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Archive for December, 2009

It is very clear to me this year, that the designated time we have together to celebrate Christmas, is really all about spending our time together, peacefully and happily and mirthfully. The surrounding months are busy with work and classes and various time consuming activities and events…but I am so thankful to have this protected time together for now. And this is how we choose to spend it:

yumBaking Christmas Eve banana bread. Sleepy Stockings… (artfully knitted by my mother)Loving each other!

Taking a wintery walk in the snow with our dogs.

As I write this, Zach and Judah are working on a barrage of Christmas cookies in the kitchen…it’s a lovely time.

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It’s finally winter in Homer!

Judah loves to play in the snow. She was extra pumped when we all trudged through the snow to pick out a tree and despite never having selected a Christmas tree before, she was quite involved in the process and assertive about which trees met her approval.

We had a nice time decorating (and repeatedly undecorating) the tree and hanging lights. Judah observed Zach hanging lights in our house and now assumes that he is responsible for all of the lights she sees around Homer. Most places we go have holiday lights hung, and she happily points and says, “Dada!”, clearly pleased to see how proactive he has been this year spreading Christmas cheer.

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Old Friends…

We loved Kate! She was probably Judah’s favorite person last summer (and one of mine as well) and you can see why! But then she left. Moved to Thailand, in spite of some rather dramatic last minute attempts to guilt her into staying here with us… The good news is that she is coming back to Homer! If only for a visit…but it will be nice to see her again and have face to face conversations and reaffirm all of the reasons why she was so dear in the first place.

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Pretty Smile

If you tell Judah to show you her pretty smile, this is what you get:
Or possibly this:It’s all quite silly and hilarious, especially given the impressive size of her teeth!

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My favorite books…of those I read this year…A List:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino
The Way of Ignorance by Wendell Berry
The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved by Sandor Elliz Katz
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St Exupery
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Of The Farm by John Updike
Autumn and Winter by Gerda Muller (also on Judah’s list of favorites)
Equus by Peter Shaffer
Alaska Gardening Guide by Ann D. Roberts

This is sort of a ridiculous list, because several of these books I read over and over and they will always be amongst my favorites, but how can I not include them when I love them so much? And these authors? Such contributions! I can’t even begin to describe how they have shaped my own thought processes and considerations on the world and that within it.

I feel delighted to have discovered Gerda Muller and her lovely collection of children’s books centered around the changing seasons. I can hardly wait for Spring and Summer respectively, when Judah and I shall begin to read those with much anticipated frequency.

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Whats Normal?

I love holidays. I love celebrating, I love people, I love food, I love my family, I love gifts, I love the seasons and I love fun.

I (regrettably) participate in but do not love: materialism, consumerism, gluttony, commercialism and the cheap thrill that comes from indulging in such fleeting pleasures.

Must these lists mirror one another? Must traditional celebration of holidays be so morally disconcerting?

Not only do I ponder my own ethical qualms at this time of year, lest I get caught up in the frenzy, but I must consider what I am teaching my sweet child about holidays, family and celebration.

I hope to always give generously and thoughtfully of myself, and to receive graciously and with thanks. I hope to not cave in to the societal pressure to buy and to have and to gorge not only on Christmas cake, but also with stuff because it “is the Season”… I hope to create with Zach fun holiday traditions for Judah and each other, and to cultivate a sense of peace and hope and whimsy at this exciting time of year. I hope that Judah will embrace her own sense of family and individuals, not for gifts they may bring, but for the privilege and good fortune we have in holding them close to us. I hope that entitlement and self centered-ness will not play a part in the way we celebrate, but rather our focus may be on thoughtfulness and giving to those who need things more than we do.

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Today I am thankful for:

Babies who take long naps simultaneously (Judah has a little friend over for the day)
Snow on the ground
A warm and comfortable (although presently messy) home
Good health
Possibilities
John Steinbeck

There’s much more…but today specifically, these are the things that are making me feel very happy.

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