It's not over

Tolliver asked if Christmas was over.  So will there be another Christmas after the next time it's Halloween, after the next time I turn four?

The tree will come down and the carols have already been replaced with showtunes.
But it's not over.  It never really is.

The chance to reflect on our blessings and take note of all the joys around us is always available.  The opportunity to gather with family, to spin around the axle of good food and generosity, does not require a specific date.


post holiday

This time of year the sun hardly clears the horizon before it seems to sink away again.
But the brightness of the holiday does not wane, the twinkling lights, the eyes shining, full of expectation.
Children change the tenor of the season, make it more magical for all of us.  I used to think there was nothing better than being a kid on Christmas morning.  As a parent now, I know better.

After the Christmas Eve candlelight service, a simultaneously beautiful and terrifying tradition, we readied cookies and hot cocoa and letters for Santa.  Also, the boys reminded us that Silent Night is really just a song and not so much a practice.
We've tried to make generosity part of the holiday routine, and have found a few ways to involve the boys without denying them their own small pile of gifts.  Tuck and Tollie woke up to several special treats - junk food and new iPad apps, a blue harmonica and lots of books.

We celebrated with both sides of the family, too, devoting ourselves entirely to amusement and appreciation.

Of note:  If you are considering an end of year donation, please be aware that BDSRA's Annual Fund has another December match, so your contribution, made by Dec 31, could be doubled.


Santa's coming soon


weekends are still winning

Our weekend was so full.  Happily full in every good way I can think of.  Full of good food and extended family and lots of love.
The boys met their new cousin, baby John, and spent the next night at Poppy's house.
Tollie learned to turn the Christmas lights on and off with magic words and Tucker got to work in the dangerous room to assemble his very own pocket knife.  Grammy let them eat chocolate cake for breakfast before we came back to Columbus to decorate cookies with more cousins.

The boys are very aware of how lucky we all are to be surrounded by so much family.  When Grandma asked Tuck what he'd like for Christmas this year, he said he already has everything he needs...


oatmeal carmelita crumbs

I want to be famous for saying yes, for mixing butter and sugar a million different ways that taste like home.  I want the boys to forget the times I cried in a heap over spilled greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds across the slate floor, and to remember the times I let them lick the carmelita pan.


so much happens while Tuck is at school...

Tollie is constantly talking about Santa’s grandma: pretty sure he means Mrs. Claus.

Mom, did you know that clams can clean the ocean? Maybe we should get a clam so it can clean our dust. 

Mom, I lost my helicopter in the Mount of Ever Rest. Meaning it's somewhere in the pile of clean towels by the dryer.  Or meaning I may never actually get to rest between loads...

Telling a story from the backseat:  One time before we were a family yet and me and Tucker had our own house for a minute, it was a cabin, and I could see the Reds win from there because we had a television. We also had a kitchen and a toilet and bunk beds and a table with all the things to make cinnamon rolls. 
*Reds = Buckeyes, because they have red uniforms… 

When I reminded him that he promised to do something today: No, I meant the tomorrow after that. 

I know what two Os and one Z spell!  Zoo!

In his bedroom: You know what the air smells like in here?  It smells like airplane wings.

When his pediatrician asked, at his four year well-visit, what ways he exercises, I thought he'd mention riding his bike or swimming or the playground, but instead said he used those hexagon things with the line that connects the hexagons so you can pick it up and down.  Lifting weights.  Which he is not allowed to do unsupervised, but does occasionally request.
The doctor had also asked, several minutes prior, whether he knew at least three basic shapes.  Confirmation.

Is it another day yet? he wonders, usually mid-morning, always in reference to his Hot Wheels advent calendar. When will it be another day?  Will there be another day after tomorrow?  

Pointing at my belly: Hey, is the baby naked in there or is he wearing some clothes? 

As I stood from the couch:  Is it okay if I take your warm spot?


weekends win

The best part of the holidays may be the social aspects, spending time with family and friends, making room to appreciate all the magnificent things that are and will be.



1.  a good reminder that I don't really need six more cups of coffee or eleven million dollars
2.  Carmen in Cayman via @daytonerwife
3.  #notohio
4.  Ohiowa forever
5.  triple date via @daytonerwife
6.  home again

7.  junior Lego League
8.  Tolliver recognized himself immediately: I have red hair and a green shirt and a mad face
9.  cousins at Thanksgiving
10.  unsolicited yard help is the best
11.  tailgate birthday songs, times three
12.  sprinkle cake and more cousins
13.  November birthday buddies
14.  four 

 15.  if you did the right thing and you'd do it again
16.  Grandpa and the Grinch
17.  because December tries to steal the light
18.  all the parts of my heart
19.  the image that pretty much won the internet this week via @mollyholstein
20.  our newest family member #johndamon #chelseysdream