21 December, 2008

happy hearts, warm home, long night

Tonight we celebrate the Winter Solstice. It is a time that we focus on our family in a simple and nurturing way. We turned down invitations for holiday gatherings tonight, so we can provide a calm presence for our children during the rushed madness that always seems to be the holidays around us. What does this mean? Warms cups of soup, making popcorn strands for the winter angels outside and snowflakes for our home, quiet games and stories, cuddling by the fire, and finding joy in our health and happiness during this longest night of the year. This coming week we will continue to celebrate Christmas with our loved ones around us, but I think it will always be this night I love best. I see it as an opportunity to create our own traditions and enjoy the season in the way I love best - with love and simplicity.

19 December, 2008

Taking care of myself

Over at Simplemom, she is having a giveaway that is reminding me to take care of myself and at this time of year, this can be difficult to do.  When I was in high school, I started a tradition of buying myself a little something at this time of year, just for me.  Maybe a journal or a sweet print that I found at just that right moment and no one else would know I wanted it.  I didn't allow myself to feel guilty or say "I should save that money for...".  I really don't carry on that tradition any longer.  In this tough economic time, I do find myself saving that extra cash for something or somebody else.  Now I think I give to myself by finding the time to care for myself.  Taking that little extra moment to go for a brisk walk or put myself to bed earlier than normal and allowing that chore to remain until tomorrow.  I have found this hard to do this year and appreciate the reminders that it is important to take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Guilt-free.

30 November, 2008

Now let's see if I can live up to this!

You Are An INFJ
The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener with almost infinite patience.
You have complex feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.
You enjoy relationships when they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.
You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

28 November, 2008

I bought nothing today

I resisted and succeeded.  I bought nothing.  Not even milk and we need it.  Tomorrow I will need to head out to Costco for a big shopping trip, but today, nothing.  I feel good about it.  I wasn't even tempted.  The thought of people getting up to be at a store by 4 am to shop, sounds like an absolute nightmare to me.  Instead, I stayed home and enjoyed time with my family.  A day off, just the way I like it.  I want to invite you to consider the idea of living by The Compact.  I do not follow it completely, but I do try and strive for this idea of only buying what we need.  What better way to try and heal what damage our earth has already been dealt, and to stop any further damage we could do.  

23 November, 2008

Homemade Holiday Links

Whether you are always in the spirit of making gifts for the holidays or find yourself in a tight spot this year, I have found some ideas for a holiday from scratch.  I think this allows us to dwell on what this time of year is really about and be thankful for what we have and are able to create.
  • Looking for fun gifts for your kids - check out these ideas for felt boards.  I love the idea of making theme sets - holidays, three bears, little red hen, very hungry caterpillar, etc.
  • Photobooks are always appreciated.  Make your own or order from your favorite site - some ideas could be an alphabet book for the kiddos using their personal faves, or putting together a personal recipe book of family favorites.
  • Check out this list of found ideas from nea over at What's in a name?  I particularly love the recipes from Whole Foods - cinnamon pancakes anyone?  Yummy.
  • Also, check out nea's set of wooden blocks she made for her son.  It seems that a set of basic wooden blocks can entertain kids for hours.
  • Kids into building? Be green and reuse old cereal boxes, oatmeal containers, toilet paper rolls, etc by wrapping them in plain colored paper to make big cardboard blocks.
  • I couldn't leave out the crockpot.  Yes, the crockpot lady has figured out how to make candles in the crockpot.  Who knows what she'll think of next.
  • Know someone with kids living in a small space?  This easy to use and easy to store puppet theatre in the doorway is a great gift with a set of puppets.  Even better make your own easy puppets or give the family a materials to make their own sock puppets.  
  • I will never forget the sweet and tangy flavor limoncello from our trip to Italy - try out this lovely recipe from Sunset and maybe bottle it up for your favorite holiday hostess or fellow lover of all things Italian.
  • And, lastly I love this idea from Martha Claus and her elves, to sew these adorable leaf motif pillows for someone.

07 November, 2008

Halloween (one week late)

Pumpkin time with Mama.

Trying to pose in Halloween garb.

Quickly got the hang of it.

Okay, I finally posted some photos.  I will add more later because I am not able to upload all the photos right now.  Amongst all the hope and disappointment that everyone if feeling, I find myself pulling inward and focusing on what is most important for me, my girls.  Whatever rights I have or don't have right now will not take away the love, strength, compassion, tolerance, endurance, and passion, that exist in our home.  Who else could teach this to me, but our two toddlers.  Patience and faith is not only being tested outside our walls, but inside, as well, as we continue to struggle with sleep, behavior, and potty issues.  Sound familiar to anyone?  Yes, we will overcome.  Political really is personal, isn't it?  

04 November, 2008


This is our moment. This is our time –to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people.
- President-Elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

I will finally allow myself to feel hope.  Tonight I felt awe.  Complete and utter awe at where our nation has come to and at the healing that can now begin after this past 8 years.  Let us celebrate tonight and allow ourselves to feel proud of who we are and who we can be.