I’m hoping to remedy the lack of new recipes appearing here, because I have several great recipes to share with you, new ones that have emerged from a new necessity to make meal-planning and preparation a little easier, less time-consuming and good for Theo.
It may be Spring, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is still mostly cool and gray and rainy. To keep us from going crazy, we have to get creative about how to have fun indoors when the wind is whipping and it’s too cold to bundle up for the park (or I’m too tired of bundling up). Here are six indoor activities that Theo loves.
According to my mom, I started reading when I was three years old. She must be right, because I attended Montessori school from age three to five, and most of my memories are being curled up in the reading loft with a pile of books. When I was very little, at bedtime Mom would squeeze into bed with my brother and me and we would read book after book. The Sweet Pickle series was our favorite. As I got older, I would take a flashlight to bed and read under the covers, well past my bedtime. I read every Laura Ingalls Wilder multiple time, the entire Nancy Drew series, and every biography in my elementary school library. By the fourth grade, I graduated to reading through the series of hard cover classics in my parents’ library, starting with Gone With the Wind, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. You get the picture. Reading was a way to travel to other places and other times, to live in someone else’s shoes. I loved it.
When it comes to husbands, I hit the jackpot. Elie wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and fills our life with his joyfulness. If God loves a cheerful giver, then God surely cherishes my sweet husband, who gives of his time and talents, his love and his resources, to Theo and me, our extended family, our friends, community members, and strangers near and far. I am blessed to walk through life with him by my side.
When I received my February edition of Bon Appétit Magazine, I cheered. I love that a food magazine is promoting a healthyish way of eating, not as a diet or deprivation, but as a balanced pursuit of enjoying delicious food and feeling good. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love food. And while I am trying to consciously reduce my consumption of animal products this year, I don’t believe any food should be off limits. Food should be delicious. Food should be pleasurable. Food should be comforting. Food should be nourishing. Food should be shared.
The night before Theo’s first birthday, Elie and I watched the video from his birth. It was the first time I had seen it, and it seemed like the right amount of time to go back and re-live that night. The battery on the camera died right before Theo was born, but we can to see the moments right before. The room was calm, the lights low, voices soft, my Mom was standing beside me, Elie was feeding me ice chips and wiping my forehead, waiting to be the first hands our baby felt. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to bring our sweet boy into the world.
This morning we had a friend come over for coffee. We all sat in the family room, Elie and me on the floor with Theo, playing. He was toddling back and forth between Elie and me, laughing and crinkling up his nose, squinting his eyes and snorting in the way he does now when he is very excited and proud of himself. As his parents, we think it’s adorable. Every time the kitty walked by, he lunged for a kiss, and we checked to make sure he wasn’t too vigorous with his love.
If you visited our home last year, the floors were probably less than sparkling, the dinners simpler, there was probably a basket of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, and I was likely wearing yoga pants and sporting a ponytail. Elie probably made you a delicious coffee, and I hope you got a cuddle from Theo. But most of all, I hope you felt appreciated and loved. 2016 was about letting go of perfection and simply being present and grateful. It was the year of gratitude.
For those of you who read these monthly posts and enjoy following along with Theo’s first year, thank you. I can’t believe he’s been in this world for almost twelve months. These posts have been so precious to write, to reflect each month on how much he changes and how quickly.