Monday, December 27, 2010

quote for the week

Christmas - that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance - a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.
                                                           ~Augusta E. Rundel

It was a bit of a different Christmas this year. Because of my first trimester sickness and laziness, there were quite a few things that got left undone. A lot more sleeping and a lot less creating and celebrating. I was feeling a little blue over the things that got left undone and unmade. Over the things that didn't work out - like every cookie we made that ended up burned or crumbled  or stuck to the pan. Over the traditions that had to be changed this year, for various reasons.

But somehow no one noticed the things left undone. So we ate a few less cookies. The floors went unmopped and the laundry hasn't been put away. It still all came together, beautifully. Quietly. Blissfully.

It was a lesson in letting go - and one I suppose I need to get used to over the next few months. It's been a long time since there has been a newborn in the house but I'm pretty sure that there will be many, many things left undone over the next year.

So even with me just getting over my first trimester symptoms, The Husband recovering from knee surgery, my youngest sick with a stomach bug for the last several days and my oldest leaving this afternoon for a week with his fathers side of the family out of state - well, it's not quite what was in my Christmas dreams. Though it was beautiful all the same and I'm sure this Christmas will weave it's way into some of our favorite family memories too. Hours and hours spent playing new board games, and wrapped in the love and warmth of new quilts from Nana.

Monday, December 20, 2010

quote for the week (and something new!)

What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.  
                                                                       ~Agnes M. Pahro







This holiday season has been a little different than the last few. In some ways it's been crazier, in some ways it's been slower. A lot of things are going undone and some traditions have been put on hold. 


Other traditions like cutting our tree down on the coldest snowiest day of the year, seem to still be in place. It was cold. Really cold. And there was at least a half dozen times I stepped into a surprise mound of snow that swallowed me up to my waist and I had to roll out of. 


 I am definitely feeling some tenderness and nostalgia for past holidays. I feel like I've been sort of limping through this holiday season. And I have. 

I mentioned a bit ago that I've been napping more. Letting some things go (like the dishes and the laundry!) I've been spending a lot of time away from this space while I slow down.


And I've also been spending a lot of time planning and hoping for the future.







Baby number three will be joining our family right around July 2nd 2011!



And now that my first trimester is coming to a close, I plan on spending much more time back in this space very soon!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

handmade holidays: gifts for babies and young kids

Note: This has been sitting in my qeue since 11/9 :/

I haven't done much of anything since then. I'm not just ignoring my blog, I'm ignoring a lot of things.

I was going to add to this, but maybe I'll just do a part 2. Maybe not. But if I don't post this now, at the rate I've been moving Christmas will be over before I get around to posting it!


Tell me these aren't the cutest darn things you've ever seen? I really need to get moving on this learning to knit thing!!

baby monster pants!

no tutorial, but still a stinkin' cute idea over at Barefoot Witch: a stuffed triceratops! 

Make a baby hooded towel and washcloth  following this tutorial

Easy baby blanket - knitted project

Hooded Baby Sling

Soft Baby Blocks

If you head on over to you'll find 34 wonderful ideas! I'm loving the Felted Stuffed Animals, the Animal Nightlight, this fantastic Artists Organizer (I've seen the pencil holders before but love the option to include an art pad!)

Also at you'll find some great handmade baby ideas! How cute are these washcloth puppets? Not handmade, but could certainly be vintage and I'm sure spruced up with some handmade accents - beginning a Classics Book Collection (I think this is a great idea for someone of any age, really!) Soulemama had something similar in Handmade Home that used old cozy blankets - no matter what material, I think it's a wonderful idea. I think for a gift, it would be cute if each pocket was stuffed with a little something. A stuffed animal, a book, some crayons. Shirt Pocket Quilt.

The cuteness is almost too much for me to bear! I'm thinking these washcloth duckies would make a great themed basket with  the washcloth puppets I mentioned earlier, some handmade hooded towels (also linked earlier in this post) and some baby soap. I'm a big fan of themed baskets, and could you imagine the cuteness overload with all those soft, cuddly, homemade bath items for baby? :sigh:

quote for the week.

Play is the purist, the most spiritual, product of man at this stage, and it is at once the prefiguration and imitation of the total human life,--of the inner, secret, natural life in man and in all things.
It produces, therefore, joy, freedom, satisfaction, repose within and without, peace with the world. The springs of all good rest within it and go out from it.
-Freidrich Froebel 

Monday, November 29, 2010

on empathy, even for the bad guys.

There was a case locally over the past couple of weeks that consumed our area and made news nationally.

You may have heard of 20 year old Jenni-lyn Watson who went missing on the morning of Friday November 19th. They found her body in a storage shed at a local park a week later. Hours after, they arrested her 21 year old ex-boyfriend.

I grew up and lived in a few apartments minutes from the neighborhood where Steven Pieper, the man accused of Jenni-lyn's murder lives. It's a very nice, sort of upper middle class neighborhood. I lived in an townhouse minutes from Jenni-lyn's home. I spent many a summer night listening to local bands on the stage right in front of that storage shed. Both my boys played soccer at that park.

Both Jenni-lyn and Steven went to the high school that I graduated from (though they are a decade younger than me).

While the search was on for this young girl, talk often turned to who did it. The police weren't releasing really any information in those regards. It sort of terrified a lot of people to think that the person could live locally.

He did. Does. His family does.

I don't want to be another person just spouting off their opinion on this case. There are enough of those people. And that's the problem.

Everyone (very, very rightfully so) feels sympathy for Jenni-lyn and her family. People, complete strangers, are heartbroken for them. I understand. I am too. I can not begin to imagine the pain and grief and heartache that that family has to go through. You know, you worry about your children when they are gone. At the mall. At a friends. At college. Living on their own You are not supposed to worry about them when they are home with you. That is when they are supposed to be safe. It's a terrifying thought that she was not safe in her own home or safe from someone who was supposed to love her.

But too many people forget that there are two tragedies here. I understand peoples anger. I get it, really I do. It makes sense. Feeling anger and disgust towards the person that did this is a completly valid emotion.

So why don't I feel anger? I don't know. All I feel is a heavy, horrible sadness. There are two families destroyed. Sometimes people forget that there are victims all around.

Maybe I'm too empathetic. I think sometimes that's true. I sensor myself from a lot of news stories because quite honestly, I can't handle them. So maybe the fact is other people simply don't care. Maybe they're right. Maybe I'm the odd one out here.

I can't help but think of this young mans family. Does he have brothers or sisters? How are they supposed to face their classmates or their friends? His parents - my goodness can you imagine? To face your neighbors, your community, to go back to work? If there is one thing that has to be almost equal to losing your child to a violent crime, I think it would have to be being the parent of the person who committed a violent crime.

I think I would be constantly questioning myself. What did I do wrong? Were there warning signs? Could I have stopped it? Is it my fault?

I know there are parents who don't care about their kids. Parents who neglect or abuse their children. But in my rose colored world, when I hear stories like this, one thing I always think about it what that person was like as a child. I imagine his mother loved him and sang him songs and tucked him into bed at night. I imagine his parents cheered at baseball games and took pictures before prom and had family game night.

Maybe not. Maybe the parents were monsters. Maybe he is a monster too. I mean, how else do you take another human beings life?

I don't know.

You worry about your kids in relation to other people: drunk drivers, kidnappers, rapists, murderers, child molesters. Most parents worry about keeping their kids safe from other people. It's a terrifying thought that your child might grow up to be the 'other person'.

Reading comments on other forums is sickening. Again, I get the anger. I'm with ya. But when people say that he (Steven) 'should fry' or when they blame the family . . . it makes me cringe.

He is still someones child. That family is already reeling from what their child did to someone elses child. To have to live with that would be awful enough, but then to have to live with it under the heavy glare of  so many accusing eyes?

Man, I don't know. I guess there's no tactful way to get these thoughts out. I feel like it's somehow wrong to feel empathy all around - yes, even for the 'bad guy'.

The whole story just makes my heart hurt, and makes me want to hold my kids close forever.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

quote for the week

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.  Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.  ~St Francis de Sales

well, hello there. I know I've been quiet this past week. I imagine I'll be quiet still for at least a few more days. 

We've been living very slowly, very quietly. There seems a bit of chaos in our lives, in the lives of those we love. We've been taking time to play games, cook together, snuggle, nap, watch movies and watch the bread rise in front of the woodstove.

I normally need to talk everything out, in excruciating detail. Right now, I'm feeling the need to be quiet. To be still. To not just keep, but first to find that inner peace. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

i am thankful day 7

Today I am thankful for

new england clam chowder, kitty cats, cozy blankets and being half way through my work week.

handmade holidays: gifts for men and boys

 Because I know my husband and kids don't read this blog, this handmade post will be the easiest to share, though even here there are a couple of handmade gifts that you'll have to wait until after the holidays to see!

I find that crafting for boys is sometimes pretty hard! Last year we did ok, but it felt like we used up all our good ideas! Here's a small list to kick off the handmade holiday season!

Handmade by others:

Beer Soap - search Etsy for all sorts of fabulous 'manly' soaps!

I like this shaving kit. There are homebrew soaps and homebrew shampoos.   How about a chocolate stout soap?

Custom Guitar Picks for your musician. They're metal and it says they are easy to play with. I don't play guitar, so who knows. But they're still neat.

You could probably make this on your own too, but inspiration deserves credit too! The Husband loves homemade popcorn, and I could see this going over very well.
Popcorn Spice Kit

The Husband also dabbles in making beer, but even if your guy doesn't - these Homebrew Ties are pretty dang cool!

Handmade by you!

Sports Cans. I think these are a super neat idea. I think depending on the size of the can, you could stuff them with goodies and snacks, or maybe slippers and a matching team fleece blanket.

Pajama Pants are quickly becoming a Christmas Tradition in our house, last year just the little guys got them, this year The Husband will be getting a pair too. We do fleece, but you could make them in whatever fabric you wanted. There are tons of tutorials online, here's a fairly easy one: 15 minute pajama pants

I made all the boys heat packs last Christmas, but these are always a great standby. Mine weren't this fancy - just a standard rectangle, but here's an idea on how to make them: Homemade Heat Packs

Bookmarks inspired by Soulemama. You can find the instructions in Handmade Home or here

Of course if you knit there are many more ideas! Socks, hats, scarves, sweaters (oh my!).

Or, if you don't knit - how about making a hat from a recycled felted sweater? Or a brimmed hat from an old sweater?

Every time The Husband comes to the market with me, he remarks on the felted slippers one of our meat vendors sells (she also spins and knits). Now my knitting skills are beginner on a good day, so knitting and felting slippers is out of the question. But how about felted slippers from sweaters? yay!

I think it's possible that crafting for the kids can sometimes be harder than crafting for The Husband. They're always appreciative (and seem sincerly so!) with handmade gifts. But. They're boys. 12 and 7 now. Coolness is definitely a factor! Pillowcases, blankets, pajama pants - all safe handmade gifts. But not surprising, or super special. So, that list will have to be continued as I find and add ideas!

If you have any handmade gift ideas for men and boys, please share them in the comments below!

Can't wait to see what everyone else is coming up with as the Holiday season gets into full swing!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

i am thankful, day 6

I am thankful

that I have a stove at work. Seriously. I work 12 hour Sundays and till 9pm every other night. I didn't use the stove the first couple years I worked here, I just heated up leftovers. Now I can't imagine how I got by. I love being able to pack ingredients and cook a fresh dinner, especially on these loooong 12 hour days!

quote for the week.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; 
we must die to one life before we can enter another.  
~Anatole France

I keep typing out posts, and blogger keeps eating them. It's getting quite frustrating. This post got eaten somewhere between pressing publish and view published post. So here's the cliff notes. 
We are going to be facing quite a few changes here. I'll share them with you soon, but not yet.

I try not to rush the seasons, I am very much aware at how quickly the years can speed by. I try to embrace and savor every season. The scents and sights, the flavors.

That's not always easy. I was cursing our long winter when it snowed (a lot!) on Mothers Day last year, but then soon whining about the heat during our very long and very hot summer. Often enough though, it seems the seasons begin to turn just as I'm longing for the next. When fall began this year, I couldn't imagine wanting it to end. I think the same thing every year, since autumn is by far my favorite time, but this year especially. I was dreading the inevitable and too quick return to winter. We have long winters.

Yet here I am with the last leaf having barely touched the ground, and I'm ready for the snow. I'm ready for snowstorms and sledding and hats and mittens and cocoa and woodstoves and cozy-ing under blankets and slowing down and the silence and calm that winter brings. 

This winter, I'm especially ready for the opportunity to slow down. To nap. To dream and plan. To get ready for all the seasons ahead.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

i am thankful days 4 and 5

So generic, totally a cop out but:

I am thankful for my family and for my friends.

They count as two days. Cause I said so.

It's true though, really. They are what makes up the best parts of my life. Sure, I find joy in things like hiking and crafting and other solo activities - but the relationships I have with my family and my friends are what create fullness and wholeness in my life.

Cheesy, but true.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am thankful, day 3

Whew. Today was a long day!

Today, I am thankful for:

time for napping!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

i am thankful, day 2

Today I am thankful for:

especially libraries with online systems 
that allow me to place holds on any book 
at any of the county libraries 
and have it delivered to my local library. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

:month of gratitude:

I had this big, long, wonderful post about handmade holidays. And I worked on it for a really long time (so I know it was auto-saved in addition to me saving it) and then I had to leave and come back, and when I did, it was gone. Blank. Blogger clearly doesn't want me to talk about my handmade holiday ideas. So, you don't get that post. At least not today, since I have to do it all over again! :whine:

Anyway, a couple of friends on Facebook have started posting one thing on every day this month that they are thankful for. I happen to think that's a marvelous idea so I'm going to copy it here. I hope you join in too!

Today, I am thankful for: 
a husband who still surprises me (in the very good way!) and is compassionate and kind and loving, especially when I least expect him to be.

Monday, November 1, 2010

the things that change.

I normally work 12 hours every Sunday. This year I switched with a co-worker and worked 12 hours Saturday so I could have Sunday off - thought being that this was probably the last year my oldest would want to go trick or treating with us.

Turns out, last year was the last year he wanted to go trick or treating at all. These small milestones seem to hit me harder than the bigger ones. They sort of sneak up on you and knock you off your feet. You expect loose teeth. The disbelief in Santa Claus. First girlfriends. Puberty. Those are all things that are sort of major and you are prepared for them, you know they are coming. But then there are the smaller things, that you sort of forget about until they happen. Like the little boy that you have dressed up and walked house to house with for a decade deciding that he is way too cool for that now. It's like every Halloween for the last 10 years is suddenly etched so very clearly in my mind. The toddler in the Tigger costume. The years spent as some form of a ninja or skeleton in a robe or some variation of the two. My favorite costume, last year, as a wizard. The early years spent making it around just one block. Coffee in hand, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the snow - reminding him to use his thank yous - prompting the saying of trick or treat.


Oh, my youngest still loves the holiday, I think he may love it even more than Christmas. So I still trudged through the streets last night, hot buttered rum in hand instead of the coffee of my younger years. Since my youngest was born, 7 years ago, we have had lovely Halloweens. No snow. Warm nights. This year we returned to a day of hail, rain and snow - with a dash of sunshine. The night was as cold as when I began the yearly ritual.

 it's hard to tell with all the layers, but Colin was Ash from pokemon. he's currently obsessed.

So Evan spent this year sitting on Nana's porch, in full costume - scaring the kids that came to the door. I guess a new tradition begins.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

quote for the week

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
The moon is full and bright
And we shall see what can't be seen
On any other night.
Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
Grinning goblins fighting duels,
Werewolves rising from their tombs,
Witches on their magic brooms.
In masks and gown we haunt the street
And knock on doors for trick or treat.
Tonight we are the king and queen,
For oh tonight it's Halloween! 
- Jack Prelutsky

Thursday, October 28, 2010


So, in my effort to get outside more (even though my job keeps me tethered to a desk 10-12 hours at a time) I've started walking on my lunch break again. I did this in the spring for a while, then just stopped. For some reason I haven't been walking in the mornings after the kids get on the bus either. I should. Fresh air is good, for the body and the soul.

Anyway, I've been walking. But instead of walking the neighborhood across from work, I've been walking the cemetery. I was always sort of afraid to walk there alone before, because even though it's bordered by a nice section of the University neighborhood and parts of the University itself it's also very near a very not nice part of the city. But, it was the middle of a sunshiney weekday, and I decided to just go and do it.

I'm so glad I did, it was so healing. The sun was shining, breeze was blowing, leaves were fluttering. I brought my mp3 player, but didn't use it. I just listened. Watched. It was awfully alive for a cemetery. There were a couple other people there; a woman walking her dog, a man jogging, a couple having a picnic. I've walked there before, but never alone, so I was really able to notice things this time.

The cemetery is 160 acres in the city. It was opened in 1859, and I'm so in awe of the monuments and graves from that time. There are some outstanding ones and some very simple ones.

The bigger monumnets leave me wondering who the people were, what they did. I think it's so incredible how much money went into these resting places.

Then there are the smaller graves, some have headstones and some do not - or maybe they did but don't any longer. Families were buried together often, and I wonder if how you decided which family you were buried with if you were married and how far along might that go - where would the children of the children be buried? Some of the smaller ones with no headstones simply say what they were: Mother, Father, Son. No name, no date of birth, no date of death. That's who they were. Mother, Father, Son. Often the mother is listed as Wife of: (whoever) as if her name didn't matter, just who she was married to. I wonder if that was enough for them, to simply be mother or wife. There many late 1800 and early 1900 ones that have infants and often 2 or 3 people in the same family dying in the same year. It makes me wonder of their fate. Illness? Fire?

Headstones don't tell you enough.

But I love these simple, older headstones. Much more than the fancy older ones though those are intriguing too. It becomes easier to imagine that family, living in the area I live now, only so different. There would have been a farm where I work - in fact I work in a converted barn. The University was just being built.

To me, every person in a cemetery was a good person. I'm sure they weren't, but I like to imagine that they were. I wonder about the families buried there, and how similar they were to families today. Our surroundings have changed - but I like to think that it's not so different. They loved their children, kissed them goodnight. They cooked dinners and had friends and looked up at the same moon I do.

There are a lot of newer stones there too. They're lovely, and it's still a peaceful and beautiful area of the cemetery, but I don't spend much time there. Everything sort of looks the same. It's in neater rows. Shinier stones.

There's another section, that I spent some time in that is so, so sad. It's a childrens area - babies, really. Some of them have headstones, but most of them don't, just metal, rusted markers. Some of the markers are so old they're missing the names. That makes me the saddest, the nameless markers. 

I walked through a newer cemetery down the road yesterday, instead of the bigger one, and I didn't like it. Too pristine. All the headstones were the same (one of 3 colors) they all had similar engravings. One thing that was neat, was what seemed to be a lot of shared same sex plots. It's possible they are siblings, but I'd like to think that this religious cemetery is progressive enough that it wasn't. When I was finishing my walk, and thinking I wouldn't visit this cemetery again, I came upon an older man sitting in a lawn chair in front of a grave. Just sitting there. Maybe talking, maybe thinking - visiting. And suddenly I felt a little strange being there, what right did I have to be walking through these graves, these lives lived, other peoples pain?

I didn't feel like that at the other cemetery. I felt like I was supposed to be there. It was built almost as a park, and people seem to enjoy it as one. I'd like to be buried somewhere like that. Well, I'd like to be cremated, but I would be ok being buried in a cemetary like that. To me, cemeteries and headstones aren't for the people under them - they are for the people left behind, the people who need a place to grieve and to visit and sit in their lawn chairs and watch the leaves fall.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

joyful girl

I am not a joyful girl.

In fact, I am quite cranky, quite a bit of the time.

Once upon a time, a former boyfriend told he he loved how I was so happy all the time. I thought that was funny, since I was 16 and felt not happy most of the time. Apparently I seemed a joyful girl.

Then came single teenage motherhood. And even through that, I was ok. I'm sure I complained - but there was no choice but to keep on keepin' on.

Somehow as I've gotten older, I've become a cranky pants complainer. I've become a pessimist. I've become a 'the sky is falling' kinda gal. I don't know exactly when it started. My early 20's I think. It started with the worrying.

My mom was always a complainer. She could be standing in a field of daisies on a beautiful spring day, and notice the only pile of dog crap out there. I always hated it. I never understood how someone could be so miserable so much of the time.

Guess what? I've become my mother. Dishes in the sink? Complain. Laundry piling up? Complain. Husband has too many gigs coming up? Complain. Weather doesn't cooperate? Complain. I think there may be a pattern there.

So how does one become an optimist? How does one stop complaining? Or better yet, stop noticing things to complain about?

I mean, I've tried. I look at my household chores as things that bless my family, and that helps - it really does. Most of the time. I looking at my very long days at work as an opportunity to get other things done like reading or knitting (I have a lot of down time on my 12 hour shifts).

I try to slow down and find something good in every day. I try take the time to notice the beauty around me. But, my goodness, sometimes it's too easy to stay wrapped up in a gray cloud.

And you know, I know all the answers too.

You can't control other peoples actions or emotions. So if someone else is upsetting me (like the kids, or The Husband, or co-workers) I can't control them, I can only control how I react towards them.

I know that 'if you don't like a situation, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you look at it'.

I know that if you look for bad things, you will find them and if you look for the good, you'll find that instead.

What I don't know is how to implement those things. I have tried, really. I've taken Dale Carnegie classes at work. One of my lessons was to pick a statement from the book and implement it in my life. I chose 'Don't criticize, condemn or complain'. This was probably 6 years ago, and I knew I was complaining too much then. The idea was, if you just stopped doing those things, what you wanted would eventually come about. At the time, a huge issue was dishes. There is nothing that gets under my skin more than coming home to a sink full of dirty dishes. But after months of arguing, clearly nothing was changing. So I stopped complaining. And I just came home and did them, as calmly as I could. With out saying a word.

You know what happened? I got angrier. Because nothing changed. I'm not saying nagging is the way to go, but not mentioning what's wrong doesn't fix anything either. The dishes are rarely a problem now, but I don't remember how we solved that one. . .

So there has to be a balance right? A way to not get walked all over, but not whine and complain and nag, right?

How do you bring joy back into your life? How do you stay happy?

I have a few ideas, ways to begin. I guess it's a daily commitment to live that way. At least fake it till it works.

I know I need to get back into keeping a gratitude journal, it helps.

I need to get outside more. I went walking on lunch yesterday, in the cemetery by work and it really was healing. I need more nature, and I need more exercise. I work a desk job for 10-12 hours a day and it definitely drags down my spirit.

I need to take more me time. I don't know how. Even my hobbies are for my family. But maybe that's ok. I enjoy sewing, I've been wanting to make a quilt for the kids for a while, but "never have the time". I need to make that time, even if the end result is for someone else, the process is for me. I need to take the time to nap, without feeling like I've wasted time. Or soak in a tub without worrying about what else I should be doing.

I need to be more flexible and spontaneous. Sometimes things don't work out just the way I wanted. That needs to be ok. That's life.

I need to make changes. I need to find joy in what I do. I need to go back to school, I need a new job. I've known this for a while, but have been reluctant to make the change. I'm not the kind of person who would go hand in their 2 weeks notice right now, just because I'm not happy, but it's time to take steps in that direction.

How do you keep joy in your life? Are good thoughts automatic for you? Are you a complainer? How do you decide when to draw the line, when it's ok to complain ?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

creating home.

I'm obsessed with houses. Have been for a long time. Most little girls dream of their wedding day but not me. I dreamt of a house. I watched all those house decorating shows long before I lived in my own space. Spent years scouring House-for-Sale magazines and websites and drooling over homes I couldn't afford.

I don't know why. Maybe because growing up my home didn't always feel like home to me. Not in the way a home should. Comfortable, cozy, happy and safe.

I always wanted a big rambling farmhouse on several acres- I've sort of explained my inspiration for this before. Years ago, I wanted the farm house but with out the farm. Now I want the farm too.

We have been very, very blessed to have been given the opportunity to live in and buy this house. So why am I still mooning over other homes?

I think in part because we never picked this house, really. We love it. But. There are things we wanted that we don't have. A space for The Husbands music. A fourth bedroom. A usable basement. Another acre (or few). Things I wanted that I don't have. A craft room. A house that needed some work. Walking into a ready made house makes it really hard for me to change things.

There are several things in the house that I want to change, or would change, but I won't. Because I have a hard time changing or getting rid of something that is perfectly fine and in good shape.

And so, we're in this home and it feels like home and it does feel like our home, but there's something missing. I don't know. I think because it was so ready (I mean, they even left gorgeous Stickly and Ethan Allen furniture!) we haven't really had to create a home.

Now that we've been here a year, we're learning more about what we need and want. Now what we need to do is learn how to make that work in this home. Because the fact is that I don't live in a big farmhouse. A farmhouse, yes - but a smaller one and a completely remodeled one.

We've added a few things -

like the fort,



and fire pit.

We still have a lot more to do with the land. Right now, with winter fast approaching - my thoughts are already inside.

Someday, maybe - we'll be in a position to remodel. Not now. Anything that happens now is quick and cosmetic.

You can see from my tumblr what sort of houses and areas I like. I just need to work on creating similar areas in our house, which is hard because of all the wood walls (likely something we will never change).

There are some things that I would like done sooner, rather than later:

Kids rooms. Paint and arrange better. The paint is fine, it's a lovely color - but it's the first time they've had their very own room and I want them to make it theirs.

Finish creating my sewing space. I've taken over a small corner of our room. Now I need to make it an official sewing space, without clashing with the rest of our room.

Paint the living room bookshelves. Our house needs a little lightening up.

Slipcover the pullout loveseat

Replace kitchen lighting

Create art area for the kids (this will be tough to make space for in the room we have allotted) Originally I was going to get rid of this gorgeous and uncomfortable chair, but someone started using it daily.

Things I do love about our house:

It's cozy.

Even though it's not big, it's the biggest place we've ever lived.

This tub.

The cool things in our woods.

And in the end, what I really want is a place that we all love. Not because of the space, or the design, but because we all feel safe and loved here. A place where we not only eat and sleep and live, but become alive and dream and create and grow. A home filled with music and laughter and family and friends.

What does home mean to you? What sorts of things or feelings are most important to you in a home?

"It is not the homes that I love, 
but the lives that are lived there"

Monday, October 25, 2010

things that are good.

autumn and the smell of wood stoves


pumpkins and crisp days

bellies with babies in them

food in jars

progress - finally understanding


these boys

wine in general, but especially homemade wine

kitty cats

learning and growing - even when it hurts

Do not waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson