A Moment

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Last night Ryan worked late so I was on my own for the night shift. Our bedtime routine becomes a little tricky when faced with the job solo, but with a little creativity it usually goes pretty well. Last night I worked it out by having Grace quietly work on her loom while I put Jackson to sleep. As I was gently rocking him, this song ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Iz) came on. Grace hopped up from under the tree (where she was working) to turn it up a bit as it is one of her favorites. I, on the other hand, gave a short sigh. Recently this song has been requested so much around here that I had grown quite tired of it. But I continued to rock Jackson to the song anyway and watched as his eyes became too heavy to hold open. As I rocked back and forth and gazed at the bright orange fire, suddenly (and really I'm not sure how this happened now since I have heard this song so many times over the past several years) I was reliving a memory that I had completely forgotten about.

About 7 years ago I had a miscarriage and was diagnosed with a molar pregnancy. Because of the complications that can happen with a molar pregnancy I was asked to wait a year before trying to get pregnant again. It was the longest year of my life. And there was this ache. This ache in my heart that, despite what I did, just would not go away. It was a desperate feeling. For a brief moment, I had been a mom, and that was just long enough to make me realize how badly I wanted that. How really truly, it suddenly seemed, I had been waiting my whole life for just that moment. But the ache went even deeper then that. It was this sense, that at the time I'm not sure I could have even put into words, that people, important people, were missing. In particular, I felt, a girl. There was a girl that I could feel and sense and even picture. And I could not get over the idea that she was suppose to be here now. And I was grieving the loss of her unarrival. And most importantly, trying to imagine how long it would be before I would finally get to meet her, to hold her. Or, worse yet, would I ever. While that sounds completely ridiculous now as I write it, that is what I felt at the time. I lived with that ache for a over a year.

I had completely forgotten about that ache.

Until... last night, when I was transported back in time all those years ago. I'm not sure exactly how long it had been since I had had the miscarriage, but it had been long enough where the ache felt especially deep. It was night and I was driving, alone, in my car. I was playing that song over and over. And I was singing. Singing to my girl. The one who, it seemed, I would have to wait an eternity to hold in my arms. I was singing to her.

And suddenly I was overcome with emotion, and awe, at the moment I was in. For now, 7 years later, I was listening to her, my girl, sing that same song to me, as I rocked my boy to sleep. Seven years ago, this moment seemed like a fantasy. It almost felt too foolish to even let myself think about. It seemed lifetimes away. And yet now, here I was, blessed, not once, but twice, with two beautiful children.

Last night, the more I thought about it, the more it felt like a miracle.

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And as I think about it now, I guess, in a way it is.


Her Party

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It was so simple and yet so sweet. A few friends, some sledding, hot cocoa, lunch and cake, followed by a lot of playing and silliness. The perfect party for my 5 year old girl.


A Great Book You Shouldn't Read

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If you've ever been interested in raising goats but knew that now was not the right time to start- don't read this book. For that matter if you've never been interested in raising goats and would like to keep it that way- don't read this book.

I read this book in a day and a half. It is so beautifully written. The author is a true artist with words. All I have been able to think about and talk about over the last two days is goats. And goat cheese. And goat milk. And taking a trip to France to visit a true French goat farm to learn how to make cheese... well that's what the author did anyway.

Spring of 2012... goats. That's what I'm trying to manifest anyway. I just need to get Ryan fully on board. He's slowly coming around...

Homemade This Christmas




These were the beanbags we made for Ryan that wonderful snowed-in Sunday. Grace and Jackson picked out all the different fabrics (I let them both pick three "fat quarters" at the fabric store) and then they coordinated each bean bag as they made it adding scraps from our fabric basket here and there. Once three sides were sewn they added spoonfuls of rice to each one before I sewed on the last side. This was for sure my favorite sewing project I've ever done with them. It was so easy and fun and they could help with almost every part.


This was the beeswax handsalve we made. I'll do another post with the recipe for this soon. They turned out really well for the most part. The only thing I would change is adding a little more of the oils next time so it's a bit softer. Otherwise it works great, really helps with chapped hands.

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These were the washcloths I made for them. I am still such a beginner when it comes to knitting. I was so proud that they actually turned out as squares (really that's where I'm at right now). But Grace and Jackson were scrubbing up with them in the tub tonight and they worked great.


These were the jammies I made them... inspired by the slippers that I bought. The pants are flannel so they are nice and cozy for the winter (they're actually on there way to the wash now which is why I didn't take any unfolded pictures... trying to cover up the dirt from the past day and a half of wearing).




And finally the stools. Ryan made them and I painted them. It was his first attempt at making a stool and I thought they looked great. They were fun to paint too. Grace and Jackson have been using them as everything from tables to cars (as well as stools of course). It was so much fun to give them something we had made together.


Quiet By the Fire

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After all of the busyness over the last week it was so nice today to be able to just sit and relax. I read over 100 pages of one of my new books... it's been a long time since I've done that. Grace and Jackson had fun playing with their new things and hanging out in their jammies. Even Ryan got to be home (he had an unexpected day off) so that was a fun treat too.

Hoping for more of the same tomorrow.


Christmas At Grandma Lee's

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One thing I always appreciate about going to my mom's for Christmas is the food. It is always delicious... and it doesn't end. Dinner is followed by many rounds of deserts.

I also always love day two at my mom's... when things are a little more laid back, the fridge is stocked with leftovers, and Grace and Jackson are surrounded by exciting new Christmas gifts and family members who are happy to play with them.

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All in all it was a really wonderful Christmas.

And now after four straight days of Christmasing I'm ready for a few days of relaxing and reading by the fire.

And Santa Came...

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Our Very Own Christmas

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This year we decided to move our own family Christmas to Christmas Eve. I was so glad we did. Celebrating with each other on Christmas Eve made our time together feel even more special.

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I had made lasagna on Wednesday night so all I had to do when we got home in the afternoon was pop it in the oven. We had one jar of pesto left that I had been saving which made a great accompaniment to the lasagna along with some homemade bread I had been gifted.

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I think Grace and Jackson had as much fun opening gifts as they did giving them. They loved the jammies and especially the slippers (and thankfully they still do and have been wearing them ever since... seriously they could walk around with cold feet all day).

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The stools were a hit. So were the beanbags they made for Ryan. My favorite part of the night may have been playing the beanbag toss game we made up (which of course is most fun if you stand on your new stool while tossing).

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Before we went to bed we made sure to pick out the perfect cookies for Santa. And we ended the night with our usual tradation of Daddy reading "The Night Before Christmas"

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It was so fun to feel Grace and Jackson's excitment about our night. I kept having flashbacks to my own childhood Christmas momories... which in turn made me all the more conscious of the fact that it is these moments that will live in them forever.

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Christmas at Grandma Sam's

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One thing I always appreciate when we go to Ryan's mom's for Christmas is how wonderfully casual everything is. I even was able to take a nap by the fire.

I think the highlight for Grace and Jackson was definitely running around with their one and only cousin.

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It was a lovely Christmas Eve's Eve.



Grace turned five today.
Yes five.
Wasn't it just yesterday she turned three?

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Despite the fact that she came down with a cold and we had to reschedule her birthday party, she was in really good spirits. In fact, these two little monkeys rather enjoyed themselves at their own little party.

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Yes, did you know that when you turn five you're automatically granted your hair-cutters license?
I did not know.
Had I known, I may not have left the room when Grace was innocently working on her new loom with scissors in hand.

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Anywho. It was a good day. Several family visitors stopped by throughout the day with gifts and birthday wishes. And Grace never had to get out of her jammies.

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Plus there was a snowman cake. Wanting to make the "snow" as white as possible I used real whipping cream for the frosting. I think this in itself made up for the rescheduled party. Yum.

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Yes, I think she had a good birthday. My little barber.

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Simple White Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

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