Saturday, October 24, 2009


**This journal post is a collage of recent events and musings, and is quite long**

My parents recently visited us. It's always so nice when family comes. I've also come to appreciate the cleanliness of my mother in new ways. The day after she and my dad left I thought, "how did my house stay so clean while they were here, but is practically a disaster today." Of course I realized it's because my mom is always picking up, washing off and straightening up everything along side me. I mentioned this to Matt and he took it as me saying he doesn't do enough to help. But that's not it - it's more like, she's been a young mother and knows that there are constantly things to pick up and do. So thank you Mom, for working while you were supposed to be on vacation.

We rented a van and took many-a-trip around our area. One was the Joseph Smith Birthplace Visitor Center in Vermont. One of the many things we saw along the way were the beautiful colors. And we discovered that yet again, the reason for the beauty here is the quantity of the trees. It was really, really cold, but beautiful.
On the way home we took our annual stop at the Vermont Country Store. What a great store. We also had time to stop at Yankee Candle Village, a really cool store/campus. It closes at 6 p.m. so we only browsed for 15 minutes and knew that a return trip would be necessary.

It turned out to be a long day of travel, but well worth it. The next day we went back to Yankee, and combined it with a stop at a local auctioneer house, since we're in desperate need of a dining table. Our current one no longer has its original chairs and we use folding chairs to fill in the need. We met a friend of ours, who's an auction house pro, and she showed us the ropes. We didn't end up staying for the auction, since there was only one table going that night, and it wasn't quite what I wanted. She assured me that something I did like would come along. The table I really like is just not practical right now. So on goes the hunt!

On Saturday we went apple and pumpkin picking at an orchard and wowed my parents with its beauty. The apples are HUGE this year.
We also saw the coast, historical houses and Matt's campus. It was a lot of fun. The only sad part was my dad got sick a few days into the trip and was down and out for 3-4 days. He was a trooper though.

After my parents left we settled into our normal routine of life. We opened, prematurely, Aunt Amber's Halloween Treat Bags. She's one of the most thoughtful people I know. Here's Sophie and Kate with the hairbows from the bags.


We've also discovered in the last 10 days that we've never had a 'climber' in our family ... until now. This is a frequent scene I'm greeted with when I enter a room looking for Sophie.
Completely proud of herself and her new-found abilities. Problem is, she can't get down, or at least doesn't dare. So needless to say, our computer monitor has pen all over it because I didn't fold the chair and put it away so she couldn't climb. And my recording equipment's settings have all been changed. If you look closely in the picture above too, you'll see Sophie's taken to peeling wallpaper up the walls. I explained to our landlord that peeling wallpaper is an absolute magnet for toddlers and he agreed. So a new project is coming our way.


I returned from the store the other day feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to get done between now and Christmas. Then I realized that when that feeling comes, I've got too much going on and I need to simplify and not start too many projects (i.e. we've been married a decade and I still don't have a Christmas stocking for me, and I don't like Matt's now, so I decided to redo all of them.). Oh well, that's typically female, I guess. I look at all my friend's blogs and think, "how do they get it all done and remain sane?". Of course I'm not naive enough to think you all don't have challenges, and that the purpose of many blogs is to communicate milestones and computer-scrapbooking type things ... that's certainly what mine mainly is. But I have to share that I'm pretty excited about some of the Christmas projects I have going on, even if they're causing a bit of anxiety.

The main one is a dollhouse I found at Goodwill for Kate. Here's the background.

I was dropping off some clothes and items at their drive thru the other day and thought of my friend Marni, who is a Goodwill deal finder. So I thought, "I'll go inside to see what they have." On the way in, on the sidewalk, was a dollhouse (pictured below). The price tag said $5.99. I know it looks pretty roughly hewn and was probably a labor of love from some father years ago, but I see so many possibilities that I can't help but be excited. There was also a practically new barn I bought for Wes for $2.99. I've hidden them in our wine cellar - and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is, since there appears to be some sort of distillery equipment/barrels in the room (our landlord is from Italy and this was his mother's home). Wes, Kate, and Sophie don't dare enter the room because it is always dark and 'makes noises' (our dehumidier is in there). So it's a perfect hiding place. I've been hunting for wooden shingles and furniture - not an easy task, unless you want to spend $30 on a miniature chair and bedset. But last night I hit the jackpot and found exactly what I was looking for. It's puzzle furniture that you put together. Sounds kind of complicated but really isn't. So in went my order and I'm so excited to get it here. Maybe I can enlist Matt in that project:).
Well I think that about does it for a journal entry now. We're healthy and happy and are basking in the colors of New England.


angie said...

What a find on the dollhouse! I can only imagine how beautiful it is over there in the fall. Some day I am going to make it back east! Sounds like you had a great time with your parents. I'm sure it is nice to have family visit. :)

The Davies Family said...

Amazing finds from teh thrift store! I need to go more often. My favorite thing lately is consignment shops..great stuff!
Your kids are so beautiful! I can't believe how big they are.
I gotta get my act together and get Christmas going..but first, I guess I better get Halloween worked out.

Amber Baker said...

The kids are so darling! So glad they enjoyed the candy! Thank you for your thoughtful bags in return! The dollhouse is an absolute treasure. I still have mine from my childhood and it was a labor of love. I redid it a couple years back. Carpet and fabric remnants...oh how fun! The kids are going to LOVE it! You are so talented that it will be amazing. You'll have to post a pic. I'm so happy your parents had a great time. So sad your dad was under the weather. Just glad he didn't get swine flu from Alle. I learned many years back that I had to limit my handmade gifts. They stressed me out too much. I may have to give up the calendars this year. I just don't know where I will find the time. :(. I love to give handmade gifts, but I find as the kids get older, I have less time and patience to be crafty. We love you guys! *HUGS* have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

J and M said...

I have been away I guess for a while, look at all your industry and partying!

Hooray on the doll house find, hooray on your little table climber (I love it, nothing is safe anymore......she can come play here with the dirt people), and indeed mothers are the best. This is not an offense to spouses born in April, but mothers do know that picking things up every second of the day is the way of life!

I can't believe you have been married for 10 years. WOW.