Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. My house is still quiet this morning as the two older kids are gone with Dad to the hunting camp. Every year the dads in my family take the kids out to the hunting camp to spend the night, and this year I was happy to send Ryan out the door with two kiddos.

The grounds are covered in white today which has such a pretty effect- although I'm sure the roads are sloppy. Still, the frosted trees, the puffs of white on the window panes is beautiful from right here.

When Ryan and the kids come home we're off to his parent's for dinner. Family, good food, and so much to be thankful for... Ah, I love this time of year.

Take care in your travels today and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Five years old

Dear Lydia,
You are five years old today which leaves me wondering where the years have gone. You told me you still feel four, and four is still your favorite number. For now. Trying on a new age always takes a little bit of time, dear, and truthfully I think no matter how old we get we always feel the same inside.
The other night I overheard you making a wish as you picked out a 'wishing star' in the clear black sky. You wished you could be a beautiful princess. That is how you are these days- princesses and dress up clothes, imagination and little-girl dreams. Yet you transition so easily between playing with your dollhouse and playing trucks or dinosours with your brother.
You're always skipping and running and fluttering around. One minute you are a figure skater twirling around the living room and the next you're a cross country runner doing laps around the entire downstairs. You're full of stories and hope, childhood dreams and 'happily ever after alls', as you like to say. I love the conversations we have these days.
Someday, as the years go by and the candles on your cake increase, maybe you'll remember your five year old birthday and your princess cake the way I remember the day you were born like it was just a few feathery moments ago. And as you grow older, remember I am always right here for you.
Happy Birthday, Lydia. You already are my princess.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm sitting here drinking my coffee, thinking ahead to what the next weeks might bring. My little girl's birthday, Thanksgiving, getting ready for Christmas time, and all the busy, crazy joy that goes with that.

There is so much to be thankful for right now. The older I get, the more experiences life brings, the more I realize how grateful I am just to be here, where I am, right now. This pregnancy has really taught me a lot about slowing down and just appreciating the moment we are living in. It's all about finding moments of quietness between the chaos and holding on to those. Moments that let me breathe, let me create, let me be still and appreciate the littlest things.

So right now, with so much to look forward to, I'm happy being right here. My daughter drew a picture yesterday (I wish I had taken a picture of it to share, but I accidentally left it at my Mom's house.) It was a picture of our family- with everyone sporting a bellybutton in the middle of their stomachs. I've often thought it's amusing that kids put bellybuttons in their pictures- just seemed like an odd thing to include. Until my mom filled me in.

She said awhile back a nurse informed her that when children put bellybuttons on their drawings of people it means they have a deep connection with home. That made me smile because- however real that may or may not be- I'd like to believe it's true. This week, especially I was feeling worn and exhausted from unexpected doctor's visits and shuttling the kids from one place to the next for the past several days. So to hear that, I didn't have a choice but to believe it's true- because it warmed me in a way I can't explain.

So today, I'm thankful to be right here with my children. To not have to rush anywhere or be some place else, but to just enjoy being home. There's so much to look forward to, but yet so much to appreciate right now, right here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little reminder

Here it is Juli. This poem used to hang on my mother's kitchen wall:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
So, quiet down cobwebs,
Dust go to sleep;
I'm rocking my babies,
And babies don't keep.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is there a storm coming that I don't know about?!

Oooh, we have an ornery crowd over here today. Before 8 a.m. I felt my nerves were wearing dangerously thin. For some reason, before breakfast I don't do too well with squabbles and whining and wailing declarations of, "I didn't get enough sleep! Jack woke me up too eaaaarllllyy!"

Well, after breakfast in an innocent attempt to improve the situation around here, I proceeded to make construction paper turkeys with L & J. For some crazy Susie-homemaker reason I thought doing something creative might put them in more agreeable moods. Crank up the Christmas music, have a cup of coffee and it will be a fun experience for all, I thought. My rosy plans quickly turned on me because Hannah wouldn't stay off the table and began depositing paper and crayons around the kitchen floor faster than I could get the pieces cut out. As I was reaching for the glue sticks on top the fridge I knocked over a container of foam beads which quickly attracted Hannah's attention. I didn't even try to stop her. Just let her drop them around the house like Hansel & Gretel's bread crumbs (did I get it right this time?). We'll be finding them in various locations until 2012, I'm sure of it.

Then Jack decided to glue his whole project to the window because foolishly I'd mentioned we could hang them in the window when we were done. By this point I was ready to toss everything, but in all attempts to remain calm, I tried to finish what we'd started exclaiming ridiculous falsities over the growing commotion like, "This is such a fun project, hey guys?" while Lydia scowled at me across the table. In the end it was me sitting at the kitchen table gluing the remains together while the kids moved on to something else.

And then the fights continued. Fights over chalk, fights over paper clips, fights over who gets to look at the back of the cookie box. And amidst all that, Hannah continued to perfect her technique of tipping over buckets or boxes or whatever works as a good stool to reach places she shouldn't be... In the process she managed to spill my coffee all over a pattern I'd been reading and a ball of white yarn. And now I just heard something crash in the kitchen followed by a "Whoopsies."

All the while my husband sleeps soundly upstairs after a working the night shift.

That's it. I'm running away. You didn't hear that from me, and you have no idea where I went.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crochet much?

So, I had this naive vision that I could go to Wal-Mart, pick up a crochet hook, come home and type "Learn to crochet" into youtube and within minutes I'd be whipping my way through a hat.

Well. Apparently my hands are all set up to knit and when I put just one needle, uh, excuse me- hook- in my hand I'm all lost. My left hand doesn't know how to hold the yarn- my right hand wants to keep taking over, and therefore I am incapable of keeping any tension on the yarn so by the time I get to the end of the row I've got holes and gaps and crookedy loops going every single direction.

For a quiet hobby that's supposed to be rhythmic and relaxing, I'm doing an awful lot of grumbling and complaining under my breath as I once again tear out the row I've just completed only to try. one. more. time. Because I'm as stubborn as they come. And I want to get this. But oh, it's frustrating.

At this point, I would like to take a moment to negotiate the cruel falsities crocheters (is that a word?) led me to believe throughout the years.

Myth #1: Crocheting is easier than knitting. Uh-huh. Sure it is. If you've never knitted before it's easy to say anything.

Myth #2: Using one hook is so much easier to control than two needles. Well, the concept is nice but when you've learned to knit first there's something so unnatural about dropping a needle.

Myth #3: Crocheting is quicker than knitting. Just for the record I've been sitting here for nearly four hours (yep, four) and the best I have to show is two rows of approximately seven stitches- and ooooh, it's so not pretty. I can't count how many times I've torn back my work. Can't seem to get passed that second row.

So there you have it. It's five after eleven and I'm beat. I hate to admit defeat, but I think for tonight it's time to set aside the crochet hook and the ball of yarn and call it a night before I get vicious. Phooey.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome, November, I'm ready for you

Hellloooo... Is there anyone left out there? It has come to my recent attention that this blog is becoming rather dusty and out of date. Mothballs are piling up in the corners and cobwebs are stringing themselves across the ancient posts. Apparently it's time to do some housecleaning and get back to date.

So, what have we been up to. October was a whirlwind. To break it down quite simply: life was busy. School caught up with me and by the end of the month I was feeling quite overwhelmed.

However- I finished up the last of my clinicals this past week and won't have them again till mid-March! Ryan, on the other hand, starts his this week. While I did enjoy my clinicals this year, I'm happy to be done with them for awhile- time to focus on other things... I'm down to one day of class a week so that should leave me with some time to pay attention to the other aspects of my life that are in desperate need of housecleaning as well.

I'm really looking forward to November this year. Yet, sad to say, an era has come to an end: this will be the first November in approximately 12 years that I won't be participating in the Christmas Bazaar. Which means no late nights scrambling to get things done, no pouring over sites and magazines searching for better ideas. That leaves me feeling slightly nostalgic, but mostly relieved. I had to make a choice this year about how much stress I needed to create in my life- and as it turns out- the least stressful way won out. How about that. Maybe next year I can do it again. Maybe. I might like this year off too much, however.

So what will I focus November on? Well, there are still three piles of material begging to be sewn into quilts. There's three half-started stockings that probably won't be hung this year but would still like a chance. There's plans to be made for Christmas projects and baking and, yes- of course- shopping. I enjoy this time of year so much! Let's put the Christmas music on, heat up a cup of cider, and welcome November.

I'm ready to get started, yet making to-do lists for this week with some reserve. Ryan was sick this past week and while the rest of us are still healthy I've been holding my breath waiting for it to strike in the kids. Every time someone so much as sits quietly and looks at a stack of books, I'm running over to plaster my hand across their forehead thinking for sure they're coming down with a fever. Maybe we'll luck out and they'll all stay healthy- me, included.

Happy November, everyone!