My husband is a cat person. A cat person who married a dog person. But the dog person has family members with cat allergies. So we just kind of tucked the whole cat discussion on the back burner.
But this year we decided it was time.
The Husband began a search of shelters, looking for the perfect kitten. And a few days before Christmas, he found one. The only catch was that the woman coordinating Murphy’s adoption was coming home from vacation and wouldn’t be back until the next day. They assured my husband that no one would be adopting him until the next day and to come back then.
The Oldest and I were at riding when they discovered Murphy, so that evening we went back to visit him to insure that everyone could cast an informed vote. But when we walked in, his cage was empty. He had been adopted 30 minutes earlier.
You have never seen three such miserable children. They sobbed the entire drive home. They were inconsolable. My husband was crushed.
We put the word out we were looking for a kitten. We found a litter locally, but my husband wasn’t ready yet. He wanted a few days to get over the loss of Murphy.
But then, standing in his favorite record store, he got a call—our kitten had been returned and was available for adoption again.
Welcome home, Murphy.
Heather, I curse you for turning me on to this. It plays to all my worst qualities—people pleasing (I have to fill those orders before I go to bed!) and having everything just so (what can I add so that my loom lines up with my dairy barn?).
Oh, look…a cake oven!
When your children are little, you take pride in their accomplishments. Part of this comes from the feeling that you somehow had a hand in what your child had done. They learned to walk—we did it! First words? Well, I really was a good coach, wasn’t I?
Of course, in retrospect, we realize that these accomplishments were their own all along. We were just there for every moment along the way, so we felt some ownership.
But then your children get older, and all of sudden the things they accomplish have nothing to do with you. And it’s quite apparent. Ideas burst forth and they run with them at a speed that is impossible to track. All you can do is gently lift your jaw back off the floor.
We went to the dentist this morning. The Oldest got this little plastic monkey as a prize for having no cavities. As we sat in another doctor’s office, waiting for the next appointment (packing them in over winter break), I decided to take a photo of it. That is the first photo in this series.
Then the Oldest asked if she could use my camera. I relented, and the next hour was filled with a burst of creativity, art directing a monkey’s journey through an oversize world. The crops are her own, except for one that I made horizontal so it matched this series. I adore seeing the world through her eyes, an amazing blend of my husband and I.
This is the good stuff.
My parents’ house is built on a small hill. It’s the perfect size for beginning sledders. My children and nephews all took their first sled rides down this hill.
This year the Oldest was looking for an extra challenge, and started building ramps out of snow to launch sleds for some air time.
There’s nothing quite like rosy-cheeked children, exhausted from play in the snow, coming in to parents who have been snoozing on the couch.
This, my friends, is a solid winter.
We made it!
There were presents and excitement and squeals of delight. The obligatory assembly of toys and a sea of wrapping paper.
We even put lights on the tree. (No ornaments.)
We got it out, we forgot to hit record on the time lapse camera. Although it would have been fun, we’ll be fine without it.
Perfectly imperfectly perfect.
This year has been busy. Oh, so busy.
This summer was a frenzy of remodeling my classroom and that of another teacher’s. We started the school year in the weeds, and barely made our way through.
The first day of winter break was three days before Christmas. I was not prepared. There was no tree. There was not an ounce of ho-ho-ho in this house.
But two days before Christmas, just in the nick of time, we got our tree. We scoured the rather empty field for a solid choice. The Oldest was determined to carry my parents’ tree. Our tree was a bit, ahem, bigger than it looked outside.
Who knows if there will be lights or ornaments. But according to the Whos down in Whoville, Christmas will come without those.
Ho. Ho. Ho.
Happy birthday to an amazing man, one that continues to roll with all my crazy, including trying to figure out how to properly celebrate a birthday 11 days before Christmas.
We hope this homemade, gluten-free apple pie begins to express how much we love you.
We’ve entered the days where we find pieces of artwork on the counter that inspire us. The Oldest did this series of drawings where she wrote her friends’ names in animal letterforms. This one is for Celeste.
This, I adore.