December 30, 2010

Things I said in 2010

write them down

"Noah set fire to French toast sticks in the microwave and I threw them in the yard." (Let me tell you about my day.


quite the confession about being a good mom but a bad wife


innocence and breastfeeding 


the story behind the moustache on a stick.

Also, somewhere in my blog closet I mentioned how I want to attend blog conferences and events when it's right for my family and I thought 2011 would be ripe for all that again but... I am finding that, unless it's close to home, I won't be at any of those things I mentioned. It's still not the right season for me to be away. 

And that's okay.

clean slate

So, I'll link a few more of my faves, then you... go link your favorite posts or photos or both, below! Link away! Bon voyage, 2010!


[Feed readers, click through to see my new 'do.]

Well, well, well.

Crazy as it seems, five years ago today I started this blog.
Who knew. Seriously.

Truth be told, it was all on a whim- the blog, the title, what I thought I had to say. Over time, we found each other- and link after link, word after word ... it's been one heckuva long ride.

And here we are.

I have a feeling I will always be writing, whether it's here 

or in my head 

or on the back of opened envelopes.

My cape and mask (and sometimes moustache), this blog allows me to be who I dream to be, to meet myself, to pretend, to expose, to confide, to discover, and to break free from expectations and "the norm" and the... mundane.

And yet, as much as I try to break free from it, I find so much hidden beauty there, in all its flaws, the every day life.

This is my escape in which I find out that I actually love from whence I have fled, even if gone just for a moment. And so I write, and am ready to return.

blog design by the fabulous and beautiful @sarahviola

December 28, 2010

Really deep thoughts on knitting, and why I'll probably never open up shop

just enough ruffles scarf
pattern: just enough ruffles by laura chau
(made for my mom)

molly scarf
pattern: molly by susan mills
(made for my mom-in-law)

I've been knitting a lot lately. And I was thinking like I tend to do, and I'm trying to think of the best way to describe this, but when you mess up a stitch in knitting, really the only way to fix it is to go back by un-doing the stitches until you come to the messed up one, and then start again.

And I was thinking... about life and stuff... and how there are a whole heck of a lot of mistakes I've made but would I ever want to un-do the stitches that came about after those mistakes? Sometimes the ripple effect of our misfortunes leads to something really good. Would I want to erase that, if I had to do it all over again?

The people in my life, the lessons learned, the heartache-turned-heart-healed.

Not like we can go back, but sometimes we wish we could.

[And sometimes I leave little blemishes in my knitting. It's a little signature, or if it's really bad, I'll put a button over it and it makes for a very beautiful mistake.]


I decided that I can't ever open up an etsy shop or whatever to sell my knitting wares because I just couldn't afford it. I prefer to use the good yarn that costs a lot, and if you factor in that and the time it takes me, I would have to price my items way too high to even cover my expenses... and I wouldn't want to do that so I'd price everything way too low and then I'd get distracted and probably never mail it in time and then pay for expedited shipping because I felt bad and... anyway... I just can't afford it. That's all.

PS, if you're there, I'm
BabywearKnittery on ravelry.

December 26, 2010

The turtle in the ukulele

Sometimes while I'm driving I pretend the tree-line up ahead is mountains, and I let my mind go there. I can blur my vision just so, and it becomes


And my insides warm, and I imagine.

I'm really good at pretending.

Today in the nursery at church I played on the floor and ate plastic food and put together the same puzzle again and again and again

and again

and I had joy about it, I en-joyed it.

I caught Ivy side-eyeing me and I think she was trying to figure out who this was. Mommy? Because you're not really like that at home.

I mean, I try. I'm like that sometimes but it's not enough. Especially when no one is watching. But, um, my kids are so watching. Is this just another case of mom-guilt? Whatever. I'm calling myself out on it.

Why don't I just let that be how I always am? Then I won't have to fake it. Then it would really be me.

The kids pick a muffin from the coffee table at church, after every service. They get crumbs in their coat sleeves and car seats and everywhere in between. I don't mind, and that's the real me.

Ivy dropped a little toy turtle in Gray's ukulele. We shook it out. No big whoop. That's me.

I played Battleship with the boys with no interruptions, no distractions, and it was good. (That's usually not me.)

I've been praying that the things that make me selfish or lazy-mom will grow dim in my heart, be less of a desire, and that the things that are more lifeportant will be what I'll be more drawn to.

A new prayer is that I am fun Sunday School mom even when "no one" is looking.

Gosh that really sounds so incredibly cheesy. (Not me.) But I have to stop being unwilling to spill out of my comfort zone. Maybe I'll pretend it looks like mountains over there. And drive right into it.


December 24, 2010

Christmastime is here... to stay

christmastime is here

I want to live a life of Christmas every day


let the Light shine and dance in it.


A very merry Christmas to you.

the tutu on lulu: a gift from Navy Baby Designs

December 23, 2010

These are the things


candlelight services, wax dripped on paper plates

Peter Paul & Mary PBS Christmas special

my first Guess? sweatshirt

reindeer hooves on the roof above my bed


straw and a cabbage patch doll in a manger

singing Silver Bells in the car "dressed in holiday style"

watching the moon follow us as we drove home


It's like I never grew up, was just a long sleep

I remember.


[What do you remember?]

December 21, 2010

I loved today


First of all, my bangs were like, awesome.

Hubs is off this week so I am a free bird. Noah and I set off early this morning to juice the last penny out of a Starbucks gift card, and then braved the post office, hair salon (he got his hair cut- adorbs), some Christmas shopping, and then the grocery store.

He asked me super good questions like why did you choose to have a home birth? And do you feel embarrassed when Daddy makes fun of your pajamas? (It doesn't bother me because it's true- I'm quite the Canadian Liz Lemon (I hope you just get that) and so I also bought new night-wear today.)

We got home and I made eleventyhundred eleven dozen cookies and a huge pot of veggie-black bean-chili and corn cake.

Then I washed all the dishes and

thought about this day

and how much I just loved it

and am happy

to be happy

and to love



December 19, 2010

Sometimes I forget to pray for things

carter & ivy's sip

I think I have all the buttons in my button tin memorized and then I'll knit something and need a button and I'll find one I hadn't seen before. They look different each time. Nice to meet you again. Random buttons.

But not.

Unless it's smacking me in the face, like when Noah was sick, I sometimes forget to pray for things. Like, I pray, but usually it's for someone that is hurting, or for health, or as things come up, or a wide covering prayer, not too specific. I am still trying to understand the way He provides because there are so many blessings that come into our life, like Jeff's new promotion (by the way, he got a promotion! And was named Manager Of The Year!)

and some other things that are really frivolous but definitely not un-noticed by me. I wonder, if these prayers said quietly in my heart but not out loud are still answered, what could happen if I am actually on my knees?

Not that it works that way, like a God-vending machine. Prayers go in and and I get what I want. Not at all.

But I know He hears me anyway.

How often I feel like maybe I have everything I really need, so anything extra would be... asking for too much? Who am I to ask for anything? My God, I lie next to my child and think, I didn't ask for my child to breathe today yet she has breath. Thank you. I'm so thankful.

What more could I ask for?

And then I close my eyes and really think about it and outside of my head I see that maybe I need to stop thinking it's up to me. What if what's happening to us is in response to someone else's prayer

someone else on their knees, on my behalf?

It's so big.

Life turns and I spin

and I roll with it

and I want to land where He wants me to be.

Which is probably on my knees.

December 18, 2010

Today we saw Santa


Carter, trying to remember what's on his list.

December 17, 2010


orange peels and cloves and cinnamon sticks

tiny pixie hat

a tiny hat made for tiny baby [charlotte noel]





photo by lovelyn

December 16, 2010

Mi casa, su casa

Ivy snuggled up in the most toasty & delicious Chunky Knit Throw
sent to us by Lands' End.
Hello, perfect last-minute Christmas present!

So, it's been a good week. We're keeping warm and cozy inside apart from the occasional trip to the yarn shop (I've been knitting like a madwoman) (photos to come eventually!) It's the kids' last day until winter break and I am so excited to have them home.

I made a little mistake when trying to migrate my bloglines over to Google reader and so I really do appreciate if you link up here so I can be sure I don't miss anything really important. What have you written lately that I shouldn't miss? Who are you reading? Please link up below.

And be thinking about your favorite post of all year- I think a link up for that is to come soon. (Not necessarily the post with the most comments, but your favorite... do you have one from 2010? I'll host a link-up around New Year's eve for that.) (Oh and PS December 30th is my FIVE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY yes you read that right. Whew.) (Do I get to register for gifts for that some where?)

What I've written elsewhere this week:

What about you? I promise to stop by for a look-see. Link up here:

December 15, 2010

Once upon a time...

She found a birthday invitation that came in the mail and was certain she knew the story

and she would tell it
how she saw it
and she is writing her own story
every day

once upon a time

and I get to witness
each chapter
and each new beginning
she can make her story
whatever she wants it to be.

probably the cutest thing you'll see all day

December 14, 2010


In the parking lot, before we go inside the library, I remind Gray-and-Ivy to use whisper voices.

They listen wide-eyed and good-like and hunch their backs, crouch their bodies like they are sneaking up on someone

and tip toe the rest of the way in.

We made our snowflakes yesterday. School was canceled from the snowstorm, and today they even have a 2-hour delay. It feels like time doesn't exist, in our winterwonderland, no where to go, no one to be. We are going past two months without TV. It's easier to breathe in here, and we pass the time with

each other.


December 13, 2010

... a life worth living


I remember a big kitchen set,

and this Barbie-sized ivory baby grand piano that I loved but who knows what happened to it, so now I am left searching for it on ebay. (I’m thisclose to buying it.) (It really plays!)

Early Christmas morn I was the only one up and I touched the keys and they played SO LOUDLY that I jumped clear across the room, heart-racing, thought I’d woke the whole house.

And I remember how one year all I wanted was that plastic candy cane filled with Bonnie Bell lip smackers from Walgreen’s. Seriously, what was that? $3.99?

I still want one.

I’m trying to stick to all-handmade but this year the kids are being seriously cute with their wish lists- like journals and a kick ball and musical instruments.

I’ve found it’s one thing to give simply. It’s another thing to get the kids to ask for simple presents in the first place.

Keep reading the rest of my story at Christmas Change today...

December 11, 2010

December 9, 2010

this charmed life.

christmas tree

it feels like things settle into their grooves and the click-together of the puzzle presses in. Smooths out.

And I look around and am, like, maybe hearing the whisperhush you're right on time, Steph.

The warm tea, the jam band kitchen dancing, the eyes closed, the mis-matched, the strange, the out-of-the-ordinary, the kind, the yarn, the Heart, the living.

It's like of all the things I get to do in the meantime of this life, on the way to wherever I am on my way to, this is what I always wanted and

I didn't even know it.


December 8, 2010

Well, that was kinda cool


A reenactment of what happened yesterday.

Ivy leaned against my shoulder and I could tell she was sleepy. I asked if she wanted to take her nap?

Yeah. But I don't want na-nip (to nurse).

Oh, ok.

And she crawled over to her pillow and laid down.

do I then tell you how Gray thinks Christmas is also Santa's birthday?

or how Carter says that Santa only knows everything because God tells him- God created him to give gifts to everyone on Christmas.

or how I spoke too harshly to them the other day, and was judgmental of a friend, thought not-nice things, was selfish, how I haven't showered since...

how I can't remember when?

how I'm nursing Ivy right now, in the morning, when I said I wouldn't.

we can all pretend we have it all figured out, but we really never do.

December 7, 2010

It's good to have hands.

I've never really liked my hands.

They're kind of squat, with peely fingers and short nail-beds. Whiles ago they looked awesome with long-ish acrylic nails, French manicured, but who has the money or the time for that after having children?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have them, I use them a lot, my hands. Anyway, that was a silly thing for me to bring up.

grayscarf for Amy
I made this yesterday. (I hope you like it, Amy!)

I just think it's kind of weird that now all my hands do is cook or clean or

tend or type

when once upon a-time-I-can-hardly-remember they did not much at all.

I can't knit with fancy hands anyway.

eternity scarf3
eternity scarf & fingerless gloves for Elizabeth (that's her)

At Christmas we do a handmade gift exchange, with my best friends. It can be something you make yourself or buy on etsy, etc. Saturday I went up to the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair in Chicago with Sarah and checked off every single person on my list! (Including myself.) All by local artists. Love that.

little knits
some other things I'm working on.

Sometimes I just need to make things.

December 4, 2010



It's true that I don't have childcare for when I'm writing, so I'm usually staying up too late or am working away with children flying about while my legs are used as hurdles or frames for tent houses.

It's glamorous.

We cleared the dining table and threw blanket upon blanket and they have been playing in there all morning. I keep hearing them slap each other but no one's coming to me crying, so.

They are taking everything in there. Five thousand stuffed animals, the button tin, boiled egg whites in a glass dish, books, and my Christmas decorations.


I explained one of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 18:10, "
the name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower, the righteous run in and are safe."

If there's one thing I can teach them, I hope it's that they can call on His name. And know.

Now they're asking me to slide under a plate of hummus and crackers. I'm a mom. Sometimes it hits me hard.

I'm a mom.

That's crazy.

That's amazing.

I am so filled with thankfulness.

Also, if you let your kids sleep under the fort they will wake you up giggling at 5:30 in the morning.

And you will make yourself some tea, and roll with it.

December 3, 2010


homemade soaps

A reader,
Rhen from Yes They Are All Mine sent me a sweet gift in the mail. She makes homemade goat milk soaps. I love them. And look- totally didn't plan this but she has a giveaway going on.

You're not going to believe the conversation I had with my boys last night- I've posted it at Real Moms Guide today- What do you do when your kid's friends are "meanies?"

Other Real Moms Guide posts this week I'd love for you to check out:

Best Holiday Albums
Cold out? Make an indoor sandbox

Baked Butternut Mac & Cheese
Manage your kids and their tech toys
Keeping it simple... and organized

And lastly, over at NWIparent Magazine I have a sweet Hershey's Stocking giveaway.

So, enough about me. I have had a hard time catching up on reading other blogs. Is there a post of yours or something you've read that you'd like to let me know about? I don't want to miss a thing! Link up below and I'll make my way around. (And even if you think I've read it, feel free to post any post you might want others to read!)

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

December 1, 2010

Christmas Dolly

christmas dolly

It hasn't worn off, the whole having a daughter thing. She's seriously like my little friend. I won't even realize it but she'll be sitting next to me just hugging my arm like a koala on a tree. I'm so used to her touch it's a part of me. My skin is her skin.

We lie in bed face to face nose to nose and her big blue eyes tell stories without need of mouth, and she looks into mine, and understands my soul.


She loves me. She tells me so all the time.

I love her more than even I could know.

[Oilily dress & Kate Quinn coat free with my Zulily credits.]