Wednesday, December 31, 2014

a year seen through eyes of gratitude


This year,
these months,
these days,

the moments in my life,
in our lives

so precious
so fleeting

a year of thanksgiving
of abundance
of goodness
of joy

my heart is full

Thursday, December 25, 2014

christmas glimpses


Peppermint and evergreen
Firewood and tangerine
Danish cookies, holly leaf
Cinnamon and pinecone wreath
Gingerbread and jingle bells
Almond and pistachio shells
Snow globes, Russian nesting dolls
"Silent Night" and "Deck the Halls"
Roasted chestnuts, mistletoe
Dampened mittens, tracked-in snow
Gumdrops, tinsel, Christmas crackers
Chocolates in gold foil wrappers
Snow boots, scarves, nativity
Lights strung round the Christmas tree
Story of the Christ Child's birth
Christmas all around the earth.

~ Eliza
December 2011

Hope your day was full of smiles, surprises, joy, and love.
But peace, most of all.

Warmest wishes, always...

Monday, December 22, 2014

christmastime is here!

It looks like we might have a white Christmas after all.

A happy surprise to wake up to this morning.
No snow at all this month until now.

I've been baking bread, as usual.
The loaves I like to make for special deliveries.

We've decked the halls.

Our elf Twinky has come every night this month, leaving us a little gift to wake up to.

Pomegranates (a special treat last week)
are beautiful, don't you think?

We've been cutting pretty snowflakes.

I got to meet darling Sam (the winner of my giveaway) who was in town. So nice to sit down and get to know each other in real life.
 School is out, end of term projects have been completed and turned in, and grueling finals are over.

I just needed to show you Eliza's latest drawings. A continuing year-long focus on women and beauty.

Spent yesterday morning in my pajamas wrapping presents to tuck under the tree.

Shopping is done and it feels so good to be on the downhill.

 Helped Gary pack up and clean his last bachelor apartment Saturday night. Sharing some really tender time and talk with him as he prepares for his marriage this Saturday. 

My heart is full and tender, too.

G & G left for sunny California yesterday
 and we will head out Friday.

This is going to be a special and eventful week for us in so many ways.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

photo card GIVEAWAY winner announced!

Hello, friends!

Due to some Internet connectivity problems this morning, I'm just now able to announce our giveaway winner. 

First of all, I want you to know how very gratifying it was for me to see all the interest shown in my photo cards. Each of your sweet comments here and on my Facebook link brought a smile to my face. Truly. I really do thank you for all of these gifts, and especially for your continued presence here and interest in my life. 

As I wrote each of your names down to cut and place in the basket, I thought of each of you. You, wherever you are in this world, and how much love I feel for you (did you know I love you?) whether I know you or not. If you could look inside my heart, you would also know how much joy it would be for me to send each one of you a surprise package with a note and my cards inside.

But for now, I do have one faithful reader who will receive my gift. And this person (and kind comment) is:


Oh these cards are beautiful! Please add my name to your drawing. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Congratulations, Sam!

Please send me an email with your contact information and I'll get the cards sent off to you just as soon as I can.

xo, Happy Holidays, and a hearty thank you to all!

Friday, December 12, 2014



outing: solo shopping outings, watching Isaac play his violin last night at his school winter concert, finding shoes for the wedding (hoping I can make it in heels), movie date tonight with Eliza, church Christmas dinner and family dinners to attend this weekend.

doing: crossing off my list bit by bit, but not feeling the stress or pressure like I have most years. Those early years of my motherhood where I felt like I was on a runaway train and couldn't get off...  homemade gifts for everyone on my list, sewing Christmas dresses for the girls and pajamas for all the kids, baking my guts out for the neighborhood, (churning out 18+ loaves of bread in one day was not an uncommon feat.), etc, etc. I'm finding that I've let go of a lot of the expectations I've put on myself over the years. Striving to only do those things that bring me joy. Trying to simplify and cut back, even when part of me feels like I should and can do more. But with all the extra factors of this month, I'm finding that simplifying is a true necessity.

It was nice to send out our Christmas card and letter this week. (a few more to mail.) So glad we had that family photo taken back in August. Still need to do some more shopping (isn't online shopping wonderful?), send Sam's and a few other packages off, and a bit of baking, but I know from all the experience of previous Christmases that things always get done if they are important enough. 

listening: Rachmaninoff, Chef AJ's plant-based eating teleclasses on Youtube, and of course, various Christmas music channels on Pandora.

reading:  in bed with Isaac the other night: Pearl S. Buck's classic Christmas Day in the Morning (my very favorite. I cry every time.) and Cajun Night Before Christmas (in honor of my heritage. Surprising myself how I totally rock the accent.) 

eating: that big plate of potatoes and zucchini for breakfast lasting me all morning, and probably through the afternoon.

missing: my morning walks. Oh, how I miss being outside.

enjoying: coming downstairs in the early morning to the light and warmth of the Christmas tree lights. 

Having all of us gathered around that beautiful tree all cozy last night. (G & G came over after Isaac's concert, Jane wanting to come home after getting off work). All of us laughing at something cute Isaac said. Gary's smile while his hands cup his mug of cocoa. Greta wrapped up and snuggled in the red throw. Me rubbing Jane's soft hands. Eliza (president of her school service committee) sharing with all of us the joy she's felt and the transformation she's seen in her fellow students throughout their school-wide "Service Week" which she spearheaded. Each day with a theme... Make a New Friend Day, Let's Honor the Janitors Day, Secret Service Day, and today's Service Auction to raise money for needy families at the school. So proud of all the work and thought that she's put into this huge project. 

smiling: these beautiful, perfect wedding announcements. The big day just a few weeks away.

Thanks to all who have left sweet comments here or on Facebook for my photo card giveaway. There's still time to "enter the drawing"! xo