This post is way overdue, but I could not forget the birthday post of Boy 1. The cake was duly recorded, but not the actual birthday. What can I say, it was one of those birthday celebrations that stretched over an entire weekend. Two birthday dinners, a birthday breakfast, a birthday lunch, a sleepover and go-cart racing. It was a weekend enjoyed by all.

To my boy: I cannot believe that you are 12- I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I predicted then that you would be a musician (beautiful long fingers). I was right- you are a wonderful musician, so talented and passionate about music. I am proud to call you my son, you make me happy everyday and I am excited about the young man you are growing up to be.

tea cozy

Not a lot of sewing is happening here. Still trying to get into the swing of the new year. Back in November I started working part-time, from home. It’s not a lot of hours, just 10-15 per week, but just enough for me to feel the squeeze. I’m having fun with it and I like that having fewer hours to get things done around the house forces me to be more efficient. I need to be up, exercised, dressed, have the house tidied and the kids off to school all by 9 am. Then I have a few hours dedicated to work, a little time to keep up on running the household, and by 2 o’clock I’m picking up the youngest one and back to full-time mothering for the rest of the day. I’d like to get to the point where I can load the working hours onto three days a week so that I have two full days to devote to domestic pursuits. I am missing my mornings in the kitchen, loading us up with good things to eat in the fridge. I’m sure I will get the routine worked out soon.

I did devote one evening to sewing up a tea cozy for my new teapot that I got for Christmas. I used this tutorial, but I modified it slightly and wish I hadn’t. When you measure over the top of the teapot, she has you divide that number in half and add 3 inches, when you make your pattern. Well, that just looked gigantic to me and I cut an inch off the bottom of the pattern. Well, guess what, the whole thing is just a little bit too short- I should have left it alone. It is a quick and easy pattern and it came out cute. I used Insul-Brite for the insulation and it works pretty well.

The kids treated me to some wonderful green tea for Christmas from Tevana. It is called Jasmine Dragon Pearls and is so delicious. I love drinking tea (especially green tea) and am making the transition away from tea bags to loose leaf tea. It fit my definition of a perfect gift, since I love and wanted it, but would not have bought it for myself.

Now I drink pots of it while working away the morning hours. Thanks to my kids who know me so well.

welcome 2012

Happy New Year! I know I have been away for a long time, but you know, it was just that time of year. I am glad to be back and reflect on 2011 and dream about 2012.

We had a lovely Christmas, starting with a very nice trip to Carpinteria to visit the tidepools and have lunch at Crushcakes on Christmas Eve. I completely stole the idea from Mary Beth at Salt and Chocolate. She even told me how to get to the tidepools, since we have tried and failed a few years ago. My kids have a history of not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve, so we try to do something to really tire them out. A long drive and a couple of hours exploring the beach was perfect.

Since then, we have been hanging around the house, reading books, going bowling and having a very relaxing time.

I found a little time for sewing, which always makes me happy. I got a wonderful book, Zakka Style, for Christmas and couldn’t resist digging right in.

I replaced a much-loved and worn pair of walking shoes. Fresh for the new year.

I love January and new beginnings. I don’t hate resolutions, I love them. I love a chance to start over and do better. ย This year I would like to not only lose weight, but to finally end this battle with my weight. I have found a lot of great information and support over at Reasonable Diet. She has a wonderful podcast as well. I also want to grow in my faith this year. There are lots of microsteps to each of these goals, but if I can look back at 2012 and feel I have accomplished these things, I know I would be happy.

Speaking of happy, I am going to work my way through the Happiness Project this year. Have you read it? I highly recommend it. I may chronicle my way through the book here. Anyone want to join me?

finding joy ::2

Taking joy in pulling out all the Christmas decorations and piling them on the dining room table. Then trying to remember where I put them all last year when I felt that I had finally stumbled upon the perfect place for everything. I love decorating the house for Christmas. But, you know, I think I enjoy putting all away in January just as much- the fresh uncluttered feeling you get when you put it all away. But for now, I am loving the all the special things that are reserved for just this time of year.

I also find joy in the kids helping to “deck the halls”. The smiles and looks on their faces when they pull out all the ornaments with their names on them. One for each year of their lives. The way they remember where we put certain treasured items, in what order we hang the stockings (I didn’t even know there was on order!). All the little traditions that we have made knowingly or unknowingly each year that make this time of year special for our family.

finding joy ::1

I’m finding it difficult in this busy season to take the time to post in this space. But I realize that I’ve missed it. I’ve missed the noticing and photographing what we do here everyday. It occurred to me that I am making too hard on myself. So, taking the lead from Denise and Maria, I’ve decided to just simply find the joy in everyday- especially in this season where there is so much to delight in and be thankful for. So, as often as I can, I am going to post little tidbits of my day that have brought joy to this very busy mom.

Today, green tea in my Christmas china. A dear friend gave me this set when we were in college and I love taking it out each year and using it daily. Joy.

happy thanksgiving

I know I’ve been absent from this space for a couple of weeks. Life gets busy and a little overwhelming sometimes, you know? But I’ve got so much to be thankful for this year. The first thing that comes to mind is health. On Thanksgiving Day nine years ago, I had just found out that I had breast cancer. I had a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and an 8 week old baby. So, health is always at the top of my list of things to be thankful for. The Husbands job, smart, healthy kids, friends, family, a wonderful town to live in, three sweet pets, the list goes on and on. I am also thankful that my dad is here to celebrate with us. Especially because four years ago after he came for Thanksgiving, he had a heart attack driving back home. Drove himself right to an ER and lived to tell the tale. So glad that he is still able to make the trip to visit us.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The girl and I are going to brave the mall here on Black Friday. Not even for Christmas shopping, she just needs some long-sleeved shirts now that winter is finally arriving here in southern California. No crazy shopping times, just whenever we are up and dressed. I haven’t been out in the craziness for so many years, it will be like an adventure!


Halloween. A year of firsts. The boys designed and carved their own pumpkins completely by themselves.

The Girl went trick-or-treating with a friend this year instead of with the family. (sigh) She’s growing up. But she still wants to be a princess. (smile)

The boys were a caveman and a vampire hobo (you knew they existed, right?). This was a ย “make up a costume out of the dress up box” year. Simple and cheap.

A wonderful time was had by all as we were joined for trick-or-treating by one of Boy 2’s friends that had moved away.

Hope your Halloween was delightful as well.