8.15.2011

The Fair

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I went to the fair as a child. Everything was huge and bizarre and energizing. I remember dirty feet, sugary treats, staying up late and winning a goldfish that lived for years. I remember the autonomy I felt, skipping off to a ride with friends and having my own money to spend.

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sisters waiting for corn on a stick

The carnival is so weird, colorful and fascinating. And the agriculture, home crafts,  animals and art are the essence of humanity. Making stuff, growing stuff and sharing it with others. People hanging out and talking about their craft, petting their pigs and goats, showcasing their best vegetables. Man, I love the fair.

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In today's mama digs, I write about my challenges in working from home with my kids. In the end, I want my daughters to remember how passionate I was about my work and how insignificant it was compared to my love for them. Read more in mama digs: limbo champion. Are you home with your kids? What is your biggest challenge?

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all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

25 comments:

Mrs.T said...

I adore that picture of the girls eating corn. Although I don't have any "work" to do at home besides take care of my 9 month old daughter and clean, cook, craft, etc I find it hard to get everything done with balance. I always feel bad if I do not devote 100% of my attention to her when she is awake. But that's not realistic, is it? You are doing a great job!

Alie said...

What spectacularly fun photos! The colors and textures and tastes of them are so tangible.

wherethewatermelonsgrow.com said...

I often catch myself saying "just a minute" for the 43rd time that day! right now biggest is challenge is that I decided SAHM-ing and writing a book would go well together. This decision came just after the birth of our second child, across-the-ocean move and purchase of ramshackle fixer upper. So now I write during naps as laundry piles grow scary or into the wee hours as the house slumbers. biggest challenge is keeping a sense of humor/patience with kidlets after writing until almost 1am the night before and i feel grizzly .

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Wonderful pics! Makes me wanna go to the fair right now. We've got one coming our way in a month... looking forward to a corn dog! :-)

Daina @ New York State of Mind said...

Oh how I love the fair, too! I am originally from MN, and the state fair is the highlight of the year! The animals, the 4H building, the cheese curds, the mini-donuts, and anything else fried... Oh I love it all! Looks like you and your family had a fabulous time. Lovely pictures!

Marjorie said...

I'm glad you posted about working from home. I can relate to so much. Some days I feel guilty when I tell the kids "hold on I have to check my e-mail" then if I don't I'll feel frustrated because if I was at work it would get done right away. It's hard finding a balance. Some days I'll get so much done and others I end up in my pjs all day. It's nice knowing that this is all "normal" for the working from home mom.

Joan said...

I totally wish I could have gone with you. Andy and Rubes on the bee ride cracked me up. My manly son has elevated yet another notch in the world of great fathers. My heart swells when I see how much Margot and Ruby love him and he them. This post brings back my memories for the fair as a kid. Having your own money to spend was so exciting. I worked at the fair for 2 days and made $22 in that time. Eleven hours a day. I ran one of those root beer stands with the big keg. The owner came by everyso often to tell me that I wasnt going to sell any root beer sittin down. Jeez. Thnks Dolly for gettin me that gig.

Minnesotagal said...

Amazing pictures!!! Gotta run but had to say that - wow!!

Jessica said...

I struggle hard with finishing up a master's degree in agriculture education and raising my two-weeks-away-from-1! year old. It's hard. It's amazing. It makes me cry and it makes me laugh at the insanity of it all. I have yet to figure out when I should be doing this and that. We just try to cut out pieces of time and make it fit. So far, we are happy so it must be working.

gelka said...

I feel like Margot should have her own style blog! Girlfriend knows how to rock it!

~Angelika

Donna said...

Wow! That first picture is amazing! I went to the same fair as you but my camera didn't capture all that color. I think I might have to visit Vann's....
I'm home with my son (and soon to be daughter) part time and it works so well for us. However, I do have the guilt that most working moms feel about leaving their child to be cared for by someone else. This translates to any time that I am not working and want to do something solo (like exercise). I'm not working so I should be with my son...right? Never ending, I suppose.

mrs boo radley said...

Rad pics. Nice wheels. (Of the ferris variety.)
Cutest family in W. MT!

rebecca said...

,,,love the photo of margot assisting ruby up so she can see the winners on the shelf,,,we visited the fair this weekend, it was sensory overload, we also enjoyed the dog on the stick, once a year gotta have it!,,,"nuggets" today were sweet like cotton candy,,,

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What fantastic pictures...I have fond memories of fair days in a small town

jen said...

love. these. photos.

Kelle said...

Ferris wheel in the mountains? Girl, you just done went and opened up a whole new can of unicorn on me. Those pictures are so colorful and full of life. Smiled and shook my head "yes" on your Mamadigs. So happy to share this journey with you. The big love of doing what we do at home but the bigger love of being moms. xoxo

Angie Kroeker said...

The day before this post I was lamenting this very thing. How to balance the things I want to do and spending quality time with my two girls. Even using you as an example of someone who seems to have it figured out. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this Mamadigs. I know once again that I am not alone in the quest for balance.

TRB Holt said...

WOW! Great photos...my fav ~ Andy and his girls on the Ferris Wheel!

Yes I am at home with my "kids"... their ages are~ Grizzie~75, Loosee~35 & Clyde, my Grandogger is 46....*

My biggest challenge? Letting them go......xoxo


*http://www.calculatorcat.com/dogs/dog-years.phtml

kyndale_pease said...

Here in Nevada, the state fair was cancelled for the first time in more than 100 years due to the economy. I'm going to miss it, especially the creative living exhibit. We usually enter things in the competition, either lego creations, vegetables, knitting and photography. It's really fun to see if we've won! My daughter is also in 4H. We'll miss the fair but I hope they can figure it out for next year.

My biggest challenge with having kids at home (and homeschooling them) is balance. I want everyone to know they are loved equally. I also struggle with getting them all play dates with friends. There's only so much time in the week!

Peeper said...

Love the picture of Andy with the girls on top of the ferris wheel - just amazing!

My biggest challenge? Working away from home. I know, I know...I don't say it to start a debate! In exchange for a 4 day work-week my days are a minimum of 11 hours but more often stretch to 12 or 13. On those days when I work I barely see my daughter. It's heartbreaking.

The days when I am home I try to make are all about her. I sometimes fail - I have used an Elmo DVD just to buy more time to do whatever needed to get done and felt miserable about it all the while.

I like reading about how moms who are at home manage it all. It's a good reminder that even though the grass looks greener, there's a lot of hard work happening on the other side of the fence. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking to strike the right balance cause what I'm doing right now isn't it!

Going To Seed said...

love the new blog look! I missed the fair this year, but your pictures took me there! xo

Ellie said...

First of all, these fair pictures are amazing. Some of my very favorite since I started reading your blog.
I was home with my son for the first two years, taught part-time during his third year, then back home for my daughter's first two years. I go back to part-time teaching this fall, and I can honestly say that I really look forward to it. The biggest challenge staying home has been finding a way to maintain my sense of belonging not only to my family, but to a larger community as well; I find that I need to do something that does not involve my family only, and I've really missed the sense of fulfillment that being with young people brings.
A parent forum to which I belong here in the Bay Area recently had two extended discussions on staying at home versus working. People got pretty worked up one way or the other, and in the end I loved one woman's comment, who noted that choosing one over the other comes to down to personality preferences, not some sort of a higher calling. Some people are happier staying home, and others are happier going to work each day. It's always a compromise, and one side always wonders whether the grass is greener on the other side, but in the end one does what feels most right for one's temperament and personality. You are doing great staying home with your daughters, and I love your own comment that they'll remember your being there for them, working or not, stressed out or relaxed. When they become women themselves, they will appreciate fully the complexity of the choices you have made. And they'll be thankful, as they ponder their own choices.

dig this chick said...

Peeper, Right on. It is intense and difficult no matter what we choose to do/have to do as parents. Debate? No, just mamas trying to sort this shit out!

Ellie, Your comment made me tear up! There is so much room for success in our generation. SO MANY ways to feel successful, rich and proud. And it needn't involve any one particular thing. Career or not, education or not, parent or not, homeowner, traveling pixie, urban, rural...so many ways to move and experience this life well. I love your non-judgemental perspective. Imagine if every person gave others the benefit of the doubt? Amazing. Thanks.

Kelly Cach said...

"I want my daughters to remember how passionate I was about my work and how insignificant it was compared to my love for them."

OH! I can't tell you how much I love this statement! It's my goal EVERY day to send that message to my boys & baby girl....I fail miserably sometimes. I need to make this into a sign; then maybe if they grow up reading it, they might believe it to be true :)

My biggest challenge is to discipline 3 completely different personalities, while at the same time make them all feel equally loved and valued....whew! Sometimes I could cry. I'm so exhausted from what seems to be a mind game---choosing the right words, the right voice, the right consequence....BLUCK! That's why I love our night time routine so much. I make sure to apologize for any of my short comings for that day, and they always forgive me :) Now if I could just forgive myself.

LOVE the sisters holding hands waiting for corn on a stick :)

Blessings,
Kelly

Adriana Iris said...

I too chose to stay at home and what we build is a future a world a universe for me that is enough... this pictures are great...happy vibrant your eye keeps getting better better...

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