Let’s start with cake…

cake 1cake 5cake 3cake 2cake 4
We usually drag birthdays out as long as possible around here. The day you were born is an important day to celebrate so why not do it over several days or even a week!

Although Hannah doesn’t turn 12 until Tuesday, we began the festivities with a birthday cake with friends last night. I made this cake and it was to die for!
I am usually a chocolate cake with buttercream or cream cheese icing kind of gal but this cake spoke to me when I read the icing was made with sour cream and bittersweet chocolate.
The tangy to sweet ratio was perfect! Warning: make enough icing to ice your cake and eat it too. It was hard to stop tasting!

When I came home from the store to unpack the cake ingredients I was disappointed to find that I had overlooked the bittersweet chocolate I had bought contained almonds. Chris was nice enough to run back out for me. He couldn’t find plain bittersweet but did come home with both dark chocolate and milk chocolate. He thought combined it would do the job. And he was right. It was perfect.

And there is still cake left over. Cake counts as breakfast right?

Hannah and Norah

cake and teahannah1hannah2hannah3paper whitenorah 2norah1
norah 3

hannah: you love sweets and tea. not a week goes by where you don’t make us all a tea party. i surprised you with applesauce cake for breakfast. you thanked me at least ten times.

norah: you came down with a dress, stockings and maryjanes on. not your typical attire. i couldn’t stop looking at you all day. i saw who you will be in 5 years over and over.

A Cozy Weekend





hannah is sick with the stomach bug and i write this from the sofa watching pride and prejudice with her.

the weekend was rainy and gloomy, perfect for board games, applesauce making and organizing drawers and closets.

the weather has warmed up a bit which makes my long early morning walks a little more tolerable.
harry our dog has been such a gift in getting me outdoors. since we do not have a fenced in yard i have no choice but to take him out on walks in all sorts of weather. i thank him every day for that.

for those in the area, i am teaching a class on beauty and simplicity in the home.
i am rather excited about it.

back to snuggling with hannah.

A New Room and Floor








oh i could not wait to share this with you.
it’s all pretty amazing really to have watched this room in all of it’s stages and now in all of it’s glory!
it is officially complete and hannah is over the moon.

she chose benjamin moore maiden hair fern for the color. and as much as this mama of hers would have loved to see revere pewter on the walls, i love how it blends in with the leaves right outside of her huge windows.

to get an idea of how much we needed to dormer out you can see the original roof line just above the staircase. behind the mirrored door is the old attic space which comes in handy for storage.

the woodwork and trim was made to match the rest of this arts and crafts style house and we added some ship lap on the walls for a little more modern feel.

my grandfather crafted the built in bookcase (who’s top i am picking up from his shop tomorrow) to house books and collections.

she has a nice sized closet which fits all of her shoes and clothes and allows for more space in her room for dancing, playing and hanging out.

her antique bed was a gift from my mom and the drawing above it lived in my room as a child. artwork by hannah and my sister also lives on the walls. her desk was salvaged and given some new hand crafted drawer pulls.

on her first night up there i laid with both her and norah (who has been invited up to sleep and snuggle whenever she likes) and looked out at the leaves rustling on the big maple tree. we listened to the rain tapping on the roof and i marveled at this little house of ours and how it keeps on expanding and growing along with us.

stay tuned for more details and photos of this exciting new project!

It warms my heart

it warms my heart…
~to see how much you two enjoy one another.
~to find you reading to one another
~to find your dolls wrapped up in my scarves after a morning of play
~to hear you giggling in bed in the morning
~hear you hug and kiss at night and say i love you.
~norah,that you still call hannah sissy.
~to see how totally different you are from one another yet it is completely clear that you are sisters.
~to know that you will always be the best of friends.

Hannah and Norah

:: you are determined to run the media 5 miler again this year. you started training this week.
:: you have been spending a lot of time drawing and writing in your journal. you drew the most beautiful picture of papa sitting in a tree today

:: you told me the other day you have always wanted to be a dog but the one problem would be you would only get fed once a day. you love to eat.
:: you are such a night owl and you usually stay up later with papa while hannah and i go to sleep. these last few weeks though you have been asking me to sing you to sleep. your favorite is “stay awake”.


you are such a quiet thing. always thinking and observing and are quite a creature of habit. even though you don’t go to catholic school, or any school for that matter you have a uniform of sorts. your favorite is your jeans, your fuchsia turtleneck sweater and your bog boots. you are a lot like your mama in that way.
on sunday you were sick in bed with a fever and listened to the entire penderwicks book.
when we walked to jane’s house on monday you kept asking me if i needed help carrying anything. even though i told you i was fine you kept insisting on carrying a bag. sometimes i can’t believe you are only 11 and other times i can’t believe 11 years have gone by.

Happy Birthday Hannah

11 years ago today i became a mama.
it was the one thing i was certain i wanted to be ever since i was a little girl.
and when your papa and i started dating at 19 years old we began talking about being parents almost immediately.
i think we even picked our boy and girl names on our 3rd or 4th date.
hannah would be our girl.
and here you are.
hannah margaret.
the most beautiful creature both inside and out.
loving,caring and kind.
all smiles. big bright infectious smiles.
all long and lean and leggy.
a born leader.
responsible, dependable and on time (you even came on your due date).
growing like a weed (ever since you came out as your 10 pound two ounce self!)
into a lovely young lady who i just can’t seem to get enough of.
thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing me as your mama.
you bring me so much joy each and every day.
happy birthday.
i love you.
mama xo

A Birthday Brunch

and the celebrating continues.
this morning we had friends and family over for a birthday brunch for hannah.
we made a very large dutch baby (a recipe from a bed and breakfast on our honeymoon to alaska), potato hash with spinach and eggs, fresh fruit, cream scones and salty dogs made with fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit. (from 3191Q).
the conversation and company lingered well on into late afternoon making for the perfect sunday.

i just washed the last dish and there is a game of back gammon waiting for me.
it’s 5 o’clock and we can still play by daylight!
spring is coming.