Giving the Gift of Story

My love affair with Storyworth grows by the day as the anecdotes from my parents continue to roll in.  It feels like such a have new stories from my family's past arrive effortlessly in my email inbox, ready to spring to life by my viewing.  

My most recent favorite was a particular anecdote written by my father.  Having grown up in a different state than my grandparents for most of my life, I find that my memories from my paternal grandparents are a bit hazier than those of my maternal grandparents.  As such, I know even less about their parents (my great-grandparents).  This prompt "Do you have any particularly vivid memories of your grandparents?" was especially enlightening, and a gateway into a whole chapter I never knew.

My most vivid memories of my Paternal Grandparents are from visits to the family farm in South Dakota and seeing all the work they did every single day. They always rose early and worked until sunset. My first real memories of them are as an 8 year old at their 50th wedding anniversary with all of my family and many many relatives there for the celebration. I recall my grandmother making sheets of egg noodles for the entire family to have chicken noodle soup and canning every fruit and vegetable imaginable for the winters ahead. I remember my grandfather and uncles in their denim overalls heading out to the fields after a full breakfast and then breaking for lunch (“dinner” in the Dakotas) and a late supper. I also recall the great two story home they built with a wrap-around porch and root cellar for canned goods. I spent many days collecting the morning eggs from the chickens, spreading corn for livestock and operating harvest equipment with my uncles in the Midwest states.
My memories of my Maternal grandparents are of a much different nature in the same state. My mother’s mother died when she was very young and my memories are of her father and stepmother who we always knew as our grandmother. They lived in a fine house in Rapid City, South Dakota. My grandfather was a lawyer and Judge in the South Dakota court system and held that position for many years. My grandmother raised my mother and several additional younger children she had with my grandfather. I recall the large back porch overlooking acres of grass behind the house and my grandfather’s office with it’s musty smell of older law books and wood. We spent many hours roaming through the house and grounds of their property.
After receiving these stories, I find myself reading and rereading these passages, hanging onto specific details as I try and visualize the scene, and my father living these moments as a child.  
This connection to the past has been such a gift, as these kinds of prompts don't always arise in casual dinner conversation.  I'm thankful that Storyworth has recognized the power of the written word, and provided my family opportunity to have our stories preserved in print, catalogued for our family for generations to come.

Just in time for the holidays, I'm offering a giveaway so you too can give the gift of Storyworth.  All you need to do to be eligible is enter your name and email address here!  Three winners of those eligible will be picked to receive a 1-year subscription for 1 storyteller and 1 book, valued at $79!  This would be such a wonderful gift to receive this Christmas season.

To be eligible: click this link, add your name and email, and leave a comment below.  Happy storytelling! 

Christmas Gift Guide

I love seeing the various gift guide's across my favorite blogs, so I decided to make my own - a collection of my current favorite things for this holiday season - and oh, my sweet 
husband, if by chance you're free, feel free to take notes...
Small Victories cookbook
cozy winter jammies (currently on sale!)

What's catching your eye this holiday season?

November Favorites

+ gingerbread spice Theo chocolate (I stress ate 3 of these bars in 3 days following the election)

+ my obsession with Denmark and the Danish continues with this book

+ red buffalo plaid in toddler sizes - it's just so darn cute

+ venturied back to stars hollow with the gilmore girls revival

+ this episode of black mirror (the future of our cell phone culture?)

+ these t-shirts we picked up in kauai

+ this a-mazing cranberry, caramel, and almond tart I made for thanksgiving

Quote of the Week

"To be beautiful means to be yourself.  You don't need to be accepted by others, you need to accept yourself."  
~ Thigh Nhat Hanh


Friday Fun

+ have you ever heard of "the empty chair" concept at a wedding? I never had, to me it sounds feasible and a helpful solution to ensure facetime with everyone on your special day

+ how much would it cost to live in Stars Hollow?

+ I found this so interesting, what is the soundtrack of your life?

+ daydreaming about a Scandanavian family vacation

+ surprised in the election?  take this quiz: do you live in a bubble?

+ the teacher in me loves this - remodel reveals untouched blackboards from 1917

+ in need of a happiness boost? try one of these songs

+ love this friendsgiving spread

Have a wonderful weekend!

Quote of the Week

"When they go low, we go high."
- Michelle Obama


Cookbook Crush: Molly on the Range

When the world is full of uncertainty; and we're treading the waters of this new political chapter, I am trying to continue to push the positive, and keep this a safe, happy space, in spite of the ugly words and actions in the world right now.  Therefore, I am resuming my normal posting with a favorite series of mine, Cookbook Crush.  When the world seems daunting and scary, I often find myself burrowing into a good book, or five... and finding sanctuary and a safe quiet place to just "be" for a time.  

My latest cookbook crush is the first cookbook from a favorite food blogger of mine, Molly of My Name is Yeh.  I've been reading Molly's blog for probably five years now, following her adventures from studying percussion at Julliard in New York City, eating her way through the various burroughs to her move back to the Midwest to marry her college sweetheart and live on a sugar beet farm straddling the Minnesota/North Dakota border.  Everything that makes her blog memorable, warm, and endearing is lovingly wrapped up in this cookbook, Molly on the Range.  It's a blend of memoir, and anecdotal narratives, peppered with swear words, laugh out loud moments, and of course, recipes of the sweet, savory, holiday, and dessert variety.  The best kind of cookbook.

I checked it out from the library, but alas it was due before I got a chance to make any of her recipes.  Guess this one will have to go on my Christmas list.  Santa??