comments: 327













Andy is back at work. The house is so quiet! It's just us girls here. Amelia's sleeping on my lap. I'm watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning. The Bee is looking out the window. Clover's sitting in Andy's spot. Pining. Yesterday was Andy's first day back after being home for over seven weeks. In the morning, I put Amelia down in her crib for what I thought would be just a minute while I got dressed, and she fell asleep. I grabbed the baby monitor and ran down and unloaded the dishwasher. Clover stayed in her room with her while she napped. It's the first time in Clover's entire life that she did not come downstairs with me during the day. I absolutely couldn't believe it. My sweet girl. I finished the kitchen and tidied the house and then went back upstairs. I put my hand on my heart when I saw her, still there, and gave her a behind-the-ears thank-you scratch and a big old kiss right between the eyes, then took her picture. She takes her jobs very seriously. Serious, earnest, dear, good lady.

Thank you for being so generous and lovely in your comments lately. Xoxo. Thank you. You are the nicest people.

I'm thinking about Christmas cookies. We're having a party in a week or so and I need cookies. My (gorgeous) friend Jolie sent me the Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread cookies, which are SUPER GOOD (as are her hilarious videos). So I'll make those. The Swedish Dream cookies also pictured on that plate I got at ScanFair this past weekend, and dayum those are also SO SUPER GOOD. I searched and found a few recipes on-line but I'm not sure which one to use. If you have a good one, let me know. Most call for ammonium bicarbonate (baker's ammonia), so I need to find that. I'll make some regular frosted sugar cookies, and knowing me I'll buy three rolls of Pillsbury. I'll probably make some bar cookies of some sort because those are easy and they make a lot with a little effort. I don't know what else I'm going to make. I am open to suggestions!

I did make a pretty decent curried cod with spinach from this recipe the other night. And a big bowl of Mexican hot cocoa after the child was nestled all snug in her bed. Bliss.

I've been gathering little Christmas presents for Amelia, including the sweet little hand-carved and -painted Dala horse (also from ScanFair). For her actual stocking stuffer I decided to start a silver charm bracelet for her. The one I ordered has twenty-one little links, so I thought we could get her one special charm for every year until she's twenty-one. It's really fun to think about starting entirely new traditions for her. Do you have any special traditions that you do every year? I love stufff like this.

*The mouse is Kathe Kruse; it was a gift so I'm not sure where it's from. And the little fake wood stove is from Plow & Hearth. :)


Clover is a wonderful friend to your little one - I love to see my dog with my boys as well, they understand eachother. :-)

Beautiful pics as always!

I think your blog has single-handedly fueled my corgi obsession.

I love that Clover Meadow stayed in Amelia's room-such a loving momma doggie! The charm bracelet sounds perfect! I always decorated spritz cookies with my Mom as a child, then did it as a Mom with my kids. My youngest is 10 and Thanksgiving weekend he was already asking when we were going to make Christmas cookies together. We use sprinkles and red hots.

Omgosh can she be any cuter!
What a wonderful selection of clothing and toys, I am in love with her little mouse, Where is it from??

We are baking cookies here today, my moms very old secret recipe. I am sending boxes of them home for my brothers.
It will be like childhood all over for them.

That is the sweetest thing I have ever heard of. She will cry so hard when she is 21. You are so meant to be a mommy.
The way your heart shares is amazing!!

you are a blissful person. I run my life by rituals and traditions, most invented, and often changing. ; ) we're having a solstice party and making all black and red food to celebrate dark. I'm thinking black bean soup, cranberry something, beet something, and red velvet cake. maybe I should include some of your chocolate/gingerbread cookies, huh? they are redish/black????

Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading waaay back in 2006 and it's so lovely to read all of your posts, but the ones lately with Amelia.... well, they're simply amazing and I am so insanely happy for you both, if anyone on the planet ought to be parents it is you two! And I recommend maple shortbread cookies, you can make them in a small pan and score them into bars or squares right after removing from the oven, so they are super easy, and extra pretty if you sprinkle the top with crystal sugar before baking.

I love that you share your days with us. Having a newborn is so far in the past for me, it is lovely to revisit those days. One tradition you could do is to buy her an ornament each year and when she moves out, she has a collection to take with her. Write it down though! =)

I have cried to feel (read) the love in this house. Ya'll have the sweetest family. I wish you a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your homes like a big warm quilt.

Susaninfrance says: December 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM

soooo cute --all these photos are my new faves. (till tomorrow i'm sure). We get pjs every year for all 5! of us. A few years I made them but I can't find the time now (sigh). So there are cuties online. For years Hannah worked and now the kids have informed me that they are too old for long johns and want REAL pjs. Okay so I'm now slumming at Old Navy, but my pocketbook likes that!

I love all your scanfair stuff. wish there was something like that here in SF.

Cookies: I usually do only homemade ones. But this year I had something crazy good. Paula Dean's gooey butter chocolate cookies (rolled in powdered sugar before cooking) OMG I ate about 10 before they even cooled! so good. you use chocolate box cake mix! easy peasy.


Such a sweet post. A little tradition in our home is a new Christmas ornament for each child as a stocking stuffer. We always try to find an ornament that represents something each child did in the past year that was significant to them.

Our holiday traditions are pretty simple. I always do a Christmas card with a short letter and I save 3 in our Christmas stuff box. When our two boys are grown I'll give them a little book of all the cards (and I'll keep one book for myself) from their growing up. I also bought 40, 2-inch tall wooden trees and each year I have the boys decorate one. The first couple years was just dunking a tiny hand in paint and pressing it on the tree but I hope that as they get older they will enjoy the tradition of adding to the "Christmas Forest." I haven't decided if I'll make the trees into ornaments or set them out on the mantle to display but they make me happy. We also always go to Zoo Lights even though it is freezing and late. It makes for wonderful pictures and kids love lights!

I love this too. We bring out our special ornaments. I'm happy to have my Oz ornaments (looking like the Baum book illustrations!), my ornaments from childhood, my husband's geeky ornaments, the ornaments we are buying each year for our children. The old candle-holders and vintage elves. The old garlands. The old recipes! Like white fudge. Not white chocolate; white fudge. I put pistachios in it last year. When I took a bite--I hadn't made it in many years--I zoomed back in my mind to my candy-making madness, which my parents gladly indulged when I was in my tweens. It tasted exactly the same.
Newish traditions. Lighting candles every night. The winter here is not truly cold but the day length is certainly shorter, so we capture that winter essence of needing more light.
Wrapping a piece of cloth, a souvenir from my in-laws' trip to India, around the base of the tree. Unsewn, it is our only tree skirt. Sometimes I think, maybe I should do something with it, but then I look at its bit of muss and its charming pattern and decide, why?
Cookies-cookies-cookies. David Lebovitz's salted butter chocolate chip cookies. German spice cookies, shaped and frosted. Molasses ginger cookies rolled in sugar.
Sweet rolls. Every Christmas my husband grew up with those orange sweet rolls from Pillsbury so we always have them on Christmas morn. But now I also make, leading up to the big day, cinnamon-cardamom rolls. I decided to Swedish the recipe up a bit by doing half-cinnamon, half-cardamom...OMG.
Hot spiced cider from Trader Joe's mixed with Sailor Jerry's spiced rum (no other brand!). Hot Gold: hot orange juice mixed with amaretto. Both hot drinks must have a cinnamon stick in them!
Cranberry almond granola, for gifts.
Raindeer antler hats. Santa hats. Silliness.
I love it too.
(PS envying that Dala horse! Thinking of embroidering from a picture of one I drew. Hmm.)

My parents started our tradition of a new ornament each year-my kids can hardly believe how OLD (ahem) some of the ornaments are. We have continued it with our kids and they so look forward to their new ornaments. This year, dear Alicia, they are receiving the deer and the tree from the Walk in the Woods. Thank you for helping us in our tradition. Our favorite new cookie-Berry Shortbread Dreams. Almond and Raspberry...enough said.

I am also in the Christmas cookie baking mode. My very favorite is one called Santa's Whiskers. You can find it online. Yummy with cherries, walnuts and coconut.

Your little girl is so precious! I love reading about your day and seeing her and your pets. It is a wonderful life, isn't it?

Dorothy Jenson says: December 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM

Your posts communicate love and peace through every paragraph and photo. Thank you! My children are all grown, and I now have grandchildren. I have made them each a white thread crochet snowflake, dusted with glitter, to hang on their Christmas tree. Each year they get a new snowflake, and by the time they leave home, they will have a lovely collection.

I started a charm bracelet for my daughter when she was one year old!

BTW, can you tell me more about the end table-cabinet-thingy in Amelia's room? You probably get random questions about your furniture quite frequently, don't you?

The Christmas tradition I have and that my kids look forward to is that each year they get a Pez dispenser and a bottle of bubbles! One year my son was in the Army stationed in Panama, and I sent his bubbles along with his other presents. I asked him if the other guys teased him about it, and he said, no, they all took turns blowing bubbles! That made my day...8-)

Miss Clover Meadow is such a good big sister!!

xo Linda

I'm not sure which one is the most precious - Amelia or Clover Meadow!! I think it's a tie. The pictures are beautiful, as usual. My son is 42 years old and every year of his life he has gotten a book of Life Saver candy. I did as a child and I've kept it going with him. He laughs, but I know he appreciates it and looks for it every year. Good luck with the cookies. Nutty fingers are my favorite along with cheese rings. I make them every year.

I do an ornament for my kids each year too. I try to choose an ornament that has something to do with our year, either an interest of theirs that appeared or a trip we took, etc. After a few years I realized I needed to store each one in a sandwich baggie with an index card with a brief description, year it was bought, and the reason I chose it written down because 17 years later I sometimes struggled to remember myself.

I'm a lurker. Can you post a few photos of that beautiful baby screaming bloody murder at 2 a.m.? or a diaper blow-out? That would be helpful. ;) These cozy, blissful photos are giving me baby cravings, and my oldest will start high school next year.

So glad you are enjoying your precious baby. She really is beautiful and your home looks so lovely.

The charm bracelet will be so girls love getting flannel jammies every year on Christmas Eve. A December photo (always goes out in our cards)...advent orange in the toe of their stockings :) xoxo

First I have to get my breath back after seeing the pic of the white dress on Miss A - oh my stars, so lovely.
Love the horsey.
Love all the pretty patterns back grounding the photos.
Love the charm bracelet idea. Just perfect.

Talk about sugar plums! Your house is full of them these days, one in the crib and one under it. And one off at work, too.

Like many of the previous posters, the ornament-a-year is a tradition. I am now 60 (how did that ever happen???) and I absolutely treasure the ornaments from my childhood. In my family, though, we went shopping and each child picked their own; it's really fun to see what appealed to me and how my tastes have changed or not changed at all over time! I still have a little glass clip-on bird that my preschool teacher gave to me in about 1956, and it is the highlight of each year's decorating to place it on our tree.

Also like some of the PPs, I got a new home-sewn-by-a-grandma nightie every year. She never washed the flannel before sewing, so that first night was a cozy dream of softness. There were seven of us cousins, and we didn't see each other too often. I remember how utterly astonished and freaked out I was when I visited them and saw that they had nighties or pajamas OUT OF THE SAME FABRIC!!! Somehow I had thought that mine was the only one in the world, I guess.

She is truly beautiful! That fish looks great, I love fish with vegetables. If you have never given Julia Child's bouillabaise a try, you should. Its easy, tasty, and light in the winter. I always use tilapia and I never strain out the vegetables. T

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About Alicia Paulson


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