Category Archives: Family

Happy New Year and a Vermont Christmas, Maybe?

Happy New Year! I just spent the week between Christmas and New Years off from work. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that, but TK’s daycare was closed and so went the decision for me, really. Of course there are those of us out there who can never really power down from our jobs, but I think that’s okay as long as you have balance.

This year was my first Christmas actually spent in Vermont – the first time in 33 years not spent with my folks andtree2 siblings. Yes, I was very sentimental (pregnancy helps enhance those types of emotions), but being married to a Dairy Farmer, the separation was bound to happen. I actually felt conflicted – while I knew I would miss my family, I was excited to start some new traditions with TK and my DF.

At first we had planned a quiet, quaint holiday with just the three of us. TK and I would go down to the barn in the morning and “help” dad finish with chores. We’d all come back, have some blueberry buttermilk pancakes, open some presents, take a nap, open more presents and then dad would be off to do afternoon chores and TK and I would work on a nice Christmas dinner including one of our own Jersey beef rib roasts. YUM!

Then my DF’s family was going to be able to join us. Okay, no problem, we’d still do most of the “quaint” Christmas plan, just maybe skip the pancakes and get out a few more roasts for a lunch-time dinner. It would be fun to have everyone up here for Christmas anyway – our little party jumped from 3 to 11! We were guaranteed to have snow and with TK’s older cousins, sledding was a sure bet! Even my DF’s dad was going to be able to make it! How exciting!

Then came the early Sunday morning before Christmas. UGH! TK and I had caught a bug – I was up almost every hour of the night beginning at 12:30 with a stomach ache, having to take care of “business” six times into the late morning hours. I couldn’t keep anything down until late that afternoon. Luckily, it didn’t hit TK as badly. This was the first time he was sick as a toddler and I found that he is a “silent puker” (sorry for the graphic) as it was quite a mess I found in his crib that morning! Ah, the joys of parenthood. He really didn’t seem out of sorts though and by Monday I think we both were somewhat back to normal. That afternoon we got a call that my DF’s family had to cancel – some of them were sick too!

Then came early Christmas morning. My DF was up awfully early – 1:30! I didn’t think anything of it until I ran into him on my nightly walk to the powder room a couple hours later. Oh boy. Yup – he caught the bug too. Poor guy, he still had to muscle up and go down to the barn and take care of the girls too. Luckily, he was able to get some help milking and get through chores early. Phew.

So my quaint, crazy, then quaint again Christmas turned out to be a sick one. And it turned out TK wasn’t really into opening presents despite all the r-i-i-ippping he could do. And a juice incident had the pink stuff everywhere. And my DF really needed all day to rest and get over the bug too. There were no pancakes, no Jersey beef rib roast. We barely opened four presents and mostly spent the day inside. We did get down to visit dad in the barn at night. And then I enjoyed a delicious bowl of Lucky Charms for supper.

TKopeningMy first Vermont Christmas was certainly one for the memory books – despite starting off as a sick day, it lasted three days and eventually we opened every present, ate our pancakes, rib roast and even had a cookie or two or ten. We watched as TK’s attitude about opening presents change as he figured out what it was all about. It was pretty awesome. The warm feeling created by the decorated and glowing Christmas tree stayed with us throughout those few days and the sparkling snow on the trees with a silver Wheeler Mountain looking down at us only added to the magic.

Happy New Year again, everyone! We are looking forward to an eventful 2013, starting with a big one in March.

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November Thanks in December

That’s right, I’m late. I didn’t make it on time. I wanted to finish just one last post about what I’m thankful for in November but rats. Foiled again. Didn’t get to it. I really enjoy remembering what I’m thankful for – it’s the same as counting your blessings. And there is so much to be thankful for, it leaves me feeling all warm inside, with a little curl of a smile on my face. So, because I’ve been doing a lot of business writing here, I’m going to number them in order to be more succinct in recounting them.

In addition to those things previously  mentioned, I am thankful for:

1. My siblings and their families. I can’t imagine my life without them. And as we’ve grown older, it seems as thought we’ve grown closer even though now we are running are separate lives in different places. They are typically among the first to hear big news, share successes and appreciate what is going on at the moment in each other’s lives. I love when we are all together. Not much beats that.

2. My extended family. Again, must be something about getting older and realizing how importing holding these relationships as tightly as you can is important.

3. Facebook. I know it seems silly, but I thought of it while typing the last point and it really has allowed for me to keep up with family that don’t live nearby and we don’t see often. It really helps to keep in touch.

4. My dogs. By the way, this is not a ranking exercise, I’m just writing things as they come to me. Buzzman is so tied to me and Tilly loves jumping on my lap in the morning when I’m waking up/waiting for TK. I call them my “doggie babies.” I also appreciate that they get to live on a farm, mostly. Until they get into something they should not have eaten…

5. My cows. This is the first time that all of my cows have been together with me on a farm. I love that I can walk down and greet any of them at any time. While I’m not able to work directly with them right now – I do miss milking! – I try to take TK down everyday to see them and check the heat chart so I don’t miss anything.

6. My job. You know that song with the lyric “I’ve looked at life from both sides now?” I’m thankful that my job allows me to keep a big-picture view of agriculture and the dairy industry while we live it everyday.

7. I’m also thankful for the awesome people that I work with.

8. My DF and I often look at each other, wondering, just like our tagline, “Life, how did we get here?” Not once did I ever imagine that I’d end up in Vermont. And certainly not that it’s a bad thing. It’s beautiful here! When I come home from the grocery store, there’s a spot where I come around the corner and see the Willoughby Gap  and I still say to myself, “I live here.” It’s breathtaking. Nevermind the baby and baby on the way!

9. My experiences. Without them, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today.

10. My faith. Again, without it I wouldn’t be who or where I am today.

Willoughby Gap

Willoughby Gap

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November Thanks IV, An Anniversary and the Number 2

I feel like lately I’ve been two days late for everything! My DF and I passed the two year mark on Tuesday and reflected on the fast but long two years that we have spent married. One thing we like to smile about – we have two babies – one on the ground and one on the way. Talk about life-changer! Two of them. Anyway, that’s all. Happy Anniversary to one that I’m most thankful for, and I’ll let the photo speak for itself.

 

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November Thanks III, Sundays are for Dad

First and foremost, it’s Veterans Day, and I would be remiss if I did not state that I am thankful for our veterans. We are proud to have members of the military in our family – my great grandfatther served in World War I, my grandfather in World War II, my uncle was in the navy, to name a few. This country is a better place because of them and for all of us.

Tonight I feel inspired to express thanks to my dad. Let me share a recent story that in the end made me feel all the more grateful for his love and support. My dad and I usually talk early in the morning- he’s retired now, but for some reason he is harder to get a hold of than ever but typically I can catch him then. Recently, my DF and I have started to try to find a new solution for daycare for TK during the day. His babysitter is pregnant, (due one week before me), and just won’t be able to take him much longer. We’ve been evaluating all of our options, trying not to miss anything, which can be exhausting, and of course my emotions are heightened, apprehensive about any change, even if it is for the better.

I talked to Dad about it that morning and the last thing he said to me before we said our goodbyes, “we’ll [he and my mom] be praying for you.”

Five minutes later, as TK was set up with breakfast in his highchair, I decided to do a Sudoku puzzle from the paper, which I hadn’t done in awhile. The puzzle is located right next to the classifieds. At the very top of one of the columns was an ad for a daycare center with openings. I felt a flutter in my heart and my heart rate speed up. Childcare is pretty difficult to find up here and yet here it was. A lead.

So we’re running with it and hopefully it will work out. Whatever happens, I know we’ve got my dad’s support and that he’is praying for us [Mom too].

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November Thanks II, this One is for Mum

What does eight jars of blackberry jam, yet unlabeled, have to do with thanks for my mom? Not too much of a stretch, she’s the one who taught me how to make jams and jellies and all about canning. This batch of blackberry jam complete with seeds was my first batch I’ve done on my own with only one initial phone call to Mum to make sure I was on the right track. I already knew the answer, just had to check.

For my second post about November Thanks, I am thankful for my mom and all that she has taught me, done for me and her support for me. I’m grateful too for all that she continues to do for my growing family and me, even being 230 miles away. She’s an amazing lady with the biggest heart I know of (twin to my Dad’s coincidentally). It was her birthday two days ago, so to Mum I say, Happy Birthday and thank you. We love you.

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November Thanks

I’ve missed writing. I’m working on a final piece for “Farmers’ Markets Conversations” and have let that sort of be a block to posting more. So I’ve decided that it will be ready when it is, and to move forward. Here I am, 9:30 on a Monday night and jumping on the bandwagon to share what I’m thankful for in my life.

I’m thankful for my son. I still sometimes shake my head and wonder how we were blessed with such an amazing gift. I always wondered what it was really like to have children, to be a mom. It’s definitely life changing. And yes, I’m one of those who say it’s a change for the better. What I’ve learned from TK, from being a mom to children to things about me to things about him to raising him with my DF, is immeasurable – and we’re not done yet. Not even close. He is an amazing little boy and I’m grateful to be his mom.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” Melody Beattie

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