Thursday, January 19, 2017

I LOVE LISTS



1. How beautiful is this vintage-filled home? There are so many creative elements and visually fun surprises here.

2. The Year in Pictures 2016 from the NY Times and the best of 2016 from Pete Souza, White House photographer

3. I should maybe spend the rest of winter cooking all these casseroles.

4. This is not a link but a public service announcement  - did you know Spotify has audiobooks?! Under "Browse" go to "Genres & Moods" and find the "Word" section. I was positively filled with glee when I discovered this.

5. And this is more of a warning: don't make these Cacio e Pepe Chips , you won't be able to stop.

6. What makes you grow according to Mari Andrew

7.  I am definitely doing this whole roasted cauliflower.

8.  Oh geez, am I going to end up getting one of these? Nooooooooo...but yes?

9. I have been a huge fan of Brittany Jepson of The House That Lars Built for a while. I love paper, I love making things with paper, and she does the most amazing things with the medium. I'm always inspired when I see her projects. Here is her roundup of the 10 most popular posts of 2016 - all paper related! I can't wait to try making this DIY paper leaf garland.

10. Iris, the documentary about Iris Apfel is on Netflix right now. I found it very inspiring.




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

HANDMADE KNIT HATS


I just want to take a moment to brag about my friend Laura's knitting prowess. She made these perfect little winter wool hats for Sloane and Logan and they are exactly what we needed to get through the rest of winter. Logan's has a button to clasp around her chin and Sloane's has two strings to tie or dangle free, whatever she chooses. Sloane put hers on for our trip to Silver Spring this past weekend and didn't want to take it off during the whole car ride up.  They are adorable and they keep these two precious heads warm. Thank you Laura! 



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

VISITING SILVER SPRING (VIDEO!)




We went up to visit my sister this past weekend and I made a little video of our time together. We got to see my sister and brother-in-law's new place! We went duckpin bowling! And most importantly, my parents are here! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

LOVE IS PATIENT V. 2



I'm thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. today

I'm also thinking about patience. And how these days (like those days three years ago) love is patient. 

Most days, I get to patient by first walking down the lane of perspective (this is all too temporary!) and then stopping to marvel at the view that is gratitude (the view is stunning!). I am wealthy beyond what I deserve. Wealthy in love, but also wealthy in terms of running water and heat and access to good food. It takes me less than a few seconds to access water for all of my water-related desires. The time I save from not having to walk to a river or well for my water - I can use it towards patience. 

These days, patience means a daily surrender of my own agenda.  On a bad day, when there are more tasks than I have arms or mind for, I feel a sort of resentment bubbling up in me. When I investigate, I discover it's a voice saying, "I want to be selfish!" It catches me by surprise.  Ohhh. The reason why I feel cranky right now is because I didn't sleep well, it has been a long and hard day at work, there was traffic coming home, Lola won't let me pee in the bathroom by myself, both girls are hungry, I'm hungry but I'm probably not going to be able to eat until later,  I'm running around trying to placate, instruct, feed, clean, and in 30 minutes it's going to be bed time. When am I going to be able to sit down? Where is Ken? I want to be selfish!"  With that realization, I come face to face with my limitations. And even as that is disheartening, I immediately feel relieved.  The closer I am to my limits, the closer I am to God. 

Somedays, patience is one more chance. It's tempering a sharp tone. It is one thing at a time. It is not stamping my feet. I don't just love my kids and my husband by gushing at them with hugs and loving words. I love them by holding back the harsh words, and by giving them space when I want to micromanage or scold out of a need to control. 

When I practice patience out of love, I find that it sprouts seedlings of other things. Like wisdom. And being able to put down an ego-based want and voicing a vulnerable need. 

So on the days we are fortunate, love is patiently sitting together at the end of a long day to look at each other's faces, listening, checking inside ears for ear wax, and practicing wearing each other's hearts. 








Friday, January 13, 2017

PLAYING IN THE SNOW



On Sunday, the snow still covered the ground, and we we ventured out in our gear. 
Four people + four people's worth of snow gear = it takes a while to get out the door. 




Logan was unsure of how to navigate the new world, and she stood for long moments just gazing out into the white landscape.



Sloane tried to help show her sister what this snow business was all about. "Look, feel it!" 



Rusty, of course, was in his element. He is happiest and most youthful when it snows. 





Sloane trying to have a gentle snow ball fight with her sister.



And then Ken got in it.....and nailed Logan in the face! 


She was NOT happy.  Don't worry, she was rescued and reconciled. 











Afterwards, we all took a short walk through the snow, made some snow angels, and then shuffled back inside to get cozy again. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SNOW DAY (VIDEO)!




After a cozy morning in, we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with friends who came over to spend the snow day together. Ken had plans to do a day trip to northern Virginia with some guy friends but when snow prevented them from driving up, the even better thing was to spend it with families. There was grilled cheese, tomato soup, big salads, sound of music, dress-up, playing in the snow, working out, cocktails, Chinese take-out for dinner, and the guys even got in a long soak in the hot tub (with a snow dip in the middle!).  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

SNOWY MORNING



We woke up to snow on Saturday morning! It's magic when it snows. The world outside the window is transformed, as if you were transported while you were sleeping to a new land where everything is covered in white. There is a hum in the air: what new thing will happen today? The potential of the day seems different. I recognize and appreciate this, especially with young kids whose amazement is utterly contagious, as long as I can cozy up indoors and watch the white world from the inside. I could (and would prefer to) live in a place with zero snow and find magic moments elsewhere, but here I am, and here I am soaking in this kind of magic.  Sloane was alight with excitement as soon as she saw the snow in the morning and immediately wanted to go outside, but I insisted on breakfast first and held her and Lola at bay with pancakes. We spent most of the morning indoors in our pajamas, eating countless amount of pancakes with turkey bacon, cleaning the house, and gazing outdoors.


I just can't get enough of those pigtails. They start off as little bun ears in the morning and then by evening they turn into these sprouts.


I've been using this recipe for pancakes these days (without the sugar) and it is a hit. 



Maybe due to having a short person complex, Lola loves standing on top of things. 



They spotted Ken outside


Surveying the snow covered land outside.


Then Sloane got a chair too, so they could look out the window together for a long while.


The best.





Thursday, January 5, 2017

WINTER PHOTOS WITH THE AGABAS



If you've been following along for any time you know how much I love our friends, the Agabas. It has been so fun capturing special life moments with them, and these are the most recent ones with the addition of their newest darling, Etta Mae. It is amazing when I look at photos we did with Etta Mae as a baby bump back in March and then a few months later when we welcomed her with photos in May. Look at the little light she is now!




You guys, I held this darling girl when she was first born! And then she turned one, and now she is a full-fledged threenager: sweet, spunky, passionate, and smart as a whip.