Friday, December 30, 2011

Sarah, on Christmas

Look at those eyes - she looks like a crazy person. I was looking through all of the Christmas photos, trying to decide which of those lovely holiday moments to share here, but I just couldn't help myself. I added lots of photos to this blog post and then deleted most of them - they just didn't fit. She's too funny in these - I can't get past her expression . . . as you might guess, she was really excited on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

before Christmas

Before Christmas, we decorated our house . . .
and cookies and a gingerbread house, too.
We went to the Christmas parade . . .
and to the Nutcracker.
We celebrated with friends . . .
and made gifts for them and our family.
We enjoyed every minute we could with this sweet dog, and then we let her go to a new home, one better suited to her needs. We celebrated Sarah's birthday . . . and we enjoyed being festive!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sarah at Seven

Here she is. Our ballet dancer, our Christmas fairy, our pilgrim, our Kitty Soft Paws, our princess, our most festive of the bunch. She packed her Santa hat this morning to wear in the car on the way up to New Jersey, to wear on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and to wear any other time that suits her fancy. She packed Eric's hat too, and she told him that he should wear it, that it would be fun, but he refused. I'm sure she'll try to convince him several more times, and he won't have anything to do with it.

She won't care that she will be the only one wearing the Santa hat at the dinner table either. She won't notice that all of the other kids are more self-conscious, including her younger brother. Just like she didn't care when she was the only pilgrim at Thanksgiving or the only crazy person wearing face paint in public. (Actually, she convinced Eric that it would be okay and he went along with it at first, but he very quickly felt embarassed and made me wipe his face off as soon as we came home. We went out later, and Sarah wore her cat face with pride.)

I love this about her. I'm acutety aware that, at age seven, her early years are slipping away. It warms my heart to see that she takes no notice of this fact - she just keeps playing, dressing up, and creating magical worlds for herself (and anyone else willing to play along with her.)

Happy Birthday, sweet Sarah!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sarah's Sewing Party

Sarah asked if we could celebrate her birthday "out" this year. And so, for the first time, we had a birthday party away from the house. We went to Bull City Craft, a new arts/craft store in Durham, and made felt monsters. It was nice not to have to think about what needed to be done beforehand, and instead, just show up. (Almost just show up - I couldn't help but play with the monster idea. Monster plates, monster napkins, and monster goody bags made me happy.)

When I chose the monsters, I was really excited about the idea and thought the kids would love it. The owner suggested against the craft, noting that our group might be too young for sewing. But I made it clear that we were a proficient bunch. (Hindsight -I had a few of Sarah's friends in mind, whom I knew could sew. I had blinders on for the rest of them.) I felt confident about my choice until the date grew closer, as I realized that even Sarah has limited patience with most sewing activities we've tried at home.

So - we showed up and we sewed. For an hour and twenty minutes - an hour longer than I've ever been able to get Sarah to focus on sewing. Parents who stayed for the party helped a lot, and despite my concerns about how the process might evolve, everyone was more than patient.

In the end, I think it worked out. Everyone was really happy with their monsters, and I think they were proud of what they had accomplished. (Or they were just really happy to be done with them. Not sure on that one.) Either way, I thought the monsters (and the kids and parents who made them) were great.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

another treasure hunt

On the same day that I painted Sarah's face as Kitty Soft Paws (and Eric's as E-man), we went on a hike. (I feel the need to explain - as you can see, they decided not to take the face paint off for the hike.) For the kids, the goal was to find treasure. For Brian and me, the goal was to enjoy being in the woods with our kids. They found one of the two "treasures" we sought, and they barely complained about the hike, which was not a short one. (I was proud of them.) It was a beautiful day, and I spied lots of good and lovely things along the way. I couldn't imagine a better way to spend time with each other - treasure hunts bring out the best in all of us.