Feb 10, 2014
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I have to be absolutely honest in admitting that blogging has not been an overall easy process in the weeks prior to now.

I was absolutely, insanely excited to start blogging nearly daily and had a list of things lined up to write about, along with photos to share as well.

Upon my making the most ambitious of plans, life decided to rear its truly realistic and beautifully humbling head;

reminding me again of how important it is to NOT take your health and the health of your children and spouse for granted.

The winter months always seem to be the most difficult for many of us, as you see, hear and try to shield yourself from in every dr’s office waiting room.

The trouble I have with it all, is that much of this illness seems to come from school and it is NEVER ending anymore.
In the past, when we homeschooled our girls, we had never endured constant illness like this. Not even close.

The past 2 weeks have been filled with sniffles and sneezes, absolutely nasty noses and coughing.

Then of course, followed up with MULTIPLE visits to the dr’s office, day and night; followed by late night trips to the only pharmacy open 24 hours a day.

I should share; in late August 2013, our family moved to Midland, Texas, to allow for my husband to accept a very generous and unexpected job offer.

Currently, the Midland, Odessa and surrounding areas of Texas; also known as The Permian Basin; is absolutely exploding due to current successful oil field activity.

You can imagine that the schools, dentists, dr’s offices, pharmacy and almost all other places are overwhelmed and severely understaffed.

Imagine having a sick child or several sick children and yourself dealing with a long term situation with your health.

Making call after call, to physician after physician, only to literally beg your way into an appointment and only one of your children can be seen that day.

This has been an all too common situation with many basic services and necessities here in our area.

Going to the grocery store is an entirely different nightmare that I will share with you in another blog post.

I just can’t stress enough how much we took for granted, the ease of basic necessities and functions.

Living in a town growing so very rapidly by the day, will really remind you to plan ahead and never to expect things to go a certain way.

It is also a daily exercise in patience and kindness for myself, for the better.

I much prefer being patient and kind, regardless of circumstance or situation; rather than acting impatient and ill mannered towards others.

To sum it all up, we have quite literally been putting one foot in front of the other, day after day; all of us trying to get well.

Savannah, our oldest, has finally returned to school last friday, after being absent an entire week and 1 day, due to being ill and having asthma.

We are finally nearing the end of prescribed antibiotics, breathing treatments and inhalers; happily so.

Although, we absolutely will continue to eat ridiculous and unrealistic amounts of yogurt; for the probiotics of course.

Our girls have an absolute love affair with yogurt and we have an entire basket in our fridge dedicated to it.

Additionally, we will also continue to take copious amounts of elderberry, to really give our immune system the boost it so desperately needs.

More on that, as well as a new treat we have found to boost our immune systems in a later post as well.

For the time being, I want to share with you the Valentine’s Box we crafted for Savannah’s class party 2 years ago.

We also created a bag for Ella, literally the morning of the party, as we were given very little notice.

I scrambled to pull together treats for the party, eventually deciding on bags of fruit oatmeal, craisins & pistachios, cute tags attached.

MIRACULOUSLY.

Looking back, the cute little saying that I used on the tags doesn’t make nearly as much sense as I thought it did that morning.

But hey, you can’t win at everything in life. Being crafty and precisely witty seems to be asking a bit much, don’t you think?! HA!

At the time, we lived in a teensy tiny town in Utah with only one small grocery store, that doesn’t even open until 9 am or later.

This does not help your situation when the bus comes at 8:30 AM and it takes 70 mins round trip to even reach the nearest Wal-Mart.

Thats it. End of story.

Also, this store is not stocked like Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. Your options were often quite limited. Really, beggars can’t be choosers.

I am so thankful to have stores available to me now that weren’t previously.

Even if it means waiting in line for 20 mins to have one item rung up and finding a parking space NO where near the store.

Again, another opportunity for me to exercise patience and kindness as I go through my day, gently navigating from one errand to the next.

The photos are 2 years old, so please excuse them not exactly being of the best quality or to my current standard.

Really though, these are SO fun, I just had to share!

Crafting with your kids is quality time, absolutely very well spent and never with any regret.

Regardless of the trail of glitter and paper punches, never to escape you but always miraculously dodging the vacuum cleaner, in the weeks to come.

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Those who know our family are fully aware that we are mostly unconventional and truly beat to our own drum.

Finding new and creative ways to accomplish things and seeing the beauty in life, where others might place judgement or be afraid to forge a new trail.

We made the camera out of a capri sun box, some fabric, glitter, spray paint, a metal tin, milk cap and cupcake liners.

It was a make as you go project; using only the things we had available to us at the time. NO trips to the store were made. NO additional money was spent.

Perfection and a high dollar receipt for purchase truly aren’t necessary with kids and even in life.

It is the act of being present and involved that makes ALL the difference, in every situation.

Too many of us parents are voluntarily donating our sleep and family time, all for the sake of having a perfect birthday party or holiday dinner.

After reaching the often dreaded age of 30 this year, I can share with you this valuable piece of information.

Sleep is absolutely valuable and is rarely taken for granted by me these days.

Also, you will be absolutely grateful and forever better, for the precious time you had with your loves, planning and preparing for things.

Can you say that same thing about extensive time spent with your Pinterest Boards or a party planner?

I absolutely do understand that some people’s schedules do require hiring a professional for help and coordination.

Also, there are moments when we just want someone else to do the work while we absolutely ENJOY every last minute with our loves, free of expectation.

So whatever you choose, I hope it is in the company of the very best people in your life.

Preferably with no expectation or circumstance of time and prior obligations getting in the middle of it all.

Life is so busy for all of us every single day, why let yourself feel any other pressure, if not necessary?!

Happy Valentine’s Week to you all from our family to yours!

Also, if you end up making either of these valentine crafts, email me! I would LOVE to see them!

Or find me on instagram: @airgreenwood // feel free to tag me!

I can hardly wait to share some exciting and delicious recipes soon, photos, etc.

Here’s to winter making a swift and polite exit for all of us, including in Canada and to wonderful health and fun for everyone!

All my best. // Air

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Jan 07, 2014
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Today, I am overflowing with life.

Inspired greatly, by so many and so much.

Most days, there is a plan of some sort.

A routine.

Keeping the chaos somewhat at at a minimum, in this house of girls and all of their accessories[the estrogen ocean, i jokingly call it.]

I am deeply committed to “letting it be” but there is also a need for things to be done.

Today, I am doing mundane things like going to the post office.

The post office boxes arent nearly as beautiful here in the U.S. as they are in Canada.

Neither is my current view, here in this oilfield heavy desert.

I am desperately longing for snow right now.

& pine trees.

MANY, MANY PINE TREES.

Sounds crazy, considering how cold the rest of the nation and Canada are right now.

However, I actually miss it.

The cold and snow of Canada are beautifully unique and unlike any other.

While it may be cold where we are; there is NO snow so far and often a disgusting smell in the air.

A souvenir of the oil and gas industry polluting our air; as my husband tells me often.

Back to feeling inspired and filled with life.

 

My loves and I watch and listen to the news, every morning as we get ready for the day and get off to school.

This morning on The Today Show, was like many others.

News of the day, warnings of cold weather and inspiring stories about those in our nation making a difference, reminding us of hope and a grateful heart.

Only, it is NOT often to hear the story of a 12 year old boy, with my own name, no less.

Hearing his story and the joy in his voice gave me happiness and made my heart feel light.

I cried actual tears [of happiness!] by the end of his story.

I was again reminded of how grateful I am to have the use of my legs [your chevrolegs, to all you teenagers begging to drive] and other appendages, no less.

However, this wasn’t the reason for my shedding of tears.

His life story is beautiful and inspiring in SO MANY WAYS.

For so many of us, the diagnosis of a medical condition and disability would be life altering.

The destruction of ourselves and our outlook, likely dismal and tragically of our own choosing.

It is unfortunately, all too simple to allow the world around us to cave in, causing us to reflect poorly on our present and future selves.

We allow the influence and judgment of others to decide our destiny and dictate our joy in life.

The reason for this self-destructive behavior is still not entirely clear to me and seems absolutely of no merit or benefit to our well being.

Yet the cycle seems to continue on, striking down many in its path; daily.

 

& then there is Aaron; choosing to be able bodied and so happy; regardless of what physical limitations he may face.

Stating clearly on his blog and in his daily life; this mantra: “THIS ABILITY IS NOT A DISABILITY.”

 

The most simple and light of words; reminding us again about the gift of life and the beauty it is to be awake and breathing, each day.

His intelligence and constant curiosity; the beginning of change.

A revolution for how we view ourselves and others living and being apart of life; sharing the same air.

His expression of art and illustration; leaving a mark on the world.

A legacy for others to know and admire.

I wonder how many children and adults with physical limitations, great and small; could use this kind of motivation and positive spirit?

How many of us without these same or different boundaries can appreciate and desire these motivations, as well?

 

Nothing should ever stand in the way of who you wish to become.

Unless, of course; you wish to become isolated and without curiosity and apprecation; for the world in which you live.

In my more recent years, I have learned that Napoleon Hill was absolutely correct and of great intellect.

“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds”

 

There is so much in life that we deny ourselves of and are somewhat ignorant to.

Including the recognition of others and our differences; physically, mentally or otherwise.

Our world is so large, yet our minds can think so small.

you can quote me on that.

Another limitation, set only by our own mind and our fears, unfortunately.

 

My daughters and I were touched by Aaron.

He is someone we are inspired by and admire greatly.

He and my oldest daughter having SO many of the same things in common and the same positive spirit about themselves and the world we live in.

We would be more than thrilled to have him tell us to “come on in” one day, to meet and know him.

Just as Fred Seibert of Frederator did for him and a favor he wishes to pay forward to another, one day.

For the time being, we are more than happy and excited to support his new project, on Kickstarter!

While we are not able to donate a large amount of money;

this project is every bit amazing and worthwhile.

We are truly hoping to see this project receive complete funding and make its way into the homes and hearts of MANY in the year of 2014!

With such perseverance and a positive attitude, I cant imagine Aaron being anything less than successful; both now and in his adult years.

 

Please take a moment to watch and/or read the segment featured on The Today Show!

Then please visit his Tumblr Blog and Kickstarter Project!

& if so inclined, make a donation and take part in a beautiful change, well overdue in our world, regarding disabilities.

There is nothing in this life more beautiful and inspiring;

than a child wishing to change the world and actually making it happen.

Add to that, his absolute denial of physical boundaries and his curiosities, enthusiastic desire to enjoy life and his motivation to inspire others;

and this project [the tanda project] becomes even more AMAZING.

 

I am constantly touched by many things, places, animals, people and more.

The obstacles to overcome, the adversity faced and so much more absolutely intrigues me and inspires me get involved, in many capacities.

I have done a fair amount of work, paid and unpaid; in my communities and in the non-profit industry.

Including being life flighted during my 1st pregnancy on friday and going in to work monday, also giving up my maternity leave to write a grant for the continuation of this same project.

I say this not for reward or praise but in sharing with you my deep commitment to change the world we live in.

Showing you that EVERYONE can contribute, regardless of what or how much and regardless of prior obligations or fear.

In our family movement to “let it be” we have committed to make a list of the things that bring us joy and to do more of them, often.

One of those things includes doing good in this world, no matter the cause and NEVER for reward or recognition.

We want to share many of the causes we learn of and support here and elsewhere, so that others may also take part in changing our world.

Truly, as it was said by Mahatma Gandhi // “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

There is so much truth in that statement, so much wisdom that he shared with us.

Advice for our future generations and the sustainability of our planet and society, as well.

I would have much preferred to share photos of Aaron Phillip; but did not find it appropriate or acceptable to post photos without his or his parents express written permission.

I am sharing this here, on instagram and other social media forums and outlets.

Please share with others as well.

All my best // Air

 

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Jan 04, 2014
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I’m a rambler at times, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

These girls of ours are so adventurous.

Full of life in ways I never did imagine, as a kid.

Granted, I lived in Las Vegas for a good while; meaning unless it was 9 PM you didn’t play outside.

No one wants 3rd degree burns from playing on their swing set.

Naturally, actually playing outside after sundown could have easily landed you prime real estate on a milk carton.

If you get what I mean.

Funny enough, still to this day; I HATE MILK!

From cows! Not almonds. My husband insists that almond milk is juice.

I would rather guzzle down the worlds worst and strongest kombucha before a glass of milk.

I also still don’t care for some kombucha, if you didn’t already make that assumption.

I loathe milk and its lukewarm consistency.

It doesnt matter how cold your fridge is; once poured, milk always tastes warm. ALWAYS.

There are other reasons but I will leave it at that.

Just about once a year, I will drink chocolate milk; almost always regretting it immediately.

It has to be Winder Farms Milk in SLC, Utah; Kalona Supernatural or organic milk, with Nesquik powder, not fully mixed.

To all of you who love milk; congratulations and thank you times a million for supporting the Dairy Farmers of America.

Really, farmers deserve all the help, thanks, support and appreciation they can get.

Also, still to this day, I can remember exactly what a carton of milk from Anderson Dairy in Las Vegas looked like.

I can still remember the huge star as their logo and the sign they had in the city.

As well as the child’s photo literally taking up one side; asking others to recollect and report; anything at all about their whereabouts.

& even at age 5, this bothered me greatly, weighing heavy on my heart. Clearly, it still has left an impact on my soul, as a mother.

Where I am going with this post, is simple and necessary; a wake up call in parenting.

& to some, strange. I am sure of this and unapologetic, none the less.

I am so grateful that my daughters are growing up with skills to survive in this world.

I am so in love with the fact that they have a constant hunger to know and learn more; every single day.

The love to play survivor; as they excitedly call it.

Their favorite TV Shows include National Geographic’s Naked & Afraid, Survivor Man, Wipeout and documentaries as well.

What little television we do allow them to watch is mostly educational or life lesson and skill based, so they may take something from it.

We have had some amazing and candid conversations, lessons, skill building and adventures; based on the curiosities that these shows have sparked.

I am sure that Naked & Afraid may seem inappropriate to some of you…but please, watch it before you decide my parenting is sub-par.

Everything front side is blurred out and the only thing you may see here and there is a gluteus maximus, which we all have.

We have always been honest, open and frank with our daughters about their body parts, their functions and the nature for which we use them.

& you know something? I have yet to walk in on a child playing doctor or any of those insanely stressful moments, laughable only in the far future.

& for those of you who watch what I like to call “trash tv” such as real housewives, jersey shore, desperate housewives and of the others…

DO NOT think for a second that your kids do not see and hear what is on tv and maybe even have curiosities about what is being said and done.

If you do not watch anything like this; forgive me for my statement.

I used to watch some of those shows myself, until feeling suffocated by the intense chaos blaring loudly, clouding my downtime.

Please do not judge me for my daughters watching people in their birthday suits, surviving in the wild, for all to see.

Back to the point.

Recently, the girls have been playing survivor more often than not.

It is quite literally one of the only activities they do, where NO ONE is screaming and there are few arguments between them, if any at all.

Its a peace that I have forever longed to know.

We took our tree outside a few days ago, dumped the water out of the stand and left the tree to be put in the dumpster the next day, during daylight.

Funny enough, the girls were beyond excited for a real tree; just as I was myself.

We are desperately missing the landscape, the mountains and weather from a traditional Utah winter.

I would give anything to look out my window, door or elsewhere and see a mountain, let alone gigantic pine trees and snow, anywhere.

Apparently the thought of the tree being gone was just too much for them to stand.

They gave it another life and purpose in our yard; a stand of cinderblocks from the shed, its only hope in standing vertical.

It has remained standing until today, actually.

The wind finally won the battle and it tumbled to the ground; hard and fast, as they looked on this morning.

The girls have watched, each day; as I have trimmed down the dry sprigs of the Noble Fir; using them as aromatherapy in a boiling pot with citrus fruit and essential oils.

This obviously looked to be all too much fun and they have trimmed the tree daily since it lost the battle to standing in a quiet corner of our living room.

There are literally branches that are now bare and many buckets, bins and baskets filled with needles of pine in our backyard.

I am so happy they have had so much fun with our tree and SO incredibly proud of them, all the same.

I can only hope they take these skills and resourceful habits with them into their future lives as mothers, wives, homemakers, scholars and in their careers.

I hope their thinking will always be creatively driven, organic in origin and of their own free will and volition.

Who knows?

Maybe one of them will become a botanist, creating a natural cure or homeopathic remedy for a major illness or to offer better health to others.

As a mom, I have lofty hopes and dreams for my little girls, wishing them well, encouraging them to dream aloud and often; as any parent will and should.

I never want to be the mom that lives vicariously through them but enjoys their journey with them, silently witnessing the ups, the downs, only making my presence known when requested.

My muse, they are not; with the exception of the notion they bring me to find inspiration in the everyday and I am only so in love with life and being in love, thanks in part to them.

Otherwise, I just could not imagine these three beautiful girls being puppets on a string and my life would be void of the the chaos and beauty they bring to it.

The reason I am so elated to see them playing in the wild of our backyard, pretending to be survivors?

Because it will keep them safe, build a bond between them and keep them constantly learning and curious.

I am certain this will keep them safe in life, as they go along.

It has taught them to be mindful of their surroundings and the environments they are exposed to.

Unfortunately, not every child has a watchful and protective parent or the opportunity to explore, learn and grow.

My husband and I take our job as parents very seriously and with every fiber of our beings, we want nothing more than happiness, health and safety for these little girls.

Being completely honest; the past years of parenting, before now, were more of a challenge to me.

These girls, testing my patience often and almost always, it seemed.

It took me a little bit of time before realizing that my health was not in good standing.

That so much of my impatience stemmed from my lack of energy and other ailments; some of them quite extreme.

Life began to shift; after finding my balance and core, the beginning to my soul and then allowing myself to let it be.

Focusing solely loving my family; I was then able to shake off everything that rattled my nerves and be a happier, easy going parent and spouse.

There is no mess that cant wait, laundry will still be there, right along with my constant state of sleep deprivation.

This is absolutely alright with me and I suppose I will catch up on my sleep when I die. Seems as good of a time as any, really.

The moments I have to watch and photograph my children playing in the backyard, together as sisters and friends; bring me joy I couldn’t wish for.

My babies together, having fun and being curious about their world and all that lies within it.

Standing tall amongst nature, surrounded by birds and squirrels, learning to love and respect the environment and that it is not always renewable, time after time.

This is a life; an exploration and adventure, that I didn’t always have growing up.

& even if I had; I much preferred the company of books, enjoyed in a quiet library, alone; much of the time.

That’s a funny story for another time. Punishment that backfired on my dad and in a most hilarious way, looking back.

We spend a good deal of money to live where we do, due to a recent MAJOR uptick in oil field activity.

We also didn’t necessarily get to throw caution to the wind and live where our hearts desired but for the time being, we are grateful.

We are also patient. Extremely patient.

Our backyard is currently worth its weight in gold as far as we are concerned.

West Texas isnt exactly abundant with vegetation, especially mature and quite green and thriving.

Our recent water bills can agree with this as well. Ugh. The perks of growing up, right?!

These photos of our girls playing, having an adventure and finding a friendship as sisters mean the world to me already.

These images, the color, the emotion, the life and the love within them are of my most prized possessions.

I am very modest for the most part in the way that I live and the money which I spend to furnish our home, clothe myself and our children, etc.

But if I were forced to spend every last cent and only to save these images for a lifetime, I would say yes, a million times over.

I would like to leave you with a quote from Pablo Neruda, my absolute favorite of writers and poets.

May it leave you with the same resolve and determination as myself; to love your way through this life and to love those who are in it, for more than a lifetime.

All my best & happiest of weekends to you and yours. // Air

“If nothing saves us from death, may love at least save us from life.” – Pablo Neruda

Disclaimer: All use of scissors by my children was supervised and monitored at all times. We do not allow, under any circumstance for our children to partake in dangerous acts, while unsupervised. You may now breathe easier Nana & Grandma Jolene. XO.

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Dec 31, 2013
posted in Uncategorized with  2  COMMENTS

January 1st.

A universal date, on every calendar. Heavily weighted with expectation of hope and promise.

Beautiful new date keepers given for the holidays, displayed eagerly with joy and anticipation for whats to come.

With the eve of each New Year, so many of us feel pressure to change.

To purge and lighten, making ourselves “better people” in the days to come.

Nevermind the list[s] we make; heavy and filling the page.

Absolute and determined resolution to be someone we wish we were.

& while I can and do appreciate the concept and the motivation behind it…

too many of us, being imperfectly human and flawed; almost always fall short;

forgetting things, giving in to dietary cravings and not exercising enough, watching too much television…

& later, not even 12 days into January, give or take, we begin the vicious cycle again.

Suddenly, we are failures; gluttonous and without willpower.

Our homes not organized neatly into bin and basket.

Again, turning to Pinterest and other sources; hoping to save our disastrous homes, meals, minds, diet and parenting plans.

Just to name a few of the things one will obsess over fixing about themselves.

For some, this is routine. The familiar. A cycle of life that they crave and trust.

I cant say, with honesty, that I have not been a participant of this cycle, in the years behind me.

I can, in complete truth, tell you this.

I have allowed this cycle to take place in my life, only to become a victim, by CHOICE, to routine and a failure in my own goal setting and lack of accomplishments.

This year and the year before it (2012 & 2013) have been so good to myself and my family.

I am absolutely not speaking in a measure of monetary value or career success.

While we do need monetary success to simply provide for our family and basic needs; this is simply not a measure of my overall worth and I am doubtful this will ever change for me.

As the saying goes…”money can’t buy you happiness.”

Of this, I am convinced.

The past 2 years of my life have been weighted heavy with change and compromise.

Regular commutes between the U.S. & Canada; many miles between my husband, myself and our children.

A health problem, that I have learned will now be with me indefinitely; regardless of my absolute desire to feel completely well again.

Changes in career, changes in geographic location.

MANY times over.

Change in our children, growth and maturity, that I just hadn’t quite expected or prepared for, just yet.

I am fairly certain this feeling of surprise will never disappear over the coming years.

Raising three daughters is no easy task and is never without chaos and consequence of the heart.

In our marriage, of almost 12 years, many moments of change and compromise.

Moments further cementing us to one another, the anchor to each others souls, the sunshine in each others sky.

A journey and companionship, that no one could even imagine or ask for but only earned in trust, love and sacrifice, in all of our days.

A love and friendship to sustain myself, my spouse and our children through every one of our days; together or otherwise.

Our family is taking a different journey in the celebration of the coming year.

This year, while faced with challenge of the mind, body and soul; we have found a peace and deep appreciation, never imagined.

While this year has not been without pain and sacrifice; it is through these challenges, that  I believe we discover our truest selves.

Truly, when faced with adversity, backs against the wall; it really does become a moment and life changing decision of fight or flight.

In our fight; as a family and also as individuals; we have discovered a new way of life and love.

To live this year, with resolve only, to embrace the chaos and change, still to come in its days…

To see and feel the beauty and love in each day, moment and minute, we are breathing.

Letting it be. LIFE.

Absolute and real, embraced chaos, delicious ambiguity and all that each day will offer.

No amount of emotion or event, being an overall marker of our days or a label of what we are worth.

We are choosing to “let it be.”

every single day. 

Tonight, as a family, we will fill a jar with paper.

The many things for which we are thankful, written in ink.

To many, this would appear selfish and possibly even lazy.

& truly, to each their own. Every journey is different for every person.

Its just too easy to become caught up in the mundane details and pressure of the everyday.

I will LET IT BE when life gets busy and my house becomes messy and I will snuggle my babies and kiss my husband instead.

Surely, I will find 5 minutes later in the day or week, to catch up on things.

As a family, we will find a slow sunday to fold the laundry and vacuum the floors together. 

I will LET IT BE when other peoples actions could easily cause me distress or harm.

Truly, we cant be in control of every person, place or thing.

I will LET IT BE when expressing myself through my home, clothing, etc.

I am the only person who can be me. My home is a reflection of who I am and is MY sanctuary.

There is no search box on Pinterest or Google for that.

We will fill the jar with love and laughter.

Being conscious of all the good things that our life has to offer and that we love to share together.

With little moments of unexpected fun and happiness in between.

One of my suggestions is: “to enjoy more pie.”

While trivial to some and gluttonous to others, it comes from a place of love.

I love the connection that food can make with people, places and memories of days gone by and even days to come.

My mom is currently OBSESSED with making pies and we have so enjoyed watching her and enjoying the fruits of her labor.

My mother in law makes pies for each holiday and celebration & we have also greatly appreciated and admired her work; if you will.

The recipes for each of them, coming from family members who have passed.

Tradition packed up safely in each of their hearts and mind, written on paper and passed on to each of us, with love.

Some times you just need home. Even in your own living room, with your own family.

Pie, tastes like home. It tastes and smells of love.

It serves as a beautiful reminder of blessed and loved we truly are.

& yes, there will be far less trivial request that each of us make.

Another, from myself and a general rule which my husband and I practice daily; pick your battles.

Listen to your spouse and even children, without immediate consequence or judgment.

Be forgiving and accepting of others, including yourself.

It is often, the people we love the most, who let us down more often and in a manner, far more intense.

Their behaviors, not always of a malicious intent and often the pain is far greater because of how much we love them.

I am forgiving and accepting of the traits and quirks my husband has that may rattle my nerves now and then..

because I am aware that I am equally guilty of driving him crazy and he still loves me every single day.

NO MATTER WHAT.

Our family will resolve to LET IT BE.

Of course, there will still be the obligatory toy and clothing purge, among others.

Sharing with others, what we have in excess.

Tonight we will fill our jar to the brim, I am sure.

We bought a cake and have decided to enter the New Year in celebration.

We are celebrating being happy & content with who we are and with what we have.

Far too often, conceited and in vain, many obsess over having better or more of something.

While it is not for me to place judgment, the effort required is something not within me.

The New Year begins with January 1st for each of us.

Every single day can be happiness and hope, anticipated and celebrated.

We should all strive to be better persons, every single day, of every single year.

Regardless of pressure from the upcoming year and the hanging of a new calendar.

Give yourself a break and focus on being healthy and happy, instead of seeing a specific number on a scale.

Remind yourself that your children will live through you and the value you place in yourself. 

Happy New Year to all of you.

May 2014 find you HAPPY, HEALTHY and filled with PEACE.

& with each day that passes, may you remember to LET IT BE.

Forgive others, forgive yourself and breathe in all that life has to offer.

Time is fleeting and you will never recover the passing years in your children’s lives, the smell of a baby and the laughter of a small child.

Hairs will gray, gravity will take hold of your body and no amount of judgment or “to-do list” can change this.

More importantly, breathe everything in. EVERY LAST MOMENT.

& later, when you are gray and maybe even more alone, there will always be that movie, on repeat in your mind.

You will find infinite happiness and joy as you remember your first love for another, your first kiss and each child, to whom you gave life.

The sight and smell of each memory in time, just as it first was, no matter the quantity of times, recollected.

Let it be.

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In the Fall of 2012, we packed up and headed for Wyoming.
Its what I know as my other home.
Its where I made my entrance into this world, spent all of my summers and where much of my family lives.
Obviously, much of my heart feels at home there, whenever we visit.
Its a cold winter wind and blowing snow, that many could never survive.
Aside from Alberta, Canada; it is the coldest winter I have ever known.

The Fall of 2012, was unseasonably warm and without any official sign of winter.
Thanksgiving was a perfect day. Complete with beagles, babies and a beautiful Wyoming Sky.
While we have never been a family of football on this day, there is a first for everything.

Savannah played fierce and broke all the rules & etiquette expected of a proper lady.

I so love watching my red haired girl, growing tall and strong.

& there is much truth in the statement “rules are meant to be broken.”

While many would rather their children stayed inside their box and colored inside the lines;

I much prefer the scribbles, the escape, the adventure and discovery.

After all, if I weren’t to allow them the exploration of their curiosities, someone else may.

I can’t imagine my heart and eyes never having those souvenirs.

Moments in time. Memories. Framed. Tucked away tight.

To sustain me, into my years of growing old.

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These donuts were made, using my Babycakes Brand Mini Donut Maker.
This donut maker is amazing and NO I am not being compensated to say such a thing.
I truly wish I would have bought 2 of them when we purchased the first and it was on sale at a store closing.
It would definitely make for a faster time making any of the recipes as well as securing a back up unit, in case one were to fail.
Which would definitely be a sad day in this house.

One of our favorite things about the donut maker is that you can make donuts in a healthier way for your family.
Although this recipe is quite indulgent, many of my other recipes are not.
I am currently working on an improvement to this recipe that uses a gluten free flour blend and is much healthier.

You make this recipe, just as you would one for muffins, cupcakes, cake, etc.
So, if you do not have a donut maker, you can definitely just make muffins instead.

If unsure of how to prepare the sweet potatoes, it goes like this:

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into about 1 inch chunks, add to boiling water, boil until tender. Drain but do not rinse sweet potatoes, then mash.

I am sure that if you do not wish to use sweet potatoes, you could certainly use canned pumpkin. Just be sure to maintain a consistent batter. Not too thin or thick.

I topped them with a marshmallow fluff buttercream.
You can add 1 tsp or so of meringue powder if you prefer an icing to be more stiff and firm.

One really important tip: DONT dip the donuts in the icing as they come right out of the donut maker, etc.

Unless you are hoping for a thinner, glaze consistency. Then of course, that option is just fine.

I garnished them with a mix of candied pecans and dried cranberries.
I also used a graham cracker crumble on some, which is made by blending graham crackers with melted butter until crumbly but not wet.

Feel free to sub in healthier items of your choice.
I often like to use greek yogurt in the place of eggs, milk, etc.
Just make sure your consistency isnt too thick.

SOMETHING LIKE OLIVIA.

these donuts happen to be one of this little girls favorite desserts, breakfast, birthday cake…you name it.
these images were taken last year // 2012 // during her birthday in December.

She will be 5 next week and I have to be honest with you, I am not certain where the time disappears to so quickly and quietly.

We have since moved and no longer live in this state, this house, cook in this kitchen or have the same neighbors.

Hi Katie & Ava! Miss you!

These donuts were one of the very few things that she requested, as well as a feast of sugar laden breakfast cereal for dinner.

However, when she heard that “Two Pops” was coming over for her celebration dinner, she quickly changed her mind.
Two Pops is my husbands Grandpa and her Great Grandpa.
Olivia is blessed with the middle name of Colleen, after Two Pops’ late wife.

A beautiful woman, whom I imagine I would be best friends with, after hearing so many wonderful things about her.

A woman, who I know would love her Great Grandchildren, more than anything.

Watching them grow up with joy in her eyes, love her her heart and kindness in her touch.

Back to the question, I am sure some of you may have…about Two Pops.

Grandpa Floyde was affectionately given his nickname quite a few years ago by my niece and nephew, who are now teenagers.
My sister in law was trying to explain the order of Grandparents and how it all works and it was in that conversation, the name Two Pops was born.

Its a beautiful connection of love to him, as well as the cousins and even adult siblings, to one another.

& his name always begs for explanation by those new to our family.
Its a LOVE story that none of us mind sharing.

Happy Thanksgiving, may you enjoy the Holiday with your family, friends or whomever your heart finds delight.

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Nov 27, 2013

Thanksgiving for myself, is nearly always a time that comes upon us all too quickly.
Just as it rushed past All Hallows Eve, with intense speed on the dated paper;
the day is gone, daylight spent and chaos awaiting us, if we allow its entrance.

The season of fall, so often longed for, is whisked away quickly with few permissions;
leaving the icy cold breath of winter to mark the season.
Trees stripped naked, branches and bodies left cold, inaugurating a new season.

In soul, this season reflects what our lives should in turn.
A sacred holiday, a season of purpose.
A celebration of Christ.
Warmth, in multitudes, unlike Summer, with only the sun, as its singular heat.
A time marked by love for one another, cheer and good tidings, to all we know and meet.

Our time of Giving Thanks cut short and taken from others without choice;
to accommodate and encourage a season, taken hostage and now largely marked by commercialism.
It seems that no authority is of size or respect to stop a retail interruption, only growing in number.

The division of family, by distance and geographic location seeming more common.
A meal, prepared with love by its many members hands, should be savored in slow time.
An indulgence, eagerly awaited, with no expectation,
giving exception only to the demand of additional place settings and faces at the table.

On Friday, following a day of thanks and gratitude; I am humble and calm.
The only frenzy of black, my sea of leggings, lived in daily, comfortably awaiting tulips of spring.

Tomorrow, my hands will work alongside my heart, to prepare another meal for my loves.
I will welcome the day with joy, the hours not counted or calculated but savored, rather slowly and with purpose.

This post, my first of many, celebrating the life in my years and the love I am blessed with and grateful to share.
This recipe is one that my children ask for often, devour quickly and receive with excitement, unmatched.
It has become a request for birthday celebrations, breakfasts and occasions of the everyday variety.

Tomorrow for breakfast, we will enjoy the sights of New York City, from our living room in the west of Texas;
and enjoy this favorite of our family, marking another year here and almost gone, dated pages almost full with ink;
various colors, handwritten memos, reminders of the year passing by, memories made and commmitments to come.

I am thankful every single day, this year more than ever, for the life I breathe, each minute I am alive.
For my children, my husband, my dog, our parents, both mine and my husbands, grandparents, siblings,
aunts, uncles, cousins and just everyone who has blessed my life by sharing with me, their own.

I secretly hope that so many of you will fall into a coma of tryptophan;
lazy and unable to muster enough energy to shop, resisting the lures and empty promises of the retail industry.
For those who must be present tomorrow, at the time clock, rather than being home and not being pressed for time;
may you have a day of joy and may you find blessings in the job that you have to sustain you in life.

May we all have a giving heart tomorrow and all the year through.
Remembering that not every story, is with fairy tale ending and not every fridge and plate will be filled.
Many prayers and words of thanks will be said at our table and in my heart; tomorrow and otherwise.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your day be blessed with love, laughter, safe travels
and a heart, happy and light; better to enter into the holiday season with.

All my Best. Enjoy the recipe. // Air

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