Bodhi turns one! (and the holiday preparations...)

 Bodhi had his first birthday this week and we threw a small get together to celebrate. Of course, Jasona and I worked so hard all day that by the time the party came neither of us took photos! I blame him (of course) because he is, in fact, a photographer by trade.... but I should know better, because he never takes photos in this type of situation. Which I guess means that I need to do it and stop expecting him to do it. Oh, expectations. You get me every time.

The cake looks horrible against our rental's horrendous faux painted walls (are you getting a sense of my mood this evening?)...but it was delicious. And gluten free! This Vanilla Bean cake is literally made with white beans (and a dozen eggs)! I highly recommend it.  I doubled the recipe here, and made a layer cake. The frosting is buttercream: butter, sugar, and cream. I used this recipe--not overly sweet.

Finn has been waiting for this moment all night.
 You can see our advent calendar in the background-- Idea from Desi. She sent me the animal images. I used iron on transfers on muslin bags from this tutorial. That was my first iron on transfer experience and damn, there is a learning curve! I nearly quit after 3 shoddy numbers and multiple trouble-shooting google searches, but picked it up the next day and figured it out. Persistence has always been my strength. (I have many weaknesses, which I've been examining all day today-- more on that later).

And our tree... I love it. Chopped down by Jason, it is perfect. Finn and I made the little owls and Jason and I wrapped stars in yarn. It took me 3 weeks to get the lights right because I had 2 faulty sets. (What a mind-snapper* that is. It's cheaper to buy a new strand then to actually fix them.)

Snowflakes are hanging from above. Do you love making them? If not, look at this explanation on how to fold the paper. Why didn't I learn this in school? When I teach school again I will be certain to teach how to cut snowflakes--even if it's college. After learning how to make the proper folds I was a snowflake making maniac! I literally went to sleep visualizing patterns of how to cut complex flakes. (I am a little insane, and a nerd if you haven't noticed.)

Alas, there are two more days until Christmas and I have yet to manufacture (craft, if you will) about 10 gifts. The two small boys who call me 'mama' are no help in this department. I will not stress about it. This is fun, right? Right.

Yes. There will be gluten free cinnamon buns on Christmas morning along with baked eggs and pumpkin lattes. My mom always served us cinnamon buns as we sleepily emptied our stockings. This is a tradition I want to carry on.
I miss you mama.

But enough about me...what about you?

*my dad's term.  I miss him too. But he's just across the country, and fairly active in cyberspace so I'll see him soon.


  1. What a beautiful birthday/Christmas you are making. Love the cake, the Advent calendar, the tree--and even the wall.

    I know you will have a memorable Christmas, and I think Terry and I will too (even if we are in Rocky Mount, NC, where we know no one).

    We will miss seeing you.


  2. I have always loved that dress on you. You and Finn look so cute. Tell Jasona that he should embrace his roll as the family photographer. Although your a pretty good shutterbug yourself.

    I'm trying my best not to go crazy. I don't have too much left to do, but it feels like a ton of stuff. Chris and Gina are coming down for Christmas. I still don't have all my decorations up. I'm making some last minute gifts I need to go grocery shopping. I want to make the house super clean. Plus I have some many things that I would like to have done that I've ear marked in my mind that will never happen. You know the holidays.

  3. I can't imagine bean cake.

    I can see those college students cutting out snowflakes. I should have made my accounting students do it. I'm sure I could have woven it into a lesson plan.

    "mind-snapper" is trademarked, but I give you permission.

    Mom used to stay up so late meticulously wrapping all your gifts on Christmas Eve. It was pretty stressful at times, but part of the deal.

    I loved those buns and so much paper. So much fun. I know you'll miss her, but she'll be there. You'll feel her presence.

    What a beautiful arrangement you have made Colleen. Simply lovely.

    Diane and I are looking forward to Christmas dinner at Dennys'



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