Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Brief History of December...

It really feels like December was it's own year...and one of the best years we've ever had! Mark and I just spent a night away in Blowing Rock, NC and talked a lot about how blessed we are and how we both feel like we have just lived through a perfect time in our lives. Over the past month, we've enjoyed 3 snowfalls (!), celebrated our newly turned 4 yr old (!!), watched that 4 yr old sing like a little angel not once, but twice (!!!), decorated spaces, things, cookies, enjoyed the magic of Christmas and each other, enjoyed very special time with almost all of our family members. We spent so much time this past month talking to the kids about the magic and spirit of the season, making lists (and watching Maggie change her mind a thousand times about what should be on that list) and somehow it all happened just the way it was supposed to...

Snowy Tongues

Santa 2010

Tree Decorating

Decorating Ornaments

4th Birthday

First Winter Fire

Maggie's Holiday Program

Little Girls

Gingerbread Men Cutting

Joe's Gingerbread Boy

Kiddo Cookies

"Joe Bo"

Winter Hike

Joe on the trail

Christmas Eve Crew

Captivated by the Grinch

Stockings Hung

Firehouse for Little Boy

Princess Tent for Little Girl

Woody for Joe

Guitar for Mags

Snow for Dulcie

Go Dulcie Go

Joe in the Snow

Our First Snowman

Scared of the Snowman

Uncle Scott

Auntie Christen

Joe's Christmas

Me & Mark

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scenes from the perfect rainy day...

I haven't been able to get into blogging lately. I've been focusing on a lot of new things and finding it hard to find the time to sit down and do this. But today was such an unexpected, awesome and soul nurturing kind of day...I felt that I needed to honor it! I love days that surprise me.

Fall

It all started as a rainy (stormy, actually) Fall day. It is SUCH a relief that Fall is here. This summer was brutally hot and long. We have been busy getting back into the swing of things and it had been a while since we just had an unorganized, unplanned kind of day. I decided to see how long I could keep the kids happy just staying home, playing in our jammies. We made wax paper placemats with leaves we picked up in the yard the day before. I peeled a bazillion apples and started a big ole pot of applesauce (yummm). Then we headed outside to splash in puddles.

Boots

Joe really wanted to whine. He didn't want to admit that this could be fun.

Unsure

But, then he saw Maggie splashing her heart out.

Jump

So, a change of heart, he had. We rarely walk on our street, unless we're going to see "Aunt Donna" (our closest neighbor). We can't really go anywhere from our street, it's short and right off of a busier unsafe road. And, there are no sidewalks in our neighborhood - actually, we don't even live within city limits. We love our somewhat rural locale...but it's nice every once in a while to feel like we can leave our property on foot and find something fun to do. Even if it is just a gigantic puddle on a rainy day.

Big One

Splash

We also discovered that one of our neighbors had some perfect waxy Fall leaves. Our yard is packed full of pine trees and the few leafy trees we have don't make the best leaves for crafty stuff. So, home we came with a heap of Fall color.

Leaves

And then Maggie and I made pie crust. Because you know pies and leaves go hand in hand right? Apples actually...we were back on the apples. I can't believe I made pie crust from scratch. I've been a Pillsbury Ready Made gal for a long time. But, it was feeling like a homemade kind of day and I felt I needed to go with the flow. And I'm so happy I did!

Homeade Pie Crust

Somewhere between the pie baking, the applesauce cooking, and the kids napping (at least one of them), I worked on quilting. I'm trying to learn how to do free motion quilting and these were my practice pieces. Free motion quilting is the term for that puzzle piece looking stitching on the top of the fabric - also called stippling. I think I'm getting there!

Practicing FMQ

And, when I get there, I'll be turning this into a pillow top.

Pillow To Be

So, back to those leaves. What's a kid to do with a bunch of thick waxy leaves? Make a crown of course! Joe did NOT want to put this on until he saw Maggie with hers on. Puddles, crowns...are you seeing a pattern here? Thank goodness for a big sister who convinces him some things really are cool.

Prince of Fall

Maggie on the other hand jumps right into character...whoever that may be.

Queen of Fall

Silly Queen of Fall

So, together they played king and queen of the damp and drippy forest. And we all feel back in love with unexpected, awesome and soul nurturing kind of days.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Traditions

A while back, I read a discussion in a parenting book or magazine emphasizing the importance of traditions in families. In particular, it suggested that from the age of 3 up, children would begin to anticipate and remember traditions. I think I was reading this around the holidays, right after Maggie turned 3. When I get drawn into a topic in an article or book, I tend to get REALLY drawn in, and take things way to literally! I remember feeling a bit of a panic after reading this little discussion on family traditions. "What if when Maggie is 18, she remembers that when she was 3 we didn't have ANY family traditions!!!!" Yes, these thoughts really crossed my mind. Then, I slept on it, came to reality that there was no way I could figure this out this year (esp since we weren't even going to be home for Christmas) and decided we would figure out all of our traditions next year.

Fast forward to today. I decided to make smoothies for snack this afternoon. Joe was napping, Maggie was doing her own thing. Not long after I started the blender, she ran into the kitchen with a big smile on her face, looked at the blender, mumbled something to me which I couldn't hear, pointed to the back door and ran to grab her shoes. She knew it was time for "smoothies on the deck". Aha! A tradition, I thought! Even though it was a bazillion degrees outside, I knew we always drink smoothies on the deck. It started back in the Spring and has been a "tradition" all summer.

JoeSmoothie
So, then I realized...many, many traditions just become. And, often, the unplanned ones are the best. I admit I knew this all along, but I just wasn't looking for them. When I looked back through photos I found that this summer has been full of little traditions - things that the kids have come to rely on. Like, waiting for the hot days to pass and running in the late afternoon rainstorm.
Running in the Rain

Laughing in the Rain
Or playing hopscotch.
Hopscotch
Or just being buddies.
Buddies with Popsicles

Holding Hands in the Rain

Here's to many more traditions that just become!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And then he turned two...

I don't feel that I need to do much of an introduction, since I just recently gushed about him. But, our little guy turned two on Friday! He has definitely started to have some two year old type moments recently. But, this past week...the week filled with birthday celebrations and anticipation, he was as charming as can be.

Joe's 2

Mark and I have laughed and smiled thinking about how he stomped his feet in excitement, squealed and danced spin moves when he opened his gifts.

Oh Wow

Caterpillar Cupcakes

As with every birthday that passes, we wonder where the time went, and we're reminded to cherish every moment. Happy Birthday sweet Joe!