Thursday, February 9, 2017

spinnamon rolls


when i was growing up, 
pillsbury cinnamon rolls were a pretty special treat.
not homemade cinnamon rolls...
the pillsbury ones...
the ones perfectly packed along with the frosting in the tube.

i remember how i would feel when i saw mom put them in the grocery cart,
or when they were unloaded from the grocery bags,
or when i noticed the tube standing up on the refrigerator door shelf.

they were usually purchased for christmas morning,
birthdays, valentine's day and sometimes first day of school.  
sometimes, because they were buy-one-get-one.
and sometimes, just because.
then they would stay in the fridge for what seemed like forever,
until a special day came to be.

sometimes those special days were just ordinary saturday cartoon mornings.
my brothers and i would be lounging or playing and we would smell
the sweet goodness.
while yes, we were thrilled for the yummy treat,
we were more thrilled because the scent meant family time.
years later the scent would signal a saturday
morning free of practices or games.
years after that it meant the scent of home,
waking me from a slumber while home from college.

and sometimes it meant hope.
it meant mom & dad were getting along.
it meant that it would be the start of a good day.
it meant that maybe this good day was a fresh start, a new beginning.
it meant maybe all would be okay, that maybe mom &dad weren't going to get divorced.

well here at the defoyd backyard farm,
cinnamon rolls now called "spinnamon" rolls
mean a whole lot too.
for me, it means the fresh start i hoped and prayed for years before.
for my family it just means weekend.
not every weekend, but most.
whether it be no-sports lazy saturday cartoon mornings, 
or as part of brunch after chores, with eggs before church,
and sometimes as a side dish on breakfast for dinner nights.
my crew sure does love this pillsbury treat.

when they were wee toddlers (and still for jane),
it was an opportunity for the the early riser to get some 1:1 time with mama.
getting to press the buttons to pre-heat the oven.
blocking little ears while we popped the tube. 
helping to spray the pan.
placing each roll ever so carefully in the baking dish.
watching them rise and bake with the oven light on.
waiting for them to cool just enough before putting on the icing.
spreading gooey sticky icing.
getting to be the one to lick the leftover icing.
calling the family to the table while carrying the dish of warm yummy treats.

more recently, this pillsbury dough boy treat has provided e&b 
with the opportunity to take on a bit more responsibility in the kitchen,
often alongside their little sister.  
from reading the directions on the tube, to figuring out how to pop the tube,
to turning on the oven, to greasing a baking dish, to frosting them all by themselves.
breakfast prepared by the children, while i sip coffee in the next room.

sounds pretty wonderful right?
it was.
then week by week, this tradition keeping, independence giving,
kitchen responsibility learning, 
sweet treat baking,
mama hurt healing,
started to turn into a sibling bickering disaster.
the "mama, can i make the spinnamon buns?"
 asked sweetly by one child,
ignited the cries of the others.
"no i want to make them."
"it's my turn."
"you made them last time."
"well i'm spreading the icing."
"fine, but i'm licking the leftovers."
"fine, but the leftover bun is mine, all mine."

at first i could handle it.
i took it as a sign that it meant something.
that meaning something was the point.
but then i couldn't handle it.
i was hurt.
my wounds were opened.
how could they ruin this?
how could something meant to be special, turn ugly?

so it was time.
time for the "spinnamon bun" truce.
time to let them know that this was not okay in our family.
time to give them the inside scoop.
time for them to understand just how lucky they were that there was always a roll in the fridge.
time for them to understand why there was always a roll in the fridge.
time to share my heart.
time to share what
these stupid, store bought, processed, perfectly packed, delicious "spinnamon buns" meant to me.

what they meant when i was little.
what they meant to my brothers, their uncle matt and uncle tim.
what they meant when i was their age.
what they meant when i was an active, busy teenager.
what they meant when i went off to college.
what they meant before my mom and dad got divorced.

what they meant when i was a new mom.
what they meant when they were wee toddlers.
what they meant for our family time.
what they meant for weekends here at the farm.
what they meant for their growing up.

memories.
tradition.
hope.
new beginnings.
healing.

maybe i shared too much.
maybe they are too little to get it.
maybe i almost dumped the plate in the trash.
maybe i threatened to never buy them again.
 i certainly did.

but then we most certainly hugged it out.
i most certainly felt big time loved by wes for understanding,
by my kids for listening.
it was a moment.
and that's what this space is for.
cherishing and sharing the moments that i want to remember,
hold on to, reflect on, grow through.
before the bickering that may happen again...that will most certainly happen again.

now off to make some
"spinnamon rolls" on a family snow day...
because this.
and just because.
and because luckily there is a tube on the refrigerator door.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

thankful tuesday, 1/24



a few quiet minutes,
after a few weeks of feeling like my brain was a bouncing basketball.
just enough to jot down some joy moments.  


  • ibuprofen for little fevers
  • clarity after the blurr
  • adrenaline 
  • davos learnings and inspiration
  • mr. defoyd's daily devotion
  • gorgeous girlfriends who blessed by birthday butt off
  • visor streamers
  • weekend in the woo
  • hometown farmers
  • swimming for my little fish
  • aquarium outing with my little fish
  • hide and seek sillies with jane
  • diane drive shenanigans
  • between mom courage
  • faith and feminism...hope and healing
  • pals and playdates
  • sunroof open in january
  • awesome experiences for the girl scouts
  • dribbling basketballs and squeaky sneakers
  • the winter coat nomar garciaparra car key search 
  • demo day and shiplap planning
  • solar system learning with b
  • trying new things
  • essential oil experimenting
here's to gratitude,
 and how it turns everything into enough.

Monday, January 16, 2017

let's paint


"almost always the creative dedicated minority
has made the world better."
dr. martin luther king jr.

my family gifted me a beautiful set of water colors for christmas.
i'm definitely not a painter, but 
this gift of 36 colors, received when i was still 36 years old got me all tangled up.
it's been open on display on my desk since christmas.
i've yet to wet the brush.
it's just so beautiful.
because i'm not an artist, i'm afraid to dirty it up.

tomorrow, when women thrive will be at the world economic forum 
for the 3rd year (36 months...hmmm)
paint is the core of our branding.
we picked it because it so vividly depicts the unique components, or color pallet of women's lives. 
that when blended or combined creates something beautiful, special, memorable...
something that thrives.
and while not technically part of our branding or messaging, 
we know that when we combine too many colors the result is muck.
i see this often in the "masterpieces" little jane creates.
and i see this often in the life mixing of family, faith, work, love, gifts, dreams.
that when i carelessly blend, or forget to clean the brush the result is muck.

and that right there is it. 
why i can't bring myself to use the gifted pallet set.
i'm afraid to mix the colors.
i'm afraid i'll muck it up.
i'm afraid to ruin the perfect border between each color.

but today,
in honor of dr. king and his words,
i'll paint.
 on the eve of when women thrive's anniversary at the forum, 
i will paint.
as i begin my 37th year, 
i will paint.
as we start the new year of 2017,
i'll paint.
i will remember to not use all the colors.
i'll choose the ones i like the most.
i'll be thoughtful to select just the ones i need for the thing i'm going to create.
and i know this means i'll certainly have to mix the paint.
mixing - colors - life - love - faith - work - family - gifts - dreams.
let's paint.

Monday, January 2, 2017

lingering in christmas


oh what a joyous 
christmas season it has been for this little family.
and in many ways, we are still in it.
all the new year feels haven't quite hit me yet.
i feel them stirring
i know they are in there.
i just can't get my head, energy or heart into them quite yet.
so until then,
maybe one more christmas cocktail
while i sit by our pretty tree and look through our christmas bits.
merry christmas friends!


up first some christmas decorating.
we so loved our trees this year.
i don't want to take them down!

tree hunting
ornament unpacking
two tree trimming
a tree for farm friends
actually for hosting friends in the barn
my light detangler and stringing partner
our house tree trimmers
gus enjoying his spot under the tree
but also wishing bennett would  play with him
morning snuggles by the tree
and little sister make-over for brother too
candle light devotions by the tree too
preparing our hearts
to love, serve, rejoice and embrace the season
through our daily advent activity is very special to us.

advent calendar count down
with outings to the nutcracker
little ballerina twirler
christmas jammies and a polar express ride on the couch in our den
donut dates before school
gingerbread house making
gingerbread cookie decorating too
cookie baking
cookie tasting
cookie baking in the barn with friends
little bakers
sophisticated bakers
dudes who attack bakers from the barn loft
or play football instead of cookie baking and caroling
caroling around the neighborhood
the kids weren't the only ones having fun with 
friends this season.
we got to see and visit with so many friends and family
this christmas...hearts full!

east coast - west coast / medway - new braintree friends that are family
ctk lovelies
family love on christmas day
small group lovelies
mcc lovelies
book club lovelies
mama lovelies
family love on christmas eve
bff lovely
dinner party & game night lovelies
cocoa and caroling lovelies
some of time with friends
even got to visit with mr. clause himself.

or my dad, who was happy to play grandpa clause
mr. c's sleigh made landing on a perfect snowy night

happy little elves
happy barn
grandkids with grandpa clause
grateful for christmas blessings in this special spot
also grateful for
christmas blessings at mcc

candle light service
community concert
pre-school christmas sing
and trips to bethlehem for our little mary
and the christmas story told with such joy!
this season brought us a few
days that fulfilled the wishes for a white christmas.

snow at the farm
gus bundled up to play in the snow
perfect snow for snowball fights
and cotton balls for indoor snowball fights
ready to sneak attack dad with snowballs
a few more pics of our preparations,
and treat making.

cookie dough rolling
addictive treat making
kids who did their own present wrapping
or should i say present taping...so.much.tape.
the chicks were also quite giving this season,
bringing an egg bounty.
love these chicks...
i think these next few pics prove it!

gifts from the flock
chick apparel for christmas at home
red & green for the girls
chick christmas hugs
and a new vintage sign that looks oh so good here at the farm.
speaking of looking good here at the farm,
check out these new wheels!

watch out speed racer coming through!
when bennett lets me borrow his new dirt bike
and a fly moped for ella
and pink bike with training wheels for janie

so much fun,
and lots of new games to play!

board games for days
friendly competition
and the fun of a simple top
and outfitted head to toe in medway gear
we celebrated a little boy's birthday too!
best christmas present ever,
turned 8 on the 26th.

birthday wishes
sportin' his new bennett jersey (thanks pats for signing martelus bennett)
outing to star wars with the uncles
cheers to uncle matt!
fun with uncle tim and auntie leigh too
and then this weekend,
we had christmas with wes' side.
so much love with this crew of kids (big & little).

cousin sillies
games by the fire
snowball fights with the little ones
rascals who discovered the mistletoe
present (under the watchful eye of creepy uncle justin)
uncle justin not so creepy serenading
sweet girls
kiddo tables
big kid table
missing tooth partners
brother bonding
and that's a christmas bits & bobs' wrap!
so much love, fun and wonderful memories with 
friends and family.
and while i do wish you dear readers a very happy new year,
you'll find me lingering a little longer here in christmas!