Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simple Happy Things

Simple, happy things: 

- Chewy homemade Oreo brownies under a glass dome, surrounded by pumpkins and pressed leaves

- Walks in the autumn woods with friends and family

- A friend's gift of farm-fresh apples, packaged in a simple brown box

- Rafael snacking spicy lebkuchen cookies and milk at the kitchen counter

- Bright leaves falling everywhere, covering everything

- Sweet carrots from the farmer's market, scrubbed clean and served with hummus in an old teacup

- My two-year-old son, immersed for hours in nature

- Kiki catching leaves mid-flight in the air, and chasing them on windy days

- The loving bond between Raffi and his cousins

- Peeking in on my little boy napping, cuddled into his cowboy bedding

I have been taking so many photos lately that I can hardly keep up with the photoshop editing and blogging. So much beauty out in the woods....if Rafael didn't have to nap in the middle of the day we would be in the forest from dawn til dusk! 


Monday, October 21, 2013

The Most Out Of Life

"One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure."
-William Feather

I have days when I feel that I am not doing enough, not making enough out of my life. I am sure there are so many people who feel this way, and I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that, through social media, we see all the things other people are doing, achieving, and acquiring. All the things other people are cooking, crafting, remodeling, improving, and creating. It can be inspiring. And also overwhelming. 

I am doing my best, and when I remind myself of this, I can, for at least a little while, forgive myself for not being the mom who wakes up early to bake scones; the one who bakes all her own bread and tends a huge organic garden, all while raising five children and running a successful, impeccably designed etsy shop filled with her beautiful, ornate handmade things. She's probably writing and illustrating a cook book too. And has thousands of followers on her blog. And lives in a renovated old farmhouse. All things I think I should be doing and having, and don't. All things I think would make my life complete, make me whole, make me happy. But can't I decide to be complete, whole, and happy right now, in this very moment?

I have so much to be grateful for, and when I have an attitude of gratitude, I can breath again. 

When I focus on what my best is at this moment, and stop looking around at what other people are doing, I feel so much better!

When I forgive myself for not being perfect, I can move on and just keep doing my best. 

My life is a series of constant blessings. When I remember to think of it as such, the feelings of inadequacy and frustration drop away. 

We are enjoying gorgeous, golden days here. It's incredible, living a life in a peaceful country, with enough of everything, with a roof, a family, friends, time, food, love. For all these things, I am grateful!


Friday, October 18, 2013


There was a time when I led a long-distance relationship with my now-husband. Back then, he would take a seven-hour train ride from Vienna to Frankfurt to visit me, and as we ran to each other at the train station, showering each other with kisses, I was at once happy and terribly sad, because I knew we would be back at the train station in a few days, saying goodbye. 

In autumn, I am revisited by that very same feeling. I can never simply enjoy the glowing hillsides...the way the sky fills with papery leaves when there is a gust of wind...the purples and crimsons and bright yellows...or the fallen leaves outlined with delicate frost. Because, while I am gulping in all of the breathtaking beauty, I am also aching, knowing this will all be gone so soon. 

Today I thought: I can't keep you, autumn...but I can hold you in my heart. And I picked the prettiest red and yellow leaves to press between book pages. A small way of preserving my most favorite season.


Monday, October 14, 2013

October on the Little Farm

These were taken the other day at my friend Dani's little farm on the outskirts of town. "We have twenty-six apple trees on this piece of land," she told Steffi and me, and offered to fill bags with as many apples as we wanted. 

The drive there, over a winding, dusty dirt road, was flanked by radiant, golden beech and oak trees, and there were whole hedges of light blue wild asters. Here and there a wild cherry tree blazed bright crimson. The sky was blue and it was one of those beautiful autumn days that makes your heart ache, because they are so fleeting. 

When we arrived Dani treated us to buttery homemade pear streusel cake. We drank tea, and talked whenever there was a chance (parents will understand what I mean). 

Then we headed outside into the fresh air, Dani's little baby boy tucked cozy into a carrier on her chest and our kids running in all directions. They chased the kitten, hunted the chicken, tasted apples, ran around the huge expanse of lawn, and watched Dani's father in law drive by on his red tractor. The big walnut tree was bright yellow, and the blackberry vines dark purple. All that was left in the garden rows were a few little pumpkins, some tomatoes scattered on the ground, and one last tiger-striped nasturtium. 

After the boys had kicked mole-hill dirt, climbed in and out of the tractor, and blown the seeds off of the last dandelion puffs, we packed our bags of freshly picked apples into the car, said goodbye, and headed home. 

An afternoon to remember.


Friday, October 11, 2013

But Most of All, October

I do love getting outside, any month of the year. But most of all, October. Every morning in October, the woods have transformed. Every evening is a bit colder and darker. We feel the power and progression of the seasons so strongly every day. 

I love October because it displays the Earth's rhythm so clearly, and I feel a part of it. There is so much emphasis on the splendor and magic of nature, but also, a strong pull towards home, the nest, the dinner table, the bed piled with quilts.

Yes...most of all October.



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