Monday, November 30, 2009

just ordinary.

i woke up sunday morning with a panic-attack kind of craving for orange juice. i didn't want it. i needed it. and when i saw we were out, i was pretty sure i was going to lie down and die right there on the kitchen floor. until i remembered i had two perfectly juicy oranges left over from our thanksgiving cranberry relish.
nothing like fresh-squeezed orange juice to pick up a half-dead pregnant woman off the floor.

i will now forever remember the moment that cold, pulpy nectar of the gods hit my tongue as perhaps one of the top five moments in my life.

joined by last night's sunset with my girl. just the two of us...and the little dog...after we took our bikes down to the lake and laid a blanket down under the big shady tree. read books. took our shoes off. threw sticks into the lake and laughed when they kerplunked with a splash. chased latte through the wide open spaces and watched as she crazily rolled in dirt and scratchy grass.

it was quiet and calm and while perhaps nothing extraordinary to anyone else, so completely extraordinary to us...and i expect there will be many of these days in the coming weeks.

plans for this week include finishing all holiday work, attempting our own christmas card, family dinners, baking, layette laundering, and a smattering of other fabulous december happenings.

...and trying to rock out exhaustion as best as it can be.

i feel a bit as if i have had nothing special to write about and the same 'ol stuff...just ordinary, but after the busy work of the day, that's about all i have energy to say. that we love our little moments...and know that the interesting will come...and the energy to embrace it as well.

ebb & flow. yin & yang.
it's that time of year...and we make the best of the busy and find lots of little holes in between for rest and quiet and little moments that are so very big to us.

(she complelety mauled me with kisses last night...and it was splendid).

*and grandma krissy made both our hats in this post.

...and another hilarious improv stunt from this group i love. if i lived in brooklyn, these people would so be my friends.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

let it begin.

i've learned, in the six years i've spent the christmas season down here, that, if i am to satiate any of the craving of the northern holiday magic i have known all my life...i have to create it.

and so we began.

it's chilly this weekend.
and the house smells like balsam & cedar.
and the christmas music has played.
the lights have been lit.

and, following healthy heaps of thanksgiving leftovers friday evening, we ignited our first fire of the season...and opened the magic of stored boxes from the attic...with papa's help.

we watched our girl as she, bundled in her christmas jammies, unraveled strands of twinkly lights, unwrapped the tiny cradle ornament from the year she was born, and smiled at the memory of her nutcracker from last year. or, as she says...mine buttcracker.

oh, it was heavenly. and i know i'm hormonal and emotional and my sentimental heart beats wildly at these kind of things, but really. this season is so special and having this little one to carve out traditions and memories and childhood magic with...what an honor.

embracing the honor like the author of a timeless masterpiece of literature. i am writing her book. and so i fill it with every bit of magic i can think of. and, far greater than gifts and santa and all the hub-bub...are the little things.

our advent pails have been filled with little treats that will begin on tuesday morning...

(target dollar bin pails, two paint pens, a yard and a half of 2.99 fabric and a pair of pinking shears...inspired by this one for twice the price...and our pails are big enough to fit two or three treats for multiple littles)

and last year, anna ruth had the fabulous idea after christmas to take advantage of the bookstore's 75% christmas we stocked up, and she will unwrap one every night before bed in december...and we will cuddle and read and make memories.

i am working hard to finish the holiday work so i can take a break and drink in our family and last weeks of our 'only daughter.' and yet, the anticipation for this season and family and all the beauty that this month holds still can't hold a flame to the anticipation i am feeling for this tiny one to join our family in january. i love her so much already...and just cannot wait to meet her.

while we wait, we are enjoying crisp hot cocoa mornings.

and cozy hats that seem to don her sweet head just about every moment of the day. she loves her hats.

merry magical season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

a thankful place.

while tempted to start plunking away a rote list of what i'm thankful for tonight, it seems a bit prosaic for this place i'm at tonight. and it's exactly that--not just a state of mind or an emotion that bears this unworthy cliche' title like 'gratitude' or 'thankful.' no, it seems an actual place. its own little latitude where i have settled and claimed residence and walked its paths and met its people. and it is a good place. a real place with, yes, some dark corners and fixer-upper fields. but, overall there is just so much beauty here...and the more i stay, the more i see.

the place of gratitude...of knowing where we've been and where we're going and in between all that, recognizing that where we are is important.

breathing it all in tonight.
where i am.

in our friends' home this morning for our fifth annual pajama breakfast .

where we sat and talked and sipped coffee out of perfect cups from a perfect hostess...
and later reclined to couches where littles felt the littlest move...

...and where lainey found herself so sleepy, she finally climbed in her bud, alec's, bed all by herself and just camped out. later to help me in the kitchen for the making of the pies followed by hours of good kitchen love.

we were joined by brett's mom and little sister for what turned out to be this perfect, peaceful day...with really good food.

and while thankful lists are just perfectly good and all, i'm tired enough that attempted words would surely cheapen the beauty of this place tonight. and while i am loving the beauty of my own place tonight, i know so many others are in places equally beautiful...and for that i am thankful. for happy family & friends...

...and for the richness of our life right now and every little moment that adds beauty and character to 'our place'.

hope all have found their happy place, seen its beauty and continue to walk new paths to find new joys...there are many.

happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

preparations. ...and snow.

we had our first snow.

artificially concocted and blown from machines attached to street lights along a lovely light-speckled street of our little downtown, but it was magical nonetheless.

after a busy day running errands and tidying corners in the house, a photo shoot and some computer work, we joined the throngs of locals.

...toting strollers and wagons full of coolers and backpacks and bright-eyed littles anticipating visions of snow. and yet how i yearned for her to see the real stuff, dusting needly trees outside my dad's place...on our sledding hill. for now, we'll take third street.

besides these last two months of extreme energy-depletion, i'm settling into this very happy place of anticipating much beauty in the coming days and with that comes this blanket of contentment and gratitude and in-the-momentness. like the twenty minutes i enjoyed relaxing on the couch tonight while she very tediously brushed my hair with a pasta ladel.

like beginning to prepare for our thanksgiving celebration. amid other boringish tasks today, i commenced the readying of our meaningful day to come. ...with spreading my grandma's crocheted tablecloth under the carefully placed 'good' dishes. flowers. candles. peeling apples for pie and freezing my mom's rolled-out pie crusts.

and consequently, our kitchen nesting transferred a bit into the girls' room as i arranged a small basket into an empty drawer, filled it with the first tiny bunches of rolled newborn socks and soft hats...and then stared at it for a good several minutes after and smiled.

early last year, i thought we'd have a newborn in our home during the holidays. but, how blessed we are...and i was reminded of that the other night reading this old post. and how the tears came when i read, at the very end, the hope of...

and i may not be holding a baby this christmas, but i hope to be a house carrying one.

and how perfectly and entirely grateful i am that this year, i will chop and stir and hustle apron-tied and flour-handed in the kitchen, listening to football games and the sounds of my family...with this little dream nestled safe inside.

oh, the gratitude is snow-balling, and by thursday, i'm sure an avalanche will be good and ready.

for now, we are thankful for home. for its crayon-stained walls, old-caulked tubs and perfectly scuffed baseboards. for every little sequin and googly eye hidden among carpet threads. for magic dream-dusted pillows that hug our sleepy heads at night. i love the character of our home...and every imperfection that spells the story of a very lived-in love. for every memory made in our happy place...and every perfect one to come.

happy prepping.