berry muffins make me happy

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A little over a week ago I got my very own copy of The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule (Thanks, Mom!). I just love her blog, Soulemama. I love reading about her crafting, cooking, natural parenting, and homeschooling adventures, but there's more to it...

It's easy to take a sarcastic tone about parenting or marriage (it can be so frustrating!), and it's easy to complain about cleaning and cooking (it is, after all, so hard and time consuming!), but I've found that I'd rather not take that tone about family life. Because really, I've never been so happy and I've never found anything else in life so rewarding. In becoming a wife and a mother, not only did I gain a bunch of really awesome people in my life, but I found a better, happier, version of myself. I guess Amanda Blake Soule's blog and books capture that spirit for me. She (and many others) have given us permission to focus on the good and revel in the simple.

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Sometimes it's hard to admit to being happy, especially for this art kid who made it through a lot of years on sarcasm and a bad attitude. But, you know what, world? I'm happy. Really fucking happy. And my kids? They're perfect. And my husband? Hot. There. I said it. ;)

Anyway, onto the Berry Muffins made from a recipe in The Rhythm of Family!

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They were so good! They made me happy. They made Fiona happy, too.

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baking bread

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Fiona and I are taking a Parent & Child Class at the Waldorf School. Each morning, the teacher, parents and chldren all work together to bake bread and cut up fruit salad. I want to bring some of these traditions home with us, so yesterday, we made bread! Bread is on the long list of things I haven't made yet. I am not very experienced in the kitchen!

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Fiona stood in her Learning Tower and helped (also blogged about here)! Here are our funny little baguettes:

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Another part of the ritual in class is, before eating, the teacher leads us in a short blessing:

Blessing on the blossom,
Blessing on the root,
Blessing on the leaf and stem,
Blessing on the fruit.

Another meal blessing that I found in my Waldorf Education book goes like this:

Mother Earth, Mother Earth,
Take thy seed and give it birth,
Father Sun, gleam and glow,
Until the root begins to grow,
Sister Rain, sister Rain,
Shed thy tear to swell thy grain.

I've always loved the idea of rituals, but growing up in a very non-religious home (Athiest, actually...), I've never really found a set of rituals that I connected to personally. So, when I discovered Waldorf Education and the way it incorporates rituals into every day in a way that made sense to me, I was attracted to it immediately. Celebrating the regular rhythm of life--the seasons, food preparation, the family meal, household chores and birthdays--in a way that connects us to eachother, nature and the greater world is something that I have welcomed enthusiastically into my home. It hasn't become second nature at all to me yet, but I hope that over time my family can incorporate some of these traditions and celebrations into our lives in a meaningful way that makes us stop and think about how lucky we are to be here. L'Chaim!

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The bread actually turned out quite well. Good enough to eat!