family life

A Long Week

March 19, 2014

These-two The-Beginning Golden-Light Hand Watching-brother Working

Embrooidery-Sketch Spring Oh-no. In-Progress Looking

Don’t let that first picture fool you, for it has been a long week, and it is only Wednesday. Some weeks are like that, I suppose. They are the types of weeks where you dream of knitting and tea, of warm baths and long naps. You don’t actually get any of that, but you can still dream. They are the types of weeks where your kids cry, you cry, and life goes on.

There have been smiles too, of course, thankfully. Baby smiles make everything better, and this babe can sure smile bright. These golden days we are having make me feel dreamy about the turn of the season. It is hard to believe that Spring is truly almost here, and that flowers, and color, and warm nights, and long days, and lazy moments are just around the corner. Oh I can not wait.

My knitting seems to be dominated by texture right now. Do you all ever go through periods in your crafting where you see a pattern to what you like to work with? I find that the more texture I come across at the moment, the happier I am. I am working on a knitting pattern for a beautiful eBook that friends are putting together, and I am just giddy to finish it up. It is simple but fun, and a great piece to wrap up after a long yoga practice or a cool spring evening. The only hard part of these coming warmer months is saying goodbye to the wool that has been slipping through my fingers this winter. I knit all year round, but that heavy and warm knitting of thick wools is generally only saved for colder months.  I will miss it. I think that I will turn my attention to light cardigans in vibrant colors to ease the transition. I see an adult Tea Leaves in my very near future, and perhaps a simple dress for Emma Jeanne.

My embroidery basket is still never far from my feet, and my love of this art was certainly the surprise of the winter. I have been embroidering for many years, but never to this extent, and never with this must desire to learn about the fundamentals. I have piles of samplers from Rebecca that are keeping me busy, and I am taking a thread to a few of my sketches as well (the one of the left). So much vibrancy and life in embroidery. It is certainly a craft that cultivated patience as well as beauty, for I could knit an entire sweater in the same time it takes me to complete a simple sampler. It is worth it, though, in the end.

I planted all of our greens last week, and this is by far the earliest I have ever done so. I wonder how much I am going to regret that one in a few weeks when an inevitable snow storm comes roaring in. Oh well, I will take my chances for now. I am craving fresh vegetable from the garden, and I am going to follow in the inspiration that many of you give, and expand our garden this year.  I can’t wait to walk Emma Jeanne through the sunflowers and zucchinis, beans and lettuces, and let her taste each one. What a joy that must be for a baby.

I am procrastinating on returning to this crazy week, can you tell? I need some good book recommendations. I haven’t read much since Emma Jeanne was born, and I am ready to get lost in the evenings inside of a great novel. Again those dreams of warm evenings, soft candles, and a fresh picnic blanket are creeping into my thoughts. What have you read lately that you just love?

Okay, I must get back now. Perhaps I should bake a chocolate cake, that always helps. I swear I think that I saw a post from someone last week that talked of making a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting like my Nana Catherine use to make. I need to go and find that recipe. Yes, it is a chocolate cake kind of week.


Weaving Our Story

January 29, 2014

Ice-Ice-Baby Bath-Beauty Beauty-in-winter Bunny-Feet Dancing Just-Eat-It POetry First-Foods The-Salt WheatReading

A friend of our family recently shared that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Those are words that we always hate hearing, that bring up many memories, fears and prayers. As I sat listening to her husband describe what it was like to share the news to their community of friends and loved ones, he spoke of the many women who approached them to share their own stories. Some told of survival, some of loss, some of just finding out that they too would be walking the same journey, with the same diagnosis. I can only imagine the importance of those stories being shared. The immediate sense of community and care that must have materialized.

As I drove home, and in the weeks since, I have thought about those stories. Perhaps for the first time I realized that the stories that we choose to weave together, and to share, are really the fabric of our relationships, no matter how long we may be in someone’s life, no matter how brief a moment we may share. It is our experiences that bind us and keeps us close, that reminds us that we are not alone, we do not need to be alone, and we are all closer in situation than we may think.

We are all interesting and experienced. We all have a wealth of knowledge that needs to come out, to teach, to mentor, to guide and to illuminate. It is hard to see ourselves as being that valuable, but it is essential that we do. I have been thinking of the stories recently that have touched me, forever changed me, and shaped who I am in this moment. I think of them as a tapestry that blankets me. A weaving board with every story a different fabric, color, and print. Those are remarkable stories, shared by remarkable people, and there are a lot of them. Some of the stories came from people I only met once, and by chance. Some are by the women who came before me, some are by those I have never laid eyes on. Some are in books, some on the phone, some through tears, some through joy. They are mine, they tell my story, and they are sacred.

I also think of the pieces of me that are spread across another’s woven life, how a story I once shared could have possibly shaped another in a small way. I think of what colors those stories might represent, what meaning they may hold. That is the beauty of the human race, and the magic of love. We impact each other, and we leave a mark.

Now it is time for me to encourage my children to begin to tell their stories. To share their loves, their fears, their hopes. I see Jacob telling another about his celiac disease, easing the fears of someone just beginning their journey. I see Elwood share his fear of heights, bonding with another boy at the bottom of a rope swing. I see their openness, and I pray that it holds. I want them to be storytellers and poets, letting their emotions be their guides. I want them to know that even if one person comes along and is changed by their words, that will be enough. I want them to know that their greatest gifts can come from what they are willing to give of themselves, and how they can help another by simply sharing their own experiences. I want them to remember that their story is a beautiful one.