Saturday, November 28, 2009

I love this time of year

It's not a cliche to say how much I love this time of year. Everyone says that, but why should you not? Everything is "merry" and cheery-- the cold, cold air outside is not quite so gray as it will be in February. The leaves are still on the trees and, well, it is just great to be a wife, a mom, and a resident of Raymond Ave.

In the spirit of other blogs read, I will follow suit...

I love this time of year because I get to pull out my Spode Christmas dishes and put away my Wedgwood Nature plates for a month.
I love this time of year because Husband, Wife, and Child all went this morning to buy our small Charlie Brown Christmas Tree & lights.
I love this time of year because it inspired me to make homemade eggnog instead of buying eggnog! (If I survive the raw eggs, I'll tell you how it is...)
I love this time of year because it gives me hope that my sweet cousin will find a cure for his leukemia.
I love this time of year because I get to buy things like wine glasses that say, "Are we Merry yet?" or other things that say, "This is as merry as I get"
I love this time of year because Husband adds new boxes under our tree with little tags very clearly saying, "R-A-C-H-E-L" and now "E-I-L-E-E-N" in his neat, doctor handwriting.
And, I love this time of year because before Eileen was Eileen and was just "Baby Girl Cagle" we bought her a red corduroy Christmas dress and a white smocked Christmas outfit with all the frills and bows a girl can stand. It's been sitting in her (walk-in) closet for close to a year and she finally gets to wear it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Almost Famous

It’s been a tough-go the last two weeks with the blog. Me verse the writers block. The writers block has been winning.

Today though- today I was almost famous. Husband and I were enjoying a very cold and rainy Sunday with Eileen and her cold and I with mine. Leaving Target, I spied a very precious baby boy [Wyatt] sucking down a bottle. The mom, whose name I would learn is Nicole, asked me, “Hey- are you Rachel?”

Ummm… yes.

“I read your blog.”


I love hearing people who read my blog. There are only five followers on the page, but I get so many emails and comments from friends, friends of friends (i.e. Nicole), strangers, friends of Husband when he was in high school, Woody’s friends, Woody’s friends children, the list goes on and on. So, unlike the priest in Sister Act (Oh ye few, but faithful)—I remember that I write to more than just the five.

Back to Nicole. She made me feel like one million smackers right there with my red nose and spit up covered baby in boy jammies (at 2 in the afternoon). My super mom super shirt started stretching with pride.

Typing this on this rainy Sunday, Husband and wife are at dueling computers at the dining room table sipping our first sips of eggnog of the season. There are few things in life that I love more than nutmeg.

So, in the spirit of giving and the fall—I am going to give my favorite nutmeg recipe, more of a guideline than a recipe, but give it a go… it’s yummy (and easy).

Butternut Squash Soup, sent from Heaven

1 large butternut squash, roasted* (I won’t tell if you buy the frozen box of precooked, pre-pureed Bird’s Eye—if so, you will need 3 boxes, 4 if you like thick soup)
1 bunch of leeks (3-4)
4 tbsp. butter
4-6 tsp. minced ginger (or that expensive tube of it you can find in the produce section)
4 cups veggie or chicken broth
Salt and nutmeg

Leeks—use up to where they split and chop. Sautee in the butter (and salt) 5-10 minutes. Stir in ginger and continue to cook over medium heat. Add butternut squash and nutmeg. Add 3 to 3.5 cups of the broth. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered- stirring occasionally. Puree with an immersion blender and thin with the rest of the broth, if needed. Salt to taste. If you are eating mine, you best LOVE nutmeg or pass on supper.

* Split squash down the middle and rub down with olive oil and salt. Bake for an hour in a 350 oven. Scrape out seeds and toss. Scoop out meat for the soup and toss the skins. It’s just easier to buy the pureed stuff. Cheaper, too.

From our little family to yours, Happy Fall! Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my sweet baby, my dashing husband, nutmeg, and you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I have been trying for three days to write a blog about our baby’s baptism that took place last Saturday. When a day is so perfect and clear- how do you describe it? How do you put into simple words the pride felt dedicating a small baby to a life led by God?

I guess you start at the beginning.

It made my heart feel good when Ford Merry walked into Most Holy Trinity on Saturday morning and amongst the silence of the prayers, he said, “WOW Daddy! WOW! LOOK! Uncle Boo Boo- LOOK! This is colorful!” as he took off down the center aisle holding his tractor with Brad chasing after him.

This was not the church Brad and I grew up in. We grew up in a “modern” church with light dimmers, stucco walls, a wooden altar and concrete statutes. It certainly was not cold, it was surely a church, but it was not this. Most Holy Trinity was the church that Big Dad remembers as St. Patrick’s from his youth. This is where he grew up.

Formal is a small understatement. The stained glass windows dominate the walls and the marble altar is a small miracle in and of itself. This place was built before budget constraints and recessions. The marble tile floor, hand carved statues, and frescos on the wall are humbling and awe inspiring.

Fr. Mike dedicated the morning mass to our sweet babe. He announced our presence of thirty in three pews. After readings, prayers, and kneeling, he spent his homily talking about Baptism and why we baptize babies. He welcomed the out-of-town Cagles and the Merrys to the church.

How do you miss our thirty? We more than tripled the usual attendance. Every Saturday when I walk into mass, I think about the priest from Sister Act when he says, “Welcome again, Oh ye few but faithful…” to the six in the large church scattered about.

After mass, we stood before the font with the best of family and the greatest of friends looking on. We baptized our Patricia Eileen with her godparents, Catherine & Brad, standing beside us. For our daughter, I cannot imagine two more perfect people to help guide her. Catherine is what you want in a friend, a mother, a partner, and a lifelong companion. Brad is what you want in a brother, a buddy, and a leader.

My husband picked good people for Eileen.