This is 40

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I turned 40 last week, and I feel really good about it. I still vividly remember when my mom threw my dad an epic 40th birthday party, and someone brought my sister and I to the club she’d rented out for the surprise party so that we could be there to surprise him too. It feels odd to have that vivid memory and to have arrived here personally, because I still feel young in so many ways, but by now I’ve learned that you never feel nearly as much like an adult as younger people might perceive you to be. Continue reading

How do you raise kids to find joy in the ordinary?

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This morning when I dropped Jonah off, he told me that he doesn’t like school. It was the first time this year that I can recall him having said so, and it made me sad. He’s had a surprisingly positive experience in kindergarten so far (and I say “surprisingly” only because I had my doubts about the worksheet- and testing-centric culture of today’s public schools). I asked him what he didn’t like and he told me that it’s too hard (which is also surprising, since he’s whizzing through everything they’re teaching). I assured him that he’s doing great in school and that he can do hard things, which is when he took a turn for the existential and told me that most of the time he can’t find anything fun to do. I inquired as to whether we were still talking about school, but no, now he was talking about life in general. Continue reading

Jonah turns six

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Jonah was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving, exactly a week past his due date. So this year, the year that he turns six, was the first year since that his birthday has fallen on a Saturday.  For some reason that felt meaningful to me this year, though I can’t say why exactly. Every year I feel completely unprepared for our children to suddenly become a year older than they were. I know; it isn’t sudden, it’s a one-day-at-a-time sort of thing.  But it always feels abrupt. Continue reading

Mudroom / Craft Room Renovation

First, can I just say that I really love our house? When I think back to the agony of our long-distance house-hunt, I vaguely remember thinking that it would be amazing to have a mudroom, even just a tiny hallway that could serve as one, but I don’t think that I ever believed that it was likely enough to make it to our formal “wish list.” We were incredibly lucky to find this place, and one of the rooms that has held a lot of promise but mostly felt like a disappointment for the last two years is what the previous owners called the breezeway (despite the fact that it’s a fully indoor, four-seasons room). It’s a remarkably large breezeway, at 10′ x 18′, and I believe the previous owners used it as an office. It connects the garage to the rest of the house, with doors to both the great room and the kitchen.

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Halloween 2019: Space Men & a Mermaid

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Halloween was yesterday and today I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on some of the quirky and challenging things that make me me. In particular the things that come out in high-stakes situations that I value deeply. It’s no secret that I love Halloween. It’s second only to Christmas (and when I was a child it might have actually been first). My mom poured love into every homemade costume, my dad took us trick-or-treating from block to block until late into the night (it always felt like 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. but maybe times have changed? Or maybe 8:00 feels a lot like 10:00 at the end of October when you’re a kid).  Continue reading

Finding our sweet spot

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I feel like I’m getting the hang of this solo-parenting weekends thing. We’ve had so many lovely people checking in on us, offering play-dates, asking if we need anything from the grocery store, but to my surprise we never seem to have much aimless down time – those moments in which the minutes seem to crawl by and you’re wondering what on earth to do with the kids now. Somehow our Saturdays and Sundays have felt rather full, in a good way.  Continue reading

Hitting the creativity wall

For the last week or so I’ve felt like I was ahead of Halloween in a way that felt good. We baked cookies, I bought a few decorations (because for some reason we’ve never had any, and that suddenly felt like a problem I needed to address), I started playing the kids’ Halloween playlist on the way to school on Friday, and I was making what felt like great progress on Vivi’s costume and had a solid plan for the boys. Then tonight I realized that I needed to rip out a seam and move some things, and when I stitched the skirt together one side seemed totally off and I couldn’t figure out how to put in the elastic, so I decided to put it aside and start on Jonah’s costume, only to discover that I bought the wrong color duct tape. Suddenly I was overcome by a wave of panic and felt my confidence slipping away. Continue reading

The first weekend of solo-parenting

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Have I mentioned before that Kristin is doing a yoga teacher training program in Chicago this fall, and that she’ll be gone for nine weekends? I’ve been incredibly anxious about it, and it kicked off this weekend. To be honest it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I had plans Friday night and getting ready for the sitter and getting out of the house was much harder on my own, but the days went by fairly easily for the most part, and the weather has been so cool and beautifully fall-like that I was happy to skip the usual weekend field trips and stay home a bit more. Continue reading