Because this is the first Chanukah that Sam will remember (I think), I wanted to put more effort into decorating than I have the previous years. I made chains out of pretty blue and silver scrap paper. Foam snowflakes pulled from the bottom of the clearance bin at Michael’s were taped to the wall and I added “Happy Chanukah” bunting to a wreath that I made last year. It’s a simple branch wreath from Michael’s and I hot glued rosettes and flowers made from muslin and burlap. I inserted leftover pearl pins form my wedding bouquet into the rosettes for a little extra flair. The great thing about the wreath is that after Chanukah is over, I can remove the bunting and leave the wreath up all Winter/Spring if I want to. That’s my kind of decorating! Low maintenance at it’s finest. The table runner is new; we had a silver one but the dry cleaners ruined it. Gabe found this one on sale at Pottery Barn Kids and ordered it along with a leather chair, which was Sam’s big gift this year. I have decided to continue the tradition of gift giving that my parents started with us. The first night is the big gift, and the gifts become progressively smaller each night, with the smallest present opened on the last night.
Sam loves the chair. At first he seemed confused; his little two year old mind knew he was going to find a present in his room , but he was not expecting a chair. After he walked into his room and saw it, he said “Oh…chair. But where’s my present?” Gabe and I had to explain to him that the chair was indeed his present. I expected a fit, but he seemed more than fine with the explanation and proceeded to jump up and down in the chair and of course, made his Mama sit in it. It was fun watching him enjoy his first Big Boy piece of furniture
So much has happened these past four weeks since I last wrote. Gabe and I took our first vacation away from the kids. We traveled to Midland, Texas and participated in the Show of Support Hunt For Heros. Gabe and the husbands (all wounded veterans) went on a two day deer hunt, while the spouses stayed behind and were treated to an absolutely wonderful weekend full of friendship, shopping, and some much needed “me-time.” It was incredible. The kids missed us (almost as much as I missed them) and we were happy to come home when it was time.
Mom broke her leg quite badly two days before we left which has put a slight damper on our holiday festivities. We typically split the holidays (she hosts Thanksgiving and I host Chanukah) but because she can’t put any weight on her leg (for six months!), most of the holiday planning has been left to me. I don’t mind it at all; things might be bit more low-key than they usually are, but we are still having a good time and eating good food, and isn’t that what really matters?
Dad cooked a leg of lamb in addition to the usual turkey. My sister Rebekah (who cannot cook to save her life) helped me with the rest of the dishes. It was far from the usual Thanksgiving but the food was good and we had a great time nonetheless
It snowed the day after Thanksgiving and I couldn’t resist bundling Sam up during Ellie’s morning nap and taking a walk outside. He had fun making footprints in the snow and I walked behind him, enjoying the scenery and the all-around quiet. I love how snow muffles most sounds and just makes everything outdoors seem so calm and peaceful.
I haven’t had much time to knit these past few weeks, but I have been crafting for Chanukah like it’s my job. Even though he was born Jewish, Gabe didn’t celebrate any Jewish holidays growing up, and I want him to have the same experiences I did as a kid; Chanukah decorations, familiar smells coming from the kitchen, Chanukah songs playing in the background; all the things that people love about the holidays in general (or so I would imagine.) I’ll post some pictures of those crafts tomorrow. Some crafts turned out better than others, but it’s a homey, holiday-y (that’s a word) feeling all the same.
Tuesday morning Gabe arrived home after finishing a night shift at the hospital. Usually he sleeps as soon as he gets home, but there were no emergencies that night, and he slept his entire shift. Motivated by a night of good rest, he decided to tackle the mess in the barn. Gabe has been working a lot these past few months and we have acquired quite a bit of farm equipment in that time. Because of that, the barn has become an absolute disaster. I took photos of the inside after Gabe had been cleaning for at least an hour, so the photos don’t really do the mess justice. It looks much better now, and we have a lot more room to move around.
It was a (very) cold morning, but Sam refused to miss an opportunity to ride his “Little Mow.” He’s so funny.
While the barn’s interior has improved, the inside of our house has slowly fallen apart. Despite doing my best to tidy up every night, the house is a complete disaster before lunch. Being stuck inside due to ten solid days of rain hasn’t helped my situation one bit. Toys are strewn about, laundry is piled high on the table or the bed waiting to be folded, and I find puddles of water, orange juice and formula everywhere. For the record, I never find the puddles visually; they are always discovered as I walk through them. Ugh.
I often feel like I’m barely holding on, and just struggling to keep the house manageable and semi-decent but I never seem to get ahead of the housework. I’m perpetually running in Neutral, and sometimes in Reverse, but never in Drive. I’m told things improve as your kids age, but considering Gabe wants three more children in the next four years, I don’t see my house becoming even remotely Pottery Barn-esque within the next, oh, say ten years? This won’t stop me from trying, A girl can dream.
The nights have dipped into the twenties, which makes for some beautifully frosty mornings. I love the morning light shining through the apple trees, and the satisfying crunch the grass makes under our feet. It feels good. I am so looking forward to more cold mornings and the upcoming holidays. This is truly the best time of year.