Sunday, December 17, 2017

holiday ebb and flow

This season, it is so full of beautiful ideas and traditions.
It is much too short to fit in everything that I would like to do though.
I always plan far to many handmade Christmas gifts.
     Then there are the Christmas cards. I hadn't sent Christmas cards in years and decided it was time.

I actually really wanted to send them this year. I imagined myself thoughtfully writing out cards at my desk with a cup of coffee, adding a family picture, and popping them in the mail. The reality was a card writing frenzy... not as thoughtful as planned and dropping huge stacks of cards at the post office. Sigh. BUT I did get almost 100 cards out before Christmas and I feel pretty proud. I remember now, why I never do Christmas cards. We have A LOT of family. I didn't even get everybody... just the ones I already had addresses for.
 I am glad I did the cards. I realize now that the years I choose to do this I need to start in November. Christmas cards bring me so much joy. It feels good to finally return some of that good feeling. Even if it was a bit rushed and done with less love than planned.

     This month brought us a long streak of dry, sunny weather. So, my husband and his very close friend decided to tackle a humongous project that has been on our to do list for many years. 
Rebuild the backyard shed and make it into a little house. A summer house/guest house/shared family space. It's full purpose is still yet to be defined. It was definitely interesting timing. The project has moved along quite nicely. I am amazed at their progress in just two short weeks.

      Our puppy is quickly becoming a dog. I knew it would happen this fast but have still found myself surprised. I am really enjoying her grown-up self. She fits in so perfectly here. I was looking at pictures of last Christmas and noticed that we had a different dog in front of our tree. I find it all a bit bitter sweet. I am sad that it didn't work out for us to keep Ezra, but I am so glad that we have Tobin now. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

these days

  • This puppy of ours has been growing very fast, as puppies often do. She fits in perfectly here. I am so happy. I think a large part of our success with her is 1. The fact that Matt and I (and Maiko this year) are home most of the time 2. We were mentally prepared for the amount of work and dedication this would all take and 3. The reading that I did to prepare for early training. In fact, I think that may have been one of the most important parts. The books that helped me the most were The Puppy Bible and The Art of Raising a Puppy
  • Her name is Tobin. She is named after a famous woman soccer player that lives in our state and plays for our Portland Thorns. She also plays for the U.S. Women's National Team. I came up with the idea to name her after Tobin Heath, I knew my soccer obsessed family would love it.
  • When soccer season ended things slowed down a bit. So, we quickened the pace again with some home projects... sigh. I am very ready to slow down, but Matt finally got the woodworking bug I have been hoping for years he would catch. Those rolling pulls in the kitchen drawers... I have wanted those for about nine years now. Also, the work on that old dilapidated shed in the back yard, and the work in the cellar.... yeeeesssss. The plan is to turn that shed into a summer house/extra room. One that Maiko could spend his high school years in, and then the girls can take over the upstairs. 
  • I bought a remote for my camera a couple years ago. I finally set it up, along with my tripod, to snap a few family pictures. When I put the pictures on the computer I realized that my teenage son was only smiling in one photo. He was scowling or making goofy faces in all of the other pictures. At first I was upset and I said he would get coal in his stocking this year. But now, I love these photos. I love how they capture the sense of humor he has right now. Also, that last photo where everyone is smiling at him... that one has a fun story too. I was giving random prompts to mix things up... "everyone look at the camera... look at Ollie... look at Tobin..." Maiko thought these prompts were ridiculous and said so. So I said... "everyone look at Maiko!" He was so caught off guard he actually smiled, and everyone else had genuine smiles because we all thought it was hysterical. I am so glad I will forever have this moment caught on camera.
  • I love this month. I love the focus on light, and love, and giving during this dark time of year. We have really gotten into a rhythm with our little family traditions and it all feels so right. So far, my kids have done every bit of decorating and I love it. I spread out and opened our Christmas bins in the attic and every day I let them bring down a few more decorations.
I don't know exactly what it is about December... but it always gets me excited about blogging again. See you soon friends.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

a beautiful season


Oh October, you came and went so fast, but you treated us so well.

I, as always, am ready for the change.
Soccer is coming to an end. This week is the last of practices and games. Four kids on four different teams was too much this season. The little ladies were not as interested this fall, and we were all over scheduled. But, it's almost over now. Come next week our extra curricular activities will be zero and I couldn't be more excited.
I imagine you might be wondering about the little fur ball in so many of the pictures above. She is our newest family member and we are absolutely in love with her. After Ezra left it didn't take long for this family to realize we really wanted a dog in the house again. But this time, a dog of our own. I learned so much from my experience with Ezra. I learned a great deal about what would realistically work for this family, and how important a dogs breed can be. I also realized that we wanted to raise our dog from a puppy. So that I could make sure it would be comfortable with children, raise it to fit with our family (poor Ezra got completely freaked out by our family dance parties), and mostly for the connection that I saw between Ezra and his owner. A family bond.  So, after lots of research about the many different breeds, we decided that a golden retriever was the breed for us. Then I began looking. I checked shelters often to see if something (even remotely close to what we wanted) would show up, and I checked the Oregonlive Retriever Classifieds. That was actually an incredible resource. I looked for two months before I found this family. It was crazy, but I knew this litter was the one. I drove up to Washington and lost sleep over "picking out the right one". I laughed at myself later. They were all amazing dogs. Her parents were so beautiful and gentle. Her father is a deep red (the deepest I have ever seen in a golden... almost burgundyish), and her mother was a perfect white. Puppies were jumping all over me. Chewing on my purse, sweater, and hair... then I looked down and this little sweet heart was laying on my feet... perfectly calm. Of course, she was just tired from playing before we arrived, but at least she was worn out for the long drive home. 
She is actually asleep under my chair as I type this. 
This month has certainly been a busy one. More than a busy one. A full on pedal to the floor, every second counts kind of month, but luckily, the race is almost over, and it's time for some rest.
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