Second Christmas at Home


Hi there friends– Just one more Christmas post!!  After our sweet time with kids up in San Francisco, we trekked back home for celebrations with family here.  It was a bustling few days and a small house bursting at the seams–a festive time with people we love.  (If you aren’t into way-to-many Christmas photos, you might want to skip this post!!)

We sat down to Christmas Eve lunch, four generations around the table,  opened a few gifts and passed around baby Lois.

     

Christmas Day– Gifts exchanged, new toys tried out and my favorite– Spanish tapas supper around the coffee table after all the hub bub had died down.

     

     

The week filled up with park walks and picnics, playing around the house with 4 grand-girls and a pass through In-and-Out as we ferried John & Laurel to the airport.

      

     

     

     

So thankful for the time with our kids– and for the chance to remember our Savior’s come to earth.  It was a Merry Christmas.

Early Christmas in San Francisco


Hi all– We had a two part Christmas this year– starting out with 3 nights with kids up in San Francisco.  It was all lively grand-kids and beautiful meals, cookie decorating and a big explore in the arboretum.  Thanks thanks Jessica for pulling us all together!

We started our celebration with a ramble through the SF Arboretum.  Mae & Eero were our tour guides and Ani & Brian supplied Wooly Pig sandwiches for a picnic on the lawn.

     

     

There was a table full of cookie decorators and lots of cookie nibbling.

     

We had some beautiful meals around the table together.  From Jessica’s morning waffles to Chef Chris’ short ribs with glazed carrots and cashew-beet sauce.

     

And there was some mid morning gift opening by the Christmas tree by all the cousins.

     

But my favorite part of our days together was watching the cousins play together.
     

     

Here we are all together.  Thanks bunches AA & Jessica for everything!!   So one more Merry Christmas dear readers.  Hope you had a sweet time with people you hold close.

On Being A Mom


A cloudy day in the Spanish countryside, about 30 years ago, with little Laurel.

Hi all — I read once, that when a child is born, so is a mother…  It all begins in a haze of long nights, and a steep learning curve that includes diapers, feedings and the most delicious tender snuggles.

Then one day you realize, they’ve turned from toddlers to small kids, with long legs and minds of their own.  And for the next few years, the joy is in watching them grow and learn and stretch into the people they will become.

And finally, one day you shuttle them off to college.  But you can’t help but still be a mom, with care packages and talks about new horizons.  And when they come home to visit, it’s the best to have them at arm’s length again.

The truth is, you never stop being a mom.  My mother is 85 and I still depend on her for a listening ear and her long life perspective.  I still need her near.


With Micah and Aaron on the beach, the year we live in Costa Rica

So for Mothers’ Day, I’m thinking through my “TEN BESTS OF BEING A MOM.”  Here they are:

#1.  Can I start with reading with kids??  In the dim light of bedtime, on road trips as we roll along, snuggled on the couch–sharing a story, talking it through…

#2. Of course, I love cooking together– decorating Christmas cookies or mixing up brownies with a little kitchen dancing thrown in.

#3. Vacations!  Hiking in Sequoia, studying our way through British museums, intrepid touristing from San Francisco to New York– the most vivid memories are of times away together.

#4. Quiet bedtime talks and prayers and songs– sweet times that fill a mother’s heart.

#5. Sitting around the table, talking through the day, insisting kids eat their peas!  (would skip the eating peas part if I were starting over).

#6. Sitting in church together, singing, praying, worshipping.

#7. Walking & talking–  through the park in Seville, along the beach in So Cal, across town to Yogurtland, along the trail at Land’s End– everyday conversations.

#8. And then –there’s a special joy in watching your children become parents to children of their own, with aplomb and grace.  I marvel at what tender, smart, generous, inventive parents they’ve turned out to be!

#9.  Plus grand-kids!!  So much happiness and wonder filling up days spent with those little people.

#10. I’ll end with grown kids coming in the door for a stay–the noise, the hugs, the breakfasts at the kitchen table.   That’s happening here in a couple weeks for some bridal showers and I can’t wait to see their pretty faces!

So that’s it.  Being a Mom– I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


With Ani on her high school graduation trip to NYC.

Christmas Together 2016

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Hello there– Hoping you had a sweet Christmas time with people you love–hugs and talks and good meals together.  We started off with a quick trip up the coast for Christmas with kids and then came home for more Christmas with kids here.

San Francisco Christmas with old AA, Jessica, Mae & Eero.
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photos: By the Christmas trees, always reading, walk to Blue Bottle for coffee.

Then home for 10 days o Christmas with family.
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photos:  Christmas cooking decorating, art projects and Christmas books.

It was a chance for cousins & grand grandparents to meet new little Lois.
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photos: Maryann gets to know her new cousin, Four generation photo with Great Grandma Lo, Great Grandma Helen cuddles Lois, Little Lo sleeping on Grandma’s lap.

My favorite times were sitting down together around the table.
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photos: Great Grandparents, Helen, Stu & Lorraine after Christmas Eve lunch,  cooking in the kitchen with Jodi, my second-sis Jenon on Christmas Eve, Christmas breakfast, Christmas night supper–tapas by the fire.

And there was some gift opening on Christmas morning after Grandpa Larry read the Christmas story.
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And a last few photos to remember the days together.
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photos: Micah, Jodi & 3 girls off to have family portrait taken, Ani & Brian (with little Lois) on a post Christmas hike, Laurel-the ever ready baby holder, family together on Christmas Eve.

Sorry for the photo overload!!  It was a fine full couple weeks.
Hope your Christmas was a sweet one and that you are hopeful for all that the New Year holds ahead…

Anticipating Christmas!

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Hi friends– I don’t know about you, but I’m an big anticipator.  I get a whole lot of joy imagining all the “Christmas” coming up this month.  Here’s what’s on my mind and heart:

#1. Today, I’m picking up my sis to Christmas shop.  We’ve been Christmas shopping together since we were 8 years old, pooling our $6 to buy all the family gifts!  We talk and shop and eat our way across town! The best.

#2. Bringing home the Christmas tree that Larry’s strapped to the top of the car.  I love that bit of piney green in the house with all the well worn ornaments.

#3. Listening to Christmas music, cranking up the Messiah while I put cookies into the oven.

#4. Evenings celebrating with dear friends, hearing Christmas plans and hopes…

#5. Hugging all our kids as they come in the door to stay.  They come from far and wide–so we have people piled high sleeping in every room of our small house.

#6. Decorating cookies with the grand-girls, sprinkles flying in every direction.

#7. Christmas Eve lunch with our parents, kids and grandkids, sitting down to share a big meal with the people we love most.

#8. Our big crazy Christmas Eve supper at my bother Mark’s house. Fifty of us all catching up, giving hugs, taking pictures…

#9. Christmas night tapas (thanks to our years in Spain) by the fireplace with the kids, a quiet end to Christmas.

#10. Tranquil moments through these weeks ahead, to thank God for his son come to show us his great love, to sing, to pray, to rest in Him.  God is good.

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Thank you margaretbergart.com for the reindeer.

Bittersweet Thanksgiving

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Hello friends– I’m wondering about your Thanksgiving.  Was the turkey tender, the cranberries tart?  Did you eat too much pie and was there a baby or two to pass from lap to lap?

We had a sweet day with our kids in San Francisco and all our son-in-law’s extended family –with a new baby, some memorable pecan pie and an after dinner walk up the hill to see the sunset over the ocean.

But this week we also had an alarming health scare in the family.  Hospital stays, anxious nights and prayers for God’s love and mercy.  The difficult side of life.  I’m hopeful for a good recovery and thankful to be back home with my mom tonight.

Here’s a few of my favorite memories of the week up north (grand-kids, grandparents and that pie!) :
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Thankful Ani & Brian for the days with you and that baby Lois.

Early Thanksgiving

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Hello all– Of course I have my share of cranky wake ups, but like Emerson, I woke this morning full of thanksgiving.  This past week has been one of the sweetest– the safe arrival of little baby Lois, days caring for her with Ani & Brian.  And it’s been made all the more sweet sharing the joy with family and friends, old and new.  So any notes, happy phone calls, texts, encouraging words…  Joy passed all around.

So I thank God for this new little soul–so much ahead for her.  It makes me happy to imagine her years to come ( I told her about reading books together and going to the zoo).  And I am utterly thankful for Larry (my co-grandparent), for family who’ve called and texted and (kindly) demanded daily photos!  For friends with beautiful thoughts and words of love.  And the happiness of watching Ani & Brian step into parenthood so deftly.  My heart is full.  I am thankful.

Here’s Ani & Brian with little Lois at the Apple store (Thanks Bri for helping get my laptop fixed!)
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thanks anchor-imparo for the Emerson quote.