7 small things on a wednesday

As I write this post, I am sitting with a steaming cup of tea, stuffing my face with candied pecans, wrapped in a blanket on my couch… all. by. my. self. I am currently on day 3 of the most glorious vacation there ever was. While my school let out last Friday for winter break, Luke’s school is in session all this week (his poor teachers). It’s the most free-time, alone time, get shit done time I’ve had in almost exactly two and a half years and it is every bit as good as I’d imagined. On Monday alone I managed to exercise, shower, BLOW DRY MY HAIR, get a Texas driver’s license (more on that in a later post), go to Ikea, assemble a shelf from Ikea, pick up Luke, cook a complete meal that did not include a box of mac and cheese, and play “tools” with Luke. That is more than I’d accomplished for myself in 6 months. I love my job, I do. But it is hard and it leaves me with oh so little at the end of the day. I am so so thankful for these days to reset.

I just can’t get enough of the three of us wearing our bike helmets together. We’ve really been enjoying riding to the park and last Saturday it was a balmy 75 degrees. Then 8 hours later it dropped to 28 degrees. I don’t really understand how that is even possible but I assure you it is.


We will be in CT on Christmas so we decided to celebrate in Austin on Sunday. Even though it’s Luke’s 3rd Christmas, it’s the first one where he sort of “gets it.” Also, it’s an amazing statement about the blurred lines of fantasy and reality for young children that Luke had absolutely zero problem accepting that a man in a red suit would randomly come down our chimney, drop a bunch of presents, grab a snack and move on. I 100 percent understand why some families choose not to lie to their children about Santa. It’s definitely very, very weird. But also magical. But also weird. But for the record, should you see my kid in the coming days, he believes that Santa came to Austin and there’s a chance he just might show up in Connecticut, too. Deal?
Mike and I discovered the best playground balls last spring while creeping on a birthday party at Stacy Park and have been talking about them ever since. They are called Rhino Balls (tee hee hee) and they are super durable and extremely bouncy. We got Luke a rainbow pack. Here he is blowing one up, which is possibly more fun than playing with them.
Actually, come to think of it, Mike may have bought the balls for himself to play with at the park. Soon after this photo was taken he disappeared and was found shooting hoops with a charming new friend- an 8 year old child.
Want to know the only good thing about being an adult? Buying your own stocking stuffers! You can put anything in a stocking! Olives, wine, earrings, a pumice stone! Who knew? I feel like I just unlocked the key to enjoying the holidays as a parent. And every time you take something out you can say, “Weird! Santa really knows how much I love sparkling rose!” and your kid will be like, “that’s amaaaaazing!” (Have I convinced those of you who don’t already lie to your kids about Santa to join me, yet?) Also, an important note about stockings: when I was stuffing them this year I thought so much of my dad, who obviously did not grow up celebrating Christmas himself, but became a big fan of the magic of the holiday. And he took it really far: he used to wrap each item in our stockings. Like he would wrap a Blistex chapstick or a package of tissues. And often he was compiling at least 5 stockings (many years with help, I am aware, but still!). I love remembering this crazy, sort of obsessive part of my dad on Christmas. A tradition I promise you, I will not carry on, but that will make me smile forever and ever. Also, his stocking stuffers were really, really useful. All of my flashlights that I still own are from his stockings (they came with cautionary advice to always keep one in each room and especially your car). Another stocking gift I still own is this special light that attaches to the zipper of your coat. I think that was the same year I found a rape whistle in the stocking from my mom. So subtle and sensible, these parents* of mine!



This right here felt like a major accomplishment. Mike and I talked about how in my family we always open stockings, then we pause to eat breakfast and then we go back to open the presents. We agreed we would try to convince Luke to get on board with this tradition in squeezing out every last drop of Christmas joy for as long as humanly possible. It took a little convincing and a lot of frosting on his cinnamon bun but we did it!
Mike bought us a new sheet set for Christmas. If you were at our wedding, you might remember me talking about Mike’s bed making skills. Mike is also really, really good at gift giving. This year we sort of agreed we weren’t buying each other gifts because we did this thing over the summer where we bought each other a house sooo… but then he couldn’t help himself and bought me the cutest, most thoughtful gifts including these sheets (and he obviously made the bed). I mean is there anything in the world that makes your heart aflutter more than a bed carefully made in brand new sheets from a boutique Brooklyn linen line by your lover? I didn’t think so, either.

*I mean, er, Santa