby Henry sat with us in the big boy seat. I think this was our first “family meal” at the dining room table. Not too shabby.

Up Next for SFW Day 2:

– Baby Henry and I are headed up to Pinelands this evening with some other local mommas for a hike. Then? Porterhouse steaks. Good times.

What about you?

Are you celebrating SFW? Why or why not?

What amazing activities do you have planned, or are you just going along as the spirit of free-range living moves you?