a thankful list

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

As I sit here on this thanksgiving eve a brined turkey in the fridge and traces of my feeble attempts at pie making still on the counter top my mind drifts over these three people... And over all the wonderful things in my life that I often take for granted like:

Teddy's babbles coming through the baby monitor in the morning
Stumptown's "winter cheer" iced coffee
A surprise hug from my fiercely independent girl
All those fluffy knits that exploded in stores over the last month
Christmas candles, all of them 
My husband's arms around my waist
The pitter patter of little feet that my heart has been patiently waiting for since I was young
A close parking space (I'm lazy)
Chick-fil-A and it's stellar employees
The kindness of strangers
Birdie's artwork and her love of "kwafts"
Getting so lost in a good book I don't notice the bath water getting cold
Any Adele song but especially "Million Years Ago"
The Real Housewives franchise (Andy you are my hero)
Finding money in one of my winter coats
A moody rainy day complete with warm blankets, coffee and my favorite records
People who have seen me at my worst, believe the best in me and love me for who I am
Picking out Christmas cards
The way Birdie will wrap her arms around my neck as she wakes in the morning
Swiffer wipes but also wipes in any form
The excitement of the season
The warmth of our home when coming in from the bitter cold
Tiptoeing through the house when all my loves are sleeping and the sun is just coming up
Warm, crisp sheets from the dryer

And so much more! I hope your home overflows with laughter, is bursting with love and hugs and good found abound this Thanksgiving! And THANK YOU for being here with our family through all these years!

mama + papa + two littles = 4

Monday, November 23, 2015

I practically burst into tears upon seeing these photos. Just look at how big my babies are!! With thoughts of gratitude and nostalgia on my mind these days I feel so incredibly lucky that these three people are mine. 
On days when nothing goes right and just breathing in and out seems difficult these three precious souls are what keeps me grounded, keeps me going and reminds me that no matter what I am so very rich. Rich in love. Rich in hugs and slobbery kisses. Rich in the warmth of three bodies surrounding me in bed on chilly mornings. Rich in giggles and laughter. My hands and heart are so very full. 
Thank you so much to our wonderful friend Morgan for capturing these moments!! 

writer's block

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I told my husband the other day that I've had the worst case of writer's block this week. Every day I open this blank page and stare at the blinking cursor and nothing comes out and I close my laptop. As the week worn on I figured out why...
All I've been talking about with friends and family, reading and thinking about has been the news. Paris. Syria. Turkey. I'm trying to understand, to inform myself. To see how I can help, if at all. And honestly, I can't think about much else. At the same time I am afraid to talk about here because 1) it's considered passé for bloggers to talk about politics 2) I fear becoming entangled in an endless mess of political correctness. And yet...
And yet I want to say first and foremost that my heart goes out to the people of Paris and the horrors that they witnessed this past Friday. I want to say that my heart has been aching for the people of Syria and the ongoing crisis there and I continue to research the best way that our family can make ourselves useful there. I also want to say that I understand the bewilderment of some over the coverage of the Parisian attacks versus the daily horror that has been penetrating the lives of people in Syrian and other war-torn countries for decades. To admit that there is a double standard is not taking any side, it is simply stating a known fact. However, this should never be discussed in a way that takes away from the pain that so many families in Paris are feeling and will continue to feel for the rest of their lives.
I couldn't help but engage on Friday. It hit me hard. It's a city I hold near and dear. I walked those streets with my husband. I enjoyed the graciousness and kindness of the Parisians. It was unforgettable. The city is unforgettable. When I first heard the news I could picture it. This is simply human nature - the closer to our hearts the more it hurts, the more "real" it is. And trust me, as I felt all of this I was also bathed in guilt. Guilt for the fact that we are not equally affected by non-Western tragedy. That it's different. Perhaps we as humans will continue to evolve and our capacity for empathy will change and grow. But right now it is undeniable that the western world was visibly more shaken by what happened in Paris.
I had to make sense of these warring feelings for myself; and the way I was able to make peace with it was by reminding myself that whether Syrian or French everyone is a human. And there is no such thing as "too much love" or "too much empathy." And more than anything our capacity for empathy starts at home and I have the blessing and the massive responsibility of raising two people to care for others deeply. And perhaps I can raise them to be better than myself. Perhaps I can raise them in a way that ensures that their heart breaks equally for any person, in any country, suffering from any type of injustice. That's all I cling onto during times like this - that we can do better, be better.
Perhaps I'm completely off base here. I definitely do not pretend to know what I'm talking about, I am certainly no expert in this field. This is just me, a person, sharing with other people what has been on my mind because silence feels inadequate at a time like this.

a handmade holiday

Monday, November 16, 2015

This past year I've discovered so many wonderful little independently owned shops. The items I have purchased from these shops go beyond being delightful and well made. There is just something really nice about knowing who is making the item and in some cases that person becoming your friend! I've had wonderful experiences with all of the shop owners that I share here. Even when something didn't go right they were always gracious and generous. I also think any of these items would make the perfect gift for something special in your life! 

In case you want to peruse any of the shops directly here are their links: