Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dear Emma, On Your Tenth Birthday

 Dear Emma,
Happy birthday, sweet girl! Ten years have quickly passed and here we are celebrating your first decade on Earth. It's crazy to me to think that you are ten years old already since it seems like only yesterday we were meeting you for the first time. From the moment they placed you in my arms and you gazed up at me as if to say "well, there you are mama" there was no doubt in my mind that you were going to do amazing things. With you and your sister being so close in age I was worried that perhaps it was too soon for another little one to join our family, but that was all pushed aside the minute that your Gramma Terri and Grace walked into our hospital room. Grace looked at you with such love and such wonder, and it was as if  we were watching two halves of the same whole finally be reunited. And when we came home a few days later, with you dressed in your outfit and Grace dressed in hers (the first of many matching outfits) and we watched her hold you (not that she was all that much bigger than you!) we knew then that we would be witness to one of the sweetest sisterhoods and friendships ever placed on this Earth (and all these years later I still stand in awe of it)!

You confidence and capability is second to none. The times you are most frustrated are when you are either developmentally just not there or when people are not giving you enough credit for what you can do. We often have to tell people that "yes, she may be little but she can do it" and it's always fun to stand back and watch them realize that there is truth in that statement. Your skills have always been older than your years, and sometimes even I have to take a moment and remind myself that you are capable and to let you try. More often than not it goes well, and if it doesn't it's usually simply because you need to grow just a bit more to have it truly work out the way you want it to. We've talked a lot over the years (and especially lately) about how "yes it can be frustrating when things are hard but when the time is right it will be done with ease". Carry this wisdom with you always, sweet Emma, as it will serve you well the rest of your days.

It has been a joy to watch you turn into the young lady you are today. I have loved each age and stage (though I'll admit sometimes age four may have left a little to be desired). I know how excited you are to reach double digits and to experience all the new things that come with this milestone. I'm excited for you to experience them to, even if I do continue to beg you to "stop the growing"! Honestly, that's simply because my days of being taller than you girls are clearly numbered!

I never knew that you were to be the last baby I was to birth. And while that was a hard realization to come to, and while there are indeed still days that I watch you and think you should have four younger siblings, I must also admit that you were the perfect ending to our family. Like the four elements of the earth the four of us walk through our day in harmony. Sure, there are times that we might not all be in perfect sync but for the most part we are and for that I am grateful.

There is so much in store for you over the next ten years. There will be joys, there will be sorrows. There will be happiness and there will be heartbreak. Whatever life hands you please know that we will always be here, your soft landing space when the world feels so very hard, and the place to come to celebrate all the wonderful things that are bound to come your way, too.

Go out into the world and do your amazing things, Emma. Stay connected to those you love and to those who love you. Seek wisdom from those who have walked the path longer than you when life is confusing or hard. Spend time each day in nature. Stand up for what's right and for those being wronged. Smile. Always enjoy something sweet. Get plenty of exercise. Stop and breath in the spring air (and the autumn air and the winter air and yes even the summer air). Apologize and ask forgiveness when apologies and forgiveness are needed. See the world. Help those in need. Sing. Dance. And don't forget to do something to make the world a more beautiful place.

Happy tenth birthday, sweet girl. We cannot wait to see all that this next year, and next decade, has in store for you! We're here with you every step of the way always!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

On Her Birthday Eve

It's crazy to me to think that tomorrow morning our sweet youngest daughter turns ten years old. One decade of Emma! How is that possible already?! In celebration of her birthday eve, as well as the glorious weather (68 degrees on February 20th?! What?!), we decided that a trip to Old Sturbridge Village was in order. As we walked into the Village Emma said to me: "Mama, this is the perfect place to celebrate my last day being nine!" 
Our first stop, of course, was the sheep. From the time she was one she has loved these sheep. 
 We stopped into the Fitch House where the girls made valentines, and where we also got to watch this very talented woman make some, too. 
 We also learned the history of the valentine and that they were not just given on Valentine's Day!
 After the Fitch House we stopped in to the Parsonage for some hot chocolate. It was made the way it would have been in the 1830s and was very delicious! 
 A quick stop into the Asa Knight store where we had a lovely chat with the shopkeepers before heading to the farm. 
 These two really need land and a barn of their own.
 After our day at OSV we came home for lunch and a bit of quite time before heading back outside in the glorious weather. We caught up with all the neighbors and stayed out until it was dark and we were all hungry! The girls had a quick dinner and then it was time for showers, bed and setting up the birthday ring. 
This year's additions are the fox and the bunny. Both a nod to Emma's Halloween costume this year (my dad kept teasing Emma asking her if she was a bunny)! I cannot wait for her to see these new pieces tomorrow morning! xo 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Yesterday and Today

Though the girls had a day off from ski practice yesterday (due to school vacation week) our intrepid skiers couldn't possibly miss out on six inches of fresh powder! 

View from the back door at 7:00am Sunday morning. 
And our view at 8:30am today. Perfect temperature out there this morning to begin boiling our first batch of sap! Nothing like the smell of maple right outside your back door! xo

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Branch

Around 9:00pm on December 23, Dave got a text from one of our neighbors telling us a massive branch just took out the girls swing-set. The ice from the storm had proven too much for the branch and down it came and with it the end of the girls' swing-set. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see this in the dark of night, and even more heartbreaking to get a closer look at the damage when we got back from church on Christmas Eve morning. Though they had outgrown many of the pieces of the swing-set, they still used the swings (and the four person glider) quite often. We most likely would have made the decision to take it down this coming summer (or at least by mid-autumn) but to have the decision made for us in such a violent way was just so heartbreaking. 
In addition to the decimated swing-set, the fence sustained a fair amount of damage too. It was already in need of some fixing and painting and now even more so. 
A few weeks later we realized that the other major question that we needed to figure out an answer to was who to offer this wood to. Free for the taking as long as they'd be up for coming to get it. Then it dawned on me: my friend Laura's family has a wood-stove! I quickly sent her a text and some pictures of the branch to see if her husband may want the wood. They replied back yes and Dave and Josh chose a date to deal with the branch. 
And so, today, Josh and his sons came over to tackle this massive branch. With the help of his trusty chainsaw the guys had all the wood chopped up and in Josh's truck in just a smidge over an hour. With the branch turned into logs we could now see just how much damage was done to the fence. And while, I do not have a picture of it (yet), I will say it is quite significant and rather sad.

Thank you Josh and Laura for adopting our branch! We are so glad that the wood could go to such a good home and that it will keep you and your sweet family cozy and warm! xo 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing you a day full of love and sweetness! Happy Valentine's Day from our family to yours! xo

Monday, February 12, 2018

Evening Crafting

It wouldn't be February without a copious amount of Valentine crafting going on! xo

Saturday, February 10, 2018

{These Moments} Tapping Day!

{This Moment} A weekend ritual. A single photo (or six) -no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Wishing you all a sweet and lovely weekend! xo