The girls are in bed; the flowers are watered; the kitchen picked up; Kelli is at a meeting at church — time to relax!

Michaela and Melanie usually go to bed early: 7:30 or 8:00. It’s fun to tell friends about the girls bedtime. Typically the reaction is “Wow, you’re lucky” or “that’s really early!” Kelli is really good about routine and we have benefited from this by now having girls that go to bed with relatively little difficulty.

“Why,” you ask, do we put them to bed that early? Two reasons: children need more sleep than parents and parents need some time to themselves!

My preferred method of relaxing this time of year is to simply sit on our back deck with a beer or glass of wine and take in all the sounds of the neighborhood. I love living in a neighborhood like ours. The color of sound is wonderful:

Birds chirping;
kids laughing in play;
a lawnmower a few doors down;
the occasional plane flying overhead;
a motorcycle in the distance;
the wind in the trees;

It may sound overwhelming, but it’s a wonderful ballet of cochlear candy. Couple that with the almost visually shielding effect of our fence that forces you to really listen, then add the various smells of spring and it becomes a bouquet of sensations that, for some reason, makes me relax. I don’t do anything while listening – I just take it in.

Kelli likes to sit outside and read, and that’s nice too. But the “novel of nature” is much more interesting to me.