Sunday, November 25, 2012

California Dreamin'

After a long, lovely week home with the family, tomorrow we return to work and school. For the last five days, we've eaten more courses than one should - and then the left overs.  We've done some light Christmas shopping, nothing too crazy, just enough to get us in the spirit.  D and I spent an evening away, just he and I, shopping and eating.  It was a lovely time.

We spent a night in a casino hotel, so we did a little gambling.  We won some money, and then lost it. We discovered just how much gambling is not for us.I guess we work too hard for our money to play games with it.

"You know horses are smarter than people.  You've never heard of a horse going broke betting on people."  -Will Rogers

The food at the casino was fantastic.  The room was lovely, the bed was so nice. A night without worrying about the boys was priceless.

What a tremendous blessing, to celebrate our wedding anniversary - worry free, in the brisk air. We walked around and reminisced and bought new shoes for ourselves. He is my best friend. My very best friend, indeed.  How did I sleep before him?  How did anything make sense without him? I can't remember. I don't want to.

We got the Christmas tree up. We listened for hours on end as Big brother listed the endless, overwhelming list of things he wanted for Christmas. He is very detailed and passionate about what he wants.  He gets excited just telling us about some of the things he wants.  He doesn't even mention things he doesn't want, like boots or underwear. Instead, he goes on and on, naming specific action figures movies games trinkets adventures electronic bendable light-up wifi rocketing floating thing he has ever wanted.  More than anything, he dreams. It's ok to want. And it is certainly ok to share the wants you have - without holding back.  In fact, it's one of the most fun things to do as a kid.

As he rambled, I remembered the feeling that anything was possible. The feeling that: these are just my parents.They couldn't possibly understand the limitless capabilities of Santa Claus on Christmas morning.  Santa Claus doesn't have a price limit. He doesn't expect me to be reasonable. This is Christmas. Anything can happen on Christmas.  So I listened, and began to dream a little myself.

When you're an adult - especially an adult with children - no one asks you what you want for Christmas.  And if they do, it is generally met with a weak "oh, you know...whatever."  And that is what you get, whatever.  Whatever they come across that is available in your favorite color (plaid).  Whatever they find that would compliment your bathroom's color scheme (white) or will make a nice addition to something you have a collection of (picture frames), even though you aren't certain how you acquired that collection to begin with (no clue).

I asked Big brother to try to funnel some of his Christmas dreams onto a list, one that I could carry with me and now have several lists. Turns out, it's difficult to remember everything in one sitting.  Sometimes he needs to write a short list on a scrap of paper, which gets handed off to me to add to the existing list, bless his heart.  Sometimes he makes me repeat the name of the COOLEST LEGO SET EVER, over and over and over so that I can add it to the list myself when we get home.

Anyway, a list is always the way to go because, chances are even if you don't get everything (or anything at all) on the list - I really believe it is lovely to have something to allow your mind wander to that childish realm of possibilities. Even if it is just a few physical items that would make life easier or more pleasant or that are just nice to look at. Even if you could never afford it. Even if it's all just a dream.

"Our life is composed greatly of dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action.  They must be woven together."  - Anais Nin

So, without further ado ...


'Listen, when all of this around us falls over - I tell you what we're gonna do - Hey, you will shelter me, my love - And I will shelter you.'


Sunday, November 18, 2012

November Blue

Autumn almost passed us over here at Moraine this year.  After only a few weeks of golden fields and amber towers, every last leaf has drifted slowly, painfully, dramatically to the ground. The trees are shivering along the field edges, bare-boned and gray. We can see the pond now from the west-facing windows, right through all the trees, all sparkly and frigid cold.

The sky is a graceful pink and sometimes lavender as the sun goes down now. First thing in the morning, when we're sitting in the rocking chair under blankets, belly full of milk and eyes still adjusting, little brother and I watch it turn from ink-black to gray to a soft, dusty blue. Big brother finally wakes up and it is a starchy, crispy linen blue.  Unobstructed by any greenery, we are able to see all the dark-eyed juncos feverishly hop from branch to branch, huge clumps of them, frantic for seeds and happy the sun is warming their bones.

The lovely married cardinal couple come out of the evergreen trees. The fat raccoon disappears until evening comes. Our days start slower now than in the fall. Our toes are cold and it's hard to take off our pajamas. little brother watches cartoons while Big brother gets ready for school and D and I get ready for work most days. Coffee, bottles, and packing lunches and then the nanny arrives and we're all out the door for our days.

I started a new job and we hired a new nanny at the beginning of October.  It was a difficult decision, to leave little brother behind after being together every day for almost a year, but it was the best decision for the family as a whole.  It has been a difficult transition for all of us, but one that ultimately is beneficial for everyone. Our nanny is doing an exceptional job, and little brother has really taken to her.  She is a tremendously sweet girl. They enjoy their days, and he and I still get to spend a lot of time together because it is not quite full time.

Working all day leaves me very tired in the evenings. As soon as little brother is in bed, D and I usually retreat to our own bed to watch t.v. and pass out soon after.  He has been doing prescribed fires for work, and it leaves him filthy, tired, and stinky. It's kind of funny that we can barely stay awake later than our 10 year old, but I'm sure our parents and felt the same way, and their parents, and so on.

D and I often remind each other that we're doing this for our kids - so they can play sports, get a car, go to college, get married, and buy a home someday -with our help. So the boys always know to come to us, that we'll always have their backs no matter how old they are or how far away they are or how badly they might screw things up. We think of all the help we've needed along the way, and get up and work as hard as we can so that the boys will come to us if they're ever in a position where they need us. There's something rewarding in that.

So, with all the changes going on - please, dear reader, accept our most sincere apologies that we have neglected Home on Moraine.  It is very important to us, and we hope you understand.

November is a wonderful month for our family.  First of all, someone turned one on the 17th!  More on that later.

And, the 21 is D and my 2nd wedding anniversary!

The boys are staying with their grandparents and we are going to spend an evening away in a nice hotel with a spa. I'm so excited!

And, someone made the honor roll!

I couldn't be more proud. He is growing into the smartest, silliest guy. I love him.

And, we took in another cat.

I know....another cat. But this is it, I swear. And she's really sweet and cute. And she needed a home.

We're so lucky, in every way. That we have the opportunities that we do. That we have the kids we do, the home we do.  We are so blessed to have each other, to both have jobs that don't make us miserable, to have family that lifts us up. We're so blessed to have days and evenings of laughter and food and sparkly blue eyed boys, fuzzy cats, warm blankets, and all of the things that used to seem so far away.

'Your yellow hair is like the sunlight - however sweet it shines.  Bit by the cold of December, I'm warm
beside your smile.'