December 23, 2013


It's funny how I'm so busy enjoying the season that Christmas seems to just sneak up on me every year.  What, it's here already?!?

This weekend, I baked many dozens of cookies and attended our annual cookie swap with my neighbors.  It was a lovely evening, and I now have a huge variety of cookies for the week!  Perfect.

We also attended the Boston Pops' holiday concert, which is one of my very favorite traditions.  The boys are able to enjoy it a bit more now, too.  Symphony Hall is simply stunning, and the music and energy there is so beautiful that I find myself with happy tears in my eyes the entire time.

We've had the Christmas movies on.  This weekend we watched "A Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Christmas Vacation" with the boys, and I got my fix of "Love Actually" too.

Now it's Christmas Eve Eve, and the boys are extremely excited.  I am too!  I am looking forward to our cozy and intimate Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, just the four of us at home.  And I can't wait to see my new baby niece on Christmas day!  We will be in Connecticut for a couple days, and then we're headed north to Vermont to get our first taste of skiing for the season.  Fingers crossed we can get Nathan to stop this year!

Great food, music, family, games, and fun.  All filled with the magic of this time of year.

December 16, 2013

Art Party Birthday Weekend Recap

What a nice weekend!  Saturday was a day to celebrate my fabulous seven-year-old!  We spent the morning opening a few family presents and then preparing for the afternoon party.  Aaron again opted for an at-home party with a few friends - three boys and three girls.  I'm so happy that he enjoys hosting these small celebrations at home.  He loves being a part of the planning process and having his friends at his house, and I love keeping the party small and relatively simple.  

This year, he wanted to have an art party.  The main activity was doing canvas paintings.  Happily, all the kids were really into their paintings, and they each got to take home their work of art!  Aaron's Christmas tree, shown above, is destined to become a regular part of our Christmas decorations from now on.  The other activity we did was a "blindfold masterpiece".  In the spirit of a pin-the-tail game, each kid took a turn to draw a part of Aaron on a big piece of paper taped to the wall.  Aaron started by drawing an oval for his head, and then each person added another feature - eyes, ears, nose, neck…  Blindfolded!  It was pretty funny, and the kids thought it was hilarious to see the arms way over to one side of the drawing and his eyes outside of his head!  

Instead of a cake or cupcakes, Aaron and I thought it would be fun to have the kids create their own ice cream sundaes.  We lined up a bunch of toppings, served the ice cream, and let them go nuts!  Aaron blew out his candles in his bowl this year!  It was a ton of fun.  

We wrapped up Saturday with a dinner out, as the heavy snow began to fall.  We got about six inches overnight, so Sunday included some shoveling and tons of sledding for the boys.  Later that afternoon, I popped some popcorn, turned on the fireplace, and put 'Elf' on the TV.  It was a cozy and festive way to end a really fun weekend.  

December 14, 2013


photo by Kate Eden Renyi

My baby is seven.  Wow.  I love having the opportunity to celebrate him and to think about the cool kid he has become.  Here are a few things I want to remember about Aaron at seven.

1.  His favorite color is now green.  Just like me.
2.  His favorite food is still seafood.  When going out to eat, he asks that we choose a restaurant that serves clam chowder.
3.  He hates carrots with a vengeance.
4.  His favorite TV show is Wild Kratts, although I also introduced him to Looney Tunes this year.  He'd watch that every day if I let him.
5.  He has three pairs of pants that he will wear.  Comfortable, lined pants.  He won't wear jeans unless forced.
6.  He still thankfully loves school and is enjoying first grade.  He has aced every spelling test so far, and he likes doing extra equations on his homework.
7.  His best friends are girls.
8.  He started piano lessons this Fall and he loves it.  He has asked if he can take lessons every day.  He plays every day, and he is very excited whenever he learns a new song.
9.  He stays up way too late, sometimes later than me.  I tell him to go to sleep, but I can still hear the click of his flashlight and the flipping of the pages.  I have to wake him up almost every morning.  (Weekends are nice!)
10.  He loves his little brother, and he loves teaching him things.  He sometimes forgets that I am in charge, though.
11.  He still loves art, especially painting.  Lately, he has liked painting rockets, solar systems, and christmas trees, and he still loves making patterns, using different color combinations.  I love watching his creative mind work.
12.  He loves legos, magna-tiles, and his marble run.  He loves building things, seeing how things work.
13.  He finally learned how to swim, and after months of lessons, he's swimming underwater now as well.  Yay!
14.  He still gives me a big hug when I pick him up at school, and it's not rare that he'll crawl onto my lap to snuggle.  He gives the best hugs.
15.  He wants to be a baseball player when he grows up.

Happy Birthday, my sweet and gorgeous boy.

December 11, 2013

Snowflakes and Belief...

It's funny how some days run more smoothly than others, and often I'm not even sure of the reason.  Moods, I suppose.  I strained a muscle in my mid-back, and it keeps waking me up in the middle of the night.  Every shift causes a shooting pain.  Lack of quality sleep definitely impacts my patience and the quality of my days.  

That said, I'm still in a pretty positive space.  We are enjoying all the usual activities of the season - cookies, hot chocolate, sledding, Christmas movies…  It's hard for me to be in a bad mood this time of year.  We got our first proper snow yesterday - just a couple inches, but enough for the boys to spend hours outside, sledding and playing and throwing snowballs.  Enough to blanket the trees with a coat of white.  

I'm also so happy that our family does a good job of blocking out a lot of the commercialism of the season.  We spend money on good wine, chocolate and other cookie ingredients, beef tenderloin for the big day, lobster for Christmas Eve…  And we love spending time together.  I watch the commercials…so much crappy stuff.  I see the news stories…people literally fighting each other to buy things.  It makes no sense to me.  Don't get me wrong…Santa treats the boys well, I send a little something to nieces and nephews, I love sending out Christmas cards, and I spend money mailing packages of something homemade to my siblings.  That's a lot, and it definitely adds up.  But it's nothing I stress over, and if I ever couldn't do any of those things, everybody would be totally fine with it.  (I've skipped years of cards, and sending packages to my siblings is a recent activity.)  Simplicity is a beautiful thing.

Speaking of Christmas, I have to admit that there is a part of me that is uncomfortable with telling my kids about Santa Claus.  I love the magic of Christmas, and I love the openness of the kids to believe in it so fully.  But there are times...I feel like I'm lying to my kids.  Yikes.  When I caught my mom filling the stockings at age five, she told me the truth.  I used to be a little mad at her for not allowing me to believe just a while longer, but now I think I understand.  Aaron is a solid believer - he told me this week that some people don't believe in Santa, but that he totally does.  I am going to watch Miracle on 34th Street again and smile at the beauty of his belief in magic.  

found via pinterest…source unknown

December 10, 2013

My Favorite Music of 2013

It's that time of year.  Time to compile a list of the music that makes up the soundtrack of my 2013.  As always, it's not a "best of" list, but rather the music that I've gone back to again and again.  At one point, I thought I'd be able to limit myself to a top 10.  Ha!  Whittling it down to 20 was as hard as ever.  I didn't include some awesome albums.  Langhorne Slim & The Law brings me back to summer.  I love Neko Case's album.  I might listen to that one more if she didn't yell out, "Get the fuck away from me!" during one of the choruses.  Can't really listen to that in front of the kids.  I'm also digging Minor Alps at the moment.  Sarah Jarosz and The Civil Wars are as beautiful as ever.  And I'm still getting to know Daughter, along with many 2012 releases I just discovered this year, like Father John Misty.  So I guess consider those my runners up.

The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Tanya Donelly - Swan Song Series
Kingsley Flood - Battles
Jason Isbell - Southeastern

The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow
Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart
Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In
Josh Ritter - Beast in Its Tracks

The Milk Carton Kids - The Ash & Clay
Dawes - Stories Don't End
The Staves - Dead & Born & Grown
Throwing Muses - Purgatory / Paradise

Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
The Oh Hello's - Through the Deep, Dark Valley
Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow

Dr. Dog - B-Room
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
The Head and the Heart - Let's Be Still
The Avett Brothers - Magpie And The Dandelion

What's your favorite music from this past year?

December 9, 2013

The Hunger Games, Cookies, and Beer

The fabulous Jennifer Lawrence

The title of this post pretty much sums up the weekend.  We did get to see Santa at the library, and the boys attempted to drive me crazy by running and screaming through the house over and over again.  They didn't want to go outside in the cold…come on snow!  I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen, making granola and filling boxes of goodies to send to my siblings for Christmas.  By the end of the day, Kevin and I were both very glad we had lined up a sitter and were able to escape for a bit.  (I love my boys, but containing the ridiculous amount of energy they have can be exhausting.  Breaks are good for all of us.)

We went to see the latest Hunger Games movie.  I think I may've liked it even more than the book, which is rare for me to say about a movie.  All the actors were perfectly cast and put in wonderful performances.  Jena Malone is especially memorable as Joanna.  We also saw the movie in a "premium cinema" that has reserved, large seats, and alcohol.  I may never see a movie anywhere else.

On Sunday, we had some friends over for brunch.  When they left, we were all feeling full and lazy, especially on another cold and dreary day.  Kevin and I didn't feel like being productive, so we decided on a movie afternoon.  What a good call.  Since we were in a Hunger Games mood, we rented the first movie for ourselves and put on The Polar Express for the boys.  The boys and I then decorated Christmas cookies.  It was peaceful…and quiet…and lovely.

December 6, 2013

Joshua Bell and Friends

Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends is the Christmas album I'm adding to my collection this year.  I've been a fan of Joshua Bell for a long time, and I love adding new holiday music to my mix each year.  This is a collection of songs featuring collaborations between Joshua's amazing violin and other musicians, from Kristen Chenowith singing O Holy Night to the a cappella sound effects from Straight No Chaser to Branford Marsalis on his sax.  I like some songs better than others, of course, but the album is worth it for the above song alone.  I'm sorry for the cheesy image montage, but I had to include this one.  It's gorgeous.  Play it and get in the Christmas mood!

December 4, 2013

Recently Read

I've been reading a lot lately.  We've had wide open weekends, and the boys are learning how to occupy themselves.  I have actually picked up a book during the day!  Oh what a wonderful thing that is.  To be able to devour a book.  Here's what I've been reading...

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes.  Oh my.  I may tear up just thinking about it.  I adored this book and could not put it down until it was over.  And then I thought about it for several days after.  I'm not even going to say what it's about.  It's a love story.  And it's heartbreakingly wonderful.

The Mermaid of Brooklyn, by Amy Shearn.  I really wanted to like this book, and overall I'd definitely say it was worth reading.  The first half was really tough, though.  It is the most honest depiction of motherhood I've ever read, and that made it difficult for me to stick with.  Perhaps I am not far enough removed from those days - the bleary-eyed days when you fall asleep doing something, look down and realize you have breast milk leaking through your shirt, yell at your toddler, lock yourself in the bathroom just to get a moment of peace… I'm happy to be beyond that phase, so it was hard to revisit.  But it was a worthy read.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth.  It's a young adult trilogy, so if you liked The Hunger Games and Twilight, you'll like this one too.  I read all three books in less than a week, and that's only because I had to go out and get the last two books.  Extremely addictive and fun.  Similar to The Hunger Games, though, I loved the first book, liked the second, and was disappointed by the third.

December 3, 2013

Giving Thanks...

I've been doing it all week, and it's been wonderful.  I woke up early on Thanksgiving morning to attend a yoga/boot camp class at a yoga studio right down the street from my house.  What a glorious way to start an otherwise gluttonous day.  I earned that cheese!  and wine!  and pie!  As the sun was rising, I was doing my pigeon pose to stretch out my hips after doing what felt like a million squats.  I was ridiculously sore the next day, and it felt so good.  I was reminded to give thanks for my body.  My strong, healthy body that takes me where I need to go and allows me to do everything I want to do.  

The rest of the day was spent in the kitchen, where I cooked a feast.  A fresh turkey from the farm, roasted acorn squash, green beans, salad, garlic and sage mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.  I was reminded to give thanks for good food, and the ability to fill my plate with it.  

Kevin's mom, sisters, and brothers-in-law all came for the day.  We had a wonderful time hanging out, catching up, playing games.  The boys wanted to play numerous rounds of checkers and connect four, and they even got outside for a bit to play football on a really cold day.  Family is what the day is really all about.  My sister-in-law is due to have her first baby any day now, and we give thanks for an uneventful pregnancy so far and hope for a smooth delivery as our family continues to grow.  

The boys and I put together our annual soup can turkey, and he had a lot of feathers this year.  Aaron asked everyone what they were thankful for, and he wrote the answers on each feather.  A nice family, health, good food, Buzz Lightyear, everybody here, Woody, baby Alex, cute boys, good music, a warm house, a nice brother, friends, Uncle John…  A great list of things for which to be thankful.  (Can you tell which are Nathan's contributions?)  

After the big day, we got our Christmas tree and decorated the house.  We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas as we decorated our tree, as we do every year.  And Aaron had Grandma's help making the paper chain for the tree this year.   I'm thankful for traditions, and I'm hopeful that the boys will cherish them as they get older.  

November 26, 2013


It's almost time for my favorite holiday.  A day to say thank you and to be grateful.  What a beautiful day.  We will spend it at home, with Kevin's family.  I just picked up the turkey and some veggies from the farm, and I'm officially in preparation mode.  I went to Costco yesterday, and they had these big beautiful pomegranates, so there's our centerpiece.  (Pomegranates are so beautiful, and the boys love them.)  I spent an hour and a half in line at the cheese shop this morning, and I'm sure I got too much as usual.  But oh my goodness the joy and awesomeness in that place!  I haven't hosted the big meal in a while, but I'm excited about it.

My lists often look similar, but that's okay.  It's always good to give thanks.  Here's what I'm thankful for this year:

1.  My boys.  The three of them.  Always.
2.  My family.  They live too far away, and I miss them all the time; but I love them and am so happy I have them.
3.  Friends.  The ones I've known all my life, and the ones I just met.  You can never have too many.
4.  A warm house.  I love our house.  It's old and is a never-ending project, but it's home.
5.  Music.  Learning how to make a little of it myself only strengthens my love of people who create songs.
6.  Food.  Like that big block of Stilton cheese in my fridge.  And pie.  Roasted acorn squash.  Carmelized walnuts.  French toast.  Yummmmmm…..
7.  Books.  There's a seemingly infinite supply.  Lives to experience.  Facts to learn.  Emotions to feel.  I love them.
8.  My slippers, my fleece, my pajama pants, fun socks….clothes that keep me warm and cozy in the wintertime.
9.  A little splash of maple liqueur in my egg nog.
10.  Vacations, travel, and looking forward.

November 21, 2013

Learning and Links...

You know what I love most about my guitar lessons?  It's not the playing, although obviously I love that, and after two lessons I have already picked up some tips that have improved my technique.  It's learning about music.  The language and structure of music.  Learning how chords are built, and the structure they take on.  Learning the notes that are in each key.  I've been a singer all my life, and I know how to read music, but I never learned to understand it.  I never took instrument lessons and therefore was never forced to practice scales and build each chord one note at a time.  That's why I've never been able to advance beyond "beginner" at piano or guitar.  I'm going back to do this now, and I'm so excited to be doing it.  Learning is fun.

I'm enjoying a nice, if quiet, week.  Lots of time at school - tomorrow I will spend the morning doing experiments and observations with cranberries with Aaron's first grade class (and I can't wait!).  Lots of time thinking about next week - the menu is pretty much set although I want to ask Kevin his opinion on a couple sides.  Lots of time reading, exercising, cleaning, errands, and doing all the other tasks that make up a lot of my days.  I find I am content with this little life of mine.

Here are a few other things I've run across this week...

One of the best ads I've ever seen.  I never go into Toys 'R Us.  I did once, many years ago, and I was so saddened by the "pink" aisle and the "everything else" aisles.  I will never go back.

Are you right-brained or left-brained?  A quick and interesting quiz.  I'm not sure I agree with the results, though.  It says I'm right-brained, and I've always thought of myself as more of a left-brained person.  (Even though we all know that's a bunch of crap anyway.)

Yet another of my favorite classic albums turns 20.    This time, it's Belly's Star.  This is an interview with Tanya Donelly, who remains a fave.

The busy trap.  Another good article reminding us that it's more important to experience and ruminate about life than it is to stay busy all the time.

A great holiday dessert recipe - spiced pumpkin pie with candied hazelnuts and eggnog cream.  I keep shaking my head…how have I never made eggnog whipped cream before?  It sounds fabulous!

November 20, 2013

Wish List...

Even though we're not doing a gift exchange this year, it's hard not to think about what would make up my wish list.  It's okay to want things, right?  I also always end up getting Kevin something, because I think we should each have a little something under the tree.  It's just more fun that way.  So just in case he decides to reciprocate, I thought I'd share a few of the things I'm wanting right now.  My birthday is in just a few months too, so here are some early ideas.

Perfume.  I need a new scent, and I'm thinking I'd like to try Nectarine Blossom & Honey by Jo Malone.

Wallet.  The wallet I'm using right now was purchased in one of those little side-street shops in NYC, where they pull you off the street into a dark little room stuffed with knock-off bags.  (Mine is a "Coach" wallet.)  I got it at least 15 years ago.   My mom actually stitched it up a couple years ago to extend its life, but it's falling apart again.  It's time for a new one.

Art.  I want more of it in our house.  And I don't want to wait until I know the exact spot for it.  Photographs, posters, paintings…  I just want to collect beautiful things and figure out where they go later.

Daytrotter Membership.  Access to concerts and albums by new bands and favorites.  Yes please.

Records.  Classics I'd love to own include The Real Ramona (Throwing Muses) and August & Everything After (The Counting Crows).  But there's a lot I'd love to have on vinyl.  Some Christmas music would be fun to have too.

Le Creuset dutch oven.  Or a cast iron skillet.  Two items I'd love to add to my kitchen.

I finally got myself a rain coat, but I still need a pair of rain boots.

And workout clothes.  I'm exercising often enough that I could use a few additional items.  Like this maybe.  Or this.  Or this.  Basics.   I could probably use a new pair of shoes too, but I suppose I'd have to try those on myself.

What's on your wish list?

November 18, 2013

At This Moment...

…It's the middle of a Monday morning, and I'm eating a pumpkin chocolate-chip cookie.  We made them over the weekend, and they are great.  I'm going to help in the library at school in a bit, so lunch will be late today.  A couple cookies will tide me over.

…I'm pretty much done Christmas shopping.  In our house, Santa brings one main present for each of the boys, and he fills their stockings.  Done and done.  I'll wait to do the wrapping in December with Little Women or A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life.  We aren't doing any gift exchanges amongst adults this year.  Keep it simple, everyone.

…No gift exchanges, although I am still planning on sending my mom and siblings a little something homemade again this year.  I should think about when I'm going to do that.

…My fingers are sore.  I had my first guitar lesson last week, and I'm trying to be diligent about practicing.  Preparing for lessons #2.  Yay!

…My to-do list today looks like this:  dentist, volunteer at school library, 3 loads of laundry, pay a few bills, sweep downstairs, clean upstairs bathrooms.  In addition to the usual dishes, cooking, and hanging with the boys.  That's a good, full day.

…I feel pretty good.  My cold is totally gone now, and I've gotten good sleep lately.  It's amazing how much a good night's sleep can improve how I feel.

…I have my music on shuffle right now, and it's fun to be surprised.  Playing music from the computer is especially surprising, because it contains my entire music collection.  (Which reminds me, I should back up the computer today.)  The morning's playlist has included The Milk Carton Kids, Trampled by Turtles, Lucinda Williams, Radiohead, The Lemonheads…  At this moment, it's Madonna.

…It's kind of warm and muggy today, but the cold will be back tomorrow.  I'm ready for it.  Thanksgiving is next week!  I want chilly outside so we can be cozy inside.

November 15, 2013

Recently Read - A Couple Classics

A few months back, someone in my Facebook feed (my nephew?) made a general comment about books, and he inadvertently started a discussion in the comments about the greatest classics and favorite novels.  It's fun when that happens.  In that discussion, my brother said that one of his favorites was The Count of Monte Cristo, and I confessed that I had never read it.  It inspired me to pick up a copy and give it a read.  As promised, it was wonderful!

I'm not really sure what inspired my husband to re-read The Catcher in the Rye, but he did.  When he finished, I realized that I didn't really remember the book very well.  Had I actually read it back in high school, or did I skim the cliff's notes before the test?  Who knows?  Either way, it didn't resonate with me back then.  I read it again (or for the first time…I can't remember), and I really enjoyed it.  I can understand why teenagers find it refreshing - the simple use of language, the rambling thoughts and honesty of Holden Caulfield…  But I found it much more compelling as an adult.

Have you gone back and read (or re-read) any classics as an adult?  It's fun to do.  I read To Kill a Mockingbird last year, and although I loved it when I was in high school, I struggled to get through it this time around.   My favorite is probably East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.  I'm going to go back to working through the giant stack of unread books on my nightstand, but then I may have to pick up a couple other classics from my shelves.  Pride and Prejudice, The Brothers Karamozov, A Tale of Two Cities…  Do you have a favorite?

November 13, 2013

Sounds From Our House...

"But Mom, what can I do?  I want to do something." - Aaron

"I DON'T WANT TO WEAR PANTS!!"  (He screams, as he watches the snow outside.)
"I'm not mad at you anymore."  (He tells me after school, wearing his pants.) - Nathan

"Mom, Aaron pushed me!"  "Well, he was annoying me!"  "Yeah but you shouldn't push people!"  "Well, whatever.  Sorry!"

"Mom, you don't even need a radio anymore, because I know how to play the piano now." - Aaron
(This week's music selection includes Yankee Doodle and Jingle Bells.  And really, what more do I need?)

"What's for dinner, Mom?"  "Fried bugs and onions."  "EWWWWW!  Gross!"  "No, really?" "Okay….pizza."  "YAY!"

"F-R-I-E-N-D.  That's too easy, give me a hard one.  S-P-E-C-I-A-L.   Okay, wanna do math now?"
- Aaron
"Mom, make a word for me!  P-L-A-N-T.  Plant!" - Nathan  (Reading words on the magnetic board by our table.)

"2+2 is 4, 5+5 is 10, 10+10 is 20.  Did you know I knew all that?" - Nathan

"But why do I have to take a shower?  I don't want to take a shower!" - Aaron

"Nathan, do you know how much I love you?"  "A million a cazillion billion trillion willion times a billion."  "Yep."

"Mom, come up and check on me in an hour."  "Why?"  "Because I will want another hug!"  "Okay."

November 12, 2013

Weekend Recap

Winter is coming.  As we ate breakfast this morning, the rain turned over to big fat snowflakes, and I got excited thinking about the coming season.  Of course, it also meant that I had to make Nathan wear pants today, so he trudged off to school this morning with an epic pout on his face.  He's mad at me, and that's okay.

The weekend was pretty good.  I am fighting a cold, so all I really wanted to do was sit on the couch.  I worked in the yard, raking and planting, for a few hours Saturday morning, but then I ventured back inside and enjoyed several hours in front of the fireplace.  I read an entire book!  I can't remember the last time I did that.  Thank you, Kevin, for keeping the boys occupied all afternoon and allowing me that luxury.  The boys stayed outside helping dad dig holes and plant bushes.  They love to help.  

That night, Kevin and I went out to dinner and a movie.  We saw Gravity in 3D.  Now, I am prone to motion sickness, and I generally hate 3D movies - those glasses are so annoying and hurt my head after a while.  But I can honestly say that I am happy I saw this movie on the big screen in 3D.  It was totally worth it, and it was so intense that I never once thought about the glasses at all.  If you can see this one on the big screen, do it.

Sunday included brunch with friends and more working in the yard.  I then cooked up a big pot of this minestrone, which I very much enjoyed and the boys very much hated.  I guess I know what I'm having for lunch the rest of the week.  It's really good, though.  I used some of my homemade walnut pesto from the freezer, and it adds just the right flavor.  I also used up the last of the kale from the garden - I think the garden is officially done now.

Monday was a holiday, so the kids and I enjoyed an extra day at home.  We planted our tulip bulbs, fed our jack o'lanterns to the pigs at the farm, played on the playground, practiced piano and guitar, rode bikes, went to swim lessons, and wrote some letters/postcards.  

Overall, it was a good weekend, despite my annoying cold.  I'm appreciating a bit of silence now, and soon I'm going to dive into the week's to-do list.   

Have a great week!

November 8, 2013

A Few Things...

Happy Friday!  First….I encourage you to hit play on the tiny desk concert above.  I'm just getting to know Daughter myself.  Listen while you read.

It's been a good, and quiet, week.  Our door project is on hold, which is frustrating, but the break has been good too.  Now let's hope it gets done next week.  

I mostly exercise at home these days.  The best time for me to do it is first thing in the morning, and the boys are here, so I no longer belong to a gym.  Sometimes I go for walks, but I admit I don't like doing this when the weather is cold.  Anyway….I exercise at home.  I recently discovered a great site on YouTube.  (There's a lot of great stuff out there!)  Awesome, challenging workouts, and new ones posted every week.  So I am feeling my butt and shoulders today and feel great!  

Date night tomorrow night.  Thinking of seeing Gravity, as it seems like a movie that should be seen in the theater.  Have any of you seen it?  

Fun news!  Aaron takes piano, and during each lesson, Nathan and I just hang out.  It occurred to me - or rather, my little sister wondered - that perhaps I should ask if there was a guitar teacher available at the same time.  I did, and there is!  Now of course I will have Nathan with me, so I hope he's okay hanging out and watching.  I'm excited to see if I can make progress and advance a bit.

Here are a few other things I ran across this week:

Laurie Anderson's Farewell to Lou Reed.  This is so beautiful, it made me cry.

This woman was about to go into surgery for a double mastectomy, and this is what she did beforehand.  Reminds me of my awesome cousin Tiffany.  Brave, beautiful women.

Cameron Crowe's list of the greatest rock movies of all time.  I admit I haven't seen many of them.  Have you?

A 4-year-old Girl Asks a Lesbian if She's a Boy or a Girl.  This is worth the ten minutes to watch.  It's not just about gays coming out of the closet.  It's about the hard conversations we all have.  

Another beautiful song.  Glen Hansard covers a Bruce Springsteen song, with help from Eddie Vedder.    

Eddie and Glen, by Zoran Orlic, via Rolling Stone 

November 5, 2013


Boston photos by Meg Fee

Life is good.  We are all healthy and happy and learning and thriving and having fun.  I'm totally settled into this life at home, content with the cleaning and cooking and school drop-offs and errands and after-school activities.  Sometimes I think that every week starts to look the same after a while, but I remind myself that the same was true when I was going into the office.  Routines are not a bad thing, but it's important to break them up as well.  I work to plan ahead for date nights and meals with friends and family outings and holiday activities and vacations, and I try to add little surprises every now and then ("Let's go for ice cream before piano today!")… these provide the contrast to the everyday.   

When everything is cruising along like this, my inner pessimist starts to make noise, wondering when the other shoe will drop.  What is going to happen to shake things up?  I can't stop this voice entirely, but I remind myself how to balance it out.  Aaron's homework assignment yesterday was to write about five things for which he is thankful.  (There's no doubt in my mind…Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever.)  Anyway, after I reminded him what thankful meant, I was interested to see what he would include.  Here's what he wrote:

1.  I am thankful that I have a lovely family.
2.  I am thankful that I have good food.
3.  I am thankful that I have a nice brother.
4.  I am thankful that I have a baseball field in my back yard.
5.  I am thankful that I have a lot of good friends.

Yes, as I said…life is most definitely good.


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