Monday, November 29, 2010

something to think about


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Sunday, November 28, 2010

on top of it

(some random images from our weekend)

Happy first Sunday of Advent!

I don't know about how it goes for you, but in our house, historically, holiday cards are a huge ordeal. Getting the picture done, getting the cards picked out and ordered, addressing them, stuffing, sealing and sending them. In past years, you may be shocked to know, I've resorted to having a babysitter address some of them while the boys were sleeping.

My organized husband has had a 'reminder' in our online calendar since, I think, July, to take a family picture. We just kept moving it forward to do at some future date. Today we finally, finally got it done, and this year, amazingly, it was really fun to do. I would venture to say it was the most fun we've had as a family in a long time. Every time after the shutter snapped, the boys raced over to the tripod to look at the image on the screen (on the back of the camera), and howled with laughter. Okay, so you get the idea that none of the photos were, ahem, fantastic, but at least it was fun, and we got a couple of reasonable shots of everyone. And as a bonus, I did a search for 'discount codes' for the company I ordered our holiday cards from (Tiny Prints) and found an online 'coupon' (code) that saved us almost $20. (Do you know about doing that? I search for discount codes nearly every time before I make an online purchase.)

I was stunned to find in our mail over the weekend a dozen or so holiday cards. I can't believe some of you are so on top of things. At least I can cheerfully think about mine that are now in the process of being printed.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. xoxo Lecia

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday


I almost bought tulips, today. And then decided the clementines in my cart were beauty enough.

Alexi had to work today, alas. The kids and I and Grandma, we read books, and played Uno, and walked the neighborhood, taking in the increasingly subtler tones out of doors. I mailed off some calendars (thank you for your tremendous response!).

This video - a Christmas food court flash mob - is amazing. It brought tears to my eyes.

As I think about the ways in which my life overflows with goodness I want to say I'm thankful, reader, for your friendship. Thank you for taking the time to stop in here, whether it be often or occasionally; whether you say hello or not. You inspire me and fill me with gratitude each and every day. Best wishes for your weekend. xoxo Lecia

Thursday, November 25, 2010

how it went

On the way to hockey games, more often than not, Cal’s dialogue runs something along the lines of: “I hate hockey. Why do I have to go? I don’t want to play. I’m not going. I’m staying in the car.” We get to the rink and he worries about getting his gear on, first! - before his teammates are ready, but once he’s on the ice he’s fine. He looks happy, plays well, and comes off the ice smiling. I realized last night, just like Cal gets pre-game jitters, I get something like pre-Thanksgiving jitters. There is just so much to do, and I worry about it all turning out and being delicious and everyone having a good time. I find myself thinking, ‘Why do I go to all this trouble for a meal? Why? Why can’t I just show up somewhere with a pie?’

I cooked for several hours straight after I woke up this morning, in my pyjamas, and got enough done that we were able to take a long walk. We tromped through the last of the snow. Snowballs flew, fast and furious.

As Alexi and I worked together in the kitchen, first cooking and later cleaning up, we chatted intermittently about Thanksgivings past. This day keeps us connected with the past, the future.

As always, I had the boys make place cards. This year I also had them write out a blessing or poem or reflection to read at the table.

Excerpts:

Cal: “I’m thankful for my stuffies. I like turkey. I like pie. I’m thankful for God. I’m thankful for snow. I’m thankful for the earth. I’m thankful for dogs and cats. I am thankful for shrimp. They can never talk. Amen. Love, Cal”

Abbott: “Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness. Thanksgiving is a time for laughter. Why some do not celebrate it: they are too busy...”

We spent the day with Alexi's mother, here visiting for the holiday, and a cousin of Alexi's and a friend of his who live here. And as the boys played an impromptu after dinner piano concert of Christmas carols after a perfect meal and, really, a perfect day I thought to myself, this is why I go to all this trouble. I love this. Sing choirs of angels, sing in exhaltation! Sleep in heavenly peace. Wherever you are. xoxo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

how it went

Instead of baking and making lists and cooking and cleaning and organizing, I spent the day outside - almost every last daylight minute of it. At times I was cold and preoccupied and bored and worried. But snow in November in Seattle - you just can't turn your back on it. I decided that tomorrow will take care of itself, and so will the day after that, and I sat back and watched and listened to the planning and construction and enjoyment of an elaborate sledding jump, and did my best to avoid snowballs.

Monday, November 22, 2010

in the snow

We woke up to steady snow, after a light dusting yesterday and much anticipation based on the forecasting. The day worked out just about perfectly - we made it to Target and the grocery store before it got icy, and spent the afternoon sledding at home. Tomorrow the boys and I have lots planned for celebrating a milestone birthday of the best man we know. (Happy Birthday Alexi. We love you more than words can express.)

I hope this finds you safe and warm, wherever you are. xoxo

Sunday, November 21, 2010

preparation

So. I've got a huge pile of cookbooks and magazine clippings on the floor beside my chair. Tonight, I need to finish thinking through what we'll have for our Thanksgiving meal. Yes to our traditional favorites - turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberries (in the form of cranberry chutney). There will be something that includes sweet potatoes or squash, a green vegetable, a salad, maybe these biscuits, and a dessert or two. I realized Friday the kids don't have school at all in the upcoming week (don't know how I missed that until then). So, we'll all be doing the shopping, most of it tomorrow. Abbott hates to grocery shop as much as Cal loves it. I'm looking at it as an opportunity to pass on some things I want them to know. There are some things I'm societally obligated to teach, like manners. Other things I feel personally obligated to pass on, like how to choose good produce. When my boys were younger I was very fortunate to have a fair amount of household help. I was amazed to discover one (hard working, energetic, wonderful) young woman who worked for us couldn't fold a fitted sheet, couldn't cut up a melon. That experience left me on the lookout for things I consider basic life lessons - things I want to make sure my boys don't leave home without.

Whether you're traveling or home for Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday week.

xoxo Lecia

Thursday, November 18, 2010

miscellany


For the past day or so, we've been watching four eagles soaring high, high and then, occasionally, diving down. Something must be really excellent about the fishing right now.

As much as I hate to mention holidays out of order, I'm starting to plan for our advent calendar. I wrote a post a couple of years ago about the topic; if you're interested, here's that link. Along the same lines, these advent action cards are fantastic.

Love The Dinner Diaries.

Jan has a great roundup of ornaments.

I mentioned a problem with constantly disappearing scissors; my sister (who has children older than mine) recommended I lock them up, to avoid things like haircuts. Oy! We have managed to avoid that one so far.

Do you wear socks? I never ever do, except when I exercise. I have one pair of smartwool socks I love, that I try to remember to wear to the boys' hockey games; they recently got a hole in them.

I hope your week has been a good one.

Love,
Lecia