Thursday, December 30, 2010

Comfort and Joy

Home Sweet Home.

The tree is still up. I plugged in every light this evening, inside and out.
We are awaiting our first winter storm, with anticipation and excitement.

Little winter friends sit all around the house, we've been waiting for it to feel like winter.

My house has this warm glow. It's all sweet and shiny.
On Saturday, most of  the decorations will come down, as is the new year's tradition. But tonight, I'm savoring this bit of holiday that is left at our house.

It's been a week to remember. Healthy kids, good weather for travel, lots of good times with family to cast a magical haze over this holiday.

Legos. American Girl. G.I. Joes. And fairies.

Gratitude. Peace. Love. Joy. And Hope.

Happy New Year.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gma Pat

I think of her often. My grandma, my dad's mom. Actually, I'm lucky enough to still have both of my grandmothers. A fortune I am very aware of and so completely grateful for.

She's still here, living with her husband of 62 years (a husband who turned NINETY this week!). Sometimes I get sad that I don't see them more, but try not to dwell on that. Focus on the positive, that's what I'm trying to do.

I identify with my grandma, her mom too. I think I look like them.

It's my grandma's hands that make me think of her most. When I'm sitting at the table, a mug of something warm. My hands go to the napkin or coaster and sort of slide it back and forth while I sit. And then I think of grandma Pat and how she does that too. I wonder if she's doing it that very minute. Then I smile.

I put my thumb to my mouth, sort of resting it on the spot where my teeth are crooked. I do it all the time while I think. Just like Grandma.

It will be something that stays with me my whole life. I'm just sure.

I only hope my life can be as long and full and wonderful as the one she is living. That I can convey the peace, the contentment, the calm that she does.

Better visit grandma this holiday, I think maybe I'm missing her just now. 


Grandma's mom, that's me on her lap.
(This is one picture I didn't have to make sepia, time has done that all on its own.)

Grandpa, Grandma, and me. Confirmation Day, 1991
Gee! Those are some puffy sleeves, Mel.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Last Bit of Autumn

These pictures are from November...can you believe the kids were running around in short sleeves?! They were shocked when we got down to the pond in their favorite park and it was empty! We discussed why the Parks & Rec department had to do that and when the little creeks would be filled with water again to fill the pond. This little park has been a beautiful way to note the changing seasons for a couple of kids who live in town. I could point out the purple flowers, now gone, that were covered in bees earlier in the fall (my son is terrified of bees and was so pleased to find them gone!).

Impromptu trips up to the park are another example of what we've done with the gift of time we've been given this year!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 17, 2010


Click on the collage if you want to see the tiny squares...

Each ornament on our tree holds some sort of memory, a story. We will not make any magazine lay outs. We will not win any prizes for the perfection that is our tree. But each year we enjoy getting out each one. Remembering the who, the when, the where. I have the ornament from my first Christmas. The ones I received from grandparents. Ones that I made. I also have some that hung on my grandparents' tree and a few from my parents'.

Both kids have an ornament box with their name on it. They love getting out their small collection of ornaments, remembering each one. Deocrating the tree is like a trip down memory lane.

The photos from the collage are from several different years. I can't help myself, each year I take the pictures knowing that there are plenty already! There is something about the beauty of that tree with the lights and all of those funky oraments. I just sit at night at look at it.

It's just one more thing that makes this season a highlight of our year!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


One more year of memories, then I can get up to date with all of the fun we've had so far this year.
It seems a little silly, considering there is a post from last year I can look at. Merry Merry. But it's the PICTURES that I love to look at! They tell such a story all on their own.

Last year, it was all about snow. And snow. And snow! Luckily we had already had lots of family Christmas celebrations before the big storm, so no plans got ruined and we really did just enjoy the time at home.

I can't believe Christmas is next week already! In my head, we've just moved has just started...I honestly have to look at the calendar every day to remember that it's mid-December!


Saturday, December 11, 2010


We're up to 2008. My B is in kindergarten (kindergarten!!) and her brother is no longer a baby brother. She now can use that word, "brother", with that tone that all sisters can use. But they really do like each other, almost all the time.

We enjoyed the season so much with two kids who know how to have some fun!

Two weeks to Christmas and we've got so many new memories to make!


Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We interrupt this tour of Christmases past to remember December 8th, 2000. What a night. The night I got engaged! Seems like something worth noting, a decade of commitment...this June we'll celebrate ten years of marriage.

I wrote the story of how it happened here.

And wrote about our time together here.

What amazes me most is how long ten years sounds...but how short it has felt. How quickly the time passes, how easy it will be to spend ten more years together. And ten after that. And God willing, ten more and more and more and more...

And by easy, I don't really mean easy. Because sheesh, being married is work. But work that is worth it.

So worth it.

Our first Halloween together, we were engaged six weeks later.
 A perfect match.


Monday, December 6, 2010


After posting the pics from 2006, it felt right to move on. A tour of Christmases, I guess.

There were too many, I just couldn't pick! When in doubt, I make a collage. (If you click on it, you can see it extra large.)

What strikes me is the difference that one year could make. The year before my little guy was a chubby-cheeked, 7-month old. Then he's a toddler, running around the house like he owns the place.

And my girl, there she is suddenly a long-haired preschooler.

That year, 2007, that was a ROUGH year. When I look at these pictures, I remember none of that. I'm so happy that you cannot see it on the faces of my kids. They are happy, healthy and full of spirit.

If the camera had turned on me, you would have seen an grief-stricken mom with bronchitis and pneumonia.

But it doesn't matter anymore, which has me smiling this morning. We made it!!

It feels good to me to look back. I'm so grateful for where that past has gotten us, today being so good as it is. And yes, it makes me a little weepy too.

As it should.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh the cuteness. The kids and I were scrolling through November of 2006 this morning.

My heart.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conversation Unraveling

I had him sit with me while we ate some lunch. Leftover sloppy joes and mac n cheese.

I saw it coming, though I wasn't sure of the reason.

His face got a little sad.

"I'm full of this macaroni now. I need some apple bread."

I encourage him to have a bite, he loves mac n cheese (it's even kraft, from a box, his favorite kind).

"No. I'm full of this macaroni!" Now he's near tears and running from the table.

I ask him come back to the table and sit with me. Buddy, it's your favorite lunch, just eat a few bites.

He yells from across the room, "BUT WHAT IS THAT GREEN STUFF??!?" 

Oh, damn my love of basil. I screwed up the macaroni by trying to add flavor!

Lesson learned. Once again.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Baking pies is my Thanksgiving tradition, which is a comforting task before the holiday.

I just put my little crock of leftover pumpkin pie batter in the oven just now, a trick I learned from my friend, Jacque. One of many. I think she called it pumpkin pudding. And oh my goodness, yum. To think, I'd just dumped that leftover goodness down the drain before she showed me the light.

She passed away on Thanksgiving and I guess there's no way to forget that, ever. But I'll be a little sad tonight and then just thankful tomorrow.

I miss my friend, but I have such faith that she is in the best place. And that when I get there, she'll have more to teach me. Maybe even mentor me there.

If I get to pick, it will be so.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Thankful Season

It's my favorite way to set a fall table, a tray of gourds. The colors make me happy.

This is the corner next to our table. Each piece means something to me. The plant that a friend gave me as a going-away gift when I left school last spring. A rocker that was my dad's when he was a child. A clock that used to reside on my grandparents' mantel. A figurine of a mother, given to me by my own mom. When I sit at my table and look at this, it makes me feel happy.

Then I can look out our back door, which is right behind our table, and watch the sun set. It is a beautiful sight that I marvel at each evening. As if I'm surprised that it happens each day. There's an alfalfa field across that road and some cows go out to graze just beyond that. When they're let out to pasture, we can hear them moo. We live in town, but have the best country view.

I have no point here. Except maybe that I'm at peace again. We've settled in and are making this home. I still miss things about Omaha every day, but am feeling more content right where I am.

My mom asked me this summer (while I was in the middle of a big fret), "Do you have what you need for today?" Well, yes I do. I keep asking myself that question, almost daily. The answer so far has been yes every time. Then why on earth would I sit and worry.

I have what I need for today.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

My sister and I had talked that morning and I shared with her that I was going on a preschool field trip that very day. "You're living the dream!" she said. And you know what. She was right.

My very first preschool field trip.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halfway to Five

                    Thinking deep, thinky thoughts

There's this intensity to my boy. A fierceness that's tough to describe.

An example: last night when he went to bed, we were discussing lego houses. He'd like me to build some to resemble the ones in the book we'd read. The first thing he said to me this morning when I woke him up? "Build me those lego houses!"

That sums it up. He's beyond explanation.

Tough guy. Thinker. Builder. Playful. Energetic.

And sweet. Gentle. Loving.

My little man keeps on growing. The great part is, I get to be along for the ride.


Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 4, 2010


 I don't have much at my house to decorate for Thanksgiving. I insist on waiting for Christmas decorations until the weekend after Thanksgiving, which means sometimes our house is a little unadorned in November. I was lucky to be gifted a few things from my mom when we moved. She was cleaning out her holiday stuff and I told her I was in need of some pilgrims. So now at least I have a couple of pilgrims, a turkey, and two Native American children. A good start.

 I was so happy to come across a post as I was wandering around on the internet the other day. It tells how to make a Thanksgiving Garland Project. I found myself completely inspired to do some decorating with gratitude in mind. Something I've been trying to focus on for months.

I feel like only good things can come when you bring an attitude of thankfulness into your home. For we are so grateful for everything that we have and for each other.

My end product is much simpler than the inspiration photo, but I like it and it fits perfectly in our home. The kids helped with the words we put on the leaves and were excited to see them tied on with ribbon. I even tried my hand at a few of the fabric rosettes, they turned out okay and add a little color. It is a great addition to get us through to December when we'll get out the Christmas decorations.

I ended up making this wordle too and picked up a candlestick 1/2 price at our hobby store.
The Thanksgiving decor is coming along!
My whole point was to recognize gratitude in our house and I feel grateful to Tatertots and Jello for the starting point!


Monday, November 1, 2010

A Jedi and a Flapper

We definitely know who Luke Skywalker is. We'd watched movies 4, 5, 6 last spring and loooooooooove Star Wars! So our little guy was a Jedi for Halloween. Easy. He even got his first light saber. Joy.

B was a little tougher. I knew she'd make a cute flapper. Fringe? Beads? Sparkly shoes? Sold! I showed her some images of the 1920's and she was hooked. Though next year, she wants me to remember that she plans to be a hippy. She "admires their way of life". Okay then.

Our first Halloween in a new town. Grandparents were in town for lunch and we all went to the high school's production of Wizard of Oz in the afternoon. Then it was trick or treating after a dinner of potato soup. My favorite. Yummmmmmmmm.

Aside from chilly temps, it was a great night. The kids had fun and we had some family time.

Loot! (Early bet there was more where that came from!)

A little to hand out too.

With each week that passes, we are more at home.
This morning B asked, "Is it November 1st?!" Yes it is. She said it was sad because now it will just get colder and colder. We'll have to talk later about the bonuses, the good with the not-so-good. Thanksgiving! Basketball season! Christmas! Snow days! New Year! Things to look forward to. All good things.