Saturday, December 28, 2013

this Christmas

We're having a delightfully simple and low-key holiday season with a lot of time in my favorite place - home. The babes and I are slowly falling into a restful winter rhythm, and I try my best to encourage enough sleeping and gentle activity. Winter is such a calming time for me. Everything here feels quiet and hushed. There is still plenty of chaos with mouths to feed, housework ever-in-progress, and the needs of so many breathing beings to tend to, but it's gentler somehow. Here are some highlights from our Christmastime:

I finished baby's pebble vest just in time for Christmas Eve mass! (no time for blocking, though)

There was no shortage of kitchen helpers in the cookie-making department this year.

Just in from morning chores and snuggling up for a nap - my favorite way to ease into the day. (And yes, my baby boy is wearing a pink bunny hat - my grandma made it for me when I was a newborn!)

I made my first goat's milk mozzarella using Leigh's recipe. This cheese is so fun to make, and it's amazing how the curds eventually become like taffy after kneading and heating! It is wonderful, and pizza is on the menu tomorrow.

In other goat news, Abby recovered from her bout with bloat, which did my heart such good! (a couple drenches with wheat germ oil, lots of rumen massaging, and some baking soda left out free-choice and she seems to be healthy again). I usually kind of freak out when one of the animals gets sick, and I spend so much time fretting about what might happen, but this time I had a peaceful feeling about the whole thing. I did my research calmly, said my usual prayer to St. Francis (the patron saint of animals) and just went with my gut (ha!). I think I'm just becoming more at ease with the natural cycles of life. There is one inexplicable thing that happened in the course of dealing with this issue that still has us a bit awe-struck - one night when Abby seemed to be at her worst and we began to contemplate interventions, we called the large animal vet to ask for some advice. We left a message for the on-call vet, and when she called us back she began the conversation with, "So I hear Abby is having some trouble?" We are certain we never told the receptionist the name of the goat (in fact, I was chastising my husband a bit for referring to her as "it") and we've never before spoken to this doctor. She was so kind and seemed to imply that things would be okay. An angel? A Christmas miracle? Call me crazy, but Oh Yes, I'm certain they do exist!

Grandparents miles away were visited, and I plan on spending the majority of the next month at home - no travel plans, big errands, or appointments pulling me away. I'm really looking forward to fluffing the nest a bit and hibernating for awhile. Anyone else out there feel the need to do the same thing in the depths of winter?


  1. Jaime, your mozzarella is gorgeous! Absolutely picture perfect. But honestly, nothing compare with those adorable photos of your little ones. So precious.

  2. By the time New Years week is over, I will have worked 11 out of 14 days with the traveling public. I am so looking forward to just hiding out at home! Enjoy the rest of the holiday with your gorgeous little helpers!

  3. Kids & cookies! :)
    The mozzarella looks great.....wish I could make some more, but I dried the last of my gals up two weeks ago. Enjoy!

  4. So wonderful, I know just what you mean about worrying about the animals when they are not well.
    Wishing you a Wonderful New Year!

  5. I love the pictures of your helpers. When we do baking now the little girl goes mad if she's not involved in the whole process. She starts saying "chair, chair" because thats what she needs to stand on to help - I just love it! Then she does her little jobs whilst descretely eating the ingredients so we can't see her do it! I also love all the knitted stuff, we've been given loads over the years by a great grandmother who loves to knit and I love seeing my girls wear it.
    glad you had a good christmas
    Kev x

  6. I am so thrilled that Abby is doing well and your inner voice spoke calm and clear of what to do. The kids are just growing and shine of love and care. I wish you and yours all the best for the coming year. Love, Light and Much Peace - Grace

  7. aw, how can one handle the sweetness of these photos! too much! <3<3 and by the way, my husband and i completely agree with your observation from a couple of posts ago -balance IS an illusion. my husband calls it a unicorn - a mythical creation, an illusion. ha!

  8. Such a peaceful, beautiful post and such wonderful pictures. I love your blog for this very reason! Wishes for a lovely 2014 to you and yours! :)

  9. Thanks for including the name of the vest (I googled it and found the pattern). I have been looking for a unisex baby vest and I think this may just be the one ( I love your colour choice for it, by the way).

  10. Oh, the preciousness of these photos, Jamie!!!! Matt and I tend to lay pretty low in the cold of winter. The warmer months are nothing, but go, go, go...and so we like to enjoy the quiet bit while we can. I like the natural rhythm of it all. And I bet babies don't mind unblocked knits one single bit! ;)


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