Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day

Christmas shared with a 3 and 5 year old is epic.  No shortage of excited shrieking, spontaneous celebratory hand stands, rolling around on the floor in toy euphoria. 

Are you a five year old wanting to look twenty years older?  Boom, just ask Santa for a pair of fake glasses and your wish is granted:

Cleaning up after the swirl of Christmas mayhem - equally epic.  Especially when a numeric value is clearly marked on the extra amount of detritus I'm trying to find a place for in our small home:

Boxing day = purging day.  Out with the old, in with the new.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Telescopes, Santa and Bourbon

Genevieve was pretty sure she saw Santa through the telescope, "maybe still crossing the Atlantic because it was just a flashing blue light":

The tree is piled high with presents:

Stockings stuffed with coal (ho ho ho) just kidding:

Santa has enjoyed her bourbon and cookies:

Enjoy the magic in the morning all!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Progression

Four houses full of cheer.  Cocktails.  Food.  Tacky Christmas outfits.  Caroling.  Friends.  Edison.  We went large in this little town last night.  The party started at the Vallees. 

Pro Secco cocktails, stuffed mushrooms, and smoked salmon crostini Genevieve and Marguerite's:

We caroled our way through town, song list selected by Nell:

Kir, bacon, dates, and photo bombs at Buckminster's:

Sliders, pizza, beer, wine, and Frosty the Snow Man at Nell and Urban's:

  Scallops, more bacon, and gin at Iris and Dennis's:

Full stomachs, strong buzzes, dirty jokes, friendship, laughter, and late bedtimes - the start of an Edison Christmas tradition.  Cheers!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Quote of the Day

Santa:  Do you want to come sit up here with me and tell me what you want for Christmas?
Marguerite:  No.
Santa: Do you want to just tell me from right there?
Marguerite:  Can I yell?
Santa:  Sure.
Santa:  Oh, you know how to ice skate already.

Genevieve:  Santa, I brought you a list because I wanted to give you lots of options, so I made you a super long list.  And I brought my pet dove for you to meet.
Santa:  Wow, this list is as tall as you.
Genevieve:  Actually, it's taller.  And this dove is not real so you'll just have to pretend it's real.

First day of Winter Break, and this is how we're greeted!


We're ready for you Christmas, winter wonderland and all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

Me:  G, what's going on in this picture?

Genevieve:  It's me, thinking about our house, and how it's full of love.  Except I forgot to draw the windows.

How Many More Sleeps?

The tree is trimmed:

The halls are decked:

The Amaryllis and Holiday Cactus are in bloom (disclaimer: I didn't grow them, but bought them in their current glory.  Some things are worth throwing money at).

My favorite Christmas treasure, the heart shaped lump of coal found by my parents on an Alaskan beach, has it's place on the window sill:

The countdown begins for these sisters.  Every night, same question.  How many more sleeps until Santa is here?

Putting it in Writing

Genevieve's new found world of literacy is a mixed bag.  On one hand, there are moments like this that make my heart fill with joy:

And then there are moments like this, her wish list to Santa:

That's right.  My five year old wants a puppy, a cat, a boyfriend, an alien and a dog for Christmas.  In that order. 

Genevieve:  Dad, if you see a teenage boy under the tree on Christmas morning, don't chase him away, he'll probably just be my present from Santa.


Trick For Treats

After Halloween we found ourselves with the unfortunate circumstance of a GIANT basket of candy that lingered for weeks, waiting for its turn to rot a hole into a little Vallee tooth.

Let the girls make a magic potion with all of the candy.  It occupied an hour of their busy body time, and did away with the basket o' sugar high.

Now if anyone has a tip for how to get that nappy dread out of the back of Marguerite's hair, I'm all ears...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lean On Me

This morning started off the same, which was kind of getting me down.  My virtual world is rich with friendship, but my real life has been feeling lonely.  It's up to me, I know, to nurture friendships.  To join in.  To get out.  To ask for a spot.  Easier said than done is the reality, though, so there you have it.  I watched Genevieve from a distance walk out on the playground before school.  Bouncing from one group of kids to the next, not quite finding her place.  She settled by a tree, pulled her toy dog out of her secret inside pocket and started playing by herself.  It broke my heart.  Watching her find her way.  Knowing that there isn't always an open space waiting to be filled. 

Marguerite and I headed downtown for a hot chocolate date and to get a start on holiday shopping.  It was windshield-scraping-cold, clear, sunny, sparkly.  Just right for getting out of a funk and in to the holiday spirit.  Shopping local, walking hand in hand with my smiling three year old.  Five blocks away from my car and it all fell apart.  Marguerite didn't want to hold hands anymore.  She wanted to run away from me with no awareness of the cars whizzing by.  I made her hold me hand.  She started to scream.  So I picked her punching, screaming, crying body up and started walking fast.  We were quite the scene and people certainly were staring.  Our down coats slipping against each other, making her flailing body almost impossible to hold on to while carrying two shopping bags and my purse.  First I thought about looking composed.  Then I thought about how certain situations are beyond composure.  Then she kicked her boots off in the middle of an intersection.  Then I started to cry.  Fuck composure. 

Six orange vested utility workers had been watching us make our way.  One of them ran over to pick up the boots.  Two others joined us.  The were kind eyed and able bodied.  I handed my purse (that's right, I handed my purse to a stranger) to one of them and my shopping bags to the others.  They walked me the remaining two blocks to my car.  I was laughing through my tears by the time we got there.  If they had busted into a choreographed dance and started singing Lean On Me in a capella I wouldn't have been surprised.  I found a spot in the most unlikeliest of places.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Garden

So quickly in November I turn my back on my garden and my attention inside.  Just as quickly I start feeling cooped up.  The NFL is too loud.  The cats keep fighting.  The endless cycle of domesticity that has no beginning or end.  Today I recognized my bursting-at-the-seems need for earth and air.  I re-entered my winter garden.  Harvested chard and carrots for my lunch, cut back the dahlias and tucked them in to their leaf pile blanket, dead headed the hydrangea hedge, weeded.  Assessed what still needs my attention.  I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for 17 years now and still am learning the rhythms of a mild winter.  Lush green grass, blooming cyclamen, endless weeds, food still growing for harvest.  Low sunlight pouring in.