Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas Cheer

Hello from snowy central Virginia! We got about 5 inches of snow on Saturday morning and it's completely beautiful and fun and COLD. Naturally, the kids are out of school today because the plows haven't come through any of the neighborhoods yet, and I'd be surprised if they went tomorrow. We've had a great time playing outside taking snowy quiet walks, sledding down the hill behind our house, doing a little snow wrestling, throwing snowballs, attempting to build a snowman, and making snow angels. I love snow! I'll post some of our snow photos later in the week. Today, I wanted to share some of our holiday photos, if you'd like to see. I chose "Christmas Cheer" as my December theme so we tried to have an extra dose or two of cheer as often as possible.

Toasting Christmas cookies at GG's = Christmas Cheer

Cute boys (9yrs and 4mo) together = Christmas Cheer

Color coordinating cousins = Christmas Cheer

Picking out our biggest Christmas tree ever (it scraped the ceiling!) = Christmas Cheer

Seeing Santa with cute cousins = Christmas Cheer

Decorating gingerbread at Gatty's = Christmas Cheer

Watching Rudolph = Christmas Cheer

Reindeer games = Christmas Cheer

Matching PJ's on the last day of school for 2016 = Christmas Cheer

Sprinkles everywhere = Christmas Cheer

Christmas Day with these cuties = Christmas Cheer

Matching girls (a coincidence!) = Christmas Cheer

Cousin love = Christmas Cheer

Banjo/Ukulele entertainment = Christmas Cheer

Being part of the first all-female ping pong champ team  = Christmas Cheer
We had so much fun visiting with our families and spending time with relatives we don't get to see very often. Christmas Cheer indeed!

Hope you're having a good start to your week whether you're home enjoying a snow day or jumping back into the weekly routine. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2017

January is for Soup

Happy New Year, friends!  It feels good to be back here in this space and I am so looking forward to making more time to write this year.  

 Today in eastern PA it is about 23 degrees and we woke up to a little bit of fluffy, dusty snow this morning.  As I drove Sommer to school, the sun was shining through the cloudy sky and as we walked from the car into school, my observant girl joyously pointed out to me that, "the sun is out of the clouds and shining on the snow making it sparkle, Mama!!"

{right after this picture she actually started to lay down in the snow to make a snow angel}

I didn't make a list of New Year's Resolutions this year and I still don't have any lofty goals to accomplish over the next 365 days.  I realized this morning, though, that I do hope to see the world through the eyes of my two beautiful babies more often than not this year.  We're also ditching our cable in favor of joining our local YMCA.  It's actually amazing how the thought of going swimming at the Y on the dreary, cold days of winter has improved our moods over the last few days.  If you have a Y near you, I seriously encourage you to is so much more than just a gym!!

Otherwise, my only plan is to make pots of homemade soup each week during the month of January.  I'm not sure what motivated this decision but when I think of the beginning of cold January, all I really want to do is cozy up with my people.  The thought of hot soup simmering on the stove (with plenty of leftovers to warm us up on cold days) paired with crusty bread pretty much sums up my idea of a perfect winter night. 

I started this week and so far it has worked out pretty well.  My first soup, Broccoli Bisque, from Tidewater on the Half Shell was a complete fail for my family but a complete win for me.  It is one of my favorites and reminds me of my childhood.  It is completely dairy free but so creamy and delicious (if you ask me).  I'm thinking I might make this one every week so I can eat it for lunch everyday.  

{I like my soup with a ton of pepper and a spinach salad on the side.}

Last night, I mixed up this minestrone soup for dinner which is also delicious.  It is simple and comes together so quickly.  It will be perfect for leftovers or lunch this weekend.
{I love how these soups are full of veggies!}

I'm searching for more soup recipes for the month, and as I found with my Christmas cookies this year; old, tried and true recipes are where it's at. I'd love for you to share your favorites with me!

Monday, January 2, 2017

planning projects

It's no secret that Will and I aren't big party people. Given the choice between being out with a big group of people or staying in with a few friends or by ourselves, we will almost always choose the latter. And so, after visiting with family and friends over Christmas and the week between Christmas and New Years, we always plan to be home for the new year and enjoy a quiet evening together. We watch football and eat snacks and talk about things we want to do in the year ahead and toast at midnight with sparkling cider. Over the past couple of years I've also spent some time on December 31st planning out my knitting projects for the coming year. This year was no different...

That right there is at least 11 knitting projects that I'm hoping to finish in 2017. Included are two sweaters, a few hats, two blankets, a shawl, some butterflies, a bag, and a pair or two of fingerless gloves. We'll see how much I can accomplish as the year progresses, but New Years Eve always makes me feel like anything is possible! 

I got started on two new projects yesterday - a baby blanket in the softest yarn, and the sweetest little hat with a tiny pom pom. They don't look like much yet but I'm excited to send them off to their recipients, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

I also chose a word for 2017 - something I've never done before. I always have a December theme (this past year was "Christmas Cheer" which I'll share about soon) so I decided to try having a yearly theme. My word for 2017 is "HEALTH." I'm determined to complete my journey to good health this year (I'd say I'm about 80% there, after my Crohn's Disease diagnosis a couple years ago) as I've picked up a few more tools to help me along the way. I'd say my biggest issue now is mental - teaching myself not to worry about my health anymore, that I actually am in good health, instead of always worrying that something is wrong. I got so used to feeling sick and worrying about it that I now have to remember how not to worry. Sounds crazy, but it's true. So HEALTH includes physical, mental, within relationships, and within my schedule (which has also gotten way too crazy lately). I'm excited to have a new focus and a new year to make things happen. If you've been reading here for awhile you know my love of odd numbers -- so happy to be back to an odd year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends, good food and conversation, love and laughter. Wishing you a new year full of the same! Cheers to 2017!

"And now let us welcome the new year
Full of things that have never been."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello and Happy New Year! WeThree sincerely hope that you've enjoyed this holiday season with friends and family near and far. We were able to spend four days together up in Pennsylvania just after Christmas and loved every minute of our time together with family. Here are just a few photos, if you'd like to see...

Every year for Christmas, WeThree get a gift (or two!) that is exactly the same for all three of us. We always open them at the same time and enjoy seeing what our parents (read: mom :) ) picked out for us. This year I noticed a theme with our gift:

I don't know if you can tell but the shirt says "we time" and the mug has a typewriter on it. Perhaps a not-so-subtle hint to get back to typing here at WeThree?! Hint taken! Looking forward to a new year and new things to share here in our little corner of the internets.

Cheers to you and yours this New Years! Wishing you health, happiness and many blessings in the year ahead. Let's do this, 2017!

Monday, November 7, 2016

suck up

Oh November, you've been such a suck up this year! What with your beautiful weather and your colorful trees and your sunshiny blue skies. I officially declare you to be my new favorite month forever and always...or at least until you start bringing frigid temperatures and snow right off the bat. Then we'll have to talk. But for now, you're golden. Keep bringing me reason to light the fire place early in the morning and then walk around in my t-shirt in the early afternoon and yes, we will be friends forever and ever and ever.

I love November. November makes me want to read all the books. It makes me want to sit on the couch in my pajamas under a big squishy blanket. It makes me want to bake something with cinnamon and nutmeg. It makes me want to knit oversized sweaters and warm wool hats. It makes me want to drink tea and watch Christmas movies.

But even with all of those inside things to look forward to, I'm also enjoying the view out my window and trying to get out into the brisk morning air as often as possible. Thanks to my lovely and run-happy neighbors, I'm getting out at least three mornings a week for a (longer and longer) run. Last week we headed to our local state park for a chilly run through the sun-soaked trees which was just the thing to kick off a busy Thursday.

Suck. Up.

I can't get enough of that view! Having beautiful scenery and good conversation definitely makes distance running much more tolerable...and dare I say...maybe even...enjoyable?!(Gasp!)

At any rate, I am loving the contrast between mornings in the sun and crisp air and evenings with a blanket, a cup of tea, and either Anne of Green Gables (yes, I went straight to the library and checked it out last week) or a movie and something to knit. I really do love November. Hope you're enjoying it, too.

Wishing you a lovely week!

P.s. Halloween!

P.p.s. I realize that some of you may be feeling less than excited about November because of a certain big decision day that happens to be coming up tomorrow. Let me assure you that I will NEVER post about which candidate I plan to choose tomorrow or ever here on the blog, but I do want to say this: please, please, please remember that no matter who you choose or which side you agree with, we are all human beings who screw up and make mistakes and make poor choices and ALL OF US are deserving of grace. Your neighbor/friend/sibling/parent/pastor/teacher/etc. who is voting a different way than you tomorrow deserves grace. Your neighbor/friend/sibling/parent/pastor/teacher/etc. who is posting ridiculous amounts of political opinions on Facebook deserves grace. Your neighbor/friend/sibling/parent/pastor/teacher/etc. who brings up politics during every single conversation and tries to persuade you to their side deserves grace. And yes, even the presidential candidates themselves deserve grace. After all, in the end, we're all the same. Let's all try to spread love and decency and togetherness in the face of a clear separation in this country. It starts with us, not them. Be kind. Hold your tongue. Love each other. And vote.

Monday, October 31, 2016

farewell October

I'm ashamed to admit to you that I've never actually read Anne of Green Gables. (I know!) I've been seeing that quote above posted all over Instagram with photos of beautiful October days and nights and have found myself agreeing and enjoying every single one.  What a different world it would be if there were no Octobers. Our next trip to the library will definitely include a search for and check out of Anne of Green Gables so that I can finally read the context in which she said those lovely and very true words.

Over the past few weeks I've been watching the trees, waiting to see the pop of color in my favorite ones that I watch every year. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that it's happened a little slower this year. My favorite tree that I pass on the way to town hasn't completely turned yet and our woods don't seem to have as much color as they have in years past. But no matter, there are still plenty of beautiful trees to be found if you just open your eyes and look up. (Actually, in general, I find that it is pretty much always a good idea to open your eyes and look up though it's especially gratifying in October.)

See all that mess over there? Soon we'll have a screened porch!

My hydrangeas are still pretty in October.
 Indeed, how fortunate we are to live in a world with Octobers! Hope you can get outside and soak up this last day of such a beautiful month.

Wishing you a great start to your week! 

P.s. Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday Uncle Ralph! Hopefully we'll get some costume photos up tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2016

it's almost November

So, somehow I almost made it through October without acknowledging this as one of my favorite months.  The days and weeks and months seem to be speeding by me so quickly these days.  Yesterday I realized that November 1st is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY and did I really let October pass by with only a trip to get pumpkins?

Honestly though, it hasn't exactly felt like October until the last few days.  We spent a glorious week at the beach earlier this month where the kids got soaked by the waves and the sun shined down on us.  And just last week it was about 80 degrees here in Pennsylvania.  But now, it's finally starting to feel like my beloved October and I'm going to intentionally soak up these last few days of the month. 

As I've written about before, autumn has historically been a time of significant change for us.  Year after year we have moved in the fall and so every year as the leaves start to change, I start to feel a little restless.  This year was no different.  But instead of giving in to those feelings, we started settling in.  We found our way back to Friday night as homemade pizza night.  Our morning routines and bedtime rituals have started to fall back into place.  We light candles and play music and dance our little hearts out when the days start to feel long.  As the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, I'm hoping to settle in even more. 
I've been reading the book "How to Celebrate Everything" by Jenny Rosenstrach (also the author of "Dinner, A Love Story") and it is inspiring me.  It's all about traditions and rituals and how important they are in our lives.  Even the small ones, like Friday night pizza.  I'm determined to create traditions for my kids now that bring them back home when they are grown. 

Go buy this book & also her other ones.  You will not be disappointed!!

And with that, let's go celebrate the end of October - will you join me in finding something to celebrate this weekend?