Turning and Making

Small Things-0803

Keats turned fourteen last week and I can’t get over how quickly my children are growing up. He literally towers over me, and at the rate he is growing, will probably be as tall as Jonny (over six feet) within the year. I wrapped up a boomerang for him so he’d have something to open, but these older boys mainly want cash to go towards large purchases that they save for over time. Keats wants a dirt bike, and I am not going to lie, I’m kind of glad he doesn’t have enough money yet. I have to work hard not to be a worrier. It’s good I married Jonny, who has only learned to worry a little bit in recent years. At some point, I guess life just gets so complicated that it’s nearly impossible not to worry about something.

Jonny bought a lathe recently after spending years talking about getting one, and finally finding the deal he was looking for on Craigslist. He and our older boys are spending a lot of time with it, which makes me happy. I like to see them all making things, learning new skills. And in the process they are making chicken bedding! The shavings build up quickly. My first gift from the lathe was a new rolling pin, a giant one. Jonny calls it the rat killer. He made it from red oak, the same tree he’s been working from for years now. There have been shelves, cutting boards, and hopefully one day a larger kitchen table. We’ve gotten crowded at ours!

Larkspur and Beatrix are my little planners now, always eager to prepare for holidays. Larkspur spent weeks getting ready for Valentine’s Day, and even made little finger puppets with a pattern from (affiliate link) this book, for Silas and Job. Valentine’s Day is one that has probably slipped off my radar in the past, but there is no room for slacking anymore. I bought chocolate hearts and was sure to place them in the paper boxes that Larkspur made and decorated for each child to receive their gifts in. I do wish I had some of her holiday energy! She sets a high bar.

I’m sticking to my doctor prescribed dairy and egg-free diet (still gluten free too), and walking every day. We have a long driveway here along with paths in the woods, so I am getting out the stroller on these strangely warm February days we’re having. I feel pretty good, though it’s hard to really measure because Mabel has been sick most of the past month and I am not getting nearly enough sleep. I feel kinda good, kinda bad, if that makes sense. I think that it’s hard to make any sort of big life or diet changes during the first year after having a baby. I’m doing my best though. Mentally I’m much better, and that is my main concern. I have stopped thinking about butter constantly, so there’s some sort of progress. 🙂

p.s. That cardinal was trapped in our garage, and couldn’t figure out how to get out the door, so Seth helped him.

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.