Thursday, November 30, 2017

So much to look forward to...

Every week I write a letter to the parents of the children in my classroom. And every week I sign the letter

"We have so much to look forward to, "

along with my name.

It makes me think about the month about to happen while we are sleeping tonight.


How I love December.

We have our advent calendars ready to go. I use the paper one with the little doors that open. I know that there are really amazing wooden ones out there. And even more amazing ones you can buy on etsy that you fill each day. But somehow the little paper doors are still exciting to us. And just right for this season.

I certainly do have so much to look forward to with my sweet little family this coming month. All of the traditions are penciled in on our calendar so that we make sure they happen. The 'Christmas Checkoff List' is hanging in our kitchen and there are twinkle lights everywhere.

But this year it will be a bit different. I am a teacher. A fourth grade teacher and my life has certainly changed. The 18 children in my classroom are precious to me. All of them. I treasure them like gifts.

But the career of teaching is oh so time consuming (and fulfilling and inspiring and invigorating) and it takes me away from my home for the entire school day. I choose to trust the One that placed me where I am. In this season (of my life) (and of this Holiday season)

And it will still be wonderful. And yes, this December (even this one with this mama back in the classroom) we have oh so very much to look forward to.

(coffee cake given to me by a sweet little boy and his family today... there is no other profession where love spills all day long. I am blessed)
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

New, But Old

Scott and I got married in 1996.  I'm not exactly sure of the conversation but I remember my Grandma telling me she wanted to buy us a piece of furniture.  A coffee table for our new living room.

We ended up at a furniture store that happened to carry a brand made in Connecticut called Hitchcock.  I had no idea what Hitchcock furniture was but I loved that coffee table, my Grandma bought it and it's still (of course) in our house.  Now it's in our family room.

It's kinda neat to think that way back when I was 23 I had the same taste in furniture that I do now.

A few years ago Scott and I started talking about a new kitchen table.  And we knew right away that we wanted a Hitchcock one.  Hitchcock furniture was made in one of our favorite towns in Connecticut, Riverton.  (back here) (and here) (and here) In 1818 (in Riverton) the first store was opened and the factory too.  1818. I just love picturing this sweet town in 1818.

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Way back here I talked a little about my love of Hitchcock furniture.

And here is where I took some photos of our new kitchen table back in 2015.

Well since that very day 2 years ago we've dreamed of replacing our dinning room table with a Hitchcock as well. We saved up and we did. It was a glorious day picking our each chair, the table and the cabinet.

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I love the look of the chairs.

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Can you see the shadows of the stars that hang in the window.  I love when the light is just right and they show up on the table.

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Their 'back to school' stars hang here.

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This is what Hitchcock is famous for, mostly.  The design on the chairs.  These original chairs are perfectly restored.  (and make my heart skip a beat)

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Now, we originally decided to purchase just the buffet (the bottom piece) but as soon as they place the buffet in my house I KNEW that the top cabinet we missing and the room just cried out for it (well maybe it was just me, but I thought I could hear the room too)

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Famous for details

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And the stamp that all Hitchcock chairs have on them from all of those years ago.  Riverton was once (in 1818) called "Hitchcockville" And CONN was once the abbreviation for Connecticut before CT I adore all of those bits of history in my home.

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The best part was after Thanksgiving, trying out all of my stemware and goblets in the cabinet.  It was the best kind of playing house there is.

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Although I don't like 'sets' like I used to (I love individual antique dishes) I loved having less in my china cabinet as I added the crystal to the Hitchcock in the room.

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Playing around with my wedding china

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and silver... can this day last forever?

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Right now I only have the glasses that I love 'moved in'. Now that it's Christmastime I can add some pieces that make me Christmas happy.

I know it's furniture but I know that it will be a treasure for years to come. To hold holidays on, to chat around, and just to enjoy. Now what's next Hitchcock in my home? ahhhhh

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Just the right tree, Just the right place

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We got our tree on Thanksgiving weekend.

I told the story of our getting a tree back here in 2015  

It was a sunny, very cold day.  Tree picking out perfection.

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After some time in the cold we went in to our favorite little farm stand to warm up with hot cider. I love this little store.

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With a kitty all curled up by the warmth of the fire.

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When you shop at this little store (filled with all kinds of produce and breads and homemade jams) you shop with a little basket.

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It was a slice of Christmas joy right here in our town.

2016 was back here 

2014 was back here

2013 was back here 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

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I can't believe that another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  This was our second hosting in our old Connecticut colonial and it was warm and cozy.  The food was oh so good good good and the smell, if I could bottle it I certainly would.

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The weekend before Thanksgiving we decorated our home excpet for the main tree in the living room. I love having it all up, festive, and cozy for Thanksgiving.

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There was a half birthday in there somewhere too.

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I started baking a few days before Thanksgiving.

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And setting the table is the real show stopper for me. The food compliments the table. It's all about 'playing house' and I love it.

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It started with a not too early start which was really nice and hot cuppa tea in my Emma Bridgewater mug.

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I got right to the dough that had to rise before I made the rolls...

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... while Scott started with the gravy. He uses the giblets, neck (sounds gross, I know) and simmers all day long. Like all day long. After the turkey is out of the oven it's strained and combined with the natural gravy on the bottom of the turkey pan for the best gravy in the world.

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There was PJ parade watching. We live close enough to NYC that each year I wonder if 'someday' we should go. But I think it's way better on the couch in PJs for sure!

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The girls made a turkey gingerbread.

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A few minutes before family arrived we took a few pictures in our backyard. The leaves are mostly gone and there was a carpet of them at our feet. That says Thanksgiving to me for sure!

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I lit the fire and turned on my music.

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The rolls so so many of them came out of the oven.

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Scott kept working on the gravy.

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I love how it gets dark by 5:00... perfect backdrop for twinkle lights.

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Uncles and puzzles and four year olds. (abd carpet that went down less than 24 hours earlier... phew!)

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Candles were lit.

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And the food we wait for all year slid out of the oven.

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After dinner it all about welcoming the season of Christmas in my home. I change the music to the old fashioned Christmas songs I love.

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Christmas cloth napkins and little silver forks make me so happy.

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And the very best part is when family stays late. Candles are low. Laughter comes upstairs from the playroom as cousins play and we sit around remembering our blessings, laughing about our yesterdays and thinking through the future.

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