Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reading Reflections

In 2014 I read 85 books. Well, unless I finish my book today. It's an average of about 7 per month, though of course it doesn't work out that neatly in real life. I tend to read more in winter months, and finish fewer things in August and September, when summer is ending and school is starting up again.

Just for fun, here are some of my favorites from the past year:

Some favorite fiction:
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Favorite book on creativity:
Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Favorite Young Adult fiction:
Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Favorite Graphic Novel:
Angel and Faith series by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs

Some favorite Spiritual books:
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Zealot by Reza Aslan
Altars in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

Favorite simple living memoir:
Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider

Favorite laugh until I cried memoir:
Carry On, Warrion by Glennon Doyle Melton

Favorite Childhood re-read:
Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Favorite parenting book:
All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior

Favorite pool-side mysteries:
Red Harvest and Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett

Some favorite Literary commentary:
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Paul Elie
What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan

Favorite Kid-Lit Literary commentary:
Wild Things by Betsy Bird et all.

Favorite History book:
The Tudors by Peter Ackroyd

Favorite Guilty Pleasure:
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

End of December


     We just returned from the loveliest trip to Chicago. My parents were very generous hosts and we had a week full of relatives and old friends, cousins, dogs, favorite books, wearing heritage outfits, amazing light displays, and just a fantastic Christmas.

I'm so thankful we had this chance to be together and relish this time, of light coming back, of family gathering, of familiar places.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best Pageant Ever

So, our halos are a little askew. Our baby Jesus was an American Girl doll. Our manger included a dinosaur, a lion, a rabbit, a monkey and a dog. I'm sure there have been more polished productions. Ones where the actors had their lines memorized, or fancier costumes. 

But the kids really loved participating in the pageant and getting into the spirit of the season. And it was really sweet to watch. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Yesterday we went down to Seattle Center to attend a party for one of my new parent support groups. It was a lot of fun to see how big the babies have gotten and catch up with the parents. Facilitating these groups has been such a joy for me and I'm so glad that I get to do this work that I love. 

We also got to admire the glowing lights at Seattle Center, which is always fun. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014


On Friday we celebrated Mikulas, the Czech version of St Nicholas day. The kids put their shoes out the night before, and they each got a small gift, new ornaments for the tree plus some new fancy clothes to wear for Christmas (Thanks mom.)

They were really excited about this tradition and it was fun to celebrate it with them. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

a little sick

Brixton had a little bug so he spent the day at home. I facilitated the last of my new parent groups this week so Chris had the morning shift (and most of the vomit) and I got to have the afternoon. Staying in the house all day is not my favorite thing but once in a while it's ok. Especially when he was feeling better and we got to play games and he assigned me math problems. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

I didn't bring the camera to our Thanksgiving, but we had a great celebration with friends and lots of delicious food.  So, forgive me, but this is the only photo I have right now, crooked glasses and all. 

I'm grateful for so much- friends and family always. Good communities that are there in good times and hard ones, with conversation and food and company. I'm thankful for living in a city with great theater and music and restaurants and of course, the coffee. I'm thankful that Chris and I are both excited about our jobs right now. I'm grateful that we have found such great educational communities for our kids, even when they're not perfect. I'm thankful that no one in our family has any broken bones right now.  I'm thankful for growth and changes, and taking a minute to reflect. I'm so grateful that I found my way to the Religious Society of Friends, and that even when they drive me crazy, Quakers are there inspiring me to be a better person. I'm thankful for the books and the yarn that are my constant companions, and for the ways that technology can help us all stay connected. 

Happy Thanksgiving Friends. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The weekend and beyond

So, that loose tooth finally came out. She's been wiggling it for weeks now, and asking people to pull it out and then finally on Friday out it came. Very exciting.

She had her final gymnastics meet of the season this weekend and then her team had a slumber party in the gym. When I came to pick her up the next morning, her coach told me that she had been up until 1:30am. This is the girl who needs 10-12 hours of sleep to function. Then her coach gave her a chocolate muffin and a juice box and sent her home with me. Sigh. So that was a long day.

I was able to to sneak out that night though for a mom's night out, which was so great and much needed. Nothing a little chocolate, wine and good company can't solve.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All in a day

Snap circuits!

                                                She's reading to him and he's, um, actively listening.

Right now we are:
                           - thinking about what to make for Thanksgiving. Maybe this recipe that was chosen                                 to represent WA state?

                           -trying to get the last round of compost into the garden before the real winter                                         weather comes.

                           - Reading about the Tutors, rocks and minerals, classic Sci-Fi and Tamora Pierce. I'll
                              let you sort out who's reading what.

                            - Getting ready to see Ruth Ozeki tomorrow.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


It's been cold and clear and sunny here- bright sharp days that remind me of winter in the mid-west. 

We had a family date on Friday, using one of our Chinook book coupons to go to a lovely Thai restaurant. We managed to get through the meal with only one child having to take a walk outside while waiting for food and only one child having to be reminded that we don't sleep with our heads on the table in restaurants, no matter how full we may be. 

So, pretty successful in other words.

Unity had a gymnastics meet on Saturday. Her team did well enough to advance to the championships next weekend so she is excited about that. I wasn't sure how she would do in this "pre-competitive" track but it's been good so far. 

We have a new houseplant to add to the botanical collection. This one is a sundew, and while it is fun and interesting, we are also hoping it will be a fruit fly predator as well. 

Also this weekend, Brixton and I made cookies while Unity had a friend over and Unity read all of Houseboat Girl by Lois Lenski. I adored this author as a kid, and read through a whole shelf of her books at my local library. Seeing Unity enjoy the books I loved as a kid has been something that I've been looking forward to since the day I found out I was pregnant. 

I've been a little nonplussed with some of the books she's brought home from her school library. There's a whole fairy series that is stretched a bit thin. Titles include Caylee the carnival fairy and Georgia the guinea pig fairy. She also brought home a book that was all about the beauty shop and boys. I'm  not going to tell her what she can and can't read. I certainly know that can backfire. There's a famous story in my family about how I was told not to read my grandmother's romance novel and promptly stayed up all night to read it after everyone else was asleep. 

But, I am glad to steer her towards books that I find enriching and I love when she loves them too. Bonding over books is one of my favorite ways to connect. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zoo Day

                             The budding photographers are trying to get a smile out of the brothers.

What to do on a cold but clear day with no school? We went to the zoo of course. With several thousand of our friends who had the same idea. Yeah, it was a wee bit crowded. 
But- where else can you go to be outside and walk and see interesting creatures that also has lots of benches for snack breaks and a gift shop in which to blow your allowance money? Yeah, nothing else like it.