I'm Denise and mama to two little wonders. I created this space to remind me to be more present as we move through the dance of our days. . .keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open to the joy and magic in each moment. Feel free to comment, I'd love to hear from you! All questions are answered in the comments section of each post.

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    Home Playgrounds: The Harrowsmith Guide to Building Backyard Play Structures
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:: winter memories ::

a handmade valentine for papa * a cleverly folded toilet paper tube * some paint, some yarn, some stickers, and a few hole punches * and then the sweetest message only a 4-year old could give. After learning the symbols for hugs and kisses, he needed 2 more of his own. . .for zerberts and tickles. 


Spring is (almost) here!

Even with a beach vacation thrown into the middle of our winter, for some reason this year spring seems to have taken a loooooong time to get here. But finally, we found ourselves not only blessed by a visit from family, but also the warmth of the SUN! And for our glorious afternoon we all nestled into our joy together out in the backyard. For some this meant lots of trampoline time-- jumping, a popcorn break, and then jumping about watching the popcorn have a riot beneath their feet. For others, a rousing game of baseball in the snow was the ticket.
And for the rest of us, a spot in the sun watching all of the above with a beer in hand was pure bliss I tell you. Thank you, Mrs. Thaw, we've been waiting for you!


:: winter memories ::

dinner in the dark, by candlelight, with both children ending up on our laps before the meal has ended . . . and the blessed gift of the candle to tune out all of the day's chaos and focus us on what matters most.



Where to begin? Since my last post over 3 months ago (!) much has happened that has kept me away from the computer. . .

  • On New Year's Day we headed south and 3 planes later landed in sunny Costa Rica--for over 2 weeks of well-deserved and needed family time! 
  • Me and the kiddos then headed back to the land of snow, while TJ continued on to coffee country in Honduras
  • Since his return the photos and memories have been piling up indeed, BUT with one caveat-- the room where we keep our home computer is nearly un-heated in the winter, while we spend most of our time hovering about the fireplace. Not sure if you've tried this, but typing in 50-degrees is challenging and uncomfortable to say the least!

But the warmer weather is slowly eking back, and so are the pussy willows, robins, and even some early bits of bulb greenery, and it appears a bit more blogging may be happening around these parts. Yesterday my feet even snuck out of the house without socks!

So, for those of you that have been waiting for the updates and photos (Hey, mom!) sorry for the looooong wait, but I'm back! I'll continue forging ahead with what's going on in our present days. But over the next week or 2 I'll also throw in a smattering of "Winter Memories" posts (in no particular order) just to record some bits from the past few months that I'd like to hold onto. 

And so with the re-birth of SPRING! all around me . . . let's get back to it, eh?


Winter Solstice 2010

As a child both TJ and I grew up celebrating Christmas and still continue to do so with our extended families. The memories of wrapping paper, new toys, Grandma's big white sugar cookies, Christmas carols, and the anticipation of Santa still bring a smile to my face and evoke a deep sense of warmth, love, and family togetherness. When TJ and I became parents, the first holiday season with Cedar we easily fell into the rhythm of what we knew and grew up with. But as Cedar grew and we began to think about creating our own family rituals based on our own beliefs we began shifting our holiday focus more towards the celebration of Winter Solstice. The rebirth of the Sun. The subtle shift of darkness into light. Yes, Santa still comes (there is a wonderful magic and spirit to his story that we wouldn't want to deny our children of). . .but when he comes his gifts are simple and sweet. A few nuts, an orange, some coins, and perhaps one new special toy. And just as we suspected it really isn't about the gifts for Cedar at all. . . but more the *Magic* of it all.

And so for our family each Winter Solstice you can expect that we'll be huddled together near the warmth of our fire sharing stories of the season, dipping beeswax candles, and hanging up our solstice wish holders (see photos above). The night of Solstice the side showing the darkness of winter faces out and we place written wishes for the new year inside. When we wake the following morning we find a small basket of treats left behind by the Solstice elves and notice that they have flipped our wish holders to show the strength of Sun returning. I imagine that as our children grow older our ritual will grow and shift. . .but in honor of what we hold most dear, we aim to keep it simple and meaningful. Happy Solstice from our family to yours!