Scenes from the holidays


Happy New Year!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays and that your year is off to a great start so far! I’ve been doing my best to step away from the computer a bit, but I feel like everything passed by far too quickly this year!

Here’s some of what we’ve been up to since that last holiday re-cap…




There’s a neighborhood in Sacramento—”the fab ’40s”—with incredible light displays. Most are very tasteful, impressive mostly for their scale (the homes, like the one that Reagan lived in while Governor, are huge); but our favorites are always the most over-the-top.

After that night, Skyler pointed out lights everywhere—particularly to Hudson: “Hudsee. A light!” she’d say over and over. He’d eventually grow frustrated and practically grunt “I know, Skyler!” and we’d remind him that she just loves to share with him and he’d say it again in a high-pitched sweet voice, “Yes, I see them.” And then they cycle would begin again.


Indoor play


Rainy days (yes!) meant seeking out more indoor-diversions. We introduced Hudson to pinball at our old college pizza haunt; took the kids to the Rocknasium for some climbing; spent time visiting the costumes of Ikea (and the toys at Target, and the animals at Petco, etcetera); and Skyler made the best of her solo time.


We learned more about Skyler’s opinions on food (which are getting stronger), and Hudson practiced his penmanship (also getting stronger) in love letters.


Aron and I had the chance for a few fun date nights—including going to see Star Wars VII and getting dressed up for a party with friends.


Hudson harvested one of the carrots he planted. Is it a coincidence that he named carrots as one of few foods he likes when we tried to make a list? Time to plant more veggies!


We made citrus ornaments…



…and decorated Christmas cookies.

Aron’s mom made something like 19 varieties of Christmas cookies this year (!) from his great Aunt’s translation of passed down family recipes for us all to sample, but the kids always go for the form cookies.


Aron’s sister arrived with her husband and our two nephews just before Christmas and we spent Christmas eve morning visiting before having fondue and opening our first presents at my parents’ house.



Hudson also got to help extend his bed to a full twin on the night before Christmas, along with a real blanket and pillows for the first time in his life. I can’t believe my little baby who once slept in our closet is now the tall boy who sleeps in that long bed.

That night he went to bed dreaming about Santa and his reindeer (having left out cookies and carrots) and humming “Do-Re-Mi.”

Skyler woke up a half-dozen times throughout the night. So we can only guess she was dreaming of coming into bed with us?


And then it was suddenly Christmas morning!

We got up just minutes before Hudson, and rushed to light the fire. He couldn’t wait to pull down his stocking, but we made him wait to open it and all went to wake up Skyler.

I wasn’t sure how she’d take to being awoken by Hudson’s yelling “Merry Christmas,” but she was all smiles (as she always is, for him).




Her special gifts of the morning were chapsticks in her stocking (that she rubbed all over her face and offered to everyone, including the dog), and a baby doll of her own (who also shared the chapstick).

She’d been carrying around Hudson’s baby doll and talking to it so sweetly lately.


Hudson got the nutcracker he’d wished for and will happily supply you with fresh walnuts (that he does not eat), if you ask. And the dreydel made it into his stocking as well.

I think the two things he plays with most of all, however, are a magnetic gyro wheel that lights up, and a remote-control jeep.

Ostrich Lite

One of my gifts was this Ostrich-lite sleep mask—a sleep mask and pillow combined—and I can’t wait to try it out on our next long-haul flight. If Skyler were as eager to use it, we’d be all ready to go on a red-eye! Ha.



We stayed in our pajamas almost all day, until just after 3pm, as I’d hoped we would.



At some point we did emerge, however, to have Christmas dinner with family and friends. Skyler clutched her baby doll and got her first look at the stocking Aron’s mom needlepointed for her.

And Hudson stuck close to his cousins and was inducted into their magic routine.

He professed his love to them and offered them kisses over and over during their visit. A little older, a little cooler, they politely declined. I’d lean over and whisper that I’ll take all his kisses (the mother who will one day embarrass him), and he’d oblige and then be off after them elsewhere. He’s just the sweetest.


We hadn’t planned any ski trips over the holiday (curses!), but we still didn’t want to miss out on all the snow that fell in the Sierras. We took a day trip up to the mountains to seek out a sledding spot.

It wasn’t the simplest endeavor with those two, but it was ultimately successful—and a lot of fun.



On New Year’s Eve, thanks to my parents taking the kids for the night, we had friends over to ring in 2016. We’ve spent many years with those friends and hope to spend many more—so it was perfect.


A lot is going to happen in 2016—Skyler will turn two soon and start preschool. Hudson will turn five and start kindergarten! I can’t believe it.

I hope I can figure out how to slow them down, or at least figure out how to appreciate every minute.

Wishing everyone a happy new year. May it be the best one yet!

P.S. Scenes from the first half of December, leading up to Christmas. And the holidays last year.

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