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Mornings, noons, and nights. My girl and I are early risers. Up around 5 a.m. (which is when Andy gets up to go to work), I take my shower by Christmas-tree light, and bring my trusty coffee pot and my fake candle back up to bed on the tray. Then I wait for my lady to wake. When she does, I go in and unwrap her from her swaddle and she smiles at me. Her big huge darling smile. (That's been happening for about a week. Still just can't believe she does that. It's my favorite moment of the day.) She unfolds her tiny arms and reaches up with her fists and down with her tiny toes and stretches everything. She makes her little blustering noises, tiny snorts and snuffles — it's hard to wake up. I say, "Good morning, my dear lady! What are we going to do today?" Then I pick her up and she buries her face in my neck and puts her warm hands on my chest. I kiss her neck where it's warm and soft (well, where isn't it warm and soft) and we linger here, only minutes (before she wiggles and yawps and calls for her breakfast), but for as long as she'll let me. The day begins. These lazy, busy, soft, warm, long, lovely, lovely days at the end of the lovely year with our sweet, funny, silly, snuggly, adorable, adorable, darling girl. I look into her beautiful navy blue eyes and make a wish.

***

Just a minute ago it was "snowing," small almost-flakes that Greta (miracle Posie assistant, who comes three afternoons a week and who has kept everything running like clockwork, running better than when I ran it myself, quite frankly) and I, both of us Midwestern girls, watched from the windows with pure longing. I can see why they call them flurries. Such a pretty and capricious word. The flakes swirled and fell, invisible as they hit the ground. Inside, we are cozy and keeping warm, piled under our various piles of calico, wool, and goosedown. We seem to have so many piles like that here. A pile for every room. We don't do much (well, dear Greta does, but the rest of us don't). Just sit, and snuggle, and drink, and sometimes rock in the rocking chair, maybe make some tea or hot chocolate, maybe watch Downton Abbey, maybe light a firelog or add some wood to one that's already flickering, and then go back to the downy pile. I like to turn all the sounds off and listen to the furnace sometimes. Last night, late last night, I finished The Long Winter. That book was awesome. I can't believe I'd never read it before. The scene where Almanzo and Cap are trying to make it back across the frozen slough with the sixty bushels of wheat and the horses keep falling through the snow? Ouf. The way she described Prince standing in the snow hole with his head down, waiting for Almanzo to help him again almost made me cry. MAN do I love pioneer lit. I still have to tell you about my other books. But I am so lazy.

New Year's Eve. A goodbye to the old year, even as everything here still seems so new. I still haven't really found the words to describe most of how I feel. Part of that is probably just plain old tiredness. I was generally worn out by the holidays when I didn't have a three-month-old baby. Part of it is (still) just plain astonishment. Even when I'm just thinking to myself, hearing my own voice ramble on inside me and not even trying to talk out loud, I'm still just mostly thinking, "I am astonished!" And that feeling looks like a big blue Montana sky.

Part of it is that gratitude just floods me moment to moment, and humbles me speechless. I think in prayers now, and I guess they have a language all their own.

I wish you a very, very happy and fun New Year's Eve, and a really wonderful new year.

249 comments

I love how you say "I think in prayers now." That really is a wonderful response to the many blessings that you have received, isn't it? So thankful that you've shared your darling Amelia with us so that we can rejoice in this tiny miracle of God! Many, many joyous wishes for a 2013 filled with continual miracles, blessings, happiness, good health and prosperity! You are a blessing to so many! Thank you, Alicia! xoxo....Karen P.

Oh my word...happy days indeed..God bless you :)

May your New Year be even more blessed as your beautiful baby grows and delights. Best wishes, Sue, Australia.

Happy New Year to you and your sweet familys. The photos are precious, how dreamy your house looks in winter time.

A very, very happy New year to you and yours, thank you for sharing your journey with us xx

I love your pictures. Amelia is growing so fast. I love the little monkey resting on her chest. May I ask what the lovely dish is, it looks perfect for a cold winters night meal?

Laura Nelson says: December 31, 2012 at 04:08 PM

GREAT Amelia fix pics-thank you for sharing your baby and thoughts. I am so happy for you and Andy, and how strange to be so happy for people I really do not know , but wish blessings for-with all my heart. Keep em coming, love that face and goodness what a hairdo!!
Blessings
Laura

Posie I have simply fallen in love with your beautiful world. Your little lady is precious - Savour those sweet smiles! My daughter has been wishing for snow here for Christmas and she can't seem to understand why won't Santa grant her that one wish! Our days are at a stand still near 40 degrees celcius! Sunny would love to be where you live :)

Sophie xo

P.S. I love the fabric!

well, I just love all these posts with precious pictures of your dear little lady. thanks so much to you and yours for sharing your life with us... and reminding us of our blessed life with our own dear little ones. Betsy

What an amazing year you have had, thank you for sharing your journey, god bless for 2013 xxBrenda

Happy new year to you ... it's been wonderful joining you on your astonishing journey of late, and I can only imagine how brilliant 2013 is going to be for you all. x

Photos of your girl just melt my heart. I join you in thinking in prayers this next blessed year of 2013. Many blessings to you and your precious family in the coming year.

Absolutely adorable photos! Happy new year!

your words and pictures induce the same feelings in me that the snow flurries and wee amelia does in you. thank you lovely, and happy new year

Happy New Year Alicia, Andy, Amelia, Clover Meadow, The Bee and Greta from Rose, Tony, Mavis, Charlie Brown and Big Bill. (It's already 2013 in Australia -- in fact it's nearly lunch time.)

all that and a basket full of delicious fabric! your beautiful expression of thinking in prayers is certainly true...you will probably do that from now on...and why not? so so much to be grateful for...amelia's photos are just so precious. it helps of course that she is well turned out for whatever the day might bring...! happy happy new year to all of you in your sweet home!

Perfect words..Amelia Fix:)

I started stitching..Little Deer etc :)
Cozy comfy apart from digging out of all our snow.

Love her bedhead hair:)
Meilleurs Voeux~
PS I think I pinned the peachy keen pic:)Or saw it somewhere:)
That second photo?Those lips?
Ooh I want to sleep like her again one day~

PS I remember that feeling of washing behind their ears with that kind of facecloth:) For babies..sigh.

Last night we were reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and Pa came home and I cried! My daughter didn't quite understand. Someday.

Oh these snuggly cozy days. They're beautiful. And that astonishment - I don't think it ends. 6 years into this parenting thing and I swear my heart just cracks open daily from the sheer surprise that this is my life. It's the best.

There is nothing as precious as watching a baby sleep. She is a doll.

Debbie Petsch says: December 31, 2012 at 04:35 PM

Happy New Year to you all. Little Miss Amelia is getting so big so fast. Already 3 months old...it goes by so fast. I just want to squish those cute cheeks of hers. Thank you for sharing her with us. Many more blessings to you in 2013.

Such lovely scenes of your life you tell.
I could just listen like it was an old radio show right up to the speaker as you talk of your life.

You have just inspired me to crack open my collection of little house books that I have had for years and never had the chance to read as a child.

Enjoy those lovely flurries for me and have a most wonderful and safe New Year.
PS I read a comment a bit ago here of how much your girl looks like Andy...it is really amazing thing how that could be but wow, with each passing post she really does.
Amy

Quite simply.. I'm so happy for you and Andy.. and Amelia.

True definition of "rosebud" lips. What a beautiful baby.

Alicia, your deep happiness is contagious. Thank you for this lovely post from a Midwestern girl now turning the year in Arkansas.

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About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.