House Beautiful

My cousin, Chrissy, gave this cardboard playhouse to James awhile back.  She’s a supreme gift-giver.  Her gifts are always thoughtful and generous, but even more than that, value and eco-conscious.  This house, unpainted, had already seen a lot of playtime.  Last week, on a lovely sunny day, I pulled it outside and James finally made it his own.

Dramatic little pig and big bad wolf play followed the house’s beautification.  There was lots of huffing and puffing and a surprising amount of karate chopping to the exterior walls (which it turns out are stronger than one might expect).  I love that when we are finished with the house, it’s not another plastic toy in the landfill, I’ll just put it out on the curb with the newspaper.

Another “Best of Aunt Chrissy Gifts” that has been in rotation is the Kelty play tent she gave to Thomas for his fourth birthday.  Almost eight years later, and it’s still being appreciated by his little brother, James.  It folds up quite small, but open is shady and cool and has been, among other things,  a bear cave, a rocket ship, a classroom, and a reliable place to hide from dinosaurs.

For play houses, look here and here.

For play tents, look here and here.

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Also, today is my mom’s birthday.  She is a lovely, giving woman I appreciate more every day.  She’s the only person I know who is interested in hearing about the minutia of my daily life and willing to listen to me think out loud endlessly about life’s bigger questions.  She never offers unsolicited advice and is the best listener I know.  She has been an inspiring model for me of someone who continues to grow personally and strives to be the best version of herself.  And though she loves my children wildly, she loves me even more.  Happy Birthday to Ellen Marie Meehan Murray.

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