The Best Part

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Surely, the best part of 2016 for me was meeting our dear Mabel. I was so afraid to have another baby, but here she is and all is so very well. I want to take that lesson to heart, and learn to trust a little more. To believe deeply that when things don’t go according to my plan, there must be a better one. At just over six months old, Mabel still feels like the happiest of surprises.

I quietly celebrated my 39th birthday on Friday, and I suppose that means I have entered my 40th year. It doesn’t feel much different that thirty or even twenty, though this last year has seen my first gray hairs, and new lines in my face. We don’t stay young forever, do we? I think I am only just now realizing this truth about myself.

I was actually quite sick on my birthday, which forced me to cancel any plans I had. I slept late, and spent most of the day sitting on the couch, knitting and cross-stitching. I wouldn’t change a thing about the day, even my illness. I struggle so much to allow myself to relax, that just being sick, or it being my birthday, individually aren’t enough. Combining the two might be just the ticket for me. I taught Larkspur and Beatrix how to cross-stitch using Aida cloth that belonged to my mother, nearly four decades ago, and a sweet little cross-stitch book that has been sitting on my shelf for years. I completed my own first major cross-stitch project when I was Larkspur’s age, a piece for my sister Erin, who was born on my tenth birthday, and it seemed like a good time get started with my little girls.

Beatrix bought a pot of red tulips at the grocery store the day before my birthday, claiming that they were for her. Afterwards, she asked me what my favorite color of tulips are. Of course I said, “Red.” She replied, “Too bad these aren’t for you.” But then there they were Friday morning, along with a card. My kids all made me homemade cards as is our custom. I was very impressed with the little details (bunny poop-ha!)

During the days surrounding my birthday and the new year, I knit a hat for Seth from start to finish using leftover wool from this sweater (pretty much the only yarn he likes colorwise) in the same style as the nearly identical hat I knit him years ago. And, Mabel’s Granny’s Favourite sweater was completed down to hemlock buttons from Wooly Moss Roots. I think it really suits her.

We’ve had a very nice break, but this week we are returning to “regular” life…school work, the laundry we’ve let pile up, all the responsibilities…

I wish you all the best in this new year!

I have no resolutions and no “word,” just lots of hopes and dreams.


  1. Happy belated birthday! Mabel is very cute and I love the photos of her in the fields they are so sweet! I love your sock so far! I will look into Gilead it looks interesting. Thanks for hosting the Yarn Along!

  2. Happy belated Birthday! And oh, that sweater! It’s so, so lovely. Those pictures of Mabel in that shining light are just magical. Love to you all!

  3. Richard (in Charlotte, NC) says:

    Happy Birthday Ginny! May you have many, many more too. Mabel’s sweater looks great and she looks so cozy in it. Best wishes to you and your family for 2017.

  4. Happy Birthday, Ginny! God grant you many blessings in the New Year, in health and happiness!
    Your knits look beautiful, as does Mabel.

  5. Hi Ginny,
    So sorry to hear about your illness but sometimes that’s our bodies way of telling us we need to rest. Good for you that you listened. Also, Happy Birthday! It does seem that life flies by – this year I will be 69and I simply can’t tell you how it happened. I live in Keswick, VA just 5 mikes outside of Charlottesville. I was wondering if you lived nearby?? My grandson is up in NJ and I miss him so much. I would love to bake that sweater you made for Silas fir him when he’s bigger – he’s just 9 months now. I love your blog and read it faithfully. Thank you ❤❤🙏

  6. I know it’s a little late, but Happy Birthday, Ginny and Erin! I wish you all the best and an easy and beautiful 2017!

  7. Anne Kitching says:

    If we’d been able to stay one more day in VA, I would have given you a call; my daughter Lydia lives there now, and I’d love to introduce you some time. Happy Birthday!

  8. Karen Ade says:

    Congratulations on finishing your beautiful x-stitch project AND Mabel’s cardigan, it is so lovely on her! Makes me itchy to knit something myself. Alas, I am not good at finishing things and so now, however strongly I want to make something new I hesitate to do it fearing it will become YET another UFO. What is it about starting something new that is so much more alluring than finishing something that has been in the works for ages?
    Happy, happy belated birthday! Wishing you a blessed New Year. I love reading your posts!

  9. Oh I love this. Happy, happy birthday to you. And while I care *almost* nothing about the lines that come with age – they are laugh and wisdom you know – I do have a little something to share with you. I’ll be sending you a note for your new address. xo~

  10. Judith Hogan says:

    What a beautiful sweater you knit for Mabel, and it looks delightful on her. Sorry you were sick on your birthday, hope you’re feeling better today. I, myself, have a spectacular head cold with lots of coughing. Oh well, we do eventually get over these things, and since it is a new year, I’ve lots to look forward to.

  11. Becky Barry says:

    Love the beauty of this post. Happy belated birthday and Happy new year!

  12. I have always believed that hopes and dreams are all we need for a new year! Happy belated birthday, and many more.

  13. Oh my goodness Happy Birthday!! Glad you enjoyed your day even though you were sick. Mabel is adorable and I LOVE her cardigan and the red jumper for your older girl (sorry – not sure if that’s Larkspur or Beatrix) is just gorgeous. I think I’d wear both of them in adult sizes! Oh and how did you not get grey hairs until now?! I got my first ones at 26!

  14. Happy Birthday Ginny,

    and those photographs of Mabel in her new sweater surrounded by long grasses in beautiful light are gorgeous.

    Best wishes for every grace of God in the year ahead.

  15. Happy Birthday! I turned 49 just a few months and as I approach that next milestone, I’ve thought a lot about my 40s. For me, the grey hairs and the creaky knees have been well worth the self-awareness and the willingness to just be me (and to like who I am!). May the next year bring you blessings, smiles, and some moments of unmitigated joy!

  16. Happy Birthday Ginny. I am having a total hip replacement in three weeks, and your blog takes my mind
    off of being scared. My granddaughter turns one January 6! She lives around the corner from me so I get to
    see her all the time. Little girls are the best!! I love all your pictures. I’m so glad I found your blog.

  17. Happy Birthday Ginny! I have been sick on the couch all this last week too. I have a hard time sitting around resting too, but now that I’m feeling better and back to laundry and bathroom cleaning, I am wishing I had the excuse to relax! I too have no resolutions or word, just sharing your ideas of hopes and dreams for the new year. Enjoy that sweet little Mabel!

  18. Happy birthday my friend. Sending much love from the cold north to you this day.

  19. Happy belated birthday, and happy 2017 to you, too! I think I may have already said that, but it won’t hurt to say it twice 🙂

    Love the tulip story – ha! They are beautiful. Love all the drawings too…so colorful! And Mabel is just the cutest.

    Have a good back-to-reality-week! 🙂

  20. Happy birthday, Ginny, and happy new year to you and your family !

  21. Happy Birthday Ginny! Best wishes for te New Year. I found your blog some weeks ago and since then I’m reading … love your stories, and self made birthday cards with bunny-poo is not the very badest what can happen to you (laugh) – have a good time! Eva

  22. Beautiful as always! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  23. Happy Birthday Ginny! 🍰

  24. A very happy 40th year to you! I also turn 39, in just a few weeks.

  25. Learning to trust is so hard, isn’t it? It sounds like it should be easy but man, it’s SO HARD. I saw my first gray hairs a few years ago and it was exciting/scary at the same time: exciting that I had actually become old enough to have gray hairs, but scary in that I HAVE GRAY HAIR sort of sense. 🙂 Now I just pluck them out when I see them although I know that I have to have a better plan for dealing with them in the future. I’m vert reluctant to start coloring my hair.
    I got Knitpicks Harmony circular needles for Christmas and I’m going to try them out this week–hopefully starting today so I can have something for the Yarn Along tomorrow!

  26. Happy birthday dear Ginny. Happy New Year too, it will be fun to see what this year holds for all of us!

  27. Melissa Nichols says:

    Happy Birthday dear Ginny. :o)

  28. happy birthday Ginny!

  29. Dana in Michigan says:

    Happy Birthday Ginny & Happy New Year!

  30. Happy birthday! I hope you’re feeling better now. I just love Mabel’s fuzzy hair! None of my friends have tiny babies any more, and my “baby” is four years old–I miss fuzzy baby hair and the smell of a baby’s head. 🙂

  31. Those photos of Mabel are just lovely! And the sweater suits her perfectly. Well done, Ginny! 🙂

  32. Mabel and her sweater are darling.

  33. That spruce green in the sweater is beautiful. Happy New Year!

  34. Happy Birthday, Ginny! I read where someone said it’s better to have “intentions” for the new year than to make resolutions. I don’t remember why 🙂

    It is lovely to hear your story about Dear Mabel and what at gift she has been. I like the way babies kind of make themselves the center of attraction in whatever year each one comes.

  35. Mabel is so sweet! You have a beautiful family! I forgot, we are 1 year and 1 day apart! I turned 40 on the 29th; it felt very ‘real’ to me, yep, the tide is turning on my youth; but somehow it feels good and right; I’ve noticed I look older (my eyes somehow seem different to me) in pictures but I am finding I like who I see in the pictures. Thank God for that. I am sorry you were sick, but glad you got to relax. It’s hard to do; I used to be good at doing it, when I was younger and had less responsibilities. It’s wonderful to have a late December birthday. God bless you!! ps: the hat and sweater are lovely! and exciting about the cross stitch!

  36. I just copied that last sentence you wrote in my notebook. SO true.

    Happy birthday, Ginny! I can’t look at the pictures of that sweet baby girl of yours for too long or I’ll get serious baby fever…

  37. Happy birthday and much love💕

  38. Happy birthday and happy new year to you and your beautiful family!

  39. Happy New Year Ginny to you and your family! And a very Happy Birthday to you. A few gray hairs at 39, no big deal,I was totally gray by 40. I can’t complain, my mother was gray by 30 and my hair turned a beautiful white gray. I get so many compliments now, something that never happened when my hair was a mousey brown…haha.
    Any ways, love reading about your life and all those beautiful children. Wishing you a wonderful year!

  40. Happy Birthday, Ginny! Hope you are feeling better now. Mabel’s sweater is beautiful, as of course is Mabel herself!

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