Defining Moments

"Mom, what does humble mean?", Aidan asked while we were reading Henry and Beezus.

"It's when you don't think you're right about everything all the time," I answered, doing my best to come up with an understandable definition on the spot.

"Are you humble?", he asked.

"I try to be," I answered honestly.

"Am I humble?"

"Yes, I'd say you are humble." Another honest answer.

"Is Avery humble?"

"Well, sometimes." Dang this honesty thing.

"Is Dad humble?"

"Yes, your dad is humble."

Aidan's question has got me thinking about what it means to be humble. Humility is a prized and desirable trait in my book. I look for it in others, I work on it myself. My conversation with Aidan prompted me to come up with a new definition of what it means to me to be humble: I'm open to the possibility that I am wrong, but until proven so, I will continue to do what I think is right.

You know who else is humble?

waiting for the sun

The sunflower. He patiently waits for the sun,


without ever realizing he is the sun.

Look what else I found in the garden this morning.


A water droplet dressed up like a pepper.

In other news, I finished painting my bedroom and moved on to a new project.

i am a radical homemaker

Diane asked me to read it, I humbly obliged. At first I thought the book would just be preaching to the choir, but I was wrong. It is oh so much more than that. If you need me, I'll be in my bedroom reading.


  1. Terrific subject and photographs.

  2. AnonymousJuly 01, 2010

    I LOVE that definition. Thank you for sharing with me.

    Incredible photos to boot!

  3. that looks like a good read. lovely photos, and a great vocabulary lesson too :)

  4. Great definition. Love your sunflowers!

  5. I might have to five that book a read. Great photos!

  6. what a beautiful post. i love the definition and my goodness, those photos.
    i've seen this book bouncing around in blog land, i may just have to pick it up from the library.

  7. AnonymousJuly 01, 2010

    everything about this post is perfect.

  8. Uhm....This is the third humble/humility thing to cross my path today.

    Guess I need to contemplate that.

    Great post. Great pictures. Thanks

  9. The unfurled sunflower is magnificent.

    I'm not sure if I've actually commented before but I thought it was high time I did. Reading your blog is a lovely moment in my week. Thank you.

  10. Your photos are phenomenal! You have quite the eye for a photo op.

  11. I like your definition very much. Somehow "humble" brings to mind Charlotte's Web. Wasn't that one of the words Charlotte wove for Wilbur? He strikes me as a character very much like the sunflower you described.

  12. Stunning photos and I love your thoughts on humility....I almost bought Radical Homemaking a month or so ago but already had too many books in my online basket and I was on the fence. Tell me, what do you love about this book? Is it for all types of women...not just ones transitioning from a career or college?

  13. ok. I'm getting that book. I've seen it before, but thought the same thing--preaching to the choir. Sounds like I was wrong, and I'm happy to admit that ;)

  14. I love your wisdom on humility...especially from the sunflower's perspective.

    That book keeps popping up...time to see if I can get it through the library.

  15. I don't think our culture values being humble very much anymore. We Americans are such an extroverted, confident, loud, bossy bunch... a little more humility sounds like a cool breeze on a hot day! Love the pictures, esp. the sunflower.

  16. Christina HJuly 02, 2010

    Well done, all of it!

  17. this is such a good post. I want to read that book too, but danged if my library doesn't carry ANY of the new books I want to read. And danged if it isn't also no-spend month. sigh.

  18. AnonymousJuly 02, 2010

    What a beautiful and inspiring post. Beautiful. (I love the beach towels on your banner too. Yay, summer's here!)

  19. I love "I'm open to the possibility that I am wrong, but until proven so, I will continue to do what I think is right." That feels so absolutely right! And well I love those sunflower photos.

  20. I always felt that humility was one of my better qualities!

  21. I absolutely adore the sunflower photos. I love your conversation with your child about being humble. Those little conversations are so precious, and they ALWAYS cause me to THINK! Sometimes I am asked a question, and boy it's hard to put the answer into just the right words for my kids.

  22. Your photos are poetry!
    And I have been passing that book around my circles as I'm sure you will too.

  23. this post left me smiling.

    henry and i are reading "henry and the clubhouse" and i'm reading radical homemakers on diane's recommendation, also.

    i agree, humility is a desired trait. and i love your definition.

    now i'm off to find your recipe for dishwasher detergent, now that i've run out the store bought kind.

  24. My favorite people in this world are/ were humble: Abraham Lincoln, Corrie Tin Boom, Martin Niemöller,Francis Bernardone, so you can see you keep some pretty good company... but I never considered the sunflower before! You are sooooo right!

  25. I have this book and also thought it would be preaching to the choir. I think I will take it on vacation with me. Thanks!

    P.S. Your photos are lovely. I especially love the sunflower.

  26. oh my goodness, i just found your blog and this post brought tears to my eyes -- especially when I got to the sunflower! just what i needed today! thank you


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