Monday, December 31, 2012


Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas was wonderful at Moraine.  Big Brother has been enjoying his electronics and Little Brother has been reading books and playing with the Little People.  Big Brother also celebrated G-pa's birthday by seeing the Hobbit.  Big thought it was the best movie of the year.  Sweetheart has been cooking a lot this past week.  She has been using the crock pot, electric griddle and toaster oven.  We have yet to use the chocolate fountain.

We have snow on the ground although no need for a plow just yet.  Took a walk in the woods yesterday and it was very peaceful.  I saw an owl at a distance and some coyote tracks near the side yard.  We have  plenty of Juncos at the feeders. Still no Turkeys in the yard.  Sweetheart is worried Penny moved on to a different property.

I have spent the past week with The Boys.  I have been on vacation enjoying new books about Indiana butterflies and shrubs of the Midwest.  I have also been listening to The American album by Joe Purdy.

"It isn't easy to be a pioneer when the land that you move to is dry."


Saturday, December 29, 2012


'I can't go back. I don't want to. Cause all my mistakes, they brought me to you.'


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Month Thirteen!

little brother -

You turned one last month, and all of your explorations and new found talents were a challenge for me to express adequately without becoming emotional.

Sometimes you sit quietly and flip through books. Only board books - you like to rip the pages out of regular books. You point at pictures and give them your own names. You lift the book close to your face and breathe.breathe.breathe. and look. so very intently. You flip the pages, over and over and over. When you reach then end, you do it all again. Books are one of your favorite things to explore. You like to chew the corners and carry them around by just one page. You like to knock down the stacks of books throughout the house. You like to play the drums on books. You like to sit with books.

You are so active, so very curious. When it is just you and I around the house, I like to tell you about all kinds of things. About songs. About snow. About good people. About joy. About love. Always about love.  I kiss your big, pink cheeks and you squeal like a tiny wild animal.  You wiggle to be set free.  You run from end to end and then back again, across the house, across the room, as far as your little legs will carry you.  You catch my eyes, or I catch yours - I don't know - and we share a sincere smile. You know you are my joy, and I feel in my heart that I am yours.

You are exploring new foods all the time. You don't like to be fed with a spoon because you're a big guy now.  You will only eat what you can use your fingers for. Sometimes you hate a food on Tuesday and love it on Thursday.  You only have two bottles a day now, one in the morning, and one at night.  You are the snuggliest bottle drinker. You bury your body in our arms and nestle in once the milk is gone.  You try to fall asleep in our arms but it's harder for you now. Instead of sleep, you like to wave your arms and make little noises.  We have to lay you down in your crib awake now and have you settle yourself.  Your daddy and I are your favorite playmates and it's hard to sleep on your best buddy.

When you wake up in the mornings, you jump in your bed. You call for us gently, "mah mah"  or "dahhhhda" and it's the most rewarding song I can ever imagine waking up to.  Your favorite word is 'ball'.  You can also say your Big Brother's name and 'cat'.  You like to point out photos of Big Brother and tell us his name.  You like to point to the cats and tell us they're cats.  You.are.amazing.  You're so smart and kind. When we hug you, you pat our backs because you love us too.

It was difficult for me to see you turn one.  I want to keep you my tender little baby forever, but every new tooth that appears, every new word you associate to something you've seen a million times, every smile we exchange makes it clear to me that you will continue to grow...and that every day is better than the one before.

My darling little explorer, I love you immensely. I am so proud of the little guy you are growing into. Thank you for choosing me to be your mah mah.

I like you, I love you, I will always protect you.


your mom


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter In My Heart

"If the only prayer you ever say in your life is Thank You, you have said enough"
-Eckhart Tolle

I don't know if that is true or not, and I would rather not risk taking the easy road out on that, but today I was off work.  little brother and I fed some goats oak leaves.  We ate noodles with our fingers for lunch and he took a really long bubble bath - extra long - I filled the tub twice to keep him from getting cold.  He took a long afternoon nap, so I cleaned the boy's bathroom and lit some candles.  While I cooked dinner, D took both boys to the drugstore to get candy bars.

For all of this, all I can say is "Thank You."

Christmas will be here before I know it.  We are not even close to finished shopping, but it feels really good to know the boys will have a good holiday. It feels good to know that Big Brother will understand what the holidays are about - family, appreciation, warmth.  It all gets lost in the shuffle, and little brother is too young to understand, but I had a conversation with Big Brother about the holidays and he knows more than I give him credit for. I was explaining to him that he doesn't have to get me a gift, to use his money for other things, and he responded "I want to get you a gift because I appreciate you."  Which I understood completely -and I felt the same.  "I want to get you a gift because I appreciate you, too,"  I told him.  And - just like that, Christmas made more sense than it has in a really, really long time.

 And for that, I am so thankful.

little brother has been talking a lot lately.  To date, his vocabulary is: ball, mahmah, cat, dahdah, quackquack and Big brother's name.  He likes to carry a ball around the house, raise it high above his head and tell anyone who will listen "BALL!".  He likes to point at photos of Big brother and tell us his name, over and over and over.  Sometimes he chases one of the cats until she disappears. Once she's gone, he says "cat." Only it's more of a question then a statement. "cat?"  He spends most days playing in either the living room or his bedroom, both of which are set up for minimal destruction and maximum safety for a one year old boy.  Much to my chagrin, his current favorite food is turkey hot dogs.  He can't eat them fast enough. But his hunger strike is over and has morphed into full-blown picky-eaterdom.

But he is eating and growing and talking and becoming so smart. And I can only say "Thank You."

Big Brother - Winter 2010

There are a lot of parts of winter that I dread - mostly the cold, but also the snow removal.  Sometimes all of the family gatherings get overwhelming. No matter how much we budget, we always come out of December totally broke and tired.  But Big brother is off school for two weeks, and little brother is at the most fun age where everything is amazing to him, and D will be taking some time off work so we can all be together.

Thank You.

I ordered myself a new winter coat this evening as a Christmas gift from D's parents, so I can't even really complain about the cold.   I made lentil soup for dinner and everyone loved it.  little brother is sleeping through the night almost every night and mornings aren't terrible anymore.  Being well-rested, even if it's 3 out of 7 nights a week is majestic.   We're all ok.  We're all ok.

Thank You.

 "I want to fit in to the perfect space - feel natural and safe in a volatile place.  I want to grow old without the pain - give my body back to the earth and not complain."


Sunday, November 25, 2012

California Dreamin'

After a long, lovely week home with the family, tomorrow we return to work and school. For the last five days, we've eaten more courses than one should - and then the left overs.  We've done some light Christmas shopping, nothing too crazy, just enough to get us in the spirit.  D and I spent an evening away, just he and I, shopping and eating.  It was a lovely time.

We spent a night in a casino hotel, so we did a little gambling.  We won some money, and then lost it. We discovered just how much gambling is not for us.I guess we work too hard for our money to play games with it.

"You know horses are smarter than people.  You've never heard of a horse going broke betting on people."  -Will Rogers

The food at the casino was fantastic.  The room was lovely, the bed was so nice. A night without worrying about the boys was priceless.

What a tremendous blessing, to celebrate our wedding anniversary - worry free, in the brisk air. We walked around and reminisced and bought new shoes for ourselves. He is my best friend. My very best friend, indeed.  How did I sleep before him?  How did anything make sense without him? I can't remember. I don't want to.

We got the Christmas tree up. We listened for hours on end as Big brother listed the endless, overwhelming list of things he wanted for Christmas. He is very detailed and passionate about what he wants.  He gets excited just telling us about some of the things he wants.  He doesn't even mention things he doesn't want, like boots or underwear. Instead, he goes on and on, naming specific action figures movies games trinkets adventures electronic bendable light-up wifi rocketing floating thing he has ever wanted.  More than anything, he dreams. It's ok to want. And it is certainly ok to share the wants you have - without holding back.  In fact, it's one of the most fun things to do as a kid.

As he rambled, I remembered the feeling that anything was possible. The feeling that: these are just my parents.They couldn't possibly understand the limitless capabilities of Santa Claus on Christmas morning.  Santa Claus doesn't have a price limit. He doesn't expect me to be reasonable. This is Christmas. Anything can happen on Christmas.  So I listened, and began to dream a little myself.

When you're an adult - especially an adult with children - no one asks you what you want for Christmas.  And if they do, it is generally met with a weak "oh, you know...whatever."  And that is what you get, whatever.  Whatever they come across that is available in your favorite color (plaid).  Whatever they find that would compliment your bathroom's color scheme (white) or will make a nice addition to something you have a collection of (picture frames), even though you aren't certain how you acquired that collection to begin with (no clue).

I asked Big brother to try to funnel some of his Christmas dreams onto a list, one that I could carry with me and now have several lists. Turns out, it's difficult to remember everything in one sitting.  Sometimes he needs to write a short list on a scrap of paper, which gets handed off to me to add to the existing list, bless his heart.  Sometimes he makes me repeat the name of the COOLEST LEGO SET EVER, over and over and over so that I can add it to the list myself when we get home.

Anyway, a list is always the way to go because, chances are even if you don't get everything (or anything at all) on the list - I really believe it is lovely to have something to allow your mind wander to that childish realm of possibilities. Even if it is just a few physical items that would make life easier or more pleasant or that are just nice to look at. Even if you could never afford it. Even if it's all just a dream.

"Our life is composed greatly of dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action.  They must be woven together."  - Anais Nin

So, without further ado ...


'Listen, when all of this around us falls over - I tell you what we're gonna do - Hey, you will shelter me, my love - And I will shelter you.'


Sunday, November 18, 2012

November Blue

Autumn almost passed us over here at Moraine this year.  After only a few weeks of golden fields and amber towers, every last leaf has drifted slowly, painfully, dramatically to the ground. The trees are shivering along the field edges, bare-boned and gray. We can see the pond now from the west-facing windows, right through all the trees, all sparkly and frigid cold.

The sky is a graceful pink and sometimes lavender as the sun goes down now. First thing in the morning, when we're sitting in the rocking chair under blankets, belly full of milk and eyes still adjusting, little brother and I watch it turn from ink-black to gray to a soft, dusty blue. Big brother finally wakes up and it is a starchy, crispy linen blue.  Unobstructed by any greenery, we are able to see all the dark-eyed juncos feverishly hop from branch to branch, huge clumps of them, frantic for seeds and happy the sun is warming their bones.

The lovely married cardinal couple come out of the evergreen trees. The fat raccoon disappears until evening comes. Our days start slower now than in the fall. Our toes are cold and it's hard to take off our pajamas. little brother watches cartoons while Big brother gets ready for school and D and I get ready for work most days. Coffee, bottles, and packing lunches and then the nanny arrives and we're all out the door for our days.

I started a new job and we hired a new nanny at the beginning of October.  It was a difficult decision, to leave little brother behind after being together every day for almost a year, but it was the best decision for the family as a whole.  It has been a difficult transition for all of us, but one that ultimately is beneficial for everyone. Our nanny is doing an exceptional job, and little brother has really taken to her.  She is a tremendously sweet girl. They enjoy their days, and he and I still get to spend a lot of time together because it is not quite full time.

Working all day leaves me very tired in the evenings. As soon as little brother is in bed, D and I usually retreat to our own bed to watch t.v. and pass out soon after.  He has been doing prescribed fires for work, and it leaves him filthy, tired, and stinky. It's kind of funny that we can barely stay awake later than our 10 year old, but I'm sure our parents and felt the same way, and their parents, and so on.

D and I often remind each other that we're doing this for our kids - so they can play sports, get a car, go to college, get married, and buy a home someday -with our help. So the boys always know to come to us, that we'll always have their backs no matter how old they are or how far away they are or how badly they might screw things up. We think of all the help we've needed along the way, and get up and work as hard as we can so that the boys will come to us if they're ever in a position where they need us. There's something rewarding in that.

So, with all the changes going on - please, dear reader, accept our most sincere apologies that we have neglected Home on Moraine.  It is very important to us, and we hope you understand.

November is a wonderful month for our family.  First of all, someone turned one on the 17th!  More on that later.

And, the 21 is D and my 2nd wedding anniversary!

The boys are staying with their grandparents and we are going to spend an evening away in a nice hotel with a spa. I'm so excited!

And, someone made the honor roll!

I couldn't be more proud. He is growing into the smartest, silliest guy. I love him.

And, we took in another cat.

I know....another cat. But this is it, I swear. And she's really sweet and cute. And she needed a home.

We're so lucky, in every way. That we have the opportunities that we do. That we have the kids we do, the home we do.  We are so blessed to have each other, to both have jobs that don't make us miserable, to have family that lifts us up. We're so blessed to have days and evenings of laughter and food and sparkly blue eyed boys, fuzzy cats, warm blankets, and all of the things that used to seem so far away.

'Your yellow hair is like the sunlight - however sweet it shines.  Bit by the cold of December, I'm warm
beside your smile.'