Christmas Eve in Switzerland with Dolly Parton

December 24, 2013

A week ago we had no idea we would be here... sipping disappointingly flavorless hot chocolate in Andermatt, Switzerland while listening to Dolly Parton belt out Christmas tunes on a speaker rigged up in a little wooden hut next to an ice skating rink. And yet here we are. 

We spontaneously and successfully hopped on a free military flight to Germany, rented a car, drove south, and have tucked ourselves into this little Swiss Alps town. Hoping to ski, eat lots of fondue, and stay warm. Merry Christmas!

The Party Girls

December 21, 2013

Somehow it always happens. They show up just when I have almost given up on them. Prancing into the party oozing confidence and perkiness.

I love Christmas cacti with their flashy pops of color and their exotically spiky foilage. They are the scantily clad party girls of the season, never as predictable as the poinsettia or as elegant as the amaryllis or as demure as the paper whites. They let loose in their own way and they always make me smile. 

Curating A Home

December 19, 2013

Tiny museums, cabinets of curiosity, collections of memories, delicate souvenirs, layers of life, and threads of stuff sewn together to create a home. I watched this little video after washing the floor, sorting through junk mail, and climbing up the stairs to the disaster area that is our bedroom. I didn't know what it was about, but it created a strange inner shift.

Since returning to work, the Sisyphean tasks of daily life (dishes, laundry, dishes, laundry, toilets, newspapers, dishes, and laundry) have been threatening to flatten us. We just can't seem to catch up, can't seem to form a solid rhythm, and it is dragging me down with the weight of it all. This struggle isn't new for me, but it has certainly been more intense during the past few months. After watching the Sullivans in their home, I am realizing that these feelings of being overwhelmed aren't just about the bulging laundry hampers, this is also about the junk mail.

Moving every three years is a very good thing for us because it forces us (ok, mostly me, since I am the worst pack rat in the family) to purge and solidify which things have meaning and usefulness in our lives. I want our home to have vivid memories and stories attached to the objects that we save and savor. Junk mail, shoes that are uncomfortable, sheets that are itchy, and soap that smells bad need to be removed. 

In this coming year, I want to have our own mini revolution. I want to print more family photos and hang them up/frame them. I want to get rid of junk mail as soon as it enters the house. I want to find a way to preserve the shells, rocks, fossils, and other delicate treasures that we are constantly collecting. I want to rotate our collections and bring things out that we haven't seen in awhile. I want to shift from thinking of myself as the bitter, weary janitor to thinking of myself as a curator.

City Lights Bookstore

December 18, 2013

Have a seat and read a book.

A literary meeting place since 1953.
A literary habitat for humanity.

We happily stumbled upon City Lights Bookstore during an early morning walk in San Francisco (last month). We could have easily spent the whole day there!

For The Birds

December 16, 2013

San Francisco, November 2013

Allison and Preston

December 15, 2013

Snow Day

December 12, 2013

First snow of this year. Two days off from school and work. Sledding was attempted but without too much success. Snowball fights were enjoyed by all.

Hanukkah 2013

December 3, 2013

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