last year my sweet crew surprised me with a bike ride along the beltline. It was a beautiful day spent in the sun + we enjoyed all the stops along the way from krog to ponce to piedmont park + back again for pinwheels + popsicles it was full of fun + treats.

…it was pure birthday magic + we’ve talked about that outing almost everyday since! now, with there being fewer social events to help us mark the time passed, it doesn’t even feel like that was a year ago. to anyone who has celebrated a birthday recently, or ever before with less than ideal circumstances, I know now how you feel—this year just wasn’t the same.

we still managed to find more than a few ways to “celebrate” three of our four birthdays thus far during the pandemic, though with each passing year, i am increasingly more so in the camp of celebrating life everyday. as a dear friend’s father often said:

“everyday’s a holiday + every meal’s a picnic!”

–Walter Ehrhardt

we kicked festivities off with some piddlin’ these past two Saturdays around town + brought home a few finds. the fun is always in making the journey together as a family, even if there’s nothing to be found. the girls are learning how to look for + read price tags + how to determine the value of the small treasures they spot. We get to learn more about one another on our adventures + there are always laughs!

we had digital learning on tuesday, so as a treat, my people sent me to do a little lunchtime shopping at a favorite store, personify (a happy little shop, which feels like a local anthropologie) in downtown duluth + while I was there I was able to pick up some lunch at sweet octopus, + some handmade chocolates, all within walking distance! locally owned places like these along with a dozen more in duluth are so great + it’s nice to see downtowns across america making a come back. I had such a good time, I almost forgot I was wearing a mask! I only wish we could have taken the trip together.

these hand-crafted chocolates were delicious + found at the choclaterie in downtown duluth

next, we shared lunch back at home + wrapped up virtual learning with time to spare before heading out to the dunwoody nature center for a modified take on their annual butterfly festival! I’ll admit, I was a little upset by the set-up which seemed to make things manageable for the humans, but apparently left our delicate sun-loving winged creatures a bit vulnerable. many of them appeared fatigued + desperate for a place to find rest away from the curious sugar-water dabbed q-tips. we managed to be very gentle with these creatures as they obliged to let us take a closer look, but not all of the visitors knew how to do the same, so it left the nature enthusiast in me a bit sad. nonetheless, this was a rare chance to get personal with some gorgeous bugs + they were magnificent! the center annually draws thousands of spectators to the festival to admire the pollinators that are each a piece of art in their own right, so this version was a bit different…for all of us.

on friday, we all loaded up again + ventured to our favorite place to bring home a few flowers + plants for the yard, Grower’s Outlet in Loganville. They open seasonally + offer a colorful sea of native plants that always leave me wanting to cover the whole world with beautiful flowers + lush vegetation. the coneflowers in particular reminded me of an ice cream shop with rows upon rows of double scoop pinks, whites, reds + more, my oldest even said to me “mom, I found a secret garden!” it’s a wonderfully inspiring place + each growing season, I am reminded of the beauty in the cycles of life as it is mirrored in the gardens + plant life.

i hope you too are finding joy in the season you are in right now—

with the tiniest shift in weather, as summer begins it’s fold into autumn with loads of heavy rain, slight drop in temps + even a few leaves beginning to change + fall, we’ve really been looking forward to spending more time on our gravel patio.

if you’d like to have a space like this one to enjoy the outdoors more to create community with friends + family, check out the creative services I can offer to help your vision become a reality at pencilandinkcreative.com!

have a great week,

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