Monday, December 30, 2013


This Christmas... I think it was one of my favorite Christmases ever.

It was just the three of us, and we did things at our own pace all day.  We all slept in until about 8:30, and then got up and opened stockings, followed by a leisurely breakfast of coffee cakes, eggs, bacon, coffee, and hot cocoa.

Then we headed for church, which we've decided is a must for every Christmas morning.

After church Nell took a nap, so we didn't end up opening any gifts until around 3 or 4.  I loved it this way, doing gifts in the afternoon while boeuf bourguignon simmered on the stovetop and cardamom bread baked in the oven.  It nicely avoided the "we've done gifts; now what?" feeling that sometimes happens on Christmas.

Nathan loved the candle by the hour I got him... the perfect gift for a man who likes fire, candles, and old-fashioned looking things.

Nell was well-rested from her nap, and enjoyed the process of unwrapping gifts.  She loved the jack-in-the-box we gave her, and her other gifts, but she was equally enamored with helping Mama and Daddy unwrap the things we had gotten for each other.

Dinner was delicious, including our holiday favorites that are rapidly becoming tradition: pumpkin souffle, cardamom bread, mashed potatoes, boeuf bourguignon, and peas.

A lovely Christmas, indeed.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thanksgiving. Yes, Really.

While all the bloggers in the world are blogging about Christmas, I'm keeping people on their toes and blogging about... Thanksgiving!  Because pregnancy and sickness and the busy month of December aside, it was a good Thanksgiving, and it deserves to be blogged.

We went to California!  It was a long plane ride.

We managed.

It was the first time my parents had seen Nell in over a year.  I think we all enjoyed making the most of the time together.

Playing with Grandma and Grandpa a lot still left some time for Nell's current favorite kind of personal "reading," the kind involving books with no pictures, intended for people twenty times her age.  {No, we don't understand it, either.}

And Nell had her first taste of chocolate pie!

Nathan got to use the wood shop at my parents' new house, and made me a new kitchen utensil.

Nell got some quality time with Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Jenny, as well as Grandma and Grandpa.

A blurry phone picture can still capture a good bit of sentiment, and sometimes it's all you have on hand, you know?

And there was food, of course.  Lots of good food.

And there you have it.

From the blogger you can always  -- usually -- okay, sometimes -- count on to document the important things in life, even if it's about a month late.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Nell & Luke 15

This girl.

She really exemplifies the spirit of Luke chapter 15 from the Bible, I think.
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' "
Except instead of sheep {or sinners}, for Nell, it's food.  Cheerios, for example, or clementine slices, or chickpeas.  Whatever she's eating, if one falls to the floor from her high chair, she is quite distressed until the food is returned to her.  Never mind the 27 other Cheerios still on her tray, ONE IS MISSING AND LIFE CANNOT GO ON UNTIL IT IS RETRIEVED.

So there you have it.  Deep Biblical understanding from a toddler.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

goings on, in brief

Since my last post, there have been the usual ups and downs of life around here.  I thought that at 16 weeks pregnant, things were improving on the hyperemesis front.  Then they got worse again.  Then a bit better, then worse.  As of now, I'm 19 weeks and haven't vomited in a little over a week!  The nausea still comes and goes but it's nothing compared to what it was, and I feel I can finally safely say that I'm over the worst of it.

{knock on wood and all that.}

Now, I have a home to tidy up and decorate for Advent, lessons to teach, meals to make, concerts to play, and all the usual December loveliness and chaos.

And in the meantime, I'm on a new mission to drink 101 ounces (three liters) of water a day since reading this article (thanks to Grace of Camp Patton fame).  It can't hurt, right?  Got a free water tracking app on my phone to keep track of it while I get the hang of upping my water intake.

Incidentally, pregnancy + lots of water = lots of trips to the bathroom, but you could probably guess that, couldn't you?

Nell is sweet as can be today in a red Baby Gap sweater I found at my favorite thrift store for $1.  I asked her to smile for a picture (because what's a blog post without a picture?), and this is what I got:

Hang in there, Nell.  Life is tough, cozy sweaters notwithstanding.