Monday, December 5, 2016

SHARON AND PAUL'S WEDDING PHOTOS


I want to share some photos from my sister's wedding back in July. The whole family gathered in NYC for the event and it was one of my favorite things about  this past year because we were all together for such good reason. We love Sharon and Paul and were so happy to have a reason to celebrate them.

The wedding was at The Jane Hotel, specifically Cafe Gitane, and everything was beautiful and meaningful. Here are some of my favorite photos from the ones my sister sent us last week.






























Friday, December 2, 2016

QUESTIONS WITH SLOANE AND LOGAN - VIDEO




 I sat the girls down the other day for an interview -  it was mostly with the intent to ask just Sloane a few questions but Logan seemed like she wanted to participate, so she got in on it too - and I made a little video. *I think it's worth noting that Sloane's answers to these questions vary every day. It makes it fun to ask her these questions often, to see how these answers change from even one day to the next. That firefighter one has stuck around for a couple of months now though. 

These days I am reveling in the time I get to spend with Sloane and Logan at their respective ages - they are amazing!

And a video from last year's Christmas (when Logan was just a tiny mushroom!) here

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GETTING COZY FOR THE HOLIDAYS




I've had a weary couple of days back to reality but I have plans for a big bowl of spaghetti for dinner so I am feeling like I may make it through the week after all. Also, each day after work I can look forward to picking up my daughters and seeing their chub little faces, and then going back to our home together, which is feeling more and more like a cozy cove. That was part of the plan you know, in order to fortify myself and ensure survival through the winter, to make our home feel warm and filled with holiday cheer. This cheer has to last us through all of December and January. First, because my parents are coming in January and we've decided that we are going to celebrate Christmas together this year in January with 12 days of celebratory huzzah, and second, because it helps my mental state to divide up the winter this way. Two months of cozy holiday in December and January, and then I'll have to come up with something for February and March. Then all of April will be for hoping.


You know what really helped kick off this feeling of getting ready for the holidays? In large part it was the meal that my sister Eunice cooked for us when she came to visit last week. She declared hat she was going to cook us dinner one evening, an offer I gladly accepted and became very excited about when she said she was cooking two recipes from Mimi Thorisson's cookbook. If you don't know about Mimi Thorisson, you are welcome. My sister Eunice told me about her and she is a lovely lady who lives in the countryside of France, in a gorgeous farmhouse, with children and dogs running about, a garden from which she cooks and bakes seasonally, and her husband who happens to be an amazing photographer. Check out her website here if you want to see. Thanks to Eunice's cooking, I have had my belly and senses filled with Mimi's winter cocotte and potato pie, and I am all the better for it.

The meal took time, but I didn't mind as the kitchen filled with good smells and we hung around the kitchen island talking, drinking wine and watching the girls play. This sort of activity is one of my favorites so I was already in a good mood, and also very hungry by the time we sat down to eat. It was delicious; the meal felt like two arms welcoming me into the bosom of winter cozy, or hygge, as the Danish would say.





This winter cocotte dish had chestnuts, pumpkin, parsnip, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onion, bacon cooked in red wine and stock, topped with butter and parsley. I ate several bowls of it alongside white wine and numerous pieces of buttered baguette topped with olive spread.


                            The recipe for the winter cocotte & the recipe for the potato pie


We punctuated the end of Thanksgiving break by making these holiday themed sugar cookies. These are stained-glass cookies that are particularly dear to our hearts because we used to make them when we were young. We have the best memories of making and eating these cookies together. 

Sloane helped Eunice bake the cookies and they turned out beautifully. That evening, Sloane, Eunice, and I finished decorating the Christmas tree, and sat by its lights as we had tea with cookies, listened to Christmas music, and made paper snowflakes. It was the perfect way to be together and get ready for the season. 










Monday, November 28, 2016

OH CHRISTMAS TREE


I had a very relaxing past few days. Unexpected and very much needed. My sister was here, which always helps everything. And then for Thanksgiving, Ken prepped and cooked everything, friends brought dessert, and one of our guests did the dishes, allowing me to have moments to sit and relax, not worry about to-do lists and have time to sit on the floor with the girls. The pace of everything was slow and meandering, and it really helped that the people that came through and those who stayed with us seemed to be of the same mind. 

It felt very natural to embrace the holiday spirit with my sister here. We missed our cousins and our families, but thought of them while we maximized our time together. We ate and ate, played Christmas music constantly and the day after Thanksgiving, we went and got our Christmas tree. I had resisted Ken's plea for an artificial tree for the past few years, but this year I relented and we got a spindly little thing at Home Depot. It was all of $40 to last us for many years to come, and it looks to me to be filled with pluck. As if it saying, 'I can be good as any of them!' 

Sloane was beside herself with excitement, and begged to start decorating the tree by herself while I finished up in the kitchen. A few minutes later, I poked my head in to check in on her and saw her and Logan decorating with the utmost concentration and seriousness. She had almost finished putting up all of the ornaments, on the lower half of the tree of course, and Logan was enthusiastically "helping". I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and snapping these photos.