Comfort is such a key component to a healthy, happy home. Right now my laptop sits propped upon the hope chest that was my grandmothers and my mothers before it was handed down to me. Tucked inside are quilts and afghans made by the most nurturing people in my life- the jelly bean quilt I slept with into adulthood, the afghan my great-grandma made me for high school graduation, a patchwork from my mother one Christmas, an intricate blue and yellow quilt from my dearest friend, Hailey. Each of them holds a special memory- the softness or stiffness of the fabric, the tattered edges of the jellybean blanket or the smooth, starched edges of the intricate machine quilt. The smells, the yarn, the patches, they bring me back to my center, a place deep in the depths of my soul that makes me feel home no matter where I am.
I want Kade to grow up in a home full of hand made things. I want him to have quilts piled in his closet, hand made baby clothes to hand down to my future grand babies, recipes that live longer than I do. I hope in a hundred years, in my great-great-grand daugher's kitchen there is a recipe card that reads "Grandma Jessica's Peach Muffins." My own legacy, my own generation of traditions, of food, of laughter, of nursery rhymes, of love.
You only get to live once. One fleeting journey that can be whisked from under your feet at any given moment. You have to white knuckle the steering wheel and pray to God that your doing things the way He would want you to, taking full advantage of the beautiful life that He has so graciously gifted you.
It's time, friends, to be an in the now mother. For this girl, there will be many more afternoons spent in my grand mothers kitchen. I want to perfect Danish almond cake, learn to make a killer sausage soup and jot down every trick there is to fantastic leftover casseroles. I want to sit in my mothers kitchen and learn to crochet bonnets, blankets, you-name-its. Summers will be spent on my hands and knees in the dirt of who-ever's garden. But it isn't just the tasks that I want to absorb from the nurturing mothers in my life, it's the wisdom. The things they experienced, the lessons they learned, their greatest joys, regrets and hopes.
We're losing this- this legacy of family, of tradition, of familiar comfort in the home. Today I sat down and reflected on this; I was finishing a quilt for Kade's bed and was becoming increasingly frustrated with hand stitching the final opening. I thought, why didn't anyone teach me this? And suddenly was struck with a heart wrenching realization- my mother did teach me how to hand stitch the opening so that the thread would be hidden. I remember it vividly. I was sitting on the dining room floor, pregnant and in tears with frustration. I had her do it for me, I said I didn't want to look at it again until it was done, I didn't listen to her. So, retreating to my mother for her never ending thread of encouragement is my only option. This time, I'll pay attention.
A flour dusted apron, a fresh cup of coffee and being completely engulfed by love and security. This is but a small flower on the path to happiness but it's bright and it's beautiful; a flower that you tuck behind your ear and take with you on the rest of your journey.
Kade has been progressing rapidly in the way he communicates and has been much calmer transitioning from Mama to whoever-is-babysitting. He's been so patient and has floated calmly on the raging sea that has become our life. He's relaxing a bit, sleeping in more often, "singing" in the car; finally settling in to the new life we're trying to mold. He's adjusting- a perfect example for me to look upon when, like lately, I've got a bad case of the Single Mom Blues.
It's good to be back to this place- this place of writing and relating- to slough off the layers of doubt and insecurity that are building up on my chest. A familiar place for me to dump my thoughts and finally have them come out fluidly. After weeks and weeks of pacing, rapidly typing, deleting... I'm back.
And dang, it feels good.
Bowling. I don't care if you haven't done it since high school and your terrible at it. Just Do It. It's fantastic.
Kade beat me. twice.
If you take your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and then add Nutella, you get these:
And these are finger lickin' good. I made a batch for fun and then decided they were so good I had to share them with my bible study class. This one earned a five star spot in my recipe box.
And lastly, I received something in the mail today that made me jump for joy. I am an official member of the Letter Writers Alliance. Which means a never ending stream of pen pal opportunities, cool gifts and much, much more. Hurray! Long summer evenings spent scrawling out messages on personalized stationary? Sounds like a paradise vacation to me.
Do yourself a favor, call up a loved one and spend time with them. Write more letters. Weed more gardens. Bake more cookies. Whatever your craving: a book club, a coffee joint study group, a movie night. Your soul needs that kind of stuff, dude. Don't deprive it.