December 31, 2016

On The Eve

It's New Year's Eve and we are anxious to close out a very full 2016, heavy from the weight of so many downs and ups and downs. I'm certain that 2017 will carry much of the same -- thankfully we won't have to struggle through selling a house and the not knowing when we will be together under the same roof again.

Yesterday I was a chaperone for Carter's Robotics competition in Portland. On the way home, as four teenage boys slept and I drove in dark silence, I experienced for the first time what it's like to drive a kid to Portland, or anywhere out of town really, and not involve a hospital visit. It felt really wonderful. And kind of like a promise, like more of this feeling is still to come.

So there will always be a weight but the weight is lifting and shifting.

I have a few goals for the new year in mind, like taking photos of the kids, reading more, and knitting every day, and learning to play the piano again. I'm no longer a fan of words of the year but kind of like the idea of the phrase Search Party. I'm going to keep searching, opening my eyes, and I need to make it more of a bright party with lights and less of a dark appointment.

I always start with hope and end with hope, may that never end.

December 17, 2016

Snowbound and a Gift Guide

We are going on hour 72 of not being able to leave our house due to snow and ice. Jeff was able to get his car back into the garage yesterday but mine has been down at the bottom of our road since Wednesday. It might actually get above 32 degrees later this afternoon and maybe the snow will finally start to melt away, but no guarantees.

Thankfully I keep our pantry and freezer STOCKED. We are eating like queens and kings but might run out of milk by tomorrow. Breakfasts have been chocolate chip waffles and hashbrowns and today I made some pretty good biscuits and gravy. If there's enough milk tomorrow morning I'm going to bake coffee cake. The other day it was looking bleak and like we might never get out of here so I did place a giant Prime Pantry order. Here's hoping UPS can make their rounds safely today... we have quite a pile of delayed deliveries to receive!

As far as keeping busy, we have enough books to read to last all of winter break and we've been watching every holiday movie while I knit socks and I can make plenty thanks to my yarn buying obsession. All in all it's not a bad gig.

There's been a little bit of boredom, though, for sure. In my head I was compiling a realistic gift guide, if you have some hard to buy for people left on your list, you can find these in stores or get them in time if you have Amazon Prime. So here you go:

Buxom Freezes Over 15 mini lip collection (on sale for $45 at Sephora)
I bought this for myself before the holiday season and it's been like a gift every day. They are delightful and happy-making. I think you can get these at your local Ulta or Sephora if you don't have time for online.

Crane Travel Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier ($20 at Target) 
Here's something super practical but also a life changer. We are adjusting to a drier climate now that we are no longer living on the ocean. Bloody noses and stuffy noses and coughs all night long no more! I found these at Target in the pharmacy section but they're also on Amazon and probably anywhere that sells humidifiers. You just fill up the cup and mist away! I carry mine around the house with me and then have it on my nightstand when I go to bed. The boys have one in their room and it has helped tremendously.
Mystic Emoji Ball, $14.99 on Amazon
What to get the kid who has everything and didn't put anything on his Christmas list other than candy and you need more things for him to open so that everyone has an equal amount? This looks fun. I hope he likes it.
Hammond's dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch, $6.95 at your local fancy grocery store
These dark chocolate peppermints look like chocolate covered almonds but instead of almonds it's peppermint candy and so so so so so good. As soon as we can drive our cars again I am going straight to the grocery store and buying all they have. BIG mistake only buying one bag, Steph! Perfect stocking stuffer or gift for anyone sweet on your list.

Ugg Ansley slippers, $100 with free super fast shipping at Zappos
These have been on my feet since receiving them for Christmas last year. Unless Ivy is wearing them, which happens a lot and so she might have a certain pair in leopard print coming her way this Christmas morn... I found hers on a super sale at Ugg on Cyber Monday, many high end local department stores carry these, and also Zappos has free next day shipping if you are in a hurry. They are worth every penny.

Okay that's all for today. Must get back to my knitting. There's a few more items I would like to add but I don't want to ruin any surprises that are currently under our tree. One week 'til Christmas! 

December 11, 2016

December days

We have a large spider that has been hanging out on her web for months now in the corner of the garage. I check on her every time I go in and out, partly because I want to see that she's doing okay and also if she wasn't there then WHERE IS SHE. This morning I searched "what do spiders do for fun?" and then it suggested we stop trying to assign people feelings to animals. Also, they don't move unless they have to respond to something, to conserve as much energy as possible. Sounds good to me.

December got off to a pretty good start. We went to Seattle and Noah is officially in remission. It took us over two years to get to this point, so we are relieved yet a bit too tired to celebrate. It was a bit anticlimactic to hear it from his doctor, to be honest, but maybe the haze will clear and we'll feel the excitement eventually. He must still continue with infusions and medication as normal, but at least we are out of the danger zone, he's not in pain, and he's starting to grow again.

Snow on the trees, view from school pick up.

We had a snow day last week! For the first time since we left Ohio almost four years ago we saw snow fall. It only snowed a little bit, but school was cancelled for one day- mainly because of ice. We live on a mountain annnnd the mail carrier couldn't even get up our road.

This is the kids' last week of school until after New Year's. I am so ready. We have almost all of our gifts wrapped and under the tree or on their way to family. We have a full week of Cats rehearsals, a school concert, and robotics ahead. Then, we will conserve our energy under blankets with sugar cookies and holiday movies and no other plans.