Thursday, January 30, 2014

getting outside

we are getting outside a lot these days.
even if it's below freezing and it's only for ten minutes.
even if it takes them three times as long to get all their gear on in advance.
because those ten minutes outside are doing HUGE things for our time inside.
because those ten minutes are turning into thirty minutes,
 which turns into an hour or more of winter playing, exploring,
animal tracking and adventuring. 
they need it.  i need it. we need it.
it's a good thing.

it's not been easy though.
they almost always put up a fight first.
why is that?
they have absolutely no problem lugging the humongous bag of gear to school
with them each and every day so they can go out at recess.
but at home it's like i'm sending them to timeout.
i don't get it.

but i'm not gonna let that stop us.
it's my new mission.
we will embrace this season.
we will get out.
 and most often i just kick them out (e&b only)
while i watch on from the window on the cozy inside. 
because the hard parts of fussing and putting on all the gear 
don't come close to outweighing the good parts of 
rosy cheeks, energy burned, adventures achieved...
oh and the peace & quiet inside while they play outside.
what about you?
how are you fighting the winter cabin fever craze?
any tips?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

simple sunday

simple sunday...
the days i love mostest


it also helped to have this song heard at church this morning 
as our background played on repeat all day long!

Friday, January 17, 2014

ten on ten: january

 capturing the beauty of an ordinary day

1. anticipating the blooms in winter
2. bananas for upset tummies
3. reading time
4. reading time that looks like this sometimes
5. ninjago...all the time
6. rainbow loom...everywhere
7. happy mail
8. afternoon sunlight - even it reminds me it's time to dust
9. afternoon shadows of these two
10. his eyelashes

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


dear happy 2014 blog post,
allow me to clarify.  when i said that i wanted boring and simple in the new year, i did not mean bed ridden and house bound with the stomach bug on and off for the past 2 weeks as it gets passed back and forth to family members.

just wanted to clarify...

note: post written not as an attempt to gain sympathy but to set the record straight.  all kidding aside, man alive it was a doozy...but we are getting stronger and well on our way to a disinfected and happy home again. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

hello 2014...veggies, chickens, baking & letters

happy 2014 friends!
are you a new year's resolution person?  i'm usually not, but this year i'm totally swept up in it.  2013 was so big for us - stretched us - challenged us - changed us - grew us.   new baby, new home, new jobs, new routines, new adventures, new challenges, new fears, new strengths, new joys...a whole bunch of new new new.

as we bid farewell to 2013 my heart overflows with gratitude for the memories and all the life that was lived...but if i'm honest i don't want any of that for 2014. of course i hope for a year filled with joy, adventures, growth and wonderful memories but i also hope it's filled with a whole lot of simple and kinda boring things like veggies, chickens, baking and letters.

my kids think my resolutions are hilarious. in fact on new year's eve they made up a little song to poke fun of these particular bits and now sing it at the top of their lungs and most often while standing on top of a chair and giggling hysterically...

"our mooooooommmmmyyyyy wants to get eat more VEGGIES, 
raise chickensssssss, 
BAKE new things,
and write MOOOOOOOORRRRREEEE  lettterrrrrssssssss!" 
(can you hear it ... see them doing's very catchy)

but yup.  that's what i want in 2014...and i guess i now have a catchy theme song to hold me to it.

so, i'm going to eat more vegetables and get stronger...something i lost with sleepless baby feeding nights, unpredictable new routines and an overall lack of focus on taking care of me.  i'm going to read more...even if it just on how to raise chickens and what recipes i can make with the bounty of eggs i'm looking forward to. i'm going to bake more...this is the year i find the next thing to add to my banana bread, shepherd's pie and corn chower standbys.  i'm going to write more...and not just here on this little blog but also on stationary and trips to the post office.  i'm going to have shorter to do lists.  i'm going to say no more. i'm going to be more present.  i'm going to love better. i'm going to be quiet with lord more. i'm going to just be.

so i raise my glass of veggie-packed green smoothie to 2014 and wish you a very happy new year friends!  what about you ... what are your hopes for the new year?  if you need a theme song i'm sure i could get e&b to compose something for you :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

handmade holiday

it was another handmade holiday from the defoyds!
here's what we gifted this year to friends, family and teachers...

bouquets of happy
i love making these little yarn pom poms(see how to here).
aren't they just so happy?
 we popped them on top of some sticks from the yard to create little bouquets of happy.
hopefully they are bringing a bit of color and cheer to friends and teachers these winter months.

fort kits
these were the kids' gifts from them to their buddies and cousins.
super easy and pretty darn fun to gift...and play with!
 we picked out some inexpensive flat sheets and stuffed it 
into a matching pillowcase...
 along with some kid painted 
clothes pins to secure the fort walls...
 and a trusty chew toy, 
i mean flashlight.
kid fort kit at the ready...
kid made and kid given!

vacation memory frames
 we made these frames for each family on wes' side 
with pictures from the family vacation on lake canindaigua this summer...
 we picked out some favorite snapshots of each family 
and clipped them into these painted and then distressed frames lined with chicken wire...
the chicken wire we are getting ready to use to build an actual coop this spring, 
but in the meantime has been my go to backing for framing candids with a wee clip...
love these happy helpers showcasing all the frames 
before we wrapped them up!

handmade with love from the defoyds
and maybe a wee inspiration for you readers.
(let us know if you need any chicken wire - we have tons!)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

christmas bits

merry christmas friends!
we can surely still say this, since christmas isn't quite over yet.
in fact the 12th day of christmas isn't until monday - the day of epiphany.

so while wes and the big kids brave the freezing temperatures sledding and baby girl naps i'm going to snuggle up in my new infinity scarf and slippers, put love actually on in the background
and look back at all the bits from this most joyous season.
a season that was most certainly filled to the brim of sweet things.
 here's a wee look...

it started back in the late fall with my new adventure in photo shoots here at the barn.
so much fun - learned a ton - now pondering where to take it next!

first snowstorms, sledding and snowman fun here at home...
oh and ella wearing her santa hat everywhere!

first christmas in our new home
ornament making...
melting crayon bits with the hair dryer to create colorful swirls

 cookie decorating...
jane fit right in this year as our official taste tester.

mailbox full of christmas greetings from friends & family...
and feeling so very honored to have been a part of capturing several of these beautiful families

 planning and hosting events that celebrated the season with colleagues & clients in 
new york, boston, philadelphia and greenwich that looked a bit like this...

gingerbread house making...
we bought the kit but swapped out most of the decoration based on some ideas found in a library book.  shredded wheat and life cereal are our new go-to giving our roofs a very real look!

christmas sing at little lambs for this happy boy,
who apparently stands a full head taller than his friends!
 more christmas creating...
our family of five as yarn wrapped christmas trees

christmas eve rejoicing

celebrating with family christmas eve, christmas day, 
uncle cory's stay and at grandma & papa's

 new gifts and treasures to
enjoy, read and learn

a merry christmas it is!
from our family to yours may the joy of christmas 
live in your hearts throughout the year!