Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dreams for the future

Sorry this post is a bit late. I drafted it about a week ago before deciding on a last minute trip to celebrate the life of a dear friend. In all that goes with saying goodbye I sort of forgot about this space. I'm sure you understand. So, to the original post!

Have you ever tried to explain your dream to someone? Take your dream house for example. Have you gone beyond the list of rooms and amenities? We all understand a 3-bedroom house with 2 baths (one for adults and one for the kids), a library/den, swimming pool, garden, barn in our own ways. But what do these rooms look and feel like? What does "home" mean to you? 

My dream home is a cross between a hundred year old farm house where everything centers around the kitchen and the fireplace, the creative use of space required in small French apartments like in Amelie, and a wonderful conservatory and garden like in Practical Magic. Actually, adding a chicken coup to the property in Practical Magic would be perfect! Oceanside in Friday Harbor! Lots of outdoor living and snugly indoor space decorated with intention and flowing through the seasons. A place of safe freedom where my kids feel comfortable bringing their friends.

So where am I going with this? With the new year and the general populace encouraging new resolutions and goals to work toward in the coming year, I want to encourage you to envision the details of your dreams. Smell them, taste them, feel them.  What you put out there into the universe, you will get back. 

When we were in Tulsa, living in a 700 sqft 1-bedroom, 1-closet house, we would dream of our next location. We weren't totally clear in all details, like which state we wanted it to be in. What we were clear on, we got: 3-bedrooms (one for adults, one for kids, one for a library/guest room), a bigger kitchen, space for a garden and chickens, more storage, pool/hottub and a job in one of our fields.

 Now to be clear about the next location and other visions for the new year.

What are you wanting from this year?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter holiday countdown; the last days

Dec 22:
Attend community solstice gathering complete with mulled cider and gift exchange. 

Dec 23: playgroup Christmas party! And the never ending fairy play that accompanies awesome new gifts.
Spontaneous dinner party!

Dec 24: gingerbread house time! 

Aoife didn't get to play, but daddy added her house to his neighborhood while she did this: 

Then we baked cookies for Santa, read stories, hung stockings and opened the Christmas Eve gift that has been taunting Emagene for days. 
Merry Christmas! Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Holiday countdown week 3

Dec 14: needing new ballet slippers requires a forced trip to a mall during holiday shopping season, run into Cowboy Santa at a mall bookstore 
which sends mom into an Internet shopping frenzy trying to find a toy version of this: 
(Green Arrow Car/Plane)

Side note: when Santa looks like one of your ballet classmates' father, it can be a little disconcerting. mostly causing stress that the plea for a batman toy might not reach Santa. Good thing he has email and can pass on all the wishes!

Dec 15: finish Aoife's stocking

Dec 16: make paper snowflakes

Dec 17: make this thing 
and because it suddenly was over 60 we cleaned like it was March!

Dec 18: paint the garden fence just because while listening to holiday music
Drink more cocoa.

Dec 19: attend a small Christmas celebration and play date, eat festive treats

Dec 20: look for lights as we drive around town running errands. Get horrible news and spend the rest of the night distracted by justice legue cartoons. And elves.

Dec 21: sing up the sun, make a holiday gift for our solstice gathering. Finally start my Last handmade for the season! Watch Mickey's once upon a christmas.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sweet moments

Its a Saturday morning, with new snow (or ice) covering the ground, and the whole family waking up slowly. Aoife typically takes a nap about the time Emagene wakes up for the day (which is lovely). So it was this day. As I lay Aoife down in our family bed, Emagene woke up and tried to come to the sofa for cartoons but it was too cold. She ended up running into her room and crawling into the bed there. I grabbed my hot cup of coffee (a treat by itself that may have just made the whole day a tad jollier) and went in to have our usual morning chat. What made it special this morning im not exactly sure. Pete was making breakfast, the baby was sound asleep, my coffee was the perfect temperature, the sun was bouncing off the snow and lighting her room in that magical sparkly way only snow can. And we just sat there chatting about snow, about the smell of bacon, the need to put off Christmas shopping due to weather, the number of snow angels asking to be made and all the other important things happening in that moment. It's what Amber at Crappy Pictures calls a Magical Moment; something you'll remember forever for no particular reason other than it was innocently special.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Holiday Countdown week 2

Dec 7: work on stocking, finally watch Love Actually while Emagene and Daddy trek to corner store for TP.  listen to music while stringing popcorn for the birds.

Dec 8: trip to grocery store, wrap presents, make pie 
Day 9; listen to music while cleaning the kitchen, play outside and watch a mouse hunt for seeds after the chickens were tucked in for the night.
Dec10: ballet class, watch how the grinch stole Christmas. 

Dec 11: play date! listen to music while pretending to be Santa and leave "gifts" under the tree

Dec 12: do nothing holiday related unless, going to the pool, drinking choco and dressing like a unicorn count as festive

Dec 13: see Santa!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Knitted lovelies!

In all this nasty cold weather I've been wearing this to stay warm:
It's a knitted headband my sister made. I love it! I knew you would too so here's the link to her etsy shop where you can go get one for yourself.
She makes other things too but since I don't knit I only hound her for things made of yarn. She made one for emagene too! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Winter holiday countdown

Since we live in a house divided as to which story we ascribe to this season, we sort of celebrate them all. Because of this our "advent," or time of preparing for the national holiday on December 25, is a bit eclectic. 

The weekend after thanksgiving is typically set aside for getting and setting up the tree. Though I think we'll start holding off on the tree in years to come. It's difficult to keep a real tree fresh and happy here in Texas, not to mention the length it had to travel to get here.

Once the tree is done, and December finally arrives, come the crafts and decorating and the counting down. I know there's beauty in simplicity and I don't want to overdo the season or overwhelm my kids so some days all we do is watch a holiday movie or listen to seasonal music while we play with princesses and Legos. There are a few specific things we do to help make this season special such as make and decorate cookies, paint or create a ornament, attend the library's christmas storytime and see Santa, look for lights any time were in the car, buy and wrap presents, and attend the town's tree lighting festival. Every year we discuss what traditions we want to keep alive and what we want to leave in the memory vaults of the previous years. This list seems to hold true.

I am searching for ways to help make each season just as special. For example, finding ways to count down to the beginning of Spring, or May Day, or midsummer. Feel free to shoot me ideas and I'll keep you posted on our seasonal forays.

So here's what's been happening around here as we count down to the big day.

Day 1: decorate tree 

Day 2: go ice skating (week before national thanksgiving. Our November activities were a bit early and sporadic this year.)

Day 3: paint an ordament

Day 4: notice the neighborhood is starting to light up and only one house has a menorah, talk about Chanukah 

Dec 1: paint a picture of Santa Claus
Dec 2: hang the lights

Dec 3: watch Polar Express for the first time ever

Dec 4; make a "wreath" and attend company party 

Dec 5: begin working on Aoife's stocking

Dec 6: attend town tree lighting festival
Play in the icy wonderland

Drink cocoa, 
make something from a craft book I found at the library.

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving part 2: new tradition

Trying a new tradition this year: the thanksgiving tree.
 First we picked out a fallen branch, devoid of leaves, and interesting in shape. Then we found an empty pot in our garden shed and put a handful of rocks on the bottom to weight the pot and create a foundation for the branch. While I held the branch, Emagene shoveled some potting soil around the stick helping it stand up straight. We didn't have a bag of play sand at this time, so we just used whatever "clean dirt" we found in the shed. (Funny concept, eh? Clean dirt.) We set a few more rocks on top to help keep the soil from spreading all over my house and brought the "tree" indoors.
We gathered some fallen leaves of various colors in our felt turkey basket (I found it in the dollar bins at target) and then set Emagene to work decorating. The cardboard turkeys taped along the outside of the pot were a craft project from another day and super easy. They involve circles of various sizes and glue. 

While she was busy poking holes and using tape and whatever other way she could figure out to keep leaves on the tree, I cut out paper leaves from construction paper. 
We refilled the empty basket with the paper leaves and a sharpie. When we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner, we required everyone to write on a leaf something they were thankful for before filling a plate with food. This meant when we went back for seconds, we had to fill out a second leaf. In reality, we just sat around writing until we ran out of leaves. 
I love it! I may keep the set up and turn it into a winter wishing tree, replacing the cardboard turkeys with paper wreaths, unless someone knows where I can find scrap evergreen boughs in Texas...