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Well here we are, halfway through December! This fall has been full and beautiful and busy…too much of all three to waste time on the computer. =P
Noah has not won any awards for sleeping, even if he wins the “Happiest Baby on the Block” award. Naptimes in the last two months have been used for napping instead of getting things done. He’s now 5.5 months old and we’re starting some sleep training in hopes that these 2-3 hour stretches will turn into all-nighters. Or at least consistent 4 hour chunks of sleep.
We spent a LOT of time outside this fall. Indeed, we had a beautiful fall, with vibrant leaves and mild temperatures far past normal. We soaked it up, and then soaked it up some more in preparation for months of clouds and snow and wind when it’s harder to get outside! We actually haven’t had a big snow yet, which I am completely fine with. I’ve enjoyed getting to know what a “real” winter is like (having lived in the south until 2020, when we moved to Ohio), but the longer I live here, the more appealing the south looks!
Next stop: Nebraska
Back in July we found out that Ryan matched to a program in Nebraska for a final year of advanced gastroenterology! (So far he’s done 4 years of undergrad + 4 years of medical school + 3 years of internal medicine residency in Shreveport, Louisiana + he’s in his third year of gastroenterology fellowship. We started dating right as he was graduating from medical school and got married during his first year of residency.)
This means selling the house we bought and renovated when we moved to Ohio and packing our belongings for a one year stint in Nebraska. After that, we are free to go where we please and are currently undecided as to where that will be. =) We’ve known all along that Ohio would be for only 3 years unless God had other plans, but we’ve made friends and raised our children here so we’ll definitely be carrying a lot of memories with us.
I’m actually excited about moving to a completely new place for only one year…aside from the moving process itself. There’s something very free about moving to a place with no strings attached. But as a gal who grew up and lived in the same small town for the first 20 years of her life, I’m also very ready to settle down somewhere that we can put down roots, plant literal trees, and call home.
(PS – I know I’ll be asked, but I won’t be sharing the exact location in Nebraska where we’ll be moving.)
With a move in mind, we’ve been working on some final renovation projects and I’m getting rid of as much stuff as I can! I’m not a minimalist by nature. More of a hoarder, actually. But the older I get, and the more times I move, the more I’m willing to get rid of. I’m beginning to realize that more stuff = more things to think about AND children actually play better when they have fewer toys!
Leave any tips for minimizing down below. What are some things that you’ve gotten rid of to free up physical or mental space? Did you miss them as much as you thought you would?
I dragged several totes of fabric scraps with me from South Carolina, to Louisiana, and then to Ohio, intending to “someday” make them into quilt tops. (Did I mention that I have hoarder tendencies? And I hate to waste things.) I am NOT going to move them to Nebraska yet, so I have been cutting out quilt squares as I have time. Got any favorite quilt patterns perfect for a beginner?
Also why did I not do this before when I did not have two children??
I’m not sure that I have the time, patience, or equipment for traditionally quilting an entire quilt, much less multiple quilts. (I have a lot of fabric scraps.) Any ideas for speedier ways to turn quilt tops into finished product? I could always just knot them with yarn or embroidery thread like the comforters that we make at our church sewings. I also thought of doing large stitch quilting using embroidery thread. Is that a thing? I’ve also heard of “quilt-as-you-go,” quilting individual blocks. Any info or good resources on that?
I cut out two dresses right before Noah was born, intending them to be postpartum/early maternity dresses, but he’s 5 months old and I’m just now buckling down to sew them together. I also got the brilliant (harebrained) idea to make Hadassah and Noah matching Christmas outfits, and I found the perfect red velvet dress at the thrift store to cut up and use. Will it happen? We shall see.
In November we did a lot of traveling because Ryan had 2 weeks of vacation.
First we flew to Arizona, where we rented a van and drove to western Texas by way of New Mexico.
We got home Thursday night after midnight and Sunday afternoon left on a spur the moment trip to see Ryan’s family in Ontario.
From Ontario we drove to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving with friends.
In the kitchen
My new kick in the kitchen is figuring out the whole pressure canning thing. I was never very involved with the canning my mom did when I was growing up outside of prepping the fruits or vegetables to be canned. I’ve dabbled in water bath canning a little since getting married, but so far we haven’t lived in a place with a good garden situation so there hasn’t been much point in that.
But with the world being what it is, I got to thinking that some meat and soup on the shelves might not be a bad idea…so I invested in a pressure canner. Knowing how to operate an Instant Pot was definitely helpful in understanding the pressure canning process, and so far I have managed to pressure can ham and bean soup, turkey soup, turkey meat, and broth. (I also did some water bathed tomato soup.)
Wow – is it ever handy to be able to pull things off the shelf, ready to eat! Highly recommend.
Got any favorite pressure canning tips and tricks? What’s your favorite thing to pressure (or water bath) can?
Ryan really made my 27th birthday special. <3 He brought home roses, and a birthday banner, and wrote me a card, and even got some ice cream cake cups from Dairy Queen! They’re made out of the same stuff as DQ ice cream cakes, but they’re the perfect size for having a small treat without having to…er…dispose of an entire ice cream cake.
I used to have a grand time making my own birthday cake every year, but this year it didn’t happen until after the fact. It was an experimental THM friendly chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, and it turned out yummy (still needs some tweaks), but the day after I made it I realized that maybe some of Noah’s sleeping issues are caused by caffeine. I swore off chocolate and put the cake in the freezer.
The books of Hosea + Joel + Amos
“Tender Shepherd” – Sounds Like Reign (Hadassah’s current favorite. I hear, “Tender Shepherd, pwease?” at least once a day.)
What are you listening to?