Merry Christmas!

A photo and some musings from our house this year...
with warm wishes for a happy holiday, and all our love.
Hank:  thumb sucker / first rate finder of tiny things / professional clapper / skilled at charming ladies, belly laughs and peekaboo / resident greeter, complete with "hi" and big hand waves / grower of teeth 

Tucker:  world class Lego builder / second grade fraction phenom / equally proficient at telling stories and not listening / piano virtuoso / skilled Minecraft creator / Spanish language whiz / world's best sharer

Tolliver: local inquisitor, and also authority on everything / budding artist / best in wrestling weight class / Pokemon pundit / resident critic / expert big brother / reigning Candyland champion

Jenni:  executive egg chef / comprehensive night shift experience / heard on the radio by tens of people every single day / healer of minor injuries / keeper of family stories / accredited laundress

Andy:  endorsed foreman of wooden block structures / certified pancake breakfast specialist / healer, at home and at work, of major injuries / solid supporter of messy hair and yoga pants / chief diaper changer / clinical instructor student favorite  



It gets dark early and the days seem over before dinner.  And the days seem so full of things, the season feels so full of stuff.

But there is always room.
There is always time to read, to write.  There is time for tea and talking, time to swim laps, time to see a show.  Time to stop whatever felt important and build Legos, bake cookies, admire artwork, play fire station.
There is always time.
This is mostly a note to myself.  A reminder, as I stand and eat dinner, lukewarm, with a tiny human tugging at my pant leg.  With a million to-dos tugging at my attention.
There is always room for ice cream, even after a big meal, even if it feels like it's just squeezing into the cracks.  
There is always room.



We took the boys to West Virginia for the weekend.
And while they were busy using a new metal detector to hunt for treasure and talking about gems in the Minecraft manual, I realized our time together felt more valuable than anything they might ever make or find.

It's sometimes easier to sort the daily joys and triumphs from the rocks and hard places when you're not at home.  While there were still dirty diapers and middle of the night wake ups and sibling bickering and struggles to share new toys, there were also lots of golden nuggets packed into the brief trip::

chocolate cupcakes and homemade french fries
hot coffee and cold beer and belly laughs
projects in Poppy's dangerous room
light up Lego bricks and flashlights and farm toys
feeding the dog and the cat and the birds
jigsaw puzzles and bingo games and circuit boards
pizza and donuts and filet and sparkling grape juice
cartoons and knock knock jokes and zooey zips
 Hank was there too, precious boy, although he somehow managed not to be in many pictures...



beginning to look

Advent calendars and holiday jammies and cookie baking, the annual neighborhood progressive dinner and a new santa hat, plus a fresh blanket of snow this afternoon... 


my lucky stars

Counting them, thanking them...
And if we're counting months too, he's nine now.