Nov 29, 2009

Gratitude Monday....

This too shall pass.

I am grateful for my lovely Thanksgiving Weekend.  I am grateful that even as we face a long week of challenges, I know that this too shall pass.  By this time next week we'll be (for better or for worse) in a whole new mentality.  That may not sound very cheery, but honestly, I am truly grateful for the passage of time.  The same marching on of the changing clock that I hold in contempt as I watch my babies grow so fast.  The same swiftly passing days, months, and seasons that I try so hard to slow down to savor.  As I pack away fall to bring out christmas I also pack my family for a trip to Tucson.  A trip we've made countless times yet this time to face new obstacles, and fears.

I may not be able to post much, if any in the coming days.  I will be spending my days in the hospital with my mother, while my babies and husband wait for my return every night.  My hope is that I may have a few joyful images of sunshine and play to add.  A reminder of the brilliance of my life, for me, and for this blog that lets face it, has been borderline dreary these past few weeks.

Let's not forget the reason of gratitude Monday.  A moment to focus on the good, the great, the little things that make my heart sing.....

~9 weeks down, and 31ish to go. 
~The size of a grape!
~Christmas in my home
~My baby girl looks so much like a little girl.  She is breath taking.
~My baby boy took an entire bottle of my $30 face moisturiser and put it in his hair after bed time.  Not so gratitude inspiring, but when he says "mama.  I saved you a little bit.  Look inside!"  He was so proud to have done my that favor, well, I could hardly stop myself from thanking him!
~My darling partner.  For the movie, the afternoon of quiet, and for the clams!

Nov 26, 2009


Blessings on your Thanksgiving!

We will  start our day with a trip to Tucson celebrating with my mother, and enjoying a heart healthy Thanksgiving with a few of her friends. Then we will drive back to Phoenix and spend some time with my sister in law, and stock up on not so heart healthy leftovers, and return to our house lit with christmas cheer! Long Day. Good Day. Loaded with traditions. We will donate food, fill out our thankful leaves, watch some parade, and maybe some dog show, my babies will get their first gifts of the season tomorrow, and Matt will read The Night Before Christmas at bedtime. If all goes as planned (it does sometimes right?) Friday we will start decorating for christmas, and Saturday we will head to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season!

Nov 24, 2009

4th annual Turkey Hand Print Day!

Its messy, its fun, its tradition.

We paint our hands, and stamp them onto folded construction paper, add a few embellishments... 
et voila...

Turkey Cards to pass them out to all of our family and friends on Thanksgiving.

Now to get to the business of cleaning.

Nov 23, 2009

A trip to the front yard

In my Arizona suburb our front yards aren't really made for being in.  They are landscaped for looking at while driving, walking or riding past. 
But every once in a while you find that being in the front yard is such a busy place to explore, a whole new world.

Each of my children together in the same space, at the same time having a unique experience.
She was foraging, collecting specimens of interest, and beauty.   Carefully arranging her treasures, removing petals from plants, leaf from stems, and seeds from pods.

He was busy in a different capacity.
 There was important work to be done.  Ladders were climbed, lights were strung, his assistance was vital.
He counted the light bulbs, named their colors, renamed the whole process "christmas trees on houses" due, I think to a confusing image on one of the boxes.

Even our bees were as busy as ever.

I took pictures, while Matt completed the task of bedecking our home with holiday cheer.  Each of us had our own perspective, together, in our front yard

Nov 22, 2009

Gratitude Mondays...

If, during the first period of life, we create an atmosphere of gratitude around the children, then out of this gratitude toward the world, toward the entire universe, and also out of thankfulness for being able to be in this world, a profound and warm sense of devotion will arise . . . upright, honest, and true.
        —Rudolf Steiner

This is a very special week to be mindful of the things, big and small, that make our lives special.  I have so much to be grateful for, that is part of the reason that I try to take a moment to write it out.. say it out loud, at least once a week.  Gratitude and Reverence are important goals for me as a woman discovering my own path, and as a mother trying to cultivate a healthy, loving and joyful environment for my family.

 What I am grateful for today....

~ Wonderful food created out of love by my partner, Matt.  Please do yourselves a favor and try one of these recipes....

       rich, creamy and so wonderful.  A holiday season favorite 3 years running!
       our recipe came from this months Cooking Light magazine, but I couldn't find a link for it.  This one is
     pretty much the same.  We added tomatoes from our garden.  The richness of the butter with the wine    
       vinegar flavors really melt together to create something spectacular!

~Wool sweaters to felt!  I am so going to do this from Progressive Pioneer.   I have already felted my pieces, now I just have to trace, cut and simple sew the them together.  They will coordinate with matching scarves that I am almost through knitting, and store bought (shhh... Target dollar spot) hats.  I will give them as gifts on day 4 of my 25 days of christmas.  More on That another day.

~Sprouts in my garden.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  It is SO hard for me to wait to see if the seeds that I plant will sprout.  Seriously.  I have been known to dig around to see how things are progressing under there.  So every time another one pops up, it just makes me so so so happy!  For those of you keeping score, we now have 10 garlic sprouts!

~8 weeks, 32ish to go

~My inlaws that are bringing us Thanksgiving left overs so my family can spend the day with my mother. 

~I am so grateful that my mother has agreed to the procedure, and that she is doing everything she can to stay with us.  She is in the fight of her life, and I am grateful for her bravery.

~Random daily occurrences of art with my sweet darling girl.  Little moments like these are so good for the soul.  She always has some plan or another...

~I am so looking forward to the start of the holiday season.  Like you have no idea.

~This blog.  It hasn't been two months yet, and it is astounding all that has taken place in my life in these past few weeks.  I may not bring it all here, but I am so grateful that I have a little place carved out to store some of the beauty in my world.

~My wild crazy son is so sweet.  I can hardly believe how tender he is.  Its especially tricky to remember how precious he is when he gets up in the middle of the night while we are all sleeping to help himself to kitchen mischief  (side note, his father did the exact same thing at his age, so this one is TOTALLY Matt's fault)

~Christmas lights on the house!  But, as per tradition of my own making, they don't come on until Thanksgiving night.

I am grateful for every single person that visits this place, listens to my ramblings.  I may not know who you are, but I am know you are there.  Thank you!

Nov 19, 2009

Thank Goodness For Good Neighbors!

This little guy is just what we needed!  He was out for his walk this morning, and followed our wondering cat right to our door step.  His surprise visit (along with his mother) lifted the mood in the house in such a vital way.  We enjoyed his company, as he enjoyed ours.  When it turned to lunch, snack, nap time we vowed to continue later in the day at our neighbors house.  And what a house they have!

There is swinging.... 






And Snacking!

(There is also a nice large pool when the weather permits, 9ish months out of the year...)

I am so grateful for mine.
I was able to fulfill most of my wish list for today, largely due to the unexpected help of my neighbors.
I showered, got dressed,  put on makeup, changed my overall attitude, and got out my camera.  Sometimes the little things we take for granted in our usual day can seem like such a blessing when our lives are faced with trauma.
She even helped me pick up my house when she saw how in disarray (read disaster area) it was this morning. 
An impromptu play date, a great time, an invaluable lesson on how great a neighbor can be.
Thank you so much Neighbors!!!!

Nov 18, 2009

A day off...

Please excuse the interruption of tenor in my little blog.  I try to write about what I find beautiful in my life as a mother.  However, somedays life creeps in and throws a handful in your face, and you have the choice to handle things with a) grace, humor, and love (good option), or b)  not changing out of your pajamas, and avoid using socially acceptable hygiene (not a super option).    Presently my mood looks a little like this...

 Eeek, that will not do.  When I need to slip out of my own head I usually turn to mindless escapism novels.   Another favorite mood altering activity is browsing through the many many many blogs I have bookmarked.  Ok, lets be honest, wine is a really good one too, but as I am in a delicate condition.... 
Allow me to present to you some very pretty links ......

A Fanciful Twist

This blog is amazing.  A visual feast.  So colorful, and absolutely will not let you down fanciful.    Often after perusing through her pages I will find my self so impressed, like mouth hanging open impressed.  There is so much.  And not to sound like a geological biggot, but she lives in small border town Arizona.  That trips me out.  So much to see at her house, I feel like she must really be squirreled away at an artist community.  Also, and I am being a complete ageist here... judging by her pictures she is way younger than me. 

Nectar & Light

Her Polaroid photography is so soothing.  Looking through her work is like taking a long sip of warm tea, taking in a nice deep breath, or jumping into a cool pool on a hot day.  There is a calming effect to her vision. 

Shutter Sisters

Another photo blog.  This one inspires me in a very deep way.  It's a collaborative blog that brings women together.  "Shutter Sisters is committed to honoring and celebrating the beauty that women behind cameras can capture. We embrace the belief that we are all creative equals, eager to share with one another our work; our art. It is in that sharing that we thrive and grow not only in our creativity but in all facets of our lives."

6 Year Med

I wasn't planning on putting this blog on my shinny happy list.  It is simply  not shinny nor happy.  It is very real.  Its a blog by a woman, who is a med student.  Her stories are often heart wrenching, sometimes funny, some are gritty, and some are uplifting.  A few are even boring.  Its just her life, and stories she encounters at work.  This blog has been so important for me for just over a year now for quite a few reasons,.  One, I need to remember that there is a human side, a good human face to western allopathic medicine.  That there are modern day heroes, just doing their job.  And two, the biggest and most important, my life is so good.  It is sparkly and magnificent and I have healthy babies.   Hers is truly a blog worth supporting.  I read the entries out loud over the phone to my sister every few weeks.  It all started a while ago when I followed some now unknown links that led me to her page, and this story in particular.  I have read this story to countless people, and never with out crying.  I would like to add that I am not someone who actively seeks a sad story.  I typically avoid books or movies that are going to make me sad, I don't watch Oprah, or medical dramas.  There is something about Danielle's writing that is simple, relatable, and brings me back for more.

I would like to thank all of you, my friends and family for supporting me through this crazy little journey life has us on right now. 

Here's to tomorrow being a different day, and me getting in the shower, and getting my camera out!!!!

Nov 17, 2009

Pumpkin Day...

Ava realized today that her pumpkin wont last forever.  As a fruit it is part of the great Cycle of Life,  our time with the pumpkin is limited.  She was given two choices.

1.  Accept the gift the pumpkin has to offer her and make something wonderful.  Something delicious.  Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Ravioli....


2.  Continue to enjoy the company that her pumpkin has offered to her, and eventually we will return the pumpkin to the earth.

The awareness that her pumpkin could not be a permanent fixture in her life, on her bedroom table, brought Ava profound sadness.  "Mama, how will I always remember her?  How pretty and small she is, how bright and orange, how she has little brown bumps?"

What is a mother to do?  No one can stop the cycle of life.  How can I help my daughter ensure that her pumpkin can live on?  Pumpkin Day, of course!

We spent our afternoon painting pumpkin pictures, painting pumpkins on our faces, painting pumpkins, writing pumpkin songs, penning pumpkin poems, and taking pictures of it all.  Pumpkin Day.  A day to celebrate our friendly pumpkins, to honor and revere.  Through art we are able to transition.  Through music and poetry we are able to let go.  And through our photos we can, and will remember forever!





The Wonderful Pumpkin Poem 
by Ava Rana, age 5
November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pudding, Pumpkin Sandwiches.
Pretty Lovely Pumpkins.
Pumpkin Paint, Pumpkin Stew.
Orange Everywhere.
Pumpkin Lots of Stuff!!!

"Lovely Lovely Air Pumpkins"
a pumpkin song, by Ava Rana
age 5
November 17, 2009

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins every farm.
Pumpkins Pumpkins I love Pumpkins everywhere.
I like it so much.
Pumpkins are so beautiful.
In the grass, the bright green grass.
Grass with the little speckles of orange growing.



Here's to all of us finding a way to make the things we love last!

Nov 16, 2009

This time... in 2008

This time last year....

Let's take a look shall we?  It amazes me in life the difference a year makes.  So much has changed, so much has stayed the same.  In the first half of November 2008 my family...

Learned that the nesting goose at the library may be very beautiful, but the gander does not take kindly to her being photographed.
They also learned that I am frightened by geese chasing me, and the geese will bite me, and I will try to reason, and then yell at them, while trying desperately not to come to blows with said bird.
They think this is SO funny.  Just last week Ava was telling her father that we "really ought to get the geese to chase mama again"
no, we really don't.

They made up a decorating game for our back yard.  A year ago our yard was barren.  Ava would gather sticks and make beautiful ornaments that her brother would help her hang.

Cyrus went crazy with the orange acrylic paint that he found in my art closet.
He still wears that stained shirt.
I still have orange hand prints in my carpet.

 Ava's hair was so much shorter, her face so much rounder.  She had just turned four.
Five is So Much Older.

I put the finishing touches on my very own stocking.
I designed the pattern, worked so hard, was so proud.  It wasn't until the day I hung it on the wall along with all the other handmade stockings of my family (made by my mother in law) that I realized that mine is facing the opposite way.  In this photo the stocking isn't quite done, and it may be difficult to tell, but yes.  I face to the left, and the rest of my family faces to the right.  So the question is...  Which way should the new baby's stocking face?
It simply never occurred to me that stockings face a certain way.

Thank you for taking a trip back in time a year with me.  Next year our family will be older, and larger.  Every day is an adventure, every month is filled with love, every year is a treasure.

Nov 15, 2009

Gratitude Mondays

Today I am grateful for....

 ~ Fall apples, and late season pears
(do you see that bite in the red apple back there?  We have a sampler in residence)

~7 weeks down, 33ish to go

 ~Sock season
My babies love their socks

 ~My camera is back from the shop. 
Finally I have enough speed to catch a glimpse of this elusive, dirty little face!

 ~optimism of my eternal princess

These few days have shown me so many displays of it. 

My children.  My family.  My love.
Thank you

Nov 11, 2009

Ladies and Gentle men...

 May I present to you.... Ava.  We have a finger knitter!!  I am so excited for her.  She asked me if she could knit a blanket for her kitten Fiona, I suggested we start with a smaller project.  We sat together and watched two finger knitting videos on Youtube.  I told her I needed to make lunch, we could watch more, and talk about knitting later.  When I looked over toward the living room I saw her there, quietly trying to work it out on her own.  That is her way.  Her crafting path has been one of self exploration.  She sees what she likes, she spends some time in quiet concentration, and she figures it out. 
She is so cool!

Here is to all of us finding our own way! 

Nov 10, 2009

Sometimes it's there, even if you don't know it.

How often do I complain about the lack of deciduous trees in my little corner of the world?
I remember the brilliant colors of fall from my own childhood.  Autumn is something that is experienced in neighborhoods across the country this time of year, and I lament all the sights, sounds, and smells of fall that my children will miss out on.
The textures of the season, and the gathering of handfuls of leaves.
 Recently I was picking up our home in the middle of a regular day, and I came across one of the many started, and discarded ventures of my son.  As I was scooping up the mess to return the vegetable steamer to the kitchen, I was suddenly aware of what I was cleaning, a eureka moment.
Cyrus had been playing with fall leaves.  At some point he had gathered fallen leaves from under the apple tree.  Collected, played with, and spent time getting to know them. 
They may not be colorful, or plentiful, but they are his to explore.  My children don't need me to be aware of Autumn in our yard in order for them to have their very own fall experience.  They don't need me to notice the signs of fall around them.  They don't need me to be appreciative in order for them to appreciate.
 I need them.

Here's to all of us enjoying what ever piece of Autumn we have, no matter how small.

Nov 9, 2009

An edible update....

Exciting things are happening in our backyard.  As I have mentioned in the past, our goal for our back yard is to landscape completely edible.  So far we have.

We started our adventure in January of this year with a few trees.  Summer was intense.  We had some decent results, but overall we, being very novice gardeners, succumbed to the hottest driest summer in recent years.  Imagine the fun we are having now!  Autumn, and Winter are wonderful times to garden in Arizona.   Some things were planted in summer, and survived, some things we added as transplants, some from seed, some from bulb, a few we're still waiting to sprout.

Here's a little update on what our yard holds now.....
~Myer lemon tree
~Anna apple tree
~Valencia orange tree

~3 kinds of grape vines
~Globe artichoke


~Sweet basil
~Purple basil
~Italian parsley
~Purple sage
~Green bell pepper
~Roma tomato
~Cherry tomato
~Green onion
~Walla Walla Sweet Onion
~2 types of broccoli
~Snow peas
~Sugar snap peas
~ Spinach
~5 types of leaf lettuce
~Rainbow carrots
~Swiss Chard
~Golden beets!!!

This is SO MUCH FUN!!!




cherry tomatoes 

roma tomatoes 

bell pepper

walla walla onions 


spinach, lettuces, and peas 

green bunch onions 


Here's to working with the earth to grow something thats beautiful and tastey! 

About Me

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East Bay, California, United States
I am a thirty something mother of three. Hoping to raise my little ones to love the the slower things in life.