Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Holiday

yule log


fiona on her trike

cae on his new roller blades

fiona napping 

yule log burning

art exhibit at the DBG

more lovely art at the DBG

and some more

train ride thru the lighted tunnel

more lights on the train ride

statue at the mormon temple light show

my crazy children
I hope everyone had an amazing holiday. We had so much fun, did so many new things, started new traditions, got rid of some old ones. Loved having daddy home for so long and my big kids too.

Friday, December 20, 2013

{ This Moment }

Joining Amanda from Soulemama for This Moment. A single photograph from the week, a moment I wish to pause, savor, and remember.

eating cookies

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Knitting and crafting

little sock


GF mexican wedding cookies

rowan working on secret santa gift

fiona painting

As I was working on the Shalom sweater last week I discovered that the decreases and increases looked weird. Try as I might, I just couldn't seem to figure out how to make them both go the correct way, so I frogged the whole mess and restarted under the sleeves. I am going to NOT have waist shaping. When I was looking on Ravlery I saw that a lot of people just skipped that part. So, now I have only about 60 rows to go. Which seems like A LOT at this point. I am thinking this sweater will be a "Three Kings Night" gift.
While I was all frustrated with the shalom I cast on a pair of bitty socks, which should fit Fiona, if they are too small the new baby can have them. I love knitting little socks.
Rowan and the older boys have all been working on "secret Santa" gifts for the homeschool gift exchange this Friday. It has been fun watching them figure out what to make.
And little Miss Fiona Rosy has just got to paint when there is paint out. This week it was orange paint. She very much gets into it, luckily it usually all stays on the paper.
Last but not least... cookie baking. I have made GF Mexican wedding cookies, Scottish shortbreads, molasses cookies, raspberry fudge, regular fudge, and peppermint bark. I will probably be making the molasses cookies again since they got eaten SUPER fast. I am toying with a few other cookie recipes, but we have so much going on the next few days I am not sure I can make many more kinds.

Joining Ginny from Small Things and Nicole from Frontier Dreams.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Truthful Tuesday

I have been reading quite a few blogs recently that dis on the holiday season. It is too material (I get that), they don't buy into the consumer culture, it shouldn't be about the gifts. I totally understand this... and yet:
I freaking LOVE the sneaky gift buying, knowing my people enough to buy them just the right thing (and not 1000 little pieces of junk, but real treasures), I love the lights and gaudy decorations, the wackier the yard, the more I love it. Got one of those horrifying inflatable snowglobes with snoopy in it? FABULOUS! 10,000 imported Italian twinkling lights? Plug those bad boys in... ALL OF THEM!
And the movies. I love a good ABC family sappy Christmas movie. Christmas Kiss, Dear Santa, 12 Dates of Christmas, Snowglobe. Good lord I love them all. And the food, peppermint bark, fudge, dates stuffed with cream cheese, sugar cookies decorated by my kids, gingerbread with caramel sauce, hot cocoa, eggnog, turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, brussel sprouts with bacon and leeks, Mexican wedding cookies (AKA: snowball cookies). And none of it is diet, sugar free or paleo.
I love the ribbons and bows and lovely paper. And the books: The Mitten, The Hat, The Night Before Christmas, The story of the Snow Children, Wild Christmas Reindeer, etc etc
I just can't hate it, as much as I try to be "better" than this, to be all superior, I just can't. I love it all and I am so happy to celebrate it with my kids, the joy, the goodies, the gifts, the walks to look at the lights, the day trips to the snow, the tree in the house, and the Amaryllis on the piano, the crazily decorated wreath on the door, watching Frosty the Snowman about 1000 times.
So there you go, my confession. I am a Christmas junky.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekending and Gratitude

sweet fiona rosy in her "new" vintage dress

holiday banner

yule tree

advent candles and santas

caelan looking a bit like dave grohl

ginger bread house time

more ginger bread house building

my candy tester
This is how things have looked lately. Sunshine and merry making, decorating and baking. I think I have put on 10 pounds in my sneaky snacking on holiday treats, and we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet: fudge, stuffed dates, shortbread cookies, peppermint bark. I will be making that stuff all this coming week... lord help me.
And the shopping, can I just say I am soooo happy for the internet, it keeps me out of the malls. We have hit a few local shops for some extra special goodness. It shall be a fabulous holiday season that is for sure.

I am ever so grateful for:

~ My friends
~ my dear and loving husband
~ my awesome, kick butt kids
~ christmas trees
~ sappy holiday movies
~ hot cocoa
~ banjo music
~ fiona building puzzles every single day
~ rowan READING!
~ afternoon naps
~ twinkly lights strung up all over the neighborhood

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

knits and reads

Joining Ginny from Small Things for Yarn Along and Nicole from Frontier Dreams for KCCO.

I finished up the baby blanket and I LOVE IT! It is so soft and cuddly, and it has a great drape, it should be wonderful for wrapping the baby up in.
I started (again) the Shalom sweater after I talked with a friend about which type of M1 would be best. And it is coming along really nicely. I have until the 21st to finish it and I am on the third set of "cable" type pattern stuff around the yolk, so I feel pretty good about getting it done in time. The camera just does not do justice to the yarn color, it is a really lovely icy blue, it just sort of looks gray in the pictures.
I am also reading "A Christmas Carol" for the first time. It is really good. I haven't read any Dicken's since high school. It is a bummer how school can turn you off from some stuff. I might make it a holiday habit, such a great reminder.

Friday, December 6, 2013

{ This Moment }

Joining Amanda from Soulemama for This Moment. A single photograph from the week, a moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

What haunts you

My inability to speak up for myself and what that has meant to my children and to the way my life has gone. How would things have been different, how can I change them NOW, how do I find the courage, why do I sit in unhappy silence?

Joining up with the December Prompt-A-Day .

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Knits and Reads

Joining Ginny from Small Things for the weekly Yarn Along and Nicole from Frontier Dreams for KCCO.

baby blanket and book

new yarn for undecided project

wreath maker helper

second wreath maker helper

our lovely and gaudy wreath
I am still plugging away at the baby blanket, I am finding it more and more enjoyable especially in the evenings when my brain can not do much but garter stitch and watch old episodes of Pysch on Netflix. Last week or the week before I believe it was Ginny who was reading Pope Awesome. I love a book about large families. Being a large family ourselves it can feel a bit only, so many parenting books/memoirs are by people with one or two kids... maybe three and most are still wee kidlets. This is a funny refreshing book. Although I am not Catholic, nor am I planning on becoming Catholic so much of what the author says speaks to me, and not just the funny parenting parts, but the searching parts and finding a path to God parts... I can so relate.
Over the weekend Fiona, Rowan, and I decorated a wreath I had picked up at Trader Joe's. It is boxwood, which I am not really sure what that is, but the wreath is lovely and bright green and not prickly like an evergreen wreath. I went to Target and got a box of inexpensive ornaments and some fun tinsel. Since Fiona had gone with me, I let her pick... and of course it was the nice wild colored box... but you know, the plain old green and red/silver and gold just gets old. Gotta love a wreath that has hot pink and purple balls and bright red snowflakes. We had a great time putting it together.
And finally... my Quince and Company yarn came. I had plans to knit up a Shalom Sweater for Audrey, but after casting on no less than 5 times and knitting to the first set of M1 stitches and not finding the correct kind, I am about to give up. I made this sweater before, but I have no idea what I did last time. I am toying with knitting up an Annabel pullover and just sort of fudging it so I can use "Puffin" yarn. Maybe by making the smallest size?? I have no idea. Both sweaters should knit up super quick once I figure it all out, so I believe I have enough time between now and December 21st.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

* Gratitude Sunday * and Weekending

Joining Amanda from The Habit of Being for Weekending and Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slowdown, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes...

~ A wonderful post Thanksgiving meal of gratitude with dear friends
~ Feeling better after a somewhat longish sickness (well it felt long anyway)
~ Cold mornings and warm afternoons
~ Finally finding a good book to sink my teeth into
~ Getting my Quince and Company yarn on Saturday
~ The new Taproot calendar
~ Fires in the fireplace
~ Roasted lamb shoulder
~ Hugs from my Fiona Rosy
~ Cuties
~ Christmas lights showing up around the neighborhood
~ Staying up late enough to watch a movie with my honey

This weekend was wonderful, even though both Mike and I were sick. We were suppose to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday, but since this cold was all in the chest we decided to NOT take it to my parents house and infect everyone there. Instead we had an impromptu dinner just the kids and us. And I had a realization... my kids don't really care for most of the traditional Thanksgiving fair. It was somewhat laughable when I thought about it, this huge dinner and no one really cared for the food. I decided from now on that we should just all pick a dish we love and I will whip it all up for Thanksgiving and Yule.
I have also been pondering the whole gratitude concept, what exactly it means to me and how I go about living it and breathing it. I do play a lot of lip service to being grateful, I try and be grateful... but I tend to stumble a lot along the way. I get so caught up in what "should be" and how I "could behave" or what everyone else is doing that I sort of forget my gratitude, or it is superficial gratitudes. Anyway, a lot for me to chew on and work through.
Friday was spent cleaning, and doing the laundry. And I must say that having my oldest son and my dear man home made the whole process so much nicer. Mike and I even got to watch a movie Friday night all cuddled in bed. Pretty amazing considering I can not actually remember when we last watched a movie together.
Saturday we had friends over for a post Thanksgiving feast of amazingness. Kids running around leaving doors open, actual adult conversation, great food. It was wonderful. And something I wish to repeat again and again.
And that lands us here, Sunday. What to do? Hang up lights around the house, do more laundry (is it ever done??), start knitting a sweater, and getting things already for the first night of Advent.

Friday, November 29, 2013

{ This Moment }

Joining Amanda from Soulemama for This Moment. A single photograph from the week, a moment I wish to pause, savor, and remember.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

baby blanket

The baby blanket is coming along slowly but surely. It is actually a very calming and super easy knit. I calculated how many stitches will go into this wee baby blanket... over 30,000.
I have also decided to try and knit up a Shalom Cardigan for my oldest daughter before December 21st. So, the baby blanket my go on hold for a bit, I am still waiting for the yarn to arrive. I decided to knit it in Quince and Company's Puffin in glacier. Such a beautiful yarn. I am really excited to whip this sweater up.

Joining Ginny from Small Things for Yarn Along and Nicole from Frontier Dreams for KCCO.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekending and Grartitude

Joining Amanda from the Habit of Being for weekending and Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday.

It has been a wet and cold weekend here in Arizona (well cold for us anyway). We turned on the heater because we are a bit wimpy and had a fire in the fireplace. The sky has been overcast for days now, since Thrusday, and I am just not good with days and days of no sun. How we lived in Maine for almost 2 years I will never know.
I foolishly ventured out to a mall to find this mineral shop to by each of the kids a cool stone for the first Sunday of Advent... good night! No wonder I don't "do" the mall any longer. It is crazy there, and a bit traumatizing. I think the rest of the holiday shopping will be done either on-line or at local shops. Sis and D came over for dinner Saturday evening and there was lots of music played.
This morning all the kids slept in until well past 8 AM and that gave me a bit of time to myself that wasn't in the middle of the night. Mike and Cae made eggnog pancakes and bacon for breakfast. And there are no real plans for the day... so maybe it will be cuddling up with a fire, a sappy Christmas movie, and some knitting on the baby's rainbow blanket.

List of Gratitudes:

~ Eggnog
~ firewood
~ a wet weekend
~ feeling the wee baby move everyday
~ finding lovely rocks at the mineral shop
~ the living room cluttered with toys
~ listening to Caelan singing George Strait songs
~ the laundry being done AND folded
~ breakfast made by someone other than me
~ having a kitchen full of food

Friday, November 22, 2013

{ This Moment }

 Joining Amanda from Soulemama for "This Moment". A single photograph from the week, a moment I wish to pause, savor, and remember.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More knits and reads

Joining Ginny from Small Things for the Yarn Along and Nicole from Frontier Dreams for KCCO.

baby blanket

fingerless mitts

I hardly ever knit more than one project at a time, but I was so wanted to start this baby blanket that I decided I would cast it on now and work it in the evenings and the fingerless mitts (a holiday gift) during the day. And those mitts are just flying off the needles. As of this writing I have about 1/2 an inch of ribbing left at the top and I just need to cast off mitt number 2. Then I am pretty much done with the holiday knits. Maybe, just maybe, I will work another project or two depending on how the gift giving thing works it self out, but for the most part I am done.
Now I can focus again on baby knits, because honestly they are so much fun to knit. The gown I was working on... well I am not liking it. So, I think I will frog it and do something else with the yarn. It is lovely yarn so I must find a nice project for it.
I got some sock yarn in the mail and I am planning on knitting this and maybe a pair of socks (or two) for Fiona Rosy, because she asked and how can I say no to her?? She is just so super sweet.
I am plugging away at my childbirth ed/postpartum doula/breastfeeding counselor training. Making sure I do a section every three days. At this rate I should be completing all three programs in a year. Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Joining Amanda from The Habit of Being for weekending.

Have you ever been driving and suddenly arrived at your destination and have no real memory how on earth you go there and you think to yourself... good lord, how did this happen?
The weekend sort of felt like that. I remember it starting and then BAM we are at the end of it and I have no real idea what happened to the whole darn thing. How did we get to 12:33 AM Monday morning? Where on earth did the weekend go?
I knitted some, got frustrated and frogged a project that took most of the weekend. Watched a few very, very  bad disaster movies, started drinking coffee again. Saturday we went and helped out the Mother in Law shut down her cooler, put away her fan collection, and cover her cooler vents. The kids watched movies and loaded up on enough processed food to keep them going all day and well into the night. We moved over to my parents house for a couple hours to celebrate my niece's 9th birthday with some cake ad ice cream. The cousins played and laughed and were loud and crazy and had to be sent outside, which they enjoyed immensely.
Then suddenly it was 2 Pm on Sunday afternoon and we picked up Sis for her weekly Sunday visit. And that time seemed to fly by and it was time for her and D to head home and it was time to get the kidlet's to bed, and now here I am...
Another long and fast week ahead. Some how the days seem to take FOREVER to get through, but the weeks fly by. Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away and then suddenly it is head long into advent, Yule and Christmas. And then a few weeks after that we will be welcoming baby number 7 into the world. I just feel so unready for it all. Is there someway to just slow it all down by like 1/2??

Sunday, November 17, 2013

* Gratitude Sunday *

 Joining Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots for Gratitude Sunday. Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes...

~ the steampunk exhibit at the library
~ the kids crafting together
~ days at the park
~ great phone conversations with friends
~ the temperature dropping below 80 degrees
~ sappy Christmas movies
~ cookie butter from Trader Joe's
~ very good friends
~ coffee
~ the wonderful stranger who paid for my coffee at Starbuck's on Friday, I so needed that coffee and it was such a sweet surprise that I actually started crying