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.

For her tenth

Tenth birthdays are a big deal: two hands, two digits.  I really wanted Larkspur to feel like the day was special.  We planned a party with friends, actually her first.  And then of course we had a plumbing disaster the day before, I can’t quite kick this sinus thing, and I’m just plain tired.  Kids don’t really understand those things though, and it was important to me that Larkspur know that she was worth the effort.  I was a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but Jonny and the older boys worked hard to get the house put back together and cleaned up.  The day of the party I was way behind and running on very little sleep.  Thankfully, I had friends that jumped in to help chop fruit and frost cupcakes and manage the small crowd that gathered in our kitchen.  Larkspur had a wonderful time, and I do think she felt special.  She told me later that it was her best birthday ever.  That was what I wanted for her, and I’m so grateful to the friends who helped make it happen.

As her guests prepared to leave I buttoned little Bestie bracelets on their wrists, the party favors that Larkspur had requested that I make.  Over the week leading up to her birthday, I spent a little time each evening knitting them, and I’m glad that I did.  She was proud of those little bracelets.  I think she’ll remember them.

Thanks to your help with suggestions of where to buy overalls, I did find them.  Funny, most years she receives a birthday dress, but this year she wanted birthday overalls.  She also received a knitting basket like mine (only smaller), seeds for her garden, and a beautiful St. Kateri figure that I custom ordered from Sue Dow.  She loved it all.  Her friends all gave her really thoughtful gifts as well. Lark’s friend Josie made her a feather pen, walnut ink, and a stack of homemade paper and that gift inspired a flurry of paper making at our house.  I wasn’t involved at all, so I don’t even know how they knew how to do it.  Seth helped, so maybe he looked up directions, or maybe Josie told Lark how she had made the paper.  Even Silas and Job participated in what was a messy, but very fun project.

It has been a happy few days around here.  And now that Larkspur has all her seeds for this year, I guess it’s time to get outside and start getting the garden ready.  That is a very happy thought.  Lark will be growing vegetables, and I am planning to focus more on dye plants this year.  Speaking of dyeing, I am planning a shop update for the end of the week.  Honestly, I am not sure which day I’ll get it up, either Thursday or Friday (edited: It might be Monday) and probably in the evening rather than the morning.  I will put a blog post up here with details in advance, so you’ll have at least a few hours notice.  As always, thank you for encouraging me to continue with this endeavor!