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Since my last post, we’ve transitioned from the season of flowering plums:

flowering plum

… to brilliant roses glowing in the sun:

rose

… and hydrangeas in hues like watercolors:

hydrangeas

hydrangeas

Sleep is elusive in our new life with a baby with a million-watt smile who would rather drink in the world than close his eyes for a nap. We are on a fast-paced journey during which the seasons change from plums to hydrangeas almost before we realize it. Breathe. Luxuriate in each moment. Even on the tough days after long, sleepless nights. That’s what I keep telling myself. I want to be awake, to be present every moment of the journey.

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Our baby boy arrived two weeks early on February 7, 2009 (7 lbs., 8 oz., 19 in.). He’s beautiful, healthy, and so very adored. We’re thrilled and exhausted, as can be expected during the first few weeks of parenthood. Sometimes it’s bliss. Sometimes it’s sheer exhaustion. But we’re excited about the journey we’ve begun. We’re hoping for just enough patience and wisdom for the years ahead. That’s it for now, but I’ll be back to post more when life settled into some semblance of a routine.

For 2009

Books

– May there be space in my life for books and poetry and art.

– May there be abundant health for the ones I love.

– May my heart expand fully to embrace our little one.

– May I become more aware of the earth, of humanity, of the spiritual.

– May my soul be at ease just enough to be able to write.

– May the richness of love and family pervade our home.

– May I be a good friend.

– May I always choose softness of heart.

– May I encounter beauty, peace, goodness, and hope in the world.

– May I be thankful each and every day.

Winter garden,
the moon thinned to a thread,
insects singing

– Matsuo Basho

Outside:
Roses in apricot

And inside, winter fruit and poetry:
Mandarin oranges & poetry

Festive decorations:
Christmas 2008

Making more caps for babies in Haiti:
Caps for Mama-to-Mama Charity

Caps for Mama-toMama Charity

It’s that season when my heart turns inward a bit and longs for quietude and cozy evenings. I haven’t been posting regularly for that reason and because our days have simply been busy preparing for the holidays and for our baby boy’s arrival in ten weeks. I hope you’ll keep visiting despite my sporadic posts. May you have a peaceful, blissful holiday season!

Newborn Cap for Mama-to-Mama Charity

I’m not a great seamstress, but I’m very excited about the new charity project Soule Mama has started: Mama to Mama.

This effort provides an opportunity for crafters to create with love and intention in order to make a small, positive change in another person’s life. Mama to Mama‘s first project is to send handmade newborn caps to Haiti to be distributed in Safe Birthing Kits. Here are some stats about Haiti from the Mama to Mama site:

In northern Haiti:

  • Just 1 in 5 women receives skilled medical care during childbirth.
  • Haiti has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1 in 40 women will die as a result of pregnancy complications, unsafe abortion, or obstetrical emergency.
  • Twelve percent of children die before the age of 5.

capbutton_3You are invited to dust off your sewing machine, dig up a few gently-used T-shirts, and join this beautiful effort to share with women and newborns in Haiti. A simple pattern, instructions, and a mailing address for your finished caps are available at Mama to Mama‘s web site. The deadline for the initial care package send-off is December 10, 2008.

Baby Bliss

This is the beautiful reason I haven’t blogged much lately:

For Baby

We are expecting a baby boy to join our family in late February 2009!

Morning sickness, moments of anxiety, and an overwhelming need to hibernate–yes, we’ve had all of that, but through it all, there have been magical moments too. Seeing our little one’s heart beating. Seeing him flip-flop, healthy and active, on the ultrasound. First kicks. Kangaroo kicks. We’re very aware that life is not to be taken for granted, that every day is a miracle and thus a blessing. And so, we wake each morning full of gratitude and carry our joy through the bustle of everyday work, chores, and all the preparations necessary for welcoming a new member of our family. In other words, we’re nesting. More on that later!

It’s officially autumn, the season when I start craving piping hot soups. Lately, Ive been in the mood for a soup that’s filling and a little spicy. This recipe hits the spot.

Tortilla Soup

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

1 can kidney beans

1/2 can chopped green chilies

1/2 of 3 oz. can tomato paste

1 carrot, chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1/4 head chopped cabbage

2 cloves garlic

1 fresh lime

corn tortilla chips

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Seasonings (amounts are approximate):

2 Tbs of juice from a rehydrated chipotle pepper,

1 Tbs. gluten-free balsamic vinegar (I use Mizkan Nakano’s rice-based one)

1 tps. olive oil

1 pinch of ground coriander

1 tps. paprika

1-2 pinches of cayenne

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt to taste

___

Directions: Throw all ingredients (except lime and corn tortilla chips) into a large pot of water and bring to boil. Add seasonings to taste and preferred spice level. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve piping hot with corn tortilla chips and a wedge of lime. Just before eating, crumble the tortilla chips into the soup and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Yum!

___

Optional:

Fresh chopped kale or spinach: Add during the last five minutes of cooking.

Shredded cheese: Add just before eating.

Chopped avocado: Add just before eating.