Sunday, February 13, 2011

So Much!

As I sit here devouring the last piece of Laini's birthday cake, I'm thinking of how endless our transitions have been lately, and how much we really have going on in our lives! Helena turned one this past Tuesday, which is so hard to believe, and I feel like I haven't even had time to process that and reflect on the last year. She is such a precious, wonderfully humorous, generally perfect little gift. She has been into mimicking a lot lately, and here she is having found the painting supply tote. She was dipping her brush in her pallet with easel in front of her. This is serious work, obviously.

Here, Mama, let me paint your nose.

I am absolutely in awe of where the last year has brought us as a family. And in the last week, I normally would have been going through Helena's birth pictures, remembering her birth story, and reflecting on her first year, where we were then and where we are now. But there are two things that have been clouding that process. Here is one of them, and it's a doozie.
After quite a bit of deliberation, meetings and thinking, we have worked out a creative option with a local landowner to renovate this beautiful old barn on some of his property into a house. In exchange for our work (mostly Adam's work, obviously, but we'll pitch in where we can), we get to live there. Yes, our family life dream of homestead living is finally coming true. And that sentence is making me cry. We moved from the country to the house we are in now to flip it and move on. Four and a half years and many, many life-changing sidetracks later, here we are still. Oh, but not for long now. This house, although it has served us well, has never felt like a home to me. Granted, it has been our home because we are all here, together, and we made it that. I am thankful for the time we have had here, but we have been living in a project for these years, and I am very ready to move on.

The other distraction this last week has been the result of some other deliberations, meetings and thinking. And everything is culminating, of course, just the way it is supposed to. Adam has a friend that he worked with years ago who owns his own electric company. Adam had talked to him some about the assistance he needs now in running the company, and was contemplating helping him out in that way, when his employer had to make some changes in their business. Being as we were unwilling to move hours away for him to continue with that company in another position, he voluntarily left his position and will be beginning his journey this coming week in his friend's business ventures. Whew. Another big change.

This year, also, Bella, Kane and Maxwell decided that they would like to make Helena her birthday gifts. Sure, I will take that on. The last week has been filled with my knitting project for her and their sewing projects. Full stories on their homemade birthday gifts for Helena to come. Here is her lovely Socktopus. What a fun project he was. Thank you, Laura Edwards for such a fun little project that conveniently used up a lot of my scrap yarn!

Job changes, huge project started rendering future housing changes, and sew-sew-sewing-knit-knit-knitting, it is no wonder that Laini's birthday has gotten lost in the mix...

Friday, February 11, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Yep, pretzels. Something Bella and I haven't been able to have in a long time. And something I've been meaning to attempt baking from scratch for a long time. Adam and I have been very good lately about making a menu weekly and shopping as a family, making cutting our expenses and keeping to a budget much easier. However, this means that he and the boys are buying certain things, like pretzels and bagels, that Bella and I cannot have. We have our substitutes for dairy that we're all happy with, as most of us have showed issues with it and we are all off of dairy for now. But with Bella and me the only two who can definitely not have wheat, those are the things that are most divided for us.

With this last trip to the store, a big bag of pretzels came home with us. That really bummed Bella out. Just the motivation I needed to finally try that pretzel recipe from the wonderful Bob's Red Mill gluten-free recipe section. Bella did most of the mixing, but wasn't 03.
up for taking on the shaping. That was just fine by me, because I enjoyed it. Here is the pretzel shaping from Bella's perspective.

Not perfect by any mechanical comparison, but homemade inconsistency is perfection to my senses.

Bella did all of the egg-white brushing.

Or should I say Astrid the Viking... She also did all of the salting.

While all of this was going on, the boys were watching and helping with what they could, while Helena was finding her belly button.

A very important and apparently surprising skill to develop.

And when all was said and done, the most important critic loved them.

 Aren't they lovely?

We are definitely going to be making our homemade pretzels again!