Sunday, November 30, 2014
:: enjoyed sharing Thanksgiving leftovers and conversation (insert a much needed nap on the couch for yours truly) with two of Keith's sisters and their families.
:: "it's only a sliver" self-justification with all this leftover chocolate sheet cake and pumpkin pie.
:: long walks. hoping to burn all these extra calories from too much holiday indulgence. (see above.)
:: watching a few episodes of Middlemarch (a BBC production, of course), as well as the delightful documentary Advanced Style, also on Netflix. These fabulous ladies are awesome, full of life, and just plain inspiring.
:: after these six months of having Jane living at home after her return from Taiwan (rooming with Isaac), I helped her move back down to be with her old roommates in their college town apartment. Shopped with her to set up house. Felt that same old familiar ache in letting her go. Excited that she'll be closer to her friends and social scene. Glad that she can get back to the independence that she was used to for so long. Getting used the idea, the quiet, and the changing dynamics of having only two children living at home. So many mixed emotions about this.
:: scored some good finds at the thrift store. A few books, a beautiful blouse, and a perfect belt.
:: the niceness of getting the house put back to order and tidy.
:: Isaac's science fair project (constructing and learning about crystal radio) that he and Keith were working on all day yesterday. All these found objects gathered from around the house, all scattered on the kitchen table, and put together to make something not only really cool, but actually functioning.
:: Kung Pao Tufu, veg sushi, and lettuce wraps hitting the spot.
:: visiting G & G's new digs for the first time. Darling and charming and so happy for them.
:: as kind of a last hurrah to autumn (gearing up next week to put up Christmas), I baked some loaves of pumpkin bread this morning to share.
:: preparing to address our church congregation this afternoon. Keith and I both asked to each share a 15 minute "talk", (message or speech) about parenting. Kind of ugh for me to do this (and especially with all that's going on this week), but at the same time grateful to recommit myself and be able to share the strong and tender feelings/experiences I have about my own motherhood and those who have nurtured me along the way. Wish me luck, folks.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
I've been up since the crack of dawn. On pie duty as I am most years. Lingering thoughts of last night's houseful when we hosted Greta's family (ours and theirs totaling 15 children!) for dinner and games. So much fun, laughter, and love here.
We will leave in an hour to join my extended family for dinner, stacked plates, and more laughter.
Wishing all of you dear ones a day filled with warm smells, filled bellies, and happy hearts. Your presence here and friendship towards me has been one of the grandest blessings of my life.
lots of love
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
So to be clear, this much I do know.
My mother was and is beautiful with or without lipstick, or any ounce of make-up for that matter. Her beauty and my own beauty come from within and radiate without. A woman's happiness and self-confidence isn't the result of whether she chooses to wear or not to wear lipstick and make-up or fancy designer clothing.
But for me, right now and today, a bit of lipstick seems to be working wonders.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
We are delighted to announce
the forthcoming marriage of our son
Gary to Greta.
The wedding will be in San Diego, California on
December 27, 2014,
with a reception here in Utah on the evening of
Dreams do come true.
And we all couldn't be happier.
(all photographs credited to Louisa Jane Ballif, Greta's talented sister)
The proposal site...
the custom-made, carefully and thoughtfully designed engagement ring,
all a surprise and set up in the master bedroom of their future first apartment,
the cozy, love-nest bench of early romantic interludes
which Gary borrowed
from the kind stranger's college town yard
(with permission given, of course)
for this most important of occasions.
She sat while he knelt...
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Hello! I wanted to pop in this afternoon and share what I've been working on for the past two days.
I love creating and completing projects. Sure, I could fold laundry, but I find so much pleasure and satisfaction making beautiful things and working with my hands. The whole creative process is an essential element to my happiness.
I am, when it all comes down to it, an artist.
For about fifteen years, I've dabbled in the art of paper cutting. I have a thing for cutting intricate paper snowflakes, too.
When I recently saw this beautiful Thanksgiving banner on the Lia Griffith website, I knew I wanted to make it. And soon. This talented designer and paper artist has so many fun projects and resources. It's my go-to crafting place for ideas and inspiration.
Here's my work space.
So grateful to have a place of my very own to create.
Ta-da! One of the completed panels of the banner after taking of the white printed pattern. So pretty.
Here are a some other projects I've done.
Found this pattern on the Martha Stewart website a few years ago. Along with the vibrant Valentine red, I've done two of this design against a light tan background. Framed in a simple white wooden frame, these made very pretty Christmas gifts.
I've also made a couple framed paper cuts (as well as shrunk it down for a sweet birthday card) of this woodland scene from Charlotte Lyon's delightful Mothers and Daughters at Home: 35 Projects to Make Together.
I like this simple "Tree of Life" design, but can't remember where I found the pattern.
Really pleased with the way this Thanksgiving project came out. Not only was it fun to make, but will beautifully compliment our autumnal fireplace mantle. A sweet reminder to our family of the spirit and message of this week.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
More play in the kitchen this afternoon.
A big pot of soup ("Moroccan Chickpea and Potato") to carry us through the weekend, and with the box of apples I picked up at the fruit stand a few weeks ago, of course, an apple pie was in order.
The boys heading off to a college football game and the girls spending time with friends, it looks like I'll get to finish the movie (Shadowlands-- an all-time favorite. "C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S." Have you seen it? ) I started last night but didn't finish.
Thanks for letting me share my Saturday with you, my friend. Wishing you a weekend full of smiles, with lots of nice and easy, too. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
What a surprise to look out the window today and see snowfall. I kind of had a hunch, though. The air just had that feel about it as I went out this morning for my walk.
I ran some errands. A list to cross off. Groceries to fill a cart. I found it sad that almost everyone I talked to had some kind of negative comment about the snow. The difficulty it makes for driving. The cold and dreary days of a long winter that is fast approaching and will linger on and on.
I don't feel that dread. At least not now in mid-November. (That feeling will most likely change come late February.) I love the variety and beauty that comes with each season, even though winter darkness and freezing temperatures aren't my favorite thing. But today, this first snowfall was magical to me. As the first snowfall of the year always is.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
1. Yes, "everything always works out". All these plans, hopes, and dreams of theirs unfolding so beautifully and so generously.
2. The happy surprise to open the mailbox yesterday and pull out a sweet, handwritten card. Thank you and xo, Jennifer!
3. Sparkly morning frost.
4. Sunflower seeds from the garden for the birds to feast on.
5. Soup to share.
6. Christmas surprises in the works. (Giddy with anticipation!) One of my favorite things to love about November.
7. Cheery thumbprint cookies warm from the oven.
8. Finding and feeling an absolute passion. Joyful tears for this gift.
9. Early, still mornings snuggled with my books and my thoughts.
10. Tummy-ache sick day for him makes for a quiet day at home for both of us. Today's agenda: working on a puzzle together, playing a game of Scrabble, more time with the books, and a back rub. (of course.)