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There are three moments during my pregnancy that I can pinpoint as being irrationally emotional. (I’d have said four, but this music video still makes me cry every time.)

  1. A PBS promo where a little girl sees her reflection in an astronaut’s helmet;
  2. Seeing a little girl getting really excited over seeing Santa at the Disneyland parade;
  3. Watching the Radio City Rockettes in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

In each of these instances I found myself getting unexpectedly teary (or in the case of #2, full-on crying), so it is perhaps no surprise then, that I have been really really looking forward to sharing the holidays with Little Miss Cleaver this year.

Celebrating our first Thanksgiving was a pure joy. We watched the parade together, shared a lovely meal with Memere and her uncle & aunt, and then LMC took a big nap while the grown-ups watched football.  All in all, I think she did the day pretty darn well. And yes, I got a little teary watching the parade again this year, as it was the realization of a moment I could only dream about a year ago.

Sometimes Mr. Cleaver and I talk about what we want home to be like for LMC and there are a few words that come to mind: safe, warm, loving, and a little bit magical. To me, the holidays are the epitome of all those things and I can’t wait to share even more of them with her.

A little bit of love and magic

First Snow

Looking out at her first snow this morning!

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Happy Halloween!

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It’s no secret that I love Autumn in Maine. Fall has always been my favorite time of year and New England has the best Autumns of them all. And this year I get to share it all with Little Miss Cleaver – which makes it even better.

This year we crammed both of the Cleaver Family fall favorite field trips into one gloriously busy week: the Fair (Cumberland County) and apple picking (Ricker Hill). Miss Cleaver was wide-eyed at all the new things to look at (but not allowed to put in her mouth) and Mr. Cleaver and I loved watching her take it all in. Steinbeck was just happy to be there.

For years now, Mr. Cleaver and I talked about how some day we would take our future children on these annual adventures with us and what a thrill it is to be actually doing it now. We met in the fall and married in the fall (6 years this Sunday!), and the return of the season each year serves as a reminder of how this little family, my greatest joy, made its start. Small wonder that Autumn’s my favorite time of year.

PS: Miss Cleaver just turned 6 months old (how time flies!) and mastered sitting the day we went apple picking.
Pumpkin Photostrip

Or should I say, almost mastered?

PPS: Thanks to those of you who voted for the Pride’s Corner Drive-In. Unfortunately they didn’t win a new projector, but another Maine Drive-In (in Saco) did!

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I don’t often shill for things here, or in my life ever, but long-time readers of this blog know that I am a HUGE fan of the Pride’s Corner Drive In in Westbrook, ME.

My whole life I had always wanted to go to a drive-in movie and imagine my luck when I moved back to Maine and found one 10-minutes down the road!

Unfortunately after this summer, there’s a good chance a lot of this country’s drive-in movie theaters will go dark. Film distributors are largely shying away from 35mm film, which means that most Drive-Ins will need to convert to digital projection to be able to show new films. The cost to convert (about $75,000-$80,000) is a huge hurdle for these small businesses.

We’ve already taken Little Miss Cleaver twice this summer, and I’d love to be able to take her when she can remember the experience!

So my request here is two-fold:

1. If you live in the area – go patronize the drive-in!! This weekend they’re showing a double-feature (it’s always a double feature!) of Monsters University and Despicable Me 2. $15 per Car. Gates Open At 7pm. Show Starts At Dusk. (For more info, visit the Pride’s Corner Facebook Page)

2.  Honda (yes, the car company) is sponsoring a “Save the Drive-In” contest, where the top 5 vote getters will receive a free digital projector. You can vote for Pride’s Corner here: http://projectdrivein.com/#vote_68 or by texting Vote68 to 444999. You can vote once each way per day from now until Sept 9th.

That’s all – this is just a place I love and would hate to see go away!

-Leah

 ProjectDriveIN

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This Friday I took the day off of work and we took little Miss Cleaver out for her first beach day. We went to my favorite beach, Ocean Park, where I first dipped my toes into the Atlantic nearly 8 years ago to the day. Miss Cleaver found the toe-dipping experience a bit chilly for her tastes.

Being a trio of pale-skinned red-heads we didn’t spend too much time on the beach itself, but all in all it was a perfect day with shaded strolls, ice cream with sprinkles (for me), shuffle-board nap time (for her) and a good time had by all. Just in time too, as my little 5-month-has nearly outgrown that bonnet already!

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Over a year ago, my cousin was having a baby. I asked what kind of stuffed animal she would like for her little girl. She said something jungle-ly. And so, Zienna was born.

This softie is made for babies.

The high-contrast black and white grabs their attention, but the slightly antique tones of the Berocco Remix yarn, keep it looking classic. The zebra is seamlessly knit from head to tail, meaning that it can stand up to all those babies can dish out. I know my little one is a fan.

The pattern is available from Ravelry for $5 USD

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