Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To remember, Levi - Age 3.5

Dear Levi,

There is so much I want to remember about 3 and a half year old you. 

I want to remember how you wake up every morning and jump right into bed with me to snuggle before the day begins.  I want to remember how you constantly hug and kiss "your baby" and try your best to make her happy and safe. I want to remember how you come up with the most fun, smart and creative stories while you play.  I want to remember your "jokes" which are really just scenarios that you think are hilarious, "Mama, there is a GRANOLA bar on a TRUCK, isn't that funny?!". 
I want to remember how quickly you soak up information. You love to learn and you immediately start using what you learn. You are a good problem solver and you often offer a solution if Papa and I are trying to figure something out. You love to rhyme, tell stories and figure out what letters words begin with. 
I want to remember how you love to jam with Papa and how you now can easily keep and change a beat along with the music you are listening to. I want to remember what a great dancer you are.
I want to remember your compassion and desire to help when our family was feeling sad about your Grampy's illness. When we were all gathered around him in his bed, you went around the house collecting pillows to make him more comfortable.   
I want to remember how you love to snuggle with me in our hammock and how we read piles of books or pretend we are in a ship (with Maggie as our first mate, of course!). I want to remember our special Valentine date and how much fun we had getting dressed up, eating ice cream, talking and playing games together. I love hanging out with you.
I want to remember how we easily hug and make up after the hard days and how we say "I love you" without holding grudges. I want to remember how when Papa and I acknowledged how hard it must be sometimes to be "3", you said "No, it's not hard at all, I'm just learning new things."
I want to remember how you accidentally fell asleep on me a couple of times in the past few months and how even though you are looking so much like a big boy these days, you still fit quite nicely in my arms. I want to remember how you love and look up to your Papa like no one else. He has first place in your heart and I hope you come to know how he shows such a good (albeit imperfect) reflection of how big and unconditionally God loves you, too. 

You are wonderful.

I love you, 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spring dreaming in February - Wellesley Botanic Gardens

This is our second year spending an afternoon at the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens during February vacation (last year for some simple maternity photos) and I've officially declared it a tradition. Spending some time in a warm green place in the middle of February cannot be over rated. My Dad, who is in the midst of chemotherapy, was feeling well enough to make the trek, so we all went together enjoy lunch and a reprieve from this crazy cold and snowy winter we've been having. When we got there, Levi ran inside and shouted "This is my favorite spring!". This winter hasn't been the easiest (in more ways than one), but there is much hope and spring will come (in more ways than one). 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Year of Meditate

February 20th. Is it too late to choose my word for the year? Believe it or not, I've been thinking over which word to choose since December, but nothing stuck until recently. So here I am, a little late to the game, but with a word that will direct my year: Meditate.

My hope is to take more time this year slowing down to meditate on God's word.  Our church has been scribing the book of Philippians and the practice has inspired more of this meditative spirit in my own reading of scripture. Creating a piece of art has always been one of the most enjoyable and meaningful ways that I've found to meditate on God's word so I am planning to sketch and paint my way through various scriptures in the upcoming months. I've recently been working through a painting for my sister inspired by Psalm 23 and I think the Psalms are particularly conducive to art making. During Lent, I'm choosing a Psalm each week to read, meditate on and to inspire creative expression. I would love to post some of the resulting pieces in this space, even if just for accountability's sake, so stay tuned..

{And now, I just need prayer for time and space (and long sleeping children) to accomplish my goal!}

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Christmas Projects: Tissue Paper Tile Coasters and Map Prints

Nothing like ANOTHER snow day to get caught up on some blogging! 

A couple of years ago, my sister in law sent me a link (HERE!) to an online database of high quality, historical and modern maps that can be downloaded for free.  I've been wanting to do something with them for a while, so this fall I decided to use some local maps to create Christmas gifts. 

My first idea was to create art prints with a historic area map for the background. After downloaded the maps, I used a photo editing program to add the text. For my side of the family, I chose an important quote by our Puritan ancestor, Roger Conant. For other family members, I came up with other quotes that went well with the recipient and/or map concept. To finish, I had them printed on nice thick paper and framed.

Next, we decided to make some coasters using the same maps (Brian's awesome idea!).  Some friends made us tile coasters a few years back and I remembered them saying that they printed out images onto tissue paper then mod podged them to stone tiles (found at a home improvement store). Seemed simple enough! Well, there was a LOT of trial and error involved in this project, but the final product turned out quite well. Printing the image on to tissue paper is important because the mod podge seeps into it and the paper rests in every nook and cranny and it almost seems like the image is part of the tile when it dries. The trick to printing onto tissue paper was to use a glue stick to attach the tissue paper in the center of a regular piece of copy paper, making sure to leave a half inch margin around the tissue paper. Once all of the tissue paper maps were cut to size and mod podged to the tiles, I sprayed them with an acrylic/waterproof sealer and added felt circles to each bottom corner so they don't scratch furniture.

There are so many ways to modify these projects for different styles and occasions. Last Valentines, I printed the Bible verse from Ruth "Where ever you go, I will go and where ever you stay, I will stay" on a map of Salem as a gift for Brian. You could print anything onto tissue paper for some really cool looking coasters, too. So many options! So...happy crafting! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dinner at Eight - January Edition

On Saturday, were all set to go out on a fun date but Levi and I got a tummy bug the day before and even though we were feeling ok, we didn't want either of us to get anyone else sick. No babysitter, no date, right? No, we weren't going to give in that easily!
I've been wanting to start a monthly "Dinner at Eight" (inspired by A Bit of Sunshineand this seemed like the perfect night to do so. So we started the kids' bedtime routine a bit early and made sure they were asleep by 7:30 (not a small feat). Then Brian went to work cooking some special ravioli from our local pasta guy and I slipped on a dress and set up the table to create some serious ambience. In 30 minutes, we had ourselves a quiet house and a yummy candlelit dinner. We had dessert and a cocktail in the living room snuggled in piles of blankets and we even managed to watch 1/2 of a romantic comedy. :) It was a really special night and a super cheap date...not a bad recovery, I'd say! February's "Dinner at Eight" is already on my calendar.