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...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh So Busy, But Gettin' Giddy!

Talk about amping up the crafting around here - CRAZY times! But it's all good, and at this point the gift-making is almost done and the gift-giving has kicked in daily. The last week of school is always jam-packed with parties and events, and so far I've managed to stay on top of things without any late nights or crankiness!  Here's what's been shakin' (get ready, people):

Cooking and Baking

For a Moms Club recipe exchange, I decided to make some cinnamon honey butter in 1/2 pint mason jars - this brilliant plan turned into a giant production! I filled over 40 jars with this delish concoction, for teachers, neighbors, friends and family.
I few samples, along with the gift bags I used. Each recipient is getting a biscuit mix packet along with the honey butter. Yum!

Rowan's teacher needed plain gingerbread men for a class project today, so I got out my cookie cutter and went to work.
What is this? Not too appetizing in this form, but oh so delish when made into "Nut Goodie Bars"...
I made three giant trays of this peanutbutterychocolatey goodness. Some to give, some to bring to various functions, some for the annual cookie exchange, and some to take home to Iowa for Christmas...if they last that long!
But let's not forget the super cutie snowflake cookies I made and brought to Rowan's recital on Sunday. She did great, btw - so proud! Here's a picture of her with her teacher after they played their duet:

Knitting (still a little cowl crazy!)

My blocked cowl is done, and I've worn it - woo hoo! Here's my model, Frosty, showing you how great it turned out:
I am almost done with a luscious Rowan Lima cowl I am giving away on Christmas...
And have the yarn to make one just like it for a January birthday present (oh yay, something to actually knit over Christmas that doesn't have to be DONE yet!)

Girl Scouts & School

And today is our final Brownie meeting of 2011. My second attempt to stiffen the snowflake ornaments (using a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 Elmer's glue) worked perfectly! Rowan is helping me take them off the blocking board here (and I was SO SMART to put plastic over the cardboard before I blocked them - they would have stuck terribly!):
I made a large card for each Brownie, and attached the snowflake ornament inside.
Our big project at today's meeting is to make Brownies in a Jar (Brownies, get it?!?) Here's a sample of the finished product (and you can see the large stack of m&m cookies made for Brynn's school party and to take to Iowa for the kids)...
For Rowan's class party on Friday, I am bringing a "Snowman Soup" craft. Each kiddo will get to assemble a little kit of soup mix (hot chocolate), freeze-dried snow (marshmallows), stir stick (candy cane) and a little poem to take home and share or give.


Gift wrapping always brings me joy - I love coordinating papers and ribbons (usually ribbons recycled from gifts we received last year!) and watching the pile grow under the tree. This year we're going with red, white, silver and gold.
Here's a big stack that I wrapped this morning...I wonder who the recipient is?? (Hint: Best Mom Ever)
I have finished shopping, almost finished wrapping, and only have an hour or so left to finish my knitted gifts. We may have been without food or clean clothes for a week or two, but Christmas prep is coming to a close. In just a few days, we'll be leaving for Iowa and the wonderful bustle of family and playtime and meals and laughter. Can't wait!  Wishing you all a wonderful holiday...