The last few days have been spectacularly beautiful. Even a rain shower here and there yesterday couldn’t dampen the feeling of relief I felt to finally feel the sun, and actually be outside without bundling up! With a weather forecast that tells of upcoming rain, we definitely took advantage of the sunshine and tried to stock up on Vitamin-D!
Ellie and I spent hours yesterday wandering around the property picking flowers and running around – reminding me how happy I am that we are able to give her such an amazing place to grow up. The photo I posted last night really sums up the feeling of DPF for me: it’s gorgeous, serene, youthful and vibrant. Having Ellie share in the same kind of excitement over each discovery of new life emerging from the soil, made everything extra-specially special!
The flowers we gathered were for Ellie Graye’s preschool teachers; the school requested that families bring flowers for the teachers on Wednesday. The email read, “…from the store or from your garden.” This made me nervous. Ellie’s school is in Lake Oswego, which is a fairly affluent city. I imagined myself walking in to her class room with a little bundle of wilting flowers wrapped in aluminum. I panicked. What if everyone else is spending a crap ton of money on flowers from a florist, and here I am walking in with drooping flowers that look like they’ve been through the washing machine??? My crazy fear of looking like a lazy, out-of-touch, inconsiderate, embarrassing mom set in; but there was no way in hell I was going to fork out money at a florist’s! I’m way too frugal for that, so I ran to the Dollar Tree and picked up a two pilsner glasses for vases.
As I made dinner (super yummy pork chops, rice and green beans), I sorted through all my mental files and pictures of unique flower arrangements that I’ve seen and made myself. Nothing seemed to be inspiring me, though, and I was getting more and more nervous that I’d end up with just a big pilsner glass with random flowers. Soon after I got Ellie Graye into bed, with no clear design in mind, I got to work. After a few false starts, everything started to come together: one purple, soft arrangement and the other a bright, bold design. Once the initial arrangements were done, I headed into my bedroom where my husband was attempting to sleep.
“Jeffrey? Are you asleep?”
“Ok, cool, I’m turning the light on. What do you think?”
His eyes were trying to adjust to the brightness of the light I had just turned on.
“Um…sure…yeah, it’s nice.”
Panic. “Oh my god, you don’t like it. Sh*t! I can’t take this! Crap! What am I going to do????”
He stared at me.
“Melissa, your standards are way too high. Any of your arrangements are far and above anything anyone could ever even buy. It’s nice.”
“Ok, well, give me some constructive criticism then…it seems like you don’t like it.”
“I like it. If I’m going to be nit-picky, then you should fix the bare spot.”
“I LIKE the bare spot!” I snapped, but in reality, he was totally, completely, 100% correct. So, with a glance at the clock that read “10:34 pm,” I grabbed my clogs, a sweater, a flashlight and some clippers and headed out to chop down some more flowers to fill in the gap. After a few more trips into the darkened bedroom, I finally had two arrangements that I was proud of!
The morning was a little challenging – we woke up late, rushed around, burnt breakfast, spilled coffee, spilled a bottle of water on the radio of the car, knocked over the flowers, were left with the wrong car with no installed car seat, couldn’t find the check book to pay board at the barn, and had a potty accident as we were leaving the house (Ellie, not me). We finally arrived at Play Boutique, relatively unharmed, and as I walked toward the door with Ellie, arms loaded with flowers, a mother coming out exclaimed, “HOLY CRAP! Those are GORGEOUS! Where did you get them done????” I beamed: it was so damn rewarding to tell her that I both did the arrangement AND grew the flowers! That was the first of 4 similar reactions just walking in the door. When we arrived at Ellie’s actual classroom, I discovered that I had gone completely overboard. Atop the teachers’ stations were one or two vases with single flowers – so I guess all that stressing was for nothing. Oooh, the joys of being a perfectionist!