by liz degroff: revealing the beauty in the everyday

5 minutes of

5 minutes of october

i've never been a huge halloween fan.  as a kid, i enjoyed it because 1. candy and 2. fun costumes, but that was where my love for it ended.  i don't like being scared, and i really don't like walking around in the dark while pretending i'm not freezing cold.

i do, however, have very fond memories of the days leading up to halloween, when my family would make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, spend an hour arguing over the best pumpkin, and finally come home with the biggest one my dad could carry (and some extra little ones that we could each manage on our own).  and then, we would carve.  my brothers and i would take turns drawing the faces we wanted onto construction paper, and then my dad would copy those faces (as best as you can copy the doodles of a 5 year old) onto the pumpkin's face- but only after we took our turns emptying the insides of our pumpkins with much excitement and exclaiming.  and once the faces were carved and the candles were lit- magic.

i've mostly lost that sense of magic when it came to this holiday over the past few years.  i suspect it has a lot to do with getting older and seeing the more practical side of things, but also the distance away from the experience of magic caused it to evaporate more quickly from my memory as well.  luckily for me, i have children who help to pull those years back from the far reaches of my heart and bring those memories to the forefront of my mind.  this was the first year that they were really enthralled by the magic of the jack o'lantern, and it brought it all tumbling back for me.  it's amazing the power our children have to do that for us, especially when they have no idea at all how magnificent it is for us to experience our own childhoods all over again through them.  it's my new favorite kind of magic.

keep on clicking around the circle to see more 5 minute snippets of october from sasha kochanowicz!

5 minutes of september

fall arrived this month- except not really, because we had several days of 80+ degree weather.  not that i'm complaining.

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we pulled out the sidewalk chalk for the first time in several weeks and the boys went nuts, coloring all of our steps and most of the front porch.  we now have the most colorful stoop in the neighborhood- and probably will for a few weeks, since the rain doesn't really fall on our covered porch ;)

in short, it was an awesome way to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall.  plus, all three of us got to spend some time exercising our creativity while still hanging out together.  win win :)  now head over to melissa hines' blog to see what she and her crew were up to this month!

Liz DeGroff
5 minutes of august

august has been a little hectic around here since we welcomed our newest addition- a third boy!- to our family at the end of july.  it's been a wonderful kind of hectic, but still, chaos has definitely ensued following his arrival.  before he was born, i was able to get myself and my older two dressed, fed, and out the door to wherever we wanted to be by 9:30 on any given morning.  now, i'm lucky to be able to have us up and out by 11 am- which is usually when we would start prepping lunches before.  every day i find myself bewildered at how time just slips through our fingers now as our day disappears before we have a chance to accomplish anything beyond settling sibling feuds and cleaning spit up off every surface within a 3 foot radius of the baby.

in order to reconcile this major change in how our day to day flows now, i decided i'd spread my 5 minutes out over the course of our getting dressed portion of the morning to find out why it actually takes so darn long.  seeing it laid out in front of me, i'm not really all that surprised it takes us 3 hours to get things moving.

i always start off by nursing the baby before i get him dressed so he can spit up on his jammies before i put him in fresh clothes.  we're almost always interrupted at least once by at least one big brother, which typically leads to having to refocus and restart.

then i send the big kids to get dressed while i get the little one dressed, but again, interruptions are common and frequent.  this morning, the middle forgot how to pull up his pants.

once the littles are dressed, it's my turn to try to put something on that isn't made of flannel, fleece, or held up with a drawstring.  unfortunately, this is also the time that the big brothers start to get bored with their toys and each other and remember how fun their baby is, especially now that he's not crying because i've spent 10-20 minutes getting him calm and content.

today, they decided he needed a monster hat to match his outfit.  and when that didn't work out, they smothered him with hugs, kisses, and toys instead.

and there you have it, a small glimpse at why we're never going to be on time for anything ever again.  forgive me ;)

keep circling around to holly's blog to see her 5 minutes of august!

5 minutes of july

i have been waiting months- no exaggeration here- for peach season to arrive.  one of my very favorite things to do in the summer time with my kids is head to our local orchard every few weeks to load up on whatever fruit happens to be in season, but peaches?  peaches are the pinnacle of my summer.  

now that i'm 9 months pregnant, i was worried that i wouldn't make it out this year because the start of the season lines up so closely with my due date.  plus, it's been wildly hot and i don't have the stamina to walk around outside for 45 minutes picking fruit while keeping track of my super enthusiastic kiddos.  

this morning though, we woke up to a forecast of cloudy skies and a high of 77 (!!!), so on a whim i checked the orchard's website to see if maybe the peaches had ripened up over the weekend- and they had!  i rushed the boys through breakfast and then loaded them up with our peach picking buckets and off we went for a morning of peachy, breezy, summer time bliss.

they filled 2 buckets (which came out to around 13 pounds) in under 10 minutes.  i see some peach pie in our future :)

happy summer everyone- keep circling around to see what eve rashid captured in her 5 minutes this month!

5 minutes of june

i am so, so, so happy that summer is here.  we've been spending pretty much all of our time outside, and it has been nothing short of amazing.

one of my very most favorite things to do with the kids when we're done climbing all over the jungle gym at our local playground is to go down and play in the creek that runs through the park.  it's shallow enough for them to be able to wade comfortably, but deep enough to have lots of little fish swimming around and plenty for them to explore.  here's 5 minutes of one of our creek visits this month :)

keep making your way around the circle over to 2B Seen Photography by Angee Manns to see how her 5 minutes look this month!

5 minutes of may

it has been a roller coaster of a month around here.  i was given my dream camera for my birthday from my incredible family.  then a few days later our entire house got sick and for 2 weeks we dealt with illness, a few hospital visits, and all the laundry ever.  not only did that mean i didn't get to enjoy my new camera for several days while i tried to cope with the madness, it also meant we missed out on the only week of sunshine in the entire month.  after day after day of cold rain, we decided that the damp weather wasn't enough to keep us inside anymore, so while i started sorting through our maze of stuff for an upcoming yard sale, the kids grabbed their bikes and fought off their cabin fever.

now i just need to remember to get myself to the store to buy our little guy a helmet ;)

keep circling around and head over to melissa hines's blog to see how they spent their 5 minutes of may!

Liz DeGroff
5 minutes of april

april has been a good month around here.  our spirits have risen with the return of the sunshine and warm weather.  we've been getting out of the house more often, and when we've had to stay in, we've still been able to open the windows to let in the fresh air and the songs the birds are singing for us.

there's been much adventuring as we remember what it's like to not be stuck inside with one another all day every day.  we had a chance to wade in the creek on our first 80 degree day, we found dandelion puffs to scatter, bought a new jar of bubbles to blow (and also spill all over the yard/deck/driveway), and went puddle jumping on the rainy grey days.

spring has been treating us well.  hope it's been treating you well too :)

now that you've seen a glimpse of our april, make sure you circle around to sasha kochanowicz's blog to see what they've been up to this month!

5 minutes of march

it was another bizarre month in terms of weather around here.  temperatures swung from as high as the 70s all the way down to the teens, and at one point we even got 18+ inches of snow over the course of 12 hours.  we were lucky enough to end the month on a high note though- the sun came out and the temperatures rose and we got to spend 2 and a half glorious hours tearing around our favorite new playground with our friends.  here's a 5 minute glimpse of our morning :)

when you're done here, make sure you keep circling around the see what karen osdieck was up to in march!

5 minutes of february

as we moved into the month of february, i prepared myself for the long awaited arrival of winter.  it's been unusually mild this year, so i continue to brace myself for plunging temperatures and depths of snow.  february had something a little different in mind for us though, and instead has brought us the month of four seasons.  we've had bitter cold winter temperatures, blustery windy fall-like days, never ending rainy days reminiscent of spring, and then, out of nowhere, a day that felt as though summer drove up from the south and decided to make itself comfortable for awhile.

not that i'm complaining.  after spending weeks inside hiding from the wind or the rain or the cold, we were all more than happy to shed our jackets (and our shoes) and drink in the sunshine and soft breeze.

here's to spring- may it get here quickly and make itself at home :)

don't forget to continue around the circle for a 5 minute glimpse of february as captured by holly nicole, the timekeeper.

5 minutes of january

one of the new personal projects i'm undertaking this year is a blog circle with a group of ridiculously talented women, many of whom i've been following for the last year or longer (i'm a little excited to be joining in on this, is what i'm saying here).  the goal of the project is to tell the stories of our families, but with one catch- we can only shoot for 5 minutes, and then we need to put the camera down.

i was eager to take on this challenge when i was first invited to join the group, but of course throughout the course of this month, i really struggled with finding something to shoot.  eventually i told myself to stop overthinking it, and as soon as i did, a moment beautifully presented itself (as they so often do).  here's my 5 minutes of january :)

now make sure you continue around the circle to see how eve documented her 5 minutes this month over at photos by eve rashid!