Christmas break 2020

Today was the first day back to work and school following the break, and absolutely no one felt ready. Actually, I thought that I was at peace with it and Kristin thought that it would be awful, but then today came and went and Kristin was celebrating the fact that she got through the day and it wasn’t terrible, and I on the other hand found myself really craving the freedom to sit in front of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle for hours (the one that I started several days ago and have yet to finish). The kids moaned about school but actually seemed fine when the time came (Jonah actually seemed very enthusiastic about a new student teacher in his class when he learned that they share a love for the Harry Potter books).

Around 2:30 this afternoon Jonah asked me to build a fire because he wanted to work on LEGOs in front of it, and Jude and Vivi curled up with their audiobooks and I could tell that we were all wishing we had a little more unstructured time left.

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On Christmas, time, and a complicated relationship with belongings

I’ve been feeling more grinchy than usual this season and I’m not really sure why; I love Christmas. Last year I remember feeling very on top of all of my prep: I had ample gift ideas for everyone, some of my shopping was done and my Christmas cards were ready to mail by Thanksgiving weekend. This year I feel very behind the curve despite having put up our tree on November 27th. I’ve felt guilty and overwhelmed by the things I have yet to do, and a part of me feels like there’s no good excuse. It’s not as if we’ve been busy going anywhere or doing anything. Kristin wisely pointed out that I also have absolutely no alone time, and that puts a serious crimp in my ability to think and plan and feel inspired. I put the lights up on the roofline in early November because it was warm out, but somehow it still feels like I’m moving through something viscous.

Thinking about everything I have yet to do has felt overwhelming rather than exciting. Vivienne has been dying to bake cookies and as we approached this weekend (when I’d promised to do it) it just felt like a messy chore on my to-do list rather than a fun seasonal tradition. Then I felt guilty and awful for feeling that way and the spiral deepened.

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Halloween 2020 – The Neverending Story

2020 has clearly been the spookiest year even without embellishment, but the thought of Halloween not happening this year because of COVID was pretty crushing for me. Halloween was my favorite holiday growing up, and it could be argued that I’ve carried more traditions down for that holiday than for any others. For awhile it seemed like trick-or-treating might not happen, but I began costumes in earnest in September because I needed to hang onto something.

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Optical Illusion DIY Valentines

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For the last year or so I’ve enjoyed making the kids’ valentines for school. I realize the kids who will receive these don’t care one bit that they’re DIY. In fact, last year some asshole kindergartener told Jonah that he didn’t like his because they didn’t include candy. You know what, you ungrateful twit? None of the valentines I got from classmates in elementary school involved candy. That’s not a prerequisite. I realize that sounds like a segue into…”so this year we included lollipops…” but it really had nothing to do with that. I had a total of two fun DIY valentine ideas (both inspired by the same blogger) and this is the second one. Next year I may be fresh out of ideas. Continue reading

Creative energy – holiday edition

Kristin often seems bewildered by my desire to be doing something so much of the time. It’s not as if we have oodles of time to spare, but I get fidgety quickly when I have too much time and nothing to fill it. Not only that, but I’ve discovered that time actually seems to slow down a bit when I’m doing something creative. I recently wrapped up a photo editing class and have been excited to dive into some new things.

Last weekend I had all sorts of creative plans but wasn’t sure any of them would pan out the way I’d envisioned. This time of year one of my favorite things is always taking and choosing a photo and designing our Christmas cards. My sister and I always share notes and screenshots and plans because we’re equally bonkers when it comes to early holiday planning, and because we’ve both mailed cards without fail for years and years. Hers is always one I’m most excited to receive, because I know she loves the whole thing as much as I do. A month ago we attempted family photos when they were in town staying with my parents, but we had marginally uncooperative kids and finicky weather that weekend and nothing spectacular came of it. Continue reading

Halloween 2019

I was so on top of Halloween this year. I knew that I was going to have more than usual on my plate this month (I promise to write about Pecha Kucha soon, because it was amazing), so I got an early start and finished a couple of weeks early. The weather forecast for Halloween isn’t looking good but today was gorgeous, so I told the kids that I wanted to take costume photos today just in case it’s pouring on Thursday. Continue reading

For all of the mothers in our village

Mother’s Day isn’t a holiday that we often mark with huge fanfare or extraordinary plans, mostly due to the fact that the adults in this family are both mothers and our idea of a great day involves more relaxing and less planning for someone else. That said, motherhood is a deeply important part of my identity; probably the most important part, so I do a lot of reflecting this time of year on how grateful I am to be living this life. Continue reading

Everyday magic

Easter weekend arrived and it feels like spring is finally here. Saturday was full of all kinds of beauty, most of which I didn’t photograph. We started the day with Jonah and I heading off to an Earth Day 5K at the Nature Center. We did it in celebration of his accomplishment of having completed a ten minute run in gym class. I knew that we would likely walk most of it, and we walked nearly all of it, but to my surprise he never complained and actually told me how much fun he was having more than once.

We stopped by the neighborhood hardware store on the way back home and they gave Jonah a cheap plastic kite. He was thrilled and wanted to try it out immediately, so I warned him that sometimes cheap plastic kites don’t work all that well and don’t last a terribly long time, but we walked over to the schoolyard to give it a try. Despite my skepticism, it actually flew quite well and he was over the moon. It was so much fun watching him run back and forth with it (which honestly amazed me after a 5K). Continue reading

Easy DIY photo strip valentines

Valentines Cards 2019

Valentine’s Day has never made my list of favorite holidays, but since having kids it feels like an excellent excuse for thematic crafting. For the past couple of years I’ve picked up some pre-cut hearts and loads of stickers and sequins and markers and let the kids go to town and drop whatever chaos they ended up creating into their classmates’ paper-bag mailboxes. This year the holiday coincided with an irrepressible urge to take on a creative project, so I decided to co-opt their valentines entirely. Continue reading