Saturday, December 22, 2012


No time for baking yet this year, but I am hoping to go and make a mess in my kitchen tomorrow.

It's not Christmas Day yet, right?

I won't have orders to process or go to the post office, it being Sunday and all, so cookie baking is on the list!

I absolutely will be making my new favorite cookie ever.  My dear friend Tracy already delivered some to us yesterday, and since they are nearly gone I need to whip some up.  I like them for breakfast, I will have one after lunch, I need one to go with my afternoon coffee, and perhaps one after dinner, and FOR SURE before I go to bed.

Clearly, they are a favorite.  And now you want to make some too!

Click on the link for your very own copy of the recipe for Ricotta cookies from my Recipepages site:

And if you are interested, here is a link to the blog post I originally wrote about them:

May you be done with your shopping and wrapping soon, so you will have time to bake some of these sweet treats!

I do believe I will need to schedule a long walk to work off my indulgence....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


December 18th is here.  One week from today, our little family, we three, will be sitting by the Christmas tree. Snuggled in warm pajamas, Charlie will be rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Mike will have a terrific yawn, and I will be clutching my coffee cup.

In years past, we would have been awoken, much too early, by the sound of Charlie's small feet climbing the stairs to our bedroom.  He would lean in, on my side of the bed, and whisper in my ear "Santa was here!"  Trying to rouse myself from a soon forgotten dream, I would smile and wrestle with my robe, and use my feet to search the floor for my slippers.

His small hand was in mine, tugging me gently down the stairs, as grown ups move far too slow on this morning.  Mike followed us, heading to our office to grab his camera.

Charlie would pad eagerly over to a large wrapped package, Santa would use the same wrapping paper each year. Tearing it open, he would exclaim "Santa got my letter!" His cheeks flushed with excitement, he would pull each item quickly from the stocking tucked safely in his lap, and exclaim over a toy car, a candy cane, a chocolate Santa.  The stocking now empty, he would head over to his newest Lego set, ready to build, so early in the morning.  Cheeks flushed, he would clear an area on the floor.  Kneeling on the floor he would bend over the book of instructions, giddy to start.  He would look up at us, a huge smile on his face, so happy to have a dream fulfilled.

That little slice of childhood magic is now past, but oh how we have preserved it lovingly in our memories.  This year we will be warm in our pajamas, by our tree on Christmas morning, and Charlie will be unwrapping gifts that will make a fifteen year old boy happy.  He will  have done his own shopping, and will wait in excited anticipation to watch as we unveil his choices for us, eager to please.  It is a new page in our book of Christmas joys to be savored, and never more so than this year, when too many families will have a gaping hole in their holiday hearts.

My grief over the events of last Friday is no longer as raw, and anger has crept in to replace the tears.  I will find a place to tuck that away, and on Christmas morning send out a silent prayer, to wing its way east to those families who will never have enough comfort to wipe the pain away.

If anything is to be learned, we have been reminded just how fragile life can be, and how important it is to let them know, those that we hold dear. how much we love them.  Every day, every night, as often as we can.  The quote on the top of my page for December rings especially true today.

Loving hugs to you, my dear readers.  Whether you are my sister, my cousin, my very dear friends, or friends who I have not yet met, you are loved. May this week leading up to Christmas find you with a quiet moment to contemplate, and give thanks for your blessings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

time flies, part ?

I have lost track of the number of posts I have made about Charlie growing up, far too fast.

Especially at the holidays, I am reminded of how swiftly childhood passes.  Kissable chubby toddler cheeks turn to stubble before our eyes.  The Lego catalog used to arrive, and become worn from the shopping. Christmas day was filled with tiny pieces littering the living room floor, as hours were poured into making new things, with only a stop for a cookie.

December behavior was held in check by the little blue elf, seemingly with eyes everywhere, ready to report back to Santa.  And the December days were too long for my little boy, who anxiously awaited the next day to open on the countdown calendar.

December days now seem not that much different than a day in November.  Perhaps I suggest a hat or jacket more often, which is always ignored.  Teenagers definitely have different body temperatures than a full grown adult.  I remember dutifully packing the snow pants each day, for recess, stuffing them into his backpack alongside his lunchbox, and searching for his warm boots before the walk to the bus stop.  Now he doesn't even tie his shoes.

He dutifully helped me haul out the boxes of Christmas decorations, but did not wait to help me open them, or search in delight for his favorite train ornaments.  Winnie the Pooh and friends stay nestled in their tissue, he has no desire to have his own little tree in his room anymore.

I long for those December days of his childhood, the wonder in his eyes as he looked at the twinkling lights in the garland on the mantel.  His joy upon finding chocolates in his shoe on the morning of St. Nicholas day (it's tomorrow, by the way.)  I will still fill his now size 10 shoes, with the traditional treats, and hope that he fondly remembers what it felt like when he was 2, or 4, or 6.

He probably won't want to go along on our annual trip to Krueger's Tree Farm, to search for the perfect little tree for our small house.  Or sit in the cozy warming shed, with a cup of steaming cider to warm him.  He won't want to pose for a picture by the antique sled, or stop to smell the piney scent of the fresh cut trees.  But maybe he'll surprise me, and 'do it for mom'.

I wish I had known.  Fifteen years later, I wish someone had told me how very fast the time would go.  Oh, people tried.  Nearly everyone I knew, would tell me how quickly they grow up.  And I really did try, to capture the moments.  To rock him to sleep at night when I knew he should be going to bed on his own, to hold his hand a little longer as we walked down the sidewalk to the playground.  I should have splashed with him in the water more, played in the sand box with him a little longer on a warm spring day, made more cookies together.

If yours are still little, hold them close.  The chores will still be there, when they are wrapped up in their own teenage world you will have plenty of time on your own.  And you will so miss the moments.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreams Do Come True

I have been absent the last few months, first I was organizing a surprise fundraiser for a dear friend.  We held it the Sunday before Thanksgiving, a little pop-up boutique where we helped people start their Christmas shopping.  It was an incredible event and I have never felt so much love in one room as I did on that day.  My thanks and love to those of you who were able to make it and share the joy!

Secondly, Mike has been busy building his dream.  While our flight simulation business, ACES, has been around for 18 years (?!?) the simulator Mike had always dreamed of creating was not yet in our store.  He has been working on developing the idea for the past three years. We had to make a decision on whether to be done in the business, or take a huge giant leap of faith (both mentally and financially) and just go for it.

So that is what we did.

And over the weekend, we unveiled two of our brand new Surround View Simulators to the public.

This type of simulation is unavailable for public use, anywhere else in the WORLD.  Kind of makes my head spin just to think of that.  Mike has literally been working day and night the last few months to get these ready, and I couldn't be more proud of him.  The Pioneer Press (one of two major newspapers in the Twin Cities) did a story on us this past weekend, you can read the on-line version here:

The reporter also has a blog, and wrote a more detailed version of Mike's story here:

We have had articles written on the store through the years, and I always find it so interesting that no matter how much time a reporter spends with you, or the amount of information that you give them, that they always have a couple of errors in the story.  (We did not have a Grand Reopening at ACES over the weekend, if we had been planning one I surely would have had treats, and balloons!)  But we are always so GRATEFUL when someone talks about us, and helps spread the word about our business, no matter the errors.

And if you have a minute to really see what it is all about, Mike produced this short video here:

So once again our lives have been a bit upside down, and will remain so until mid-January, but that's okay.  It takes a lot of time and effort to make a dream come true.

(We are doing everything we can to spread the word about ACES this holiday season, what a fun gift to open!  Please share our news with anyone who you think may find this exciting, thank you so much!)


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