Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On and on the crafting goes.

As of tonight I will be officially done with my holiday knitting that is being mailed out to family back east. Which leaves me with a sweater sleeve to finish for Ivan, a couple small items for the man of the house, a mitten for Erik, and then if I have time I'd like to make some baby booties and a hat.

Next year I will start earlier ( I say this every year, but every year I do start a little earlier than last so it must be working).

I am so excited though that all my projects for loved ones have come out better than I expected. This season I have learned how to cable, do short rows, and have gotten much more proficient with double pointed needles.

I wish I could share pictures in this space but since family reads it I will have to wait until after Christmas. I can however share the coming home outfit I finished for baby.

It is a soft and snuggly blend of wool, linen, and silk. I have enough leftover to make some matching booties and a hat to complete the outfit. I can't wait to put a squishy baby inside this outfit! 4 weeks and counting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nick

One of the things that continues to amaze me about America is how it can differ so much regionally based on cultural influence.

This morning Erik was devastated that St. Nick did not put anything in his stocking last night, and while waiting in line at school he began to get the wiggly lip that leads to tears listening to his classmates share what St. Nick left for them.

While I have heard of St. Nick I had no clue that there was an actual holiday where he leaves treats, ooops!

One of the parents at the school filled me in a bit and said that it is traditional on December 5th that St. Nickolas who is apparently Santa's brother (?) visits and leaves a small toy or treat in children's stockings. This is all news to as soon as I got home I decided to do some research. Celebrating Christmas is a relatively new tradition for my family but I thought I had the traditions down.

I found that St. Nick's day is today December 6th and it is celebrated in mostly Northern Europe and in (drumroll please)......Wisconsin! Who knew? Certainly not this New England girl. It makes sense with so much of Wisconsin's heritage coming from German and Northern European influences that there would be similar traditions to those home countries. It just surprised me that I had never even heard of this particular holiday.

I found this article about St. Nick's day in Wisconsin. It's a few years old but it gives a good idea of just how big a deal it is here.

So now that we have decided to make Wisconsin home I guess we had better start making its traditions ours as well.

St. Nick will be visiting our house while the boys are at school today, his white horse (thank you internet for the info) hurt his hoof last night, he is feeling much better now but was running late. St. Nick did not want to arrive this morning and be spotted by anyone so he waited until we had left to go to school and then came in and left some treats in the boys stockings, along with an apology note for being late.

Whew, embellished fairy tale created and now I know for next year the night of December 5th St. Nick will be making a visit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This moment.....a day late

I wanted to start joining in with Amanda at Soulemama in her Friday ritual of a single picture capturing a precious moment. So here I am a day late......

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Little Boy Love

I don't usually choose to rant in this space but I feel compelled to just a bit today.

Anyone who has been pregnant can attest to the fact that people just love to talk about that belly, whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or random strangers at the grocery store.

This is my third baby so I'm used to that by now, and it really doesn't bother me. I usually smile and answer the typical questions; " When are you due?", " Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?" , " Is this your first?".

The answers are; January 9th, yes it's a boy, no it's not it's my third- to which the response is always " Oh do you have boys or girls at home?". Boys, this is my third boy.

Up to this point the conversation is fine, but then once people hear this is my third little boy the comments start to roll. About how I must have been disappointed, I must have been trying for a girl, or maybe I'll have better luck next time. What!!!!????

I can't stand this assumption that every mother just wishes and wishes for a girl. All I was hoping for was a healthy baby, and according the the ultrasounds I've had that is just what I am having. I have never for a moment felt the least bit "unlucky" for having my two sons or that I'm expecting another one.....on the contrary I feel extremely lucky to be mom to two fabulous little boys and I can't wait to add a third to the mix. I don't need a daughter to feel complete, and I'm tired of people assuming I do.

I don't know if I would hear the same type of comments if I was expecting my third girl, maybe I would but I somehow think not as much. Either way I'm just tired of my children's gender being thought of as lucky or not.

I'd say getting to be mom to these two little boys makes me the luckiest woman on the planet!

I can't wait to meet their little brother and feel even luckier!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Moments

We are celebrating our small Thanksgiving together today since Daddy had to work on Thursday. I just put the turkey in the oven after we finished our pancake breakfast, it already smells divine!

Early this morning as the first morning light started to trickle through the trees I was greeted by a little boy asking if he could snuggle.

This sweet little six year old, he brings me so much joy! My youngest child who in a few short weeks will become my middle child. He is so excited to meet his little brother, he kisses my belly good morning and good night each day and loves to talk to the baby. At the same time though I can tell he knows life is about to change, his role in this family will change. He will go from littlest brother to being somebody's big brother. I think he knows that snuggle time will be different. He knows that he will have to share me with this new baby, that the baby will have needs only I can meet. This boy is so loving and easy going, he rolls so easily with what life throws his way, I hope this transition is just as smooth for him. He is going to be a wonderful big brother!

As I get ready to make cranberry orange relish he is with his big brother and daddy finding the Christmas lights and getting ready to put up the tree. My heart is full, and later on today our stomachs will be too. A perfect Thanksgiving, two days late.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday preparations

It's that time of year favorite time! I really do love winter; the snow, the sweaters, the cold air, and Christmas just makes it that much more enjoyable. I grew up not celebrating holidays due to my family's (now defunct) religious beliefs, so being able to participate in and share the holidays with my family is extra special to me. Even though they are new traditions for me it feels like they were always there hiding under the surface. I love the lights, the music, the food, and all that goes into preparing. Thanksgiving seems to be a good time to kick off all the preparations.

This year my goal is to do all handmade gifts for my loved ones. As usual I'm starting late but I think with some quick knits I will attain my goal. Of course I also have to devote some of that knitting time to baby knits. I can hardly believe we are at the 7 weeks and counting point of this little ones arrival.

This morning the boys and I finished our grocery shopping for Thanksgiving and for the next 3 weeks. I've come to the realization I really could use a chest freezer!

Our Thanksgiving is small this year, usually we would all be sitting around the long table at my mom and step-dad's house but being so close to the end of this pregnancy I've decided doing that much flying and driving is just not in the cards. So it will just be the four of us this year. I'm keeping it simple and yummy; turkey, cranberry-orange relish, green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, and acorn squash. Oh and of course pumpkin pie!

Friday the weather is supposed to take a cold turn and stay that way over the weekend. I'm looking forward to snuggle time, turkey stew, putting up the Christmas tree, and then on Sunday going to our new town's old fashioned Christmas celebration for the parade and tree lighting!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and please enjoy the weekend with your most loved of loved ones!

First finished baby knit: newborn vertebrae, and mittens for Ivan.

We began the holiday baking by surprising Daddy with the Swedish Spritz cookies his grandma used to bake. The boys loved using the cookie press.

I had to make this pumpkin bread, and who could resist the forest animal gingerbread cookie cutters?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Settling in

Well we made it!

The last few weeks have been quite the adventure. We had a smooth journey here, amazingly the boys only asked twice, " Are we there yet?".

After a slight delay in the moving truck getting here and a more than slight delay on the delivery of my car we are finally starting to settle in.

There are still boxes to be unpacked, items to be organized, and artwork to hang but it is starting to feel like home.

Once we are a bit more organized I'll post more about our move and pictures too!

For now I'm off to organize the pantry.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Photo's of September

With our impending move I've been neglecting this little baby of a blog. Each day I keep thinking I ought to write something, anything....but then the exhaustion of all that is happening takes over and I let another day slip by.

So with only a few accompanying words here is my photo description of this September (and first few days of October).

25 1/2 weeks along! Loving that sweater and scarf weather is back.

The kite in the park series:

It is also soup and stew season! Last nights dinner in the making....

Sweater on the needles for this new little life inside me.

Yesterday my car was picked up and shipped off to Milwaukee, it was exciting and sad and made the reality of this move stare me in the face. We leave in less than a week and will get the keys to our new townhouse on the 15th.

And that dear readers is what I leave you with for today. I plan to document our 1,000 mile road trip with many photos and share them as I am able. Stay along for the ride! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Love those little boys!

It has been a hectic week or so here trying to figure out this big move in front of us, but a week where I keep becoming overwhelmed, not with all there is to do but with just how amazing my little boys are.

I got to spend some special one on one time with my Ivan the other day. I ran out of yarn for a project and asked him to come along with me to the craft store. Now the craft store is really not a place Ivan cares to go to, but he went along anyways. Little did he know that his mama is suffering from pregnancy brain and would drag him to not one, but four different craft stores (I also forgot my wallet and only had a few dollars I found in a pocket in my purse). He was so patient though and just happy to hold my hand while we went through aisle upon aisle of yarn. There were all sorts of little kid-crafty toys and treats in the stores and he asked if he could get one. Of course I had barely any money with me so I had to tell him no I couldn't afford to buy him a toy and get the yarn I needed. He was very graceful and understanding about my decline.

I was able to surprise him at the end of our shopping trip with a coloring book I found for a dollar. He was thrilled! The best part though had to be when we got in the car and he was looking at his new coloring book he said, " I can't wait to get home and share this with Erik". Love! It's times like these I feel like I'm doing alright with this mama thing :)

The rest of the week both the boys have been sick. They caught the nasty head cold I had last week. It has been lots of chicken soup and cuddling on the sofa. I hate when they are sick (but I do enjoy the extra cuddle time).

In other news the boys are going to spend the weekend with Auntie and then with Oma and Opa while the husband and I fly out to Milwaukee to try and find a place to rent to get us through the winter. I'm feeling really excited to see my new city for the first time and take this big step into making this move really happen! I still can't believe we will be moving in just over 2 weeks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And we're off.....

to Wisconsin!!! 

That's right, my husband got the job transfer! So now the real journey begins. We are waiting to hear if we have 2 weeks or a month to make the 1000 mile move. I'm really okay with either time frame but it would be nice to have a few extra days on our side to go out and find a nice place to rent for the winter. 

I am most nervous about transferring all my prenatal care. I'm 23 weeks now and it is a little scary to be having to start off with a brand new midwife and at a brand new hospital/birthing center when January feels right around the corner. I'm sure it will be fine though, the unknown isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Overall I am feeling very excited about this move. A fresh start in a new city. A new life for our reunited (and growing) family. An adventure that we are embarking on, Together. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Where to start..

A friend of mine posted this image on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it just struck me. I look at it almost daily and try to remind myself of it when I feel discouraged.

I'm good at the "use what you have" part, very good at it in fact. I do what I can too, it's the part about starting where I am that keeps hanging me up.

Nine and a half years ago my husband was offered a job promotion that brought us halfway across the country, closer to my family yet still 3+ hours away. At the time it seemed like a good choice, but we made the classic mistake of not researching the area or spending much time here before he accepted the position.

For about 9 years we have been trying to leave, that's a long time to be dissatisfied with the area you live in.

For the first few years I kept thinking that the longer we were here, the more friends we made, the more discovery we did, that it would eventually start to feel like Home. It has never felt like Home, and I'm tired. Tired of the constant feeling of needing to get out, worn out from all the transfers applied for and denied, and scared that while the kids are still young we will never have that sense of putting down roots.

So before this baby is born we are trying once more. It has been a few years since we attempted a move (aside from the time we were separated and the kids and I moved around quite a bit, but that's another story). As I type this my husband is on the last leg of his 3 flight journey home from an interview for a transfer back halfway across the country, to a brand new city for both of us, a fresh start, and hopefully a place we can really call Home.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, I really am. After so many past disappointments it feels unwise to get excited about the prospects of a new city, a new life. Yet, they are up. I can't help it. It's exciting to search through Craigslist and look at the homes we might rent, and even more exciting to look at the real estate websites and see that yes, in this new city we can afford a nice house for our family, something we have not been able to do here.

Don't get me wrong; I know that there is no perfect city, town or place. That every place offers drawbacks of its own unique kind. More than that it will be very hard to move a time zone away from my family who mean so much to me, especially with a new baby on the way. But I believe in my heart that Home is not where we are, where we have been, that we can make a home in this new city if given the chance.

I desperately want to " Start where I am", and I might have to sort out a way to do that right where I am but I really am hoping for a fresh start; a new location....I'm really hoping for Home.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Updates, Improvements, and Changes!

I admit that I have been utterly horrible at keeping up with this blog, but I'm working on it!

I guess that would be the improvements portion of this blog- I will improve on keeping up to date and posting more. Why? I love blogs, I follow many blogs, mostly of other moms/families and I love how a blog becomes a living journal and memoir of everyday family life. That's why I started this blog in the first place, to keep track of projects, feelings, and memories of this time in my life, in the life of my family.


We got married.....again!!! My husband and I were married nearly 10 years ago (we eloped to the county court house) and then separated/divorced for 3 years. Last year we were able to rekindle our love for each other and reunited our little family. We decided to tie the knot for the second time this August. It was a lovely ceremony, small, simple, and beautiful. We involved our sons in the ceremony and it was a beautiful moment for them to see us come back together as a couple and as a family.

My step-dad did us the honors of marrying us in his and my mothers picture perfect backyard. The arbor was started by my mother and I with saplings from their property and was finished by my entire family, everyone pitched in and it came out beautifully.

My sister and I picked wildflowers and she and my brothers girlfriend helped me with my bouquet and the flowers for the cake table. My mother and dear friend/neighbor designed the hydrangea center pieces for the table.
My uncle found the perfect tree stump for our cake stand down by the lake.

My brothers girlfriend did an amazing job with my hair for the big day.
Our dear friends donated delicious beer to add to our wedding feast in their homemade keg container! How  festive is this...

The wedding food was scrumptious and was lovingly prepared by many members of the family! My brothers girlfriend (who was a huge help to me) also has a fabulous family who came over to help with the food and serving.

Isn't our cake lovely? Maybe I'm a bit biased but I adore it! I made the cake topper and the lovely couple that run La Boca made our amazingly delicious and very special cake! If you are ever in the area please stop by and try one of their amazing pastries, breads, or other treats.

This brings me to the Changes part of this blog post!

I mentioned that our cake was very special, and it wasn't only because it was our wedding cake. Did anyone notice the 3 little eggs in the nest?

That's right! We are having another baby!!! We decided to have our wedding cake double as a gender reveal cake, and it was the highlight of the reception, everyone was so excited to see us cut the cake!

It's a BOY!!! Yes, we are having our third boy!!! And what better way to tell our friends and family than with a delicious lemon curd cake with wild blueberry buttercream frosting!

So that has been our summer, and what a memorable summer it has been! A huge thank you to our wonderful family and friends who helped us pull off a beautiful backyard wedding and shared in our special day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

By Train

I love traveling by train. There is something so soothing about the sound of the track beneath the wheels and even the screeching as it pulls into the next station. Not to mention that it makes commuting so much easier, I don't have to concentrate on anything but my thoughts and the landscape speeding past the window.

My favorite time to ride the train is early in the morning, and rainy mornings especially. There is something so magical about the way the houses look in the dim light of a damp, windy morning. I often dream about the secrets the houses hold, the families they are keeping dry and warm, and I imagine the houses viewing the passing train as a sign that all is well, the train is on time.

While I could not get a photograph of the many houses I pass on my morning ride I did catch this old brick train station as we were pulling away. I think my favorite photograph in this set is the raindrops on the train window.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prettiest Scent

I adore Lilacs. Their scent is so delicate and yet so fragrant all wrapped into one. We picked these on our nightly walk, aren't they gorgeous? The perfect shade of lavender. I love this vase too, it's actually an antique pitcher that had broken a few years back around the spout. I glued it back together and it's perfect for holding these lilacs.

What is your favorite flower of spring?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sweater Weather

After really slacking on knitting projects for the majority of 2011 (save Christmas presents) I am now re-inspired and ready to go!
I don't quite know how I had never heard of prior to this month, but now that I have found it I am oh so happy to have more patterns, fellow knitters, and lovely pictures at my disposal.
With all this renewed lust for knitting I have decided to take on my first sweater project. I happened upon a link to Kate Davies blog over at and fell head over heals in love with her patterns, but most of all the owl sweater
After 2 days on the needles I am ultra pleased with the pattern, the yarn I picked (Eskimo by Drops), and how quickly this is knitting up.

Back to the needles, I just can't put this one down!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Happy Merry Birth-Mas Cake!

As some of you know my oldest son's birthday is on Christmas day. He turned 8 this year and to celebrate I made a gluten-free gingerbread cake for his birthday and also our holiday dessert. The idea came from my wonderfully creative mother (lovingly known as Oma) after she saw the cake below. My son is in his first year of a children's chorus and just recently had his first concert in which he stood front and center in front of hundreds of people and sang beautifully, so the singers was what really caught her eye. Also we are of German descent so the fact that this cake has German inspiration made it more interesting for our family.

The inspiration: from Martha Stewart Living

The Recipe:  from the Boston Globe. This is a gluten-free modified version of the creators Swedish grandmothers traditional recipe. The boy's being also part Swedish made me adore this recipe~

The Cake!
2 and a half pounds of flour, having to stir it in a soup pot later, sitting with a 20 pound cake on my lap for a 2 hour car ride to NH, and here is the result. Worth it! (and it was delicious)