I just received a comment from a loyal reader making sure all was well with us since she hasn’t seen a post since October.  OCTOBER!  What happened to the time?  I am always intending on posting but one thing leads to another and another day goes by and again no post.  So here we are in a New Year with new goals and one of those is being more consistent with my posts.  Sometimes I feel like I need to write a book and then I get overwhelmed and put it off for another day.  But I realized I don’t need novels, when I visit a blog sometimes I like the posts that are simple and contain pictures with little captions. 

So with all that said – I am back. 

Happy New Year to everyone.  Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays.  We certainly did.  We spent Thanksgiving – eating, drinking, laughing and chatting with lovely friends in their vineyard, while the children ran amok.  Giving thanks for our families, our friends, the beautiful weather (Sonoma County sure has some perfect weather) and life. 

The month of December was full of holiday preparations, lots of baking, singing, trips with good friends and a little crafting (not as much as I would have liked – but at least a little).  We had our old traditions and started adding some new ones too. 

first time making kolachkis – what is better than 1lb of butter and 1lb of cream cheese and jam- yummy!

The Polar Express

Even Joe Joe got into the festivities – he LOVED laying in the village under the tree

roasting marshmallows at the lighting of the snowmen

I love these snowmen

Ryder and Saige’s candle arrangement used for Winter solstice.

The New Year was celebrated with good friends, roasting marshmallows under the blue moon (how fantastic was that!?) and a late night cab ride home (that the kids thought was the coolest!). 

We headed up to the snow last weekend for a bit of snow play and tubing – we will definitely be back for more.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and hope you come back to visit.

Much Peace to you and yours in the New Year!

 

So this pretty much sums up the month of December…. frenzied, funny and a lot of fun!  And I can’t believe it’s over!  We started preparing the weekend of Thanksgiving and haven’t stopped until yesterday.  It has been a whirlwind but a season filled with lots of singing, present making, cookie making, cooking, story telling, snuggling, and remembering my childhood.  Every year I get that warm fuzzy feeling, but for some reason this year seemed like I was really warmed to the soul.  Maybe it’s because Ryder is even more aware and into it and he loves singing with me and making cookies and reading all my favorite Christmas stories and seasonal books.  And Saige is older now and we have our newest addition, Milo – but whatever it was – my heart seemed to melt a little more each day.  And I tried hard to take those mental snapshots as to not forget a moment. 

Usually every year we head back to Chicago sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year we didn’t get that chance.  And part of our tradition in Chicago is to eat lunch under the ginormous tree at Macy’s and see Santa and look at all the windows decorated on Michigan Ave (mind you, it’s usually in the teens and below zero with the windchill).  But that adds to the whole experience. 

So this year we headed to San Fran to start our own tradition.  We took Ryder ice skating at Union Square and went to see Santa and look in the windows at Macy’s.  Now, this was supposed to be the “coldest” day – the meteorologists had us thinking people were going to be dying in the streets because of the cold.  Well I was a bit excited because now it would be even MORE like being in Chicago.  Well as you can see by the picture- it was beautiful.  A little nip in the air but sunny and perfect (people from the Midwest or the East Coast would have been in shorts and tshirts!)  We went to Macy’s, after skating, to see Santa (1 1/2 hour wait!) now I know what my parents went through all those years.  Well we didn’t stay- someone told us about another Santa at the shopping plaza a couple blocks away.  So Ryder was stoked to see Santa- Saige, not so much.

 

 My jams and jellies that I worked on during the summer were wrapped up and given away to friends around town.  We made some homemade Kahlua to give out too.  And I had a couple custom orders for shirts.  Somehow it was suddenly the week of Christmas – what happend. 

The excitement was mounting in our house and then the grandparents arrived the day before Christmas Eve- which got the kids even more wound up!    We all had a wonderful time.  I just love sitting around all day in jammies, playing with their new treasures, reading new stories that will soon become favorites, snuggling, eating cookies and drinking my warm coffee (it should be tea- but I’ve recently went back on caffine- Saige is only nursing once or twice a day so I don’t feel so bad).  And then the next couple days were spent going to the park and running into friends – boy do I love a small town.

So here we are on New Year’s Eve…. looking back on the year and looking forward to what’s to come.  We have  had a great year, we’ve watched our baby turn into a little girl, our little boy become a big independent boy, we’ve welcomed a new family member to our household, we’ve welcomed some new babies into our extended family, we’ve expanded our family of friends, so many blessings – too many to list.  There have also been some sadness (may the circle be unbroken).  I look forward to the new year and the new adventures we will be embarking on and what will be around the next corner.

I have many ideas for this blog in the New Year.  I am resolving to attend to it more, but also to not let it consume me.  I would like to get more information out to families re: cloth diapering, baby wearing, raising kids green, crafting with kids, and more.  I will be doing giveaways and continue giving you the blow by blows on The Adventures in The Calhoun’s Life.  So stay tuned…..

Peace to you and your family in The New Year!

Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, mind and soul have been freed to fulfil themselves. Nelson Mandela

So I got an email from the Green Moms Carnival and it was about the holidays and the commercialization of them.  There were some great tips/ideas on how NOT to make it commercialized and plastic and get back to the true meaning of the holidays.  Of course it got my mind working.

I LOVE the holidays, especially now with the kids.  Last year Ryder and I spent the entire month before Christmas singing every Christmas Carole written and baking.  It was the best!  One of my favorite things about the holidays is cooking and baking (which is something I love to do and it is something that Ryder and I like to do together).  No matter if a holiday dinner is going to be just “us” or if others are attending I like to put out a big spread (I guess b/c that’s what I remember about the holidays when I was young and I love food!) 

I do also love to give, but sometimes, in years past, I have felt so overwhelmed with the thought of “buying” just to buy and I just hate that feeling.  I like to give meaningful gifts or something handmade (which I’ve been trying to do for the last couple years).  It just gets so overwhelming with this crazy buying frenzy energy that is in the air.  I live in a smaller town, so there is no mall or major stores around so it’s pretty nice I feel a bit sheltered from the frenzy – until I drive to work (which is in a bigger town).  So I have vowed to buy only handmade or local for the holidays.  I have also made a lot (jams, sauces, kahlua, etc.) so I plan on giving those as presents.  I would like to make a couple more handmade presents. 

But, my point being, I am not going to get caught in a frenzy and I’m going to support the local guy.  I am the local guy, I will be in a craft fair in November and am trying to locate a few more – so hopefully I will be supported by my fellow “locals” and tourists (I’m not picky). 

Etsyis a great place to buy handmade.  You can find anything and everything on there.  I just bought Saige the cutest hat and I feel good that it didn’t come from a retail store.  Even if you don’t buy everything, even just one item, start small, find a local craft fair or local boutique and support someone instead of a large corporation, especially with the what’s going on in the economy.  The big guys are taking off with the money while the rest of us suffer, stop giving to the big guys and help out your small local businesses.

Remember what the season is about, getting together with friends and family, remembering old memories, making new memories and being thankful for each other.  So don’t let the commercialism of the holiday season get you, fight back, don’t give in – it feels good to buck the system! 

Have a great holiday season!