Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

2009, a good year.  ups and downs as usual. but way more good than bad! 
best movie-cars
best story-pirates night before christmas
best meal-bacon at breakfast
best adventure-hiking
best toy-race cars

from baby to big girl

Mary Kate-typed by my two year old when left unattended.  it is no wonder i am missing 7 keys!
be..................2qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq st ........m...............................               .                                    ..m..     m....m..m....m........m m..mmmovie
best storyrrr..........

best meal-dry oatmeal and 'noonies' noodles
best adventure- messing with the computer
best toy-baby dolls

best movie-my neighbor totoro (best kid flick ever)
best book-A same kind of different as me
best meal-chicken tiki masala
best adventure-life
best memory-mary kate coming out of her colonoscopy, looking up at N and I and saying "ums(thumbs) up daddy"

best movie-the hangover
best news-keith and courtney finding out they are having twins! 4 under 4!
best adventure-bluegrass festival
best memory-charlie telling me "this is the best world ever" laying in a tent

oh how i loved those red shoes

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New year's Fortune

ok you crafty people out there.  i finally got around to a little craftin' myself.  check these out!  we had our friends ms. kathleen, mr. dave and sweet lillian for dinner tonight.  i wanted something cute and crafty for the table.  these fortune cookies took about 10 minutes to make!  and like normal, without my head attached, i left them sitting on the counter and didn't even pass them out! ugggggh.  kathleen-i will swing by with some new year's fortunes for you guys.  it was a great evening.  we all certainly miss, ms. kathleen and lillian!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

once my love

this was once a MUST have in my life.  a very expensive must have.  once i went back to work i just didn't use it.  i have now fell in love with a HP touchsmart 600 and i need to sell this must have stroller to pay for my new love.  any takers out there? 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

fresh mistltoe hunted down by big daddy

my sweet pea, have i ever mentioned how lucky i feel to have this little girl

twas the night before christmas and all through our house, daddy was reading, mommy wrapping as quiet as  mouse

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care and cookies for santa (daddy ate them, no fair)

thanks to a lovely idea on Etsy, handmade tags made for aunthentic looking gifts off of Santa's sleigh

thank you to Nana and Papa, Papa Don and Bonnie for making our morning extra special

my little man is "IN LOVE"! our santa unfortunately did not provide the biggest, the best, the fastest train. but his cousin's santa did and for a moment he got to experience the greatness.  we told him that his cousin is a little older and maybe next year when you are 4, santa will feel like your ready for the biggest, best and fastest train ever!  how can i deny him that?  however, it is really hard to keep up with the jone's or "the other  mccracken's".  tough life lessons for him and I!

Is that our savior? No, that would be uncle mike carrying a master piece created by my love.  nick put his heart in soul into this sign for his brother and sister-in-law.  on the other side it reads "Don't be a crab, or a waterman will get ya"  hopefully a nice new addition to their 'River House' !

Mccracken christmas dinner with 'crackers', flying surprises, crowns and jokes, added some great laughter to the table

it was a wonderfully, busy day.  my kids are overly blessed now with toys toys toys.  i was very proud of my charlie, he handled himself very well, politely said thank you and genuinely gave love to our generous relatives.   nick and i finally came to an agreement that we will speak to his family about putting an end to the adult gift giving.  i think that i am the charlie browniest of the family, but i would much rather have the kids exchange between eachother and have the adults put our money toward meaningful things like (bills, college savings, starving kids in africa, or military children).  i took a moment to myself on christmas eve, lit two candles for the lord and his son Jesus, thanked them for the happiness and love that i have in my life.  i prayed for daily guidance to find peace and joy, something that i still struggle to create and feel daily.  i hope your christmas was filled with happiness, love, peace and joy!

Monday, December 21, 2009


a "raw" photo shoot, inspired by AuburnSoule Photography and Karen Owens. there is so much artistic inspiration out there.  i look forward to diving into some photo editing.  Happy winter solstice!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow!!!

and it kept snowing...snowing...snowing.  
"Mommy, why's it snowin all day?" Charlie!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I want christmas to be meaningful for my children, memorable with traditions and filled with joy.  I don't remember much of what was under my Christmas tree but I remember going to get our trees, my stockings and fondue on Christmas eve.  I remember the traditions.  And so... that is my focus for my children.  Not so much as what will be under the tree, but things I can do to make Christmas memorable.

I have to find a peaceful place as an adult when it comes to gift giving to others.  I tend to feel insecure about our financial ability to give the "perfect gift" without it being meaningless and cheap.  Nick says to "use your head, heart and hands" to create the perfect gift. So, with my husbands inspiration, I will hopefully find motivation this weekend to create or find "the perfect gift" for others. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

celebrating baby je-je

the nativity scene has been a wonderful little addition to our living room this holiday season.  patey has taken "baby je-je" under her wing and loves to hold and hide baby jesus.  the lovely scene has opened up all sorts of questions in charlie's little head.  where does baby jesus live mommy?   he lives in heaven charlie.  what is heaven mommy? heaven is a place where everyone is happy, kind and peaceful charlie.  do angel fly like birds mommy?  yes, charlie.  what do angels eat mommy? i am not sure charlie, ask daddy.  daddy, what do angels eat? annything they want charlie!

we spent tonight making christmas cards while our meatloaf cooked.  i love that charlie puts santa's legs and arms on his head.  we made rudolph, santa and trees.  step one to and eco-economical christmas. 

our days until christmas are counted and celebrated with two advent activities, placing a cotton ball on santa's beard and openning a door each day.  i struggled to find 24 little bitty treats that would fit into each door.  i finally came up with individual little trees for the kids' rooms and they can open a door and find an ornament to hang on their tree.  they love it, i love it and memories are being made.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Santa

I love Santa and so does my little guy.  I realized he really gets this Santa concept when he was sent to bed early the other night for being naughty. 

He was crying hysterical and spoke "Waaaaaah, Mommy.  Santa sees me when I am sleeping waaaaaah, he knows when I'm awake waaaaah.  He knows that Patey and I haven't been nice and we aren't getting any toys waaaaaaaaaaah!". 

We all decided an apology note was in order to Santa.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Self Portrait Day

I love this time of day, my coffee, my computer, silence in my home, wrapped in a warm blanket, the sun still sleeping and peace all around me.  just for a short moment, I wanted to capture this short moment.  ahhhhhh...

What to my wondering eyes should appear...

a baby doll and cow refridgerated with cheer!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet November

days with daddy continue to be adventurous for Charlie and Mary Kate.  Charlie likes to refer to the river as "My river" and it doesn't belong to anyone else.  dad convinced him at a young age that the river belonged to him. 
2 days away from my family was surprisingly nice but I was defnintely ready to get them back in my arms.  this week is American Education Week, a lot of preparation for parents and family members coming on Friday.  Nothing more adorable than five year olds singing out of tune, half of them starrinng at the ceiling and the other half at the floor, no matter how much we practice we will be surprised at "showtime"!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What doin?

"What doin, Mommy?"  "I am cleaning up the make-up you spilled on the carpet, Mary Kate."
"What doin, Mommy?"  "I am cleaning up the calamine lotion you spilled on the carpet, Mary Kate."
"What doin, Mommy?'  ...

loving having Daddy at home during the day.  there is a sense of peace in our home and I don't ever want it to go away. 

participating in amazing project that started from a small seed (literally).  Bloom grocery store is our partner for the Blooming Buddies Edible Schoolyard at my school.  We dreamed of a "kinder"garden and it has certainly come true. Tuesday we harvested spinach, lettuce and radishes.  The students cut, washed and prepared the veges for the Bloom executives that attended our school today.  The children sang songs about planting seed and going green.  It was beatufiul, this whole process has been beautiful.  I do love what I do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween, Happy Birthday and HOPE

Our Halloween was spent on a scenic steam engine in Maryland.  A day to certainly remember.  Both good and bad.  A few unexpected challenges along the way up the mountain, made for a very long day.  However, the kids slept the way home and woke-up just in time to Trick or Treat.  Mary Kate said a lot of, " I a bug!  I do it"  Charlie did a lot of explaining to Mary Kate the process of Trick or Treating (such a good little man).
Happy Birthday Patey Girl.  My girl turns 2!  And man, is she 2!  Loves her "pretties" (barretts, necklaces, shoes).  Instead of blowing out her candles, she decided to touch the flame.  Big bro had to show her how it was done and he was happy to have a moment about him that day.  The first true signs of jealousy were apparent in Charlie boy.  Oh, those tough lessons in life.  What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

However, there are moments in life that test our ability to cope, understand and have patience.  N was let go from his job this week.  While it was not a surprise, reality is quickly setting in and an overwhelming feeling has come over the both of us.  I am reminded daily as I look at this beautiful purple flower that appeared on Tuesday, this is a true sign of happiness for N.  This small plant sits on our windowsill and has been there for about 6 years.   I have always found them to be a bit strange and somewhat of a nuisance.  N, however, loves them and tends to them weekly.  Never, in 6 years of their existence in our home, has it ever bloomed.  Yes, the dark day of losing one's job, also may open a window or door to a bright new future ahead.  I have to believe that N's future is bright and that it will all come together for him and our family.  Nick, I love you and I believe in you!