Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm slowly digging myself out from the pile of goodness that was our Thanksgiving.  Surrounded by family, tables heaped with good food, hearts overflowing with the goodness of the Lord to each of us...what more can you ask for?  (Maybe staying up all night to shop on Black Friday?  Oh, wait...I did that, too! And how about a sleigh ride and a preschool Christmas program?  Yep, had all that goodness, too!)

I came home to a house that had already had the magic wand of Christmas sprinkled upon it.  You have no idea how happy it made me to drive home from our long weekend away, Christmas music on heavy rotation and knowing that my house was already reflecting the season.  I've completed much of my shopping already and have good ideas in the works for those that remain.  We are planning and making room in our day to not let this Advent season slip past us unnoticed.  We don't want to miss it.

The Jesse Tree stands waiting for us tomorrow.  The Advent calendar is ready for its first ornament. I've read the first few pages in my favorite Advent devotional.  And I'm ready.  Ready to ponder and think about and take it all in.  I want to celebrate the mystery and let it sink deep into my heart in a fresh way this season.  I am choosing to not miss it this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Banana Cake for a Monkey

My Mat-Mat turned 2.5 today.  Around this house we celebrate things like that, complete with a small gift, singing and some cake.  Mati spent the day singing Happy Birthday to himself and we managed to get it on camera for posterity!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Projects: Tree Pillow

Back in September I stood in the checkout line at Target and my eyes landed on the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Craft magazine.  I'm not one of those people who thinks you can ever start thinking about Christmas too early, so I snatched it up.  I loved several of the projects inside,  but was immediately taken by an appliquéd tree pillow.  I loved the simplicity of it and the idea of finally trying my hand at appliqué.  Much like my wreath, I was surprised at how pleased I was with my results.  See for yourself...

I think it turned out really cute although somewhat difficult to photograph!  It has found a happy home on the chair in our school/play room.  And I've discovered how easy and fun it is to appliqué!  Next up, a Christmas t-shirt for Haven.  If it turns out, you'll surely be seeing it here!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Projects: The Wreath

I was so excited about the project I mentioned yesterday that I couldn't wait to get started on it once the kids were in bed.  Two hours and fifteen minutes later I was done and this is what I created:

Meet my yarn wreath, also known as a door sweater!  It's not often that a project I tackle actually ends up like I envision in my head, but this one did.  I could not be happier with how it turned out.  I love it!  I saw the idea on etsy (of course!) and thought, "Hey! I can do that!" And I was right.  The going rate for one on etsy was at least $30.  Mine is larger then most I found on there and it cost me $6.50 in supplies with yarn to spare.
I also learned how to make ruffles last night.  They aren't perfect, but they still look good on their new home.  For us, I love the reds and browns; it fits us and my style and will be perfect for the winter holidays and beyond.  But truly the possibilities are endless with the different yarns and fabrics or felts.  I'm in love with this project!  I'm not sold on the fabric hanger, but I was so excited to show it off that I just tied some scrap fabric on to hang it.  Maybe some ribbon or even just a piece of yarn...we'll see.

So that's my big project!  I actually finished up another little Christmas item yesterday, too (pictures of that to come).  Two projects in one week is unheard of for me.  But I was reminded that I do love having a creative outlet and I need to make more time for it.

Anyone's door looking lonely and need some company?   Make it a door sweater!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy today

Confession time: I listened to Christmas music in my car today.  And I loved it.  I had an Iced Capp in hand and my best little guy in the backseat and I was headed to get supplies for a Christmas project.  A delightful scenario that required Christmas music.  It would have been down right irresponsible to not play it! My shopping trip was highly successful and I hope to show you proof of that later this week.

Gray skies, colder temps (finally!), rain, soup for dinner and bread rising in the kitchen make me one happy girl this Tuesday afternoon.  Christmas music optional.

What's making you happy today?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Moving on up

Guess who moved to a "big boy" bed last night?  (No, it wasn't Cale.)  It was this sweet boy of mine...

He was perfect!  Went right to sleep, didn't get up and stayed in bed til we went to get him this morning.  Ditto at nap time.  I heard him call for me through the monitor when he woke up this afternoon and I walked in and he's just sitting there waiting for me.  He is such a good kid!  And so darn cute cuddled in to his new bed!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I love things that come in miniature size.  I'm not talking about a shelf full of mini spoons and turtles and Statue of Liberty figurines (although there's nothing wrong with that!).  I"m talking about normal things, just done mini.  I kept a mini bottle of ketchup that came with room service on our honeymoon just because I couldn't get over it's short and squatiness.  I have mini little playing cards that I've never attempted to use, because really, who could play Hearts or Solitaire with a card smaller then your thumb.  But they're cute, so they stay.  Want to know what really gets me?  The little tents and sleeping bags that they have on display at Target.  I can hardly stand their cuteness and have even been known to take a picture of them.  I love them that much.  Have you ever been to Pottery Barn Kids and seen the mini little display cribs?


I also love free things.  And I'm always signing up for a free sample of this or that and promptly forgetting what I signed up for.  Imagine my delight when this showed up yesterday:

And now some perspective on the tiny size...

Might not be useful for much, but it was free and it's mini...two of my favorite things!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have spent the better part of the last week in the area where I grew up surrounded by my family.  Together, we buried my grandmother yesterday.  And while it's sad, it's also been a celebration of the remarkable woman she was.  I've encountered countless people and heard story after story about the way she impacted them.  A public school teacher and administrator, a committed member of her church, Bible study leader, committee member, college professor...not to mention single mother to 6, aunt, sister, friend.  And don't forget grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of 18.  I realized as I listened to people share stories about her that I really only understand her through the lens of being her granddaughter.  It's been such a gift to have that view expanded and see her in a new way.

She wasn't a warm and fuzzy lady, but she had her moments.  She was intensely practical and expected others to act in a similar fashion.  She taught us that the world isn't that big of a place and to go and see all of it that we could.  She modeled for her whole family, in countless ways, that you make the most of every situation-good or bad- and don't use it to make excuses for yourself.  She never did.  She showed us what determination and hard work look like.  She was articulate (exactly what you'd expect from an English teacher!) and always ready with some insight or encouragement or a kick in the pants- whatever she thought you needed that day.  She'd smack me in the middle of my back and tell me to stand up straight and be proud of the height God gave me.  She taught my mom, who taught me, how to care for people and make them feel welcomed and wanted in my home.  She was thrifty and loved to get a good deal (I come by it honest!).  She was fully present in conversation and comfortable with silence.

She was all of these things and so much more.  She was my last living grandparent and I feel like something has come unhinged with her passing.  I can't quite articulate it, but I don't really like how it feels.  But I know what I need to do.  And it's her voice I hear in my mind saying, "Buck up, Kate."

I will, Gram.  I will.

Meeting Haven for the first time in April 2006