still hearing the echoes

...of the holidays in the house

the rustle of paper under the tree

the fire crackling and popping (yes, i am too lazy to install hooks on the mantel for stockings....)

young guests playing with mia in the kitchen

getting ready to feed loads of people 

all the foods of the season

i will miss having my kids nearby to hug whenever i want

too soon it's time to say goodbye

mia says goodbye too

and wonders where everybody went

 (but dreams about it with the help of her christmas hedgehog toy)


  1. Pomegranate seeds!

    A, you are an amazing photographer. Your home is just beautiful! I feel incredibly gushy on the inside, just now. The holiday season is past, gone for another year, but viewing these photographs was like perfume rising from turned pages for one more inhalation.

  2. suze,

    you picked up on something i did not....of course, the pomegranate seeds! i wasn't even thinking about their symbolism, just their glorious color in the salad...

    thank you my friend. your words are always gems...

  3. What a beautiful home and family you have, Amanda, including the hedgehog! all that wonderful cake and food, and the table all set with napkins, the fireplace, aaah!
    And how did you give those photos such a glow?! A wonderful visit, thank you for the invitation!
    The houses on the other side of the road look like the one into which my daughter just moved in. Funny. Hamburg or St. Louis, all related, like you and I, somehow, inside.

  4. Wow Amanda. Your pictures look like they came out of Architectural Digest! Except not stuffy and ever so homey. Your living room looks like a place where you could stay mellow forever. Anyway, it looks like your holidays were lovely and fun.

  5. ah jeez...all i see is love in every corner, on every plate, in every way.

    i am delighted to see your home (beautiful!) and to peek in on the love your family has for one another,.



    ps but were you sad after the kids left? i was. :^(

  6. Lovely Scenes. These are the moments you and they will always have to reflect on, to cherish. It's hard for moms to see their babies go off on their own. But go they must, to follow their own star.

    Best wishes for the new year, Amanda. Thanks for your constant friendship.

  7. What a gorgeous family and home! I love how you decorated your living room. Here's a post request: a recipe for that salad with pomegranates. Happy New Year!

  8. Breathtaking! Every morsel, every nook and cranny, and every smile...just breathtaking. Thank you for inviting us to the celebration.

    We had 8 adults, 2 children, and 4 dogs for 10 days...such wonderful chaos. It was SO quiet when they left. Sigh.

  9. I meant to add my wishes to you and your family for a shining and happy new year!

  10. i see your smile, your silver bracelets, your beautiful home, your features in your children's faces, and i think, this is amanda's life. it is a good life.)

    but yes, it all ends so soon. but it is the very brevity that grants us the taste of grace.

    (and thank you so much for commenting my way. this was an important post for me and it is challenging, i'm sure, for some. but it is in the challenge that we grow, isn't it? i am so very grateful for your thoughtful and insightful comment, your continued bravery and patience.)


  11. geli - i love being able to use the fireplace — it does create the most wonderful glow~

    that's funny that the housing here looks similar to that in germany - there are so many brick homes here in the midwest, due to many bricklayers who were italian immigrants.

    rubye jack - architectural digest is quite the compliment, but truth be told i'm more thrilled that it seems homey. comfort means so much to me...

    kj - am i sad when the kids leave? yes, i'm the kind of mom who would rather have my kids be out in the world happy than clinging to my apron strings and not being able to leave... that would be much more difficult for me to deal with~

  12. rosaria - exactly. go they must to follow their own star.

    i am so grateful for your friendship as well♡

    sarah - the salad is easy - baby lettuce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and crumbled blue cheese (i might have thrown some nuts in there too). i like to add a lot of chopped fresh tarragon in my vinaigrette. voila!

  13. jo - it is so good to see you back in blogland!

    your holidays sound like they were very full and rich - wishing you many blessings in your new year and hope to see you a lot in 2012~

    ah, erin - thank you. i feel so very blessed. and yes, the brevity does grant us the taste of grace, it does indeed.

    your latest piece was arresting. i would so like to dialogue about it more - i read rubye jack's comment and then yours......and all i can think of is - yes - we all have our own truths. what a wondrous thing that art brings that out in all of us -

  14. Poor Mia!
    The holidays went by far too quickly if you ask me. I want to do them again!
    Happy New Year wishes to you! :-)

  15. Your house was such beatifully decorated for Christmas!

  16. Your comments at Erin’s space…yes, you described it and I am thankful for the recognition of an experience I suspected wasn’t unique but never knew how to question. Then I see your holiday photos and read about the goddesses. My son goes back to school in less than a week and I understand the echoes. My daughter is nearly 17 and I cried (full blown tissue time) at “buggle” because I know our time, hers and mine, is coming soon. And then Callileach and St. Lucia and I’m sure that my experiences continue a thread that weaves back in time longer than I can imagine.
    Thank you. This blogging thing IS amazing stuff.

  17. You are very blessed have such a beautiful family and home....Celebration is yours every day of the year! ...all the best! every day of the new year!

  18. Oh, Amanda. Such beautiful people. Sumptuous house and table setting. And I feel what you mean about your children. I feel the same way. I hated to see Christmas Day end!

    Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful New Year!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  19. Such a beautiful family and home. It is sad to have the holiday season end with family going away. Poor Ms. Mia!

  20. Panda-oh, those silverbell cookies. How I miss them! Did you have the Capon with mushroom gravy and fingerling potatoes? So delicious. I'm glad Mia liked her Christmas Hedgehog toy. Spike got a "stuff-less" dog toy for Christmas. Zonny calls it Spike's Bo-bo toy and it looks like a ferrett. Spike likes to shake it vigorously and then run away with it!

  21. Beautiful memories made and caught in the photos. Everything looks so very warm, and full of love.

    While it's hard to see everyone go, I also enjoy the return to quiet. :-)

  22. Happy New Year 2012, Amanda! What a warm and lovely home you have. Cheers

  23. Gorgeous post..beautiful family..and i love your dog..what kind is this gentle soul? Beautiful!
    I loved all of your festive photos and beautiful imagery!
    Gorgeous post! Wishing you a most magical 2012 and many blessings to you and your loved ones

  24. sara - mia is settled in now to a quieter house - enjoying the suncats coming in on this unseasonably warm day~

    ola - kind thanks. i love the way the house looks over the holidays, and miss the smell of pine

    donna - i'm eternally amazed at the ways lives interweave in this virtual world. sounds like we have a lot in common with children leaving the nest and setting out on their own adventures. if you like goddess lore, please visit again as i regularly profile goddesses in celebration of the divine feminine archetype~

  25. sue - i like what you said - celebration is ours every day of the year - it's all about attitude, right? great resolution for 2012 ;-)

    ann - i know how much you love your kids - i'm hoping your holidays were filled with much joy and wishing you and jen the same for a blessed new year.

    michelle - ah! so glad to finally see the true identity of farmchick revealed!

    yes - sad to see the kids leave....but so happy that they come home regularly to roost - and to celebrate with us!

  26. famous - i'm so sad you can't eat the silverbells - i was THIS close to sending you a box but remembered...sigh. but yes, we had the capon with mushroom sauce - an annual tradition now!

    oh i would give money to see spike making off like a bandit with his ferret toy - did you witness the 'praising of the biscuit' that zonny does before giving spike a treat? hehe

    ruth - as a writer you certainly know this - eventually we crave and need that quiet. what a blessing to experience both the activity of the season and balance it with the fallow period that follows...

    shers - kind thanks - and same to you for all blessings in the new year!

    victoria - mia is an airedale terrier - the king of terriers as they are known, as they are the biggest of the breed. she is a gentle soul - we treasure her still with us at 14 1/2 years young!

    blessings to you and yours for all the best in 2012♡

  27. This is such a warm and beautiful post Amanda - lovely to see your warm and loving home. And yes - Mia does look a but sad with her sad little doggie face.

    Anyway - happy and healthy new year dear Amanda!

  28. Such a beautiful home...but I have to admit that Mia has stolen my heart...and I hope you dont mind..I have invited myself for dinner next year..heehee.
    Your children are beautiful and I know they are all grown up,but when I see them with you,in your home,I cant help but imagine them running down the halls.Big Hugs Friend,Cat

  29. Beautiful pictures, beautiful family, beautiful memories. It doesn't get any better that that. Happy 2012, Amanda.

  30. Like you, I love my children and yet so glad that they are independent and making their own way in the world. The holidays are wonderful when you can gather your family together... Poor Mia... She will miss the activity!

    Best wishes to you, my friend, and for an exciting, wondrous 2012!


  31. What a beautiful house, filled with delightful people, and a Greek-named dog!

    Unlike you, both of our children live in the same city with us, and the grandchildren come to sleep over with their grandparents at holiday times.

    Mia, I'm sure, is not the only one who who misses the flash mob when they are gone.

    Blessings and Bear hugs for 2012!

  32. Amanda, you have a very cozy home and I know what you mean about the kids coming and going. I never thought it would be so hard to say "Goodbye" each time, especially to my youngest, 17, who enlisted and wants to get deployed when he graduates high school. Happy New Year, and your Mia and my Cookie, miss their siblings.

  33. posts like this are part of why i keep believing and keep pinning stars in my sky. lovely, beyond lovely, amanda. and the way you share . . .!


  34. What a beautiful cozy home and family! Thank you for sharing. It is the kind of home you always want to back to. You are a true Cancer.


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