Friday, January 29, 2010

Yesterday was Busy

Some new friends join me for Pot Luck lunch. Third Thursday of each month, rotating through the neighborhood. Just like Texas Days of Yore...

In Texas the ladies met once a month. Pot Luck. Bring your kids. After Pre-school pick up so all the girls could make it. Some guests were Grandmas. Some were newlyweds. All were hungry. Always casual, very dependable, super fun.

I need to make some true friends here. I mean, other than my sisters and the other true friends I made our last time 'round in Utah. So I asked around about having monthly pot-luck lunches in this new neighborhood.

It's a Go!

This is my second turn hostessing. And after a day of being quite ill, I feared I'd have to cancel. But the heavens were smiling down on our luncheon, and I was made whole just in time (the night before) to open the doors and let the sunshine-y visitors come in.

Chicken curry wraps were yummy. The almond cake was my favorite. Brought by our Russian neighbor, who also brought her darling twins and her camera to take new pictures of friends she had not met. And she's lived here lots longer than me. Her arrival at our luncheon was the confirmation that I had been made well just so we could gather together.

Tender mercies, for sure.

Today we have a sick one (again, sigh. Moving always brings illness into our home; the first year in the new address is the most medically expensive of all the years to germs in new places = frequent trips to the pediatrician) and friends coming home with our kids after school. Porter enjoys a Jazz Basketball game with John. We prepare to ski tomorrow.

and I am glad its the weekend.

p.s. see our new light fixture? Isn't it so awesome? This is a collaborative effort between myself and my father, purveyor and owner of the Lamp Company in Salt Lake City, UT. He and his trusty assistant Gabe came and installed it themselves just the other night. The best compliment I've received in a very long time came when dad stood back and viewed the finished work. "Really cool" he said. I know he'd had his doubts about my lighting design. I tend the see the world just a little differently than most, and in lighting that can be dangerous, I guess ;)

But in the end, dad saw that it was good.

I'll send you more photos to envy soon. For now just think BRIGHT brought to a dimly lit room at the Spruces...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time to Decorate Again...

Madi decks the windows that flank our front door

Felt flowers, candles and various hearts collect on a thrifted tray at the kitchen table

cheesy sparkles in glass bowls in the library and music room

Its time for glitter in red and pink and purple.
Our traditional life size valentine from me to all the kids will fill up the front room window when the Day of Love arrives
Candy and the signing of many names on silly cards will be part of next week's family home evening

How do you acknowledge this day of cheap chocolates and mandatory romance?
We do it by going over the top with the sequins
We are glittering here at the Spruces!

Coming Next week: Peek into the concept of 'Home'. See How it means different things for different wonderful women...

Monday, January 25, 2010

A highlight of this weekend...

yes, this is a repeat of the picture above. I'm that happy this composition is complete!

We had a very nice weekend;

my brother's 40th birthday surprise party (John doesn't want a party this summer when he joins the ranks of the middle aged. What will I do for him instead???) we all snuck into the classroom where he feeds teenage minds the truth about politics and the society. He was surprised. It was great.

John took the big kids skiing; best snow yet for this ski year

We both took kids and some cousins to see "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the Salt Lake Children's Theatre. Fabulous production-those guys do a great job and the tickets are a bargain for an afternoon at the theatre

The Graham family dessert gathering took place with Aunt Brynley and Uncle Dean providing scrumptious cinnamon rolls and mom Graham unloading more cool stuff on her kids (I bought two of these books, I have this extra print, who would like these lovely home accessories?)

But the Highlight of the weekend; After being very teary and kind of pitiful Sunday morning (why don't my clothes fit? I forgot to put the time on the flyers for the church luncheon! I am going to be late, and I"m first on the primary program!), John helped me pull myself together and finally compose and execute the design of our dining room wall. He was like a surgeon (hammer! Screw driver! Nail! Level!). I am happy with the color balance and I love to see it on the wall, after seeing it like this in my mind for months. Fill in that circle on the to-do list ;)

Happy Monday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


He's the dad in this photo. And a really great dad at that...

My oldest brother turns 40 today. I've been thinking about it alot this last week or so. Because he is the only sibling in my family older than I am. Because we spent lots of years living in the same house and being really close friends. Because I listened to him tell me when he first fell in love. Because I believed him when he told me he was in love with the love of his life (that hotty dark haired darlin' you are looking at in the above photo...). Because He was the guy who took me on a date when no one in my school would take me to the homecoming dance. Because he is a dedicated educator who routinely trades the small salary he earns for the large satisfaction that he gains from making in difference in the lives of high school seniors. Because he has always listened to me. Because he is now not "young man" nor is he an "old man".

And because his turning 40 means I will turn 40 soon too.

But this post is not about me. Its about him, my big brother. And I bet he hasn't thought about turning 40 that much. He's just not preoccupied with junk like that.

Happy Birthday brother. I love you so much. I feel so glad God put us on this planet to be brought up by the same parents and I"m so glad I got to follow your lead. This year will be as good for you as all the others have been-because you are beyond age and full of wisdom and spirit!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

As Sunny as the Sky, as Gray as the Clouds

proof that winter can mean blue skies, like a halo, right above the Spruces

Yesterday began with clouds and slush. An unexpected drizzle followed by a flurry of snow. My mood matched the weather; stormy. A sick child's needs upsetting the intricately laid plans which would run me here to there in the pursuit of fitness and in the name of supporting public education.

I was brooding and very distraught. John worried over my mental health.

As I drove back from dropping the little girls at preschool the trechory of the roads gave way to spring like thaw. The skies became blue. The temperature reflecting the sun that so brightly reared its cheerful head on my inversion riddled temperment.

I set to work in the house, my sick one sleeping peacefully. Working quickly and checking things off the list, my spirit began to feel the warmth of the outside sun. I stopped to pray. I pondered. I begged for the sunshine to last within me.

It did, for a short while through the day...

Then the clouds returned. I remembered what didn't happen instead of what did.
John returned home to the same stormy wife he'd left that morning. Poor, poor John.

The fickle nature of the winter sun can sometimes mirror my own emotions. I long for sunnier days on the inside, regardless of the outside slush.

It will come, with longer prayers and more realistic ideas about how much one person who rears 6 can accomplish in a single day...

for now, I wish for inner spring.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Above Average, but still normal

We disagree on things (especially how to spend our time and money)
I don't feel a thrill of excitement when I hear the words "board game"
John shudders with concern when he hears me say "errands"
I want John to spend money on me when we go on vacation together
John feels the money spent to go on the vacation is evidence enough of devotion
I feel it would be nice to install the laundry room lights and hang the black framed picture wall
John feels it would be nice to play a game with his children and balance the budget together

John works hard to do things that will bring me happiness (harder than I ever thought he would when I promised to love him forever, by the way...)

I work hard to do things that will bring John happiness too (wanna see my budget ledger? hubba hubba...)

Its lots of give and take, and I admit I know I take a lot more than I give.

As marriages go, I think its way above average. Not perfect, but with decent trajectory. And lots of pure intent.

And you won't find me complaining about him here in public, nor in front of my offspring. That's just not my place; to put down the person who decided to confide all in me and trust me above any other on this earth. We disagree in front of our kids, but we won't dishonor one another in front of them, ever.

Still, rest assured,

we are normal.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend with Sisters

We stayed up late and tried to sleep in
We ate delicious food and were finicky about where we ate it
We thrifted and consigned and did Target sans kids
Pedicures on a whim
A trip to the St. George Temple
Great conversations on hikes and drives

Thanks to the Hintze's for sharing their digs with us in Sunny St. George
Thanks to the husbands for manning the houses while we were away from our darlings

A few days to recharge the batteries, and to remember that sisters are the best friends you could ask for

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Faces I see when I think of Haiti

Carrine, the bright eyed beauty who captured Suzie's heart.

and her little brother Ridge, who was loved before he was seen by a family who wanted him forever

an orphan baby girl gets a bath from Rebecca

The darling face of this little boy was in my dreams days after I left the country of Haiti. John and I had begun the adoption journey, and I was terrified I was leaving my son or daughter behind. Little did we know that Lucy was born far away from the orphanages I visited, and was born 3 years after this trip changed my life for good.

this little guy was living with Rebecca while his American family fought the corruption rampant in the government where adoptions were concerned. They paid Rebecca room and board for their son while they tried to get him to the States, to be home with them forever

Dear Ridge and Carrine,

What a blessing it has been in my life to have visited Haiti when your mom brought you home. I know that life must seem very far away for you now. I couldn't begin to believe I could understand your feelings concerning your homeland. I'm sure as you face your futures it must be wild to look back at your past. Your talents, in athletics, in compassion, and intelligence (Carrine you are SO SMART!) are developed in your family in ways you probably don't appreciate right now (or maybe you do? I hope). Whatever your feelings are about the land where you were born, I want you to know that I'm glad I got to see it.

And that I got to meet you THERE. I look at BOTH of you with a lot of respect and admiration, because I watched you walk out of the orphanages that you had made your home. I watched you act with faith as a family who loved you-but who were largely strangers to you- invited you to learn a new language, be part of a new culture, and embrace a religion you had chosen to accept. You were strong then, stronger than you could tell us in Creole. But I could see it in your eyes, and feel it in your very presence.

And look where you are now. Ridge, you are an unstoppable athlete. And I have seen you melt as you held our babies and played with our children. And you are learning to be responsible for your actions and your attitudes. I've seen you serve other people, and I know there is a depth to your soul that-as you find and accept it-can be a force for good in the world.

Carrine, your academic achievements are so incredible! You sieze opportunities to gain knowledge and intelligence. You are a kind and loyal friend, and a stalwart daughter of God. He loves you my dear friend. And He knows you very well, to have sent Susie and Dave to YOUR orphanage, to find you and bring you to a place where they would provide opportunity for your talents to be developed. Whatever challenges you face, I hope you will always remember that I KNOW that God knows you. I watched Him work in you, and in your parents too. I love you very much...

and I'm so grateful I know you, like very few other people do. I've seen where you came from-and I can see all the places you might go from here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This Is Haiti BEFORE the Earthquake

A shopping area in the city's most wealthy hillside neighborhood
notice the plaster-walled homes, and that luckily this rich area has paved streets

look to the right of the photo, the little homes built right into the hillside. Those are shanties, constructed of plaster and wood walls, no foundations and tin roofs. The government has a tax for each wall you construct, and another tax upon completion of a home-so many Haitians will build a home that is missing an entire wall, so they can avoid the tax required to live in finished quarters.

The edge of a shanty town, look in front of the tin roofed houses and see the garbage that has built up for so long and has all but decomposed. It is said the government of Haiti-to profit for itself-sold all the public dumsters to its neighboring country, the Dominican Republic. This was the explanation i was given when I asked why there was garbage in every nook and cranny of the city

this is the construction of a large home in the city. See the gravel on the left? That is what is used to create cement, it is ground and mixed into a plaster/paste. Instead of sturdy 2x4's you can see the many sticks that make up the frames of the walls.

Many many men serve as day laborers on construction sites like these. These men are hungry and want to feed themselves and their families. They have no education and very little experience. Mistakes are made routinely in construction-electricity and plumbing issues are common due to unskilled labor

One cannot escape the news of the terrible earthquake that has devistated the capital of Haiti. I travled to Haiti 6 years ago to help my dear friend Susie bring two children home to be part of her family. It was a completely life changing experience for me. I had never visited a country that lacked hope like this nation. Corruption at every turn, mothers handing their children over to the orphanages because they could not feed them any more (I witnessed this first hand. A mother, with her 3-4 year old daughter all dressed in pigtails and ribbons, tried to get the woman we were staying with to take her only child. That lack of motherly instinct was due to hopelessness. It was terrifying to me-who was desperately homesick for my 4 children all safe and fed at home with their daddy in Boise Idaho-to watch a woman about my age have such a willingness to relinquish the motherly instinct I was swimming in at that moment).

During the week I was there, we visited several orphanages and I spent time with Rebecca Maisato-a humanitarian who had moved there with her daughters from Provo Utah to help the fatherless and destitute. I learned so much from Rebecca, who had "found" nine (I think!) boys on the streets in various miraculous ways and had come to feel that these boys were to belong to her forever. She was trying (it took her 3-4 years to succeed in her efforts) to get the boys out of Haiti and to the states to receive an education, but as she waited she worked. She taught the boys in school (they ranged in age from about 9-16 I think) and then they all went out in their little pick up truck and visited the orphanages, helped at the shelters and fed children who were living on the streets. She had literally given away everything she had and was relying on the donations of others so she could be the eyes and ears of who needed help and how.

I'm so happy she and the boys are safe in the States (some of them now serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Watching Rebecca read the book of Mormon with these stripling warriors was the experience of a lifetime. Each one, when introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ by Rebecca and the full time missionaries in their area, accepted and embraced the gospel.)

The faces of the babies I held in the orphanages that week have surfaced to my mind in the days since the earthquake struck. The people I met at church. The man who drove us around. The woman who did laundry and cooking for Rebecca. I've thought of them like ghosts wandering through my memory.

While I "hang out" with my sisters on a fun girls' weekend there are so many who suffer. Children who are now fatherless. Mothers whose babies are trapped. I don't mean to be morbid. I know God knows them all. But it is important to remember that WE are His hands on Earth. Perhaps we cannot lift those in Haiti from their poverty and devastation. But there are others, all around us, whose lives we can help to improve.

Think globally, remember the world is a very big place and that most of the people who live in it do not have the wealth and comfort we have. Do what you feel is best, but Do SOMETHING to lift the load of poverty that weighs down the vast majority of this world.

God bless the people of Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

From the Met

Last month I enjoyed a few hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I stood in front of Van Goh's "Sunflowers" and dropped my jaw in front of Monet's "Sunsets" series. It was a most awesome morning for me.

The many docents and security personel remind patrons of the museum to photograph the art with caution; and without flashes (!). I confidently stood here, in front of Monet, and pushed the red button on my camera, positively sure my flash was turned off.

It wasn't.

The security guard turned his head faster than you could say "oops". He quickly and quietly confiscated my camera, and proceeded to give me a one on one lesson on how to turn off my flash.

I was embarrassed. And I also giggled as I walked out of the gallery.

It was so something I would do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What is Clean to Me?

Yesterday the big girls were singing their own praises for getting their morning checklists done before they were off to school. Bryn in particular was proud of the fact that she'd gotten her room cleaned up. I sent them away feeling gratified that they were applying all that teaching I've been doing over these last many years of their lives.

Then I went to their room. With the intention of putting a candy bar on their beds to tell them how proud I was of them for getting their jobs done (mind you; these girls have about 60 minutes of "work" to do each morning and an hour and a half to do it in. SO many mornings they tell me they don't have enough time blah blah blah...)

yes, that is the inside of their closet. Note the empty hangers hung above the pile of clothing which is on the ground below...


I felt like eating the candy bars I'd carried down to give to them, out of pity for myself and the vast amount of work in parenting I have before me.

A mother's work is never done
(and appearantly yesterday, the girls' work wasn't done either)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Best Part of Morning Church...

Afternoon Naps

Hope you had a great weekend
Mine was spent productively
clean house (Yippee!!!)
Lots of Groceries (costco is a zoo on Saturdays!)
A lesson in Apple Cool (I will be savvy on this computer someday soon)
A Hot Date with a Hot Guy in the Cold weather (Ice Skating to YMCA and the Hokie Pokie...)
Sunday meetings, naps, food and family

Friday, January 08, 2010

My "To-Do" list of this week...very long and self revealing

I grimace as I face the list...

My amazing sister posted a list of all she has accomplished this week since the New Year began. I was "wowed" by her productivity, and really proud of her seeing all she had done, instead of dwelling on the few things she hadn't.

But I think I'll go ahead and dwell. Because my list of things I have not yet done is pretty overwhelming for me.

I am, by very nature, a list maker. Lists of qualities I want to possess. Lists of outfits I have creatively organized (yes, I have made a list of outfits. Shallow, I know). Lists of things I admire in my husband. Lists of friends I have made and would like to keep in touch with. Lists of places I want to go with our family. Lists of experiences I want to have with my kids before they leave my nest.

And I make lots of to-do lists.

My system has become fairly refined over the years. It is a hand written list (I have not had success with Apps for this process). They are kept together in a little notebook. I fill in a little hand drawn circle when each task is accomplished. The notebook stays with me most always. I also write notes to myself here, usually about other lists I need to make. The notebook even comes to my room at night, where I often deposit random things that didn't or did get done onto its pages so my brain can rest through the night.

My to-do list right now is very long. And full of things I don't immensely enjoy. And I have been fairly grumpy about its length and content of late. The things on my list often do not make it to the list my spouse keeps for "us". And that is well and good, because -also by very nature- I often feel things are important to get done that probably really aren't that important. And my amazing and deeply capable spouse is able to prioritize what NEEDS to happen from what would BE NICE to get done. While it all, in my mind, remains a NEED.

The list every day has the following
exercise O read (scriptures that is) O pray (morning in particular) O blogO

like i said, the little 'O' is there for me to fill in when these tasks are complete


so I will work to drink my needed 8 glasses every day

Then comes the overwhelming stuff, the stuff that just isn't getting done;
clean the house
-5 bathrooms O
-clean den windows O
-put our clean clothes away O
-organize and tidy my closet O
-clean the hallwayO
-organize the toys and dress ups O
-clean out and organize my studio O
-clean kitchen countersO
-Mop kitchen floorO
-clean up laundry roomO

take the TV to D.I. O
get groceries O
get to Costco!O
prepare my primary calling O
register Mason for EFY O
pay the water bill O
Wash the car inside and out O
get a sitter for Saturday night O
call the Vet for Cooper O
get items on Internet classified adds O
-green hutch
-girls' bunk beds
-downstairs fridge
-computer desk
-stereo cupboard
Get black framed photos on landing wall O
write thank you notes from Christmas O
pick up the comforter from the cleaners O
get to Target to buy next year's Christmas lights (on clearance) O
organize message center O
go to Home Depot for Wood glue, hooks for Porter's flag, light fixture for garage O
get hooks up in girls' room and downstairs bathroom O
patch walls where towel racks used to be in downstairs bathroom O
replace my tinted moisturizer O
listen to on line lecture for scrapbook class and do assignments 1&2 O

that is what I have on my list. Now I can fill in the "to do" that says 'blog'

have a happy and productive weekend. See you here on Monday

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Last Night and This Morning

A peek into the new laundry room, every inch is used, and very much appreciated!

Last Night in desperation I went to my daughters for help. 3 or 4 clean loads of laundry were heaped in piles instead of neatly folded into the children's baskets. Thousands of pine needles prickled all over our basement carpet. Dishes were piled upstairs. the boxed Christmas decorations were not in the attic, but stacked in the piano room and by the downstairs fireplace.

I was at my witts end with the housework.

The girls were willing to come to my aid. They set up their little stereo in the little laundry room and began to fold and sort as they sang and giggled with each other. I brow beat my younger youngs to stay in their beds as I swept the carpet, then vacuumed, then unclogged the vacuum's suction tube, then tried it once again. As the lines left by the vacuum revealed clean floor where dirty had been I felt a sense of relief. I have literally gone back downstairs just to see that one spot is clean in the very upturned place that is our little abode.

The dishes went undone. The girls went to bed past their bedtime. But Christmas is laid to rest at the Spruces, and one corner (the corner where the tree used to be) is tidy and as it should be.

Lucy is satisfied with the food storage hot chocolate prepared to help her greet the day

This morning I took my (and your, thank you) advice, and prepared hot chocolate for scriptures. I was quite surprised at how unimpressed my 3 oldest children were at my efforts. But Porter? Porter! He was up and going before you could say "Swiss Miss". He listened as he dunked his vanilla wafer into the warm chocolate drink, and instead of crying when it was his turn to read a verse ("I don't even know which one I"m supposed to read mom! How can I read when I'm so cold and tired?! MOOOMMM, don't make me do this!") he was ready and willing. The little girls were equally elated to find warm drinks when they awoke. This was a total upside to what turned out to be a crazy morning (I caught Porter continuing his eagerness to read in his bed later in the morning when he was supposed to be making said bed and picking up the bedroom floor-this is a recurring theme in our family...reading as a guilty pleasure and a total distraction to work that is at hand).

So, we are making it through these early January days. I didn't realize until this morning how much I've been missing the sun. I think the Salt Lake Valley inversion has become more hazy and yucky since I've been away. Those gray, murky days are not a welcome sight for me. Better get saving for some snow shoes and order up the extra warm long johns. I can tell I'm going to need lots of trips to the canyons to make it through the rest of what is feeling like a dark and soupy winter.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A charming Dream to share

A neighborhood nursery and flower shop in NYC
these were peppered in every neighborhood, always with a green awning, and always with buckets of fresh flowers and cuttings for passers by to take home to their apartments and lofts

When our family lived in Stockholm I found a favorite place. On a tiny island in the middle of the city stood an orchard and a beautiful large garden full of seasonal blooms as well as herbs and vegatables. In the center of this gathering of growing things was a huge, white, picturesque garden building. the many windows revealed a cafe within, bustling with locals who wanted to be away from city life for just a while. Visitors were invited to cut their own flowers or pick their own fruit, and were asked to pay for their findings inside the barn, where other fresh produce offerings as well as preserves, sache de fleur, and other items produced by the surrounding bounty were offered for sale. We came more than once to lay down our picnic blanket at eat in the orchards. i still use the cutting scissors I purchased there whenever I bring home flowers to display here at the Spruces.

When we lived in Boise, some locals bought an old church a few miles up the road from our neighborhood. In it they created Rembrandt's; a lovely "coffee garden" that sold lots more than coffee. Delicious meals, late night desserts and gelato along with live acoustic music on the weekends, comfy seating and a stash of board games for families to enjoy while they visited. It opened about a year before our time in Boise ended, and we frequented this spot on date nights and with out of town guests, as well as after long bike rides or just to meet girlfriends for lunch.

John and I have long enjoyed the very concept of gathering others around good food in comfortable surroundings. We've opened our doors to bring people into our homes and we've enjoyed feeding them immensely. John with his talent for cooking and his avorice for reading cook books, and my feddish for 'setting mood' and creating an atmosphere where people feel at home and want to linger has made for a lovely partnership in all things entertaining (we are looking for a third partner who has a passion for cleaning up. So far, we have no takers, but our search continues in earnest!)

Now we are planted in a place we'd like to stay in for a very long time to come. And over the last week or so John has been coming to me with little musings about what he'd like to do some time in the far distant future. The name of a chef he's admired here locally. Some ideas for properties which could serve as both gathering place and growing grounds. Books and recipes and just good ideas about how to invite others to enjoy time spent among that which is growing, and to be edified by those tastes and textures and smells that come from good cooking and very hard work.

It is so so so just a dream-but, it is fun to be dreaming with him. And so nice to be sometimes engaged in the idea that our good ideas-when combined and mixed and grown all together-might produce something lovely and real. That something is tangible to us whenever the doors to the Spruces swing open to invite friends in. But, at least in dream and theory, maybe someday, in that very distant future, some beautiful patch of earth with a charming barn and garden building will be an extension of that passion for gathering and growing. A place where groups can linger and lounge and enjoy good food and the thrill of plucking the bounty of the earth for them to enjoy and take home...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

After the Yule Tide...

from this...

To this...

After the wave of holiday celebrating there is always the clean up. This takes me days, and I dread it immensely. How to put it all back in the boxes it came out of. How to remember how it decked the halls so that next year's decorating will be simplified. One tree done (the upstairs tree wasn't even photographed this year, definitely need to remedy that next time we have a December!) and still one tree to go.

And it all has to be done amid other house chores like laundry and dishes which seem to add up during the holiday break.

So, I'm up to my neck in mess. Once its all put away I can look forward to resolutions and look back at the best of 2009. For now, it feels like moving day with a decided Christmas bent.

see you back here tomorrow. And P.S.; How do you help your kids "deal" with the going back to school blues? We are struggling to get kids to bed on time and help them feel motivated on these dark winter mornings to rise from their beds and walk (to school)....give me your advice! Perhaps hot chocolate at scriptures tomorrow? Maybe some sugar in the dark of the a.m. is just the jump start we need...

Monday, January 04, 2010

The New Year Started Right

john even came looking for me to get a midnight kiss.
Welcome to a new decade!

We've relaxed. We've slept late. We've eaten chocolate, and soup, and pulled pork sandwiches. We've skiied. We've gifted. We've received.

Now children are in school and John is out of town. I am realizing that I did, in fact, get a spare tire for Christmas (the kind that sits around your middle. The kind I've been getting rid of for the last two months. I brought it back in less than two weeks. Not a welcome guest).

I'm feeling resolute and a little blue all at once. Ready to take on the world and also wanting one more morning to sleep in.

But I'm back on the blog, so I guess that means we are back to routine. Hope your holidays were merry and bright! See you here tomorrow, and throughout 2010.