Friday, November 30, 2012

{this moment}: turkeydaying

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. Photos capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

rocking out with the fam

Think your family rocks? Check out my post today about how you can enter a cool contest and strut your stuff.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

starting holiday food traditions

Welcome to the November 2012 Simplicity Parenting Carnival: Food
This post was written as part of the monthly Simplicity Parenting Carnival hosted by The Lone Home Ranger and S.A.H.M. i AM. This month we are discussing how we balance food, family, and simplicity. Be sure to read to the end to see a list of the rest of the excellent carnival contributors.
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It makes some sort of sense that after disappearing for a week I would come back to the blog talking about food. Practically nothing else (save decorating) has occupied my thoughts for the past fortnight. Just about my favorite part of this Thanksgiving--after my mom visiting, of course--is that the whole event somehow came together easily.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{animoto}: family togetherness rocks!

My mom is coming today for Thanksgiving. We are so excited because it's been over a year since her last trip up to Beantown. I am really happy that I was given an opportunity to make a video where I could showcase our enthusiasm about the family togetherness that the holidays bring. Click here to see my video and learn more about how you can get a free video too! (No contest required!).



Saturday, November 17, 2012

our Parisian selves

There's a picture I love in the upstairs hallway. It sits on our Georgian desk (called so because it's from the Georgian period in England, not because it's from Georgia...am I a brat or what?), and I can see it while I walk up the stairs.


Nate has been gone for another two-week international work trip and arrives home again today. I find myself looking at the picture more when he's away, probably because I miss him. I imagine that the people in the picture are actually another version of us, living in Paris and sitting in squares and leisurely eating bread. Somehow, when I'm in the middle of parental squalor and chaos, this vision of our Parisian selves gets me through the moment. Maybe some day we'll make it back to Paris and meet up with our parallel universe. You think?

What are your tricks to achieve the "Ohm" state of mind?

Friday, November 16, 2012

don't mind me, I'll just be here sorting socks for the rest of ETERNITY

Where do all these socks go when I really need them?

It's been a while since I did a "day in the life" post, so here you go. My morning yesterday began with Vivi finally opening the antique crystal door handle to her bedroom by herself, rather than the usual Three Stooges-esque routine of standing at the door maniacally turning the handle in every direction and shouting for me to open it. I had not realized how much an improvement her quiet exit from the room would be, but Reader, it has added considerable joy to my start-of-day quality of life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

on being my daughter's people

Vivi visiting with a neighbor. I love that Charlie got out a chair to sit and watch Vivi's conversation.

When you were a kid, did you envision your adulthood involving the phrase "Have your people call my people"? I certainly did. As a stay-at-home mom with nothing to do other than arrange our lives, I often joke anyway that I need a wife to do some of the things that seem to fall off the social calendar. I need people! Vivi, on the other hand, has people, and those people are me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the decider

In doing some motherly introspection a few days ago, I mulled over a typical interaction that happens between me and Vivi lately. I'm starting from the middle of the story though, so I really should back up to what spurred the self-examination. I'm a Sunday school teacher for the first and second graders; I complain about this job probably too much to Nate and my mom, but secretly I love it. Six years old is IMHO clearly the best age next to eleven, and these kids are every bit as excited about life, potty/button/shoe-tying trained, affectionate, and not yet sarcastic as I had hoped. But I digress.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

perfect is as perfect does

Don't bother telling me that title doesn't make any sense. Grammar is not my friend today. In any case, that modified Gumpism is the phrase that's been going through my head over the past few days.

It all started with an episode of NPR's On Point about perfectionism. Did you catch it? I enjoyed it because members of my immediate family--who will remain nameless--have perfectionist tendencies, and I've often wondered if striving for perfectionism is simultaneously a sort of strength and weakness. The radio program addressed this issue in a way that didn't point fingers but at the same time offered an impetus for perfectionists to be less perfect. It's worth a listen.

Monday, November 12, 2012

{love the place you live}: leaf-peeping in New Hampsha

We took this trip a month ago, but I've been waiting for Design Mom to host another round of {love the place you live} to share the pictures. I highly recommend going leaf-peeping in New Hampshire. We rented a two-bedroom house for the weekend (the only way I will travel with my children) in Bartlett/North Conway, and it was so pleasant to hole up in a little house in the woods, making complicated meals while Nate watched football and the girls played Barbies in front of the fire. We went hiking and driving at every moment it was light outside.

We found out about the rental home on Air B&B, a fantastic resource for both letting out to vacationers and renting homes from owners. Now that we own a home I suppose we could consider renting out our house while we're on holiday, but I am not sure how I feel about that. Would you consider renting your home to strangers? Have you already done it?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

call for November carnival submissions: {food}

Chocolate cookies with toppings (recipe from The Pioneer Woman)

Thanks to everyone who participated in the October Simplicity Parenting Carnival! It was a great success! We hope you'll join us again, Justine at The Lone Home Ranger and Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM, for another simplicity parenting carnival. If you’re joining us for the first time, feel free to check out the May, June, and August carnivals as well! Read more about our carnival and future topics here

Thursday, November 08, 2012

birthday soup and a mixed tape

Ten years ago today on my twenty-third birthday I was at Clemson University, presenting the results of my research project in Kenya (studying street children) at the Southeastern Regional Seminar on African Studies. My parents drove up to support me and sat in the front row, eyes trained on me, a regular smiley Frick and Frack of the supportive parenting variety. At the time, I was very happy to see them and have them celebrate my birthday with me but also mildly embarrassed that it might have appeared I had brought my parents to see my "show and tell" at the research conference. Ten years later, the embarrassment has fallen away, and I see it as a tangible display of real love. I cherish the memory.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

this is my message to you

three little birds

Politics don't mix well with the other writings on this blog, so I'll keep my comments as neutral as I can.  It's a day of mixed feelings for me. On the one hand, my guy won. But as a moderate/independent voter (fiscally conservative, socially liberal), I had actually struggled for a bit about who I'd vote for at one time, which puts me in a somewhat unique position of understanding how both sides feel today.

My concern resides mostly with a system that feels like it isn't working, regardless of who is in the driver's seat, so my happiness is short-lived. I long for a system I can feel passion and loyal pride for when speaking to friends from other countries. Yes, we all get to vote and that's fantastic and something to rejoice about in a world in which a simple vote is often denied. But I want more for us.

If you are hurting today and feeling lost, I probably can't offer you much in the way of consolation. Although it might be cheesy and mildly hippy dippy of me, I'll offer a song that added a small amount of warmth to my disconsolate heart back in 2004. It's Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, and I particularly like the version from Nick Jr/Noggin that has an accompanying cartoon.

Hugs to all aisles today!
xoxo
~J

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

{right now}: celebrating "falter"


Right now I am:

~flipping through my new copy of smitten kitchen's cookbook (EEE!).

~laughing at Vivi's choice for President at her school's mock election: "I voted for the red guy because I like red"... and feeling relieved that preschoolers don't vote.

Monday, November 05, 2012

thanks Mom! {squared}


I got the best early birthday present ever when Nate offered to watch the girls for me this weekend and let me go south for some quality time with family and friends. His mom came up to help him, which involved tons of flying from the land of flamingos to the land of beans. What a gal. When I got to Georgia, my mom surprised me with a small family party, and I got to hear lots of great family stories as well as get my great grandma's recipe scrapbook (!). It was a blast. Thanks Moms!

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