Category Archives: Life

Meeting the Wetzels

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Meeting the Wetzel family was one of the highlights of our trip to Washington that I was most looking forward to.

Erin and I became friends through Instagram years ago, when our girls were tiny babies. We have been texting back and forth for ages, Lucy and her daughter Phoebe recently became penpals, and we arranged a meeting late last year–which sadly fell through. So, it felt like a meeting was long overdue.

We invited them up to the cabin for a day of beach combing, grilling, and lots of photo taking (well, I gave them no warning on this one and probably should have, there were 100s of pictures!). Erin was smart enough to bring along s’more fixings and our day was set. The girls jumped into play as if they had known each other for years. They chased each other, shared in make believe games, picked flowers, and spent much time hugging and giggling. Erin and I chatted and got to enjoy each others presence, sitting staring out at the water, learning those things about a person that one could never learn through a purely online friendship. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun or relaxing day–and by the end of it my heart felt so full.

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Cabin Dwelling on the Puget Sound

puget view cottage olympia washington

We are back from a beautiful, though entirely too short vacation on the Puget Sound in Washington. We stayed in a lovely cottage in the southern sound region, about an hours drive from where I spent the entirety of my childhood.

It had been 18 years since I moved away and 17 since I last visited. This trip was long overdue. It was impossible to cram all the things I wanted to do and see into one very, very short week, but I sure tried. We had an incredible visit with friends I hadn’t seen in over 20 years, we walked along the beach daily and through the woods. We saw more wildlife than I even thought possible in such a short visit. We stayed up late watching sunsets and stuffed ourselves silly on fresh food with friends.

There were many tears shed as the trip was drawing to a close and upon arriving home. This beautiful place in the world is so special to me, I am glad I finally got a chance to show a very small piece of it to Russ and the girls–and I am hoping we will be back up there very soon.

puget view cottage olympia

puget view cottage olympia washington

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Pies and Babies

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There have been many days in the kitchen lately. This week we have been blessed with some rare cooler weather, which I have been taking advantage of. I have made tarts, and pies, and a peach crisp for the holiday. We have made strawberry ice cream, squash soup, lots of curries, and more.

I recently joined a really fun local facebook group, where you post things for trade and what you are looking for. Last week I posted my excess vintage sewing patterns and have already made two trades–one for those lovely quail eggs, and the other for homegrown squash–so fun!

Our little June is in her eighth month now–I can’t believe how quickly we are coming up on a year! Our little bug is the happiest baby I have ever encountered. She cut her first tooth last week, and you would never know it, she is her normal happy self. She has been crawling and standing for two months, and I think that maybe I saw her trying to take a step yesterday, but I am not certain. She coasts along furniture and pushes chairs around the house to walk. She likes to follow her sister, cleaning up the trail of snacks, with I on her tail to pull it all back out again.

Very little sewing or creating has come out of me in recent weeks. I am still working through our storage unit and trying to get rid of things. If I can get enough boxes ready to haul off to the thrift store, I have promised myself some sewing time. I am really feeling the itch to sew Lucy a new dress!

 

 

 

Chickens and Life and Such

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Hello, and pardon my absence!

While I have been busy, it is not my excuse for this month long break from blogging. No, this time around my excuse is mental exhaustion. I won’t go into too many details, but, four has been an incredibly challenging age for us, the hot weather has returned (send help!), and I am emptying our storage unit, sifting through thirty two years of memories and deciding what memories to keep and what memories must go. Written out it looks like more than I ought to share, but there it is.

The past month has had this introvert turning inward even more than usual. I have been questioning my roll and what I think is best for our family. I am trying my hardest to live in the moment, but now that summer is here, I find it hard. Four more months of 90+ degree weather makes me want to scream, then pack up my favorite belongings, as well as my kids and husband, and head for the hills. Seriously.

But, onward and upward. Lucy and I spent a half an hour the other day working on a list of activities for the summer that are fun and will keep us cool. We included things like going out for ice cream, making home made ice cream, trips to the science center and museum, a visit to the tide pools, a mountain trip, and her first visit to the drive in. I think we might just make it through alive.

Happy solstice! I hope that you are in a place where summer is the most exciting season of the year. One day soon it will be for us.

Much love and thanks for following along. <3

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Rosie

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Pardon my absence from this space, but we have had a very hard couple of weeks.

About a month ago we realized our sweet doggy girl, Rosie, had been losing some weight. We didn’t think much of it at first, because we knew she could be a bit finicky in her eating habits. Two weeks ago we took her into the vet where it was discovered through X-ray that she had a bullet in her ribcage from her life prior to coming to live with us two years ago. That wasn’t the problem, and we didn’t get any answers from the X-ray. A few days later we took her in for an ultrasound where it was discovered that she had cancer.

With heavy hearts we brought her home not knowing how long we would have with her, but hoping to extend it as long as she was in good spirits. She declined so quickly, and on Sunday Russ took her in to be put down.

She was three years old, and so sweet. How one dog can remain so good natured after being shot really blows my mind. Our time together was too short and we miss her incredibly. <3

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A Birthday Princess in the Forest

princess in the forest birthday party sybille von olfers

This weekend we celebrated Lucy’s upcoming fourth birthday in the woods with friends. With friends arriving dressed as gnomes, fairies, and princesses, it was nothing short of magical.

I kept it simple, because in all honesty, I just do not enjoy throwing parties like I used to. I scheduled the party from 10-12, and we provided snacks and cupcakes for the kids. The most I did was make some sandwiches. Easy peasy, and I don’t think anyone minded (though pre-children me would have been horrified at the lack of creativity with the food!).

For favors I made up a bunch of fairy wands–multi colored ribbons tied to sticks. It was such an easy an fun activity, that a dear friend gave me the idea for.

Lucy’s dress was of course the same as this one. It is one of the fastest and easiest patterns I have followed–I wish it came in adult sizes!

The day was a very rare damp one in these parts, but no one seemed to mind. Lucy wore her rain boots under her princess dress, and came home covered in mud and dirt, as any little forest princess should! It was a beautiful day.

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princess in the forest birthday party sybille von olfers

ribbon fairy wands

princess in the forest birthday party sybille von olfers

 

Six Months of June

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Six months. How, when, where did that time go?

This little girl is the absolute dream baby. She is smiles from the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep. She can crawl, but is mostly just content exploring the objects in her immediate surroundings. She pulls herself up and has coasted a little ways along the edge of our coffee table and couch. She has no teeth (I hope it stays this way for a little while longer!). She was fed cheese by her older sister and loves to eat grass, other than that she has not yet had food. She laughs hysterically with even just the lightest of tickles. She loves our cat Jasper and thinks it is hilarious when he rubs his chin on her. She smiles even into her dreams.

I am one lucky mama–I just hope the next six months don’t speed by so quickly.

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Easter

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As a non religious family holidays of religious significance have been something I have given a great deal of thought to. Should we celebrate? If so, how are we going to celebrate? How do we explain what we are celebrating? And so on.

I don’t know all the answers to these questions, and they will likely change over the years, but we are slowly paving our own little path. As the years have passed I have come to realize that the traditions of my childhood don’t necessarily fit in with our life now. This to me has been one of the most difficult things to get past, but so exciting to think about creating some entirely new and unique traditions.

We don’t eat a lot of sugar, so plastic eggs full of candy are not a part of our Easter. In the past we have used them filled with cereal when she was very young and small toys as she got older. This year plastic eggs just didn’t feel like a part of our holiday. Instead of the traditional egg hunt I drew up a series of clues that led Lucy to her and June’s hidden baskets (June slept in an extra two hours and missed the excitement, but she has many more Easters ahead of her!). This year we got Lucy a nice, organic chocolate bar and a family of Calico Critters in her basket. June got a sweet little bean bag type dolly. She was more interested in chewing on the basket.

If and however you celebrate, I hope you had a nice day, filled with love, family, and a little bit of sugar.

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A Morning Out

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Last weekend we went for an early morning picnic with some friends in one of our favorite spots. It was quiet and relaxing. The kids played for hours and us mamas got to wander around slowly behind and chat.

I have made it no secret that I don’t really love where I live. I grew up in a beautiful spot in the country surrounded by the crystal waters of the Puget Sound. Everywhere we looked, nature was there. State parks everywhere. Hikes. Boats. Swimming holes. Rope swings. Cabins. Old farmhouses. Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing pine trees. And oh, the smell!

While there are some spots here and there filled with the beauty and serenity I seek, I have always felt that for the most part, fun costs money here. I have been desperately itching to return to the area that I spent entirety of my childhood, to breath that fresh air and see those gorgeous green tree covered mountains. It has been 18 years since I left and 17 years since I visited–and this summer I am going back!
One day I hope to move back up there, but for now we are planning a week long vacation, right on the water, just a few lots down from a 100 acre state park. It sounds like pure heaven, and I will surely be daydreaming about it until the time arrives to hop the plane.

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Coloring Eggs for Easter

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We spent the better part of our day getting eggs and dye baths ready to color and then peeking into the fridge every half hour or hour to see how the eggs were coming along. This is the second (or possibly third?) time I have done naturally dyed eggs, and while it a much more time consuming process than the quick tablets in vinegar that you get in packs at the store, I really think it is worth it–I love the organic looking hues of naturally dyed eggs.

This year we used turmeric, shredded beets, shredded red cabbage, and red onion skins on both white and brown eggs. If you are interested in making your own naturally dyed eggs, I recommend these instructions from The Kitchn.

After we dyed them and they had dried (drying without touching is the key, the dye rubs off to the touch while they are wet), Lucy claimed one of the pinkish eggs (from the beet dye) as her own and carried it around in a little basket for about an hour before she lost interest and I snuck it back into the fridge. She was in such awe of the beautiful colors of all the eggs.

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http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/2015/03/tuesdays-dress.html