Counting My Blessings

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If I were a more disciplined person, I’d keep a gratitude journal. And if that journal did exist, today’s entry (like so many unwritten others) would focus on the blessing that is my daughter. Just look what Izzy was busy putting together this a.m. while she insisted I stay out of the kitchen.

breakfast

That’s coffee, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and her highly successful experiment: banana-cinnamon buttermilk pancakes. (Totally planning to crib that one.)

11 and countingThis past week marked our 11th homecoming day.*  While we celebrated the milestone on Monday, today I am once again reminded of just how lucky I am that this wonderful child was sent my way.

* On January 23, 2002, Izzy and I traveled home together from Guatemala.

24 Days…

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The countdown to Halloween is on. While final decisions are still being made about Izzy’s costume, the decorating has begun. We started with this Haunted Gingerbread House — a good Sunday afternoon activity after a week of battling off the latest bug.

halloween1

 

And while we have made gingerbread from scratch, I fully embraced this no-cooking required kit. I mean, the decorating is 98% of the fun, right?

FO: Monster Mash

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My finishing plans for the knitted monsters got derailed last weekend by my own little monsters. And, to be fair, my growing addiction to Pinterest is also partly to blame. It seems Halloween is approaching Christmas in this house in terms of build up and activities.

Along with trying out Ghost Cupcakes (and a half-dozen other Halloween-themed foods), last weekend Izzy’s school had its first Monsters on the Mesa fundraising event, complete with a 1K costume parade for the kids and dogs. Dorothy & Toto were reprised, but this time with a wig. (Note: I’ve long since expected to get a shot of both looking at the camera at the same time.)

But this weekend, thanks to a light activity load (and that extra precious hour), both monsters were assembled and photographed. Here they are before the purple one heads off to MN tomorrow to a good friend’s daughter who is like a sister to Izzy (who’s hanging on to the other one).

Pattern: Penelope the Empathetic Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Queensland Collection Rustic Tweed
(Forest Green & Grape)

A Tale of Two Christmases

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Last year, Izzy and I hosted Christmas in Albuquerque for my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. We were in high holiday mode, with every ornament we had making its way onto the tree and lots of new paper chains and snowflakes filling the house. Batch upon batch of cookies were made. And the baking and decorating continued after their arrival, with me making from scratch (for the first time) the gingerbread pieces for five houses (Grandpa preferred to supervise construction and sample the candy adornments).

This year was far more Dickensian in spirit. The holiday season began with Izzy awaking Thanksgiving morn with a raging stomach flu that pushed our turkey dinner to the following weekend. Then a new initiative at work continued to consume a good 60+ hours/week straight through to our plane’s departure for Minnesota on December 23. One secret holiday knitting project was finished and blocked just days before we left, but the other went with me on the plane and kept me busy through December 27 — the day before I saw the recipient — and got blocked on a spare bed at my parents’. (Nothing like cutting it close!) The tree never made it out of storage. We threw a wreath on the front door, pulled out the Christmas doormat, and called it a day. In an attempt to provide some festivity for Izzy, we purchased Trader Joe’s Really Big Gingerbread Man Kit. Poor guy didn’t even make his way onto the good dishes.