It’s been in the seventies here this week—unusually warm—so we’ve been trying to make the most of the beautiful weather before it gets cold. Today I spent two glorious hours decorating our backyard playhouse with my daughters. My one-year-old climbed big rocks (with frightening agility) and tried to eat little rocks, while my four-year-old and I searched for the perfect items in our yard and amongst my craft supplies and then taped, nailed, and tied them in place.

I was having so much fun and my daughter caught on to my enthusiasm and we were both so into our project. She helped me pick things and decide where to hang them and she found and picked the flowers all by herself. Working on this project with her made me look forward to the years we have ahead of us. It was one of the first times when we were both genuinely excited about something we were working on together and one of the first times I felt that she was actually helping and contributing (where I wasn’t just pretending she was helping). I experienced a euphoric state of creative flow, which has been such a rarity for me since I entered motherhood. I told my husband, “Motherhood is finally getting fun!”

I got the idea to save my used spice jars for hanging flower vases from Erin Boyle’s lovely Pinterest boards. Using the branches for hanging—an idea as ancient as trees—was on my mind because I have been obsessed with Beth Kirby’s kitchen, in which she has a long branch on the wall on which she hangs pots and pans and other kitchen utensils, with copper S hooks. I loved the curves of the branches we found. I bought that wooden frame at a thrift store twelve years ago and I don’t think it ever had a use until now. I’m not sure that it’s clear—the piece of fabric is our pretend tea towel. We decided on the pine cones after we had everything else arranged. We looked for the prettiest, freshest ones we could find.

We have more space in our playhouse to decorate, but this little arrangement made me so happy, I wanted to share!

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