• Seattle With Friends

    12.31.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    On 12/30 a friend of mine and I took our kids to see the gingerbread houses at the Sheridan hotel downtown. Both of us had heard of it for years, neither of us had ever been, so we took that frigid, cold day by storm and saw the houses at last! Was it worth the brouhaha? Yes! While I wouldn’t want to wait in a long line for them, it was definitely worth the trip downtown, after Christmas, when the crowds have all died down.

    To say that Beth’s son, Kian, is a vehicle nut is an understatement, so the monorail was a must. A mishap necessitated a trip to Old Navy for new pants, and hunger dictated that we had to eat, so we ate at Hot Dog in the Park, especially since the kids missed their yearly pilgrimage due to rain on parade day. The carousel beckoned the kids, so there we went too. It was casual, easy, freezing cold, hot cocoa fun!

    The one can we probably should have avoided opening was the mini donuts purchase. I’ve heard about how supremely yummy they are from others, but before yesterday I was ignorant to their sweet, sweet song. Oh my. They were yummy. When Gigi came back spouting the prices for multiple bags of the things, I should have known what I was getting into. Sweet sweet mercy!

    All told, it was a fun day. Even the incredibly brisk air made the whole thing more like a real event with a holiday feel!

  • The Jolly Holiday

    12.27.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Christmas started for us at 7:30 in the morning. Our kids crept oh-so-quietly into our room to gently wake us up and remind us that it was Christmas. Then they were sent to just-as-gently wake up Mimi and Bop-bop, brush their teeth and then wait at the top of the stairs like the running of the bulls. It’s a pretty wild scene, waiting for Mom or Dad to turn their camera on and utter the best word to hear on Christmas morning: Go!

    Christmas morning was lovely. I have long-wrestled with the incredibly consumerist nature of the holiday. This year, however, I chose to see it as it is: a once a year opportunity to give and receive physical representations of appreciation with one another. We sat down as a family and opened gifts, communed over tokens of love, laughed and cried over shared sentiments. I made a lot of little things to stuff in my parents stockings- magnets, dish towels, gift tags, things like that; it was a pleasure to watch my mom and dad as they opened and exclaimed over each one. Good feelings multiply through those acts of giving and receiving. I loved it and loved this Christmas morning like no other. My favorite moment was when my daughter received her Taylor Swift tickets. And lucky me- I get to go, too!

    Later on, my brothers and their families came over (but I took mostly video) where we feasted and played and opened gifts together as a family. And even later, the next day, before they left, there was my mom, teaching Guinevere how to use a sewing machine. Gigi has been working on her quilt ever since, ironing seams, cutting carefully, pinning, sewing, needing more fabric! It’s been fun!

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    As for Jude, he’s been a busy little bee, putting together his Legos like a boss.

    Of course, we have also managed to get outside. So far, it’s been a marvelous, family- focused winter break.


  • Christmas Celebrations

    12.26.14 | Permalink | | Comments Off

    Mom and Dad came over for Christmas this year and we Lj’s had our first-ever opportunity to host grown-up out of town visitors. This, of course, prompted massive (and necessary) room cleanings, which then made us realize how nice of spaces our kids get to occupy, which, of course, prompted reflections of future projects to maximize the spaces… But for now, we just want to put a double bed in Gigi’s room. We loved having my parents in our house and hope that if we get a real bed, not an air mattress, that we might be able to lure them over more often.

    We started out on the 23rd with a cookie decorating hoopla, followed by dinner out with the cousins, my brother, mom and dad. The next day was slower. We got food ready for the party on Christmas and otherwise were lazy around the house. My parents went out to a fancy-schmancy meal with my oldest brother (whose birthday is on Christmas) while we ate our favorite Indian food at home and emptied the advent calendars of all their spoils.

    Mom and Dad came home to find us gathered around the hearth singing Christmas carols while Bradley accompanied with his guitar. Cookies were laid out for Santa, ‘krarits’ for the reindeer, and milk, not egg nog, to wash it all down. Milk just goes better with cookies, you know?! We sat around and shared wine, egg nog, treats and stories until we thought we might have heard Santa’s sleighbells, at which point our kids scuttled up to bed. Our kids were tucked in by 10:30 and were up and at ‘em at 7:30 on Christmas morning.


  • Satisfying Sunday

    12.15.14 | Permalink | | 1 Comment

    We woke up to frost and sunshine this morning and my body was grateful. The Lj’s shuffled out the door, all sullen and grouchy, blinded by the bright sun, unsure if we should even be in the sun anymore. It felt like it had been a long time since we had seen her and we were feeling rather vampiric. I find that when we lay around and don’t do a lot physically we Lj’s get pretty crabby. The kids were picking at one another, irritated at every utterance, every brush, and if I heard ‘he’s touching me!’ type of exclamations one more time… So we got in the car to get on some trails. It took just a few moments until the grouchiness began to fade and we embraced our walk in the woods.

    It also took just a few steps to realize how out of shape we’ve become during the fall. I mean, we can still get around and we’re not doing terribly, but some people in our family have become more sedentary than others and were kinda outta breath, hating on the hills big time! We made it out just fine, however, with a solid reminder that we ALL need to be getting outside more often.

    We’ve had some pretty terrific storms around here of late and there was evidence of it all through the park. In addition to the branches strewn about, a number of trees had fallen across the trail, some too large to be moved just yet, so we had to crawl under them; it was pretty exciting and fascinating to see this place we know so well look so different from the last time we had been there.
    We came home, watched Christmas movies, made pizza, made fudge and had a lovely, family day!


  • Reflections

    12.14.14 | Permalink | | 1 Comment

    Bradley took on the Reflections program at our kids’ school this year. I’m not going to go into the whole story about how a ten hour job turned into about ten times that, but I will say that Bradley put together a lovely program that encouraged the arts for our kids and all of the students at Moorlands. He had over 50 submissions and many went onto district, including our two kids!

    Gigi earned two trophies for her visual arts: a photo of trees and a toucan painting, while Jude won honorable mention for his bananas line drawing and a trophy for his drawing of lavender! We are proud of our kids and I am also proud of the Papa Bear who ran the program this year!



Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.