Adding Beauty in February, 2015

February 24, 2015

The month of February, for me, is a crazy whirlwind of love and birthday fun on top of all the responsibilities of home, school, and mothering. There are 3 out of 6 family birthdays plus Valentine’s Day during these few short weeks. It’s my biggest opportunity to show my family love and appreciation and I NEVER live up to my own expectations during this busy time. I will always struggle with this, I’m afraid. But I constantly tell myself that the goal is for my crew to know they are loved, no matter how fancy (or un-fancy) I get with my preparation. And that is an achievable goal.

Here is what Adding Beauty looked like in February…

This little bit of green was a welcome touch to my pantry window.I had no idea how welcome it would be after we were to be buried under 3 feet of snow, just a few short weeks later. (I just love this hanging planter from Ikea.)

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 And who knew how helpful it would be to have all our snow gear organized and ready for easy access? Apparently I did. Those dry erase labels are from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples.  I also use them on crock pots and drink pitchers so friends at potlucks or whatever know what they are eating and drinking. (Say what you will about Martha, but I would argue that she has done more to turn womens’ hearts toward their homes than most in recent times.) Come springtime, we’ll be able to use these baskets for springy things! I’m counting on spring BIG TIME this year.

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What happened next was nothing short of absolutely breathtaking. After a particularly rainy day, the temperatures dropped rapidly and we woke to the most amazing sight. Hoarfrost. Covering absolutely everything. You had to see it to believe it and no picture could truly do justice to the beauty we observed. The kids and I drove slowly home from errands and decided to chase this curiosity to our magnificent New River Gorge “backyard.” (It’s really about a minute’s drive from our house).

Couldn’t see a thing. We had to settle for some close-ups.

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My daughter snapped this pic of some barberries with my phone. Aren’t they exquisite?

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The very next morning, the sun came out and we knew it would all be gone soon. She and I raced out with our cameras to capture it as best we could before it melted away.

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There was also some Valentine’s Day prep to attend to. Thankfully, we did have to opportunity to deliver these babies before the snow burial began. I de- mushified this version found through a Pinterest search, so there was no mention of love, just friendship. All my kids could deliver their cards with heads held high and no teasing.

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There’s almost nothing better than a muffin with tea for breakfast or a snack. These strawberry-banana ones were just about perfect. I had enough to freeze for another time.

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I neglected a lot of other responsibilities in order to give the girls’ room a little face-lift. A certain someone was transitioning to a world of no more crib and no more pacifier. It had to be special. I’ll do a full post on it soon. There are a few more little touches to add before it’s done-done.

Pom pom trim on a window treatment. Always a good idea.

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My biggest girl’s bed. (Which, incidentally, was mine as a child. I’m pretty sure I transitioned from a crib to this very bed. It used to be white.) I had an old chalkboard with two holes already drilled in it and just free handed a design similar to the one found here. (Aren’t they all gorgeous? Such sweet sentiments about books) My daughter made a finger knitted yarn chain to hang it from a little screw in the wall, and I added the tassels. I do love the look of it. (Except for the creepy Monkey. But it’s her bed, after all.)

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My little big girl’s bed. We’ve since added a basket of board books for her to peruse while she gets sleepy. (That’s the Black Apple Doll you see hanging out there beside the Ikea Cloud Pillow. Again, thanks Martha.)

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We had just enough time to celebrate her birthday with spaghetti and pink cake and friends before getting absolutely dumped on. It’s a good thing we had cozy new spaces to enjoy. We were in for the isolation period of the year. (Those muffins in the freezer came in really handy.)

I understand a lot of people are totally grossed out by the following. But in my humble opinion, it’s a childhood ritual. I’ve done my motherly duty and told my kids how gross snow is. It’s full of dirt and grime and nasty organisms. (Thankfully we don’t have a dog, so, one less thing to worry about) But the truth is, I send them out in the snow to play and I see them stuffing handfuls of the white stuff into their mouths when they think I’m not looking. I’ve chased them from window to window through the house, banging on the glass and shouting, “Don’t eat it!” But I’ve surrendered. This past week we collected a bowl full and added sugar and milk. Everyone participated. There were even cones to put them in. And we’re all still alive. And healthy. And happy.

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We still have one more birthday to get through this month. During the forever-long days stuck in this drafty old house, I found time to sew! So far, I’ve stitched up a quick birthday banner for my youngest son and hemmed a pair of pants for my husby. It’s been glorious.

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