Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Catching Up: A list

berries. or crabapples?
snapped this on a nature walk with the kids a few weeks ago; i think it's just right for this time of year.

:: thanksgiving was really wonderful. as usual, my parents gathered many people who didn't have a place to go. the assortment of folks was amusing and sweet. most tender: stan, who after many years in prison, hasn't spent a holiday in a home, with a family, for more than 30 years. his comment upon leaving was: "this was better than disneyland for me." after dinner, we sang christmas carols around the fire - accompanied by freedom (our cute samoan friend) and elder perkins (the sweetest missionary on the planet) on their ukeleles. very charming.

:: i was in charge of rolls (102 of them), pies and green beans this year. i spent the entire morning in the kitchen doing just those 3 things; i don't know if i'll ever be able to pull off an entire thanksgiving by myself.

:: i spent the week before thanksgiving putting together thank you gifts for nate's clients. it was a big, fun project. homemade wheat bread and honey butter for the locals, harry & david truffles for the far-away's. as i put together each parcel, i felt so proud of nate for what all his hard work has yielded. we are so, so thankful.

:: i put henry back in school. whatever we were gaining in academic progress was not worth what we were sacrificing in our relationship. too much conflict. so far, he's doing great. it's been a wrenching few weeks for me, though. lots of doubt and second-guessing (this decision in particular, and my mothering instincts and abilities in general). and so much tenderness for my boy. he is a gem. the other day when i picked him up, he got in the car and he and lily immediately started goofing around. before long, she was in stitches - laughing hysterically about something he'd done. then he said: "aw, i missed that cute little giggle while i was at school for 6 hours!" she misses him terribly while he's gone. but as soon as he gets home, they always seem to find something to fight about. best frienemies, those two :)

:: saturday after thanksgiving we hiked up roxyann as a family. hiking is my favorite thing. really, there's nothing that makes my heart beat with joy like being outside, up above the world, in the fresh air, using my body to do something hard and wonderful. we stopped at donut country for some pre-hike fuel beforehand. the kids were much more excited about hiking when the promise of a donut was attached. lily chose sprinkles, of course - that girl loves anything with ruffles, sprinkles, sparkles...the fancier the better. we tried to take a picture for our christmas card, but they all turned out blurry.

:: the other day lily asked, "mom, if i was like wendy on petah pan, and i growed up, would you still weed me stowies?" i told her even if she lived for a hundred years, i'd always be happy to read her a story. speaking of stories, we checked "corduroy" out from the library and i probably read it to lily thirty times. she loved it. she also loves the "olivia" books. good taste, lil.

a favorite picture from our saturday hike; i think lily does half her life with both feet off the ground; this shot is so representative, (except she's almost always wearing a skirt.) so much energy and zest and joy.

:: i have yet to join the mayhem of black friday shopping, but i've been scoring some great deals online and am more and more convinced of the virtues of internet commerce. so easy and comfortable and awesome. but also easy to get carried away and sucked in. last night nate looked at me with a twinge of disgust in his eyes, "is online shopping becoming your new hobby?" it's mostly just online browsing...but still. i've got to reign it in.

:: anticipating the transition of nate moving into an office. should be into their new place by the first of the year. i'm excited for him, but we'll totally miss having him at home. will be interesting to settle into that new normal.

:: also thinking about how to keep christmas simple and authentic this year - i don't want it to get puffed up with materialism and the gimme's. that's a challenge with little kids who get wide-eyed with the magic of santa and presents. hopefully we can find a balance that feels appropriate and still magical.

:: sunday afternoon we sat by the fire and read the nativity story in luke. my kids acted out the narrative with our nativity figures. then we sang "the friendly beasts." i adore that book. and the sound of my children singing is the sweetest of all.
i have no idea what the future holds for our family, i've given up trying to figure it out. of course, my heart still longs for more babies, but in that little space of time, reading those precious christmas stories, i looked at our small family and i felt whole and satisfied.

:: as usual, i feel like this barely scratches the surface of what i'm really thinking and feeling. life is so deep and complex. there are so many people to care for and love. so many complications in relationships and responsibilities. so much that weighs on my heart that can't be shared here. but this is a tiny taste...


  1. I always love reading your posts, Emily. It sounds like this is a wonderful time for your family--I'm glad to see you relishing it. I always feel that I should be more mindful; thanks for the sweet reminder of this post.

  2. I echo Rachael's comment that I love reading your posts! You really are a great writer...

  3. I happen to really, really like your lists :) I get a thorough peek into your life and your heart. I miss my roomie! I sure wish we could play and philosophize about life and things...this summer we shall do just that! Yipee!

  4. What a sweet, real post. They are all so real and I love reading every one of them. Your parents are so good to invite others to their Thanksgiving. I'm glad Henry is doing well going back to school and I love trying to imagine the adorable little person that Lily is now. You are a wonderful mom and your kids are lucky.

  5. So beautiful em! Your pictures, your writing, your heart!
    I love hiking too and wish we could go again together with our fams! I'm sure we will!

  6. Please tell me that Henry was standing on something -- surely he is not that tall! Love you guys!

  7. Each of your lovely posts just makes me miss you oodles! At least I have your blog to help me feel like you still live close by. Miss your guts!