Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Toys this Year

I am trying to calm my spirit and the mood of our home to the quiet of the Advent season. The weather has finally obliged by turning cold with sometimes darker skies, the retail business has not.

We are crafting as we think of the people we love and how to offer them something special this season. I am talking a lot with the older children about the value of a gift that you make with your own hands; be it a hat, an ornament or a song you play. I also try to move us away from the gimmies and the pursuit of catalogs to make room in our hearts for compassion, peace and celebration. Arthur has already wrapped up a box of candles he made with love and Alienor has been making a present for her sister.

As we look forward to the coming Solstice, when the darkest part of the year gives way to the light of renewed hope and a new day, I am sharing a series of photos of some of the toys we have made (or remodeled, as my childhood doll house). More will come, as I capture (literally and on film) the many dolls hiding around the house. 

What are you doing this season?


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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Road Trip

I quickly posted photos a few weeks ago from our two days of partial camping road trips. The plan was to camp, but when the forecast said 29 degrees overnight, we chickened out. Or at least the parents did, the kids decided to camp out anyway...on the trampoline in the back yard. They loved it, they all ended up in a great big pile in the middle, keeping each other warm if not comfortable.

The whole two days were glorious. I was interpreting in court in the morning and gazing at the Mississippi from the wooded hills in the afternoon. Skirt, stockings and heels in front of a judge... to jeans and tennies with my whole family out in the woods in 3 hours. I kept thinking; "this morning I was at work!" Then I forgot about work and home and just had fun tramping around and exploring, marveling at the fantastic views of the Mississippi River from Pike's Peak State Park or Pallisades Park.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Salute to Parents Everywhere

At 6:30am at the grocery store this morning, I saw both mothers and fathers, checking through quickly with bread, fruit, diapers, milk (we all had milk, I was toting three different sorts). Clearly we had somewhere else to be, some of us were dressed for work, some just rolled out of bed. Here we were, dashing out to make sure our babies were fed and taken care of. As I was pulling out of my parking space, there came one father holding the hands of three toddlers with a smile on his face; incredible!

Sure, it would be better if we'd remembered at a more convenient time that there was nothing in the fridge for breakfast, school lunches, etc., but perfection is so last season, and as elusive as the end of the rainbow. It's not worth beating yourself up about. Don't forget that it is not in the moments of glory, your kid's graduation from or the gifts you give, even if it is a car, that we excel as parents. 

It is in the day-to-day dedication to doing what needs to be done, the repeated vow to try harder, understand more deeply and be the best mother or father we can be at each moment. You're buying bologna at 5am dressed in sweats, flip-flops and your winter coat covering it all up? Give yourself a high five, you're doing it, friend!