Happy Halloween- FFF

FFF fall background

To see more Friday Fave Fives, head on over to Susanne’s at Living to Tell the Story. ¬† ūüôā

It’s getting ¬†cold here. ¬†When we got to the farm yesterday it was 43 degrees. ¬†43. ¬†In October. I just about cried since that’s as cold as it ever gets¬†in San Diego. ¬†My feet and hands hurt so much. ¬†BUT I do¬†love Fall out here and we bought sleds in preparation for Winter so I’m trying to enjoy the new climate. Really. ¬†Cold just hurts so bad. ¬† My faves for the week pretty much revolve around the temperature outside.

1. ¬†One last warm day. ¬†Tuesday was gorgeous- sunny & warm. Even I wore short sleeves and felt {mostly} warm. ¬†¬†So we went to a park on the Bay and the kids played for hours at the playground and the wee little beach – wading out in to the water and tossing stones and drift wood- ¬†while I sat and talked with a friend. ¬†Lovely afternoon. ¬†ūüôā

2. Apple Picking and Hay Mazing.  I met up with another friend to take the kids apple picking (again).  The Princess and Little Warrior checked out the hay maze and all the other fun stuff at the farm.

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Apple Picking_1

Notice how bundled up they are.. my children have NEVER been in temperatures this low before. haha

 

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3. Snow Boots. ¬†I went to get¬†my first ever pair of snow boots. The folks at REI were helpful and friendly. They didn’t have the pair I wanted in my size so they are shipping them to me for free. ¬†They ¬†kept apologizing and I said, “No worries, as long as they get delivered before the first snow!” ¬†But then… the clerk said they had projected snow mixed into the rain this weekend. ¬†And I crawled into a corner and cried. ¬† ūüėČ ¬†But I am excited to have some warm, cozy boots arriving soon to hopefully help keep my tootsies warm and stop them from hurting.

4.¬†Apple Sauce. Little Warrior LOVES apple sauce on cottage cheese. ¬†It’s an easy way to get him to consume large amounts of calories to gain weight. ¬†We went back apple picking to get more apples for apple sauce and I’m quickly filling up my whole freezer with jars upon jars of home made goodness. ¬†It’s cheaper than buying the organic stuff from Trader Joe’s and it’s yummier too! ¬†ūüôā

5. Pumpkin Carving. ¬†We carved up our big pumpkin last night. ¬†I realized we’d NEVER done that before with the kids. Crazy. ¬†Super fun, even though poor Jack had to get a root canal and suffered a lopsided smile as a consequence (I really stink at carving pumpkins…)!

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Happy Halloween! ¬†And brace yourselves…

the elsas are coming

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Catching Up- FFF

Each Friday Susanne hosts Friday’s Fave Five where we share 5 blessings from our weeks.

FFF fall flowers

I missed last week because we had company.  My sister and nephew were out for a long weekend, which is, of course, my first fave!

1. A Lovely Visit.  The cousins love to be together.

We visited a pumpkin patch one day

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went apple picking another (sadly, I forgot to take any pictures because we were having so much fun) and visited Starbucks and parks daily.

park_beach

Fort Smallwood has a little beach where the kids like to toss pebbles and wade in the water after running around at the park for a bit.

Relaxing and fun.

2. Speaking of Cousins, we have a new one! ¬†Our little PAL was born last week and everyone is just SO¬†excited. We haven’t been able to see her yet so I stole my mum‘s picture of this precious little one. ¬†ūüôā

little PAL

3. ¬†Domesticity. ¬†We’ve been home a few days this week so I’ve gotten a lot done. ¬†We’re caught up on the school we got behind on while family visited and I’ve cooked and baked up to wazoo. Remember how we went apple picking? Well… we may have gotten a bit carried away because we ended up with 27 pounds! So I made apple pie, tons of apple sauce, and while I was baking I figured I should make some honey whole wheat bread to go with the huge vat of minestrone soup I made.

apple pie

After sampling, I’ve concluded: 1) I make darn good pie 2) I have to change my pie recipe because.. 3) Produce on the East Coast is not nearly as flavorful as the West Coast

zg cooking

The Princess LOVES helping in the kitchen ūüôā

4.  Knitting.  The weather is turning colder and my knitting is constantly with me.  Hats, fingerless gloves, vests- all being knit in abundance as I use up my stash.

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Enkel Vest by Pickles

My sister decided to sneak a picture of me¬†knitting at the pumpkin patch. ¬†Apparently, normal people don’t do this?? ¬†ūüėČ

knitting pumpkin patch

Also, apparently I’m the only person who thinks it’s cold! ¬†Everyone else was in short sleeves and my kids and I were¬†bundled up in boots and sweaters.

5. Health & Fitness. A year ago I was overweight and miserable physically, emotionally, spiritually. ¬†I’d gained nearly 40 pounds due to multiple failed fertility treatments and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. ¬†So I vowed that 2014 would be a healthy year for my family. ¬†I still have a long way to go but I’m healthier and stronger each month, thanks mostly to my Beach Body programs (21 Day Fix and P90x3 for now.. I really want to try TurboFire and Les Mills Combat sometime soon, though!) and eating Paleo¬†(and apple pie, of course)¬† I love Beach Body- it’s a fantastic company with solid products.

transformation

Left was August 2013, though I looked like this until January of 2014. ¬†The right is a few weeks ago. ¬†I still have a ways to go before I feel like myself again, but bit by bit I’m getting back into shape and I love it! Except today because I’m SO. SORE. ¬†Curse you, super burpees. ¬†ūüėČ

It’s a beautiful, sunny day so we’re finishing up school early and heading out to enjoy a hike!

Infant Loss Rememberance Day 2014

October is Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month and October 15th is Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Remembrance Day.   At 7pm we lit our candles in remembrance of little ones that went to heaven too soon.

wave of light

This article sums up so well all the thoughts and feelings I’ve come to know deeply, even though I’m not quiet about our journey and struggles with infertility and loss. ¬†I wear my story around my neck nearly every day. ¬†A sweet¬†friend of mine sells Origami Owl jewelry. ¬†You can pick different charms to put in your ‘living locket’. ¬†Mine represents my family. ¬† A birthstone for each child and a heart birthstone for my husband. ¬†A crown because the Lord reigns in our home. And wings to remember our little one I miscarried. ¬†On the kids’¬†adoption day, I added a dangle that says “forever”¬†to represent that we are a forever family. ¬†¬†I wear my heart plainly for all to see. ¬†But so many women (and men, men hurt too and get forgotten all too often) bear the burden of loss in silence.

O2 Love Locket

I share openly of my own personal pain but I know my grief is small compared to friends who have delivered their babies¬†stillborn or watched their children fight and lose to cancer or deal with the shock of a drowning. ¬†So much sadness. Such deep grief. ¬†My heart breaks for these friends. I’ll never know¬†or understand¬†the depth of their sorrow. ¬†But I weep for them.

I pray as you sit quietly at baby showers.  I pour my heart out to the Lord on those painful anniversaries that you try to steel your heart for each year.  I see you wince at the careless words, meant kindly, that cut a searing line straight to your broken heart.  I had but a portion of your grief and it overwhelmed me.  Where can we find comfort in all this sorrow?

infant loss awareness month

(I’ve really appreciated the missional motherhood blogs over the last few months. They have a little bit for everyone and range in topics from nurturing a young child’s heart to blessing your family as an empty nester. They had a good one on infertility too.)

Our only comfort is found in Christ. ¬†Through all the sorrow… through all the emptiness and pain… the Lord is our rock and our shield, our joy¬†in mourning. ¬† ¬†Please know the only way to find joy again is in life with Christ. Life abundant and everlasting. ¬†He bore all for us because he loves us.

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:3-5

He bore our grief that we may find joy and life in Him.

As I lit my candle last night, I lit it for my sweet one in heaven. ¬†But I also lit it for you who grieve silently. Who have never shared the story of your sorrow. ¬†Know you aren’t alone and you don’t have to bear the burden in isolation.

candle1

On a lighter note (and because knitting IS my therapy)… ¬†I’m an Enkel Vest knitting machine right now. ¬†I’m trying to use up my bits of stash yarn and this darling vest pattern is great for using up the little balls wound up here and there- plus it’s adorable.

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Pumpkins, Spice, Autumn Delights- FFF

I just love Fall.  As mush as I miss SoCal, one thing I am excited about enjoying on the East Coast is the crisp mornings and vibrant colors.

FFF fall flowers

In honor of Autumn, my favorites for the week:

1. New Pajamas. A pen got left in a pocket, ruining an entire load of laundry.  Unfortunately, both my pairs of pajama pants were in it.  So my sweet husband went out to the mall and bought me a pair of warm, cozy flannel ones from one of my favorite stores.  Major brownie points and just in time for colder weather.

2. ¬†Ruby Red Chai Tea from Trader Joe’s. ¬†Autumn in a cup.

ruby red tea

3. Scarves & Boots. ¬†I hate being cold. ¬†And when it’s less than 70 degrees my hands and feet hurt. ¬† Oh, southern climes… I miss you… ¬†But despite hating¬†being cold (or maybe because of…), I LOVE bundling up in boots and scarves and sweater dresses!!

4. Thai Meatballs. ¬†Oh my goodness, these were amazing! ¬†I used peanut butter instead of almond butter and couldn’t find coconut aminos so I substituted soy sauce. ¬†Next time I’ll put the cilantro inside the meatballs instead of as garnish. ¬†Everyone in the family loved them and we’ll definitely add it to our frequent¬†meal¬†list.

thai meatballs

5. Cooked Apples. ¬†My kids’ favorite treat right now is apples chopped up and cooked in honey and cinnamon. ¬†They taste delicious¬†(especially with some vanilla yogurt on top) and make my kitchen smell amazing.

apples cooking

Happy Autumn! ¬†Head on over to Susanne’s at Living to Tell the Story to read and share Friday’s Fave Five.

PINK Birthday Recap

We had such a wonderful time celebrating our Princess!

blowing out candles_edit

We started the day with Birthday Pancakes

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Had some friends over to bake and decorate cupcakes

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The Birthday Girl picked dinner…. we had to talk her down from lobster. ¬†No, seriously. ¬†This kid has the most advanced taste buds! Her birthday dinner consisted of lamb chops (Hubs did an AMAZING job) with thyme and other spices, rice with a lime, white whine and spice sauce and my signature brussel sprouts.

lamb dinner

She was so blessed by so many people.

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And Hubs and I surprised her with a play kitchen. ¬†Mommy and Daddy for the win! ūüôā

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sharing kitchen_edit

We got Little Warrior a little present too and he loves having “the whole solar system!” hanging on his wall.

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Love her!

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Hot Spot Saturday

Today I’m focusing on some pockets of clutter that popped up while unpacking. ¬†The kitchen counter, in particular, became a catch-all for things I didn’t know how¬†to deal with yet as I pulled them out of the box. ¬†Now that all but a few boxes are unpacked, I need to go through my little hot spots of (surprise, surprise) mostly paper clutter and shred, file or otherwise put away everything in them.

I hate dealing with paper clutter. ¬†It’s the bane of my¬†beautiful¬†home.

Today’s goals:

The out of control kitchen counter

kitchen counter clutter

 

This pile of filing on my desk

desk clutter

Taking all of the empty boxes to the garage. ¬†We recycle them each week, but there are so many it will probably take another 3 weeks or so to get all the boxes properly disposed of. ¬†And that’s¬†after sharing a large portion of the¬†of boxes and packing paper with some friends that were moving locally.

box clutter

We’ve got another round of the sniffles so we’re laying low and tackling jobs that can be done sipping coffee in slippers. ūüôā ¬†How¬†do¬†we keep getting sick?? ¬†I suppose it’s all the moving… each time we move we get exposed to a whole new set of germs.

Happy Saturday!

Pink Birthday Festivities – FFF

On Friday’s I link up with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story to share Five Faves that were blessings in my week.

FFF fall flowers

1. ¬†I’ve been trying to¬†get¬† up before my kids so I have time to shower and sit with a cup of coffee and my bible each morning. ¬†It really grounds me to start my days this way. ¬†I’m big into sleeping. A lot. ¬†And my son is an early riser. ¬†So this has actually been a huge challenge but totally worth it.

banana pancakes

A bonus was seeing the sun rise slowly in the morning, illuminating the mist that settles on the field behind our house.

morning mist

(Not a great picture… I’m really not a photographer… but it was stunning in person. )

2. ¬†I met some great ladies at a bible study I’ve recently started attending. ¬†Really awesome group of women. ¬†And two of them knit!

3. This boy’s quirky smiles. ¬†They melt my heart.

fireman

pilot

4. My family. ¬†We’re an unusual one. ¬†We get lots of strange looks out in public and we are loud and crazy at home. ¬†But we’re so full of love.

ren faire

5. A very PINK birthday!pink bday

This big, 8 year old girl is my biggest fave¬†this week!!! ¬†She’s got such a huge, tender heart. ¬†She loves to help people and babies adore her beautiful smiles. ¬†She’s grown up so much in the last few years and I’m so proud of what an amazing girl she is growing into. ¬†I pray that the Lord will continue to mold her and shape her into a godly young woman. ¬†She truly lives up to the meaning of her name: ¬†Life by Grace.

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Can you believe how beautiful she is?? ¬†Some days I just stop in awe and tell her how gorgeous she is and she just rolls her eyes at me. ¬†But I can’t help it- she’s lovely! ¬†ūüôā

ballerina

 

Off to celebrate everything in high PINK style! ¬†ūüôā

Blessings on your weeks!

My Art

My mother is an artist. ¬†She sees beauty everywhere and creates beauty daily. ¬†She has this awesome group of women that she meets with that refine each other’s artistic calling and gifts. ¬†It’s pretty great.

As we were driving across the country, she asked me what MY art was. I think she assumed, like most folks, I’d say¬†knitting or something.

Instead, I told her I didn’t have one.

Art is something that comes from your innermost being, an expression of yourself that creates great satisfaction and joy. ¬† It can be painting, sewing, playing music… art. ¬†But it’s so much more than just my crafting. ¬†Sure, I like to knit and sew but I wouldn’t call it my art. For some people it IS an art and they design and make the most amazing things. ¬†But for me, I just like to copy a pattern and *poof* soft, pretty things. ¬† I knit to unwind. ¬†I LOVE¬†it. ¬†But it’s not a personal creation, not a representation of me.

Well, my mom wouldn’t have it. ¬†; ) She knew I enjoyed creativity too much to not have an art. ¬†So I drove and she knit and she thought. ¬†And then she had¬†it. ¬†My art. ¬†“Mia, your art is cooking. ”

It was so simple I missed it.

I¬†create food that reflects me. ¬†Few things give me¬†more joy than creating in the kitchen and sharing it with those I love. ¬†I’m no chef at Le Cordon Bleu but it doesn’t matter – it tastes like me. ¬†It’s my art; how I show love.

banana pancakes

Photography and food presentation¬†is not my gift. ¬†My food never looks tasty in pictures. ¬†But I assure you, it’s tasty in person. ¬†ūüôā