Mid-April bits and pieces
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I'm sure you don't need another voice saying "this is terrible" or "keep your chin up," or any other myriad of things that are circulating around. To be honest, I don't feel accredited to make statements of either kind. I can share about little pieces of our life, as odd as life is right now, in hopes that it may make even one person smile, or help reveal pockets of normalcy (or pockets of joy) in these days.
Eloquent thoughts aside, here are some things that I love/what we've been up to in the DeVries household:
Knitting (of course). I just finished these socks last night and immediately cast on another pair of socks in a beautiful sage green yarn. Socks are the perfect comfort knit.
Snow (twice!) this week. As much as my heart is ready for spring and grieving that spring looks a little different this year, activity-wise, it was beautiful to wake up to. I ventured out for walks in both snowfalls, since the rest of the world seemed to stay inside (can't say I blame them. Mid-April snow is a little disorienting ;). Regardless of what month it is, the kind of snow that flocks the trees is stunning.
Scrunched nose smiles from Cooper, usually coupled with him sticking out his little tongue. This is his "cheesy" smile and he usually mimics it if we do it, although he came up with it on his own. And those teeth! ;)
New stacking cups for Cooper. Bath time just became so much fun. He loves to dual-wield them, one in each hand as he tries to crawl around that way.
Cleaning and re-oiling my wooden kitchen utensils, namely, a gorgeous wooden cutting board from my parents and a set of my very favorite earlywood utensils. Someday, I will phase out plastic in our kitchen and switch over to these entirely. But in the meanwhile, I have the flat saute set and I love them. I buffed them and then applied a fresh coat of a lemon mineral oil. So satisfying.
Making homemade granola (and overbaking it a bit....at least it's still edible).
Mailing fabric masks to send to some people who are dear to me.
Going for a drive on a sunny day when Coop had a tough time with naps and both of us needed a change of scenery.
Celebrating Easter! With online church, getting dressed in non-loungewear, and eating chicken pot pie and apple crisp. I did find myself distracted, wanting to compensate for a different sort of Easter and feeling overly busy. Holidays are different right now, that's for sure. But getting dressed up to go nowhere made the day feel sweeter and how SWEET it is that death was forever defeated by the cross. Thank you, Jesus.
And Cooper is 10 months old! He wants to share his cheerios and PB toast with us, says "Mmmmm" when he tastes something he likes, and is officially on the move. He gives us so many kisses and snuggles now. I'm thankful to have reentered a snuggly phase with him. Today he even napped on me, which feels so sweet and rare these days.
On a few (wonderful) warmer days, Cooper and I went for walks and listened to the dozens of frogs singing just off the sidewalk near our home.
Baking an almond cake that was so good. It's this recipe from the Norwegian American magazine. We love frosting-less cakes around here, opting for a nut topping or a simple glaze, usually. This one fits the bill. It was perfect with coffee for fika.
Hanging up a banner my mom made for us, in the prettiest prints. It's subtle and celebratory, in an everyday way (something cheerful like this is perfect for right now, yes?)
Eating veggie curry for lunch (using this recipe from Cookie and Kate) and modifying for what I have in the fridge. This is my favorite way to effectively use up any veggie odds and ends that are about to turn. This time, I added spinach.
Winding yarn for new socks. I always save this task for when he's awake. It's mesmerizing for me and for Cooper.
Airing out and washing all the knitwear, garments and accessories alike, so they can be safely tucked away for the warmer months. Although, knitwear season isn't quite over until the temps warm up a bit. I wore a cozy hat on my snowy walk today.
Attempting a wild yeast sourdough starter. If you have any favorite sourdough recipes using all-purpose flour, feel free to send them my way!
Meditating on this verse, a favorite in all seasons, but especially resonating right now:
There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of you face upon us, O Lord!" You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:6-8
Listening to lots of music lately. Tom Rosenthal and Sufjan Stevens (always), but also listening to some Coldplay, Ben Howard, Beirut, and Ellie Holcomb. It's hard to pinpoint my "music mood," but that's okay.
And in the evenings, I've been watching some videos on the Food52 YouTube channel, getting me in the baking mood. And some Talasbaun videos, which are just enjoyable, regardless of my mood.
It can feel like the days are crawling, and they also feel like they're flying. But I know that this is not a wasted season. I'm still praying for my heart to be awake, to be present, and to give myself grace to sort through heart things, as they arise, one day at a time. For eyes to see the sweetness (of the past, the future, and the now). And praying breath prayers when I feel weary: "More of You (inhale), less of me (exhale)."