sling diaries // on community

by kacia on 30 Sep ’15 · 1 comment

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Wow.  6 months and my last Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries entry.  On one hand, the time has flown by.  On the other hand, my time as a Sling Diariest marks my time here in the Boston area: Pittsburgh feels so far away. 

With my last entry, I’ve been given the task of writing about community.  It feels so perfectly fitting.  

It causes me to ache with the pain of missing my community back in Pittsburgh, only to wipe away the tears to reveal an incredible community here in our new village.

Neither better or worse, but each are beautiful in their own way. 

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I’ve moved a few times in my life, but many were when I was too young to remember.  I did the back and forth from college for four years, moved to Pittsburgh after graduating, and hopped around a bit with apartments and our home there.  

The packing of boxes. 

The unpacking of them. 

The purging.  The cleaning.  

All of those things are hard and fun and time consuming and real. 

It’s the leaving though.  

I’ve talked about it before, but the village we had was something special.  The tribe of moms and dads and neighbors and friends became stronger with every life event.  I understood the village needed to raise the children, and I saw its beauty firsthand. 

Leaving our community.  Leaving our village.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  

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With the pain of leaving, brought a door open to a new community.  A different community.   At first I didn’t want to open myself up — I wanted to pretend like we were embarking on a long vacation, only to return “home” after a short while. 

But the problem with vacations is that they are temporary: it would be difficult for a tree to take root and really get grounded if it was only going to be there temporarily.  

So I’m learning to take root.  

I’m learning to let myself be loved by people.  I’m learning to say yes when people offer to help.  I’m striving to live like we’ll be here a long while, even though I have no idea how “while” our time here will be. 

I’ve already learned so much during our short time here.  I’m bringing aspects of my village with me, and seeing the beauty of this new village building.  This community is beautiful, quirky, loving, and patient.  

As much as I dread the sadness of someday leaving here–leaving this community–I can’t let the potential sadness keep me from being present and here.  I want to need this community.  I want this community to need me.  I want my kids to see us loving our city and its people well. 

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Thank you, Sakura Bloom for this opportunity to be a Sling Diarist.  I am honored to part of this community as well.  There are some days I wish the internet would go away, but for the people it has brought into my life, I will forever be grateful.  

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gifts for growing minds

by kacia on 28 Sep ’15 · 4 comments


Happy Monday!  I’m in Vermont with my parents and the kids, soaking up the incredible beauty and colors of Fall.  We are headed to the Von Trapp Family lodge and Ben & Jerry’s factory this week, and I’m so excited.  The hills are alive….with the taste of ice creammmmmmm.  

Okay.  I’m dumb.  I know.  

Back on track, Kacia.  I’m really excited to share with you all a new-to-me company: Lakeshore Learning.  When Lakeshore Learning contacted me about their new Gifts for Growing Minds collection, I could barely contain my excitement.  We decided to homeschool Harlow this year for preschool, and my goal has been to keep things fun, yet challenging for her as go through the year.  

I love being able to focus on current events, nature, holidays and learn throughout our day.  We try to take a designated 1-2 hours every morning while Jones is napping for “school,” but each day is always a bit different.

Some days we work on crafts and simply talk or practice spelling or simple math.  Other days we read and follow up with flashcards and a reading lesson.  In our small apartment, the Arts & Crafts Supply Center is full of amazing materials for creating. 



A new favorite around here is “store,” using the Real-Working Cash Register.  Harlow goes around the living room and finds items to stock her store shelves: a pet raccoon, some books, a puzzle.  She labels them with various prices, and then I shop.  It’s mostly just fun, but we practice the names of our coins, adding totals and figuring out what I (as her costumer) can afford with the money in hand.  And no, I’m not just allowed to charge it — early lessons on saving show up during this game, too. :)  

Lakeshore Learning’s Gifts for Growing Minds collection is an exclusive assortment of educational toys and games designed to aid and encourage the excitement of learning for children of all ages.  This collection features over 200 items for children from birth to age 11, giving parents a fun way to make education a part of children’s daily lives.  


Often times Jones boycotts his nap or doesn’t rest very long, so I always make sure to have a few of his puzzles (Big Knob First Puzzle Set) and toys (Classic Hardwood Learning Toys) in a small area for him.  In our tiny apartment, creating learning stations and rotating items has been a lifesaver for us.  I definitely want to continue rotating toys even when we have more space as I have found the kids play so much better when they aren’t overloaded with massive amounts of toys staring back at them.  It’s just what seems to work for us!




Be sure to check out Lakeshore Learning’s new collection: there are so many items that would make perfect birthday and holiday gifts! 

Have an awesome week!  I’ll be pretending I’m Julie Andrews tomorrow as we frolic in the mountains tomorrow before the rain hits on Tuesday.  Vermont: I’m loving you!



back to school pen & pencil duffle // a tutorial

September 24, 2015

You probably know by now how much I love taking Harlow’s artwork and using it to create something new.  If I kept every paper and card and creation, I would already have 10 file boxes filled — and that just can’t happen.  But finding a way to capture her current trends and special drawings and […]

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I think fall has arrived! // White Plum giveaway

September 22, 2015

GUYS. After a week and weekend pushing 90ΒΊ, today didn’t get about 70 and it was glorious.  Harlow exclaimed after we hopped into the car after some errands: Mommy! Our car is so warm and toasty! I couldn’t have said it better!  There is just something about fall that makes you forget that winter is shortly […]

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sweet Jonesy

September 21, 2015

My baby is one.  The obligatory, “how did time go so quickly?” is required, but man it feels true.  (I also wasn’t going for the on-purpose-crooked-“artsy”-photo in the cake pics above, but it was so bright, I couldn’t see very well as I was trying to avoid sitting on the sand. ha! So Rachel, don’t […]

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