It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let the Good Times Roll (oh dear, my waistline!)

During the past week we've been crafting, cooking, and hosting up a storm. Not to mention, I shampooed every carpet in my house. It is CLEAN around here, and I've got blisters on my right hand to prove it!

Rowan's homework assignment last week was to create a book holder for her desk at school. Her teacher gave us instructions on how to shape the cereal box, but the kids got to design their own covering. Rowan chose to use leftover gold wrapping paper from her birthday, with some "Rowan" heart stickers for decoration. Pretty fancy!
Rowan also had a friend over to play last week. The two girls always come up with an elaborate (albeit messy) plan to turn their playtime into a "show" which involves posters and set design and tickets and of course a performance. I love it! They get so creative, and so excited about their project and it keeps them entertained for hours. Their show last week was called: Balloon Exploders. Here are the tickets they created...
Other than me, the audience consisted of Emily, Jenny, Lanie, and Kanani:
The set/stage was designed using available resources...
Note the explosive TNT poster on the side...
The entire show consisted of the girls pumping air into long balloons and then letting them escape to fly, farting, across the room. Every effort was made to hit me with them, but only one came close. They were very proud of their efforts, and much giggling took place.

I hosted Knit Night as well as a PartyLite candle show at our house this week, and my inner Martha Stewart emerged in the form of mini corn fritter appetizers...
...rosemary buttermilk scones...
...a "Rustic Fall Tart" made with plums...
...spiced cranberry apple cider, and a few other goodies. I broke out the few dishes that were left of my grandma's set to add a festive, autumn feel to the array of culinary yumminess.
I made way too much food, of course, and am happily still eating leftovers!

Much to Rowan's utter delight, I purchased a re-usable gingerbread house "kit" last weekend at the Holiday Mart. The plastic house base can be used over and over for different holidays and occasions. I bought a bunch of candy on Thursday, and Rowan got right to work that afternoon...
Here's what she's completed so far - and she's VERY excited to practice the art of frosting things, which can be really tricky for an 8 year old. I wanted to help her SO badly - it was hard to just stand back and let her learn but I did it! Mommy victory! (P.S. Her hair is green for "crazy hair day" at school!)
Today starts the official sale of Girl Scout cookies!  If I haven't already harassed you via email, be sure and let me know if you'd like to order some. How can you refuse this face?
And before I sign off, I'll just leave you with a few cutie pictures of my girls as we gear up for Halloween weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Party Central

We survived the Golden Birthday! Here are just a few photos...

Pizza time

Rowan's finished star box

Birthday Girl

Pile O Presents

Worlds of Fun - Haunted Garden

Fury of the Nile (Cliff got SOAKED)

Turtle Prize

Look Mom, no hands!

Brynn and Me on the Rocket Coaster

Cutie sisters and cousins
And now, we can concentrate on Halloween at last! I "dressed up" for Bunco Wednesday night in this shirt - "Tic Tac Toe." Get it?

Yesterday, Rowan helped me get our decorations up and the house looks very festive and pumpkin-y. I spent a couple hours figuring out how many parties/groups/care packages I needed treats for over the next two weeks, made a Target run, and got things divvied and bagged. I turned the kitchen into a giant mess of raffia particles in order to construct the "witch broomsticks" filled with treats for my 14 Brownies. They turned out pretty cute!
I also finished building the doll kitchen set that we gave Rowan for her birthday. Again, turned out pretty cute!
And after patiently waiting several weeks, I told Rowan we could finish working on/planning her Doll Halloween Party. We spent the afternoon today cutting out the decorations, making a banner, putting ribbon on the bat masks, creating 4 black bat capes so that each doll at the party will have a costume, chose candy for the treat bags, and emailed the few girls Rowan chose to invite. She can't WAIT for the 31st!
It is blustery, cloudy, and cooler today. Our lawn is sprinkled with crispy leaves and the trees around us are just starting to hint at color. The magic of Halloween is definitely in the air, and I am so fortunate that I get to experience the excitement all over again through the eyes of my children and their friends. Good times, people, good times. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Countdown to...Surprise!

Oh, I'm just plain giddy today!!  In less than 3 hours, I'm hoping to totally surprise Rowan with her Golden Birthday party. Tee hee!!  So far, the girls invited haven't spilled the beans, so let's hope they can keep lips sealed the rest of the afternoon.

At 3:15 I'll head over to school with Rowan's birthday treats for her class. Rowan chose to make black cats this year (we made them for her class treat in preschool and in Kindergarten!) Here she is cutting the tails...
And here is the entire cat family, faces and all! We added their tails right before boxing them up to stay fresh.
I've got most of the house ready and decorated for the party. The living room is a mess of toys, but there's no point in cleaning that up until 15 minutes before the party, since Brynn and I will still have 2 hours left to kill. The helium balloons and gold hanging stars have added some sparkle...
...and the table is set and ready for some pizza and some crafting!
The girls will be making decoupage star boxes using different gold textured tissue papers. I quick did a test run this afternoon, just to see how long it will take to dry. It's still wet, but looking cute!
Rowan requested a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday, and asked to have a roller coaster design on it. Oh dear! Wish my brother Noah had been here to do that bit of detailing! My attempt didn't quite turn out as I'd envisioned, but hopefully it's not bad enough to end up on Cake Wrecks!

And I just heard Brynn chatting in her crib, so it's time for a fresh diaper and walk over to school. Giddy, I tell you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All A-Flutter

It's done! My lace flutter scarf (started in July?) is finally finished, blocked, and ready to wear. Oh so smashing I will look about town in my grey Eddie Bauer jacket and orange scarf. LOL! 
Ooh la la! I have also finished my linen stitch cowl, and anticipate an oh-so-warm-and-stylish neck in wintry weather.
A flat picture doesn't really do it justice, so here's the cowl worn by a professional model...
And now I find myself...with nothing to knit!! What? I have yarn to make a second cowl, so will most likely cast on for that, but my hands are itching to do a cute ear flap boy hat for a toddler I know who is turning 2 in November. (Raena, pretend you didn't read that.) I keep seeing darling hats wherever I shop - lots of animal faces and ears and braided ear flap ties. Gotta make one. Ravelry, here I come to find a pattern!

October has launched us into full celebration mode. Rowan's birthday is in 3 days, and SHHH, her little surprise party is on Friday! I filled the little treat boxes with all the gold goodies, got the supplies for the decoupage craft, and am ready to fill some Mylar star balloons with helium and adorn the house with gold decorations to surprise her Friday night. Yay!
Tomorrow (after the dreaded chore of dusting and vacuuming) I plan to get out some fall decorations and candles and get it really festive around here. We don't pull out the Halloween stuff until after Rowan's birthday so that there is still something fun to look forward to after her big day. I love all the orange - my fav accent color!

But speaking of Halloween, here's a sneak preview...
Oh, and I think I have a permanent dent in my thumb from all the pepper cutting (see last post) I did this afternoon whilst catching up on Glee episodes. But the peppers are done, and ready to be made into Ristra mobiles. Woo hoo!