Happy New Year! Let me just start off with some trivial banter about how I am already feeling so refreshed in 2018 because we did one of my all time favorite things; re-arranged our living room! The TV is no longer the focal point of the entire space and it feels more open and inviting and I just love it. It’s funny how much little changes can do for the soul, isn’t it? And I’ve even gotten pretty good at selectively not-seeing Thane’s really classy “clear” antenna that’s hanging right next to my favorite mirror.
At first glance, just the messy afterward of our Christmas morning breakfast this year–but hopefully the first in a new weekly Sunday morning breakfast tradition. We set Sunday’s apart for church, rest–though that’s not really all that possible with four kids–and minimal social media. But let me tell you, our mornings are rough. For me, at least. First of all, I am not a morning person, second, did I mention we have four kids? Not the older type that sleep until noon, the really little kind that get up as early as 5am if they so fancy. They usually don’t start asking for their breakfast until closer to 6:45 or 7, but even that’s too early for my liking. (Picture four kids clawing at a half stumbling zombie who doesn’t even have the capacity for eye contact until at least one mug of coffee has been ingested.) We’re working on curbing this early-rising habit of theirs, but sometimes you can only control so much.
There were a few little luxuries I really missed when we lived in Germany; pay-at-the-pump gas, sunshine, and Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips. One big shipment of these dark chocolate chips showed up at the commissary around Christmas time our last year there, and I must have bought 12 bags. Germany has absolutely delicious dark chocolate, but not in chip form. Sometimes you need it in chip form! Anyway, now we’re back in the States I grab a bag of them every time I’m out. They make for a great snack in place of keeping heavier dessert foods in the house. But moving on to the topic at hand: Ghirardelli dark chocolate bread pudding with Forelle pears!
Languishing. That’s the only word I can think of to describe the feeling of these winter days. I want to do everything and do nothing all at the same time, but in reality I can’t do either. So the days turn into long mediocrities where I peddle between the two, making tiny steps forward and falling tiny steps back, over and over and over. This is just life with four very little kids, I guess. Somebody’s always fussy or hungry or needy or exercising a bit more of their own will than I’d like (ha!), and so there’s not really any such thing as just doing “x”. We try to sit together, we try to read together, we try to play together…but it’s sort of just impossible to do any one thing actually together, so most of what we do turns into a muddled, slow progression of absolutely nothing. Which is really just an obscure way of describing the usual events of the day as they string along in a super random pattern of wiping noses, making food, sweeping the floor, loading the dishwasher, changing diapers, filling up water cups, picking up, getting out, picking up some more, calming outbursts, emptying the trash, watching Lilah eat the two hour old bread that she threw on the floor off of the floor, quelling squabbles, emptying the dishwasher, ignoring outbursts because who has the energy to care anymore, pacing the floor, wondering when nap time is but not even in a rush to get to it because it’s going to require more work. Then getting to that golden hour- to nap time- only to get everyone in bed and immediately feel the fog of the lackluster morning move in and rob me of any ounce of inspiration for the day that I may have had left.
I really miss the older homes we’ve lived in over the years… It’s an odd thing to think about, but I’ve been tossing around this idea that old houses are kind of like people; full of history and character and soul. They tend to be full of flaws, too. But a lot of times those flaws can be outweighed by the wall to wall hardwood, the ceilings that soar, and the crown molding fit for a king. I mean come on, who doesn’t appreciate all of that! New construction has it’s advantages, for sure. But I think I keep bringing antiques home in an attempt to add some of the old beauty to our current, new-ish house that I’ve been missing. There are no bells or whistles here, save for the beautiful hardwood in our (tiny) living and dining area. So on that note, let me get to to Asher’s vintage writing desk!
Here we are, back at this baking table again, except instead of APPLE PIE it’s festive spiced orange pomander balls! Otherwise called cloves & oranges, assuming that like me, you had no idea what a spiced orange pomander ball is until just now. I just looked it up and went back and changed the title of this post, haha. Anyway, there are holiday traditions that I savor from my childhood, and this is one. It’s simple and easy and there are literally two ingredients; cloves & oranges! They look, smell, and feel like pure magic. They photograph nicely, too.