First Drawing





This weekend we got out the crayons. I pulled some paper from the recycling box and set up a piece of cardboard to act as a table top on which Silas could make his very first markings. Steve (a teacher at heart, I swear) sat with him and very patiently modeled how to hold the crayon and press it to the paper. Then, putting the crayon in Silas' hand, he gently guided it. In typical baby fashion, Silas was way more interested in drawing on the cardboard than on the paper. In his defense, it did make a pretty cool noise when scribbled upon. He also really wanted to eat the crayons. But, he also laughed and smiled a lot and so did we. All-in-all I count our first family drawing time a success. As an added bonus, we now have a lovingly decorated tri-fold cardboard. Perfect for a puppet stage.

Weekending


This weekend we...

looked at bald eagles by the river, completed a little bit o' home maintenance,
visited the fish at the pet store, returned to our doughnut habit,
sewed some, had our first EC catch, 
danced, danced, danced,
enjoyed our first "family drawing time,"
and communicated for the first time by signing!

A big weekend for us, indeed.

Linking up with Amanda at The Habit of Being.

Sponsor Highlight: Little Friends Co.

Today we're highlighting A Life Sustained sponsor Little Friends Co.!


Catherine handmakes children's clothing, slippers and accessories with recycled and vintage fabrics. In her words:

Hi there, I am Catherine Callahan, mother, wife and creator of Little Friends Co. I create children’s apparel primarily made from repurposed materials. I strive to live simply with strong values and lots of love. My approach to life is simple, if you approach it with an open heart and an open mind the opportunities are endless. Some of the other things that I love are cooking, sharing a talk with a good friend, exploring flea markets and thrift stores and traveling. 

I am happily married to my best friend, Mark, whom I met in college. Together, we have three wonderful kids: two girls, ages 8 and 5, and our 3-year-old son. We live in a suburb just north of Philadelphia in Bucks County. We are close to the Delaware River…yes the one that George Washington crossed. 


Tell me about your journey to becoming an artist/maker of things. 

I am proud to have come from a creative family that respects working with one's hands. My aunt is a well-known bear artist. My uncle is a master carpenter in Canada. My other uncle was a wood carver. My mom sewed as a hobby. She made clothing for me and my sister as well as her friends. I remember sitting by her feet while she was sewing. I would play with the buttons and notions in her basket. Her mother was an amazing woman. In Finland, she raised crops and 7 kids. She milked cows, spun wool, knit, wove and baked the most delicious bread I have ever had. Through all the hard work, she managed to maintain a positive and humble outlook on life. I guess my journey as an artist, crafter and creator was inevitable. I attended Tyler School of Art where I learned to hone my creative skills and ideas. 


Why is it important to you to use upcycled/sustainable materials?
 

Both of my parents grew up on farms, albeit on separate continents. My father grew up in southwestern Virginia. My mother grew up in rural Finland. Later, her family moved to Sweden. Because of their upbringing, there was a certain frugality toward resources in our home. We knew things could be reused or repurposed rather than discarded. Resources there were used wisely. Basically, I was encouraged to be happy with what we had and to use what we had. I was also encouraged to use my creativity and to explore the outside world. I have always cared for nature, the environment and the future. 


What inspires you? 
 

I take a holistic look at inspiration. Everything in life is a lesson, especially mistakes. I strive to observe the world around me. I look at my children to understand what they see and how they see it. Their fresh eyes are able to see things in a way that adults sometimes can’t imagine. 

In regards to items I create, I am often asked how did I think of that. I generally can’t say. It’s usually an evolution, not an epiphany, that brings me to my decisions. For example, I took a fibers course in college. There, I learned the principles of working with wool. We learned how to dye, and turn wool into felt. In one of my classes, I made a hideous wool cape. It lives in my attic to this day. Later on, I had a cute vintage sweater that washed in the wrong load. It shrank and turned to felt. I didn’t want to throw it out so I decided to make mittens out of it. The mittens looked like potholders so I never wore them. They live in the attic with the creepy wool cape. Both were lessons learned which I put in my back pocket for a later time, but I went on with my journey.


Many years later when I had my first daughter, I was dissatisfied by children’s slippers found in stores. They were either too puffy and commercial or too cold and leathery. I thought “what if they were made some out of something soft and warm?” Wool came to my mind. I remembered that old sweater that was washed in the wrong load. I decided to make slippers out of another old sweater. Here I am years later making them for other people’s children all around the country and world. I truly love what I do.
Catherine is generously offering to one lucky A Life Sustained reader their choice of a pair of slippers from her shop! 

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the random drawing to win.

Get two additional entries! First, you can follow A Life Sustained through Google Friend Connect. Second, you can add Little Friends Co. to your favorites on Etsy. Be sure to leave a comment for each "extra" so they can be counted. Comments will be closed on February 4 and a winner will be announced in this post shortly thereafter.

And the lucky winner is...
Just the Two of Us
"These are the cutest booties ever! please count me in! crossing my fingers!"

Weekend Review: Our Secret Territory by Laura Simms

Unlike its cousins Literature and Song, Storytelling has not yet received much in the way of critical attention. Artist, educator, and humanitarian Laura Simms does her part to remedy this by weaving together her personal experiences as a storyteller with reflections on this art form and fairy tales themselves in Our Secret Territory: The Essence of Storytelling (Sentient Publications, 2011).

The very definition of storytelling makes this a difficult task. By its nature, stories exist in the moment and are a result of a collaboration between the teller and the listener. You can write down a story, but it becomes something different when you do. To read a story is an entirely different experience than to hear it told. This attribute is also what makes storytelling such a powerful tool in compassionate problem solving. As the story is created in the act of its unfolding, the listener is able to draw from the generalities to take what they need in order to deal with their own specific situation. For example, Simms was given the task of telling a story to a group of troubled young girls. She had an inkling that jealousy was a root cause of some of their acting out and called upon an appropriate tale. Through it, the girls were able to get an objective view of their situation and their own actions. It also gave them the opportunity to see the possibility of a positive outcome. In the presence of story community is created, making it an incredibly powerful tool for linking individuals together to enact social change.

As our culture moves ever more quickly to a state of constant and instantaneous communication, we seldom make time for or find the value in endeavors, such as oral storytelling, that meander. But this art form, present in every culture through all time, has survived the ages for a reason. It provides crucial moments of human connection, which brings us to a state of empathy. Simms shares the story of meeting her adopted son, Ishmael Beah, a storyteller in his own right and author of the heart-wrenching memoir of a former child soldier, A Long Way Gone. It was through story that they he was able to cope with the atrocities of his childhood and to begin to heal. It was through story that they were able to find a common ground and to begin to build a relationship based on love and trust.

While it may seem anachronistic for one to have storytelling as a vocation, Simms demonstrates how storytelling has and should continue to endure and why it is a cultural element that we should all embrace. It is nothing less than a key part of our very humanity.


This review was first published on Blogcritics.
My review copy was provided courtesy of Sentient Publications.

This Moment | At the Library

Playing along with SouleMama today. In her words: {this moment} A Friday ritual. 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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



(In the interest of full disclosure, this moment is actually from a week or so ago. But, it's been so gray and dreary here, that we wanted to remember the sunshine!)

Solid Foods

 

So, we are now fully in the thick of solid food intake, as well as the resulting challenges at the other end. Without going into too much detail, the following things have have been indispensable this week: flax oil, prune juice, warm baths, abdominal massage, and our chiropractor. It took quite the collective operation to get things moving.

I'm having a challenging time keeping up with him, as far as eating goes. He loves food and he's just independent enough to want to do it all by himself, so I find myself racing around the kitchen to find appropriate finger foods for him. I've been reading Super Baby Food because every mama and her cousin raves about it. So far, I'm unimpressed. She has some good things to say. She's a big proponent of an all organic diet, which I can get behind. And her whole schtick is that homemade is better and cheaper without being much more work. True, true. But, some of her advice I just disagree with completely (not breastfeeding at night, for example) and the overall tone seems rather alarmist. Apparently there are 19 different ways your child can die in her highchair. Who knew? I'll keep reading it though, because I do need some meal ideas.

The book I've found most helpful so far is Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. Her writing style is incredibly approachable and she makes her baby food choices based on a balance of science, tradition, and common sense. She causes some raised eyebrows because she is a proponent of things that people with a lot of letters behind their names often frown upon. But, so are we, so it works out alright.

But, I am definitely looking for finger food suggestions for an almost-one-year-old. His loves: egg yolk, pears, buttered whole wheat toast, squash, any cheese, and banana. His less-than-loves: avocado. 

Silas' Blanket







Silas was just over three months-old when I cast on this blanket. The pattern had been chosen and the yarn purchased months before when he was still in utero. I love knitting cables and I liked the wordplay of this cable blanket for my little Cable. I'm corny like that. I didn't know he was a boy when I chose blue. Blue is his papa's favorite color and it just looked so soft and perfect for a baby. There are at least a full two repeats of the pattern that I knit incorrectly -- almost half the blanket, really. I was nestled into my nursing nest on the couch during those rows, trying to knit without disturbing the (finally!) sleeping baby I was just getting to know. My mind was elsewhere. The weight of my new role as a mama and this tiny little person who depended on my completely. I was unable to keep much in my mind, least of all counting stitches. 

He's too big to swaddle in it, like I had envisioned. But the texture of the fabric is perfect for his searching hands that need to open and close around something as he falls asleep in my arms. The tiniest of pinches. I'm glad to have them on something (anything!) other than my skin. I hope that it will become a source of comfort for him, a refuge, as my own childhood blanket was for me. My little bug.

Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things.

The Organic Family


Awhile ago I won a copy of The Organic Family Cookbook in a giveaway hosted by Erin at Tiny Twist Creative. I've been meaning to post about it for awhile, but, to be honest, we gobbled up all of its creations before I had a chance to photograph them. But, the soup that we made the other night was so delicious (and so pretty!) that I had no excuse. It was a creamy butternut squash soup, which alone is pretty good, but what put it over the top were the little extra touches: the sauteed mushrooms and the Parmesan crisp. Normally, we bypass garnishes because we're in a hurry, but these were definitely crucial to the dish and were really no extra work to prepare. The mushrooms were a perfect savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the squash and the crisp melted into a decadent glob of cheese at the bottom of the bowl. Yum.

This really is a great little cookbook. It focuses on whole food meals for the whole family using seasonal and organic ingredients. It's very kid-centric, which I love, but it doesn't sacrifice taste because of it.

Thank you Ani for writing such a wonderful cookbook and thank you Erin for giving it away!

Weekending | Rocking Chairs


Papa took Silas out of the house on his own for the very first time.
They went to the bookstore and the coffee shop while mama stayed behind
to work on projects. It was the first time in almost a year that I've been in my house alone
and the first time in his life that my son has been out of the house without me.
The rest of our time at home was spent
making oatmeal,
buzzing around the house with our new push walker (love!),
the obligatory laundry and dish catch-up,
and Silas discovering a Silas-sized rocking chair, just for him.
It was my mom's when she was little, I believe, and she had
it recovered in the 70s when her kids were little. Now,
Silas loves to climb up onto its seat,
put on his biggest grin and rock and rock and rock...

Linking up with Amanda at The Habit of Being.

This Moment | Tippy Toes

Playing along with SouleMama today. In her words: {this moment} A Friday ritual. 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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Creating with Babies


As I try to squeeze in little moments of making here and there -- one cut and one stitch at a time -- my mind wanders back to almost a year ago and how not too much has changed. In those early days of new motherhood I would lay my sleeping babe on the bed and run, literally, to the other room to get as much done as I could in the 15 minutes that I knew he would tolerate sleeping out of my arms. I'm sure the fly-on-the-wall view was pretty funny: disheveled woman sprints across room to attack a dowel with a hacksaw. Not only did I want to make these things for my little one, I needed that time so badly. I needed tangible proof that I was doing something with my days. The work of motherhood can be so invisible. Making a mobile, a rattle, knitting a hat, baking, cooking a meal...these were my proof (to who? myself mostly) that I was indeed alive and that my days mattered.

It's slightly different now, but only slightly. Silas can entertain himself for short stretches and he can move about on his own, leaving my hands free to do other things. But now that my hands are open, I find it's my mind that has a hard time focusing on things non-baby. I'm in a constant state of distraction. I am so in awe of mamas who are able to be creative and to make beautiful things concurrently with mothering. I have much to learn from you!

Yarn Along


Knitting: Silas' blanket is finished! I didn't have time to take proper pictures, though, so those will be coming your way next week. Joy! I just had time to cast on a fair isle hat for myself. I need something to keep my ears warm in this delayed Iowa winter. Plus, it has the added bonus of matching Steve's hat. We are so cool.

Reading: Nothing of note at the moment. We are listening to many, many CD's, though. Some of our recent favorites: It's Our World by Hans Mayer, Family Time by Ziggy Marley, You Are My Sunshine by Elizabeth Mitchell, Fascinating Creatures by Frances England, and If You Ever See an Owl by The Terrible Twos.

How about you?

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things.

Blustery



It's on days like these that I really wish Silas was more of a snuggler, but he is far too busy exploring and trying to walk to settle down with mama. Heck, he's too busy to sleep, so why would he want to snuggle? So, I'll just hunker down on the couch with my mug of tea and give some long overdue love to one of the four animals who have been mostly ignored for the past year. Our poor four-legged babies! You are loved, too, my dears. I hope you know that.

I have a question for babywearin' mamas out there. Now that it's really and truly winter out there, how warmly should I be dressing Silas? I find that if I really bundle him up, he's far too warm in the sling, but I also don't want him to get chilled in the car or en route to/from the car. Any tips? So far, we've been making do with lots of layers that I just peel off as necessary. Baby Legs have been my salvation.

Weekending


This weekend saw some
chocolate buttermilk cake baking, major sleep shifting (3 1/2 hour afternoon nap? Say what?),
bunting sewing, snow shoveling, birthday planning,
new food trying (cauliflower), baby clothes sorting and storing,
long overdue dusting, book reading,
and mint tea drinking.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Amanda over at Habit of Being

This Moment

Playing along with SouleMama today. In her words: {this moment} A Friday ritual. 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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Kale Panini!


Last night, Steve and I had a surprisingly wonderful dinner. Kale + Pepperchinis + Queso Fresco + a sandwich press = Delicious. (Full recipe in Cooking in the Moment) It really is quite amazing what a little ball of kale you get once it's cooked. While squeezing the water out after blanching a very generous bunch, I could fit the resulting kale ball in the palm of my hand. It leaves little room for excuses as to why I'm not eating this super food more often. The best thing about this meal? When those who like to give you friendly jabs about your healthy eating habits ask what you had to eat last night you can respond, without a trace of sarcasm, "a kale sandwich."

Yarn Along


Knitting: I am one week away from finishing Silas' blanket, I do believe! Just a mere five inches from binding off. Delight!

Reading: Almost done with the Physiology of Taste, which I am glad about. It's a delightful little snapshot of food history, but as with all nineteenth century writing, I find, it just draaaags on and on.

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things.

Finding Time

Photo from KCRG News.

Several months ago my chiropractor (who I adore) very tactfully told me that I needed to start to find some time for myself. I was there for the first time without Silas and she said there was a special sparkle in my eye because of it. No matter what it was that I chose to do with that time, she advised, I needed to carve out some space for "me." She's not the first person to tell me this, nor will she be the last, I'm sure. Here's the problem. I agree with her wholeheartedly. Really. But, logistically, I don't know how to make this happen. I love Silas more than I can bear and I truly enjoy his company. When we're apart for too long I really do feel like I'm missing part of my own body. But, I fully admit that it would be oh so wonderful to have the option to go and to do, without him.

We've gotten into a pretty predictable groove. He naps and eats regularly and has a pretty set bedtime. This is something that he has chosen, not me. And while I love the predictability, I'm also pretty locked into those times and because he has a really hard time napping anywhere that is not home, I can never really stray too far away. If I try to delay his bedtime, by even 15 minutes, I end up with a frantic, crying baby. So, I've learned to respect his natural rhythms and to put my desire to go and to do on hold for awhile.

Tonight at 7:00 at City Hall, there's a city council meeting at which will be discussed the impending demolition of several old houses near downtown Iowa City. One of them is home to the Red Avocado, pictured above, an all-vegan, mostly-organic, locally-owned restaurant that has been adding to the vibrancy of downtown for a dozen years. The plan is to replace it with a cookie-cutter apartment building that will be completely out-of-place in this historic neighborhood. There's really nothing to be done about the plan for tearing it down, the developer who bought the property can do that if he chooses. But, the city would have to rezone the area to allow him to put up an apartment building, which is something that we can do something about.

I yearn to go. I would love to make my voice heard and to show my support for local businesses. I've seen in the past how powerful public response can be at these meetings. But at 7:00, I will be nursing and rocking my baby to sleep. If you're local, please try to make it. If you can't, please consider signing the petition.

Weekending


This weekend was filled with... 
French toast, lots o' teething,
our first meal at a restaurant in months, a wee bit of sewing,
finally putting away all the "stuff" that came home with us after Christmas,
watching the frost glitter in the light of the rising sun,
relaxed "being," direction-finding,
a first tooth brushing,
and fort-building.

Linking up with Amanda at The Habit of Being.

Weekend Review: Taking Place, ed. by John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel

The emerging interdisciplinary field of Place Studies concerns itself with the ways in which people across locations and cultures connect and interact. This goes beyond geography to consider how the natural, built, social, and cultural environments that house us shape our notions of the world and influence our understanding of history, art, economics, politics, etc. In short, our place in the world can completely determine our reality. The essays collected by John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel in Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image (2011, University of Minnesota Press), cover new ground by turning the critical lens of place studies on to the art of the moving image. Collectively, these essays make a compelling case that understanding location, (including the story location, the actual place of filming, as well as the location of the viewer while watching) is crucial in critically examining television, film, and installation art in order to situate these documents in the greater cultural landscape.

Divided into four sections (Cinematic Style and the Places of Modernity, Place as Index of Cinema, Geopolitical Displacements, and (Not) Being There), the fifteen original essays contained herein are historical portraits of locations no longer in existence, illuminations of fraught political relationships, and examples of real municipalities making policy and development decisions based on Hollywood's demands, to name a few of the broad range of topics covered. The span of time and geography is broad: from Venice, CA to Mason City, IA to Rome, Italy and from silent films to twenty-first century television.

The two stand-out essays, in my opinion, are Ara Osterweil's deconstruction of Dennis Hopper's second film, The Last Movie and Linda A. Robinson's look at how a small city in Iowa remade its image in an attempt to recapture the nostalgic hype experienced when The Music Man debuted there decades before.

Following on the heels of his counter-culture success Easy Rider, Hopper's film sets out to answer the self-reflexive question of what happens to a place after location shooting is finished and indigenous populations are left to deal with the abandoned sets and the aftermath of Hollywood's occupation. Osterweil rather brilliantly argues that Hopper offers a harsh assessment of Hollywood's cultural colonialism, but falls prey to the same production practices and abusive behavior that he is attempting to critique, offering an eloquent addition to the ongoing discussion of Third Cinema practices of Latin America.

Robinson's essay, meanwhile, deftly looks at the "confusing circular dance" of identity as contemporary Mason City, IA has made itself over to more closely resemble the fictional River City of the 1962 film The Music Man, which itself was based upon a nostalgic version of Mason City. Trying to cash in on modern nostalgia for an imagined quaint everytown of yesteryear, Mason City's efforts seem to have come years too late, as today's generation no longer has access to the reference that engenders such nostalgia. The pains taken to revitalize this small city's downtown with the creation of a tourist draw verge on the tragic.

The pieces in this volume are filled with historical nuggets, making them engaging for the casual reader. For those who watch movies for a living, this is exciting new critical work that forges a bridge between the study of place and film studies.

This review was first published on Blogcritics.
My review copy was provided courtesy of University of Minnesota Press

This Moment | So many teeth!

Playing along with SouleMama today. In her words: {this moment} A Friday ritual. 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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Things We Do After Nap :: Cans and Clothespins





One of our new "after nap" activities involves a couple of cans and some clothespins. Like any container, Silas likes putting things in and out of them (endlessly!), but the cans are nice because they are deep enough that he has to reach inside to get an item. We practice dropping and dumping and counting. The old school clothespins (the ones without the spring) fit perfectly on the edge of the can where he can snatch them up. Play lasts for a good 15 minutes. After that, he starts to get creative and initiates new ways to play. He discovered that the ridges on the outside of the can make a cool noise if he rubs a clothespin along them. He found out that the can rolls across the floor and was delighted to chase it down the hallway. And of course, chewing on clothespins is always fun.

Linking up with Meg of Sew Liberated.

Yarn Along


I'm still chugging away on Silas' baby blanket. I have exactly one month and four days to get it finished. I think I can! I think I can! I think I can! I felt so confident that I measured it to see how far I have to go. I'm at 20", so there are only 10" to go. Considering it's taken me 10 months to get to this point...oh dear. Let's not go down that road of thought!

Reading: The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. It's the collected musings on all things food related by a 19th century French judge. It's been in print since its first publication in 1825, which is pretty impressive, I think.

Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things.

On Cooking and Eating


In these first few days of the new year as I've been reflecting on 2011, my thoughts often return to the choices that we've made about food and how we nourish ourselves. Last night Steve and I dined on a rutabaga soup with a side salad of watercress, celery root, and grapefruit (I'm loving Lucid Food right now). Both dishes were delicious and neither of them would have flown in our house a short three or four years ago. Steve and I probably would have tried them and enjoyed them if someone prepared them for us, but they wouldn't have been something that we would have chosen to make for ourselves. Now, they have gone on the permanent menu rotation list.

It's been surprising to me how much of a journey eating has been. I didn't have a set goal when I started to shift from pre-packaged to home-cooked meals; only vague notions that I wanted to eat "healthier," have more control over what was going into my body, and I wanted to create less waste by buying things that used less packaging. My culinary knowledge was (and still is, in many ways) so very lacking. I slavishly followed recipes because I really didn't know what else to do. I'm glad that I did, though, because doing so has finally, three years later, given me the experience to begin to make additions and substitutions with a little bit of an idea of how it might turn out.

Food is fun for us, as I think it should be. Cooking was a big part of Steve and my courtship and it remains an important part of how we reconnect every day. The warm glow of the kitchen provides a stage where I chop onions and carrots while he stirs the garlic in the pan and we talk about our day, its ups and its downs. He puts a hand on the small of my back and we look each other in the eye as we talk about the upcoming meal, whether it's an old favorite or a new adventure. The favorites provide a link to the past as we talk about the times that we've eaten it before and the remembering extends to what our life was like in those moments: Do you remember when? Wasn't it funny how...? How could we forget...? The whole experience is so much more present than the pop-a-pizza-in-the-oven-eat-in-front-of-the-TV experience of our meals past. Although, to be fair, we do still eat in front of the TV a fair amount. We'll blame it on exhaustion. 

Leaps and Bounds



After a night of much teething-related wakefulness, Silas and I awoke to a gentle and beautiful dusting of snow. This weekend seemed to be one of much growth for the little one. He crossed the room with a proper crawl for the first time. He had a little scrambled egg yolk for breakfast. His transitions between scooting, sitting, and standing are becoming increasingly fluid, although he still approaches them with great care and concentration. He babbles with such focused attention, it seems that words are bound to fall out of those lips at any moment. Leaps and bounds.

Steve was out of commission for half a day on Saturday due to some mystery illness. We made an amazing seven vegetable and miso soup for dinner that evening. Yummy and restorative. It called for burdock root, which I thought that I had purchased. Turns out it was actually horseradish. Any tips on how to tell these two apart? Going into it, I knew that they looked very similar, but I thought I would be able to smell the horseradish. As it turns out, the smell only surfaced when I started to peel it. Looking at pictures of the two I really can't tell which is which. Hmmm. We substituted Jerusalem artichokes in the soup, with much success.

Overall, a good weekend. Quiet. Productive. Celebratory.

Welcome 2012!


Last night, Steve and I rang in the New Year along with Greenland at 9:00 p.m. CST. 2011 was filled with so much to be grateful for. The birth of our son; the sometimes painful, but always beautiful growth of our family and us as parents and individuals; learning to set goals, but also to gracefully release them if necessary; and taking steps on our never-ending journey to live peacefully and joyfully in each moment.

Here's to 2012. May it be filled with hopes and dreams. First steps and first words. Laughter, tears, tingling euphoria, aching hearts, and everything else that comes with fully living.

January Sponsors

Welcome to the New Year with this month's sponsors. Thank you, again, so much for your continued support.