Saturday, December 31, 2011

Crossing Over

 For me there are two New Years, kind of how Chris and I celebrate two anniversaries. Two kinds of fresh starts and passages. I still measure my years in school time that ends in August and starts over in September. This is the mark of aging and completion, of new pens and blank notebooks waiting for new ideas and doodles and letters. And then there's the calendar year that ends in the flurry of holidays and celebrations and starts in the gray incubating days of true winter. If small green changes are sprouting, it's under that bare quiet ground.

Some times it seems that I make the same resolutions every year to little avail but when I look back on it, I've been able to accomplish a lot of them since I've been home with the kids full time. I know it's not for everyone but for me it's really been a blessing. I cook 70-80% of the meals in our house now, I exercise at least once a week, I quit the commitments that felt draining and put my energy towards stuff that feels nourishing. I do fun creative projects with the kids, socialize with friends, have occasional date nights with Chris, worship with a great Meeting. The house is pretty clean most of the time, and we make donations to organizations we believe in. Staying home has been really good for getting organized and following through, making our home a better place for all of us. I loved my work at Real Change and sometimes I miss it, but I really love this.

So with that in mind, here are some 2012 resolutions.

1. Make writing a priority.
One of the things I've learned is that scheduling really helps me. My weekly meal plans help me grocery shop so we don't waste food and don't worry about what's for dinner every night. I want to take an honest look at my daily routines and see how I can make writing a regular commitment, not just for a month but for long term.

2. Get my drivers license. (yes, I don't have one. It's a long story.)
I'm really close, have my drive test scheduled so we'll see. I don't plan on driving a lot but there are a few times and places that it will really make a difference.

3. Explore my peace testimony.
Maybe this means taking some alternatives to violence classes or listening to speakers from peace making teams. I don't know for sure but it's something I want to give some intention to.

4. add weights to my workouts.
I keep reading about calcium and bone structure and being 30 something, and I was vegan for 4 years
so this is something I should really work on.

5. Update our emergency supplies.
We have our 3 days kit and First Aid kit but I need to get the water supplies ( 1 gallon per person per day) and maybe update some of the other stuff.

6. a regular technology Sabbath.
ahhhhh. combined with a walk in the woods- even better.

7. Keep a book journal.
I want an accurate list of all the books I read for the year, with maybe a sentence or two review. Seems do-able right?

Happy 2012! I hope it's off to a lovely start.

Friday, December 30, 2011

white christmas part 1

Christmas in Woodstock Vermont is a charming affair. The town center seems unchanged from Colonial days, with grand brick houses facing the center Green and small shops lining the friendly main street. Covered wooden bridges iced with a few inches of fresh snow seem ordered by central casting but they are the real deal.

We were a big sprawling family group, there to visit Chris's mom who lives there in the house where he grew up. His sister and her family came, my parents and brother came. All in all we were twelve, family from across the country able to celebrate this time together. When it was over, my brother went to NYC to get ready for New Years, my parents went home to Chicago to get ready for their sojourn to Florida, we went home to Seattle, Kristine and her family went home to Davis and Ann got to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet. I am thinking about how extraordinary it is that we are all so spread out and yet able to meet up and make the family traditions happen. It's so different from the way I grew up where my family was all within a few hours drive from Chicago. But we are pulled into different stories, reaching for different things and yet still, a few times a year we can gather at the source. Our family, gathering and expanding. It's so nice to see my family and Chris's family knowing each other, including each other, linked not by blood but because once this scruffy girl and this scruffy boy hung out together in a bookstore.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

and....we're back

Do you know how hard it is to get a shot of four kids together?

They all had the same fussy "disgruntled" onsie picture.

Well, we are home from Vermont and we didn't even miss a connection or lose a car seat. It's a Christmas miracle!  We had a lovely lovely holiday time with family and snow! and food and all the good things. I have tons of photos of course, but for now I'll just give you a few of the stair step cousins, aged 5, 4, 3, and 2.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

friends and festivities

Brixton and Little Desi

Unity and Ruth

This whole thing is made out of candy!

The Pike Place Market Pig

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making Wreaths


Can't ever get enough of those curls!

It's hard to believe this is the last weekend before Christmas. I still have so many things to do! This weekend we put some more cards and packages in the mail, did some more shopping and donating, made time for a date night dinner party with Sophie and Cooper, and then today Greg came over and helped us make wreaths. We used cedar branches cut off a nearby tree, and lots of fun sparkly shiny decorations from Greg's new flower shop that he's managing. I do love that smell.

Of course some helpers were more interested in running around and climbing on Papa. Hey you know, it takes all kinds.

Linking with Amanda at Habit of Being.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Party for three

Monday, December 12, 2011

feelin arty

Yesterday, B and I had fun playing with the camera. In case you think these pictures are too ethereal and creepy, rest assured that he stuck his head out from behind the curtain after each shot and announced "I wanna SEE it." When I showed him the shot, each time he declared "Bixton coot" (cute). So he wasn't traumatized by his modeling.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend- whew

Yes, Cooper is breakdancing.


My gracious, did we have a busy weekend! It was all really great though. We went to a birthday party for Sylvia, had a date night dance party, tried to finish up some packages and projects for our loved ones and for our adopt-a-family, opened our Saint Mikulas Day presents from Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Bill and hung them on the tree, and had a Chrismas carol sing-along with some friends from Meeting. As if that wasn't enough, I've decided to start a new project- embroidery. My friend Oma showed me this very cool pattern for an alphabet sampler using letters from lots of cool old vintage fonts. So I ordered the pattern, gathered the materials and this weekend I traced the pattern on to my fabric. Now, I can start teaching myself the stiches. Thanks Oma, I think.

Linking with Amanda at Habit of Being.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fancy Unity

Do you remember when you were a kid and there was a fictional story that just really took over your imagination? I think most of us had that moment where we really tried to live inside the stories we loved. I remember asking my mom if she could make my hair look like Wily Kit from the Thundercats. I was so sad when that didn't work out.

Unity, as we all know by now, loves Fancy Nancy. She often tries to reinact scenes from Fancy Nancy books by drawing her own versions. Grandma Ann just sent the Fancy Nancy Christmas book (thanks Grandma!) and Unity has been busy trying to make her own version of Nancy's doll closet. She drew clothes for the dolls and used push pins to hang them up. It's amazing to see what she comes up with all on her own.

                               Ok it's super nerdy to post a picture of my food storage containers, but I am excited about them. And this is why. Over the years I have learned more and more about the chemicals that are in plastic and how bad they are for human health. Sadly, I learned this after Unity had been useing BPA bottles for about six months, but as soon as I learned it, I threw them out and got glass ones. BPA is an endocrine disrupter and has serious and long lasting effects on our bodies. It's in everything- so it's hard to avoid but I have been trying to cut back on the plastic as much as I can. The other thing is it's released by heat so please don't put your plastic in the dishwasher! Ok now I'm done with the public service annoucement. Anyway, one of the groups where I get a lot of my safety information from, the Environmental Working Group, had a special offer to buy glass food containers and it would benefit the EWG. Now, being the reusers that we are, we've had our plastic yogurt containers for a while. And I've been washing them by hand. But I got excited by the idea of getting rid of all that plastic, so I got the fancy new glass containers and I am pleased. (Yes, they have plastic lids. Sigh. I'm washing those by hand. I guess we just can't escape the plastic.)