december 1st- {nourish}

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Clementines are here. The holiday season has officially arrived.

They remind me of my grandma. I miss her most this time of the year.

I hate that they no longer come in little wooden crates.

While we work hard to nourish their little bodies (and model that behavior for them) by always providing fresh, organic food that is in their reach, I hope we are nourishing their sense of humor and love of life.

I think it’s working.

*Everyday this December I am striving to post a picture-a-day in the hopes of capturing the little moments that may seem ordinary at the time but, when strung together throughout this naturally hectic month, become the extraordinary ones that keep me ground until the new year. If you want to join me go here. I would love to share in your days as well. 

December 21st

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Our yule log this year. It is too fresh to burn in the wood stove so we improvised and we’ll save it for next year. Kevin split it so that it was flat on one side and then drilled four holes for the candles. I may actually prefer it, maybe done up with some pine and holly next year? It does make for a beautiful centerpiece. 🙂

Wishing you peace and light on this Winter Solstice!

December 12th

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Trimming the tree with Nonni.

The tree is decorated and we couldn’t be happier with it. The kids bounced in and out of the room, helping once in awhile or, in Shaelyn’s case, mostly grabbing a round ornament and throwing it across the room, while loudly exclaiming “Ball.” Thankfully, I know my daughter and had the presence of mind to separate out all of my grandmother’s 60-70 year old vintage glass ornaments, along with my collection of crystal ones, and put them safely back in the attic before attempting to decorate the tree. Without those beautiful additions, I think it still turned out lovely, even if it is shaped more like a Whoville tree and less like a christmas farm tree.

Creativity was the order of the day when it came to decorating it. Putting lights on a tree with very spaced out branches was trickier than first thought and may or may not have entailed another run (or two) to the store for more lights and hanging the heavier ornaments usually took more than one try to find a branch sturdy enough to hold them (again, thank goodness all breakables were not in use.)  This tree of ours has personality all its own, much like a certain someone I know, and both, will of course, always hold a special place in my heart.

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Happy 12-12-12!

How’s your decorating coming this holiday season?

December 10th

December 10th

Our holiday cards are stamped and in the mail heading towards their intended destinations. I adore the idea of sending love and well wishes, especially at this time of year, to those we don’t get to see often but love … Continue reading

December 6th

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These are our kids and these are our kids taking holiday photos.

Every year it is the same thing. Since we like to hold true to doing everything for ourselves (we are striving to be self-sustaining homesteaders after all) I have always taken portraits and candid shots of the kids and I usually do it right before the holidays to get both gifts for the family and a photo for the cards we send out. Neither of them has ever been to a professional photography sitting. Because of this fact, it is also quite remarkable that I’m still sane, well relatively. What is it about kids seeing their parents coming toward them with a camera that makes them either turn, running in the opposite direction, or completely forget how to contort their (usually cherub-like) faces into a recognizable smile?

As they, and I, get older I am able to look past the frustration and find the humor. How else could you explain that this photo almost graced the annual holiday card last year?

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I think the caption was going to be something like “Wishing you and yours the most silent of nights!” Luckily, right before the cards were sent, I caught them both in a sweet moment, lying on the living floor together…then the earth tilted, all the planets in the cosmos aligned, and they both smiled!

With a win like that who wouldn’t have eternal hope? Heck, I even let them dress themselves for their photo shoot with complete faith that it would all turn out just fine.

It did! But you will have to wait until the new year to see those. 😉

Did or do you have any tricks for taking good photos, especially of your kids?

December 5th

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Picking out our tree, from our own land, for the first time.

We chose and marked it, working hard to embrace its uniqueness. A christmas tree farm spruce it is not! But it is ours, in every sense, and because of that, it is perfect.

Yes, a polka dot tutu and houndstooth rain boots are always a must when hunting for the perfect tree. I knew you were wondering. 🙂

Oh so thankful

I have no idea where the past two weeks went! (I am beginning to think that this has become a recurring theme here.) Between a holiday that quickly snuck up on me, two littles who have seemed to hit a developmental growth spurt at exactly the same time, and just the general chores of everyday farm life, I feel as though I move from one thing to the next, at a fast pace, knowing that December, and all it brings with it, is going to be here in a blink of an eye..again.

I’m not sure how it works for others writing blogs, but for me an idea for a post usually begins with photographs I have taken and then snowballs from there. But alas, I have been so busy that my poor camera has sat lonely in the house while I have been running about. As I sat here, bemoaning my lack of photos, and trying to finish a post that had no photography to go with it, I absentmindedly began flipping through photos on my phone. I suddenly realized that I had documented a good portion of the last two weeks (except, of course, for our thanksgiving feast, apparently I was too busy then, even for Instagram) using my phone’s camera. Snippets of our busy life, caught in an instant, almost without care, and when looked at can transport me back and piece together the last couple of weeks.

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Finding the beauty in the shifting light of the season and trying to embrace the shorter days.

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We have been loving watching Bert grow bigger every day and seeing his mama turn into the wonderful and patient dairy cow that we knew she could be.

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More often than not, we have been greeted by frosty mornings. The boy awakes almost every day asking if there is snow on the ground yet.

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We pasteurized our first batch of milk…makeshift style!

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Watching the deer that hang out across the street The ones that seem to refuse to cross over onto our land.

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Making, and crafting, and making some more in anticipation of the season.

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We have been spending a lot of free time in front of our beautiful, new wood stove. It has officially erased any memory of being cold!

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Finding refuge in the van, out at a family dinner, with a toddler who has entered a developmental growth spurt. One whose patience (and mine, at moments, for that matter) has yet to catch up.

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I’m in awe of the boy my first baby is becoming, and reminding myself that he is only trying to learn who he is when his stubbornness comes out.

I just love those little red x's.

I just love those little red x’s and how, when put together, they make such a pretty picture.

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When all else fails, and the day seems like it just can’t get better, go back to bed and have a snuggle. Everything looks better after that!

For those of you who celebrated last week, I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving and for those who didn’t, that you were able to catch a few everyday moments of your own.

My goal for the month of December is to not get caught up in the “doing” and stress that the holidays ultimately bring. I want to stop and soak in the moments, the special traditions and this time of wonder when my babes are little. As it seems that this blog is always the first thing to be left by the wayside when things get crazy on the farm (in life?), I need to make a change for the season. Not wanting to leave this space idle for a whole month, I am going to set a goal of capturing those moments, with a picture, and hopefully post one every weekday until January! Anyone want to join me?
I am sure there will be a few full post thrown in. Or maybe not. We will just have to see.