Friday, November 30, 2018

Winter Backpacking Trip

In what I can only describe as crazy, Bryce and the children went on an overnight backpacking trip a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  While I cannot imagine wanting to spend the night in a tent, on top of snow, in the mid teens, that is exactly what they did and had a fun and thrilling time doing it!  Crazy, right?

They had a grand time and said that it was absolutely beautiful!  And here are the pictures to prove it...

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How to Bring Back Wilted Hydrangeas

Two days before Thanksgiving I bought a two bunches of hydrangeas for our Thanksgiving table.  I came home, cut off their ends and put them in water overnight since I wasn't ready to put them together for the centerpiece.  I awoke the next morning to find 5 out of the 6 hydrangeas completely wilted!  I was so frustrated as I wasn't planning on going out that day and felt like it was wasted money.

Did you know that hydrangeas take in water from every part of the plant?  I had read that hydrangeas could be revived by being submerged in a water bath so I thought there was no harm in trying.  I left them in the bath all day and could not believe my eyes when they started coming back to life.  You guys, it was like a Thanksgiving miracle!

When I finally arranged them, I cut the stem again, dipped the stem in alum, and they lasted for Thanksgiving and a day or two afterwards.  Hoorah!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


Our Thanksgiving was very nearly perfect and I hope that yours was as well.  We had our family over and our friends, Holle and Trystan, also joined us as Trystan was off from school for Thanksgiving but didn't go home, instead his Mom joined him in NYC.


Bryce and the children were gone the day before Thanksgiving on a winter backpacking trip, so I had the entire day to bake and prepare.  I was able to use eggs from our girls and it made me so happy!  I"m so grateful for our hens and their beautiful, delicious eggs!

The food this year seemed extra good to me.  My sister brought our families traditional sweet potato soufflĂ© and sage dressing and it was so, so good.  I look forward to those two things all year long!  Funny how we never make them any other time of the year, perhaps because it would lose its specialness?

We made the turkey, picked up the day before from a local turkey farm, cranberry sauce and three pies.

We set the table with our fine china, crystal and silver!  I believe they should be used and loved.  It helps that we have a china and crystal setting on our dishwasher.

I also made a little appetizer plate of deviled eggs.  My Mom brought the traditional ones and I tried my hand at making pickled eggs because I loved their color!  They were easy, tasty and beautiful!  I got to use a plate that was my Moms and is specifically made for deviled eggs; it has little indentations for the eggs to rest in!

Before we sat down to the big meal we went for a walk in the woods.  It was so cold but I hope this can become a tradition too as I loved getting outside even if for just a bit.  Rosie also enjoyed our walk!

For dessert we had a lavender chocolate pie, a spiced pumpkin pie and salted caramel cheesecake pie (by far the most popular!).  I can't figure out why my crusts shrank, any ideas?

And now let the Christmas decorating begin!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I have a long and deep list of things that I feel grateful for.  We've been blessed in so many ways and I couldn't possibly list them all but here are a few things I'm feeling thankful for today...

*for my husband that takes care of our family in so many ways.  In our 22 years of marriage he has supported my crazy ideas and he is often the one that actually makes them happen.  It's not all romance, all of the time, but it's steady and faithful and true.  And I"ll take that over googly eyes any day.

*for Grace who is my romantic adventurer and lover of beauty.

*for Harris who makes us laugh every day and keeps us on our toes.

*not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for the farm where we live.  It has history and beauty and I feel and notice it every single day.  I'm thankful that we get to be its caretakers.

* for family that shows up and gets work done and for family that shows up to celebrate holidays and birthdays and everything in between.

*for dear friends that support us through this journey of life.

*for the opportunity to work on new ventures with flowers and making our garden tunics.  It's not every day that one is able to see a vision through and I'm thankful for the chance to do so.

*for the unexpected gift of Rosie.  To someone who wasn't a dog person, she has brought so much joy and love.

*for the opportunity to be fully present for my children's childhood.  It's a luxury that many are not afforded and I am so thankful for it!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Life with Our Teenagers (Random Thoughts)

Over the past couple of years this blog has changed in that I haven't posted about the children nearly as much.  It wasn't really a decision I made in one day but rather something that just felt right as time went on.  This blog isn't, and will never be, a hugely popular blog where I'm trying to create content but is rather just our goings on at home but, nevertheless, I want to respect our children's privacy and wishes.

The thing with teenagers is that their perceptions and emotions are so very complicated, awkward and everything is potentially embarrassing.  At some point, as the children got older, I stopped feeling like they would want everything out there.  Plus, older children don't lend themselves as well to crafts, theme days and cutesy food and it's not so fun to post a photo of the children doing homework :).

Don't get me wrong, they are awesome in so many ways!  All those things that you couldn't do when they were young, happen now!  I'm really enjoying the children where they are now.  Do I miss those sweet, simple days of younger children?  Absolutely.  But, I feel so very fortunate that I'v gotten to really and truly experience every stage with these two.  While we might not have themed food at dinner, we do have engaging and lively debates and discussions about current events.

I really, really worry about technology, specifically phones for our children.  Will they be fine?  Will they know how to be functioning and contributing members of society?  Will they look up?  Harris just got his first phone (both children got them at 14) and we've put a lot of restrictions around it but I still worry.  I really and truly believe that phones (and the social media that accompanies phones) have fundamentally altered how children experience childhood.

Navigating the tricky waters of being a teenager is hard but so is being a parent of a teenager!  Something that has surprised me is that we (parents) aren't all on the same page about things that I would think we would be (alcohol, sex, etc.).  And that makes it hard because there isn't any black and white with those things, it seems as if everything has a layer of permissiveness nowadays and it's all on a sliding scale, which can be scary as a parent!

I think teenagers can get such a bad rap, and oftentimes you hear parents of young children lament and dread the teenage years, but so far we've had a really enriching and wonderful experience.  It hasn't been without its bumps, pitfalls and worry (so much worry!) but all in all we are leaning in and enjoying our two during this time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Very Old Plate Rack

Recently, I bought a very old plate rack for over our buffet in the dining room.  Originally, I had envisioned a large piece of art work in that space but, frankly, I hadn't found anything and this rack sort of found me!  It's totally wonky and saggy and imperfect, which is actually rather perfect for this house and this family!

Also, when purchasing I might have also been swayed by visions of Christmas plates and mugs hung with care!  I'm excited to switch out serve ware according to the various seasons!  Also, I found the buffet lights at Home Goods and was so excited as they were exactly what I was looking for (actually, I had found a much more expensive pair that looked almost identical!).  My only question is if I should change out the lampshades.  At first, I thought I definitely would but now the gray have sort of grown on me.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Harris' Birthday Cake

My family came over to celebrate Harris' birthday and I was struggling with finding a cake to make for him as none of what I was coming up with seemed right. Finally, I asked him what his favorite thing was and his answer was no surprise.  Therefore, his cake became his sweet dog, Rosie!

I think it turned out super cute and was very fun for Bryce and I to make.  I particularly liked the inclusion of her pink collar!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Harris Turns 14

Today, Harris turns 14.  Cue lots of incredulous comments and shaking of heads as we can't figure out how we've gotten here, but here we are sitting squarely at 14 years of age. 14 years of Harris enriching our lives and making us laugh.  I"m so proud of the young man he is becoming and feel so blessed that we get to watch him grow and stretch.  We love him so much!

Here are 10 things that help define our boy at 14...

1.  Harris will get super passionate about something (making wooden spoons, editing video, reading a book series) for a period of time.  Sometimes it lasts and sometimes it doesn't.
2.  He still loves trampoline and takes a class once a week.  He has spent hours upon hours on the trampoline and can do crazy things with his body when flipping.
3. Every day he asks me how my day was.  If it's a day where I put flowers out, he asks if they've sold, or if I had a tennis match, he asks how it went.  He has been particularly interested in our flower venture as I think he himself has entrepreneurial tendencies (or at least he's interested in making money!).
4. He's funny and silly and loves to laugh.  He brings such a wonderful, lighthearted vibe into our family that can have a tendency to be too serious and I love him for that.  Some of my best memories with Harris are where we are laughing so hard we are doubled over.
5. He is a leading authority on all things Harry Potter.  He listens to the series while on the trampoline or doing things around the house.  On Audible it's up to 30 days of listening (as in he's listened for 30 24 hour days!).   I'm embarrassed to even type that but it's true.
6.  While he can definitely have that teenager veneer of not caring and being too cool for school, at home he's super loving and affectionate.  In Cooperstown, he even held my hand while we walked around!
7.  He can eat us out of house and home, especially when it comes to snacking on things that aren't awesome for you (Eggos, Cheezits, etc.).  Ribs are still his favorite food with pancakes close behind.
8.  He's fearless and very tough.  Neither of these things are always good and, in fact, we've had lots of talks about limits and pride but lots of times he's amazed us!  He's always up for adventure and for that I'm so grateful!
9.  In the past couple of months, he's finally edged past me in height!
10.  He loves and adores his dog, Rosie.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Den

Our den is smack dab in the middle of the house and most likely the oldest, most original part of the house.  It's here that there is the old, large fireplace with a swing arm for cooking.  When we bought the house this room was the same color from top to bottom; the beams on the ceiling, the paneling on the walls and the floor stain were all the same.

This room has three windows in it, but it is north facing and gets a minimum amount of light and all the dark wood doesn't help!  With a fire roaring in the fireplace and a Christmas tree lit up in the corner, it's a very cozy room and some visitors felt strongly that we shouldn't change a thing about it!  However, after living with it for over a year, I realized that I avoided it (and my computer is here) because it felt like a too dark cave!  

We went ahead and made the plunge to paint it and haven't regretted it for one single second. Taking down the paneling was going to be a major event so we decided to leave it, and I'm happy we did as it gives the room some texture and differentiates itself from other rooms in the house.

I really like the warmth of the white walls and the wood together.  I also think it really helps to showcase the beautiful fireplace!

I found this old farmhouse table at a garage sale and it has been great for this space.  I really wanted the family computer to be in a main room so that we could all use it easily (and keep an eye on things easily!).

The sofa is our old green sofa, recovered in a Colefax and Fowler fabric that I love!  The chairs were ones that my sister could no longer use and I had those recovered as well.  I love that fabric too but my children occasionally complain it's itchy as it has wool in it!  

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