Sunday, February 26, 2017

snowy bits


the end of february brought us a lovely peek at spring.
it also brought us lots of winter fun.
here's a peek at some of our snowy bits
including snowmen building, ice skating, outdoor fun, 
sledding, snow day fort building, warm treat tasting and skiing.
i'm feeling especially grateful to live
in a part of the world where we get to enjoy each of the 
four seasons in all their glory.

































and now we look forward to sprinting into spring.
which is never really a sprint, is it?
it's a start. stop. start. stop. 
snow. mud. ice. puddles.
puffer coats one day. flip flops the next.
sledding, skiing, skating one day...puddle jumping the next.
we'll take it, right jane?!




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.