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holidays

Clearly, I didn’t have enough to do. You know, Thanksgiving, Christmas, new job, two babies, etc etc.

But I needed to get a christmas card out this year. My mother has been on me to do it. “You have babies now, Jocelyn. It is time.” And every time I’ve opened a card and seen lovely pictures of my friends’ offspring I’ve felt the familiar weight of obligation tugging at my sleeve. (just a slight weight, or I would have gotten around to this years ago).

So I rolled up those guilty sleeves and got down to business. We were home at my folks’ house for Thanksgiving so at least I had a small respite from the restraints of naptime only crafting.

I dragged us all down to Joann’s to see what there was to see. I thought Caroline would get a kick out of all the fabric and buttons and sundry, and she did. I bought yards and yards and yards of tulle and a little bit of elastic. I was sold on the idea of the no sew tutu’s I’d seen popping up all over the kids boards on Pinterest. The concept was simple. Baby + tutu + beach = dreamy.

Lots of cutting ensued. Six inch strips out of twenty yards of tulle, to be exact. Not sure how many strips that is because math isn’t my inclination, but in any event, it involved a lot of cutting.

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It only took three hours to make a tutu for both Caroline and Gabrielle.  Phew.  They were poofy and pretty and I just had to try one on and give it a twirl it was so pretty.

With the first phase complete, I needed to get us all down to the beach.  I met with some resistance on this angle.  Some people were deep in their cups and didn’t want to move the party.  Others disagreed with my idea for a christmas card, saying, “they” wished that we could just do a normal card. Still others fretted over the idea of taking the babies’ clothes off at the beach for the picture, insisting that I should put turtle necks on them and long johns, and that 66 degrees was simply too cold for naked baby photo shoots.  (can you guess which players had which concerns??)   I scoffed and ignored everyone, having just completed three hours of manual labor in furtherance of my beatific christmas card vision.  Truly, I felt as though my hands were guided by some force.  Perhaps it was the prosecco, or perhaps it was the clarity of my idea.  We shall never know.

We finally got everyone down to the beach.  Caroline was on the same page of the same book with me.  She was in full princess, ‘look at me’ glory.  My mother was a wonderful help–getting the children to look at me, arranging their tutus as necessary, and moving the onlookers to ensure minimal shadow interference.   I left C’s leggings on to assuage my mother.

The light was long and perfect.  I took about 600 pictures.  I got some perfect shots by sheer happenstance.  We had so much fun.  Even my father and my husband got into the spirit of things eventually, suggesting shots and angles, and feeling proud about the project as onlookers gaped on.  Gummy (great uncle Mike) was off flying a kite (the kite was the carrot that got everyone down to the beach), so he was having fun too.

sea foam baby project collage

Gigi got fretful halfway through, so I nursed her and she fell asleep. Even that worked out for us. (No babies were harmed in the filming of this scene)

Gigi in a half shell

c and g aphrodite

I made the cards on Tinyprints.  I found a lovely pale blue Tory Burch card.  I think the whole thing worked out quite well.  I didn’t order enough cards as it turns out, but I know now for next year.

I was pleasantly surprised that by the second day post Philly marathon my legs were totally fine. The first day post marathon my knees were a little sore, but I didn’t “feel as if I just ran a marathon.”

Clearly, I didn’t run it fast enough.

In any event, was ready to get back on the road pretty quickly. While we were down in Florida visiting my folks for the Thanksgiving holiday I had the chance to run my favorite zen terrain – the beach. I only went about four miles because I didn’t want to miss out on Caroline’s first time flying a kite. But it was fantastic.

Here’s an action shot.

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Home to some great running.  Just me and the birds and one or two other runners and shell collectors.

 

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Now I feel like I’d like to tackle a second marathon. Relatively near term. I know about Bermuda and Orlando, but are there any others (not Boston, people) that might be fun? I just don’t know how thrilled old hubsters would be if I went to Bermuda by myself and left him with the girls.

I come from a family of alpha cooks.  You know the ones.  If you are in the kitchen with an alpha cook, chances are, on a good day you are relegated to sous chef-ing, or on a bad day, you are banished to the sitting area with a drink in hand  (or vice versa, depending on your mood or inclination).  It makes for a hectic active kitchen when everyone is an alpha.

I digress purely for added texture.

This morning we all put our little alpha hands together to make apple streudel.  A lovely Thanksgiving tradition.  Caroline is a little alpha in the making.

The recipe is good ‘ole Betty Crocker.  With a few tweaks.

Apple Streudel

We used packaged filo dough instead of making our own (much easier). We added craisins and we plumped the raisins and craisins with rum over night. (I was plumping as well).  And we used more butter than the recipe called for.  Because you can never have too much butter, right?  Nota bene – by “we” I mean my amazing mother and father.  I was taking pictures and drinking champagne.  And eating the sugary apples. And ‘helpfully’ backseat cooking at times, as is my wont.

Now we’re rollin’

Beautiful, and oh-so easy when you use packaged filo dough and have an army of alphas in your kitchen. And an apple peeler/corer from Williams and Sonoma.  And a few bottles of champagne.

Delicious! I snuck a taste of a streudel that “accidentally” came apart when we took it off of the baking sheet.

It is Wednesday. Me and Josh and the babies are hopping on a plane this afternoon and heading down to my family’s house in Florida. I’m so excited to see everyone.

I have this rich and textured feeling RIGHT now. I wish I could bottle it up to mull over later. The anticipation is almost the best part. Because I know how short our time together is. And I know I will be sad to say goodbye in just a few short days.

My walk to work this morning was delightful.  The streets were quiet and my footfalls were muffled by the yellow Ginko leaves.  The sun was busy rising and the colors were saturated and purposeful. 

Here are some snaps from my mood enhancing morning meandering.  Dear old fancy Delancy:

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Rittenhouse.

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Rittenhouse Square.

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Happy Thanksgiving.  Savor every last drop of every moment.

 

 

‘Tis the season.  I can just smell it.  I have an insane urge to decorate and bake and knit (and I don’t even know how to knit).  And buy stuff.  Especially anything with sparkles.  This time of year I go a little crazy. (Yes, Josh, I am admitting to ‘the crazies’ in writing.)  I guess I tend to go overboard. 

Last year I baked my face off. I made so many batches of cookies, pies, brownies, fudge, and of course a Thanksgiving spread Jose Garces would be proud of.  I hosted a holiday party and invited -oh- about 150 of my closest friends and all of their children.

Cookies were my real achilles heel.  We were up to our chubby armpits in cookies.  I took tins of holiday cookie cheer to my in-laws, our neighbors, my friends, my office, my husband’s office, and every doctor appointment I went to.  I became a favorite with the nurses. 

Ah yes,  I may have neglected to mention that I was in the late throes of pregnancy.  I think my nesting instinct went a little haywire.  And its not that I felt compelled to eat the cookies–I didn’t.  I was just DRIVEN to bake them.  It was a little manic.  Night after night, I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning . . . baking and scheming and …. you get the picture. 

I get the cookie shakes

And don’t even get me started on twinkle lights.  I think I sent Josh out to the store maybe 5 times to buy more lights.  Can’t. Get. Enough. Twinkles.  Josh was NOT thrilled by our electric bill.  Yes, I added enough lights to make a difference.

Take a deep breath, Jocelyn.  I’ve made a promise to myself that this year the theme is going to be moderation.   (in moderation of course.)

It is very comforting, at least, to know that I am not alone in my holiday haywire.  I saw this blog post “I’m like Gollum. But much taller”  and laughed out loud.  It really resonated with me.  And then I got to thinking….maybe I ALSO need some sparkly disco balls…..