Thursday, December 30, 2010

Absolute Trust

Our little man does not sit still often, or for very long for that matter... in fact, my father-in-law has nicknamed him "der Arbeitsdirektor" (the work director). He is always moving, always working, always exploring, and it is hard to get him to stop. I guess I never had a specific image in my head of what our first child would be like, and I guess it is best not to, to give children the freedom to become who they really are. But I never imagined that he would be such a busy, busy, ... busy little guy.

... but there are times when he does stop for just one brief moment to communicate to us, without even saying a word ...

Absolute Trust... a sweet affection and such a tender stillness that is understood just by one touch.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Blooms

It's Christmas today and the past days have been very low key, loads of tasty food, visiting with friends, lingering at the dinner table while enjoying a glass of wine, listening to Christmas music over and over again, and soaking in the still and reflective season.

I have actually had these pictures for quite some time, but have been saving them for today. Look at this last photo... did you notice the small white heart? I love what Julie wrote about finding love messages that the universe sends us. The thought is quite fitting considering what today is.

Wherever you are and however you celebrate, I hope that you have have time to slow down to receive the "greatest love message" that was ever sent to us. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Surprises

I had a visit this week, and after having said goodbye, as I turned to come back inside, I found the sweetest little Christmas surprise "stocking" that was left hanging on our door... handcrafted and filled with all kinds of self made sweets and goodies, just for us!

Aren't these gingerbread (Lebkuchen) ornaments great! (you can find the recipe for them here) ... it kinda reminds me of these. (In case you can't read German, but would like to try out this recipe, try this or here is another great online translator.) Easy to make and adds a special and traditional handmade touch to the Christmas tree. Can't wait to try them when the little one is old enough to help in the kitchen.

So it seems that Mr. Claus has so much on his list to do this year that he is making early visits. Thanks Santa for stopping by! (aka Susanne)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Lovebirds

Last year's Christmas preparations were somewhat M-I-A (missing in action). On our regular rotation schedule, it was technically the year that we were to spend in the States with my family, but had decided against considering my huge pregnant belly. I was determined to make the best of it in spite of it and made it my goal to relax, decorate the house, sew a million projects as gifts, and really try to enjoy the season, knowing that such distractions would keep my spirits high.

... well, that was the plan anyway.

Since the previous year without my family produced a blubbering, crying bride, the only way my husband thought it could be remedied was just to surprise his wife with plane tickets home! What is it with men just not knowing what to do with crying women anyway? So this year, I have been trying to pick up where I left off and make a few things that I had on the back burner for the entire year. You might remember this post for these adorable stuffed bird pattern from Spool Sewing. Just add red and green, holly leaves, and "berries", and you end up with a sweet pair of Christmas lovebirds.

In case you were wondering, that is actually real snow you see in the background... just right for snuggling and romancing on a cold winter's night. Perhaps once the little one goes down for the night, my husband and I should try a little lovebird snuggling ourselves. Are you nestled in someplace warm tonight?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Sweets

This year is very much the beginning of a process that was already begun four years ago... the combining of two cultures and families and embracing our uniqueness as we blend what we knew into what we now know and recognize as "just us". I really have been thinking about what traditions I enjoy from my husband's family and want to carry on as well. I enjoy how differently both of our families celebrate the holidays and sometimes the little differences are things that I notice right away... even down to the smallest of decorations.

So one of the "super sweet" traditions that my mother-in-law does each year, I plan to add to our family traditions.
Aren't these pine cones adorable filled with yummy little chocolate sprinkle discs... so creative, so simple, so delicious!

WARNING: Please do not lick, sniff, or try to devour your screen. Such actions could be hazardous to your health. This blog cannot be legally responsible for any weight gain should you try this at home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Traditions

One of my favorite Christmas decorating memories when I was younger, was not decorating the tree as one might think, but it was looking over my Dad's shoulder while he created what I considered to be the most delightful Christmas centerpiece despite its simplicity. The fact is that I enjoy decorating.... and especially incorporating fresh, natural, and simple things into what I do.

This year my husband and I have been thinking and contemplating about what Christmas traditions we want to start with our little one and to pass on. So, it seems fitting that my first Christmas centerpiece of the year is one that was passed on from my Dad, and I thought that I would pass it along to you...

Using a tea light, trace around the center/top of an orange.

Cut out the circle.

Scoop out the fruit flesh.

Cut the bottom, without cutting all the way through, so the orange can be placed flat when arranged.

Fill with newspaper to keep shape.

Insert votive or tea light.

Add fresh pine branches, apples, nuts, cookies, and miniature Christmas bulbs.

Serve husband freshly squeezed orange juice. Watch husband smile.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sparkly, Shiny... and a winner!

This weekend I ventured downtown, and with good reason, for a fantastic exhibit in Hamburg's Messehalle. (exhibition hall) The three day event had the halls filled, not with fabric as you might expect, but minerals and gemstones... enough to make any girl drool, ohhh, and ahhh. Oh, such fun! It was actually a split shopping day for my husband and I, since he had no interest. I went my way, and he went his (with baby in tote... it seems that Media Markt and the home improvement store are much more interesting for the little guy - go figure)

Just a glimpse of some of my pretty sparkling treasures that I found...

Well, it looks like I won't be the only one racking up these days... it is December 6th, right?!? That means somebody has to win a little something today, or did you miss the giveaway? Thank goodness I have an assistant to help me with all that I have on my plate, so... drum roll, please...

Congrats Juliette... "gepierced, oder nicht"... think Christmas present or einfach austausch for something "nicht gepeirced"... Happy Nikolaus Day!

... speaking of Nikolaus, Advent, and Christmas... be sure to check out Juliette's blog... she has some really great decorating ideas to bring a little holiday cheer.
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