-On the house search. We really wanted this beautiful house, but due to some strange loan regulations that is not possible. I was disappointed for a minute, but then I really started thinking about how I do trust that we will be where we are supposed to be. I don’t want to live somewhere that isn’t meant to be our home. So, peace about it. It was just a shame because it was so cheap and awesome. Then we found this house that has the land in the city. It’s on half an acre! However, it’s on a busy road and the house is just not what we want, so we just felt like we’d be settling if we went for it.
Then, the other day, we found a beautiful little house in the neighborhood we love. It’s not at all what I would’ve pictured myself wanting. I have always imagined an old creaky house with lots of charm. You know, like maybe late 19th-century, narrow staircases and built-in shelves, laundry chute, an old fireplace, and of course a big front porch. This house, however, looks fairly ordinary. It was built in the 40’s, I think, and is not as big as I would’ve dreamed up. But, after taking some advice to heart, when Jeff and I walked in this sweet little house it made us smile. We walked through and examined things, and both glanced excitedly at one another. We really liked it. It’s got everything we need. Lots of storage, a surprising amount of space, a garage for Jeff’s shop, a great basement, and it includes a BATHTUB*!!! It could really nourish us for a long time. It’s got plenty of charm, is modest and feels really good, and it sort of snuck up on me. It’s got a decent yard- it’s on 1/5th of an acre- which doesn’t seem like a whole heck of a lot for the kind of gardening/chicken/everything I want to do, but I’m inspired. Lately I’ve been reading about the Dervaes family, and if I can be anything like them then I’m doing pretty well. There are also a few hardcore families around the area that are into urban farming, so I think I might just have to put myself out there and ask to pick their brains. It’s so exciting to think about. We are going to look into it, and if it doesn’t work out then at least my eyes have been opened a bit.

*Our house doesn’t have a bathtub, and while I think showering is fabulous for 95% of bathing experiences, it’s that 5% that is sorely lacking in my life. Oh how I dream of nightly baths…

In other news. Alright, alright, so baby news. Vera, with the exit of the teething nightmare that came with her… left lateral incisor, came the entry of a new and interesting phase. The clingy baby phase. I’ve seen this happen with other mommas before. The minute momma leaves, a wail like you wouldn’t believe is issued, resulting in a frustrated (and oftentimes peeing) momma yelling her reassurances from the other room. I have looked on in disbelief, thinking "Baby, relax, your mom is coming right back…"
No, she’s not as bad as all that, but I’ve definitely felt the weight of her momma-preference in my day-to-day. It can be a bit tiring at the end of a long day when I would just like her to go to papa, but she just can’t be at ease without me. However, mostly it just means a messy house and warm snuggles, for me. As I type she’s nestled between my arms, with my leg precariously supporting the back of her head, because she just can’t seem to stay asleep for very long elsewhere. I look down at her calm face and just imagine that she feels safe with me, that my heart radiates my love for her so she can feel it and sleep peacefully knowing it. Sometimes I lean down and smell her sweet milky breath and just shut my eyes. These are the moments that enrich my life. The moments that are sometimes difficult, but altogether make me glad to be alive. I’m so grateful lately.

I haven’t been as good about pictures lately. There’s something about the weather turning that makes me stall a bit in some areas. I feel things picking up though. I’ve decided that I won’t worry if there’s a day missed here and there. I’m taking a relaxed approach. I thought I could do like a "best of" for each week. And so, here are the latest:

Nov. 20th:
I love this picture- it says so much to me even though the picture itself is not great. I love that this is how I see her half the time. Asking to go out or for a treat or just to play. My patient, lovely Maya.

Nov. 21st:
Yes. Just yes.

Jeff and I have been laughing a lot lately. The only example I have of this is from yesterday. I was making the squash soup for Thanksgiving, and he said "The plural of squash is SQUISH!"… and it just tickled me. I continue to giggle when I think about it.

Nov. 22nd:
She likes spinach. So. Spinach, apples, cheerios, and lately banana sometimes.

Nov. 23rd:
My hair. And my dirty mirror. I hate taking pictures of myself, I just get too self-conscious. However, I am the picture taker in the family, and I know that I’ll regret it if I have years of photos of everyone with only a glimpse here and there of me in the background. Hopefully as I get better at photography in general I’ll be able to feel more confident with self-portraits. Until then… my hair is short! 

Nov. 25th:
Yum-tastic tomato/potato/corn soup that I made with a very easy rosemary and tomato focaccia. I’m getting back into experimenting in the kitchen. So much fun. I just have to remember to write stuff down!

Nov. 27th:
Vera and I yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner. She was rubbing her ground up turkey all over my shirt.

My sister and I have been talking about the origins of certain traditions, what we believe and don’t believe, what we want to teach our kids. It’s a complicated issue. For instance, I think it’s terrible that our country became what it is today through violence and theft, and I hate that all our children are taught that we’re just awesome and "free" and stuff, and we all get together to gorge ourselves in the name of peace between the natives and the settlers to show how diverse and loving we are and all that… when it’s just not really true. Blech. However, I love that we all have a day to be grateful and eat and be with family. I don’t think there’s ever a reason not to do that. I feel that way about a lot of our traditions. What it comes down to for me is a desire to be honest and fair, but to also impart my own views and perhaps form some new traditions, and to also not spoil everything for my kids because I thought Columbus was an asshole or that I think it’s not fair that all the pagan holidays were stolen by Christians. I’ll just do my best.

Quote of the day:
"It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation." -Roberto Benigni (his film "Life is Beautiful" is one of my all time top favorite movies.)


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Comments (16)

  1. pearlstreetdiva

    your new haircut is awesome and you look jut gorgeous! sometimes there is a period of adjustment for big changes but this hairdo really fits you.

    NAD I LOVE THAT SQUISH….i think he is right….LOL

    last but not least……that child is soooooooooo freaking cute i want to squeeze her and nibble on her cheek

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you! It’s definitely weird, but it was time. I like it. 🙂

      SQUISH! I wanna squish your little Eli, he’s so adorable lately I can’t stand it!

  2. pithy_epigrams

    That’s one of my favorite movies as well. Such a beautiful message.

    I know that you guys will make whatever house you find awesome, I’m just excited to see what ends up happening. I’m living vicariously through your journal. Marriage, baby, house buying….

    And as usual, your food looks fantastic. I agree with you about holidays also.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      haha that’s funny. I’m glad that I can provide that fix for ya. I miss your writing!

  3. csgraham

    Look! Someone’s attractive cousin!

    I agree with you that Columbus is not the hero we celebrate him as. More of an old-timey Hitler.
    But you can ease your mind by reminding yourself that Christopher Columbus was not an American.

    My mind keeps jumping to The Simpsons, when Lisa discovers that the town’s hero, Jedediah Springfield, was nothing more than a murderous pirate.
    And on the day of his parade, she at the last minute decided not show the town proof that he was evil, because it would ruin an otherwise joyous occasion.
    I’ve always been fairly certain that they were making a slight jab at Columbus Day.

    So I guess the question is, do we turn Thanksgiving into a day of mourning to feel ashamed of what was done 600 years ago, or keep a nice day to get together with family and have a nice meal?
    And we did eventually start to get along with Native Americans. Yes, their land was stolen from them and we are still claiming it, but the only way to truly repeal that at this point is for everyone who doesn’t have Native in their bloodline to pack up and leave the continent.

    I wonder if in 500 years, Germans will think Hitler was some noble hero who died trying to bring peace to Poland or something…

    In that picure, with your hair cut, you look like so much younger. Not that you look old, but it’s just how you looked in elementary school.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Re: Look! Someone’s attractive cousin!

      That was a funny episode- I didn’t think of Columbus when I saw it, but now that you mention it… I just thought it was a general “these old heroes tend to be assholes” kind of message.
      Like I said, I think it’s a balance. On the one hand I think it’s important to not spend the day mourning, but it’s also really important to be honest and try to honor the people who were sacrificed and stolen from. I think we just shouldn’t live in a lie. So, I plan to tell Vera the truth, and to also tell her that Thanksgiving is still for being grateful and, especially, for loving those around her.

      That’s so funny. I wish i knew what your vision of me was. I have a distinct vision of you from back then. Can I give you a bowl cut and we’ll see?

      1. csgraham

        Re: Look! Someone's attractive cousin!

        Mine is that picture. Pretty accurately.
        Anyways, it’s a nice picture, even if it’s off-center.

        Anyways, I think it’s pretty interesting that we have only two holidays in this country named after our “heroes”.
        One is for Martin Luther King Jr, who helped break down racial barriers and fought fore equality. The other is for Columbus, who enslaved and murdered and basically committed genocide wherever he went, all in the name of gold.

        Well, I guess if you talk of balance, you gotta take a bad one with a good one!

  4. nashifeet

    ive been thinking about traditions too, and i have no idea either what i want to teach grace. i keep going back and forth on the same things you are. let me know if you have any revelations. 🙂 i like your short hair!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I think that our own family traditions are important in their own right, but that I can put a new spin on some parts. So like, for xmas, I don’t want it to be a crazy consumer holiday, so I will try to focus on gratitude, service, and giving. I’m going to be honest about what the holiday represents, what other holidays coincide, what we believe, etc. But, I’m going to let their grandparents get them presents as long as they are thoughtful about them (which they always are so I’m not too worried). I won’t mind a Christmas story or two because I think they are fun and Jesus was a good guy. So. I just want to find a balance between deprivation and over-indulgence and side it with gratitude and responsibility. Also, I think I’ll have my kids donate some of their old toys each year. What have been your thoughts?

      1. nashifeet

        overall I’d really like to start some of my own. I didn’t do much for thanksgiving because I worked (and will choose to work as long as I have the option because its time and a half!), and then my mom came by with food and after her my ex-stepdad came by too…but what are we really celebrating, you know? giving thanks for selfish reasons? giving thanks for taking someone else’s land? i mean…i’m not incredibly educated as far as all of the details go, but i want to be thankful all the time and not set aside a special day for it. so, i probably wont make my own thanksgiving…i’ll go to family things when i can because its nice to be around family any time. and for christmas…i wanted to celebrate the season change because i figured it meant less gifts, but it turns out its still a time for gifts and partying and food! ha! so, i think i just want to focus on integrating life and seasons and nature and the cycle of life and the sun and gratitude for those things and harmony and balance…make sense? last year i got grace one thing for christmas, and this year i will do the same, and im going to tell my parents that if they insist on giving gifts, let it be something necessary or helpful…actually taking into consideration how we can help one another in the spirit of giving, and not giving because its that time of year. gosh, long comment…anyway, that’s my plan. i am really liking snowmen decorations though…and i will be getting a tree (a fake one, but still a tree), and i have lights up. i just love this time of year because its beautiful. 🙂

  5. purerandomness

    LOVE the haircut! It looks amazing. How much did you end up chopping off (and were you able to donate it)?


    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks! I’m not sure what the final tally was, but I know it was over a foot! Yep, I had my friend donate it. Yay! How are you doing?

      1. purerandomness

        Everything is going well. We had enough food for T-giving dinner, which I was very concerned about. Everyone seems to be having a good time. The in-laws left this morning and my family leaves early tomorrow.

        If you donated to Locks of Love they will send you a little postcard thanking you. I think I have 3 or 4 saved somewhere.

  6. robinbronwen

    I completely agree with you about what our country has become. I really believe that the true meaning of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays is to laugh together over a nice healthy plate of squish. 🙂 Vera is looking so beautiful, just like her mother! Very nice hair cut, by the way! Also, I think you are on the right track with your house search. There is a really annoying country song (I hate country music and I don’t know why I am even referring to this) that says something like “She is not at all what I was looking for… she’s more.” I think whether you are talking about a person or a place, what you pictured in your mind initially is not always what you end up falling in love with. I can’t believe I am referencing country music..UGGHH!!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yes! Family and squish, all the way.

      I like that reference, even if it is from a crappy song. Jeff was actually like that for me, and he turned out to be the love of my life. Thanks, this reinforces my keep-your-eyes-open attitude right now.


  7. Anonymous

    LOVE the SEXY short hair!!!!!!


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