Sunday, December 21, 2014


The day of least light. It dawned misty, moist, and cool here, and Mike and I woke with a plan. 

The past few weeks have been rough. Nothing has really been wrong (we are all alive, employed, and generally well), but nothing has been quite right, either. We are all tired, disconnected, and over-done, yet needing to be out and doing more. (More physical, less social.) The kids' bickering has turned physical and has gotten ridiculous. I feel powerless, disrespected, and taken for granted. Mike is stressed from work. Blah blah blah. I think the biggest downer is that today is Solstice, Christmas is in 4 days, and I have not been feeling my usual joy and festivity of the holiday season. The holidays will be over before I am ready for them. I usually love this time of year.

Actually, as far as most things go, we are ready. Presents are made or bought and bagged/wrapped, we are doing things that happen only at this time of year, but there is somehow a lack of appreciation for it all and I am not feeling joy and wonder in it all. (I am making a little yes/no list for myself for next year of what we want and don't want during the holidays.)

And all that is present in me and all that is lacking in me filters through to the little people I spend my days with. It has gotten kind of ugly around here.

So when Mike said he was feeling low, too, that his body is calling him to be outside more, and that he was feeling like we had lost our place, our groove, I knew just how he felt. We made a plan.

This morning, knowing our beloved luminary walk in the woods had not resumed, we decided to take our own walk in the woods. It was just what we all needed. It didn't stop bickering from happening and it didn't bring back all the joy, but it was a start.

The kids and I went on to a concert from the ensemble my dad plays in and I feel hope going into tomorrow.

I am still tired and fighting off sickness. The kids were still wound up and had trouble falling asleep until too late. I know I might be in for it (again) tomorrow, but I plan to reground us in rhythm, find my smile, and take care of myself.

There are 4 days until Christmas and I plan to find joy within them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

build it party!

Finn Luca loves to build things. He loves his shop time with dada. And this year seemed like a good one to host his first friend-only party, since 7 has a mind of its own. And what do you do for a kid who likes to build? A build-it party, of course.

My kids set up their pretend Zoom Hardware store. Guest came in and were given a shop apron, screw driver, bag of screws, shop pencil, measuring tape, sand paper, a sanding block, and a pre-cut (by Mike) kit for making a tool box (or art caddy, if that is the preferred use). Each child was also loaned a clamp.

 The kids gathered for a walk-through of how to build their box, to hear "shop rules," and to ask questions.
 The kids built their boxes. Some finished sooner than others and everyone was so helpful of one another!
 Finnian's finished box (with lid off to the side, there)

 Happy birthday, little brown mouse.
(By the took the Nonno-approach, blowing from a good 2 feet away. Success! I think saxophone, clarinet, or maybe trumpet might be in your future. Along with the desired guitar, of course.)

Friday, December 5, 2014

little brown mouse...oh my

Oh, my little brown mouse. On this day, at this time, 7 years ago, you made your amazing entrance into our world. I think I sound the same every time I write a birthday post for you or your big sister, but, ummm...where has the time flown, buddy? Seven opens the door to a new phase of childhood, full of loose teeth, learning to read, emerging independence, and clearer interests.

You have grown so much this year, most noticeably since the beginning of summer. You are still so tall, still so full of smiles, still so calm and rational, even keeled, and gentle, but with so much energy, and with an occasional flash of intensity that says "Over here, mamma! I am a sensitive little guy who needs you now!" You are stretching me to engage and re-spark my playful side.

You love "boppers," snuggling, books, soccer, wrestling, tickle monster, building, digging, science experiments, and are such a physical little guy! You are caring, empathetic, and sensitive in new ways.

I love you so much, my little brown mouse. Happy, happy birthday.

(A little note...Finn Luca is wearing a sweater and hat that a Norwegian friend of my parents hand-knit for my older brother when he was little.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


We went away for Thanksgiving. It was lovely. It was family, gratitude, peacefulness, overwhelm, exploration, beach, lake, history, puzzles, gingerbread, crafting, clouds, sunsets, hiking, sun, rain, snow, play. Did I mention it was lovely?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

autumn - dipped in paint

Why is it that California has a reputation of no fall color? I suppose it is a generalization and I know we don't have as many trees as the east coast. We also don't have as many oranges, but oh my, these trees do know how to put on their colorful coats and then shed them for one big leafy party!


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