Wednesday, December 28, 2011

David's Miniature Mass Set

My friend Lori was a huge help in putting this gift together for David.  She designed a wooden miniature Mass play set that she used to sell.  It is adorable and she came over for an afternoon before Christmas to help me put one together for David for Christmas.  She's also the friend who was instrumental in helping us slaughter our chickens and works as a doula and birth educator...a woman of many talents if I ever I knew one.  David loves the set and has been playing with it every day.  Her painting is much better than mine so I'm so glad she was willing to help me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

At Two Weeks...

My little Luke...

At two weeks you have already stolen our hearts.  I can't believe how blessed I am that I get to be your mama.  You are amazing and  I have been treasuring every moment that we've been blessed to have with you. 

You are such a snuggler and I love it.  You sleep well at night, provided, of course, that you are nestled in the crook of my arm.  All night long.  And you know what?  I don't mind it one bit.  I know all too well how I will blink and you will be a chattering toddler and then a boundless little boy.  For now, you are my sweet precious newly born peanut and I will breathe in your smell. revel in the small sighs of your sleep, and treasure the softer than velvet skin of your cheeks. 

Your papa and I can't seem to get enough of staring at you and wondering how in the world we've been entrusted with the miracle that is you.

So far, you've been nursing so well and are so content.  I'm not really used to that but I am so grateful.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made, little boy.  And we are so unbelievably, indescribably happy that you are here.

All my love forever,

P.S.  I just love, love, love your fuzziness :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Second Day of Christmas

Merry Christmas! 

It's the second day of Christmas and we've been enjoying a quiet much-needed recovery day from all the fun and celebrating of the last day and a half.  Puzzles, games, naps, cookies...all is good.  On Christmas Eve we did our thing - Christmas vigil Mass and home to a huge homemade turkey feast with just our little family.  Cookies and music after and several very excited little boys bouncing around the house. 

Photo courtesy of John Paul

 And another by John Paul

 And this one's by me..I take the blurry ones...

And we welcomed in Christmas. 

The Story read.  Late bedtimes and early rising.  Gifts exchanged and homemade cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven to greet the holy morning.

Exploring equipment for John Paul

An art set for Michael  

David's Mass set

Michael has been working on sewing this wool felt chick for the new baby's Christmas gift for months now.  We worked on it together and he pulled every stitch after I placed it for him.

We went to my mom's in the afternoon with the rest of my family for dinner and more celebrating.  We got to bring the birthday cake for Jesus and we enjoyed singing and fire and 15 children eight and under high on sugar and chocolate :)  We needed the recovery day.

 Chocolate mint cake with dark chocolate ganache.  Jesus approved. 

Not sure how the rest of these days of Christmas will be celebrated but there will be a Baptism in there somewhere and hopefully (please, God?) some SNOW.  We had a green Christmas day, despite all my hoping.  BUT Christmas isn't over yet, so it's not too late.  We are missing another family party today but we needed to take a break (I'm not even two weeks  Brian will have to go back to work some this week and we'll enter into that time of reconfiguring the family dynamic to function now with one more little person added to the mix.  It will be okay.  It's kind of nice that it is happening during Christmas and I can (try) to be more relaxed with what gets done and when.  Stop laughing.  I at least won't have to worry about lessons for two more weeks.

I hope you had a wonderful opening to Christmas and are able to celebrate all of these holy days with joy and peace and are drawn ever deeper into the mystery that is the Incarnation of our God.  Merry Christmas, friends!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real} - volume 5

{pretty} {handsome}

Our beautiful handsome little miracle.  I need to do a little photo shoot with him soon to capture more of his sweetness for you all :)


 The morning Luke was born.  All of them were SO excited and happy.  Michael spent a long time just laying like this and then about 45 minutes holding him before we could pry him away :)

 It has been amazing watching these boys just fall in love with their little brother.


The night before Luke's birth the boys treated us to a Nativity play...David was Jesus and apparently those are swaddling cloths and a manger.  He's looking a wee bit oversized for the part.  We now have the perfect newborn baby Jesus.  Perhaps David will be transitioned to a new role.


 This is what happens when you just can't convince your two year old that those things drying on the tray are NOT cookies.  Take a close look at the bottom right ;)

Go on over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {p,h,f,r}!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yarn Along 12/21/11

 Knitting a week after the baby's birth?  Yes, ma'am.  This is actually the easier time right now since Brian is still off of work...we'll see how much gets done once he has to go back.  I can't believe that most of the hats I had knit for this little guy don't fit him!  He came out over a pound bigger, a couple inches longer and with a bigger head than my other three.  Thankfully, I did have a few that fit and all the longies I knit long enough that they fit fine!  My cable hat that I was so proud of was not one of those things that fit so this week I quickly knit up another in a bigger size.  How's this for cuteness?

Can you see all that dark fuzz on his face?  He's my little hairy baby...seriously, his whole back, legs, everywhere has this sweet soft fuzz :)
I'm now working on this Bitty Cabled Cardigan to match the hat and longies.  I attempted this before as my first sweater and it was quite funny how small it turned out.  It would've made for a great doll sweater.  This time I'm upping the size and needles and hoping that it fits him!  It looked good on the needles but I'm still not sure.  And I'm almost out of the fact, I had to rip out the too-small cable hat in order to have enough and I'm still hoping this doesn't turn into a short sleeve sweater!  Really hoping this can be a little Christmas outfit for him!

Brian just picked up The House at Riverton by Kate Morton for me at the library so I just started that last night.  I feel like I should be reading something more profound this week.  Well, we are doing the Jesse Tree readings and the daily Gospel readings with our Advent wreath lighting so there is that to make me a feel a little bit better and seasonally appropriate.

And on the knitting topic, if anyone has any suggestions for picking out a needle organizer, let me know!  I asked for one for Christmas from Brian and the boys but Brian asked that I pick it out because I know better what will work.  Any sites or suggestions?  Right now all my needles are in an old can and that just doesn't work.  It is seriously the least intelligent way to do things.  I'm constantly searching for the right sizes and losing needles and markers.  I'd like to probably get something off of Etsy but not exactly sure what so any help or guidance is appreciated!!

Go visit the rest of Ginny's Yarn Along and to all those who are just stopping by from her place, may you have a beautiful merry Christmas filled with His presence!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Perfect Advent Birth Song

One of my all-time favorite Advent and Christmas songs written by Amy Grant...but this song during labor and birth?  Amazingly powerful especially during this beautiful season.  It was so amazing to have this playing during Luke's entire labor and birth and after and every word seemed so perfect.  My poor birth team heard it over and over and over since I had it on repeat for about six hours or so.  So I thought I'd subject you to it as well ;)  Be blessed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Advent Goings On Round Here

Just a few pics from the goings-on here the last few weeks...y'know, besides the incredibly awesome new addition.  His birth kinda distracted me from posting pics of some of our Advent preparations...



And, because I just can't resist...a little bit of the sweetness I get to now witness on a daily basis:

May this last week of Advent be filled with His peace and be a time of holiness for you and your family!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Here He Is!

Finally getting some pics up of our precious Luke!  If people would like to see pictures, please link them back to here! 


Yep, I think we kinda like him!

When I get a chance, I'll post some more on the actual birth and eventually, a birth story for those of you I know are interested.  Birth stories are better written a little bit after the birth, though...gotta let the whole experience settle a bit, ya know?  It was good, though, very, very good.  Thank you to my wonderful midwife Khristeena and doula/photographer/awesome friend Lori for helping it be so great.  We're pretty taken with the little guy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's A...


Luke Emmanuel was born this morning at 7:05 a.m.! 
Completely healthy and happy...we are so ridiculously blessed!
8 lbs. 3 oz. and 22 inches long - this little guy definitely wanted to make his mark and break our 6 lb. 15 oz. mold :)

Pictures and more to come soon.  Right now, this mama needs to rest and once again learn how to type one-handed!

Thank you, Lord, and thank you to those who were praying!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December Daybook at Dawn

Outside my window...
A cold but clear and crisp morning.  And a beautiful full moon that's been hanging around the last few nights and early mornings.  AND...snow :)  Just a little bit but I'm hoping it sticks around for a while!

Thankful for...
We got almost all our decorations up yesterday which was kind of nice to have done before baby arrives.  For inexpensive Christmas trees.  And for heat.  I'm still amazed that we can press a button and the house heats up.  What other times and cultures have suffered, we take so much for granted.

Thinking about...

Lessons are happening but are definitely not on the forefront of anyone's mind :)  They're kind of down there on the priority list at the moment.  But math, religion, and English are getting done.  And lots of Advent reading and liturgical living.

From the kitchen...
Oh boy.  Our refrigerator is not working.  Really.  That super fancy brand new one I got for my birthday?  Yep.  We have two coolers on the porch holding much of our food.  Poor Brian worked on it much of yesterday and we can't figure out what's wrong.  It made for a hard day yesterday.  I'm really, really hoping we can figure it out today with the help of the manufacturer who wasn't there yesterday.  we don't really need this right now. 
In more fun kitchen stuff, gingerbread men were made last week (not frosted yet).  And now because of the fridge situation, today I will be baking the double batch of chocolate mint cookie dough that I had sitting and waiting in that freezer.

A new little person.
And a cozy Christmasy place to welcome him or her when the time comes.  

Working on...
Just being ready with the little things that ease my mind during birth.  Laundry caught up, relatively clean, groceries stocked... 

I am going...
Just grocery shopping this week and hopefully nowhere else!

Tonight labor starting??  Maybe?  I've had in my head that if the baby wasn't to be born on December 8 or 9, that it would happen on the 13th...  And really hoping that our camera cooperates for the event.  I don't know what we're doing wrong but it was taking great pictures and now we can't seem to get it to take anything that's not blurry or that has weird lighting.

I started The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, thanks to Sarah's suggestion.  Loving it...exactly what I needed!

For baby, birth, and all that fun stuff.  For David's healing.  For the conversion of family members so far away from the love of God.  For the ability to raise four children...  And yes, that our refrigerator starts working again!

The tinkling and tapping of the radiators warming up the house.  I love radiant heat so much better than air.  And that pump in the basement I can't stand.  It is so loud.

Around the house...
We are DONE with all big projects!  So now we maintain and least for a month or two :)

One of my favorite things...
Gaudete Sunday.  Wishing yesterday would have gone as I pictured...  But loving the wreaths in our windows and the candles that will be lit on St. Lucy's day :)

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Having a baby.  Well, that's MY plan anyway.

A picture thought to share...

Dear Snow,
THANK YOU!  I just hope you'll stick around for a little bit because this babe didn't cooperate with us.
Love, Mary

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quick Thoughts on the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception
 by Jusepe de Ribera
Mary, Full of Grace, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

A great tract on why Catholics believe Mary was conceived without original sin can be found here.

We don't have any big plans for the day.  We went to Mass last night and I was so moved by the readings and prayers chosen.  I suppose much of it has to do with expecting to give birth any day now.  The boys got a special blueberry muffin treat with breakfast (yay for freezers...had nothing planned but found those in there) and for dinner we will have our 'white dinner' in honor of Mary's purity.  No lessons for today and the boys are busy crafting Christmas gifts.  And not that I have a one-track mind lately, but wouldn't it be cool to have a baby on day like today?  Just sayin...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Joy of Four

I got to go on a date last night.  It rocked.  Michael has been mentioning for weeks now that we are almost out of red and yellow construction paper (clear evidence that I have obviously failed in my homeschooling mother/craft mistress role).  Those are his two favorite colors now so he's been talking about and planning a trip to the store to buy some more so he could make his Christmas gifts.  I've been wanting to get some alone time with him before the baby is born and this was the perfect opportunity.

We stopped by Penney's for a quick errand and then went on over to Michael's and THEY HAD IT.  They had packs of just red and just yellow construction paper and he was so excited.  I mean EXCITED.  We strolled the aisles a bit with no hurry and I let him look at all the craft supplies and he was enthralled.  I loved it.  He was such a chatterbox and I'm pretty sure the whole store could hear whatever he was saying as he spoke with that four year old voice that doesn't really realize how loud it actually is.  But I didn't shush him and I didn't hurry him.  He chattered and talked and laughed and it was probably good for all those other people to hear anyway :)  It certainly was for me.  And I soaked it in as best I could.

After our primary paper-buying mission was complete we headed over to Panera for a treat.  I wish I could ingrain in my memory the look he had when they brought up the hot chocolate topped with a mountain of whipped cream.  And the agonizing look he had on his face when I told him he could pick out one of the treats.  After a grueling few moments, he opted for the gingerbread man.  We sat by the fireplace and shared hot chocolate and slowly deconstructed our gingerbread man, which as you might guess, is quite fun for a four year old boy to do.  He talked and ate and saved the rest of the cookie and drink to bring home to share with his brothers. 

I came home just glowing with how in love I am with this little boy.  I love that going to the store and getting hot chocolate was the greatest thing in the world to him.  Our Michael.  He is just filled with joy and it is so, so good to see.  This same little boy used to worry me so much.  Beginning around age two he developed this tendency to go inward that really did not seem healthy.  Any reprimand, or even gentle correction sent his thumb to his mouth and you could just see him go 'inside'.  He didn't seem to have the contentment and joy that we were used to from his older brother and seemed so closed.  He seemed so insecure and he appeared so lost in social situations.  His temperament seemed to show so much melancholy and in fact, much of my worry was because a lot of his tendencies reminded me of me.  Brian and I began to pray.  We prayed several novenas for him and prayed for him by name at night (Sacramental graces, right?).  We did our best to treat him gently and really tried to figure out the ways that 'reach' him.  And now, it almost brings tears to my eyes when I see his eyes light up with joy at some four-year-old delight or hear him chattering and singing to himself as he plays.  He is so sweet, so good.  He loves to help with any task I have for him and he has joy in his heart.  True joy. 

Thank you, Lord for bringing this little boy out of that world he was in.  Thank you for bringing joy to his heart and in turn, for sharing that joy with me.  Thank you, sweet Father, for Michael.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dear Snow

Dear Snow,

We both know that you and I have had our differences over the years.  I apologize for the rude comments made in your direction and frustration I've experienced with you over the years.  You see, this year, you seem to be avoiding me.  And I understand and normally, I'd be okay with it.  But this year, I was kind of, sort of hoping that you would be making your appearance by December and I'm starting to think you really have something against me.  Please show this rain that this is your time.  Really, you deserve it and you do a wonderful job of making everything look so clean and beautiful.  And...I was kind of, sort of hoping that you could make your entrance gracefully on a night that I happen to be giving birth.  Nothing huge, just a nice gentle showing, if you don't mind stopping by.  Just a small request for this very pregnant lady.  Then, anytime after the end of January or so, I'd be totally okay with you going off and doing your thing somewhere else.  Thank you so much for thinking about it.

Your old friend,

Monday, December 5, 2011


So blessed.  Thank you to David LaValley for the beautiful pics of my blessings. 
Dearest little one, we cannot WAIT to meet you...and hopefully soon!
Love, Mama

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