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Showing posts from December, 2015

Once More We Begin Again

I'm not superstitious, per se, but I do adore rituals and traditions. Introvert that I am, the new year excites me almost more than Christmas, because it means I get to set my little world in order and start afresh (in case you hadn't guessed, I am not attending a loud, sparkly, staying-up-late party this evening).
So I spent my day in a spree of cleaning and organizing and cooking (we're having lots of company over the weekend, Christmas remnants). I hung our new calendar (the last step of the cleaning phase), reorganized the mood board that hangs over my desk (a yearly tradition since I first got it when I was a teenager), and read the letter I wrote to myself at the end of last year. Later I'll write a letter for next year, once I've decided what I want to say (after all, there's a lot of weight in writing something that will be worth reading a whole year later).

It's been a big year, with a lot of change (really, though, can't that be said of almos…

Wonder, Gratitude, and Adventure

On our last walk-at-the-park day over the weekend, we somehow managed to leave Brooklyn's shoes at home, so Adam carried her. But it had rained all morning, so there were lots of puddles, and she loves puddles - so she asked him to jump in the puddles for her. Being the sweet daddy that he is, he enthusiastically obliged, to her delight.

I love little moments like that - all of the small things that add up to equal the grand adventure of life. I haven't been as diligent about watching for (and appreciating) those moments lately, but that's something I'd like to rectify in the coming year.
earrings from Azerbaijan as part of Fair Trade Friday's earrings-of-the-month
A head start came in the form of an unassuming package in our postbox the day after Christmas - a handrolled paper bead bracelet made by the girls at Mercy House for founder Kristen Welch's upcoming book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. It has three copper beads, which serve as a reminder…

Home for Christmas

Ah, Christmas in the South. I'm sure we'll get plenty of winter later on (at least, that's what the almanac, the persimmon seeds, and the woolly bear caterpillars are saying), but for now we thoroughly enjoyed getting to walk at the park three of the four days Adam had off over the holiday.

Spending time together as a family was a gift in itself. Brooklyn and Tobin grew exponentially more excited every morning that they woke up to find Adam still there - and they got to spend some time on the playground at the park that we don't usually get when it's just me (I realize it's not as aesthetically pleasing, but I do really appreciate when there's a fence around the play area), so she got to climb and slide to her heart's content (that is, until larger, louder, kids invaded) and he got to swing for the first time.

Games were played, books were read, tea was sipped, music was listened to, letters were written, movies were watched, and knitting progress was …


I know that a lot of people dislike glitter - the way it multiplies and gets all over everything and continues to be found, weeks later, grates on their nerves; but it's those qualities that I treasure. The tiny glimmer that unexpectedly appears, long after the wrapping or card that it was a part of is gone, serve as a reminder of the joy the original brought.

You know how some people leave their tree up and decorate it for Valentine's Day because they don't want to take it down? I'm the same way about pumpkins.
This year, it's also standing in nicely for snow, of which there is none. It thunderstormed warmly and gloriously yesterday, and I think our high for the day after Christmas is predicted to be nearly 80 - but if I can muster a Christmas hike instead of a Christmas snowball fight I certainly won't complain. Knitter though I am, I'm also acclimated to the South.

And the weather can't dampen another of glitter's attributes: remembering. Every t…


Twilight stalks the afternoon, creeping cold ends day too soon;
Driven in to fire's side, under cozy blankets hide,
Tea and conversation starts warming hands as well as hearts;
Candles bravely, brightly burn - silent, speak of day's return.
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The past year has flown by! But, somehow, we have a one year old and a two-and-a-half year old (who acts like a 5 year old sometimes).

Tobin was delighted by his birthday party - a houseful of people who all want to pay attention to him is his idea of a good time. He would have enjoyed getting into the frosting if I'd let him, but I'm not an adherent to the smash cake tradition, so he had a few tidy bites - and then got to destroy wrapping paper after, which I think made up for it. He got the concept surprisingly quickly.

A houseful of people is not Brooklyn's idea of a good time (my poor little fellow introvert), so she kept to the edges of the room, with occasional sallies to bring people cups of pretend tea. She was extremely brave the entire time, but afterwards anxious lest the house suddenly be filled again and she be pressured to give hugs. It's going to be interesting, balancing the two of them, as they get older.

She and I both need space (in the moment, and …


He weighed 5lbs 4oz when we brought him home, and snuffled in his sleep - hence his nickname, Tiny Tobin Hedgehog Henry Burch (TTHHB)

At his dedication, at our church
At Brooklyn's second birthday party
He spent a lot of time "flying" before he started trying to crawl
Brooklyn teaching him how to shake hands

He's not quite so tiny as he was at first, but he definitely still snuffles in his sleep - and the name we chose before we even knew we were going to have him is still perfect, a year later: Tobin means God is good, and he reminds us of that every day. Happy birthday, sweet T!

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Adventures can't be all pony rides in May sunshine --- there will be strawberries and there will be mud, there will be singing and there will be bickering, there will be fine robes and there will be cloaks, worn and sodden, there will be glimmering hope and there will be fires that refuse to light, there will be bitter nights and there will be sunny afternoons... But the road goes ever on, whether it rises up to meet you or drops off into an impassable canyon (that must yet be passed), And feet that wandering have gone turn at last  to a far green country  under a swift sunrise - the next great adventure.
{with thanks to JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling}
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As per usual this time of year, I keep thinking of people who need to be written to, gifted, and/or thanked, so my finished to-do list keeps getting undone. But it's for good reasons, and I have a good little helper who loves to carry things in stores and write in cards when allowed. Her ardent desire to assist is adorably and refreshing when my own energy wanes.

Brooklyn has requested my Pentatonix Christmas playlist every day, and I've been filling in with other Christmas albums (I love Pentatonix, which is why I introduced her to them, but I'd prefer not to get burnt out). I haven't done as well this year at intentionally pausing - we light candles and do Advent readings over breakfast, but that's about how long it takes them to eat so any sort of quiet contemplation/journaling afterwards isn't going to happen.

Then too, I'm on the launch team for Kristen Welch's new book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World(which means having an advance copy to …

Let Your Hearts Be Light

The month is moving on apace - we added our third Advent candle on Sunday, and Brooklyn calls them "Mommy's, Brooklyn's, and Todin's" because we light them over breakfast and it's we-three sitting there, doing the readings together. She's very excited that we each have a candle, and anxiously waits for them all to drip (our indicator that it's time to blow them out).

All of the shopping is done and everything is wrapped - now I'm on to writing in Christmas cards (I love the assortment I got from our church's card ministry at our yearly local/fair trade/for a cause shopping night - it's so much fun to decide which card to sent which person, instead of just having a box that's all the same).

I was initially sad that this one wasn't in our assortment - until I realized that if it had been, I would have sent it to someone, whereas this way I get to keep it and it has sweet words inside!
On the receiving end, I decided to eek out out me…