Monday, November 30, 2015

A Year of Gratitudes

So much to be grateful for.
(Part one is here).

11. Chocolate. Obviously.

12. Finding new tank tops, on sale no less, to replace some well worn camisoles. And! - I bought a couple that were not just black or white. V v excited!

13. Sitting at the window with my husband and all three kiddo's watching the birds at out bird feeder, with binoculars, identification guides and a song bird app. Perfect Sunday morning.

14. Spending time with My Good Man and having that sudden  happy realization that I really really like him. More than love him; I LIKE him. He's a great person to be around.

15. Found all three kiddos in our newly created homeschool/work office, busy busy busy with projects.

16. Podcasts. I can't tell you how much podcasts have changed my relationship with chores for the better. (I could do a post just on my podcast listening ... there are a lot of them!)

17. Homemade crumpets. With butter. And jam. So good.

18. Finding just the thing I wanted, on sale during the Black Friday weekend, without a lot of hunting and searching. And free shipping.

19. The Facebook Groups App, which has allowed me to remove the Facebook App from my phone and helped me take a big step away from FB.

20. Gilmore Girls. Don't judge; its the perfect fun, and not too heavy Netflix binge fodder.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Claiming Thanksgiving

I've felt a little vague about the big holidays since becoming an adult; in part I've known that this was because I did not live in the States as a child, and that the way of celebrating, the very holidays themselves, are not my own. Its always felt difficult to put my own mark on holidays traditions when the holidays aren't 'mine'.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and the kiddos and I had the morning to ourselves. Baby Girl asked what our plans were, and when I told her that I had planned to go to a local park for a walk, The Little Guy piped in with 'That's what we do to celebrate'.

And I realized that he is right!

It is what we often did to mark the big holidays when I was growing up: go for a walk as a family!

And that one comment helped me realize that we DO have our own family traditions around the holidays.

We do one big feast with friends and family, simple meals and snacks for the rest of the day.

We go for a walk as a family.

We spend our time together, slooooow down and enjoy each other's company.

There is usually a board game or two involved ...

We have FUN!

But more over we keep it simple. Not much hoopla, not too much fanciness beyond getting out the nice glasses and digging through the stack of cloth napkins for the nicer ones.

I'm realizing that we do have traditions throughout the year, but they are simple ones for sure.

What do you do to celebrate the holidays? Simple or fancy?!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Year of Gratitudes

I've been actively working this year, on gratitude, on being more grateful, and slowing down to say thank you more. All good things.

I recently heard about a different way of looking at gratitudes from Julie Bogart (the owner of Brave Writer, and all around homeschool advocate and Wonder Woman). Her advice was to look for the surprise of happy each day - the little things that make us happy. Isn't that lovely?!!

One of the things Julie Bogart mentioned was that finding things each day to be grateful for can start to be a burden ... "oooh! the stress of finding three things to be grateful for today ... "

So! It's Thanksgiving! Perfect time to be thankful, look for gratitudes, and start paying more attention to those Surprises of Happy!

1. Dinner ready in the crock pot at the end of a long and busy day.

2. Being invited to the museum that The Little Guy had set up in his bedroom ... it was pretty amazing! He set up different exhibits and artifacts, created a tour guide brochure and a map. It, and he, are pretty awesome <3

3. Sunday night with my Scholé Sisters; wonderful friends who amazingly share my love of things literary, cerebral, goofy, raucous and irreverent. They're wonderful.

4. Children old enough to do painting projects without making a huge mess. 

5. Moby Dick. 
Yes - I'm reading Moby Dick (well, technically, I'm listening to it on Audible), and so far I'm enjoying it. Let's see if it lasts. 

6. Being mostly caught up with laundry. 

7. Half an hour at Target. Alone. It was pretty glorious. 

8. Having friends who challenge me to think outside my box, push me to go beyond my own preconceived ideas. 

9. Branston pickle. 

10. Scalding hot showers.

And you?! What is on your Gratitude List these days?
I'd love to hear from you! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Birthday Interview: Baby Girl at Four

On my children’s birthdays, I interview them, asking them the same set of questions each year. It's fascinating to see how they’re changing and if they have interests that remain the same.

I first heard of these Birthday Interviews on the Sparkling Adventures blog (which is worth checking out, for free range, unschooling, travelling inclined folks).

A few weeks ago I posted Little Boy's Birthday Interview, and now here is Baby Girl's. She was so so excited for her interview!

What are you going to be when you grow up?
I don't know. Maybe I'll turn seven [years old].

What’s that going to be like?
I don't know.

What are your favorite toys? 
Kitty toys and building stuff.

Who are your best friends? 
Ronan and Niko. 

What makes you happy? 
I love holding hands and hugging.

What makes you sad?
When people are hurting me. 

When you dream at night, what do you dream about?

What do you like to do with Papa? 
Hold his hand!

What do you like to do with Mama?
Sit with her and hold her hand.

What’s your favorite color?

What’s your favorite book?
The Pumpkin book.

What does Daddy do during the day?
Goes to work. 

What does Mama do during the day?
Stays with me.

What do you do during the day?
Stay around and read some books. And play. I play a lot.