Friday, January 31, 2014

For the love of Home 5::52

I love the morning light in our house #hibernate2014 IMG_1117

Today's list comes from Heather's Hibernate course. Last week focused on Home & one of the activities was to sit and make a gratitude lists of things you love about your home. This was easy since I really do love our house!

*the way the light shines in the living room in the morning
*the shadows that that light creates (as anyone who follows me on instagram can attest to!)
*the historical cemetery next door
*seeing the house as I drive up--it's so pretty & just says "home" to me
*all the cupboard space in the kitchen
*all the closet space throughout
*the backsplash in the kitchen. The previous owners redid the whole kitchen & all the backsplash tiles come straight from Italy
*the built in bookshelves in the living room
*the yard that is big enough to play in & have gardens
*that it is warm & well built & we need to do nothing to it. Just enjoy it
*and the number one thing is that it houses my loved ones in comfort & peace. This is my girl's place of haven and I hope to always keep it that way

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Winter Mist Winter Mist Winter sunset sky
The view from the west side of the house. That blue is pushing the grey away!

The prompt for yesterday was Habit. Almost 4 weeks ago the prompt was New Habit.

I went back and re-read what I wrote then. And I am happy to say that my morning routine is no longer a "new" habit, instead it is a comforting one that I count on each day. Without my morning coffee, prayer, writing & planning out of the day I feel like the day doesn't flow as smoothly as I'd like.

I feel there is more flexibility in rhythms then in schedules. And with a new baby there has to be a lot of flexibility or else the anxiety levels will sky rocket!

I have also found in the past week or so that I need a more definite rhythm to our days. There has been so much upset, tantrums, chaos, and general peacelessness here since the holidays. So I sat down with a cup of tea & my journal and wrote out some notes. I am going to share a bit of that here, mainly for my own benefit & to hold myself a little bit accountable.

Ideally I like to get up around 6:30ish but of course that depends on baby.
Then it is coffee, morning prayer, quickly stopping on-line, writing, reading, knitting (only coffee, prayer, on-line & writing happen each day. Depending on how long those last the others happen).
I have taken to getting dressed before Ree gets up. That is a HUGE benefit. When Momma is dressed it signals to her that we aren't going to have (yet another) lounge around lazy day.

Ree gets up around 9. She is allowed one tv show at that point. While she is watching I get breakfast ready, do up the dishes, a load of laundry etc.

Breakfast; she gets dressed; finish cleaning the kitchen.

Then it is errands/art/free play/NO TV.

This is just our morning. We're still working on afternoon rhythm but for now I want our mornings to have a better flow to it. We're working on one thing at a time. I keep reminding myself changes happen slowly. And I've already noticed a huge difference in how we manage our time & what gets done.

I also have noticed a huge change in our moods. We are getting things done. There is dedicated time for no technology. There is a block of time in the morning to do art/activities with Ree where she gets my full attention (sometimes she shares with baby of course, but no on-line distractions). There is also time where I sit at the table doing my work while she's next to me doing her's. We are working on she allowing me to do my things without needing to be doing the EXACT SAME THING she is doing. Or watching every movement she makes. It's ok to work side by side on different things. She's slowly getting it.

I'd say the biggest change we've made is shutting the tv OFF. It was like withdrawal for Ree for a few days. I hadn't realized just how much she'd been watching until I took it away. But now she's back to using her imagination & creative play and it's wonderful to see. And the tantrums when I turn it off are non-existent. There have even been a few times she hasn't asked for the morning show. And I haven't offered!

I'm working on my own withdrawal from the internet during certain times of the day. But that is a post for another time!

It is amazing how giving a routine to our mornings has changed the atmosphere in our house & my own mood. And that I am finding time for a lot of the things I want/enjoy/need to do. Of course this is still a work in progress and I need to be prepared for it to be ever changing as life with a baby & little ones always is.

But I feel like that early morning habit of quiet time & dressing as soon as the first cup of coffee is finished helps center me. If I am intentional about my morning habit--realizing that I NEED this time of quiet by myself, then the rest of the day has a much more peaceful rhythm to it. And that makes life a lot more fun!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yarn Along

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These are the finished baby socks I mentioned last week! They fit her great. A little long in the foot but that's good...she'll be able to wear them longer. These also are the only ones that actually stay on her feet. I should make a few more!

The only other knitting this week has been a row here or there on the adult socks. I'm also almost finished knitting a bowl to felt. Hopefully that'll be finished in the next day or two. None of the projects I'm working on are difficult, I'm just trying to figure out how to knit & hold a baby at the same time! Or knit & read. Or knit & write. Lots of good things that want to occupy my mind & hands lately!

What are you knitting or creating these days?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


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Yesterday had the potential to turn into "one of THOSE days". Where at any moment Momma would lose her stuff. For no reason either. 

So instead of loosing it, just after lunch I ignored the toys all over the house. The art supplies all over the kitchen table. The dirty dishes on the counter. The fact that there was 10 minutes until rest time. The dirty laundry waiting to go down to the washer. I asked Ree if she wanted to go on an adventure? Well my adventure loving girl had her socks, shoes & coat on faster then I could get out of my chair.

We took a drive to the other side of the city to the beaches. There was no one there except the sea gulls. It was gorgeous. The breeze was only slightly chilly. The sun was shinning bright. The water was frozen way out. It was amazing. We didn't get out but for a few seconds. I forgot the baby carrier at home & there was no way I was carrying the baby seat, nor taking the baby OUT of the seat. It wasn't that warm after all! But we rolled down the windows and just sat for a little bit.

When we got home Ree ASKED to go up for a rest. She proceeded to play legos quietly in her room for the next hour. I enjoyed the time by writing out some of the thoughts I had while we were out. 

It felt good to throw it all to the wind and get out of the house for a little bit. And somehow at the end of the day, the dishes were clean, the laundry was washed, the toys were picked up. And Momma was calmer then she would have been had we not gotten out of the house for a bit. 

I need to remember to do this more often! 

Monday, January 27, 2014


Everyone is getting creative on this freezing night! Second cup of coffee; morning note; beautiful sunshine. A good start to Sunday #startingmoments #hellomorningcoffee

The weekend began Friday night with pizza & family creative time. Me with my journal. Ree with her scissors and paper & the husband with his seed catalogues. 

Up A LOT in the night with a baby who all the sudden loves her Momma so much. She must think I'll be lonely in my sleep or something. She doesn't want to be put down.

Saturday was puttering around the house. Doing some laundry. A little cleaning. An afternoon spent as a family at the library. Then some Momma time to run a few errands. Saturday night the husband said he had baby duty for the night. Of course she heard him so only woke once in the night! 

Sunday morning was up for quiet time in the sunshine. Husband made coffee & note. Sunday morning routine of Church & more coffee. Stopping by the local parish school for an open house. Decisions to be made. Discussions had. Nothing decided except momma had a headache from thinking. 

A little knitting was interrupted by baby wanting to be held & only by me this time. I'm really not complaining! I love that she finds comfort in my arms. And from watching Ree, I know this little stage doesn't last very long at all. I'm soaking up all the moments of being gazed upon by gorgeous big blue eyes, the smiles she gives only to me, the weight of her little body as it relaxes against mine as she drifts off to sleep.

How was your weekend? Stop by and see what everyone else was up to at Amanda's!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Birthday List 4::52

Birthday flowers

My birthday was on Monday & I sat down to make a list of things I hope to do in the coming year. Most are just small things, but they all are fun!

::light candles more often
::be more spontaneous
::watch more sunrises
::notice more sunsets
::bake with Ree at least once a week
::get outside more
::have at least weekly tea parties
::make a quilt for Baby V
::cuddle with my girls more
::start doing yoga again
::practice joy
::count 1000 gifts
::monthly "momma nights"
::clean out much of the clutter
::knit the girls matching sweaters
::read more books
::write some poetry
::read some poetry
::find the poetry in the every day
::go on regular adventures with the girls
::say "yes" a lot more when Ree asks to do things
::practice 100 acts of kindness (or more)
::start a solid writing habit
::write/make happy mail for people

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Make & Listen

Doing some line art from the #arttogether ezine Some Art Together

I finally sat down to read "cover to cover" so to speak, of Amy's latest e-zine "Line". Ree was watching over my shoulder and decided she thought the snowy day called for some art & was that what I was thinking too?

Turns out I was! I pulled up the different paintings Amy linked to of Piet Mondrian and Ree decided she wanted to focus on Victory Boogie Woogie. She didn't get too far since I decided to write my name out & fill it with lines. I then had to write out her initials since her name is way too long to fit on the index card.

This is just the start of diving into Line. Up next: abstract trees. But of course yesterday was the day Baby V decided she needed to be awake all. day. long. And to be held by Momma or else she was screaming. So we didn't get too much art done but Ree was happy!

As for the listening part, we've been listening to the soundtrack of Frozen. We love it! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yarn Along

I managed to finish this little pair of socks!! And then forgot to take a picture of them on said baby. She is sleeping now or I'd try them on but you know what they say "Never wake a sleeping baby!"

I've cast on the adult pair too but that wasn't in the same room as these for the picture. I also was going to cast on for a felted bowl (pattern from Heather's Hibernate workshop) but my circular needles are too long. I guess I'll have to stop by the store! Not today though. We got snow over night & it's bitter cold today.

I have a large pile of books on my side table. But the one I am actively reading at the moment is still If You Want to Write. I am really enjoying it! I'm taking notes as I go along which slows me down a little as well.

What are you knitting & reading these days?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Look Up

Look Up Look up

Yesterday's prompt was Look Up. I need to remember to do that more often! Look up from the computer; look up from my book; look up from my knitting; look up from the dishes, chores, etc.

Because when I do look up I see such beautiful things. I have been blessed to see some gorgeous sunrises the past few days. The sunset yesterday was breathtaking. But best of all when I look up I see my two beautiful little girls! Baby V is smiling like crazy all the sudden. And her biggest smiles always seem to be for her big sister. I need to remember to look up more to watch them. 

I'm also finding it productive to look up and just gaze out the window sometimes. With no thoughts in my head, just to see what's going on out there. To daydream a little bit. 

Monday, January 20, 2014


Getting some fresh air #hellomorningcoffee with my new owl blanket!

This weekend was
a very rainy Saturday
grocery shopping in the rain
an hour or two at home in the afternoon, with a sleeping baby, candle lit & my book
while Ree & her daddy went shopping for birthday things
a pre-birthday dinner with my parents & sisters
Sunday morning filled with coffee, new owl blanket, church, more coffee 
an afternoon visiting more family & football

Today is a holiday so I'm including it. It's also my birthday!
the husband has to work so it'll be a birthday lunch at my sisters
tonight, festivities as only a 4 year old can plan!
right now I'm up in a quiet house with my coffee, a book, my journal & knitting.
let's see what I can do before the little's start stirring!

Joining Amanda

Friday, January 17, 2014

The love list 3::52

The light this morning is gorgeous! (And yes that is the Christmas tree. Minus the ornaments. The baby likes the lights!)

Some things I've been loving this week

*the morning winter light. From just before sunrise until about 9 my living room is GORGEOUS
*the first week of Hibernate. It's such a gift this time of year to have ideas of ways to make home more beautiful
*some quiet alone time
*connecting to people in real life
*finding pockets of time to read
*signing up for Write Now
*that Amy is doing a giveaway of the next issue of Kindred Magazine::Nest
*also by Amy, her post on her daughters Fairy Project (love!)
*that Jen took the time to write out a list of authors they love. Such a great resource for the rest of us!

There's probably more but there's a little one calling for me!
What are you loving at the end of this week?

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Headed to Panera for some momma time after supper tonight. Some chai tea latte, some reading, some journaling. Just what I needed!

Monday's writing prompt was revelation. And I've had quite a few of them lately. Most that stay in my journal or in the heart of myself and a few trusted people. 

I had one last night at the dinner table. I casually mentioned that I felt like having a chai tea & a cinnamon bun from Panera. My husband told me to "grab that black thing" (also known as the ipad), my journal & a book and go. By myself? Yup. So I did! And I enjoyed it! And I could certainly do that again! 

Momma time is good. I came home refreshed and calmer. I was able to think uninterrupted for a little bit and now I have things straightened out better in my head. I've got lots of ideas for the direction I want our family to go this year. Lots of ideas for where I want my creative life to go this year. A huge revelation was that I need to make it happen or else it won't happen. And the only person to get frustrated with will be myself. 

 I'm in the midst of Heather's Hibernate workshop along with Donna and loving it. It's helping me take the feelings of where I would like our family to be and put them into something tangible. Giving me ideas of ways to go about putting into action the thoughts I have.

For my creative life I took the plunge and signed up for Amanda's Write Now course. I'm excited to see where this leads me. I've never considered myself a writer. I'm excited to challenge myself and see what comes out of this.

And I've taken the steps and reached out to people I know in real life. I love the on-line connections I've been making the past few months. But I'm feeling the need for people around me too. A dear friend of mine is actually an English professor with a concentration in writing. *Cough* I kind of forgot about that when I started feeling the pull to write. So I sent her a message about Amanda's course the other day and we've been having great conversations!

I've had a good conversation with my sister about things that have been on my heart. She's an invaluable resource to me and the voice of reason when my head feels ready to explode.

And Amy has also been the recipient of a few "I'm trying to figure things out and not getting anywhere" e-mails. She has helped and is helping with the creative side of understanding things. And best of all she lives in the same state! 

So only 16 days into the New Year and I've added a few more goals. Strengthen the peace and calm of our family; take Momma time to dedicate to my creative pursuits; and reach out for more connection around me. And get my butt off the computer more to be more present in the here and now. That will be a post for another time though!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yarn Along

Yarn along

There hasn't been a ton of knitting going on, but some. Baby V is 8 weeks old today (!!!) and getting more & more alert and awake for longer periods. And that means she wants to be held often. So the knitting needles don't come out as much as they used to. But I do manage a row or two every so often throughout the day.

The mates to these socks are in progress as we speak. Don't ask why I began a baby sock before finishing the big socks. Early baby distraction brain maybe?

I have been reading more. That stack contains Arcadia which I am really enjoying. One Thousand Gifts which I've read before but am re-reading. Savoring it. And counting my 1000 gifts in my journal. If You Want to Write, which I've only read the first chapter. I'm trying to take notes as I read which doesn't happen much with a baby in arms! And Small Steps for Catholic Moms. This is a short devotional for each day. I AM able to get that in each day!!

So there's a little bit of knitting & reading going on each day. Not to mention the reading that happens with Ree!

What are you knitting & reading these days?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life is...(Weekending style)

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This weekend was spent preparing for sweet baby's Baptism. Saturday was monsoon like weather so I was happy that (almost) all my errands were complete before that! There was just a little cleaning, a little bit of throwing random things in closets, nursing stuffy noses & relaxing.

Sunday morning thankfully dawned bright and beautiful. A beautiful way to honor this special day in V's life. The Church was gorgeous as always, all our loved ones were there. Baby slept peacefully through the whole ceremony just as she does each week at Mass! The party afterward was beautiful with all the love for our family flowing through our house.

After everyone left and the house was mostly clean I sat on the couch for a few hours snuggling my new little daughter in Christ. There is something very holy about smelling the holy chrism on the head of a newborn. My heart was full to bursting last night with the blessings of everyone who came. 

A beautiful weekend with my two beautiful girls. And today dawned bright & WARM! Here's hoping for a little outside time today. Some cleaning up maybe. And the first day of Hibernate! It's a good start to the week so far!!

Linking up with Amanda

Friday, January 10, 2014

Found in the Silence 2::52

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One of the January Prompts this week was silence. After journaling for a few minutes about silence I then sat in silence to listen & see what I could hear. Here's the list I came up with

*a baby breathing
*the hum that quiet makes
*pen on paper
*my heartbeat 
*birds singing
*the creaking of the house
*your own voice
*the wind through the empty tree branches
*knitting needles clacking

There is something sacred about the early morning silence. A time for thoughts to be thought & processed. Prayers to be said. Time to wonder at the poetry of newly fallen snow & the blanket it gives the world.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Habit

New Habit...with a new baby I am seeing more sunrises with my morning coffee. I've also added in journaling & a little reading before the rest of the house wakes up. It's quickly becoming my favorite part of the day! #writealm #hellomorningcoffee #startin

For the past month or so this has been my view each morning. There is a joke in my family that I am not a morning person. I come alive just as everyone else is heading to bed. And my coming alive I don't mean going out to parties. I mean making a cup of tea & doing some of my best creating at that time of night!

But with a new baby I am seeing the sunrise more then ever. Even since Ree was a baby. She sleeps late in the morning. This new little one likes to be up partying anytime after 4 and she isn't too keen to head back to bed!

So I am slowly forming a new that I dare say I am beginning to really love and look forward to! After feeding V we sit in the chair that faces the sun & watch as it comes up to greet the new day. As it comes over the horizon bathing everything in gold, she slowly drifts off for a little nap. I've been placing her in her bouncy at my feet, grabbing my coffee and relaxing into my chair for some journaling & reading before Ree wakes up and or V decides it's time to eat again.

There is something extremely peaceful about beginning the day with coffee & my journal. Thanks to the daily prompts I am beginning a new writing habit. I've never been one to write too much from my head. I've always written down quotes that strike me, or lists, or taken notes as I read. But to just sit and journal thoughts hasn't ever really been a practice I've done. But I'm enjoying this!

I've also gotten back into the practice of writing as I read, taking copious notes (when I'm not reading with a sweet baby in my arms). As I write I sometimes wonder what I'll ever do with all these notes I take but I enjoy it so for now that's enough.

This was meant to be the weekending post but it turned into a little bit of a stream of consciousness! There hasn't been much new going on here this weekend then all the weekends of 2013. Family time, knitting time, cleaning time. All the old habits that are so comforting and make our life the way it is. None of it that I would change!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday List 1:1

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I write lists all the time On scrap pieces of paper; in my journal; really any time there's a piece of paper around. All different kinds of lists lists, gratitude lists, book lists, anything that pops into my head.

So I decided to start a weekly post where I share one of my lists from the week. I think this ties in with this year's word, Poetry. I found a form of poetry that uses lists. I like that idea!

This week we have Ree & I read a book Winter is the Warmest Season. We then decided to make our own list of what makes winter warm for us!

"Winter is the Warmest Season"
::tea parties
::hot chocolate
::snow pants & boots
::cuddling under blankets
::Momma's knitting
::warm soup
::watching the snow fall from inside
::having a fire
::nice warm pajamas
::baking cookies
::make snowmen and snow castles
::hot baths to warm you up

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In the beginning

Last sunset of 2013 Relaxing baby; coffee; journal & beginning a new book. #startingmoments #hellomorningcoffee

A new year brings so many possibilities. Each day is like a blank page in an open book just waiting for us to write our story. 

I've been thinking the past few days what I want my story of 2014 to look like. I chose a word to carry me through the year. Now I'm pondering how I want that to look, how I'm going to find poetry in my days.

I bought a new journal at Target the other day. I still have pages in the old one but I've begun the new one.  I'm hoping to find the poetry in the days is to take pictures. Not just on the ipad but with the big, real camera. My husband & I were talking and I mentioned that someday I want to take the camera outside into nature to take pictures. He asked me why I don't do it now? Because I answered, I'm waiting for the perfect time...the girls to be older, when I'm more experienced with the camera settings. He said do it now with the girls; learn the camera by getting out there. I am thankful he is my voice of reason when I hold myself back.

Go outside to find the poetry in nature. Too bad the weather is snowy with a wind chill below zero! I'll get there though. And for now there's taking pictures through the window!

I dug out my copy of One Thousand Gifts. Another way to find the poetry in my days is to count the gifts I am given each day. And to give thanks for them. I have a feeling this will tie into the photography too.

It seems especially poignant as we step into 2014, the beginning of a new year, that we have a new baby. There is no better beginning then that of a new person. Her innocence, sweet smell, everything is so tiny & fragile. She is an open book too. Her story is just beginning. I am so blessed that I get to be a part of her story, to witness where it will take her as she grows. 

Like with Ree though, I need to remember that I am not the author of her story. She ultimately is. I need to step back and read it along with her.

Once again Amanda has generously put together daily writing prompts for January. "In the Beginning" was yesterday's!