Around here



Around here we enjoyed a wonderful weekend. During the work week we were experiencing extreme sub-zero temps (Friday we woke up to -33 F *and note that is below zero) Both Saturday and Sunday we experienced above zero temperatures - reaching into the 20's with sunshine! We fought our children back into winter gear as they were complaining that today it was "hot," and we spent a significant amount of time outdoors skiing and snowshoeing.

We are recharged and refreshed, ready for the week ahead.

Wishing you a great start of your week from our little corner of the world to yours!

Gratitude Snapshots

Walkinthewoods - 6

Walkinthewoods - 6

Walkinthewoods - 6

Walkinthewoods - 6
Walkinthewoods - 6

Walkinthewoods - 6

Walkinthewoods - 6

In the course of a busy day it can be so easy to just go through the motions.  Today, happened to be one of those particularly busy days.  I will spare you all of the details, but I will just spend a moment reflecting on the idea of slowing down and practicing mindfulness in the midst of the chaos.   I know that even on the busiest of days, and perhaps on these days the most, it is important to slow down.  

This afternoon I decided to take just 15 minutes with my camera to capture some gratitude snapshots.   Simple things like a pile of stacked word, a basket full of eggs, or a crooked smile from on of my middles are just enough to elicit a feeling of gratitude, which equates to happiness in my heart.

I encourage you to capitalize on pockets of time in your life and find moments of your own for this simple practice of gratitude.


...more thoughts on this on my post on

Around Here


Ski 5 Ski 5
Ski 5



Although we are experiencing some sub zero temperatures, we are finding our way outdoors.    We have a solid base of snow for cross country skiing and between after-school ski practices, MYSL and weekend outings, we're logging a fair amount of kilometers on the trail.

Coffee shop 2
Coffee shop 2

Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts
Duct tape crafts


We are staying warm, even given our recent sub-zero temperature cold snap.   We recently tried out a new coffee shop in town with a welcoming atmosphere after a cold and snowy ski.  We have been keeping ourselves busy inside, the kids experimenting with duct tape crafts, the mama with some knitting projects.  On these winter days we are also savoring summer blueberries and backyard maple syrup with pancake breakfasts.

Wishing you a great start to your week!

School Days - January

MNP_0117_coverThe January issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

My School Days Column in this month is "Serenity Now (amid chaos)".   

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You can find the article through THIS LINK.

If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

Be sure to check out all of the other great content in the full issue as well!

As always - thanks for reading!

solstice ski



IMG_1085Yesterday I took the opportunity to take an after school ski with my four.  

This year already we are going a little bit farther, the older two setting off on their own course with the added comfort and connection of a cell phone, and me with the younger two.

A lovey late afternoon in the woods enjoying above zero temps and a beautiful sunset.   

Happy Solstice Friends!



On the trail


Wreath2 Baking

Peanut butter blossoms


::ski trails - solo and with my girl (the boys will be picking up their seasonal rental skis tomorrow!)

::the daddy kept himself busy splitting wood 

::the boys time playing outside on snowbanks and sledding down our driveway


::I took a wreath making class - I now have a new skill! It just so happens that we have balsams and cedars on our year I plan on making more than one.

::we did some Christmas baking - and tasting!

Wishing you a good start to your week, from my little corner of the world to yours!



Alabama Chanin Sew Along - Taproot Magazine Issue 20 ::Share


This week I recieved issue 20::SHARE of Taproot Magazine.   I have felt privileged to have contributed to this lovely magazine in the past and this current issue I contributed in a different way - not through my printed word, but as a participant in an Alabama Chanin sew blog project that my friend Christine organized and wrote about in her feature article:  

The Power of Handmade.

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When Christine presented the idea of working together to craft a beautiful garment for someone who needed a touch of joy in their life, I was immediately drawn to the proposition.

 Together we could make beautiful things and spread some handmade joy.” -Christine

I responded to the invitation without hesitation and soon joined an eager group of makers that Christine pulled together from around the world.  Christine sought nominations from group members and two courageous women in my life were chosen as recipients of the gifts:

My dear friend Jen, a mother of three children ages 17, 15, 11 had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She just had a double mastectomy and was in the initial stages of chemotherapy treatment.  I knew Jen would be a perfect recipient because she loves both surprises and handmade gifts.  Jen is such a beautiful individual both inside and out and cancer and chemotherapy had taken away some of the beauty she enjoyed sharing with the world. 

Jen’s husband Tim was thoughtfully involved behind the scenes at the start of the Alabama Chanin project by discreetly finding Jen’s measurements and giving input of Jen’s style and color preferences to help Christine chose to perfect garment for us to make for her.  She received the gift of the Classic Coat in a pallet of rich blues while going through a rough patch of her chemotherapy treatment.  She was absolutely delighted and touched by the surprise.  When she opened the package and read all of the kind and thoughtful notes that accompanied her beautiful gift, she was moved by the group partnership and sentiments.

“Throughout my journey battling cancer there have been many unpleasant physical feelings along with feelings of fear and sadness, but along with these - joyful, delightful and happy experiences.  So many people have reached out to me to offer support.  It is this support that makes it almost impossible to have a good attitude.  This gift definitely brightened my day!  Just looking at and wearing the garment fills me with memories of friendship and joy!” -Jen

Alabama Chanin Coat - Jen I made Jen a bucket hat from the Alabama Chanin DIY as a complementary gift in the same style as her classic coat.

Alabama Chanin Tunic Panel 3Betty, a brave woman in my family circle, was chosen as a recipient of a beautiful A-line Top to spread some joy, hope and light into her life.  Betty is a mother who has been enduring the most excruciating suffering of losing her firstborn child.  She experienced a preterm rupture of membranes at twenty-two weeks gestation while pregnant with her son Henry.  Henry was born premature on September 22, 2015 at twenty seven weeks with neonatal complications.  Henry was loved, cared for and supported by his mom, his dad and medical professionals in the NICU for two full months before he passed away peacefully in the loving arms of his parents.   Betty is still grieving and will always have an emptiness in her heart, but being a recipient of this project certainly lifted her spirits. 

“I was blown away by the kindness and intent behind this project.  I received the package in the mail on a particularly hard day.  The timing of this gift was like a smile from God, it was as if it was work from angels.  When I received the gift and read all of the thoughtful notes that accompanied the project, I cried happy tears”  -Betty

Alabama Chanin Tunic Panel 4

I was a participant in the sewing circle for Betty, sewing on of the four panels in her A-line tunic.
Alabama Chanin TunicParticipating in this act of giving has not only been healing and supportive to these deserving women, but also for myself as a maker and giver.   Going into the project I did not anticipate how my involvement in this act of giving would elicit such inspirational happy feelings in my own heart. Participating in fellowship in this genuine act of kindness and creating something of such beauty and purpose to delight another individual has been such a wonderful experience.  I know that I have been inspired by Christine’s initiative and the comfort and joy that both Jen and Betty experienced as result of the efforts of our sewing circle.  It is my hope that our stories of this experience will have the potential to influence a ripple effect of generosity in the broader community of makers, doers and dreamers. 


 You will be lucky if you can get your hands on the new issue of Taproot Magazine issue 20::SHARE, read Christine's The Power of Handmade and all of the other great content in the issue as well.


Around here....

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  • saying "good morning" with wild blueberry scones
  • meal prep for the week ahead 
  • a little bit of experimentation (dried tansy in a dye bath)

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  • A little bit of wandering - trying to soak up a little sunlight during this dark time of year.  We lost a lot of our snow during a stretch of rain last week.  Today we got a dusting over a layer of ice that has accumulated.  Temperatures are below freezing, so there is some hope that our lakes will start to freeze and we will gently transition into our true winter.

Wishing you a good start to your week, from my little corner of the world to yours!