Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Pre- and Post-Christmas new and old traditions

getting decorated like a tree with the Daisies

About to see SANTA! Same ole Santa, 11 years later. This was one of those nights where the kids were battling non-stop - we literally had to dry their tears and yell at them to smile as they walked up to see Santa

Josefina getting a MUCH needed new 'do (Mema and Tate went on a special date, including lunch and a giant cookie)

Marshmallow making with a good friend - and we didn't even hate each other afterwards! And we weren't even that sticky!! Tara, a new tradition is born!

The annual hot cocoa-then-run-around-the-courthouse with our first friends in our town. Love this family.

Tate's favorite, bubble wrap!

Just Dance 4 - SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

Oh, Kit. Movie, doll, our hearts. 

Bubble wrap in its unwound glory

Roller skating fun at a cool '50s-ish place! $5 per person, includes rental! They'll be seeing more of us, for sure.

David skates HARD! He left chunks of wheel all over the rink (that Smith picked up)

Dog sitting for some giant beauties - love these guys. The box on the sofa has a Smith inside it!

And today, New Year's Eve, has been a delightfully simple day. Smith has a good friend over, I'm going to do some sewing for the bunkbed Tate got for her American Girl dolls (pillows and sheets to match the quilts I made), Tate's watching a movie. Tonight we'll have some homemade sushi and homemade pizza, and CHOCOLATE FONDUE. Oh yeah. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012


The annual things in our town - Friday night, Santa came through our neighborhood on a firetruck (don't know who is more excited...wait, it's Tate. She ended up rounding up neighbors about 45 minutes before we actually saw any firetruck action!). Friday was especially good because David and I refinanced just before the truck came through!

kids after chasing the truck through the neighborhood

Daisy reindeer fun - we're doing Project Elf, helping a local family have a better Christmas. There's that fine line of note writing with 6 year olds - "Have a Happy Holiday" is great. "We are sorry you are poor" is not so great. Our great leader (Great Leader - sounds very North Korean) headed that one off at the pass, though. Good call, Tara!

Our town's parade - our elementary school participated, and representatives from all the girl scout troops attended and passed out candy. Kids at the beginning of the parade had BAGS FULL of candy - seriously more than Halloween! Smith, being an alum, was looking forward to walking with his old school, and had to as David is out of town. The Assistant Principal asked if he'd help carry the lead banner! Very nice honor for Smith!

 These are just funny videos - Smith has been very into Parkour lately, and while we were waiting for David at the outlet mall the other day, they were practicing. Smith's getting there...and then there's Tate. Cracks me up.

And finally, after the parade Saturday, the kids and I went to DC for the afternoon. Smith wanted to do a museum but it was far too pretty a day to be inside, so we decided to do outdoor memorials instead. We saw Lincoln (who Tate kept calling George Lincoln Washington Monument), Vietnam Wall, World War II Memorial, Korean Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr (question - why did they choose the whitest of all white stones to represent him? Seems very odd to me, and perhaps a bit insulting??), drove by FDRs, then off to Union Station to have a Johnny Rockets lunch and walk around the building. What a beautiful building that is - it's where David and I had our wedding reception! I took the kids into B. Smith's to show them where we had our party. 

All in all, a GREAT day - from parade to DC to hanging out at home. Kids are ecstatic this time of year, as I'm swamped with work, which translate into a LOT of Wii, Minecraft, tv time. 'Tis the season!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Spirit

We did our 2nd annual "Freeze Your Gizzard" 5k/1 miler the weekend before Thanksgiving (our 2nd annual - it's been around for longer than that!). My brother ran the 5k with Smith, David ran the mile with Tate, and I walked with a few good friends in the 5k. As you can see, it was a beautiful day! One friend and her husband started behind us but ended up in front of us...twice...

We also saw lots of great turkey hats - I plan on crocheting at least a couple of the one below. I did not know this guy, but he was gracious enough to let me take pictures of him!

We got down to business two days after Thanksgiving - with a looming work project, it's tree time right after turkey day, or else it's mid-December, which makes us all sad and grumpy. So we are decorated!

The kids "helping" David put the star on

Messy/dirty, but happy, girl

Saturday, November 24, 2012

On my (very giant) needles

My beautiful niece asked for a specific present for Christmas this year - an infinity scarf. Having her ask me to knit her something is like a present to me - she chose a beautiful, loose, quick scarf that I'm well on my way to making with just a couple hours in. I do feel like a cartoon character when knitting though...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The 5%

I just read this article in the Washington Post. I like it. And while I am not sure if 95% of what I do as a parent is thankless, it's certainly closer to 100% than 50%. The article talks about saying "yes" more often, and making the 5% (the thankFUL) part worth it. I suppose it's all just good to be more mindful - say yes to something different, step out of the routine, because isn't it interesting when your child recalls something from a year or more ago that had little impact on YOU, but still makes them smile? Not even the big ticket items. Not the trip to Great Wolf Lodge (although those definitely fall into the 5%!!), but the little things - Tate loves to take an unplanned walk around our little town. Both kids seldom walk Spud with me, but on a beautiful fall day, we'll go and play Monsters and Zombies at the park with the dog chasing us, and every time we do it, they recall the last time. I have no doubt they'll remember our ginko tree with the yellow puddle of leaves every fall.

Or saying yes to a $2 turn in the Hurricane tunnel at the mall. Still talked about (obviously).

I've taken a little 5% for me-time, lately, too. Bookclub meetings, friends getting together, knitting quite frankly. I recently spent a great overnight with some good friends, and ended up dancing on stage at a gay bar deep into the night, finally getting to bed by 4am. Was that part planned? No. Was it on my bucket list? No, but it is now - and crossed off, thank you very much.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pinterest and Books

Pinterest is about to do me in. Oh the ideas! But it's like Family Fun magazine - the pressure of being the perfect mom, host, cook, fashionista is more than a bit overwhelming.


This is my absolute craziest time at work - two major MAJOR projects due within 2 weeks of each other, two meetings on opposite coasts, two smaller (but just as important) projects to complete, not to mention about a gazillion other parts of the job that rest on my shoulders. I can finally take a small breath around December 12, a whopping 13 days prior to Christmas.'s my idea.

I saw a cute thing on Pinterest about wrapping 25 (already owned) children's books up, having a cozy blanket nearby, and having the kids unwrap one every night so we can snuggle and read a story. I think that will be a much needed break from reality every evening, and maybe we should also make part of it that we have a cup of hot cocoa.

Now I am not wishing November away, or trying to forget about Thanksgiving, but I need to be mindful of what really matters when I feel overwhelmed. I am fine with a dirty, messy house and no clean clothes and work getting done on the computer, with a side of cocoa and a couple of cute kids on either side. I must remember this, and ESPECIALLY do it when I feel I simply cannot. Major reset button.

Tried to link this pic to the rightful owner, but their blog has been taken down. Sorry blogger!

.Wrap up twenty-five childrens books and put them under the tree with a special blanket next to them. Before bed each evening, your kids choose one book to open and read together until Christmas.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happiness is...

...looking around at your family and realizing all of you are wearing something you knit

...getting the great idea from a friend to keep Banagrams out for the kids to play with, and seeing what they end up writing (or creating)

...getting two things off the needles and getting ready for some holiday gifts

 ...having odd children

 ...sharing a game with my niece - virtually - who can find the ugliest shoes?

 ...going to a local Halloween park

 ...knowing your son and husband are enjoying paint ball while you are at the Halloween farm, most importantly WITHOUT you

  ...our "yellow puddle" ginko tree in the nearby red bridge park