Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mamas and Boys

Today Charis, Ellis, Owain and I went for a little mid-winter, mid-week outing to Eau Claire. It was a silly, fun, improvised date that took us to the Children's Museum and the boys' new favorite place in the world - an old time train store, run by an old timey gentleman who was just the friendliest train engineer we could ever care to meet. Some of our favorite moments...

Be Mona! at the kids' museum
They really just could NOT believe their good fortune...trains everywhere!
I couldn't resist sharing Ellis's "carousel" that we built out of bristle blocks this morning. Have you ever seen tiny plastic animals having this much fun?!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I'm making meatloaf for dinner tonight. Meatloaf. I've never made it before, but have had it every so often, probably mostly during my first 12 years of life. Wow, did I feel like a Betty Crocker convert when it occurred to me to make meatloaf as I scoured my brain and cookbooks for a dinner idea, staring at the giant box of fresh beef from our friendly, local farmer.

There is something about it - meatloaf - that is both repulsive and a yummy indulgence. The name, for one, is a bit of a deterrence for me. Anything in loaf form, really, other than bread, sounds scary and mysterious. Especially a big ol' loaf of meat. But as I put together the veggies, garlic and onion, savory seasonings and a bubbling glaze on top...meatloaf didn't seem so bad...I think my mouth even started watering a little. And this, coming from a girl who went meat free for a time. Hi, my name is Rebecca and I make meatloaf. And looking at the clock, I see it's time to get that dinner out of the oven!

So, in the spirit of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, let this be my ode to least for today. Dinner's on!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter Visit

We just bid farewell to Nathan, Barbara and "baby Sanne" (as the boys lovingly call her) after their visit to the farm. Good conversation, reconnecting, and nose-wiping as we chased after the three sick (but happy and hyper) cousins. We miss you already!!

Put three toddlers on a chair together and watch the chaos unfold.

Sanne wasn't so sure about her birthday cupcakes...but quickly changed her mind.

The temps are below zero and the snow is a foot deep, but it's a sunny, gorgeous day for play.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Good boy, Gideon

My trusty steed is finally at it again. Urias came through with a stunning harness - all shiny and strong and ready for Gideon's workout! Yes, my Belgian will be svelte soon (I was going to say that I'd now have the chance to work his butt off, but if you take a quick glance at the photo up to your left you can see that's a pretty tall order). I was amazed at how quickly he caught on again, and by the time we were on our fourth load of oak, he'd swing over, jog up the hill to the pile, turn around, back up and stop to hook up like he'd been doing it forever. Meanwhile I was swimming in my own special little pool of sweat while running through the snow behind him. It really is crazy how effortless he makes it look. My neighbor Bill says that a couple of horses like Gideon could pull a pickup truck up a hill. With the emergency brake on. This makes me think we're not providing him with enough of a challenge with these measly oak trunks. And that if one of our cars gets stuck in the snow at the bottom of our driveway we'll have a brilliant hillbilly-style solution...

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I was listening to the Valentine's Day edition of "This American Life" on NPR yesterday. The first segment was a short story from the point of view of a husband in the depths of a long and not particularly happy marriage. After a trite argument (one in a string of many) he nearly leaves his wife of 30 years because he's just so tired of being annoyed and unhappy. On his way out, he stops at the bedroom door to tell her of his determined plans. He sees that she is sleeping - that she has clearly cried herself to sleep, that she too is exhausted with their tiresome relationship. He is suddenly struck with the memory of what he thought love was at 14 years old...a young, naive idealist who saw the romance of a budding relationship as equal to true love. Yes, he knows there is an unmatched, unexplained magic in the blossom of love - eyes meeting across a room, the electrifying touch of skin on skin, the anxious hope to see her at every next turn - but there is also an unmatched, unexplained magic in the longevity of true love. The ability to feel lost without the other person, even when you are tired and annoyed and sick of the daily grind...that you are capable of feeling this much contrast and yet know that your love is so much greater than the struggle. He does not leave her. He writes her a letter - the story he is telling - and goes to bed, to her.

I put a particular album on just to write this post--the soundtrack to the film "Once." It opens with a song so beautiful and strong that it makes me want to cry. It is love. Aching, pining falling in love. Another track bears the lyrics "And I love her so, I wouldn't trade her for gold...I'm walking on moonbeams..." I want to surround myself in love songs - songs about one person's joy in loving another person. But for me, what I need to be reminded of is not only my deep, dynamic love for Chris. Yes, I always need to give him more of me and more of my time and more of my good parts to balance out the hard things we go through.

I also love this home - this land, this family, these children - and this life I have chosen. I love it so, I wouldn't trade it for gold. It can be so difficult and annoying and tedious and slow moving. It is scary and big in its forever-feeling. But it began with a magic like falling in love. I saw this life from across the crowded room in my mind and I could not sleep for my thoughts were with it constantly. I ached to see it progress and I wanted to talk about it all the time. I was engaged with this life from the start and wanted to get married to it and live happily ever after. Be it kismet or divine intervention, my husband, Charis and Jay felt the same way - we were all blindsided by newfound love. What grateful joy we felt, upon realizing that we were all game for the same plan. And here we are, waiting with baited (and often exasperated) breath for our goals to take form, but not quite sure what those specifically are from day to day. I have never been one to have big goals...never assumed I would live in a certain place or have a particular kind of job or have x amount of kids by the time I was x years old. But now I find I want and need life goals - to move toward something big and challenging, because I am in this rare and beautiful place to do this with others. I have Chris and Ellis to love and nurture forever, and I also have this bigger life that requires great love and nurturing.

It is February - the time of year when I suddenly go from being all romantic about winter to just being restless and ready for spring. I'm looking at seed catalogs and a diagram of our garden and I am getting excited. I walk around the back of the house and envision a new addition being built and I can hear the sounds of hammers and drills and see friends and family arriving to lend a hand. I'm excited for creating to begin again and to feel the momentum of moving forward. I am excited to share on this blog on a more regular basis, what projects are going on, who is lending their skill to the making, and what I am learning by watching and doing.

I now have big dreams that float around in my imagination and sometimes get drawn down to earth, shared in conversation, and that is exciting. In this marriage of life, I am keenly aware of the magic which started it all. May I find the grace to come back to that every day, and the good sense to surround myself with love songs when I need them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Only 18 months old and already a Badassss

He wanted me to dye it purple, but I told him he'd have to wait until he was 3.

The passion of the guacamole

Giving Auntie some sugar

Still looking for a pair of Dickies his size to round out the look

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Making Tracks

In the name of blog interactivity, I'm running a little contest (blogtest?) to see who can best identify the animals that make a highway of our yard in the fresh snow. The winner gets a special Lostview prize.








Monday, February 04, 2008

For the first time in the history of Owain...

...he slept through the whole entire night! 7 p.m. - 6 a.m. Uninterrupted! And it only took 17 1/2 months. Call the newspapers! (Actually, if you called the Colfax newspaper, they'd probably print it. Along with Great Aunt Ida's trip to the hairdresser.)