The kitchen counter has contained bits and pieces of the seasons crafting for over a month now. It is finally clear and wiped off, leaving only my rolling-pin and a bowl of spices waiting to be made into chai. Tonight we burn the tree, set the years intentions (better late than never) and move on from the holiday season. We made so many gifts this year. There were the little things scattered about such as pencil holders, pj pants, a knitted scarf and brass tinkered ornaments. And then there were the big-ticket items: hand mixed tea, elecampagne cough syrup, bee balm sore throat elixir, elderberry tincture and syrup, chest rub, and flowery lotion all bundled into a clothesline basket. A gift to clear away the winter sickies… which we all get right? I also made two wool flannel hot water bottle covers from some whole flower dying experiment late last summer.
(If you’re wondering what medicine making looks like with four kids… here is a vision of three of us during the process)
I had plans of heading to my hometown prior to the holidays but I just couldn’t. To be clear- I wussed out. The thought of four hours in a car with four children was more than I could bear. Never mind the packing and unpacking. And the bathroom stops, and the nursing stops. And… and… and..
And so, we stayed. We stayed in the place that has truly turned into the best of homes. We settled right in, and guess what? The people came to us! All the people! (Minus my sweet girl who just had her first baby… but we get that one of course.) Our besties came over for Christmas eve feasting, and from then on we were surrounded by those we love most of all.
On new years we took a drive up the hill to our neighbors across the way (whom I believe we could holler out to and be heard despite the half mile between us, the acoustics of these hills are so interesting), we gorged on delicious homemade pizza fresh out of a newly installed cookstove in a newly constructed shop, peeled off the shingles of a meticulously created gingerbread house because yumm, then stood around a bonfire so large Jasper was heard repeating the phrase “oh me gosh” dozens of times from his perch atop daddy’s shoulders. After the babies and I left, the snowball fight that went down sounds like the only way to truly bring in a new year.
I don’t know how it has been a month since I last found time to sit here and record our days, but the truth is sometimes I struggle to make time to drink water, so I suppose that is the way it is. Life is moving at a breakneck speed. No longer can I agree with the age old parenthood phrase, “The days are long but the years are short”. It all feels fast lately.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t save time to give thanks. In fact that is what we spend most of our time doing. Be it a blessing at a meal, a deep breath of gratitude or a simple note, it feel so good to notice it. Our thank you notes actually turned out to be fairly elaborate this year, and I for one am not sorry about it. I broke out my childhood favorite: The embossing gun. Oh wow, that is all I can say.
And that is how things have been lately. Full of chaos and gratitude. And a whole lot of love.