Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Sometime around Thanksgiving I got the itch to pack up my little family and take a mini winter vacation. I wanted to whole up in a cabin somewhere, surrounded by snow and hunker down under patchwork quilts. I wanted to get away from all the distractions and focus on each other. No phones, no Internet, no TV. Of course Nick was on board. Our minds seem to be one and the same these days. We started brainstorming areas we could go and cabins we could rent, when we had the genius (?) idea to reach out to some friends whose cabin had been shared with us a few years ago, and ask if they'd be up for working something out with us. To no surprise, they were more than willing to let us borrow their space, the only catch was it was only available to us during the week. Good thing we are self employed and can be flexible like that.

We were actually planning on going up this morning and returning early Saturday, but after looking at the forecast for the week we made a last minute change of plans and left on Sunday, returning today. What normally would have taken me all day to pack and prepare so carefully, was haphazardly thrown into bags and boxes and loaded into the van just a mere three hours after the switcheroo. I didn't even freak out about it. Not once. It worked out.

But then we ran into this:

However, Nick was confident that he could get us there safely with a little added time on the road. And I trust him. So we forged ahead. And it all worked out. I will admit I held my breath more than once and said many prayers, but we made it. Like he knew we would.

The past three days have been everything I wanted it to be. It was perfect. My heart was so happy as I soaked in the colors of our favorite quilts, felt the warmth of the fire place, and got down on the floor to play with my kids (which isn't easy these days, let me tell ya).

We played games.
 Vintage Old Maid. Best card designs ever.
We colored.

We read stories. Over and over again.

We made crafts.

Snow Prince and Snow Princess crowns courtesy of Daddy.
Face painting. I made her into a butterfly, she drew hearts on my cheeks.

We went exploring...

...and found lots of pretty things.

The thirty something degree weather felt refreshing and good for our souls.


He cooked all the meals.

And I baked cookies, with help from little hands.

I spent a lot of time reflecting on our little family, and how it has changed for the better with each new chapter. I thought a lot about our new wee little babe who will join us in just a few short weeks. I wonder how we will grow and change once again, but find comfort in knowing that it won't take us long to find our groove as a family of five.

35 weeks!
And we topped it all off with a warm bubble bath and warming by the fire.

I am so, so glad we make time for moments like this. We push through the tough stuff and carry out the good, solidifying our bonds along the way.
We disconnected to reconnect and it felt oh so good.
Winter cabin getaway, near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin


They say don't cry over spilt milk.

And it's all spilt milk, right?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Nugget is totally loving any books about The Gingerbread Man these days. We have The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Cowboy, and The Gingerbread Baby. And maybe a few more. Why, oh why, do we have so many? I blame that on my previous career as a kindergarten teacher.

Anyways, this holiday season when I spied a gingerbread house kit on sale at Target, I knew my project loving girl would adore it.

And she did.

Brother too.

But they were both mostly in love with the candy. And wanting to eat it.

And I about lost my ever loving mind trying to get them to decorate the house instead of eat it.

Especially at one point when Dude licked the house.

But in the end it turned out okay. And they enjoyed it. And that was the point.

The resulting product. Nugget's rooftop side:

Dude's rooftop side:

Joined effort for curb appeal:

Mama got the back door. There wasn't much left to work with :)

And, I'm happy to report that our gingerbread man didn't get away. Nugget snatched that sucker up and ate every last rock hard bite of him. It tickled her fancy so.

Ahh. memories.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Another tradition we like to partake in is our town's Parade of Lights festival. It's really just a quick parade down Main Street with some activities that follow in the park, but it's a fun time nonetheless.

It was a chilly, but bearable evening. The perfect coolness to accompany thermoses of hot cocoa and fleece blankets. We stayed only for the parade this year, as the park tends to be a bit of a free for all with kids running everywhere.

 Watching with our friends, the Clarks and the Olsens.

And for a bonus, Nugget and Daddy could even see the park's fireworks from our front windows, so we really didn't miss out. We just got to be warm while we enjoyed the show :)


Nick got the privilege of doing some restoration work at our local Catholic church this winter. He asked me to come down and take some pictures of him working. It's always fun for us to visit Daddy on a job site. But this one. Oh my. It took my breath away.

I totally trust that my man takes the necessary precautions to keep himself safe, but geesh. I couldn't do what he does. I know the labor of love that he puts into projects like these, and I really admire him and his talent.


Dumped my phone photos today for the first time in oh, five months. What a lot of gems on there, ha! Since I'm apparently still stuck in Christmas mode, here are some from the jolly season.

Let the countdown begin. This hangs every year in Nugget's playroom. In year's past each mitten has always held a little treat or goody, but it kinda seemed like a waste and was quickly forgotten. This year I chose an activity for Nugs and I do to together each day, wrote it on a slip of paper and slipped one into each mitten. Waaay better idea. She loved to check her mitten each day, and it was a great way for me to remember to slow down and enjoy some time with her.

Dude loved Santa. From afar. I hope I always remember his sweet voice saying "Ho Ho Santa", while placing his hands on his cheeks where Santa wears his beard.

Malls are not my favorite. I prefer to order online any day. But alas, we couldn't escape it come Christmas time, and of course Nugget didn't leave empty handed.

The mall proved to be too much fun, and Dude fell asleep at our lunch outing.

Not my best work, but kid approved.

These shirts took me far too long to create, but so, so worth it. Even if they only did wear them for a month.

It's fun pulling out Mama's old teaching stuff.

I discovered my love for washi tape this holiday season.

Nugget and I went to a tree decorating class at our local ECFE. Special dates are lots of fun.

Hooray for a new tradition: new Christmas jammies and driving around looking at Christmas lights!
Someone was excited, can you tell?

Dude's glasses turn all the lights into little snowmen. For reals. And popcorn? Maybe not my best idea. Ended up all over the back of the van. Oh well. Memories were made.

We baked.

And spoiled our dinner.

It was sooo good to be home on Christmas Eve this year. We had time to do all the things we wanted. Including a special dinner for just our little family, sprinkling the lawn with reindeer food, and reading The Night Before Christmas.

Look! Santa was here!

Another new tradition: We (Nick and Nugget) baked Jesus a birthday cake. Tiramisu. It was delicious.