Signs of Growth

We bought a new car yesterday. Well, new to us. It's been a long time coming, but events last week pressed the issue. I'll spare you the long, sad, pathetic tale, but it included a tow truck, a long walk across town with two tired children, and recognition of some serious pride and trust issues I need to address.

As we were getting in our "new" car it hit me how much we've grown up as a family over the years. I've been driving SUVs and station wagons for the last ten years, but our new car is small, efficient, and speedy. We used to need so much cargo space for all the strollers, backpacks, car seats, sand toys, and changes of clothes we needed to haul around everywhere we went, just in case. Now all we need is four doors and a tank of bio-fuel. The kids pop in the back, buckle up and are ready to go.

When we're not on the go, you'll often find us together but doing our own thing. After the kids went to bed last night, I thought about cleaning up the mess we made in the family room. Instead I grabbed my camera and took pictures of the remains of our day.


Avery, armed with a new set of colored markers, rediscovered her love of fairies.


Aidan took off his shoes (which he now knows how to tie himself), put his goggles back in their case after a little evening swim, and played Jenga.


Not being able to fit all my crochet thread into a suitcase, I got the crazy idea to wind all the thread into smaller balls. It's a much bigger job than I anticipated. I didn't even finish the first ball last night.

I have a feeling there will be plenty more evenings like the last, and eventually all my crochet thread will fit in the suitcase. More games will be played, more pictures will be drawn, more messes will be made. We'll continue to pursue our own interests, together.

We've grown out of big cars filled with lots of stuff into a small compact, packed with lots of potential. Our lives fill up the calendar, but comfortably fit on our family room rug. I really love the direction in which we're headed.


  1. pretty sure this is what is all about, the good stuff: growing as a family, growing in context to each other. it is lovely that you can recognize it in the small things - how 'bout a swift for that crochet yarn????

  2. Congratulations - for both the new car and that wonderful feeling of heading in the right direction. Nothing like that.

    Sometimes I feel it - looking back and seeing all the baby steps bringing our family to a better place and feel really proud - but then sometimes I go crazy and see a sea of "could be better" and feel discouraged. I guess it's that second part that keeps me trying. I just need to let myself feel more of the first.

    Love the living room pics and the reminder that progress gets wonderfully made. You've been a good example of that for us too. Your blog inspires and gets me thinking - and sometimes just reminds me to - stop. By sharing your travels toward a better life - you help us along our way too.

    Have a great long weekend.

  3. Nice post, Molly. I love the feeling of everyone doing their own thing, side by side. I think that's the definition of contentment.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    ps-would love to scale down to a little car. someday.

  4. AnonymousMay 22, 2009

    the clip board in the first picture - I just got one for 25 cents at a garage sale.

    the direction you are headed is a good one that I don't think you will find on any map : )

  5. Nice. I think you are on to something -- and something really, really good!

    Have a great weekend, friend.

  6. lovely post. i love that feeling of things getting easier as the children get older .. getting back that feeling of being able to pick up and just go.

  7. AnonymousMay 22, 2009

    Congratulations on your new car! It's good to hear that things are going well.

  8. i love that while reading this i can look forward to where we will be headed as our little ones grow. especially after our last trip and all the stuff i deem necessary to take (in our minivan) to keep them happy and me sane.

    sounds like the makings of a great summer!

    enjoy your new car! sounds great!

  9. oh, i'm sorry for the haul with those two, tired. i don't envy you. today i was in stopped traffic for 6 hours! it even involved running out of gas, losing 24 miles worth of gas just sitting in the car, even though i could see the gas station. i considered cutting through everyone & driving across the hay field, but i didn't want to get arrested! so AAA saved me with some gas. mekhi slept through it! but how fun your new car sounds. fresh energy.

  10. Boy, it must be in the neighborhood air.. I'm feeling nostalgic these days, too! Perhaps it's the change in the season. Amazing how much has changed since we first became friends when our girls were so little. ** Love the car and can't wait for your turn to drive on our next shopping trip!
    Oh, and Aidan is so proud of tying his shoes - he was teaching Cole the other day!

  11. I definitely love the picture of everyone together doing something they love.

  12. I remember when I was pregnant with my first, the husband had a fear that when we went out after the baby was born, I'd pack the whole house and then some. I had to set him straight-- "When have you ever seen me take more than just my wallet and keys?? Have I ever been one of those huge purse kind of girls??" 4 kids later, I still don't use a purse and only carry with me a little diaper bag when we head out.

    We'll never be able to downsize to a little car, but I rest assured in the knowledge that we also don't carry with us a lot of stuff.

    We are often in the same room doing separate things, too. More so after we cancelled the satelitte TV. Enjoy your weekend, friend.

  13. AnonymousMay 24, 2009

    as it should be.


  14. Congrats on the new car! My mom occasionally still says to my sister and I (both in our 30s) that she is grateful we can buckle our own seat belts! :)

  15. Nothing better than fresh markers and a suitcase full of string! Congrats on the new ride!

  16. Nice post. I think sometimes we focus to much on 'making grand family plans' instead of just living each moment together.

  17. one of my favorite posts.
    we're in the process of downsizing our life, our schedules, our stuff! what a great encouragement you are. I love living one moment at a time.

  18. AnonymousMay 27, 2009

    This makes me smile. It's nice to see yourself growing, huh?


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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