Thursday, November 28, 2013

Because Hanukkah.....

 To all of our Jewish family and friends, here's wishing you a bright, peaceful, happy Festival of Lights.

As I went through last year's Hanukkah photos to find some for this post, I was taken aback by how much the girls have grown.

I love these two photos. For me, they capture the essence of the holiday. The last night of Hanukkah is always my favorite because ALL the candles being lit is SO beautiful!

Alain's chocolate cherry Dreidel Cake has become one of our family traditions.

Last year Sophie insisted that we make some crafts for Tio Iggy.  I LOVED THAT. We will surely be doing that again this year!  It feels good to include him in our celebrations, even in this small way.

Dreidels are BIG in our family.  Sophie loves to play.  We usually play with nuts rather than gelt.

I didn't get to do nearly as much as I would've liked because Hanukkah is SO danged early this year......and coincides with Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday).  I've grown to really love Hanukkah and I look forward to finding new ways to make it special.  

This craft we did last year made it to Pinterest and my blog has gotten many hits over the last few weeks from people searching for a Hanukkah craft. I have a new craft planned for this year and I'm just hoping I have time to pull it off.  We're in Lynchburg now for Thanksgiving and I'm soaking up this time with my family and my lovely, lovely Kenzie!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!!!

PS ~ I decided to use "Because Hanukkah" for my post title after reading this.....the evolution of the English language is rather fascinating!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not a fan. NOT A FAN.

I looked out my window this afternoon to see this.

This is not my cat.

As I watched, the following occurred....

That is definitely my mouse.  My sweet mouse who lives underneath the bird feeder.  She hangs out with the mourning doves in the afternoons and eats seeds that have fallen out of the feeder.  I can't believe it.


This evil cat has killed my mouse and left it and has now parked herself directly underneath my bird feeder.  The feeder where all my resident birds come to eat and hang out.  Including my beloved Harry Winston.

Over my dead body.  I head outside.

I am very upset about my mouse.  VERY UPSET.

Suddenly a tiny bit of motion catches my eye.  I look over.

There she is sitting in the shade beneath some trees.  Curled up like she actually belongs here.  I chase her away screaming.

I do love animals but....this cat.....I am really NOT A FAN.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yes, yes.....we're in the SWEET SPOT!!!

We are officially there.

She's no longer an infant.  Not a toddler (whew, thank goodness!).  Long ago graduated from preschool.

Still several years away from the tween years.  The teenage stage seems distant (although I try not to look at it staring at me from the horizon!). 

Sophie is smack dab in the middle of the loveliest stage of childhood.  THIS is why we have children.  It is golden and delicious and I don't ever want it to end.

Yes, of course, it has its heartbreaking moments.  Like when she let Clara carry her stuffed animals in a store and she said, "Well, I'm seven now....I can't walk around with stuffed animals."  Or when she looked up at me from her bed one night and said, "Mommy, you won't need to read to me anymore....I can read myself now."  Other parents might celebrate that moment.....but my whole existence for the past several years has been about reading to my daughter in bed at night.  That's just WHAT I DO.  I celebrate her reading abilities and her desire for privacy to devour the world of books.  But I will always want to read to her.  So we compromised and she agreed that I could still read a book or two TO HER several nights a week!

But then there's this:  She'll still hold my hand when we walk home from the bus in the afternoon.  Sometimes she'll even run off the bus and jump on front of other people!!!  And she told me last night, on a Saturday night, that she was disappointed she didn't have any homework.  What did I do?  I made some up so we could work on it together.  Last week she asked if she could do Math at school instead of recess.  WHAT?  For a couple of weeks she requested that she and I go to breakfast alone one weekend.....and when we finally got to, she asked for bagels....and while we were eating those bagels, she said, "Mom, I love eating breakfast alone with you."  Sophie still thinks it's super cool that I'm her Girl Scout leader.  When she recently told me that her favorite day of the week is Thursday, she explained that it's because I work in her school library on Thursdays and we get to walk in to school together.  She tells me pretty regularly that I am the best Mom ever and that she's lucky to have me.  My heart overflows.

Those first years were long.  Some were really hard (her entire third year for example!).  But I now experience the payoff every single day.  Sophie is just so, so lovely.  She's creative and interesting.  When she wants to be, she's as sweet and joyful as a doughnut with pink frosting and sprinkles.  I think most people would qualify her as a really happy child and she laughs a LOT.  Her teacher says hearing Sophie's laugh is one of the bright spots in her day.  Mine too, I always tell her.  Most of the time, she's sweet to Clara and I hear Sophie teaching her little sister all kinds of things.....little things, big things, silly things, important things.  I'm not a rookie Mom anymore and I know all these childhood moments are fleeting. I don't intend to miss any of them.  I eat them up in my own beastie way.

I LOVE nothing more than being in Sophie's presence.  She constantly makes me smile and laugh and feel good.

Sophie Annabelle, you are such a gift and I treasure you with every tiny little ounce of my being.

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