Birth of a Sister

I was given a great gift on Tuesday.  My friend JoAnn asked me to help with her girls while she labored and birthed.  I really felt honored to be asked to such a sacred event and to spend more time with her girls.

When the time for birth was upon us, I stood in the doorway with three little girls, including Izzy and witnessed Zoe’s entrance into the world.  I witnessed something else that was amazing, four girls reacting to their seeing their sister being born:  Alyssa, 13, watched in amazement, quietly smiling.  Sierra, 9, was overjoyed in emotion with tears flowing freely.  Emily, 3, was nervous and when she heard Zoe cry, she thought it was because she didn’t like her.  Ashlyn, 1, wasn’t too sure what to think of it all and kept wanting to point out (and touch) all of the baby’s features, especially her eyes and nose.  I think she was reassured when she got to nurse with Zoe, who opened her eyes to really study her big sister.  (Izzy declared herself a part of the sisterhood by trying to get a good view of baby Zoe too.)  It was all just breath-taking.


Must Sew


All other projects got put on the back burner the other day when I got bit by the sewing bug once again.  This time, I used thrift store finds and refashioned them for Jackson.  I found the Curious George graphic on a teenage girl’s t-shirt, cut it out and used a decorative stitch to put it on a size appropriate little boy shirt.  Jackson was over the moon with it and hasn’t taken it off since I pulled it from the machine.

Since he just got out of the tub and had just received a mama-made shirt, he decided that he must have mama-made underwear to match.  I used what was left of the girl’s shirt and managed to sloppily fashion a pair of boxer briefs for my little man.

The main event was all that left.  Jackson loves comfortable clothes and adores this one pair of knit paints.  He’s worn a huge hole in the knee and still wears these pants twice a weeks.  He won’t let me patch them or cut them into shorts.  So my brilliant idea was to re-fashion men’s t-shirts into knit pants for Jack.  He found a couple of shirts that were half off at Goodwill, one with lightning bugs and another with dolphins.  I did my best to trace his prized pants for a pattern while incorporating the cool picture on the front of the t-shirt into the pants.  It worked beautifully and took less than 20 minutes, start to finish.

Farmer’s Market

We get most of our groceries through an organic co-op, a group of 40 families or so in our area working together to get a variety of mostly local goods from Indiana farmers.  A local CSA has a drop-off point there during the summer months and we go through a local organic distributer to get fruits and veggies that aren’t native to our area, bananas, pineapples, avocados, etc.   We get our eggs from Seven Springs Farm.  We have a variety of farmers to get pork, beef, bison, and lamb.  We get pastured chicken from Skillington Farm.  We have the opportunity to get raw milk and dairy products through another farmer.  Maple syrup comes from a farm in Greencastle.  Honey comes from a local beekeeper.  We’ve got so many local farms to work with, yet it still makes me blissful to go down the road to our own town’s farmer’s market.

We don’t usually make it to our town’s square for the morning market, but rather to the evening market less than half a mile from our apartment.  There were only three stands, but that was enough for us to put together a lovely dinner, where most everything literally came within a few miles from us.  James picked out the most beautiful steak from a pastured beef farm in our county and is grilling it.  Jackson made friends with our county’s CSA farmer and scored us some fresh green beans and red potatoes that I’m roasting with my window box herbs.  Alex found our organic dairy farmer that we get our milk from each week and picked out a tomato, basil, pine nut goat cheese that we can munch on alongside some of our co-op’s plums for dessert.

One of the farmers even offered up his land for us to organically grow all the produce we want next summer and let him sell the excess at market!  Break out the heirloom seed catalogs and get me a pen!  I can’t wait to start planning our garden for next year.

9 years…

We celebrated our 9th anniversary yesterday.  It was a quiet evening that we enjoyed with our kids, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

In nine years we’ve…

-lived in 3 states.

-called 6 different places home.

-visited 2 other countries (Canada & France.)

-welcomed 3 beautiful children into the world.

-helped to celebrate three 50th wedding anniversaries of family members.

-adopted a sweet furry puppy dog and watch him grow from 4 lbs to 70.

-learned to make wine and beer at home.

-earned 2 degrees (well, James has.)

-met the tooth fairy on 5 occasions.

-learned to knit together.

-seen Niagara Falls.

-gone 11 days without electricity or heat in an ice storm.

-been through a few career changes.

-weathered our fair share of disagreements.

-and never been happier.

I’m so glad that I married my best friend in the world and look forward to our many adventures ahead.  Happy Anniversary James!

A Mama Blessing


I hosted a mama blessing for my friend JoAnn yesterday and had a lovely afternoon with some wonderful friends.  We began the festivities by introducing ourselves and honoring each of our mothers before us.  I am Pam, daughter of Margie, daughter of Christine.

We each chose a flower and wired it into a wreath to crown the the mother.  We then lit a candle while saying our blessing to JoAnn.  We ate some yummy food and then broke out the henna.  JoAnn chose the design and I attempted to copy it onto her lovely belly using marker before we took turns painting over the pattern with the henna.  JoAnn also wanted some henna artwork of a turtle on her foot, so I gave that my best shot as well.

We then assembled a labor necklace.  We each strung on the bead that we brought, telling why we chose our bead and it’s significance.  Her best friend sent a glass turtle bead and I also felt drawn to a turtle, only my bead was made of stone.  Anna gave a bead from her own labor necklace, which touched us all.  Many friends and family couldn’t be with us and sent their blessing and bead through the mail and JoAnn shared some of those with us too.

We ended the afternoon with a poem that Katrina read while wrapping our wrists with yarn for each pregnancy that we each had.  This yarn bracelet is to be a reminder to each of us to continue to keep JoAnn and baby Zoe in our thoughts and prayers during the last days of pregnancy, birth, and the beginning of new life.