Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Solstice!!

Here's a quickie post cause we are too busy celebrating the Sun King.

OK, I'll be honest, we are still hanging around in our pj's and birthday suits, dishes are dirty in the sink, and this momma is tired from a cranky girl hollering in my ear all night. I suppose it's our own brand of celebrating.
Anyway, in place of my usual insightful and heartfelt posts (as if!) I will leave you with a poem.

Have a wonderful Winter Solstice.

The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing. To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees; They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us- Listen!!
All the echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now.
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

she's two

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me. I remember when I was a child and the magic that surrounded my birthday was so vivid and alive I could see it hanging in the air as light, sparkly wisps around my room. My mom has always been big on traditions and holidays. Even to this day she still will remember my half-birthday, and even to this day her remembering feels so precious.

Recently there was discussion on a list I belong to and a friend was talking about traditions and how they eventually take on a life of their own, and it then feels imperative, primal even, to keep them alive year after year. I loved this as it rings so true for me. It just feels plain wrong to not keep special traditions alive. Not that I will drag everyone by their heels kicking and screaming just to check it off my list of yearly traditions, I can be flexible, but by taking an inventory of those traditions that are nearest and dearest and finding a way to fit them into our lives in a meaningful way.

I want my children to look back at holidays and birthdays fondly as a time of family, and love, and magic- so, Soleil's 2nd Birthday was something to celebrate! My little girl takes my breath away with every flash of her dangerously adorable dimples. It has been an honor to watch her grow this year into this happy, self-assured, cuddle-bug personality with spirit and soul coming out of her ears.

a painting I did for her birthday

The birthday altar. A very special tradition.

Since Soleil's birthday falls on Saint Lucia's Day , and her name means Sun, and she is such a light that brings joy and happiness wherever she goes, it seems inspired that we have a Saint Lucia celebration too. Above is Xavier in his star boy hat that he helped to make and that he was very specific about how he wanted it to look. Traditionally the eldest daughter brings in a tray of Lucia Buns, gingersnaps, and hot chocolate to her parents in the morning accompanied by an attendant and a star boy. We modified this a little after last year's hot chocolate spilled all over the bed and opted to just bring Soleil her presents and saved the food for the kitchen.

It was delicious by the way.
And so as her birthday came to a close Chris and I shared a sigh of contentment. Seeing our baby turn two is bittersweet for us, but we wanted the day to be pure sweet for her.

It felt full and comfortable.

Happy Birthday Soleil.

You are the Light of my Heart.

busy, busy merry making

Our tree of whimsy

I am feeling sleep deprived, like a lot. Time is zooming past at light speed and I am running behind, rubbing the sleep away from my eyes and hollering at it to just slow down already. Really, what's the rush? Can't we give ourselves another month?

Not that we haven't had fun. No, we are having quite the time with all the holiday preparations. There is plenty of joy to be had at this time of year.

Like, gingerbread house building,

And snowman constructing.

Let's not forget the holiday picture taking.

Or not.

And there is so much more merry making to be had, all squeezed into the next week!! Like, the shopping, and the Christmas Tea parties, and mama dinners, and Solstice celebrating, and let's not forget the crafting......
Golly, who needs sleep with all of this going on?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

snow day

hooray for hanukkah

A lame picture of some of the food

Happy Hanukkah (I've seen it spelled a gazillion different ways so I'm just going with one and stickin' to it) everyone! This has been our first year celebrating Hanukkah and to help us we invited our friends Julie, Lee, Damek, and Kyan. It was finger lickin' good food! Beet latkas, roasted applesauce, dilled sourcream, a beautiful salad, and homemade focaccia bread. Yum, yum! I would like everyday to be Hanukkah. I would be a happy girl indeed.

cutie pie kiddos dining together