Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nine years ago today

It awes me.... what we have. We have lived together for thirteen years and been married today for nine. We have experienced tragedies and triumphs together. We have birthed and are raising two amazing children. There have been no shortage of life lessons.

These flowers filled the bedroom we share together now on the day that I put on my dress for our wedding. I was surrounded by powerful and loving women in that room as I got ready. The love we felt as our family and friends gathered outside under the brilliant fall leaves radiated all around us during the ceremony. It has been as much a part of our marriage as our own love for one another.

When I planted these mums nine years ago, I had no idea what the future would bring. I knew that I was making a lifetime commitment that was one of the very most "right" things I have ever done. Each year these flowers bloom on our anniversary, reminding us of the richness of our choice. What an incredible choice it was, and continues to be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Family traditions

There are certain things that have become tradition in our household.... a benchmark, if you will, for each season. I didn't necessarily set out to establish this rhythm when we had children, but it has emerged over time. Traditions in families make a whole lot of sense to me now that I'm a parent. They provide structure and consistency for children in the most fluid and time-honored way. They also fill our year with a sense of connection as a family, and there is always a certain excitement about anticipating each seasonal event. I cherish the traditions we had as a child, and find great joy in weaving new ones into the fabric of my young family now.

One of our fall traditions, like so many other Western North Carolina families, is to go to a local orchard and pick apples. I have several years of pictures now, documenting each event. I looked back through each year and was shocked to see how much our children have grown and changed (and how much they looked alike at the age of 3!)

And of course, once we got our apples home, we had to make our requisite apple pie. This little blue gem came with the house, if you can believe it. It was up on a dusty shelf in the pantry. Both kids had a ball cranking and we wished we had more apples. My guess is, now that we've found this, we'll be getting a whole bunch more apples in the coming weeks. Applesauce is next on the list.

(A random aside... the leaf my little guy gave me as a gift. He's shifted from picking flowers for me, to finding the prettiest leaf and bringing it in.)
And of course, I had to take a picture of the finished product. I will tell you that there was plenty of cursing during the making of this crust. I decided to try all whole wheat; it was a different animal... a very ornery one. I finally got the consistency right (much to my surprise) and it was pronounced "yummy scrummy." I'm not an intuitive cook, so I felt it was surely headed for the compost. Whew. It was a close one.

This is the book we read every year as part of our tradition. It's terrific for the 2-6 yr range. What I love about this book, is not only it's illustrations, but the story itself. A brother and sister share their understanding of the seasons by telling how their apple tree changes. The tree is depicted as if it is a part of the family, and the ultimate end surprise is an apple pie made from it's apples in the fall. The book even includes a description of pollination by honey bees at the end. Gotta love that! (Fall, Leaves, Fall by Zoe Hall is also great!)

One more of our favorites, though we didn't have it this weekend to read. A wonderful book, as well!

So... here's to traditions in families and the changing of the seasons. I wouldn't have felt like I had truly recognized autumn until I wrote a post about apples. What are some of your family's tradition around fall? I'm always curious what different families find special and would love to hear. Have a wonderful week...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

fabric gluttony

This is what I get to cut into today. I love coming up with new designs and working with colors. These fabrics are for a new round of quilted women's bags. I've finished up a dozen yoga mat bags in some Joel Dewberry, but it's too rainy and dark to get a good a picture. I also have a couple more pencil rolls and 4 or 5 children's bags finished up. I know... no pictures of these, either. I'm a tease. One of my biggest complaints about selling on etsy, is taking the pictures for it. It's really hard for me to get good lighting on my little single lens digital. My goal, though is to have things in the shop in plenty of time for Christmas purchases. Keep me in mind if you're looking for some sweet handmade goodness to give others.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our weekend...

...was too full for words.
... and I have some sewing too show you later on this week.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just checking in....

Gentian violet
Apparently, I've become a once a week blogger which is fine. I promised myself I would write this blog without obligation. Life is really full right now, and in lots of good ways. Two school settings for two children means lots of volunteering and commitments to be fulfilled. There have been plenty of walks in the woods, feeding the worm farm, fishing and boating, and (for me) working hard at staying in the moment. Not much is getting done in taking care of the garden, but something has to give. I'm grateful that I'm not teaching this semester because I wouldn't relish trying to juggle one thing more.

I've been sewing quite a bit, here and there, but just don't quite have the time to take pictures of finished products. I skip away for ten minutes at a time and work on something, then back to whatever I was doing before. This means that projects come together, but sometimes over a series of very broken up days. There are a couple of new children's bags in my shop, and I need to take pictures of about 5 more and list them. I'm finishing up an order for a friend, and hopefully shipping that later today.

patchwork that was later turned into a sweet little tooth fairy pillow

Random things if you're still hanging with this fairly boring post .... I found great synthetic mid-weight long underwear for kids at Target. It is only $12 for top and bottoms, and equally as nice as anything found in Sierra Trading Post for kids. This is a bonus for us because we spend so much time outdoors, we've found long underwear to be the cat's pajamas. In the past, it's been difficult to find for kids in anything other than cotton, unless you place an order or spend the big bucks.

We're STILL making pesto. I am getting weary of making pesto, but today should be the last of it.

Alrighty then, I feel better having at least gotten to the computer to write a post. I'm still here, just crazy busy like everyone else and reminding myself to enjoy each day.