Forgetful Me
And I forgot to post these shots from assembling our Christmas card. It was so fun. I love getting all of the pieces to a project ready, then pulling it all together. I was really excited (ask Travis) when I was doing this.
Which reminds me, I used to watch Mr. Rogers just for the trips to the factory. I LOVE factories. I love the idea that there is a strict process to creating a certain finished product. I love collections of like objects together. I buy in multiples like my Dad (although I've never bought any ice axes online, or in person for that matter).

Remember back when I was sick of this shoe in the back entry problem?

Thank-you to a thoughtful commenter and a trip to Ikea today, we now can tame the mess with this great shoe keeper.
Speaking of messes, I love after the holidays because I get the itch to organize, clean out and get rid of the funky junk of the past year.
(Truth be told, I like to organize so much that sometimes I'll let a closet or room pile up in stuff so that when I organize it, it's more rewarding....crazy I know).
Some of the fun organizing I have in store: the basement, my spice collection, my frame collection (that has become overgrown the past four years), my running shoes and the kid's clothes.
What things are you taming these days?


This Year's...

...Christmas card was actually a test to see if I could transform a typical Wal-Mart photo card into something more personal, couture.

It also had to combine a birth announcement with a holiday greeting, without seeming either too baby-ish or too holiday-ish.

And, it had to show a little of what we're all about (hence the sewing-on of the words).

And, finally, lest I need remind you, it had to fit within a student family's budget (I think I did just that: entire cost of project, including envelopes, but excluding postage: $15)

So, here it is:

{You can get your own personalized labels here.}

Christmas Outtakes

These were the pictures that didn't make the cut for the 2008 Christmas card (although that one in the middle with Lucy singing her heart out is pretty captivating, don't you think?)

Christmas Eve and the Nativity Reenactment
Some important questions: why did I volunteer to be the donkey that travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem? Why are both Mary and Joseph riding on the donkey (I thought Joseph led the donkey while Mary rode alone)? How did Lucy know exactly what to do with her new wand by waving it around?
And, yes, here at the chicken coop Joseph and Mary wear gingham and polka dots.
Here we are before the Jingle Bell Jog donning our gay apparel: the warmest, comfyest hats (made by Grandma Peggy). These are going to keep us warm this winter!


Monkeying Around
These pair of monkeys have been up to nothing but monkey business today.
Frankly, these are the cutest little monkeys I've ever seen!
Merry Christmas to each of you!


Virtual Christmas Plate
From our house to yours: Merry Christmas!
(And just think: a cyber goodie plate has no calories!)


I can't help but remember lately what I used to play as a child. I would pretend I was a busy mom. I would run errands, dropping children off in my "mini van" (which was really an aquamarine bike which braked when I pushed the pedals backward). The orchard became my town and each tree was a different stop on my route of child shuttling. The front porch was my house which extended into the ivy patch next to it. It was so fun. I could only imagine what it would be like to REALLY have these things: a minivan, children, a real house and all of the responsibility of having a family.
Tonight I had an epiphany that THIS time (right now) is what I have waited all those years for. The children I have are the ones I have longed for since my childhood. This house RIGHT NOW is where I am living out my dreams. These morning drives to and from preschool are the very errands I would play out in my world of make believe. Amazing discovery for a woman of 28.5 years.
I took this picture above to capture the scene in which I received this realization. The stockings are hung because I made them out of thrifted sweaters and glued felt monograms on them. The tree is lit because I hung the lights on it. (Travis cut it down). Miles is rocking in his swing because I wanted a baby and we were blessed to have him (and two more upstairs sawing logs). All of these things are because this is my house and I have made it the way I want it. It might not be cozy and "home" for anyone else but me.
Isn't that what our homes should be?
Can't Get Enough
This little boy has taken my heart and wrapped his little fuzzy-haired, pursed-lip, chubby cheeks body around it.
And that is why I can't get enough of him. The smell of a freshly-bathed baby is intoxicating.
It's even better when he's wearing a fleece bunting and is in a serious mood, letting me kiss his cheeks as much as I want.
And now he rocks softly in his battery-powered swing, eyelids clamped shut.
Being a cute baby is hard work.


The Madness of It All
I’ve been in a funk lately. I can’t seem to get balanced: emotionally, spiritually, physically. I feel like I keep trying to do things and I can’t finish because I get interrupted. I feel like I have good intentions of being a patient mother, then I blow my top at the slightest provocation. (Lucy is now crying after I’ve put her to bed….see what I mean about interruptions? I’ll be right back)

Okay: back on track. Lucy got some water and some beans and rice while sitting on her mama’s lap.

So, I know I just had a baby two months ago, and yes, there’s a lot going on around here. But that’s just what I want to know: how much “me” time is acceptable? How much do I give to others before I go under trying to save someone else? I know man cannot live on bread alone and I’m trying to fuel my spiritual tank. I just feel like sometimes it’s never enough. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I will never be on top of anything because there is so much I’m trying to juggle. I also sometimes feel like no matter how good of a parent I try to be, it won’t matter in the long run because my kids are going to make choices that will hurt me.

Frankly, I’m exhausted. These night feedings are catching up to me, as is all of this holiday rush and the preparations to make this a “memorable Christmas” for my family and others.

I know every mother of toddlers deals with these things, but can I just say that if I have to get Lucy off the counter one more time, or pull a pair of scissors away from Finn (who has just cut up my To-Do list…..wait, was that a sign that I need to just throw the list away and quit trying to get “it all” done?), then I will probably have to check myself in. And, why are there all kinds of paraphernalia strewn around my house, from the kitchen into the living room? I didn’t put these things there, so why should I have to clean them up?

See, there. Now that I got it out, I feel better. It’s the enchanting time when the kids are in bed, so I better take advantage of this time to myself. I’m off. And, Mom, when I learn when all of this pays off, I’ll let you know. For now, I’m still waiting to find out.


Snatched Up
I made it to the Bizarre Bazaar on Saturday evening, with my little date, Miles. (It was in this cool old warehouse/factory with big glass windows). We got there about an hour before they closed, just in time to pick up some of these...
...and one of these...

and this.

They are all made by the talented folks at Sycamore Street Press. They were the reason I went to this bazaar. It was neat to meet the artisans who produce such fine work. I like the classic, modern, clean, yet playful feel of their work. I also love letterpress. (Our wedding announcements were done on letterpress). The ink saturation varies slightly over each piece, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Plus, it gives a tone-on-tone depth that I love.

Go here to see more of their great stuff.


This Post Has No Picture
That's because I'm too tired to post one and there isn't a picture that adequately describes my mood.
Have I ever mentioned that I hate Saturdays? They are my LEAST favorite day of the week.
Today was a real doozy too. Travis has been studying ALL DAY LONG and it's really hard to not want to interrupt somebody when they're upstairs, just a shout away.
Miles is screaming in his swing. We're off for a baby/mommy date to the Bizarre Bazaar. I'm excited. I'll post more about it later. Finn and Lucy are in bed (finally). They're sick.
If it weren't for the Yonkers for taking Miles so I could go to the gym today, I think I would've had a meltdown.
I don't have any makeup on, and I am popping out of these pre-prego jeans. But, hey, at least I'm making an effort to leave this house.
Till we meet again.


Eating It Up

We've got two Grandma's here and Finn and Lucy and Miles are eating it up! (So am I!)

This was this morning's game of Candy Land. (Gotta love the Thomas underwear sported by Mr. Finn-Bob himself).

What better thing than having two doting Grandma's here? Oh, and did I mention they made a devil's food chocolate cake with homemade buttercream frosting yesterday? It was so good. It was in honor of Grandma Racecar's birthday.
It's gonna be sad sad sad here when they leave.
That's the end of the stream of visitors who have come to help us with the trio of children.
I'm already having withdrawals!


For Your Viewing Pleasure
Go here.


The Schuller Family Christmas Tree

I made this wreath last week with $3 worth of greens, some wire and a wreath form. It was alot of fun after I got up the courage to try it. I learned how here.
Over the weekend we headed out to Amish country to get the 2008 Schuller Family Christmas Tree.
Lucy liked getting warm around the "mensfolk's fire." (Notice the pop can full of tobacco spit on the old brown chair).

Draft horses took us out to find our 6 foot white spruce.

Finn's marshmallow tower creation that landed in the ashes of the fireplace after about 2 seconds.

Lucy warming her buns.

What a cute little shack.

Loved these fresh pine garlands.

Lucy: "Even though my mom forgot to bring my gloves or my hat, I still managed to keep from getting frostbite. Lucky me!"
Stay tuned for "Schullers decorate the Christmas Tree."


Kicking Off December
From L to R:
  1. my early Christmas present (2 more to complete the set)
  2. look what the mailman brought today!
  3. hello again, plastic bag garland
  4. packages outbound
  5. little pajama-ed elves watching the snow fall...
  6. ...and fall...
  7. ...and fall
  8. Aunt Emily strums us a tune
  9. hand-dipped chocolates by Emily and Sarah

What are you doing to ring in the month of December?