It's been a little while since I've done a post about life lately, so I figured I would share some sweetness from life over the last few months.
We celebrated a simple Valentine's day. I hung up our favorite little felt heart garland that was a gift from my mom, and Cooper picked out a Valentine card for Nicholas, on which he wanted to write best daddy and I wuv you several times over. Nicholas made me coffee before he started work for the day, and then we spend the rest of the day enjoying homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls, delivering some valentine's to friends and then picked up a few treats at our favorite local bakery. We had fika at home and then Nicholas and I had a cozy evening just talking about anything and everything.
In January, my friend Maeve visited with her little boy. We had the sweetest time and I met her little boy for the very first time! We ate meals together, watched our little boys play, stayed up a bit with tea, knitting, and an overdue chat, and then got coffee at our favorite local coffee shop and went for a walk before they headed out. Cooper loves having visitors over and he still talks about his little buddy.
We got a twin bed for Cooper! He loves it, and we can't believe how tiny he looks in it. He still makes the trek down the hall to our bed most every night (as I've mentioned before, this is something we don't mine at all), but it's been a positive transition. During the day, since he doesn't nap anymore, we often have afternoon quiet time or play time with a change of scenery. Sometimes I sit with him, and he usually asks me to lay down on his bed and then brings me any number of stuffed animals "this will make you feel better," or he will say, "Do you want to knit?" and then brings me my knitting. The way the early afternoon winter light comes in his window is one of my favorite things.
I conditioned all my wooden utensils and cutting boards with mineral and lemon oil. They feel fresh and hydrated, and are much easier to clean. Also, I've been switching up how I clean and care for our cast iron and I'm getting a more consistently non-stick surface. Nicholas gave me a second, smaller skillet for Christmas that's the perfect size for our breakfast eggs and smaller portions.
We've had a few rounds of generous snowfall. I pulled Cooper in the sled down the street and then when we came back, we just sat in the front yard for awhile, both of us bundled in coats, cowls, hats, mittens, and snow pants. My non-maternity sweatpants obviously don't zip over my belly, but my winter coat is snug enough at this point to hold them up, ha!
I love how bright our home is when we have snow outside. The quality and tone of daylight changes so much, depending on the season.
The day after one such snow, we drove over to a friend's house for all the kids to play together, to drink hot coffee with cream, sit on a couch, admire the cozy snow, and snack on sourdough muffins. Such sweet community.
We've received a few of the sweetest little baby items for baby boy. I've been washing them gradually and admiring and just cannot believe how tiny newborn clothes are—and that we will (very soon) have a tiny newborn in our home again!
Cooper and I picked out a bird feeder and all the accessories for the backyard a few weeks ago, and several different types of birds have just recently discovered it. It's positioned on a shepherd's hook just outside the kitchen window, so all of us can easily see any visitors.
Our days are filled with train tracks and cuddling, toddler emotions (hard and often good!), building with tiles, having very little personal space until after bedtime, but then missing the closeness of this wonderful, tiny little boy.
Pregnancy-wise, I'm 33 weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. I have had a few more aches and pains as my belly grows, but a few recent chiropractic visits, and plans to continue regular visits seem to make a big difference in my comfort level. Cooper periodically lays his head on my belly to say hi to baby brother. This little boy moves so much, I can't even begin to emphasize how much he wiggles. We think we have name choices narrowed down to two, but we will keep those hush-hush until his arrival. I really want to make some concrete plans for freezer meals in the next few weeks as well. Soon, I will transition to home visits with my midwife (have I mentioned that we are planning a home birth? We are! And we are very excited about it).
What sweetness are you experiencing this winter?
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew (Slow Cooker recipe)
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
In the kitchen, July 2022
As a home cook, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen everyday, and lately, I've been finding so much joy in trying lots of new things in the kitchen with items from our garden, ingredients purchased locally, or new recipes made with my sourdough starter.